Growing Up Transgender in Romania

April 16, 2019
5 photos
  • David Kai Partenie with his sister in 2002 or 2003.

    David’s mother became his greatest ally on his transgender journey. His sister initially had trouble accepting his transition, but today she and David are on excellent terms.

  • David in 2012 and 2017.

    As a high school freshman in 2012, David began coming out to his friends and classmates. By 2017, he was into his second year of medical transitioning.

  • Street art in Bucharest depicting a message of hate against minorities. (Photo by Alexandra Crisbășan)

    David encountered prejudice during his transgender process in Romania, but he says minorities and less privileged transgender people face far more serious problems than he did.

  • David in Seoul in 2018.

    David felt he got a fresh start when he moved to South Korea in 2016. He’s now studying English literature, bartending and advocating for transgender rights.

  • David in 2019.

    “I feel like I’ve reached the sweet spot,” David says.”Yes, I’m trans. No, it’s not a big deal. … I’m also the happiest and the most comfortable I’ve ever been with my body. Ever.”