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Zai: Interview Transcript

Scene 1: The Park


Levi  00:00

So the first question is, what is your name?


Zai  00:04

My name is Zai.


Levi  00:06

Yeah, I'm Levi. And then what is your age?


Zai  00:10

I'm 23 pronouns he/him.


Levi  00:13

Yeah, 22 years old. Pronouns they/he [OVERLAPPING: Period] and yeah. I just have a couple of, like, starter questions to get comfortable I guess, so, the first one is where or what is something that brings you joy? Yeah.


Zai  00:34

I'm sorry. I'm thinking of – I'm such a sensory person. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] So when I – my immediate, my immediate thought is like all the things that taste good, or smell good or feel good. Like bubble tea and Bad Bunny, SZA, I really like music and good food and just feeling like sensory like feeling really zen, and that makes me probably happiest. And also really fun people. I love being around people and meeting new people.


Levi  01:04

And let me think for me. What is something that brings me joy. My cat. My cat. [OVERLAPPING: Type shit] Yeah, my cat Bree. [OVERLAPPING: Bree] She's she's really cute, but she's kind of a brat, but I love her. Taking care of her brings me joy. [BACKGROUND NOISE STOPS] Oh my God.


Zai  01:27

Wow. Slay.


Levi  01:29

Hopefully it sticks.


Zai  01:31

Hell yeah.


Levi  01:31

And where is a place that holds meaning to you?


Zai  01:37

I guess this whole city. Um, but more specifically, well not the whole. The whole city holds meaning. Not all good meaning, but I guess the place that holds the most positive meaning for me would be like 116th street around there, African market. Um.


Levi  01:55

Oh, my God. That's literally, like, right where my partner lives.


Zai  01:58

Yo – no – it's gorgeous.


Levi  01:59

Like, the market?


Zai  02:00



Levi  02:01

Yeah, no, like. [OVERLAPPING: Bro] Right, right on that street.


Zai  02:04

Bro that is one of my favorite places in the planet – on the planet. [OVERLAPPING: Uh huh] And the fish fry – a fried fish spot right next door. You got to get the fried fish sandwich and then go to the market. Or vice versa. But yeah.


Levi  02:19

Yeah. A place that holds meaning – actually, I think the bird noises are kind of cute.


Zai  02:25

Right? One puffed up his chest – okay, I'm sorry. A place that holds meaning for you.


Levi  02:31

[OVERLAPPING] No, a place that holds meaning for me... I don't know if it's a place, but I really like it just driving around at night in my town. [OVERLAPPING: Woah] I feel like the town itself doesn't necessarily hold like the full breadth of positive meaning, but it's like my control in that space, putting on music going on a route like along the water that I normally take. It's very, very soothing. It makes me feel like at peace, and it's a kind of a routine that I come back to every time I come home.


Zai  03:11

That's – see when I, once I get my license. I'm going to be on that type of timing.


Levi  03:14

[OVERLAPPING] Yes. Do you have your permit?


Zai  03:17



Levi  03:18

Okay. Yeah.


Zai  03:20

I'm learning to drive now.


Levi  03:21

[OVERLAPPING] You know. Yeah. It's okay.


Zai  03:23

But I'm excited to just be like. Play some acoustics. You know and just like drive on [UNINTELLIGIBLE]


Levi  03:32

Okay getting into some questions. The first thing that I have is it's kind of like a string of questions that you can take, like as serious – Like some people love it, some people hate it.


Zai  03:46

The pug right?


Levi  03:47

You can take it as seriously or not as you want. But the string of questions like what does your gender sound like, taste like, feel like, and if you could evoke it through something non-human, how would you describe it?


Zai  04:07

I feel like, my gender... [DOG BARKING] I feel like my –


Levi  04:15

We're being put through the ringer.


Zai  04:17

The animals right now. They all want to be in the interview [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] cause the – the questions are so good, but I feel like musically, other than my own music, I feel like my gender would be like a nice hyper FKA Twigs song. [OVERLAPPING: Woah] Maybe... I don't remember what what that song is called, but yeah, it's just. I feel like just super – her music's so great [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] and creative and different, but also like so specific – for me at least so specifically satisfying. So I feel like I'd be some sort of high energy FKA Twigs song. Um, and you said, you said food? Or –


Levi  04:58

Taste like, [OVERLAPPING: Taste like] feel like, I mean, you can answer one, or, or like if it were something non-human. [OVERLAPPING: Non-human] What would it be.


Zai  05:08

Maybe like – I don't know I'm being so poetic right now. [OVERLAPPING: I know] [UNINTELLIGIBLE] cause it just got quiet for a second.


Levi  05:13



Zai  05:14

Oh, maybe like a morning dew on like, plants, like on lily pads. [OVERLAPPING: Uh huh, yeah] On lily pads. In a swamp though. Not like a super serene, pretty lake type vibe but more like a swamp that's like, still pretty but intense. But the morning dew is nice, and it's gentle. [OVERLAPPING: Right] Yeah.


Levi  05:41

Wow. Interesting. You know, I have like a hard time with this question [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] because I feel like my gender is very much in process and it's something that I'm trying to, like, understand a little bit more every day. [OVERLAPPING: Valid] And it's very hard to put it to description. So I'm very impressed whenever people just kind of come out with the random shit that seems to, that seems to fit. But –


Zai  06:12

I'm still figuring it out too. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] I just, yeah, I don't know where that came from, but I feel like it's like, accurate. Yeah.


Levi  06:18

[OVERLAPPING] It came from somewhere. I feel like I've always really liked bodies of water, so maybe it would have to do with some kind of body of water. Like if you're out either in the ocean or on a lake. [OVERLAPPING: Hell, yeah] Feeling the breeze through your hair. [OVERLAPPING: Type shit] I don't know.


Zai  06:44

That's so chill. Hell yeah.


Levi  06:45

That's the most, like, powerful that I feel, I guess in those moments. But it's also it's a little weird, it’s a little little twinky, so, [OVERLAPPING: That part] I'm going to have to round it out with something else that maybe will come to me in another another life. Yeah. Yeah. So I remember you said that you wanted to talk about like femininity and masculinity and aesthetics. So I was thinking we could talk about like what femininity and masculinity, like hold for us [OVERLAPPING: Yes, yeah] and your like aesthetic presentation um like how do you wear your gender? I think is the way you phrased it.


Zai  07:37

Yeah. Sorry.


Levi  07:40

No you're good.


Zai  07:41

No, definitely. Um, you know, it's, intere – I think since even more since last time we spoke, I feel like, um, I've been kind of, I've been kind of experimenting with femme vibes more, which is fun and nice because, um, my gender has never been like the absence of femininity for me. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] I've always loved the femme shit quote unquote and like the nails and the hair and the and I love makeup so fucking much. [OVERLAPPING: Really?] I really do. And I love high boots and all this other shit. But I actually saw a TikTok about this like two days ago. It's not that I don't like that. It's just like, I can't do that right now to certain extents. And the more time passes, the more I feel comfortable doing that, because the more I think I'm becoming grounded in my gender to where I don't feel like I have to fit like a mold. To a certain extent, like, some things just aren't as co –I'm not comfortable with doing anymore. I don't think I could go out in a full beat and a – I don't think I could go out in a full beat, dress, all that, you know.


Levi  08:50



Zai  00:08:50:04

But now it's just kind of like I'm wearing I'm wearing some stuff on my eyes a little bit and I'm like ooh, I miss, I miss wearing things on my eyes you know? And maybe it's a shirt that's a little bit tighter, just a tiny bit, not too much. But I do think once I have top surgery and go on T that, um, it'll be a lot easier, I think it'll be so much easier for me personally. [OVERLAPPING: Right] How about you?


Levi  09:15

I mean, yeah, I feel kind of similarly, like, I feel really excited as I feel more, like, comfortable in myself to express femininity in a way that is not like identified with being a woman, [OVERLAPPING: Facts] you know? Because I think there's, like, femininity, and then there's the way it's kind of ingrained into gender roles. And like, my socialization [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] as a woman made me want to reject it because I didn't feel feminine in that way. Um, but at the same time, like, I think as I've kind of socially transitioned, I don't feel like a very masculine guy. Like, I don't necessarily feel like the really bodybuilder and like everything you'd associate with like tradition, traditional masculinity is what I aspire towards and that like confused me for a long time. But I think that I enjoy being feminine in a masculine way if that makes sense. Yeah. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah yeah yeah] Like, where I still feel like I'm, like, rooted in masculinity, but I can experiment with femininity in a more nontraditional sense, [OVERLAPPING: Facts] I suppose. Yeah. And like, I don't think I'm there yet where I can fully go drag in a girly fit, but I do still feel like a lot of my mannerisms. So the way I carry myself in the world or the clothing I do choose to wear as a guy, still holds like femininity within it you know, like not to associate them with binaries. But I've never had like the edge of masculinity. Like truly, I think I have more of a soft masculinity that like holds feminine qualities. [OVERLAPPING: Word. Hell yeah] Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I'm like getting bitten a little bit. And then what about masculinity? What does that mean to you? I guess it's kind of interrelated [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] they’re also just like not real.


Zai  11:35

Right. That – yeah you know I...masculinity. It's so fascinating to me. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] I just I think, you know, I came out socially – not including to like my broader family or whatever. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] Um, I came out on social media to my friends and all that in quarantine. Um, and at that time it was like, it was like so all encompassing emotionally, to where I was like, I [UNINTELLIGIBLE] ever been with guys, [OVERLAPPING: Right] not that I want to 'cause guys are stupid but like, but like I want, I want to be invited. You know, and I, um, and now it's like I'm at a point where it just turned 2023 and I'm passing a lot, which is like, you know, depending on how I'm dressing or whatever the fuck or what area I'm in, um, it it’s, it's been really fascinating to be in these masc like these traditional masc circles and these like cis male circles. And I, I'm grateful to say I do feel very accepted, basically, knock on wood. Thus far completely, you know. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] So it makes me feel good in terms of masculinity, it makes me feel good in a way where it's like, okay, um, I'm here. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] Y'all see me sometimes to the point where I'm like, don't forget, I'm trans now don't [LAUGHS] Let's not get crazy. [OVERLAPPING: I'm dead] And they'll say some crazy shit to me right now like I'm not trans um but masculinity – I don't – I feel like I'm at a point where internally - and maybe it's just my Leo, my Leo speaking, but I'm like none of you bitches can do manhood better than me. None of you fucking cis men can touch me, bitch. Like in my in my internal monologue is like [REDACTED]


Zai  13:29

I didn't say that.


Levi  13:30

I can cut that out. 


Zai  13:31

Yeah. Yeah please I'm not allowed to say that to my family. Anyway you people can't touch me for real, you know. And I think that comes from like a huge lack of respect I have for a lot of cis men. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] Just because of how a lot of cis men treat people, everybody else and each other. So it's kind of like in short, it's kind of like no matter how I dress or present, I always feel more of a man than a lot of the cis men in the room, just 'cause it's like, I know how you all move a lot of the time. And that's something that, um, I want to actively go against as someone whose been on – whose experienced shit at the hands of cis men, you know, it's like, I don't know. And I will say lastly, this is a long answer, but I think, um, I think it, I think I – it's easier for me in two ways. One, just being that like I was always kind of masculine energy wise, traditionally speaking. So it – all I did was change how I look kind of. And now it's like, oh, you know, um, but also because as a dark skinned Black person, a dark skinned Black, a dark skinned Black, AFAB person, we're already hyper masculinized. So it's like it's not I know that a lot of times it's not that hard for people to be like, oh okay, yeah, that's a guy, versus if I were like light skinned with like straighter hair or whatever, a lot of times trans guys who look like that, people are like Oh my God, but what a, what a loss, what a waste you were so this and that and versus like dark skin AFAB people we don't really get – it's more just like, oh, yeah, sure, you know, because already hyper masculinized. So I think it's made it easier for me in that way. Not in a good way, but just in a matter of fact way.


Levi  15:11

In a way, yeah.


Zai  15:12

[OVERLAPPING] Yeah, it's a long answer but –


Levi  15:13

Yeah. No, you're good. I was actually –  on my study abroad group, I, you made me think of something about, like, wanting to fit in with cis men, because I don't interact with a lot of cis men, [OVERLAPPING: Nice] to be honest. So I don't feel necessarily, like, accepted by them because I've always had a hard time being friends with them. And that kind of became an insecurity like, well, if I'm not one of the guys, if I can't hang out with the guys, then that means that I can't be trans. Like it doesn't make sense because I can never see myself running in a group of all men. And there was only like four or five cis men on my study abroad group out of a group of 30.


Zai  15:57

Oh, oh, wow. Woah. Yeah.


Levi  15:59

[OVERLAPPING] And I remember finding out finding out that they had a group chat with "the guys" [OVERLAPPING: Oh God] that was called, it had something with the word dick in it.


Zai  16:11

Oh, oh my god.


Levi  16:12

Like it was like identifying – it was like the people with dicks, like the guys. [OVERLAPPING: Oh, oh God] And I like. Oh my god.


Zai  16:21

Oh, they're about to close. Oh shit.


Levi  16:22

Yeah, why don't we cut our losses and move now.


Zai  16:29



Levi  16:29

Before they cut us off, but I'll remember that note.


Zai  16:32


Scene 2: The Bar

Zai  00:00



Levi  0:00  

[OVERLAPPING] Okay. So basically what I was saying is they had a group chat that was like dicks only, because there were a couple of nonbinary people, and I guess maybe they were trying to – I don't know if they even knew, no they did know my gender identity. But I remember just feeling like such rage at that moment, even though it was like a small thing, I think it's because I don't hang out with cis guys. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] So I didn't experience those kind of, I guess like sentiments of like swinging your dick around. And [OVERLAPPING: Type shit] it just made me so angry. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] And I don't know that doesn't like define my relationship with masculinity, obviously. But again, I feel like my masculinity is kind of tender in a way that like cisness could not have prescribed me, like. [OVERLAPPING: Well said] So, yeah, it's, it's a journey to kind of like, accepting that maybe I'll never be like, completely passing in a way that is like mental in terms of, like what I was saying like the socially prescribed gender roles. But I am a guy in my own way. [OVERLAPPING: Period. Hell yeah] Yeah. So like, I love drinking beer


Zai  01:34

Brought to you by – no –


Levi  01:44

Yeah, like little things like that, [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] like drinking a beer or like skateboarding. I know these are all very cliche, but they bring me a lot of, it's like, gives me some inner peace, I guess. Yeah. And then I guess the next question was about how you wear your gender.

Zai  01:58

[UNINTELLIGIBLE] So quiet. How I wear my gender


Levi  02:01

I think it's okay it's the it's the bar vibe.


Zai  02:03

Hell yeah. 'Cause we're at the bar, brother. Um. [UNINTELLIGIBLE] You know, I, um, what was the timeline, so I grew up super being kind of forced into like hyper femmeness my mom is super hyper femme and my dad is hyper masc presentation wise. I guess – my dad's – he's less hyper masc than my mom is hyper femme. But my mom's – I remember being a kid and my mom being like, "You're not wearing earrings. Oh my god, why aren't you wearing earrings." [OVERLAPPING: Yeah, same] "You're going to look like a fucking boy." Um, and I used to be like, so, I don't care what I look like not realizing I just was one. But yeah, now it's like when I – sophomore, freshman year around there of college, I went six months where I only presented like, as I referred to at the time as Stone Butch, um. Like, 'cause I was like.


Levi  02:52

You're not even a lesbian, right?


Zai  02:59

I know. Well back then I was – I identified as gender fluid, all pronouns. And I mostly I was mostly with women. [OVERLAPPING: Okay] My sexuality is a whole other thing. Now, it's giving gay, it's giving gay man now. [OVERLAPPING: Right, right] Which is like a jump. But back then I was like, okay, I need to see what that's like. So I went like six months where I was just straight masc, not straight but, you know, masc. And that really, like, changed my whole shit. Um, and I had really short hair at the time too, and it was just like such a, it was like restraining in a way where I was like, oh my God, I feel so basic right now because, you know, a lot of masculine fashion is so fucking boring. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] because all these dudes are afraid to look gay or whatever and it's getting better now. And like –


Levi  03:49

No like the amount of fucking buttons up that I own.


Zai  03:54

Bro – bro!


Levi  03:54

Like, like, not – that's a cute button up [OVERLAPPING: Thank you] what I have is like an ugly button up [OVERLAPPING: Yo] and I look in my closet and I'm like, Is this all there was, at the thrift store like?


Zai  04:10

Bro that's what they – and it's like, that's another thing too. It's like, I always make this joke that it's like, oh, I'm a guy. So now I'm expected to just look like fucking Bob the Builder every, every day. Like, it's like, where's the creativity? Where's the spice? And like, a lot of times it's in the "women's section" or whatever the fuck or the femme shit. Um, but long story short, like where am I now, it's like now that I did those six months, when I was like 18, 19, and now I'm at a place where I'm like I said before kind of dabbling with feminine presentation again, but it's really just I, I think that actually makes me feel more masc. It's weird, [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] but like, lips or anything else really makes me feel like more femme. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] So I don't, I can't do lips anymore, but I can do the the guy the guy liner. Or whatever the fuck. [OVERLAPPING: Right] Um, like –


Levi  04:50

I went through like a Pete Wentz era. [OVERLAPPING: Pete Wentz, who's that?] Like the Fall Out Boy [OVERLAPPING: Oh] guy where I was doing my like bottom and top eyeliner [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] No it was kinda cringey. But like, it was –


Zai  04:59

[OVERLAPPING] Hell yeah. I support – that's, yeah I, so I've, I mean I've recently been wearing kajal on my eyes, which is like – you might have, I mean you were in Morocco, they probably – I don't know if 'm pronouncing it right in Arabic "Kohl" or "Kohl" I don't know how to pronounce it that way. It's like different names regionally. A lot of African groups call it tiro, but it's technically it's not eyeliner. It's like supposed to protect from evil eye, and you put it on your water line, [OVERLAPPING: Right] like on it. And I've been wearing that the past like a week or so because I'm not gonna – that's a whole nother tangent, but I feel very tied to Africa when I do that. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] And like to other groups too that also use kajal. But that while I'm doing that, it feels good, like kind of ancestrally, in terms of walking through the street it's like, okay, these people think think I'm just out here in like eyeliner and I'm being like cunt, you know. [OVERLAPPING: yeah] Which, I am being cunt but, I don't know. I think I'm finding deeper meaning to little things that in this society are sometimes deemed as traditionally feminine. But to me, it's just like this – everybody in the community wears kajal, you know? Men, women, kids, [OVERLAPPING: Right like it's not gendered] it's not at all gendered, you put it on babies to protect their eyes, it also cleans your eyes. And it's


Levi  06:23

I think I saw you posted about that, yeah.


Zai  06:25

Yeah, because it's – it went viral on TikTok and I was like, it made me realize that I've never done it. And I was like why haven't I? I was like, why haven't I done this? You know? But that was a tangent – it's just like, what was the question, oh yeah masculinity, these days –


Levi  06:40

Or no like aesthe – like presentation, how do you wear your gender.


Zai  06:43

Oh yeah, presentation. Yeah. Oh my god, I'm in like my. I'm in like my.


Levi  06:46

You're in your cowboy phase.


Zai  06:48

That's – well I had a really hard cowboy [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] I had like a really intense cowboy phase around that time. [OVERLAPPING: You look dapper, I feel like you're, you look dapper] thank you thank you I'm I feel like I'm in my early 2000s [OVERLAPPING: Okay] kind of like um I don't even know like early 2000 – I can't remember these guys' names [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] the guys that were popular at that time and wore shirts like this and cowrie shell necklaces and streaked hair. [OVERLAPPING: Right] Um, I feel like I'm in my early 2000s guy era. [OVERLAPPING: I see it, yeah] Right. Thank you. It's. It's. It's interesting. I'm having fun though. I think I'm having more fun with fashion now than when I first was trying to be all masc and shit, how about you?


Levi  07:27

[REDACTED] Like my freshman year of college, all I wore was sundresses, the same flower sundresses, [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] in a different font like every single day. And I was known for it. [OVERLAPPING: Type shit] It's just 'cause I didn't know what to wear. It's like, I guess I'm in California now, like [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] strappy sundress. And then I kind of had a phase where I got really, really quirky queer, in a way that, like when I look back I'm like those patterns did not need to go together and you didn't need to cuff your pants like that many times [OVERLAPPING: I mean sometimes it calls for it, you know] like I was cuffing my pants six times, you know, like, not actually, [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] but that was the sentiment. 

Zai  8:10



Levi  8:10

And that kind of led me to a more where I am more like neutral but with like the flares that I have in the jewelry that I wear, or like the type of design that I – I wear, a lot of clothes that were made by my friends. [OVERLAPPING: Nice. Hell yeah] So like this shirt was made was screenprinted by a friend and like, [OVERLAPPING: Whoa] I really like her designs. And like, I actually like she's been kind of a fashion and just like personal mentor to me because she's really into fashion and she would give me her hand-me-downs. But it was actually like in a vision of what I could see myself wearing, as opposed to like hand-me-downs of like girlhood. It was these really fucking cool pants that didn't fit her, but she knew would fit me and that has like, also shaped my fashion. And I think I don't I have a hard time like buying things for myself, especially clothing. I just get like choice paralysis and don't think anything's worth it. But over time I have like collected some things that are really cool and I hope to continue just like collecting clothing that makes me feel good. Yeah, yeah.


Zai  9:20

Hell yeah.


Levi  9:23

Yeah, um, the next question is, do you consider your gender spiritual? And if so, why?


Zai  9:34

Yeah, I, I think the first time we spoke, I referenced someone who said this, I can't remember who it was, but I saw somewhere in the interwebs that and I'm paraphrasing, but it said something like being trans is one of the most spiritual experiences a human can have [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] and who said that, was it Alok, I don't know but someone. And that really stuck with me. Clearly not enough, because I don't remember who said it, but like it stuck with me in the way that it's like this for me is super spiritual, it's like because it runs for me. Like, it runs so deep. I think. I think what has to happen for trans people to have any sort of good mental health really? [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] At least in this society is you have to really know deep down who you are, or where you, or who you think you might be or you got to like you really have to be like sure of yourself. Or getting there. Even if you're still figuring it out. It's like we have like this level of certainty and security within ourselves that is like, that I think cis people almost sometimes can’t have because they never had to really just – like – other people have to justify. I have to justify my existence as a Black person every day. But I'm never no one's ever telling me I'm not a literal Black person. You know, like I'm clearly a Black person. But with manhood it's like people could tell me, can try to tell me I'm not all day, you know, that's something that it's like I have to really know within myself who I am. Otherwise these other bitches are gonna get to my head [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] and have me thinking oh, and, you know, a lot of times that does happen, you know, even for the rest of our lives – you know, until we're like, oh dang, now I got – now I'm kind of que – that guy said this one thing, but it's like at the end of the day, I know who I am. Even if I get shaken up in the moment of something crazy happening, God forbid or whatever. So it does feel very spiritual in the way where it's like, this is so deep that half the people can't understand it and the other half is, even if they conceptualize it, they can't they can't feel that, you know, like they can't they can feel other things that are deep [OVERLAPPING: Right] and powerful and beautiful, but they can't feel what it's like to have to know yourself that deeply. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] To be unshakable, in like society, you know? Yo this beer. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah, no I think that's like] I'm like I'm going on speeches right now.


Levi  12:09

I think that's why I have a hard time with the questions that other people answer so eloquently about, like describing what your gender is through some sort of, like, poetic and that's why I'm going to do my own poetry, [OVERLAPPING: Hell yeah] like after these interviews to try and figure that out. But it's because like it's just something very indescribable to me. And I think like spiritual is a word. Like I feel like I've always been a spiritual person and to have to like again, like you said, dig that deep into myself has felt like in a way something that I can only understand. Like I know other trans people can have also experienced it, but I feel like we all are kind of the only one who really know what our gender is. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] And it is like this feeling [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] that comes like from within, but also from potentially a higher place. Yeah, so it's hard for me to materialize it into the world. I think it is really related to like material and earthly things and is like very natural as well.


Zai  13:15

I think you're phrasing everything very poetically.


Levi  13:17

I'm dead. But like in the society that I live in, it does feel like it's reaching outside of what is there, even if that's from like earthly components or like relationship with like the living world it is kind of outside of like a descrip like a verbal description that I can say in this moment, I guess. [OVERLAPPING: Valid. Type shit] Okay. So we're getting into and I think spirituality will probably come back through our conversations. But this is going into like the terminology and like politicization of gender and transnsess. For me that does connect with like identity terms for other people it doesn't. So I guess we'll kind of go into the conversation and see what comes out of it. Yeah. Okay. So what terminology, if any, do you identify with?


Zai  14:24

Like um like identity titles and stuff? [OVERLAPPING: Like – yeah] I identify [OVERLAPPING: You're like "Hi"] I'm like hi guys, my name is Zai and I identify as a Black, Trans Gay Jewish second generation New Yorker. [OVERLAPPING: Word] And I, I also I mean, I am dark skinned. It's like, it's like weird. It's like, identify and am and it's like, yeah, I identify as that because I literally am [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] but um yes, I also identify with dark skinned I guess, I mean, I am – you know what I'm saying, I'm like, I've never said the words I identify as dark skinned, [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] but I am also a dark skinned Black person, Afrocentric Black person, West Afrocentric Black person, if you want to be specific. But yeah.


Levi  15:14

Word. Okay. For me I identify as white, trans or transmasc. [REDACTED] Yeah. Uh queer uh, also Jewish [OVERLAPPING: Period] but not necessarily practicing just culturally. [REDACTED] So the question goes into like why do you self-identify as any labels or terms which you just said and like, why do you choose to identify as such? [OVERLAPPING: Yeah–] And I guess in terms of like gender specifically, you know, some people or like sexuality, some people could say like, well, I don't, identify. So why do you choose to identify in the ways you do.


Zai  16:02

[OVERLAPPING] Excuse me. Yeah. Um, you know, I didn't – speaking of transmasc, actually, I didn't even really know of that term until like a year ago like I knew of trans man, um, but I didn't know of transmasc so recently I've been kind of I've been like, oh yeah, [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] but sorry what was the – oh, why? Why do I why do I identify. Well it's like,


Levi  16:28

Yeah, like what does that mean to you? And you don't just have to talk about the gender identity it could be everything. Yeah.


Zai  16:33

Yeah. You know, um, I think for a long time, I think after many years in childhood of being the minority in the room who was kind of super, I was super, super, super shy people thought I was literally mute when I was a kid. Like, I did not talk, um, unless I really fucked with you. Then I would talk to you. I think after like a childhood of being quiet and like minoritized like hyper minoritized. Whatever the fuck I mean by that, and just like all that other shit, I think now it's become really a big priority to be like I am this and to like kind of really announce that obviously with safety in mind and it's come it's become a big part of me, ‘cause I am like incredibly proud to be all of those things, to be Black, to be dark skinned, to be Jewish, to be Gay. Um, and it's important to me to say it a lot and to remind everyone at every waking moment. Oh, did, did you know? Actually, I don't know if I could tell, but I'm actually Black. You know, I don't know if you could tell, but I'm actually trans, you know. Because I think, um, I think some people get afraid of it's like the I don't see color thing it's like I think some people get afraid of mentioning identity [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] or being aware of that. But it's like, no, I love who I am and I would love for everyone to love who they are and to like say it, and the reason people, the main reason people get scared is because they know about the different dynamics that have happened contemporarily and historically and shit. But I think it's better if we all embrace every part of ourselves in like in every way that we can. Um, and in terms of sexuality, bro, bro, I don't even fucking know my guy. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] I always joke that I'm effectively gay. [OVERLAPPING: Right] Like, I'm like effective – like I sometimes like people who are – [OVERLAPPING: In practice, yeah] yeah, I'm gay in practice, I'm gonna start saying – 'cause it's like technically I sometimes like people who aren't men, but I mostly like men and when I do like people who aren't men it's usually after like a long friendship of like really knowing them and like really loving their soul and like, versus, like men, I'm like, oh, hot, okay, you know? [OVERLAPPING: Yeah, yeah] So I, I'm effectively gay and sometimes I'm like, oh, sometimes there's a little – I haven't told anybody this, ooh top secret. Sometimes there's a little, um, what's the word? Remnants of gender fluidity that I see where I'm like, Oh, maybe I still am kind of fluid – I'm definitely on some man shit though. If anything, I'm a gender fluid man. But, um, the older I get, the more I released from the clutches of binaries and boundaries I feel to where it's like I am still 100% a man. Know that for a fact, known that since I was five, didn't know how to say it, but these days it's kind of like, ooh, maybe I'm like a little a little alien guy, you know? [OVERLAPPING: Yeah, yeah] Shit like that, yeah.


Levi  19:40

Yeah. I was like, so I have OCD and I had this really intense OCD when I was around like seventh, eighth, ninth grade around my sexual identity. And very specifically, like, am I straight, am I gay or am I bisexual. And those were the three options. And I just like plagued myself at night and like watching the, watching all these YouTubers, watching all these videos, doing my "homework," like, felt like I had to be sure if I was going to tell anyone anything other than straight. I had to know 100% [OVERLAPPING: I feel that] And I couldn't take it back – I couldn't take it back because then people would – I would be a fraud and people wouldn't believe me if I say anything. [OVERLAPPING: I felt that. Yeah] So I, it, was a really hard period. And I think going into gender [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] exploration I've sort of like released that, that need, like I still have the tendency in my mind to be sure, but I also am just giving myself the space to breathe, like to know what I know in this moment. Give my best estimate, like in terms of identifying as trans. That's like what fits me. It will help other people to perceive me as I perceive myself. [OVERLAPPING: Yep] And it's what feels the most right to me. [REDACTED] I think if anything like my upbringing and like as a big part of that, my whiteness has had like the most influence on my life. So I try and just like in meeting anyone, like in these interviews that, that I've had with people I've really enjoyed, just like for people that are comfortable just talking about growing up and like how we experienced transness [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] through where we were, through [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] the experiences that we had so... [OVERLAPPING: Intersectional] That's been, that's been really cool. [OVERLAPPING: Hell yeah, period] Yeah. Okay. What are your feelings around – this is kind of a tough I guess maybe I can say my thoughts on this [OVERLAPPING: Okay] because maybe that'll [UNINTELLIGIBLE] like it's just a broad question. So I said, what are your feelings around universalized identity terms like LGBT or even non binary? [OVERLAPPING: Type shit] And I think, thank you [OVERLAPPING: You're welcome] a lot so


Zai  22:23



Levi  22:24

No you're good. In school, something that really like changed the game for me as an anthro major was learning about how systems like feminism have been very oppressive or like have been very insidious I guess in the way that they've been like exported across the world with the undertones of like war, for example, [OVERLAPPING: You said lore?] War [OVERLAPPING: Oh, war] like for example, okay let me give – like um in Iraq and Afghanistan***


***Shoutout to Joseph Massad, Lila Abu-Lughod and Saba Mahmood for this theory. 


Levi  22:59

saying like we're going to save Mus – like white feminists saying we're going to save Muslim women [OVERLAPPING: Oh, okay] and that being used as a justification for war. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] So I learned also about how terms like LGBT have functioned similarly and how they like, you know, like queer people have been existing for a very, very long time and there's queer people all across the world, but it has sort of been like universalized to the point where maybe in some people's opinions, like gender diversity is erased under these kind of like a new binary of LGBT and [REDACTED] LGBT wasn't able to, you know, conform itself to a context in which it wasn't created. This is like where my mind is at [OVERLAPPING: I see, right] with like LGBT and like just thinking about gender diversity, like pre-colonization and across the world. [REDACTED] basically, my question is, what do you think of this like – like I know people think it's even – it can even be kind of cringey now right like the LGBT. [OVERLAPPING: LGBT, yeah] But like, what do you think of this system of, like, identification.


Zai  24:19

[REDACTED] When I think about LGBT and like colonization, I think about how, you know, a lot of older Black Americans and Black people in general have homophobia, transphobia with within like their dialog and thinking. And it's not because Black people are inherently homophobic. Matter of fact, pre-colonial African societies had lots of genders and lots of sexualities. And it – as far as I understand and can remember from what I've learned, it was more of a casual rather than like you are gay, like you know, I don't know, [OVERLAPPING: Like coming out] Yeah, I don't I don't I haven't and like a lot of information has been lost because of colonization and what not. But from what I have learned, it was more, and you know, Africa is fucking gigantic. So there's like thousands of tribes, thousands upon thousands of thousands of tribes, and they all operate differently. But in terms of what I learned about a lot of West African groups, even today, there, you know, it's like what's that tribe called? Oh, my God – I see it, I see it in my mind. There's a tribe. Holy shit. I'm a global studies major, but I'm tipsy and now I can't remember the name. [OVERLAPPING: I didn't even know that] Yeah. You said anthro and I'm like oh shit, we're like similar. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] But there. There is an African tribe. Wow. I'm going to send you the name when [UNINTELLIGIBLE]. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah. Do a little text box] Yeah. Yeah. [UNINTELLIGIBLE] tribes to study [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] and every year they have this ceremony or this, they have like this pageantry type of thing where excuse me type of event where the men dress like they paint their faces and they dress up and they kind of perform for the women. And the women get to choose who they like and whatnot. And it's not from what I understand, and I could be wrong Wodaabe, the Wodaabe tribe, okay. Boom. [OVERLAPPING: Nice] From what I understand, it's not like I don't know. It's not. From what I understand, from that example and from a lot of other Indigenous African examples, it's like it's not necessarily okay we're going around and we're gay and we're saying that we're gay [OVERLAPPING: Right] and we're saying that we're trans – that definitely does exist in Africa, too. But I think a lot of pre-colonial – I almost said vibes – a lot of precolonial people involves a lot of precolonial people [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] I just I think there was less of a need to declare [OVERLAPPING: Right] everything from what I know, you know, not everyone. But and now it's like, yeah, now this LGBT, I think it's– how do I feel about it? I feel like I haven't thought about that too much. [OVERLAPPING: You don't have to feel anything, I think it's just like, yeah] But I mean, I'm mostly selfishly speaking, I'm mostly chillin, [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] but at the same time, you know, there there are global that's great, they closed the door, there are global consequences to things kind of to the Western world thinking that they're defining things. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] And if you go to certain cultures, they'll say like some things that are considered feminine here are not at all considered feminine in other countries, in other cultures, like literally at all.


Zai  27:20

And you'll go and you'll do some shit and you'll think you're being super masc or super femme when it's like the people aren't even thinking about that [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] or they're like, no, they're thinking the opposite. Or they're thinking both or neither, you know? So it's all – one of the my favorite things that I've learned about just like identity, is that it's literally in terms of race and all that. It's mostly contextual. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] And dependent on just like where you're at, which is what contextual means I'm being redundant. But [OVERLAPPING: Yeah, no for sure, cool] Type shit.


Levi  27:54

[REDACTED] You know, you [I]*** could identify as non-binary or trans but still be like benefiting from oppressive systems or even like having your [my] identity assimilated into that. If you [I] don't like take a critical look at who you are [I am] and how your [my] identity is like functioning in the current world. [OVERLAPPING: Absolutely] So that's kind of how I think about it. Like, I think that identity can be really empowering as long as it's not limiting and like co-opted. [OVERLAPPING: Right] Yeah.


*** I realized “you” was being used to linguistically distance myself from  whiteness – so I have included “I” statements in brackets to correct myself in post-production.


Zai  28:32

And I think also as long as the person keeps all of their identities in mind [OVERLAPPING: UNINTELLIGIBLE Yeah] and how it all plays out together because [REDACTED] there are white queer people who are trying who have tried to distance theirselves [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] themselves from their whiteness and their responsibility not the responsibility um the weight, I guess, that comes with that. And it's like, yeah and even for me it's like, even as a Black queer person, it's like in the moments where, um, I maybe I'm straight passing now, you know, and all the cis dudes are like bro, bro bro bro bro bro bro bro bro bro [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] and I'm like, br-br-br-br-br bro. That's Tom and Dandy. Until someone says something sexist, you know, [OVERLAPPING: Right] and, you know, knock on wood I haven't. I haven't experienced that yet, but I've heard so many tales that I'm like, every time I hear the br-br-br-br-bro vibe, I'm like, paranoid. I'm like, Oh, God, these dudes are about to be, like, on some wild shit, you know? But it's important that we keep all of ourselves in mind and how that like, affects each other and how it all plays out so that we have like self awareness and we don't go into rooms talking about yeah, I'm white, but I'm gay, or I'm I'm this but I'm that and it's like, okay, you're still benefiting from from that somehow. Um.


Levi  29:52

Yeah, I think like with transness in particular I've seen I just watch a lot like a lot of tik tok toks come up on my feed about this conversation. [OVERLAPPING: Type shit. Yeah] Yeah. And like I even saw someone say, like, 'cause I guess like being non-binary or being trans, the idea of it is that you're operating outside of the oppressive system that is the gender binary but can you really be operating outside of it? Because obviously that system's interconnected with everything else. So it was kind of making the argument like, can you like if you're [I’m] white, can you [I] really be non-binary [/trans] if you're [I’m] not like doing the work for racial justice, [OVERLAPPING: Oooh, woah] because how can you [I] be nonbinary [/trans] if you're [I’m] still operating within that same system and you're [I’m] just, you're [I’m] just creating the opposite to being cis [OVERLAPPING: Woah] you're [I’m] not really [OVERLAPPING: Woah, woah, oh wow] you're [I’m] not really deconstructing what cisness means to like race and class and global struggle.***


***Shoutout to @reb.raconte on Tik Tok


Zai  31:05

Wow, I haven't heard that before.


Levi  31:07

I mean, people were mad about that like [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] people were mad, but it made a lot of sense like I resonated with it. Yeah, because it's like that identity is not in a vacuum. [OVERLAPPING: Right?] And I think people treat it as like an individual thing like we were talking about like my gender as like I was like in my mind in a lot of ways but that doesn't mean that it's still not like a social thing at the end of the day. Um, yeah.


Zai  31:30

Yeah. Wow, I have no words, I just, I'm like that... [OVERLAPPING: It's my tiktok feed, I need to credit whoever said that, yeah, yeah, yeah] No I love tiktok I learn something new every single day on that app. They're like did you know that in 1952 gay people – and, I'm like, I did not. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] I did not know that.


Levi  31:52

I'm dead 'cause you said you were drunk and you had like one sip.


Zai  31:54

I'm no no no no I'm tipsy [OVERLAPPING: It's like one sip, oh it was up to here] I'm – up to here and it's 6.2. What is this like 5 cool, I should know by now the amount of Sapparo.


Levi  32:11

Okay. Okay. So I guess the next question is, let me think, well I feel like you kind of answered what I was getting at in all of those questions. Okay. This question is kind of vague, but it's like, what is your relationship to the gender binary. [BACKGROUND VOICES]


Zai  32:39



Levi  32:40

We can also wait. [BACKGROUND NOISE] I think what I was getting at with this is like in the conversations with like globalization and colonization...yeah. I don't really know what this question means.


Zai  32:57

[UNINTELLIGIBLE] Can you say it again? Sorry.


Levi  32:59

What is your relationship to the gender binary? [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] And like the question is after the uh how do you feel about universalized terms or like, how does colonization impact your view of identity terms or your relationship with transness um. Big question.


Zai  32:15

Juicy. Hell yeah. My relationship to the gender binary. Oh, it's so interesting. 'Cause, okay so first, right, I was born, right? Picture this. I was born – well don't picture it, but like, um, my mom like ahh, no, I was born and they were like, girl. Um and then I was like four or five. And I was like, I don't think so. But I don't know. I don't I don't know what what words are, for that, you know, basically, at first I thought I was, a bi woman and I read the bi manifesto. [OVERLAPPING: It always is. it always is] Right? Bi – we love we love the bisexuals. Yes I read the bi manifesto, I was like oh my god. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] I read all this feminist stuff, I was like, hell yeah. And then I was like, actually, I met my, I met a non-binary person. And I was like, I like you. I think I'm pan. Okay, cool. And then it turned into then I thought I was gender fluid and then and I thought I was, then I was like okay I figured it out I'm nonbinary, pansexual, and that was my identity for years. Um. And then quarantine happened, and we reflected a lot, you know, and I was like, okay, trans guy who's gay, who sometimes likes other people. And so my, I feel like my relationship is like as someone who throughout my life has like, not like identity aside just as an individual, I'm constantly changing. And I'm constantly thinking of like two sides of the coin. And I'm like, maybe it's the libra in me, but I'm like this, but also this, you know, [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] I won't say both thoughts, but I'll say which one sounds like is the best. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] But I also see this. So I feel like the way I I think is and the way that my life has gone has been very much like fluid and changing and evolving. I mean, everybody, to an extent, you know, but like, I feel like I'm constantly evolving in some way. I know I'm a trans guy, I know I'm a trans guy. I know I figured that shit out now. All the other times where I thought I knew, I never said the words I know. I always said, I think. But now I'm like, [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] no, I know. But even just in terms of other parts of me, I'm still constantly evolving. So when I think of like any kind of binaries. I'm just kind of like I'm just kind of like, ah whatever the f – I'm like, I don't care [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] because it's also like, you know, speaking of colonization it's like Indigenous people on Turtle Island, a lot of them had like multiple – I believe – there's two spirit. What was it five genders. I was talking to someone about this and my memory is so fucked right now and I feel so bad. But I was having a really fascinating conversation with a two spirit person about just the multitude of genders [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] in a lot of Indigenous [UNINTELLIGIBLE] But I was just like, bro, so these bitches – these colonizers just pulled up – [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] like I knew that before, but it was like it was really good to talk to someone about that because, you know, in different African groups, all over the world, there's like the binary, the binary that we use in this country today is not even relevant [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] like in the slightest, you know? Um and that's not to say that people are going around saying, I have no gender, like, you know, it's not to say that it's always so like verbally explicit, but it's like I know for a fact that this is not something that is – that goes deep to my core, it's something that was put put that I was that was told by people who were also told that.


Zai  36:42

who were also told that because of the history of this society, you know, so I'm ready to go to India, go to Mexico and go to Morocco, go to wherever, and talk to people who are like, dude, that's some other shit, you know. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] I'm just using random countries as examples, but like, [UNINTELLIGIBLE]


Levi  37:00

No, but I'm that all of those countries [OVERLAPPING: I know in India there's a] I mean I know in India – what – did you say Mexico?


Zai  37:06

I said, yeah, I said India. Mexico, Morocco.


Levi  37:07

I know India and Mexico have genders outside of the binary.


Zai  37:09

Yeah. Yo. Yes. And there's a there's a area in India and I – this is going to be the trend, the whole interview's gonna be me not remembering the names to anything. But where there's like a I don't wanna mis - I'm gonna fact check myself. But there is some there's something going on. [OVERLAPPING: With the hijras? The hijra community] Maybe where maybe. Wait, what are you thinking of?


Levi  37:34

I know there's like a gender called hijra [OVERLAPPING: Hijra, okay] I think is the I don't know if that's the right way to pronounce it. But it's a gender that. I mean, I think there's. I don't know if I'll be getting the meaning fully correct. But it kind of like encompasses the energy of like both male and female.


Zai  37:54

[UNINTELLIGIBLE] there and I'm also thinking of forgive me if I'm wrong, I'm like I read in depth on this and now I [OVERLAPPING: No you're good] my memory's already not good and now I'm like ah but there is somewhere in India where it was like I guess what our society would say, trans women – I don't, they're not using the word trans women. But where people who were assigned male at birth who are not men who are femme are treated with so much respect and there's like a - I believe there's like a - like a – not a parade. There's some sort of celebration to celebrate these [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] community members and it's just like, bro our trans sisters were celebrated bro, real shit, like real shit were celebrated and respected and oftentimes seen as wiser because [OVERLAPPING: Right] of the spiritual enlightenment that it takes to know yourself that irrevocably. So it's like, I don't give two fucks what what fucking Jo Schmo on the block in Carolina is saying about it's like, dude, who the fuck are you, like have you even looked into any other group outside of your neighborhood or anything um that was a tangent but.


Levi  39:02

No. For sure. I mean one of the first things that we learn in anthropology is like that gender's a social construct. So, and looking at like I read some article when I was like a sophomore in college about um. Just like it was just listing a bunch of different ways that gender roles function in different places, and like, none of it was the same. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah, yeah, bro exactly] Like it's kind of crazy because there's just so much like I know even in, I was like doing a lot of research into this over the summer and I like really enjoyed it. [OVERLAPPING: Hell yeah] I know like, even in, even in European countries like in Italy, there was something similar to what you were talking about in India. And it was also like celebrated as someone - like these people would bless your child at birth. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah, yes] Yeah. because it was like, so


Zai  39:55

Yes okay. I've heard that too. Not in Italy but I've heard of that as well.


Levi  39:58

Yeah and then like even in Jewish [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] Jewish like text I think there was like five genders. [OVERLAPPING: Yes] I think we mentioned that [OVERLAPPING: I have heard of that] in one of our conversations, but, it's kind of like crazy just in precolonial era. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] Just before there was like this mass concentration of power [OVERLAPPING: Yes] like how much existed um yeah. Yeah.


Zai  40:27

You know what I read today. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah, yeah.] Actually, speaking of this, I read something that's so related to this hold on, hold the fuck up, I was reading it on the train ride here. [UNINTELLIGIBLE] posted this, I sent I sent it to my finsta because [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] I'm like as a reminder to read it later about the Buddhist icon Kuan Yin. [OVERLAPPING: Uh huh] I don't know if I'm saying that right, but can I, can I read you this real quick? Arca says, shout out Arca, they're dope, “I explore how the Buddhist icon Kuan Yin is emerging as a point of identification for trans people and has the potential to resolve a tension with feminism as a figure that slips past the male female binary Kuan Yin explo – explores. Oh no explo – oh I think they mean explores – explores the dichotomy between Universal and particular in a way that captures that pragmatist and feminist emphasis on doing justice to concrete particular lives without becoming stuck in an essentialist quagmire.” And there's no picture but –


Levi  41:26

You should send that to me.


Zai  41:28

Yes, I was just like I was reading that today and I was, sorry, I was reading that today, and I was like, yo, this is so like relevant, but anyway, [OVERLAPPING: Cool] and that's a that's a Buddhist like like this is like [OVERLAPPING: Yeah, in religion, like in in Eastern religions, yeah] Yeah, bro we out here. We out here. Hell yeah.


Levi  41:51

No, it's cool, it's cool. Okay. So in conversation with that, to you like does transness relate to – this is another like, list them off, global issues, political issues, personal identity or struggles. And if it does, how so? Kind of like how is transness like situated for you, in the world and in yourself.


Zai  42:17

Yeah um. [OVERLAPPING: It's a hard question] I should. Um. Like deep thoughts. Um, no, [OVERLAPPING: I'm just, pulling out random like –] No, I love, these are such good – I was reading them on the train and I was like, this is going to be a fire interview, like, I’m excited, um – how does it relate to – sorry, can you read the first half not the se – [OVERLAPPING: To global or political issues] Okay, yeah, I mean, well, you know, you know, we're always politicized, just chilling. Minding our business. Drinking bubble tea [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] on a sunny day and it's like, "these trans people," it's like I don't know I think speaking personally. I think, you know, since high school. High school was around when I started really getting into, I guess ethnopolitics as my, as my classmates would call it ethnopolitics, just like getting into like global struggles and like, you know, my parents are very pro-Black and taught me about Black history growing up, so I was already on that on that like energy and then I got into feminism and all of this other stuff. And in doing so, um I realized how basically every minoritized community goes through the same shit, just in different versions, to different extents, for different reasons, in different places. And it's like as to where this relates, well I think about that a lot when I think about just like the BIPOC community, which, you know, that word, is so bland, but like it's like, yeah, we're all people of color going through very different shit, but also within our communities, like the internal tensions [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] are like the same shit. Like I'll be talking to Black people about something that upset me, like, within my experience with other Black people, and then an Asian person will walk by and be like – well not like walk by, but they'll be like bro, that literally happened to me like last week. But just like this version, just this version. And then a Latina person will walk by and they'll be like oh, that happened to me, just this version. And I and it's like that's been really prominent in my mind, too, the past year to where it's like, oh, that happened to me several times in 2022 where I'm talking about something or I'm talking to a non-Black person, not expecting them to really like have experienced what I'm saying. But they're like, oh that reminds me of, yeah, the men in my community do that too. I think the problem is just men. Oh yeah, the straight people in my community do that too, I think – and I'm like, oh, so we're actually way more united than we thought. [OVERLAPPING: Right] And that being said, that includes transness. It's like it's all, again, to varying degrees and in different ways, but – period, I love when people sing out loud. Um, I don't know if I'm answering the question [OVERLAPPING: Yeah, no you are] But it's just like it's, it's like mirroring, like really upsetting mirroring to where the same things are affecting us all in different ways, but a lot of times the most privileged person in whatever context still won't see that, you know, [OVERLAPPING: Right] it's like, it's like, okay, why, why are you racist to me right now if you're literally gay, you know, I'm like shouldn't you understand that you're doing the same shit? Just a different version, different font and like, obviously to different extents and with different repercussions that might be more or less severe. It's like, or why are you homophobic right now if you're Black? That's different because homophobia was forced on to Black people, like literally. But it's just like at the end of the day, that's always what I think these days when. Any sort of minoritized person of any shape or form says some stupid shit to me or to someone else. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] I'm just like, do you not realize how you're doing the exact same thing? And I have varying amount of sympathy for the person, depending on their identity and their experience. I might be like, okay, you're you're an older Black person. [OVERLAPPING: Right] I get it a little bit more, but it's like it's still like, come on, let's all get together. Guys have a big – one big beer, you know, and [UNINTELLIGIBLE] [OVERLAPPING:Yeah, yeah] Peace to the world. [UNINTELLIGIBLE]


Levi  46:25

That's really interesting. I mean, I think especially like going and living in Morocco for the last four months [OVERLAPPING: Dude], I think I started to realize that a lot of the political problems we have in the United States are also present in Morocco in different ways and with the context of French and Spanish colonization. Um, I think like a lot of Moroccans that we talked to believe that, like, race does not exist. [OVERLAPPING: Oh, wow] And it's a really big problem where like migrant communities from other parts of Africa, [OVERLAPPING: You said micro – oh migrant, migrant okay?] Or like Black Moroccans are – like their struggles are erased from Moroccan society. [OVERLAPPING: Okay, keep, yeah, yeah] Yeah so. So I mean, I think it's a thing of when a person in America would say, like, I don't see color or racism is a thing of the past. Like, I think I like drew a lot of parallels, obviously like thinking – critically thinking about the different contexts and like my position in Morocco while also realizing just how much struck me as like activists there fighting the same struggles happening here.


Zai  47:50
That is so – and – yo literally I'm seeing another parallel right now. It's like I won't get too in depth, but I had a dispute with someone in November on my birthday. [OVERLAPPING: Not on your birthday] It's well, you know, the comments were made on my birthday. The dispute happened more later. It wasn't like a fight fight like we're cool, but it was just kind of like, oh, you don't get what I'm trying to say right now. We are we're not seeing each other type shit where a lot of times in like Latin American communities, a lot of like white Latino people will speak as if racism doesn't exist or there's a raci – it's – we're all just one people. We're all just the I don't know, the Dominican people or the Cuban people or whoever. Um, meanwhile, the Black people in those communities [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] will be like, well, that's not, that's not how it felt last week when you, when you said I, called me a monkey, you know, it's like, it's like, and it was [OVERLAPPING: Oh my god] I think it was a big that's another reason why I'm studying why my focus in global studies is specifically the Black diaspora. And just like anywhere where there's Black people, because we're even more obviously going through the same shit just in different contexts and in different ways. And it's like, again, people just need to we need to address we need to address, [OVERLAPPING: I know] just say who you are. Why are you not saying who you are like like and again, that has negative repercussions for the the disenfranchized of those communities whether it's the Black people or the, the Taíno people there, whoever it is in the group that's like not being heard. It's all because you don't want to say that there's a problem because you don't have that problem. And the people in your family don't have that problem or whoever the fuck you know. But that doesn't mean it's not there. Yeah. So that just reminded me. It's like, wow, okay. That's happening in Morocco too. Cool cool cool cool cool. [OVERLAPPING: Oh yeah]


Levi  49:45

And there's a lot more [OVERLAPPING: Ooh the Morocco tea] a lot more layers, but. Yeah, that's the, just one example. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] And even like people, what was really upsetting is that we went I mean, we talked to a lot of people who did understand like that race exists in Morocco and understood the anti-Blackness in Morocco. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] But we talked to master young master's students studying gender studies in Morocco [OVERLAPPING: Oh wow] and we had a conversation with them and someone brought up the conversation of race and there was just blanket denial. And these are like young people [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] who are in higher education, and are studying to be like feminist activists and it was just like, [OVERLAPPING: Wow] yeah, my professor actually schooled them [OVERLAPPING: Ooh okay no that's right. Type shit] like at the end. Yeah. Like it was, yeah. But anyways, no I think a lot about how like if we all just got on the same page, like everyone [OVERLAPPING: Yeah, right] across the world the power like of all of these movements. [UNINTELLIGIBLE] understand and unite. yeah.


Zai  50:48

Yeah. And I , and I – I can just faintly see breath. It's like slightly that cold. [OVERLAPPING: Oh, really] Very faintly. I think also like oh my God, I was about to be so fucking New School just now I was about to be like, to piggyback off of that actually. But to add on to what you just said, I think also like dependent on whether sometimes it's because people truly just believe what they're saying because of brainwashing or whatever, or sometimes people are willful – Well, I guess at this point it's all willful I don't know. To an extent it's like a lot of it's willful ignorance. Either way, it's like regardless of the reasoning, fuck I lost my train of thought. Wait. [OVERLAPPING: You got it] Regardless of the reasoning. What I was going to say, what was I going to say, I don't know what I was going to say, but I was just yeah, [OVERLAPPING: Masters students, unification] yeah, yeah there's no racism. Someone someone cuts that part out. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] Just me going, there's no racism. Yeah. Regardless of the reasoning for them thinking that I don't know what I was going to say, but I'll make a different point [OVERLAPPING: It'll come back to you]. Regardless of the reasoning for them thinking that, fuck I don't know. Never mind. I don't know what I was gonna.


Levi  52:09

Word. I mean, yeah, [OVERLAPPING: Yeah, type shit] Okay, we're almost done. If it comes back to you, let me know, 'cause I think it will. [OVERLAPPING: Ooh, hell yeah, I think so too] But the next question is about these are about generation because that was was a component of my project. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah, yeah] It still is, but it's not as – I think that I was aspiring to a very high bar –


Zai  52:36

Oh, I kind of [OVERLAPPING: Yes, yeah] I half remember. I half remember I was going to say sorry [OVERLAPPING: No you're good] I was going to say some some I guess you say could less minoritized people in certain contexts don't think that race that racism is a thing or that race is relevant because of how the society like taught them. Like some countries are [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] literally like we are all one people., don't talk about that other shit, you know, so and I, I've I've learned more about that recently, like this past semester and that has– ooh, no let me stop, I'm such a foodie – um, that has def – that smells so good y'all – that has definitely – me used to making TikToks I'm like y'all but anyway, that has definitely framed my perspective where it's like, okay, not everyone is just like choosing to ignore this shit, [OVERLAPPING: Exactly] but at the same time irregardless, the repercussions are still heavy for the people dealing with the shit – that's half of what I was gonna say, I don't remember the other half, but, anyway, yeah –


Levi  53:36

[OVERLAPPING] No it's true. I mean and Morocco's also under a monarchy that has like very tight control of public perception, [OVERLAPPING: Type shit] so that definitely plays into it. And I was only there for a few months, so... [OVERLAPPING: That's fire though, one day] Um. Okay. So just three more questions. Have you seen societal conceptions of gender shift in the course of your lifetime? Thank you.


Zai  54:03

Oh, thank you. Woah. All I saw was the arm. I was like, so who, okay. How do I see. Sorry, can you read it again?


Levi  54:13

Have you seen societal conceptions of gender shift in the course of your lifetime?


Zai  54:17

Oh, you know, um. I will say shout out "Pose" I think "Pose" did a lot and I wish that shit wasn't canceled, but I think "Pose" was one of the first times where I really heard all s – almost virtually all sorts of people be like, I saw that show, I saw that thing and that conversation that those trans people were having. Yeah, [UNINTELLIGIBLE] and I was thinking about it and I'm thinking about it now where it was like, whoa, you're thinking about trans people? For, like, the first time in your life? [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] Actively? Wow. So I do think representation has been really, really beneficial. That being said, visibility also can – while it's good for in terms of people's like perceptions of a group of people, it can also be dangerous for like individuals walking down the street. You know, it's like, yes, "Pose" is great and it's helpful and I think it's needed and important. I'm just using Pose as an example. Um Laverne Cox, just any trans representation. You know, that being said, for the average Black trans woman? [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] And I'm not a trans woman, but I know the average Black trans woman walking down the street is as of right now, not necessarily reaping the benefits of that, [OVERLAPPING: Right] maybe a little bit more in terms of circles where people watch the show, you know, which already takes a certain level of open mindedness to watch that show. But it's like, you know, not to get too dark, but I believe it was 2020 was the deadliest year on record for trans people in this country. Same year while "Pose" was streaming. And it's like, yes, there's people in their living rooms going, wow, okay. Trans people have feelings, too, maybe I should – you know, that's great. Thank you "Pose." Thank you. Indya Moore. Thank you Dominique Jackson, whoever, you know, Elliot Page, my guy, my guy. You know, all these people shout out just you know should out all the people doing it big. That being said, I think there's still a long way to go in terms of helping the everyday person, helping the everyday trans person, especially trans women, because they're disproportionately targeted, you know? And like I think we're getting there. I think it's getting good. It's getting good, it'll take a while. But people are listening more, people are realizing, Oh my God, trans people are human beings? And not just the butt of the joke of my of my cheap jokes when I don't have a sense of humor? Wow, that's actually fucking crazy. And I'm being facetious, but like truly it's like, I think shows like that and like things in the media, like representation um there's a great documentary have you seen um, I don't remember what it's called, but it's on Netflix. Watch it. Um, it's it's about trans people and it's about trans representation in the media, and it's – something


Speaker 3  57:15



Zai  57:17

Disclosure. Thank you. [OVERLAPPING: I'm dead] You're so fucking real. Thank you. Yes. Wow. I was [UNINTELLIGIBLE] this shit. Yes, Disclosure. Watch. Disclosure, it's fucking great. [OVERLAPPING: Okay] I personally loved it. Thank you so much. Yeah, so I think it's getting better. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] but then again, it depends on what country you're in. It depends on what town you're in. It depends on what time, it depends on who you're with, it depends on so much shit. And it's, you know, we can't expect one show or a group of shows to change that. But I think we're progressing. I think it's getting slightly better over time.


Zai  57:57

Slightly better? Right.


Speaker 3  57:59

I'm feeling it. Well, there are stories that aren't just about trauma anymore.


Zai  58:04

Exactly. [OVERLAPPING: Right] Ugh, so real. What's your name?


Speaker 3  58:08



Zai  58:08

Esteban? [OVERLAPPING: Esteban] Zai nice to meet you.


Speaker 3  58:10

Nice to meet you.


Levi  58:10



Speaker 3  58:11



Levi  58:12



Zai  58:13  

Thank you, we're do – we're doing –


Speaker 3  58:13

Thank you for your work.


Zai  58:15

Oh, this is yes.


Levi  58:15

[OVERLAPPING] Oh yeah we're just – No, we're just chilling .


Zai  58:18

This is [REDACTED] thesis. I'm so honored to be a part of it, yeah. Thank you.


Levi  58:25

Yeah, I guess like. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah, what do you think] I mean, I don't know. [OVERLAPPING: Type shit] I think I feel what you were saying, [OVERLAPPING: Right] a lot. I think, yes, I have seen it shift in terms of visibility and the amount of people coming out, which I think is like a good sign because we were always there, [OVERLAPPING: Facts] but we might not have always had the public recognition, not necessarily with families or hometowns, but even on the internet. To to come out [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] and experiment with like a younger community or a more digital community, even. So, I think it's definitely shifting and I've seen it shift over the course of my lifetime in terms of even people who I was hanging out with in elementary school, middle school, high school while this wouldn't have even been a topic of conversation for us [OVERLAPPING: Facts, facts] when we were 15. But now there's a couple of people who we knew growing up, who have come out. Not just me, but maybe one or two more. And it causes people who this wouldn't even be in their line of vision to like think even a little bit. [OVERLAPPING: Facts] And that's just in my community.


Zai  1:00:00

Yeah. And thinking can can solve so much.


Levi  1:00:04

It can start something [OVERLAPPING: For sure] because then you [OVERLAPPING: We love thinking] you start to think a little and you're like, well maybe I am going to be a little bit bullied by my other friends, if I don't use this person's pronouns correctly. And maybe it's something that I need to hold myself accountable for. [REDACTED] Yeah, but even my mom, [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] she works in a school that has that is for children with learning differences and is like really trying because a lot of the kids at the school are trans or gender nonconforming in some way. And my mom, who I mean, I'm not out to her. God knows I would expect this from her, she sends me an email the other day. There's she/her/hers. I'm like, what the fuck? [OVERLAPPING: You're like, okay, mom] It's like the comma like, she comma her comma hers, like all in lowercase. And I'm like, [OVERLAPPING : Like, okay] is that really doing much for the world. Maybe not, but like, she's thinking about it [OVERLAPPING: Right, right] she was like maybe, this is something I should do. Yeah.


Zai  1:00:59

Facts. And I do I do firmly believe in the power of of thinking, [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] even if it's really slow and over time [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] you know, I I firmly believe in people, people's thoughts being minds being opened because that just that simple thing could lead to someone defending a trans person next time they see someone being bullied [OVERLAPPING: Right] instead of or like harassed instead of just being like, oh, whatever, you know, like, those little thoughts could lead to so much. Not to say that your mom's about to start going in the streets and being like, fist in the air, trans rights. You know, but I mean, maybe you never know, you know? [LAUGHS] Yeah it's I think it's like you said, it's a I think it's a great start. I'm excited to see where I'm I'm I'm trepidatious. As my friend Sebastian would say, I'm trepidatious, but also excited to see where things go.


Levi  1:01:55

Yeah. [OVERLAPPING: For sure]. And then in line with that question is how has your generation shaped transness along with like other social movements.


Zai  1:02:05

How has the generation shaped transness?


Levi  1:02:07

Along with other social movements, like in terms of like how like I don't know what you identify as your generation. Like whether it's like Gen Z [OVERLAPPING: Gen Z] or some shit. But...


Zai  1:02:18

King, Gen Z. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] How deep – okay, yeah – no for sure, I'm sorry. For sure. I, I'm, I'm very grateful to be in this generation for several reasons and like to this topic the reason being just like we you know it's the Age of Aquarius bro, [OVERLAPPING: Ay, yai, yai] it's time for rebirth and shit – people are learning new shit, not to be so astrologically backed with everything I'm saying but um, truly it's like I'm grateful to be in a time where there's the internet and to be in a time where there's people who are looking things up and like actually wanting to learn things and not just saying, okay, okay, mom and dad, sure, and just like, like regurgitating what they heard in their households. I mean, some people are still doing that. But I think with things like TikTok which as – auhh Tik Tok, but I truly am grateful for TikTok, not just because they give me a platform, but it's like I think people really want to learn now. And I think that's largely in part of our generation. I was watching – Was it Meena Li – I watch so many commentary YouTubers. I think I was watching Meena Li yesterday. It was a video on bimboification, quote unquote, you know, [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] the Gen Z bimbofication. And it also maybe think about like, wow, this generation, we're so fucking cool. And obviously each generation does their own thing and has their own shit to be like, well, we're cool, you know? But I'm grateful to be in a generation that is deconstructing things and taking old shit and being like actually, I'm going to flip that and make it a make it a make it a lit thing. We're going to be cool, you know, and we're going to read, and we're going to research, you know, um and try to actually educate people and like there's just so many good people online who are putting in the work every day to be like, this is why you should care, bro. When I tell you, I, I feel like I get updates daily [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] on what's going on in Iran from people on Tik Tok and obviously look it up, make sure, you know, but it's like, if it, if it weren't for Tik Tok, I wouldn't I wouldn't be getting the like I'm getting like literal updates. [OVERLAPPING: And it's like from people not just the New York Times] It's from people. Yes, yes. Yeah. That's another thing, too. I think some older people want to kind of invalidate our sources because it's people talking, but it's like y'all are also just people talking. You just wrote it down and [OVERLAPPING: Right] you're being backed by the title New York Times, or whatever, and like obviously sources are valid read guys. I'm not saying don't read, but it's just like I actually do trust a lot of the the young Iranian people on my for you page or the young Black people on my for you page or the young trans people on my for you page it's like these are other people who are literally living through this right fucking now in real time and Gen Z bro, shit's popping. I can't wait till we're old and we're out here like milly rocking and our kids are like, what the fuck are you doing? You know like, it's like. It's like, obviously some things, some things in our generation I'm like y'all, y'all are doing too fucking much, you know? [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] But for the most part, I'm like, wow, thank God. And I also will say lastly, lastly, just on that, it's like in terms of safety, I'm grateful to be in the generation where for the most part, and again, I'm in this country, I'm in New York, I'm in art school. You know, not everybody everywhere is having these conversations. So I recognize that. But yet and still I feel grateful to be in a generation that's really open minded I think, comparatively, a lot. You know, and really like I don't I feel like I don't have to explain myself as much as I thought I would have to before I came out. I feel like I was always like, Oh God, I'm gonna have to explain this and then when I do this I have to do that. And it's like, no, I can for the most part, just walk in a room, and be like hi, and people are like, cool, you know, and be like oh here's my pronouns, I'm from here. Cool. Do you do you want to get a beer? Yeah, cool. Like you know, it feels simple. A lot more simple than I thought it would be from like movies, from like millennials and like previous generations. Millennials are cool too, no shade to Millennials. I don't, I don't want no beef. Millennial beef.


Levi  1:06:23

I've talked to some Millennials for this project. [OVERLAPPING: Oh, how was that?] They're also cool. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] No, I mean it's like young Millennials. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah, they're like the older sibling. Yeah] Yeah, exactly. Yeah. [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] No, honestly, like through this project has made me – because I don't have that many trans friends. So like part of this project I was talking to someone about this yesterday I was like, I wanted to make friends, for people want to be friends with me, [OVERLAPPING: Facts, yeah] you know, like, but it really made me feel more grateful. Like, I think I saw the generation thing as like maybe a little cringey but I was including it in the project 'cause I thought it was relevant to an oral history [OVERLAPPING: Hell yeah] where we were describing a particular moment time. But as I built relationships, I did kind of feel like, Wow, you know, we're on a wave that is really exciting for me. And [OVERLAPPING: Hell yeah] yeah, it was just like just to talk to different people and hear how much they had to say that was like, so interesting and eloquent made me have some faith in our generation and yeah.


Zai  1:07:19

[OVERLAPPING] Yeah. Hell yeah. We're so smart we're so smart.


Levi  1:07:25

But we're also smooth brain, yeah


Zai  1:7:27

Yes, we also we also [OVERLAPPING: We can turn it off, yeah] himbo himbo vibes for sure. I be on my, I be like, I be like, word, when I don't feel like – checking out, I'm like, yeah, word, [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] totally. Yeah. I think we'll get more credit when we're older. It's okay.


Levi  1:07:43

And with the media like [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] I mean the biggest thing that I think of with the media is like any media that you read, any major media that you read is going to be anti-Palestinian [OVERLAPPING: Type shit] so why are so many Boomers anti Palestine? [OVERLAPPING: Type shit] 'Cause the way that they're wording every single fucking thing is in a passive voice [OVERLAPPING: Right] and is not like holding the state accountable. So.


Zai  1:08:07

Yeah. Yeah. And it's like, frankly, who should I put my trust in more, and again I'm not saying don't read, do research y'all. But if we're speaking, you know, not to be so to be facetious but like, [OVERLAPPING: To all the viewers watching] Zai does not endorse, not reading. Please read, read articles, read books. I'm joining a book club literally like right now. [OVERLAPPING: Oh, cool] Yeah. Hell, yeah. Wow. My parents are gonna be so proud. You know what's up? But I will say, it's like to the to some of the older people that are like, really your source is this per – this random person on Tik Tok referencing specific dates – that person is so pretty, period. That person was so pretty, I'm sorry. Um, I was like, Wow. Um, it's like being if we're being honest it's like, okay, these are a group of a lot of older white people sitting here writing about this country they've never been to [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] and they don't want to go to because they're afraid of people. They're afraid of this, uhh, you know. But they're sitting here writing this article, talking about, yeah, the people here, this or that, this is what's going on based on our reporting. Versus someone who's my age, who's literally there, [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] who is literally there or ethnically from there or whatever, telling me this shit on Tik Tok. I'm just saying, I think [UNINTELLIGIBLE] you know, because I don't think the group of older people are necessarily any more honest than a random person on the Internet. Both can be lying, like and both can be honest. I don't know.


Levi  1:09:41

Okay there's just one more question. Um what do you hope is the future of transness?


Zai  1:09:48

The future of transness.


Levi  1:09:50

I know it's getting busy so it's a good time to –


Zai 1:09:51

Ding ding ding everybody shut the fuck up I'm talking about – no I'm kidding, I'm kidding. I’m kidding guys.What do I hope is the future of transness. Well. [OVERLAPPING: Or just like gender in general] Several things. Yeah, I hope primarily safety and security. Um. I hope that I hope that we can walk down the street, walk into a store, walk into wherever in any neighborhood, at anytime with anyone and have our lives not be threatened. Obviously, that'll take time. And there's so many places and people and stuff. But I hope for that primarily at the end of the day, I think that's my main interest. I also hope for adequate representation more than just okay we got a few we got a few of y'all now. Here's Pose. Like thank you lets let's add few more shows. I don't know let's add like 20 more shows, there's so many stories you know let's add some movies let's add some musicians you know lets add some writers, doctors – whoever the fuck, you know, wants to be there. Um. So, just, you know, safety, security, representation and I really just want like I guess overall I yeah, I guess overall, just like empathy, I want more empathy. I want people to see – and we're getting there, but I want more people to overarchingly see us as valid human beings without the need to try to police us and our bodies and our choices and our things that we don't choose, things that are just who we are. Um, that we can just live peacefully, because quite frankly, I don't need I don't need people to like me, I don't need people to think – I don't need every human on earth to be like, I see you in your manhood, I actually don't care, quite frankly. Just like don't, just like leave me alone. Don't bother me. Don't harra – don't give me no comments. Stop using so much fucking hyper gendered language, you know. Um. I'm very much like you do your thing over there and don't bother me and I'll do my thing and not bother you as long as we can both exist freely and peacefully.


Levi  1:12:02

Wow, cheers to that.


Zai  1:12:04

Cheers to that. How about you.


Levi  1:12:05

[OVERLAPPING] No, I don't even know like what I would even have said to this answer but – like if I were put first. [LAUGHS] but empathy is a really, really good one. And then I think like the recognition, especially from family and close friends, that like. You do not own your child. [OVERLAPPING: Type shit, say it again. Yeah] You know what I mean? like your child is like can be very grateful to you and like shaped by you, but you do not like own their choices and their personhood. [OVERLAPPING: Facts, facts] And I think just for more people to have, like you said, empathy and like acceptance [OVERLAPPING: Yeah] of other people's choices and to really try and yeah, really try and think more deeply about like what they've internalized. And I think that I hope that more people can, can yeah feel safe and comfortable and like in a space where they can um live their their selves live their truths.


Zai  1:13:21

[UNINTELLIGIBLE] And shoutout all the autistic bitches out there. I forgot to say I'm autistic. Shout out all the autistic baddies. Especially if you have, if you're autistic with ADHD bro, [OVERLAPPING: Oh my god] supreme package man. Not but for real, peace peace to the world, Kumbayah. You know what I'm saying? But for real trans lives matter. All day every day. All all trans lives. All Black lives matter


Levi  1:13:48

Anything else you want to say?


Zai  1:13:50

Um. If you want to support a Black if you want to support a Black trans artist Black trans gay Jewish autistic second gen New Yorker artist. My name is Zai Z-A-I, on all streaming platforms. I make gay trans angry music. [OVERLAPPING: Wow, okay] Hell yeah. Hell yeah. Do some self promo. Woo! [UNINTELLIGIBLE]


Levi  1:14:16


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