My name is Ezra Solomon, and I’m a transitioned transgender man who began my physical transition from female to male over seven years ago. Most of my work experience has been in fiction editing, but I’m currently doing some freelance writing while applying to graduate-level programs in journalism. I plan to do my best to become an openly transgender content producer for a major media source in the future.
Like many trans people, I’ve struggled to accept – or even just feel “okay with” – what I can’t change about my body. I pass as a young man in daily life, but I’m small and always will be. I also became considerably underweight in the past seven years after starting testosterone. This is unlikely to happen to most FTMs, but probably happened to me because I had a rapid metabolism and a small bone structure before I began taking “T.”
Getting diabetes at age 20 worsened the weight loss issue, and I now weigh so little that telling someone the number I see on the scale can feel more than a little embarrassing. My weight can be a major source of stress and frustration as well, because I’d like to gain weight and simply can’t seem to do so. Not to mention I can’t lift as much as most able-bodied people because of how thin I am.
I’ve been called “lucky” because I can eat a ton of food anytime I want and gain no weight, but I wouldn’t wish my thigh gap – or my diabetes – on anyone. And truthfully, having a thigh gap and the build of a pre-pubescent boy has brought me more difficulties than causes for celebration.
Yet, I’m grateful for the opportunities I do have in my life. For example, I’ve had the pleasure of being offered opportunities to model for photographers as an openly transgender model. I haven’t made significant money yet, but I’ve learned a lot from doing this. Also, while I have encountered people who may always see me as “not a real model” because of how small I am or what my body looks like, I’ve seen an exceptional amount of acceptance toward transgender models from experienced photographers who make a living in the visual arts. Some have encouraged me to continue modeling, and most people who have photographed me have made me feel 100% respected and worthy of being photographed.
As a writer and future journalist, I want to encourage that kind of acceptance toward my trans brothers and sisters through my visual and written storytelling. I don’t know how long I’ll continue modelling for various reasons, but I’m glad for the modeling-related experiences I’ve had. And, by sharing my story I hope to show others what is possible…even when our transitions don’t or can’t change what we wish we could change about our physical selves.