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This Cartoonist Is Illustrating What It's Really Like To Transition

"I found it can be easy for transitioning to feel incredibly isolating and I want people to know they're not alone."

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Julia Kaye is a 28-year-old cartoonist living in Los Angeles and the creator of the webcomic Up And Out.

Instagram: @iamjuliakaye
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The illustrated series, which is featured on Kaye's Instagram account @upandoutcomic, focuses on the feelings of insecurity and dysphoria, as well as the moments of triumph, she's experienced during her transition.

Instagram: @upandoutcomic

"I had mentioned to a friend I'd been thinking about making a long-form comic about my transition one day and they encouraged me to just go for it and do it in the moment while the memories were still fresh," Kaye told BuzzFeed News.

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The series focuses on the early days of Kaye's transition, from around four months of hormone therapy on. She illustrates important personal milestones such as buying a dress for the first time or signing up to change the gender marker on her ID card.

Once she started completing the strips on a regular basis, Kaye found the process extremely therapeutic.

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"I have so much more insight as to why I felt the way I did back then in a lot of situations," she explained. "So many of my early fears were rooted in insecurity of my gender identity."

Kaye has received countless messages from trans teens telling her how much the comic series has helped them in their own lives.

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"That my story has given them hope for their future, or made them feel better about being themselves — it's really been heartwarming."

Check out the full series on Kaye's Instagram.

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