A barbershop experience begins a new chapter in the life of a transgender man

Charlie Poulson
Charlie Poulson

When Charlie Poulson began transitioning in college, his experience was followed with great interest by the people in small-town Ames, Iowa. Everyone knew he was transgender. But then he went on a trip to Rome.

Charlie recalls:

That fall semester, my last year of college, we did a study-abroad trip to Rome, and this was the first time that I had gone somewhere after surgery where nobody knew my past, nobody had known that I used to be a woman, so I was a little bit worried that if I wasn’t passing, then something might happen to me.

Needing a haircut, Charlie knew his concern would be put to the test in what is arguably a typical masculine setting: the barbershop.

This is Charlie’s true LGBTQ story:

“I’m from Driftwood,” a collection of “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer stories from all over the world,” appears weekends on LGBTQ Nation. For more true LGBT stories, or to share your own, visit “I’m from Driftwood.”


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