Digital Transgender Archive

Interview with Hannah Stein

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Hannah Stein identifies as a trans woman assigned male at birth. She has a younger sister and grew up in Athens, Georgia in a middle-class household. Her mom worked for the hospital as a cancer nurse, and her dad worked to mechanize and bring up to code medical gas. She was teased for having thick glasses and contact lenses that would fall out. In sixth or seven grade Stein realized she was trans after a Google search but decided to repress that part of herself since she experienced others demeaning gender non-conformity. Her dad even told her in a joking manner, “If you ever feel that way, let me know so I can move out.” She became a class clown as the funny dude to have friends, even hosting a talent show in high school. She was also in orchestra and played the cello. Stein went to Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin as a theatre major and tried coming out as bi midway through her degree. She remembers crying after going to the school therapist who told her she was possibly trans when she was feeling suicidal. She’s relied on friends and community who helped her normalize trans identity. She’s been on hormones since she finished college and had laser hair removal on her face and legs. She is also considering gender reassignment surgery but doesn’t want to wind up in debt. She’s dealt with sexual harassment since transitioning, experiencing lewd comments from men. Stein also experienced physical assault when a man attempted to rob her by slapping and hitting her. She was worried about coming out to her father, but both her parents are supportive. Her parents even helped her pick her new name. She worked for Environment Minnesota that required her to canvas door-to-door during the winter and soon quit. Stein came out while working for a Lebanese restaurant in Minneapolis, Minnesota and presented full-time as a woman there. She then left to work at a women’s clothing consignment store. She now works at a jazz club. She was directing The Naked I for 20% Theatre at the time of the interview. She was also the assistant director for Mixed Blood’s production of Charm and has been involved in other theater productions.

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