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Swedish Stockings People - Meet Lisa

Written by Johanna Juelsson

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Posted on June 16 2021

NAME Lisa Stephen Friday
LOCATION Washington DC
OCCUPATION Project manager, actor & musician.

How would you define your identity and how has it developed throughout the years?
I identify as a heterosexual female. I am a transgender person so needless to say my journey to womanhood has been complicated, fascinating, sometimes difficult but always amazing! As a teenager and young adult, I was presenting male and dating women, so I guess that made me a hetero male. Through my transition I mostly dated women and eventually married a woman. At that point I guess I was bi/queer/lesbian. But, now after 20 years of living as my authentic self and being single again I find myself dating men and I love it! So basically, I'm hetero AGAIN! 

Is there anything along your journey that you wish you’d done differently?
I guess if I'm really being honest, I'd have to say that I wish I would have transitioned earlier. I have gone through periods where I have mourned the loss of not having the experience of being a young woman. 

What’s it like being a trans woman in the USA? 
Being trans in America during the Trump years was stressful. Watching the so-called leaders of the free world put anti trans legislation into action at the federal level was alarming to say the least. However, I do think that support for trans people and trans rights has grown tremendously over the past several years simply because we are so visible now. It's a difficult time but it's also very exciting to see the change that is happening for the trans community. 

Do you have any tips for people struggling to come out?
I think the most important thing to do is to find a community of friends and hopefully family that love you and support you in a way that is confirming your true gender.

How can others contribute to increased awareness regarding transgender people?
The important thing now is that cisgender people need to deal with their transphobic behaviors and micro aggressions such as misgendering people and allowing governments to put anti trans legislation into law. We as transgender people need our cisgender allies to take the lead on dismantling transphobia.

Do clothes have a specific meaning to you? 
After 20 years of battling with my imposter syndrome I believe that I have finally found the confidence I needed in order to express myself through fashion. After I went through my divorce, I began to have what I am now calling a "mid-life renaissance" and for the first time I found the strength to shed the fear of not being woman enough or feminine enough and I simply started wearing the clothing that brought me joy. It was incredibly freeing to finally get to that space! 

Who is your style inspiration (dead or alive)?
I always find Debbie Harry and Cate Blanchett inspiring when it comes to style and fashion. Ms. Harry is the epitome of cool. If you see me in a pair of leather pants and a Clash tee shirt then I have probably had Blondie on heavy rotation in my Spotify playlist. My second inspiration, Cate Blanchett, has such class and she carries herself with such confidence and grace. I literally have a picture of her as my screensaver on my iPhone!

What is your best styling tip? 
When you walk into a store and see an item that you are attracted to but also intimidated by, I think you should immediately buy it and then promptly make a plan to wear it. Follow your instincts!

Want to see more of Lisa Stephen Friday? Check out her instagram here

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