Chandler Elizabeth Adam is a golden-locked goddess and curly hair genius who just so happens to be my actual hairdresser! In Episode 35 She’s sharing her decision to begin utilizing hormone therapy as she quite literally facilitates her body changing.
Not everyone is as open and embracing of dumb questions and picky hair preferences as Chandler. If you’re on Instagram, she is sharing glimpses as she transitions @transgenderagenda, AND if you have curly hair, you’ll particularly enjoy her lovely haircutting as well in her professional @portlandcurlroom.
I met Chandler after several years of only having my hairs cut when I would fly back to Austin, Texas for work. (Big shout out to my original @sweetgeorgiabee at Honeycomb… I’ll always have a place in my heart for you!).
I’ll never forget sitting at Shalom Y’all, when this waitress walks up wearing the best curly cut I had seen in a while. It turns out the young bright-eyed apprentice hairdresser (at that time) who had worked magic on her hair (that very day!) was Chandler! And the rest is history…
Chandler graciously sat down over zoom to chat with me about the relationship between hair change and life change, her own transition, and choice to move forward with hormonal therapy, and the role that love support and happy endings to stories play in our mental health.
She also graciously agreed to do a curly hair Q&A together, which we will be bringing to you live on July 1st! Make sure you’re a member of our Facebook group CLICK HERE TO JOIN to catch the event live!
Submit your curly questions to me directly by emailing email@example.com and putting “CURLY Q” in the subject line.
Takeaways from this conversation
There is definitely a relationship between life change and hair change, but as for which comes first, well that’s a real chicken and egg question.
Quitting drinking can be good for your skin! When I spoke to Chuy Zarate last year about having to quit drinking forever, he actually mentioned this kind of incentive that you see written about often. For Chuy he had to stop as a matter of life and death. For Chandler stopping mattered to her mental health and physical health as well… but the most noticeable change in the shortest amount of time was how her skin looks.
Hormones are magic. Chandler joked that she has the hormones of a pregnant woman, but the truth isn’t far from that. The amount of estrogen and progesterone needed to help Chandler’s body mirror her identity is a strong amount of hormone! As a woman in perimenopause, I’m hyper-aware of how hormones shape and change us. But in talking to Chandler I also see how like a polyjuice potion hormone therapy can be.
A mother’s love can be magic. In Chandler’s story, her mom knew what was happening and how to support her daughter and it was a tremendous gift! Mothers can serve all kinds of roles in the story of our lives. In the first episode of this podcast, Mary Jo Pehl shared a moment of standing up to her own mother. But when one is fortunate enough to have a mom who can support your life and your choices and understand the choices ahead of you it really is a beautiful thing.
Stories of change, of survival, and of transgender transitions can be happy, can be filled with love. AND it’s good for the soul to hear happy stories. As Chandler pointed out, stories of overcoming challenges, of having to risk everything and build your support structures from the ground up, can certainly inspire… BUT it can also make it hard for people to move forward in their own decision-making because if all we hear are those stories, the world can feel incredibly scary. There is a much-needed role for happy stories to play.
A book to check out based on Chandler’s recommendation: I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya. A best-selling that explores how masculinity was imposed on the author as a boy and continues to haunt her as a girl—and how we might reimagine gender for the twenty-first century.