"Hello, I'm Christopher… And I'm transgender. I'm making this video so I can share my life with you, and my transition and the changes to my body that are going to happen very soon…”
Beginning with this simple statement, Christopher Juarez Reyes launched his first Youtube video in February 2014. Since that time, the young Xalapa, Veracruz resident has posted eighty-five videos detailing his sexual reassignment surgery and providing a glimpse into a process many Mexicans would prefer not to think about. Among the issues that Christopher discusses in his videos are doubts about his transition, the transphobia that he and other transgender people face in Mexican society, and the human rights struggles of transgender, gay, lesbian, and bisexual communities.
Born anatomically female, Christopher has always identified as a male and made the decision to seek gender reassignment surgery. Through his videos, Christopher outlined all of the medical challenges associated with changing his birth gender ranging from hormonal treatments to mastectomy. He also described the emotional and legal hurdles such as telling his parents about his surgery and fighting Mexican bureaucracy to change his official identity.
Christopher's Youtube channel, which already has 9,000 subscribers and over 626,000 views, isn't just about transgender issues though. In one video, "Don't Lose Yourself in Transsexuality!", he stresses that gender identity and sexual orientation are not all that define a person. As he says in the video, "Yes, I'm Christopher, the guy who makes videos on YouTube about transsexuality, but I'm not just the transgender guy… I'm so much more, and I know that you're so much more too.”
Throughout his videos, Christopher reemphasizes that he is not doing all of this for fame. He is simply trying to raise the profile of transgender people in a society dominated by machismo culture and encourage more transgender people to be open about their transition. As he says:
…Don't forget us, don't put us to one side, we exist, we have rights and we have problems (hahaha)…
If you, the viewer, are a writer, or an artist or something in which you can express yourself, I invite you to write, to do something, to speak up, because we have to surround people with this. They often don't use the right terms to refer to us, and it's within us. So please let's do something. I feel like I'm doing something with these videos, and I hope that I'm doing something so that people more or less understand what this is, and I expect the same from you.
I've already seen lots of people uploading more videos about their changes and it makes me feel great; that's what I wanted. That's what I'm trying to do with these videos: to let people know, because when I found myself in this situation I either didn't find anything or I found little bits in English, and how much better would it be if they were in Spanish.”
For Christopher, the final message he hopes to deliver is a simple one : "We're all equal, we're all human beings and I hope that I can help in some way.”