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Being Perceived Within Gender

From Audio: 157. Jes Tom

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station description Sit in on an hour long-conversation between host and standup comic, Cameron Esposit... read more
QUEERY with Cameron Esposito
Duration: 07:34
Comedian Jes Tom (they/them) sits down with Cameron Esposito to discuss their love for comedy and adapting to the ever-changing world of stand-up. Jes talks about how being non-binary does not mean you exist solely outside of gender, but sometimes even more within gender itself.
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Comedian Jes Tom (they/them) sits down with Cameron Esposito to discuss their love for comedy and adapting to the ever-changing world of stand-up. Jes talks about how being non-binary does not mean you exist solely outside of gender, but sometimes even more within gender itself.
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around, can I? Um I'm gonna ask you a question right now that like you can always put a boundary on because but I think you're just like talking about this pretty publicly. So have you started testosterone since being in quarantine? Um No, I do frame it that way a little bit in my sets because it's a more provocative framework. I started at the point that quarantine started, I had already been doing it for like four months, which is still in the very beginning like that. It is still true that like the bulk of this first year of experience is happening in quarantine. I don't actually think I know this. What for non studios? My parents are they them word? That is what I thought. Okay. Yes. You asked me before your show, you know this, it's in there. I know it is in there. Um Mhm. Okay. I guess I, so you started four months before, Did you notice um immediate changes? I guess I'm asking this because like, I wonder what it would be like to have those changes. I'm curious what it is like to have any changes you might be experiencing without um Other people encountering those changes for a huge to yourself, having those changes happen, It's really weird. Um Especially considering that like now I only go outside completely covered up, right? Like I'm wearing a mask, I'm wearing sunglasses, I'm usually wearing a hat too, so like I have no idea what anybody in the outside world perceives me, like, because I like, I don't look like anything, I look like a robot when I go outside. Um It's definitely weird because it's basically just me, like alone with my body. And so I notice these changes that seem huge to me. Um Like an example that I think of recently is um recently I've grown a lot of leg hair for me um and I previously had basically none, and now I have some and it's definitely there and it's visible, and I'm like, whoa, like this is a huge change, it's crazy. And then um a little while ago, I went to a friend's birthday in the park and it was the only time, actually, the only time I've seen any friends this whole time, because I live pretty far away from my friends, so I literally have not been hanging out with people, and I saw one of my friends who is uh white cis lesbian who doesn't shave her legs, and she had so much more hair on her legs than video. Eight months on testosterone that I was like, oh yeah, perspective, like I just forgot like what other people's bodies are like because I'm only alone with my body. Yeah, I mean, I was worried, go ahead. I'm also curious like the feeling of because maybe it would be relief. I don't know. Uh I would imagine like if changes are happening and then people in your life are like tracking those changes. Like I don't know if that would create self consciousness if it was me. Like if people were like noticing changes in me or if it would make me feel supported, like do you want to be seen right now and you can't be or is it nice to not be seen for a little bit? Well one thing that's interesting is um actually the only person who I see regularly and like make any regular physical contact with is my girlfriend and my girlfriend is and HRT doctor. Yeah, like for real so she so it's like on top of being the only person who like makes any contact with my body over the course of like six months now at this point. She also is like literally professionally trained to like notice changes and like be able to do things like track what's happening. So some of the things that I don't know what's happening and she'll be like, oh this is like this now and I'm like, oh I had no idea. Oh wow. Uh huh. Does that help? Is that helpful? I think it's fun. She also, I mean she also has really good boundaries and it's really like if you ever like don't want me to say these things to you or like don't want to talk about this then that's fine. But I I love to be perceived and actually one of my favorite, like I love to be perceived in a gendered way actually. Like I think it's I don't, you know, some people identify as being like, you know, outside of like gender or like not having a gender, I identify more as being like very gendered and very like in gender. Tell me more tom like which what what do you want to be noticed? Is it things that are traditionally thought of as masculine? Is it any gender markers? I just think that gender perception is interesting. Like I'm interested in, okay, I haven't gotten a haircut this entire time. I'm airing all the way to the side of paranoid right now. I really like, I'm not leaving my house, not going anywhere, not seeing people. Um not getting a haircut. May I recommend cutting your own hair in the kitchen? This is what I've done and never uh no, no, no. Trust me. If you need to feel look dress, I can respect your boundaries. But let me just say if there's ever a moment where you feel like I need to be dramatic, childish and like a baby, what you got to do is go in the kitchen and cut your own hair in a very emotional way over the top. I cannot, I cannot do that, I cannot together. I was about to say that is like, that is a white girl coming of age thing, and then I was like, well, I guess move on to that too. I guess, I guess archetypical, um cut your own hair girl. Um I don't trust myself to do that, and my hair is really precious to me, so I'm just letting it grow, but like, I love the idea. Um this is the longest my hair has been in years, and I've been loving the idea that it makes me look kind of like a cute girl in the way that I really haven't almost ever um almost since I was like a child, um because I've been gender nonconforming for a really, really long time. Um and I've been loving the idea is that like now when people see me and they read me as assist woman, um because I'm on testosterone to me, I feel more like a boy who looks like a girl, which I love rather than like I always felt before that I was being perceived as like a girl that looked like a boy, which I just wasn't as an.
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