The past three months for Tony Doubek, a sophomore political science major at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, have been the most empowering of his life.
“It has been the craziest three months of my life…but it’s been the most freeing,” Doubek said as we sat down with him for a cup of coffee on the rainiest day of the month.
Through the Gay Straight Alliance Facebook page, we discovered Doubek’s blog telling his life as a transgender student and as soon as we sat down with Doubek it was evident that this blog was more than just his story, but a platform to empower others.
Doubek created the blog, “not because I want to be popular, but I want to reach those kids stuck in that moment of complete self-loathing…they need to know they are not alone.”
Doubek came out as transgender this past February after attending a conference in which he called himself Tony instead of his given name.
“And that’s exactly what I needed,” Doubek said. On the name tag they asked what pronoun he wanted use “and I finally decided on ‘he’.”
Doubek is a spiritual person and the thought of being transgender terrified him.
“To me, altering your body was so wrong…but I knew what I was but it wasn’t acceptable to me,” Doubek said. Doubek admits that was transphobic and even had panic attacks over the transition.
After a conversation with another transgender friend, a flip switched. His friend asked him, if it was socially acceptable and affordable would you be transgender?
“And I said yes…within a millisecond I said yes,” Doubek said. “I realized it was who I was and I couldn’t fight it anymore.”
Doubek’s family has been supportive through his transition.
“My mom struggles with losing her only daughter but I’ll give her this, she hasn’t kicked me out and never fails to tell me that she loves me,” Doubek said.
Many people ask Doubek how to deal with parents who may not be as understanding. In response, Doubek said, “Meet them where they are at and slowly take the where they want to be taken and where you need them…they’re transitioning too…everyone’s always in transition.”
At the same conference that Doubek first identified as Tony, he also emerged as an activist. Doubek noticed the divide when two groups were arguing what to call gay marriage.
“I don’t give a sh** what you call it…these arguments are what’s stopping us from actually getting things done,” Doubek said.
After coming back from the conference he saw “The Normal Heart” put on by the UWSP Theatre and Dance Department.
“I realized how badly I wanted to be an activist,” Doubek said and soon changed his major to political science.
Doubek wants what he calls the “Universal Rights” movement to unify to encompass all human rights. Doubek finds it ironic that in a land of free people “I am actually a second class citizen.”
In the future Doubek wants to continue his activist work without forgetting the power of art.
“I will be an activist and I will work hard, but I will never ever leave my art,” Doubek said who is a former music major.
A passionate activist, Doubek’s journey continues, as his blog currently hits 28,000 views and is growing by the day.
“When I was little I had two things: I wished on the evening star to be a boy and I prayed to God that my life would be worth something…be careful what you wish for because it’ll become true.”
Doubek’s blog may found at http://boxersandbinders.blogspot.com/