Derrick Wegner, above, ERIC SCHMID/THE STATESMAN
Derrick Wegner, above, models for The Statesman’s 2017 Sex and Relationships Issue. Wegner and fellow student models posed for photos to address issues of minority representation in the media. ERIC SCHMID/THE STATESMAN

I was interested in being a model for the Sex and Relationship issue of The Statesman for many reasons. One is that I love being nearly naked and hanging out with people, having a good time. This just happened to be a good and healthy combination of both of those things. Second, I am a queer, transgender man that loves his body and I want people to see that. I want people to see that people who are transgender can sincerely love their bodies, unconditionally and without question. Even more, I want to show it off.

When I was young, I rarely saw trans representation, especially positively put in the light of sex and relationships. This sends the message to transgender people, and everyone else, that trans people can’t have relationships, do not love their bodies and do not have sex outside of porn (not that making porn is bad, by any means). This leads many transgender people to feel that their bodies are not only unattractive but that they are undesirable. I want to show them, and everyone else, that all bodies, including trans bodies, are beautiful. So, so beautiful. I want to show them that trans people can be in relationships, have sex outside of porn, and love their bodies. Trans bodies are not “different” or “strange” whatsoever. They are bodies, beautiful bodies, that take us through these lives we lead.

Furthermore, our genders and sexual orientations are both fully independent of one another. People seem to forget that, especially concerning trans people. I wanted to pose with another man to give a clear visual to everyone flipping through this newspaper that a trans man can be with a man, just as a cisgender man can. It is all the same. Any gender, any sex, any number of people can be happy and healthy together. Being transgender does not make that any different.

Finally, sex. Sex is normal and can be a strongly positive part of anyone’s life, including trans people. It seems like the general public has a difficult time with the idea of transgender people having sex as it seems “confusing.” However, I can assure you, it is not. Sex with a trans person is just… sex. Just like anyone, consent and communication are key to having good sex. There is nothing confusing about that if you ask me.

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All in all, I want to be the representation in media that I did not see. I am not perfect and by no means do I represent all trans people. I am not the most diverse person and I do not have all of the answers, but I am me. And I am so proud. So, for everyone else that is or wants to be proud, do it. Love yourself, every last bit, the best that you can. And if you need some help; I am proud of you and I love you. All of you.

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