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.
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.
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