STUDENT, TRANS ACTIVIST, CO-FOUNDER OF TRANSGENDERSG.COM
Cassandra, at 21, is already an active advocate, having co-founded TransgenderSG.com, an online resource for the Singaporean transgender community.
In person, Cassandra is a quiet observer who exhibits both wisdom and playful wit in her answers. There is a vulnerability in the way she speaks, born from a place of experiencing, in her words, “the wrong side of the (metaphorical) aisle” of gender.
"This had the effect of depriving me of strong female friendship until I entered junior college and handicapped my friendships with guys. It was so hard to be treated as a guy in a male friendship because that made it impossible to relate. Similarly, being treated as a guy in a female friendship alienated my ability to relate as much. This isolated me growing up, despite the fact that I had many friends. This, combined with my immaturity when younger, were some of the factors that triggered my first depressive spiral. With the amount of support and the kind of friends I have now, I realise that what I had been going through before was really, intensely difficult. I was alienated from myself and functioned in a state of pseudo-autopilot.”
Still, her answers also reflect the intellectual thinking behind it all. Her answers on the shoot were unscripted but exhibited a fluidity of careful reasoning and, of all things, passion.
Why do you think the LGBTQ+ community is susceptible to substance abuse and addiction?
“Drugs can be a form of escapism or resignation which people turn to so as to deal with the visceral realities of oppression and discrimination.”
Complete this sentence: "Our Story is..."
"Our Story is harder than you can imagine.”
Which is why it is crucial to continue the fight, that as long as “people are less satisfied with the status quo and that will eventually lead to more people agitating for equal rights and protections”, there is hope.