How I Explored My Gender Expression During The Pandemic


For others, quarantine has eased certain milestones in gender transition. Finnegan Shepard, a trans man and founder of Both& Apparel, used a public men’s bathroom for the first time during the pandemic. “I was on a road trip with my parents, we stopped in Kansas, and I needed to use the bathroom.” Shepard explained. “Ironically, Kansas is a pretty dangerous place to be trans, but wearing a mask actually made going into a public restroom so much more comfortable. I started at that first stop and then used male bathrooms across the country — COVID really allowed me to dive in head first.” Shepard started hormone therapy in September 2019 and had his top surgery scheduled for March 16th, 2020 — though that was cancelled. While he waited for a new surgery date, Shepard shaved his head as a dare on Zoom. “After I shaved my head, I started to be read as a man by the FedEx guy and the Instacart guy.” Shepard said. “Pre-top surgery, having short hair really helped.” And when Shepard’s surgery was rescheduled for late April of last year, going in for it alone was a blessing in disguise. “I didn’t have time to be afraid, I had to be calm and ready,” he said. “It truly became an almost archetypal hero arc where I had to face my fears alone, the upside of which was that emerging out the other side was all the more empowering.” 


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