Trans man says he is treated better than when he lived as a woman
A trans man claims he "gained privilege" after transitioning and is treated better now than when he lived as a woman - despite "daily transphobic online comments". Samuel Giardina, 24, came out as transgender in 2020 aged 21 - after previously thinking he was a bisexual female. He came out to his family and close friends, started testosterone, cut off his long hair, changed his name - from Samantha - and adopted male pronouns. He had top surgery so he could finally bin the chest binders - and he has never looked back. Samuel says an unexpected part of his transition is he "gained male privilege" -compared to when he was still living as a woman. He said as a woman, people would constantly talk over him, objectify him and he didn't feel safe walking home at night - and now it's the complete opposite. Samuel, a self-employed photographer, from Berlin, Connecticut, US, said: "In high school I came out as bisexual then I came out as a lesbian in college, but something still felt off. "I did some research on the transgender community and realised that was who I was. "I realised I needed to stop caring what others thought, and do what made me happy. "Three years on, I am at a point where I'm happy with myself and I'm confident for the first time in my life. "One thing I talk about is how I experienced all the things a woman experienced including sexism - and now it's so different being a man. "I have gained male privilege but I can still relate to a lot of the things my female friends go through - it's very humbling." In high school, Samuel had come out as bisexual before coming out as lesbian and getting a girlfriend at university - but realised the label "still didn't really fit". He revealed how he felt to his close friends and family in November 2019 - who were all shocked but supportive. He said: "I was scared but I asked myself ‘if I could come out tomorrow and it didn’t matter to anyone else in the world, how would I want to live my life?'. "The answer was to transition." In April 2020, during the pandemic, Samuel took the next step and started on testosterone. In July that year, he legally changed his name to Samuel and began to shop in the men's section. He said: "I finally felt able to express myself. "It’s a very surreal feeling to finally look at yourself and think ‘that's who I'm supposed to be’." Samuel's next step in January 2021 was to get top surgery - having his breasts surgically removed. He said: "I remember seeing my chest for the first time after surgery - I broke down sobbing. "After that I started to really see myself, looking in the mirror was so different. "It was so nice to not have to worry about binding, it was just a huge step in my journey." Samuel now feels confident for the first time in his life. But one of the most unexpected things about his transition was discovering the true privilege men have in society, he said.