VOL. 6 | EDITION 4 MAY 2015 ELON, N.C.
this summer pg.6
Where we’ve been and where we’re headed pg.12
Give your makeup a much needed throwback pg.17
East Vs. West Music festivals worth attending pg.24
ello lovely Edge readers, and congratulations on making it (almost) through spring semester. Just three more weeks and you’ll be relaxing at the pool or killing it at your summer internship. Trust me, I want to get there as much as you do, but let’s try to enjoy the three weeks we have left, shall we?
Letter from the Editor 2 | LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Because graduation is right around the corner, we wanted our May issue to be about celebrating Elon and, of course, you. Our features editor has given us a glimpse into Elon’s past and anticipated future with her piece on Student Government Association’s Joe Incorvia and Avery Steadman. The Style team created a graduation guide for the gift-inept (don’t worry — I’m the worst at gifts too), and our Fashion team came up with some creative ways to make your grad cap your own. Plus, our Health & Wellness editors are doing you 21 and up-ers a solid with some DIY hangover cures. Drink responsibly, please. And make sure to look out for our summer issue, coming out online June 1. Just because the semester’s ending doesn’t mean we won’t be delivering some solid June/July/August content. ;)
Lindsey Lanquist, Editor-in-Chief of The Edge
THE EDGE Fashion Style
caffeine alternatives page 9
Health & Wellness the cover Entertainment Features
Where we’ve been and where we’re headed
page 12 TABLE OF CONTENTS | 3
Editor-in-Chief of The Pendulum Michael Bodley
THE EDGE Editor-in-Chief of The Edge Lindsey Lanquist Design Chief Ingrid Frahm Creative Directors Ingrid Frahm Kim Duong Fashion Fashion Editor: Kim Duong Assistant Editor: Katy Bellotte Assistant Editor: Kristina Lee Assistant Editor: Brooklynn Lowrey Fashion Copy Writer: Hannah McCarthy Contributor: Kendal Couch Contributor: Katie Lindsay Contributor: Madison Sternberg Features Features Editor: Lauryl Fischer Assistant Editor: Alyssa Potter Entertainment Entertainment Editor: Mary Sheehan Assistant Editor: Amanda Garrity Health & Wellness Editor: Shauna Willetts Assistant Editor: Xernay Aniwar Style Editor: J.C. Craig Assistant Editor: Sarah Baum Social Media Editor: Maggie Griswold Business Manager Xernay Aniwar Photo Editor: Julia Buckingham Photographer: Jane Seidel Photographer: Ben Stringfellow Photographer: Kyle Vines Photographer: Shauna Willetts Videographer Jenny Sekulow Art: Designer: Katy Bellotte Designer: MacKenzie Clarken Designer: Kim Duong Designer: Anne Fioravanti Designer: Kristina Lee, Designer: Haley Longbottom Designer: Terrence McLaughlin Designer: Erin Turner Contributors: Christina Casillo Kathleen Harper Lauren Wallender
4 | MASTHEAD
Graduation Gifts With commencement quickly approaching, it’s time to start preparing thoughtful gifts for the grads in your life. Whether it’s for your best friend, your boyfriend or a sibling, there are many great gift options that won’t make you take out a second student loan.
Quality Not Quantity
Time is of the essence. Following graduation, you will most likely not have as much free time with this person that you love. Take advantage of it. Take your special someone out for the day and go to that one sketchy Mexican restaurant where you Starbucks recounting all of your best memories together. Do something that is unique to your relationship and savor every second.
Watch yourself one of the most useful: a watch. This gift is great for both male and female graduates. There are various price points and styles that appeal to every graduate on the list. Plus, when they enter the working world and look to check the time, they can always be reminded of how wonderful you are. That’s what I call a win-win.
Go the distance
Congrads, you made it
As graduates move on to the real world, lease their purchased with a meal swipe, a box full of necessities will come in handy. Fill it with whatever you think this special person in your life will need to get on their feet; whether it be a mini tool kit, an endless supply
friends that have surrounded you for the last four years will now be moving on to bigger and better things (as will you). But don’t let that scare you. This gift is for the nomads — the friends who are leaving the nest and traveling far from one another. A framed map highlighting be a treasured keepsake, no matter how far apart you are.
practicality reigns supreme. STYLE | 5
Internship PrepARATION W
ith summer jobs and internships about to begin, preparation is key. Not only is it crucial to research the company you’ll be joining, it’s also important to stock up on supplies. Regardless of what industry you’re working in, use this checklist to get ready before your first day on the job.
Nick Cianciara Paige Hullett
Nick Year: Junior Major: Finance Past Internship: B2B Sales at an “Always write thank you notes.
Paige Year: Junior Major: Strategic Communications Past Internship: Public Relations at Weber Shandwick “Internships can be great for you really want to work in.” 6 | STYLE
Katie Fitzgerald Caleb Newcomb
Katie Year: Junior Major: Finance & International Business Past Internship: Sales and Project Finance at General Electric “Ask a lot of questions.
take your employers up on every opportunity they present you.”
Caleb Year: Junior Major: Accounting Past Internship: Risk Management at Dominion Resources
CHECKLIST: lANDING THAT INTERNSHIP Research. Helpful plug-ins like Ghostery can give you deeper insight into programs the company uses. Update your LinkedIn. You never know who will be
Bring your resume and some work samples. It can’t hurt to have proof of your experience handy. Dress well, but comfortably. Nothing is worse than being uncomfortable when you’re trying to focus. Smile! Many internships involve a great deal of working with others, so make sure to be friendly. STYLE | 7
HANGOVER cures for readers
First things first, the likely cause to any physical ailment is being dehydrated.
Since we’re made up of 70 percent water, we need a lot of it to properly function — so if you feel anything less than phenomenal, drink up. Stir a teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water. Drink. Baking soda is alkaline as opposed to acidic, so it helps neutralize the pH levels in your stomach. Pop an Advil or Ibuprofen along with a glass of water, but don’t do it on an empty stomach. Try munching on a couple crackers or a piece of bread — the carbs help bring your blood sugar levels up, making you feel less woozy. Drink another glass of water.
What DOESN’T help? COFFEE an energy boost, it will actually run you down more in the long run. It can also upset your stomach — especially if you haven’t eaten anything all day. 8 | HEALTH
Studies from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism show that drinks like Gatorade are no better for hangovers than tap water, so save your money.
While a short walk to get some fresh air is never a bad thing, don’t try to “sweat out” any toxins just
CUTcaffeine THEalternatives CRAP. D
boost — much more energy than your triple espresso shot venti iced caramel macchiato with skim milk (and ten times easier to say).
A cold apple GREEN SMOOTHIE Before you cringe at the thought of drinking something green, hear us out. Fill your blender with spinach. Add a banana, water and any frozen fruits you’d like. Bananas will cover up the taste of spinach without inhibiting the protein that comes along with it. The protein will naturally make you energized, plus the water and spinach will get you hydrated.
exercise This is probably the last thing you want to hear, not talking about hitting the gym at 5 a.m., but something a simple as stretching or doing a few squats will get your blood pumping. An added bonus: your workout is complete before the day even starts!
You have to eat breakfast anyway, right? Try popping an apple into the fridge the night before. Apples contain fructose, a natural sugar that gives you the energy without the crash from processed sugars. and carbohydrates promote Apples are super healthy digestion and give hydrating, so popping you massive amounts of one in the fridge will energy. be like breakfast and a
why cold? cold glass of water all in one.
SUN EXPOSURE Though you may hate the sun rays creeping through your blinds at the crack of dawn, they help wake you biological clock, telling you when to wake up and when to wind down. Try waking up a few minutes early to embrace your sun-streaked sheets. If it’s raining, turn on
Goodbye Starbucks, hello new bikini.
HEALTH | 9
April showers bring May flowers
No-bake lavender honey cheesecake
Add flowers to your recipes to give your food a little spring flair.
1 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers 5 Tbsp butter (melted) 3 Tbsp lavender (crushed) 4-5 Tbsp boiling water 3/4 cup honey 8 oz cream cheese (room temperature) 1 1/4 whipped cream
ombine the crushed graham crackers and melted butter into a bowl. Press evenly into a 9-inch pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Place crushed lavender into a bowl and pour the boiling water in. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes (not any longer Strain liquid into a bowl and throw the lavender bits into your trash or compost bin. *This beats scented trash bags any day! Combine cream cheese, honey and lavender water into a bowl and beat at medium speed. No mixer? No problem. Grab a whisk
Dandelion green salad with warm balsamic 2 cup dandelion greens 1 cup spinach 2 Tbsp olive oil 3 garlic gloves â€” finely chopped cup hazelnuts 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar Black pepper to taste
tart by trimming the greens by removing thick or hard parts of the stem. Wash all greens thoroughly. Chop and transfer to a medium-sized bowl. Add olive oil to pan and brown the garlic and hazelnuts. Stir in vinegar, salt and pepper to warm through. Toss over the greens and serve immediately, otherwise the greens will wilt. 10 | HEALTH
Add whipped cream into cream cheese mixture and fold until itâ€™s combined. Pour mixture into the graham cracker crusted pan. Refrigerate overnight and serve.
diy graduation caps Here are some DIY ideas for both the crafty and the craft-less. save yourself the four felonies that come with channeling Martha Stewart. You’re welcome.
METROPOLITAN METROPOLITAN MISCHIEF MISCHIEF Stray from the typical chevron-monogram combo and adorn your cap in patches à la Anya Hindmarch. Get a little ridiculous with it, show your sass and lay on the irony.
FLORAL FLORALFLING FLING Take a sweet, small-town approach you can’t handpick them from your family ranch in rural NC the morning of graduation,
FASHION | 11
12 | COVER STORY
PAST & PRESENT lauryl fischer features editor The end of spring break ushered in a new era at Elon University: the Avery Steadman era. It meant big change. Steadman’s adjusted to new leadership. And Joe took a back seat. It’s a time for letting go and diving in. A time to test the waters — establish what works and what doesn’t. There is still a grace period for mistakes, for careful ing out the type of leader Steadman wants to be and how Incorvia is going to say goodbye. The Edge sat down with both to have an open talk about the presidency and, by extension, where Elon has been and where Elon is going. Both were eager to jump in, genuine in their love for the school
great experiences … and I know that’s not the case for every single student that’s here,” he said. “My biggest motivation was I hoped I could impact some sort of change and keep perpetuating this idea that Elon was a great place — so that all students [were capable] of having similar experiences. I wanted to use my leadership to make sure students had the best four years possible.”
They are leaders who are simultaneously good delegators. They’re by their ability to relate to their peers. Running a student government boils down to such important skills. “From what I’ve experienced, you have to have perspective about what is really a big deal and what isn’t,” Steadman said when asked about what makes a good president. “We both know what is worth fretting over.” Incorvia echoed her statements. “It’s okay to say no to things and recognizing the strengths in others and motivate them,” he said. “Now … [looking back] … the people who were surrounding me made my job way too easy.” What else makes a good president? Incorvia cracked a
I wanted to use my leadership to make sure students had the best four years possible.
shared passion that led them to where they sit now — Incorvia looking back on a year as president and Steadman looking forward.
Where We Came From: Both have similar stories to what to give back to Elon. “I wanted to get involved. I loved Elon — Elon was such an amazing place,” Incorvia said. Once he was elected, it was a no-brainer to stay involved both his sophomore and junior years as well. His decision to run for the presidency sprang from the positive experience he’d had thus far. “I had great opportunities at Elon,
-Joe Incorvia she decided to run, she committed Freshman year. Steadman and her friend went door-to-door at Danieley Commons, collecting the amount of signatures needed to be placed on the ballot. She found her calling as
Where We’ve been:
outdated … One thing I wanted was to get people more excited to be involved,” Steadman said. “If [the senate] is excited … then the student body will be excited, and more likely
This kind of humor accompanied Incorvia throughout his presidency, making him a beloved, approachable bers and other students. People have described him as a “stern puppy,” which he takes with an easy grin as a compliment. When asked to describe what that means, Incorvia paused and touched upon his leadership style as an example. “[Students] knew they could come to me with anything, but there were expectations of getting the job done,” he said. “I’m very trusting … I’m here to
Steadman and Incorvia have more similarities besides their school spirit.
lead by example or with the understanding that at any step of the way
as executive treasurer this last year. When it came time to run for president, Steadman did it not just organization she has dedicated her time to for the past three years. She
you can ask me for [my help].” He focused on collaboration to facilitate discussion and achieve his goals. Incorvia had two goals coming and address the pressing problem of sexual assault on campus. The Acorn Fund is a $4,500 award given to student entrepreneurs who impact beyond the classroom,” acFund awards yearly. running was no small feat. It’s funded by a $200,000 endowment, coming
from the so-called “rollover fund” of money left over at the end of the year. But it’s already drawn interest and will be sticking around for the foreseeable future, something that Incorvia is very proud of. “The goals I set for myself I completed,” Incorvia said. “I’m super proud of everyone … seeing where they were and where they came from. I’m so honored to have been able to do what I have this year.” As with all presidencies, there were surprises, but no bad surprises, according to Incorvia. He cites some of the surprises as achievements of ing to Ferguson with an open-table discussion for students to attend and
express themselves. Now, as Steadman begins her term, she looks to Incorvia’s example and praised the job he has done. “One thing that Joe did really well — he did a very good job with effectively communicating with what he was trying to say,” Steadman said. She turned to Incorvia and addressed him directly. “Your speaking skills — just amazing.” Incorvia laughed. His humility speaks for him, as does his relaxed demeanor, though much of that comes — as he admitted — from a sense of completion. He is truly done with his presidency. It’s easy for him to talk about now, and he does it with a touch of nostalgia in his voice. But Steadman’s time is only just beginning.
Where We’re going Though Incorvia and Steadman are it was easy to tell they are their own people. Just look at the way they sit: Incorvia leaned back in his chair, a in front of him. To his left, Steadman sat upright, often with her hands clasped in front of her. She was Incorvia, impossibly humble. When asked how she feels about more than 22 years, she smiled shyly. “Hopefully all the stereotypes won’t come true, and hopefully I’ll be respected,” she said. “Oh, trust me, you will be,” Incorvia said right away. He was quick to add another thought. “I told this to Avery … No one is going to remember her as — they’re going to remember her for what she did.” While that’s what Steadman wants, she acknowledged that being the means more than just a good headline. There are students who will be watching her more closely — waiting for her to mess up just because she is a woman. And there will be other students who look to her as a role
model. A woman president isn’t the only big change that Elon is going to see, or has seen in the past four years, when both of these students have via and Steadman are in the thick of such changes. And as student body presidents — who often are looked to as the voice of the entire student body — they’re tuned in closely to the shifting needs of Elon. “[There are] changes in the classes and in the students and what people are valuing,” Steadman said. “The incoming class from what I’ve seen, they value … emerging as leaders globally and really care about doing that right now. The intellectual climate, that conversation was brought up two years ago, and that’s what’s on everyone’s radar. People care more about what they’re getting out of their academics.” Incorvia agreed whole-heartedly and added his own perspective on how Elon’s student body is changing. nitely changed culturally,” he said. “A
egg” debate. “It worries me that we spend so much money on buildings when we all or certain departments have little funding or things like that,” Incorvia said. “But at the same time, if we don’t build the facilities to attract the students and the donors — it’s really will lead to the other? Do we focus on the people who are here right now, or do we focus on the people in the future?” While the student body presidents concerns themselves with such is-
because she needs to collaborate heavily with administration and has yet to have in-depth conversations surrounding her concerns. But her idea boils down to one desire: more collaboration and open communication among the three the administration.
connect between the three councils,” Steadman said. “I would like to see more inclusion between all three groups … especially NPHC involvement with other councils. I would like to see if I can get students’ voices heard, because right now there’s a lot coming down from administration and nothing really good [going] up to administration. I think the student body and administration are on two separate pages.” Whether addressing this issue means the creation of additional committees, organizing a forum for students to voice their concerns or establishing a safe space for students
The Best Advice I ever got was to take time to breathe and reflect.
… which made students ask ‘How do we an intellectual entity, and what spaces do we need to do that?’ I would love to see Elon continue to have those conversations and be the front-runner that really values the undergraduate education, whose students really care about the issues that are the hot topics of our generation.” And of course, what the administration wants for Elon is another conversation. The president works closely with administrators, so Steadman was quite aware of the vision of the university’s head honchos. Those at the top want Elon to grow, not only in student class size, but in name recognition. It’s a joke on Elon’s campus about how many buildings Elon is constructing, but Elon needs those buildings if it wants to achieve these goals. Incorvia refers to the building discussion as the old “chicken and the
priority is the students in the here and now. Moving forward with her term, Steadman is keeping that in mind and wants to address the pressing issues of Elon’s changing student body. Much like Incorvia, she has two ideas on what she wants to tackle as president. Both concern themselves with making Elon’s campus more cohesive and inclusive of all kinds of students. One such issue is gaining traction already on campus with Moseley’s “Take Back the Union.” Steadman wants to create safe spaces for students to go on weeknights and weekends outside of the dorms, where there is no pressure to engage in partying. Right now, no such spaces truly exist. Extending dining hours or the library hours will require funding and proving there is a demand for such services, but Steadman, as the previous executive treasurer, has experience with such issues. news several times this year and is a hot topic on Elon’s campus. Steadman became more hesitant to talk about her plans in this respect, mostly
Steadman does not know. But she parse out a solution. The problems she wants to tackle are big ones. But she is ready to take it on. Incorvia imparted some key words of advice to Steadman as the conversation came to a close, and as he did, he grew misty-eyed as he remembered his own time as a president, his passion for the job and Elon growing contagious as he talked. “First and foremost, the best advice I ever got was to take time to breathe most out of the opportunity. Never be afraid to look into an idea and be open to whatever comes your way. And just enjoy it.” So what did Incorvia’s time as president meant to him? “Absolutely everything,” he said. “It meant the absolute world.” COVER STORY | 15
WE 3 <
visit our site to take our matchmaking quiz www.elonpendulum.com
16 | FASHION
S E I P PUP
s Some may say it’s “so 2000 and late,” but we think 90s beauty is back with a bang. Check out these four looks for some serious inspo.
FASHION | 17
chic GRUNGE // A little bit of eyeliner and a whole lot of lipstick polishes a look enough to say, â€œI tried, but not too hard.â€? Natural beauty is the name of this game.
18 | FASHION
spice girl // “I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want”: glowing skin and shimmery eyes. All day, everyday.
FASHION | 19
pop princess // Channel your inner Britney and hit them (with your beauty) baby, one more time. 20 | FASHION
90s Supermodel // A look that reads “last night’s makeup” is coming in for the kill and absolutely slaying it.
FASHION | 21
POWER COUPLES tribune news service tribune news service
Jay-Z & Beyonce WHO ARE THEY?: Beyonce has
Blake Shelton & Miranda Lambert WHY DO THEY MATTER?: Many keep things casual and to themselves and completing separate projects.
sold more than 75 million records as a solo artist and is the most nominated woman in Grammy history. She is also listed as one of Time Magazineâ€™s most and is one of the best selling R&B artmy award winner and one of the most ers and producers in America. His net
WHO ARE THEY?: While not as well known as the infamous Kimye and Beyonce and Jay-Z, Blake Sheltonâ€™s fouryear marriage to fellow country singer Miranda Lambert is a sweet fairytale for country music lovers. 22 | ENTERTAINMENT
WHY DO THEY MATTER?:
Together, Beyonce and Jay-Z have used their music to promote racial and gender equality.
tribune news service
tribune news service
Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie
Kanye West & Kim Kardashian
WHO ARE THEY?: Both renowned tently ranked on Forbes Fortune 500
“Fight Club” to “Mr. and Mrs Smith,” it is their unique family life that sets them age.
WHO ARE THEY?: Kim Kardashi-
an and Kanye West, also known as “Kimye.” Kanye is a multi-millionaire, multi-platinum rapper who refers to himself as the genius of our generation. His wife, Kim Kardashian, is a fashion mogul, model and reality television star of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
WHY DO THEY MATTER?:
WHY DO THEY MATTER?: Years of
Although many people poke fun at “Kimye”, they were the
have highlighted -
to be featured on the
tribune news service
ENTERTAINMENT | 23
The music festivals worth attending
WEST COACHELLA april 10-12 & 17-19, 2015
california Coachella is viewed as the hottest music festival, and for good reason. This festival is an allencompassing cultural hub for music, fashion, pop culture and food. Despite becoming mainstream, Coachella’s live music and the beautiful desert back-
food Coachella is a haven for foodies with several top LA restaurants trekking to the festival. Though prices are high, the ing. To cool shaved ice and fresh fruit. SPICY PIE pizza is also a must. 24 | ENTERTAINMENT
music Coachella’s lineup boasts nearincluding classic rock, indie rock, dance music and hip-hop. Main headliners will be at the Coachella or outdoor stages while up-and-coming bands will be at the Gobi and Mojave tents. The Sahara tent is reserved for EDM and DJs, where full-on dance parties ensue.
clothing Coachella reigns supreme in festival fashion. People wear their boho best to the fest. Due to high temps, clothing is minimal. Denim shorts, satchels and cool shades are must-haves.
other tips • Download the Coachella app. to make it through the festival weekend. Temperatures can reach triple SPF!
in the shade. into the YouTube live stream to watch the highlights. #Couchella
EAST GOV BALL june 5-7, 2015
New York City
If you’re not up to camp or deal with desert heat, then Gov Ball is the festival for you. This New of music and food, all under the gorgeous city skyline.
music Gov Ball is dominated by rock, pop and indie music. In recent years, electronic and hip-hop have made their way into the scene — even Drake is headlining this year. The music is scattered throughout, with three separate stages and a tent. This year’s Gov Ball will have performances from HOLYCHILD, Rae Sremmurd and MØ.
Dancing is a priority at Gov Ball. While clothes should make a statement, they shouldn’t get in the way. Simple pieces like a circle skirt or a romper are effortless and lightweight. Lesson learned: no matter what you do, your shoes will be destroyed. Prepare yourself in advance.
food There are a number of food stands and food trucks lining the festival grounds. You can munch on anything from burgers to burritos. A much-needed afternoon break at Momofuku Milk Bar will satisfy your sweet tooth. And a note to those over-21ers, alcohol is expensive, so spend wisely!
• Take advantage of the free water refill stations and drink up! You might really have to use the bathroom throughout the day, but at least you won’t pass out five songs into Vampire Weekend’s set. • Make sure you have cash on hand. There are ATMs at the festival, but they come with a fee. • A portable charger is your best friend. This will guarantee a day full of Instagram posts and ridiculous selfies on Snapchat (aka the important things in life). • Be smart. Always establish a meet-up spot with your friends to avoid getting lost in the crowd.
AC/DC INTERPOL BELLE & SEBASTIAN ALT-J JACK WHITE DRAKE DAVID GUETTA ST. VINCENT
DRAKE CHARLI XCX DEADMAU5 CONOR OBERST THE BLACK KEYS LANA DEL REY A-TRAK WEIRD AL ENTERTAINMENT | 25
transgende veil 26 | FEATURES
magine looking into the mirror every day and seeing a stranger. Imagine waking up in the morning and feeling that the essence of who you are is wrong. Imagine feeling lost and uncomfortable in your own skin. For half a century, this is how Catherine lived her life. “When I looked in the mirror I saw someone I didn’t know,” Catherine said. “Everything about me was wrong. I was given a vessel that I was allowed to drive around in, but I didn’t like it. I had no clue how it worked, and I didn’t want it.” Catherine, a 52-year-old transgender woman whose last name has been omitted for privacy reasons, knew
transgender identity was an even more taboo subject than it is today, and Catherine had no word for what she was feeling. by one’s sex. Today, gender is understood as being on a spectrum that is not entirely based on what a doctor declares at birth.
GRASPING THE TERMINOLOGY Although transgender and transsexual can be interchangeable terms, some trans individuals, like Catherine, prefer to identify themselves as transsexual rather than transgender. “I’m transsexual because I’m on the far end of the spectrum, which means my gender dysphoria has gone to the point where I’ve opted for surgery change my identity to a female,” Catherine said. “I totally identify as female Unlike Catherine, Jenn Goodman, a transgender woman in the midst of tran-
sitioning, dislikes the term transsexual. “The problems that transgender people have have nothing to do with sex, and the word transsexual conveys the wrong message to people,” Goodman said. “It’s not a sexual thing, it’s a gender thing.” Once the transition process is complete and individuals are able to successfully blend, or pass, as their desired gender, they may or may not continue to identify as transgender or transsexual. “It’s very tempting for me sometimes to just leave the trans community behind,” you want to help and you want to educate price you pay. It’s not easy still being trans after you’ve completely transitioned.” Those, like Catherine, who continue identifying as transsexual men or women may not want to ignore their pre-transition lives and may maintain strong ties with other trans people and continue to raise social consciousness. Like Catherine, Goodman views the act of disassociating from the trans community once the transition is complete as problematic. “It creates an illusion,” Goodman said. “The community is actually a lot larger than it appears, but we’re not seeing the thousands of men and women who have successfully transitioned. Granted, they don’t want us to see them, but it doesn’t help advocacy, and it doesn’t help the community when everyone just disappears.”
REDEFINING GENDER IDENTITY the director of Elon University’s Gender to think about the gender spectrum is picturing a straight line with male on one side and female on the other. In the middle is some sort of continuum. “Trans usually implies a destina-
FEATURES | 27
tion — that you’re either going from male to female have a lot of people who say, ‘I’m sort of in between but I don’t really have a destination.’ Maybe they feel neither male nor female.” Jessica Fox, a transgender woman who is in the process of transitioning, can relate to feeling lost when trying to relate to the traditional gender spectrum. “Up until recently, I spent most of my time being where enough was enough. It wasn’t worth being miserable anymore.” Fox now fully identities as female and, since her tran“Today there are two arrows, instead of just one
‘Maybe I’m more male here, but I’m more female tive as opposed to saying male and female are completely oppositional to one another.” says is OK. “People think trans people are confused when oftentimes they’re not, they’re just masters of disguise because they’ve had to hide all their lives,” he said.
the de-psychopathologization of gender nonconformity worldwide. The idea that transsexuality is pathological or negative can lead to prejudice and discrimination, resulting in “minority stress.” Minority stress is unique, socially based, chronic and capable of making transsexual, transgender and gender nonconforming individuals more vulnerable to developing mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression. Another shift to reduce stigma surrounding transAmerican Psychiatric Association’s board of trustees approved the removal of the term “Gender Identity Disorder” from the latest version of “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.” The current manual diagnoses transgender people with “Gender Dysphoria.” This allows for afstigma of disorder.
should still be categorized as a mental disorder. “To those people, I say bullsh*t,” Catherine said. “It’s something that is hardwired into you, and 28 | FEATURES
there’s medical proof and evidence that it is indeed a medical condition and within the normal spectrum of human development.” Fox agreed. of any medication I can take or therapy that would do any good other than suppress how I feel, and nobody deserves that.
LIVING TRANSGENDER Most transgender individuals do not view their When asked about the moment she knew she was transgender, Catherine usually answers with another question. “I tell people, ‘When did you know you were cisgender?’” she said. “‘When did you realize you were straight?’ It’s the same for me, I just always knew — it’s been a part of who I am for as long as I can remember.” Tony, a 32-year-old trans man whose name has been changed for privacy reasons, said he was eight years old when he started exhibiting male tendencies. felt more comfortable hanging with the boys,” Tony said. “Playing house, I would always act the part of the man. In my head I just naturally assumed that one day I would have a wife and kids.” Similar to Tony, Goodman recognized she was southern religious background, she assumed her thoughts were due to her being mentally disturbed in some way. “For most of my younger life, I just assumed that my internal desires were because I was a pervert or a cross dresser,” Goodman said. “I didn’t know transgender was even a thing back then. It wasn’t until I had been married for a while when I came across the subject on the Internet.” She began learning as much as she could about transgender identity, and she eventually came out to her wife. “I told her that I’m living a lie, and I told her I needed to address this,” Goodman said. “I told her I should have been born a woman.”
Goodman met Shana G. Cole, a transgender specialist and licensed professional counselor. “Meeting Shana got me thinking about it again,” and deal with this. My wife was a bit more receptive the second time.”
Although Goodman’s wife has been supportive of her transition, it hasn’t been an easy road.
of gender dysphoria and decided to join a support
sudden that man comes to you and says, ‘I want to swipe out parts,’” Goodman said. “That’s pretty weird, I can assume.” Tony is also married, but he wed his wife one year ago — seven years after he began the transition process.
“I fought it tooth and nail,” she said. “I didn’t want to be transgender. I was afraid of the consequences because I had built a life; family, children, grandchildren. I didn’t want to believe my therapist.” Once Catherine came to terms with her identity, she realized her next step: telling her family. “It was very emotional, and I was nervous to go
support from spouses doesn’t always come easily. That’s why Fox is thankful for her wife, who knew about Fox’s determination to transition from the beginning of their relationship.
whole family transitioned with me.” Catherine immediately started to see changes
serious, and I told her right from the get-go that that was the big reason why I had a lot of girly interests.”
started transitioning. “For me, the change was quite dramatic,” she said. “Your face gets softer, your muscles start going away and your fat goes to the right places like a female. It
started transitioning into a female. excitement more than anything because she knew how much it meant to me to go ahead and start it,” Fox said. “She already knew, so she didn’t have an awkward time with it.”
TRANSITIONING “Telling the people close to me that I was going to transition into a female was terrifying,” Goodman said. “It was one of the scariest things I have ever done in my life, and I’m ex-military. I’ve made scary decisions that are life changing, but it was nothing like deciding to transition and telling others about it.” “My life has changed completely, but I’m much happier,” Catherine said. “It’s a joyful process. I reinto the world as Catherine — as me — and everything was right with the world.” According to Cole, the transition process is not as difabout transitioning is gathering the necessary funds. possible for me to transition,” Fox said. “It’s amazing to now be seen the way I’ve always felt.”
FINDING ADVOCATES Catherine, Tony, Fox and Goodman all agree that transgender individuals want the outside world to see them as normal because that’s how they see themselves. “There’s a major common thread amongst transgender individuals, and it’s that we don’t want to be transgender,” Goodman said. “Transgender people are just like everybody else.” Aside from providing evaluations and referrals for transgender individuals so that they can begin mation surgery, Cole also helps her clients deal with the lifestyle adjustments they’re facing. “I have a male-to-female client who is struggling with how to do her hair and makeup, so we have sessions dedicated to makeup lessons,” Cole said. hormones and medical treatment. You have to get involved in the community itself.” The transgender community is a population that has been harmed by many medical professionals, certain religious individuals and even members of the public who simply don’t understand what transgender means. “People think they’re damaged somehow,” Cole
of all trans people. — that’s a day you never forget,” Goodman said. “Things have been much better since I changed my chemistry. People don’t realize how much hormones change who you are.” thing to change her life. She had gotten to the point where she could no longer deal with her feelings
wrong body, and it’s like any other medical condition you could be born with.” Catherine agreed. “It’s important to understand that gender dysphoria is not a mental condition,” she said. “It’s a medical condition. It’s not something you choose, you’re born with it.” FEATURES | 29
Summer 2015 // Sneak PeEk out online Monday June 1
Volume 6, Edition 4 of The Edge, The Magazine of The Pendulum