Trans icons Zaya Wade and Amy Schneider get candid about trans visibility with Teen Vogue and non-profit organisation It Gets Better.
In an Instagram Live interview with Teen Vogue and Zach Koung, a youth ambassador for the It Gets Better Project, Zaya Wade and Amy Schneider opened up about their trans experiences, their hopes for the trans community and more.
Zaya Wade, daughter of basketball star Dwyane Wade, expressed her hopes for adults to understand trans youth.
“I honestly wish that a lot of adults understood and did not invalidate how confusing, uncomfortable and kind of abrupt, but also how beautiful being a part of any LGBTQ+ community is,” she explained.
The 14-year-old explained how some adults can attempt to delegitimise the experiences of trans and LGBTQ+ youth by perceiving their experiences as a “phase” or a passing moment.
“I do think there is ‘Oh you’re just going through this’ or ‘Oh it’s fine’ – there is a lot of invalidation of what you’re going through, even if they do accept you as trans,” she told Teen Vogue.
However, after coming out as trans, the young star has hopes that her visibility can be of use for the community, despite some of the pressures.
“The expectation for anyone who has to represent the LGBTQ+ community is a lot and there is a lot of pressure there,” she says.
“Having someone or a group of people really helps me see the positives, while also recognizing the negatives, and rise above them because I am me and no one is going to tell me otherwise anymore.”
Schnieder admitted that she “felt a certain responsibility to be my best self and represent the trans community well,” during her history-making time on Jeopardy!.
“I was also worried about that in the sense that I don’t want to present a ‘too perfect’ image of myself because I want everyone to be able to see that whether or not you are good at trivia, whether or not you have a lot of followers on social media, any of those things, you still deserve and can find the same acceptance, the same affirmation and freedom to express who you are,” she explained.
Despite this, Schnieder was really pleased with the responses she received during her time on the game show: “I was expecting a lot worse, a lot more negativity… but far, far more support and affirmation. That really taught me that we have come a lot farther than I had even thought.”
You can watch Zaya Wade and Amy Schneider’s conversation with Teen Vogue on Instagram here or below.
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