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    T in the Life: Victoria Jean Aschebrook-Kealiher
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times

Pronoun: She/her/zie/hir.

Identifies as: "I throw around a lot of identifiers for myself, but am happiest when using very few of them. Right now I feel trans* woman is a shoe that fits."

Life's work: "Right now, I'm a student at Truman, working on my degree in biochemistry under the UIC transfer program."

Read more story below....

Job: "Keeping my husband and my partner of seven months ( two different people ) happy is a full time job in itself."

Neighborhood: West Rogers Park.

What is the best thing about being trans/ gender-variant?

"For me, I would say it's probably knowing that my gender is my own. Culture be damned; I'm 100% me."

When did you start questioning gender?

"I think for me, it was kindergarten. It was actually kind of backwards from a lot of people's narrative. I remember saying I wanted to be a goddess when I grew up, and realizing from the responses I got that everyone thought I was a boy. Before that I didn't realize."

How do you explain the way you feel about gender to others?

"Gender is something that doesn't exist in a bubble. My gender is a mix of how I see myself and how others see me. I feel like the more those two views are in alignment, the happier I usually am."

Do you consider yourself an activist?

"For sure. I've been laying low for a while, but I started a group for male assigned at birth trans* identified folks all over the spectrum recently that's been a major focus in my life as of late. It's called No Boys Allowed, and I really love bringing this group together."

In your opinion, what are the most important issues facing the trans/ gender-variant community?

"Our biggest issue seems to be that we're the outsiders in the LGBTQ community. I've experienced about as much transphobia from the LGB folks as I have from straight cis folks. I think building toward unity of all types of queers is where we need to start, so we can all work together for the things we need. I don't think we can do anything until we have allies."

To nominate a person for T in the life, email: Kate Sosin sosin@windycitytimes.com

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