By Liana Jacob
AFTER being BULLIED for being ‘TOO HAIRY’ this student considered FEMALE to MALE gender reassignment surgery – and would even smuggle a razor to school to SHAVE between classes.
University student, Caiopa Jade Marjan (23) from Farmville, Virginia, USA, spent her whole life struggling with symptoms such as excess hair all over her body (hirsutism), a deeper voice, being overweight, acne, a receding hairline and infertility.
She spent her school days feeling insecure after being relentlessly bullied by her peers for being ‘too hairy’ to the point that she would sneak in a razor every day to shave her face and arms.
It wasn’t until 2016, when she was 19 years old, that she was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that affects how a woman’s ovaries work.
She spent the next two years feeling miserable about her appearance and thought that if she transitioned to male, this would solve her problems.
However, in June 2019, she began discovering many social media pages owned by other hairy or ‘bearded’ women, which was a big thing for her as she didn’t know there was a whole community of women like her.
This was the time she began dating a friend she had been communicating with online, who constantly told her how beautiful she was.
So, after eight years of regularly shaving, she decided to ditch the razors in December of 2019 and hasn’t looked back since.
“I have PCOS which means a higher testosterone count in my body as a woman. I got bullied quite a bit for being ‘too hairy’ and having facial hair,” Caiopa said.
“I remember using hair removers on my arms and shaving my face at school with a razor I snuck in. It was kind of horrifying to think about now.
“I found out when I was nineteen. I deal with excess hair everywhere on my body, a deeper voice than average, really messed up periods, being overweight, acne, a receding hairline, and infertility.
“In high school, I was bullied a lot because of my hair; they would call me names, laugh at me, and so on.
“I smuggled a razor in my backpack to shave in between classes because my stubble would grow back so quickly. It was really embarrassing. I’d shave every day at least once if not twice.
“I decided that maybe if I transitioned then it would solve my problems as most people don’t question men with facial hair.
“Unfortunately, this made me very unhappy towards the end of the two years that it lasted. Gender roles are a thing and it made me deeply unhappy to have to act a way that I didn’t feel matched up with who I am.
“Hirsutism is something I struggle with as a result of PCOS so I was basically like ‘well if someone sees me accepting this then maybe I can help them accept their hair too’. So, I decided to use that tag.
“This is a common thing with more people starting to see my facial hair. Some people call me an ‘abomination’ or a ‘freak’.
“It hurts but I get over it easily usually because I remember that there are more good and kind people in the world than there are bad and that helps. Most people are nice about it and say I am an inspirational and beautiful.”
The three main features of PCOS are; irregular periods, excess androgen or high levels of ‘male’ hormones in the body and polycystic ovaries, where the ovaries become enlarged.
Caiopa now feels confident in herself since embracing her hair on social media and has been considered an inspiration by strangers for her positive attitude.
“I remembered seeing pages for Harnaam Kaur and a woman named Alma and I kept finding more and more bearded ladies,” she said.
“It was a big thing for me because I didn’t know there were other people like me who were proud of their facial hair. I remember crying because I realised, I didn’t have to spend forever ashamed of who I am.
“There are still moments where I struggle to be proud of it. I’m only recently learning self-love and I have a far way to go with it still.
“I’ve known my girlfriend for years online, but we only started dating in June 2019. She always says such kind things to me and is always there to defend me if I can’t.
“She constantly tells me that I am beautiful, and she always reacts in such a funny way to my selfies. She practically screams praises my way.
“My friends handle it very well and tend to boost my confidence a lot. I guess they’ve seen weirder things. As for my family, they handle it well despite it being weird to them at first. That’s how they always handle my ‘weird’ things I do though.
“I want people to know that they aren’t alone, and they aren’t any less beautiful for having PCOS/hirsutism.
“I’d likely tell them that it’s ok to be yourself. I know it’s scary with all the beauty expectations held for women, but self-love is more important than blending in. You’re stuck with you for the rest of your life so you might as well at least like the body you’re in.”