Digital Transgender Archive

Interview with JAC Stringer

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JAC Stringer identifies as part Native American and genderqueer on the trans masculine spectrum and was assigned female at birth. He grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio in a city neighborhood close to downtown near the university. He went to a small Catholic school a couple of blocks from his house called Annunciation Catholic School. His family isn’t Catholic, but the school was nearby and convenient. His parents come from a poor working-class background, and he described himself as “a weird, frumpy, androgynous kid.” He related more to girls but didn’t look or act like them. Stringer was picked on a lot for his masculine expression and his differences. People pranked and teased him, so he didn’t know how to trust people. He believed he was straight at the time since he wasn’t attracted to women. He struggled with mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety along with self-harm, suicidality, and loneliness. He was sent to counseling by his parents at 14 where he was told he had an alter ego. He’s also struggled with chronic pain and illness. At 16, Stringer figured out that he was bipolar and was put on medications that caused many awful side effects. He became a health care advocate since he felt he had so little power as a kid in the health care system. Stringer went to college at Kent State in Cleveland, Ohio presenting as a femme woman to prevent being teased as he experienced previously. His depression took over, however, and he moved back to Cincinnati where he finished his degree at the University of Cincinnati. He then felt less satisfied with his presentation when he realized he was presenting femme because otherwise he wouldn’t be pretty. He began dressing more masculine, found online sites where trans people talked, and began binding. He got involved in trans activism and became a community organizer primarily in anti-war work and the labor movement. He struggled to find health care that wouldn’t pathologize him nor treat him badly for being trans. He also struggled to find someone who would prescribe testosterone. Stringer also has a trans kid that he supports who he met at a youth group.

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