Toronto YouTube star documents gender transition to support transgender youth
Stef Sanjati says she had conscious awareness that she wasn’t feeling comfortable or right as early as 10 when she would look in the mirror.
“Maybe even in kindergarten, when the teacher would for example, split you into boys and girls teams,” Sanjati said.
“I never felt right going to the boy’s side.”
As she got older, Sanjati said she would spend hours applying make up to appear more feminine and recalls only using the public bathroom twice while in high school because she didn’t feel safe.
So late last year at the age of 21, Sanjanti made a life-changing decision and underwent facial feminization surgery.
“Everything that I got done with [the surgery] was to reverse the effects of testosterone on my bone structure,” Sanjati said. “It’s reconstructive and it improved my quality of life in ways that I can’t even fathom.”
Sanjati said she felt like a “different person” than before.
“But I absolutely am a better person than I was before,” Sanjati said. “I’m much healthier mentally and physically.”
As a professional YouTuber with more than 500,000 subscribers, Sanjati decided to document her transition as her way of supporting transgender youth both at home and abroad.
“It’s tricky because the trans community is so diverse and there’s so many kinds of trans people and everybody has a bit of a different experience,” Sanjati said.
“But I would say as long as public spaces are being accommodating to trans people, as long as private businesses aren’t discriminating against us, the more comfortable we’re going to feel in this city.”
When asked what it’s like to look into the mirror post-surgery, Sanjati said her image doesn’t “control” her anymore.
“I can think about other things,” Sanjati said. “I can move on, I can live my life. I can be myself.”
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