Van Vincent Go, a 29-year-old transgender man from the Philippines, is seeking to empower the local trans community by sharing details about his own transition on YouTube.
Go began detailing his transition on his YouTube channel VandomVincent back in 2014. His videos document the gradual changes in his body, including the surgical removal of his breasts, development of a more masculine chest, growth of facial hair and the deepening of his voice.
Go revealed in an interview with Rappler in January that he first learned the term “transgender” on YouTube as he was trying to discover more about himself.
“I’ve always seen myself as a boy, as early as 4 years old,” Go was quoted as saying. “It was only when I was about 18 years old when I realized that I was transgender all this time.”
Coming from an all-girls school where a number of his friends were “butch lesbians,” Go initially thought he was the same as them.
“As we grew older, I was getting really uncomfortable with my body, and I was asking myself why [I felt that way] when the rest of them didn’t have any issues with the changes during puberty.”
According to Go, he discovered that he was transgender after watching hundreds of YouTube videos on the transgender experience and SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender identity and expression).
That was when he decided to undergo the transition medically. While his mother “didn’t really take it well” when he first revealed the news, he said he was “already ready with whatever reaction she would give me.”
So far, Go has undergone top surgery and has been taking hormones through intramuscular injections.
Go highlighted the importance of finding the right medical professionals as such procedures aren’t widely supported in the Philippines.
In 2014, he co-founded the very first trans man support group in Visayas and Mindanao to address the issue by creating a directory of medical professionals who are trans-friendly.
He also advised people who are thinking about following in his footsteps to prepare for the processes both financially and mentally.
“Other people think that once they transition, they’d automatically be accepted by everyone else in their environment,” Go said. “That’s not really true. It depends on who you’re with. It’s not a guarantee that people are going to look at you differently, because you’re still the same person, and the people around you who do not really believe in these things are still the same people.”
In November last year, Go was selected to be part of YouTube’s NextUp program, which provided him and other creators with training and support in growing and improving their channels. He is now committed to using what he learned to continue inspiring others in the trans community by developing better content on the transgender experience.
“I’m working on making a series of educational videos about our trans community – with updated information,” Go shared. “Our experts find new information every now and then, and our politically correct terms keep evolving, so it’s nice to be aware of all these things.”