Teddy Geiger opened up about her transition and the hardships she faced while struggling with her gender identity.
“I just feel more open,” Geiger, 29, told The New York Times in a profile published on Thursday, July 5. “Because I’m willing to talk about everything now, people are then more open with me.”
She continued: “There’s no longer this piece of me back there saying, ‘Don’t go there.’ I used to find that I’d sing songs and think, ‘Ooh, it sounds like I’m talking about that stuff, and I don’t want to talk about that stuff.’ But it was just coming out.”
Geiger struggled as a teenager thrust into the spotlight, not understanding her identity disconnect. “I was going through adolescence and having sex for the first time, but it was in this really weird context,” the “For You I Will” singer explained. “I didn’t have a real support group.”
The songwriter retreated from the business for a while before her 21st birthday, but she was met with crippling anxiety when she moved to California from New York. Geiger said she relied on cigarettes and marijuana — two packs and a half-ounce of weed a day — to cope. Obsessive-compulsive behaviors, such as maintaining her nails, also took over. “It was the only femininity that I was expressing, so I wanted it to be so perfect,” she told The New York Times. “It was the only thing I could control.”
In September 2017, Geiger participated in a monthlong treatment program for anxiety and to “get to the bottom of the gender thing.” She exited the program prepared to embrace her true identity and announced her transition in October of that year.
“I can remember back to being 5 and looking in the mirror, feeling like a girl and wanting that,” she noted. “But growing up in Rochester, there were limited resources. I’d never met a trans person before.” Geiger mentioned that she didn’t know transgender people existed until she was in her 20s.
Shawn Mendes, who frequently collaborates with Geiger and has been publicly supportive of her transition, recalled meeting up with her to begin working on his self-titled album after she completed treatment. “It was the first time I ever saw her sober,” the 19-year-old singer said. “She was like Teddy, but on steroids. There was this electricity running through her.”
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