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'My Gender Is Not a Costume': Says Trans People On Snapchat's Gender-Swap Photo Filters That Allows Users To Change Into A Man Or Woman

By: TCF! Staff | On: May 19, 2019

Hit a button, and you're "transformed" into a woman. The beard disappears. The face and jaw smooth out. The hair floats jauntily around the shoulders.

"Yo this is SPOT ON my mom." ''Pretty." ''Are you in a sorority?"

A swipe and another click. Suddenly you're a square-jawed man — heavy of brow, sporting five o' clock shadow.

"I look like my brother Jay." ''Hahahaha Suzie I'm dyingggg." ''My sisters were like, 'um... strange. You're kinda hot' haha."


The gender-bending selfies accompanied by flip or sarcastic comments are flooding social feeds since Snapchat introduced a filter this month allowing users to swap gender appearances with the tap of a finger. But for many people who have longed for a button that would change them in real life, the portrait parade isn't a game.

"My gender's not a costume," says Bailey Coffman, a 31-year-old transgender woman from New York. "This story that I feel is very real. I lost a lot to be who I am, and I fought really hard for the body that I'm in.

"And when certain people post it and write about how silly it is and how goofy they look with this filter," she says, "it makes light of the transgender experience."

In the below interview she says: "These new Snapchat filters got y'all out here having fun with gender roles, joking about sex with your homeboys, and sporting beards with lashes. All we ask is that you keep that same energy when you interact with actual transgender and non-binary ppl."

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