Right before his 18th birthday, Jamie Raines, now 21, started taking testosterone, the hormone that helps transgender men develop more masculine traits to their voice and body.
As a YouTube star with the mission to educate people on female-to-male transitions, he decided to document his own transition by taking a selfie every single day for the past three years — resulting in a whopping 1,400 photos. He told BuzzFeed he wanted to share his experience with the world to help people understand the difference testosterone can make.
"When I first started I tried not to have an image in my mind — I was taking testosterone so I could go through the correct puberty for me," Raines said. "And I tried not to have expectations, because testosterone affects everyone differently and different changes come in at different points."
He knew that not everyone gets facial hair, so he didn't want to get his hopes up. But when it started really coming in after two years, he said, "It was really exciting."
Thankfully, his family has been super supportive, and his girlfriend Shaaba has been by his side throughout the process.
Photo via Jamie Raines/Facebook
"I told my mum first and then she told my dad and brother and they’ve all just been really great with it," he explained. "My mum thinks this was always how I was supposed to be. She doesn’t feel like she’s lost a daughter, because I’m the same person to her — I’m still her child, but now I’m just her son."
His photo montage caught the attention of a TV producer who included Raines in an upcoming show for Channel 4 about transgender men.
"I'm very happy with what I see in the mirror and very grateful for how I look now," he said.
Screengrab via Channel 4/YouTube