Digital Transgender Archive

Interview with Kya Concepcion

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Kya Concepcion identifies as a black pansexual trans femme non-binary tomboy and was assigned male at birth. They also have an intersex condition. Professionally they use she/her pronouns but prefers they/them pronouns. They grew up in rural Georgia and have many siblings. They were born in Marietta, Georgia and then moved to a little town called Villa Rica, Georgia when they were around 4 or 5. They grew up with a mother who neglected them. Her mother was a crack cocaine addict, and Concepcion also had an absent father. Concepcion was sexually abused by people who smoked crack with their mother and by their cousins that would bully them and call them a girly boy. As a kid, Concepcion remembers mimicking their sister who is one of their heroes. They wore her skirts and never stood to pee. They ran away from home at 14, and they describe how they met a prostitute who taught them the trade, how to live on the streets, and how to sell drugs. They didn’t go to high school and by the time they were 15 they were a cocaine addict. At 17 after a bad incident on too much cocaine, they realized they didn’t want this for the rest of their life. They started studying for the SAT before starting college at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Georgia, which Concepcion describes as a disaster, but they graduated. They entered the club and rave scene and became a meth addict while in college. Over the next 13 years, they fought their meth addiction which almost killed them. They had a series of progressively abusive partners until the last one almost killed them. They spent three days in the hospital with a fractured rib and internal bleeding. They then packed their bags and moved to Minnesota. Since then they’ve been able to stay sober. They are now engaged to their partner whose family accepts them. Their mother has since apologized for and admitted to the neglect Concepcion experienced and has started to open up about her own trauma. They have a relationship with their maternal family but not with their paternal family since their father told them they were dead to him. Since coming out as trans, they have experienced job loss along with losing family and friends. They had vaginoplasty. They lived in Seoul, South Korea when they were hired by the Ministry of Education to work on curriculum development for English teaching. Content Warning: This item contains potentially sensitive material related to child abuse and sexual assault.

Item Information:

Oral Histories with People of Color
Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection, University of Minnesota
Concepcion, Kya
Jenkins, Andrea
University of Minnesota Minneapolis Libraries
Date Created
Oct. 24, 2017
Oral Histories
Minnesota > Hennepin County > City of Minneapolis > Minneapolis
Georgia > Cobb County > Marietta
Georgia > Carroll > Carrollton
Georgia > Carroll > Villa Rica
Black people
Cherokee women
Coming out
Gender diversity
Gender realignment surgery
Intimate partner violence
Partners (LGBTQ)
Sex workers (LGBTQ)
Sexual abuse
Substance abuse
Transgender people
Resource Type
Moving image
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