WORTH REPEATING: How Stephanie Became Stephan

PW_Boy_Meets_World.jpgPHILADELPHIA WEEKLY: A few nights after the Tritone show, Hayes is hanging out where he’s been every Monday night all year: hosting open-mike night at the Grape Room in Manayunk. He’s off tonight, but decided to pop in to say goodbye to the staff and the regulars. If the show at Tritone was an introduction to the new Stephan, tonight is a goodbye, in a way, to the old Steph. In a few days, he’ll undergo a mastectomy and recovery will take a full month. “It’s a bilateral mastectomy, double incision,” he explains, fingers sweeping across the front of his rib cage. “It actually looks pretty brutal, but I’m having a male sculpting done, [in which] they trim the nipples, and re-place them up higher.” […] Over the last few years, as he started presenting a more masculine appearance to the world, his natural shyness gave way to anxiety as strangers reacted dramatically to his increasingly androgynous appearance. “Going on tour, going around the country, it was a real problem,” he says. “I was terrified of restrooms. Not only could it be uncomfortable, it could also be dangerous if I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” He felt perpetually embarrassed. Sometimes women screamed when they saw him in the bathroom. “This one time on tour this old lady freaked out, ‘There’s a man in the women’s room!’ I was standing there saying, ‘I’m a—I’m a’—I was trying to say, ‘But I’m a girl’ but I couldn’t say [it] … because I don’t feel like a girl.” MORE

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