In a world where we take more photos of ourselves than could ever be necessary, one young man has turned the selfie tradition on its head.
According to Huffington Post Jamie Raines began taking testosterone in January 2012, at the age of 18, in order to begin his Female To Male tradition. Every day for three years, Raines, now 21-years-old, took a selfie to document the effect testosterone treatment had on his transition.
He ended up with over 1,400 selfies. But much more important than that statistic, is the story that these photographs tell.
Raines told Femail, “Growing in confidence and feeling more and more comfortable in myself has been a hugely exciting experience. The changes in how I feel about myself have been amazing.”
You can see Jamie’s transition timelapse video here (post continues after video):
Raines has also undergone a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery on his chest. But the process has been much longer than three years. Raines recounts first realising his gender and his body were incompatible: “I remember thinking I was just like any other boy. Then as I grew older I realised more and more that I was different.”
“I remember getting a haircut when I was around eight,” Raines tells Femail, “and afterwards turning to my mum and asking if I looked like a boy now. I felt like one and wanted to make sure I looked like one too.”
Raines extensive photo-taking highlights the incredible details of his transformation. From growing facial hair and defining muscles, to the changing structure of his jaw-bone.
At just 16, Raines met his girlfriend Shaaba, who at the time was completely unaware of his gender identity. “When I first told her she had no idea what being transgender meant!” Raines told Femail. “But she has been completely supportive of me from the start.”
After a year of close friendship, the pair got together. “We’ve been together for nearly four years now, and she’s been a massive support throughout my whole transition.” They are both undertaking postgraduate study at the University of Leeds in the UK.
Jamie has also documented his journey via Youtube, you can see one of his video’s here (post continues after video):
For Raines there was one element of the transition that had a deep impact on his emotional state, and it wasn’t one that could be captured in a photograph.
It was his voice.
“It was incredibly exciting to hear the changes, and it still surprises me now listening back on comparisons on how it’s changed,” he tells Femail. “It was one of the most important things for me, and as soon as it dropped substantially at around the three to four month mark, I felt so much more comfortable.”
Understandably, Raines’ transition wasn’t always easy and had equally intense highs and lows, but he was determined to document what would be the most significant transition of his life.
“If I’ve learned one thing,” he says, “it’s to be patient. I certainly wasn’t always.”