Travis: Good Afternoon, my name is Travis Hart
Ulelli: So, I just wanted to talk to you about gender expression and you dressing outside of boundaries, the societal norms that is expected of you. Can you tell me a bit about the way how you present yourself sometimes, how you dress?
Ulelli: Like when you started and how you feel about it?
Travis: When I first started it was uncomfortable but I wanted to do it because I believe that a gay person should express they self as a gay person, not ummm…not be bounded by a female dressing as a woman or a man dressing as you know a man. I believe that being gay is ok to switch it up you know so I like to switch it up sometimes.
Ulelli: You say that it was uncomfortable when you just started, why was it uncomfortable?
Travis: Because of society, I was afraid of what society might say or think but after doing it once or twice I just grooved into it and it became comfortable.
Ulelli: What sort of reaction, you had from persons that you did not know that would have seen you dressed like this?
Travis: Ummm…people just stare, I never get like a negative comment from somebody, people just stared. I get positive comment from people, like “wha Travis you look good, you look real nice” but I never had a negative one. I know people talk behind my back, but in front my face, I never had a negative comment.
Ulelli: Like how did your family receive or react towards you. Do they know?
Travis : Yes, my family knows that I am gay, umm…I told my mom, she wasn’t very happy about it , she still isn’t one hundred percent supporting, but she still loves me anyway, so umm…..what’s the question again?
Ulelli: What about when you dress? You being gay and how your family…
Travis : Well in front of my family, I don’t ever dress, no cross dress , no wrong word , I don’t ever dress gay in front my family because the respect I have for my mother, I don’t do it .
Ulelli: So, how do you think she is going to feel if she see a photo…
Travis: I would show her a photo of me but, like in person, I can’t do it.
Ulelli: Seriously, so you show a photo and she does not react?
Travis: She just looks and she does turn her face...
Ulelli: She does not say anything…
Travis: No...she just looks and just turn she face ,but I just try to teach she, hold her hand and walk her through the gay life and show her that it is not as bad as it seems.
Ulelli: Like what?
Travis: Like she believe that gay people is umm...being gay, you wanna be a woman, you want to go and pick fare...Ummm….gay people got diseases like HIV for example, she a bit homophobic you could say.
Ulelli: So when you say you hold her hand and walk her through, what exactly do you mean, what do you do?
Travis: Like tell her that is not as bad as it seem, like how society putting it out , like people don’t beat you up every day, people don’t kill you because you gay ..ummm...nah because I am gay that means I would start faring or because I gay, I am HIV positive..things like duh…yeah...
Ulelli: So, tell me a bit about how it is for you at work?
Travis: Well, at work, ah… I am a bit spoiled , everyone loves me and I can be myself, I can behave, well I don’t overdo but I can behave as free as I want.
Ulelli: As gay as you want.
Ulelli: Where is it that you work?
Travis: Child Protection.
Travis: First of all, people believe that when you dress the way I do, you want attention or you want to be a woman. I don’t want to be a woman and I don’t really like attention, I just want to be myself, I want to be free, I want to dress how I am comfortable and to the people that don’t understand …umm..dressing like this doesn’t mean that umm…I want to be a woman or a trying to fool a man or anything, is just that I am expressing me, I am expressing umm…being a gay man, not trying to be a woman or anything. It’s just me being me.
Ulelli: Ok, thanks. Anything else you want to add?
Travis: Umm…society should just allow people to express themselves.
When society see a gay person dressing the way they want to dress with the makeup or whatever, they should allow them to be free and stop the hateful slangs and stuff.
Ulelli: Ok, thank you.