by Kaitlyn Carney
If you’re anything like me, you avoid all of your responsibilities until the crushing weight of your anxiety keeps you from enjoying whatever medium you’re using to procrastinate. So you compromise with yourself and try to multitask, simultaneously using the procrastination medium and pretending that you’ve got your life together, because you’re doing the responsibility thing. For better (or for worse, idk and tbh, idc), the easiest thing to enjoy while still feeling like I can (sort of) be a responsible human adult is listening to YouTube videos.
If you’re in the same boat as me, or you’re just looking for some new channels to follow, I recommend following Stef Sanjati.
While avoiding schoolwork before spring break, I had come across her channel. The first video recommended to me was her Waardenburg Syndrome video, explaining to her viewers that, yes, she’s aware that her face looks different. In this video, she explains the physical effects of this genetic mutation and how it runs in her family. Near the end of the video, she also makes very clear that she would delete every negative comments, in order to create a safe space for others who share in a similar experience. She seems to have zero tolerance for confidence and self-esteem of young people being destroyed before even having a chance to be fully formed, knowing what it was like for her while growing up.
But this video is one of her earliest; if you stick around her channel and watch some of her more recent stuff, you may notice some subtle differences in her facial structure, in her voice, in her confidence. Stef Sanjati is openly transgender, giving monthly updates on her transition since starting hormone replacement therapy. In each and every one of these update videos, she gives a bunch of disclaimers about how everyone’s transition will be different, because everyone’s body is different, and that if someone watching her video doesn’t see the same hormone-based changes that Stef is experiencing, or vice-versa, neither of them are transitioning “wrong,” it’s more because of the individual’s body chemistry. She also makes aware of lucky she is to live in Canada, where she does not have to walk around in fear merely existing out in the public sphere.
The way that Stef Sanjati presents her own narrative while acknowledging her own privileges, and choosing to educate those who may not share her same experiences is commendable. Stef “bread mom” Sanjati makes clear when answering questions during her Q&A videos which ones you should not ask to any other trans person because you’re encroaching on their privacy and is truly none of your business. She then answers these questions as much as she feels comfortable doing so, in order to try and educate those who may be genuinely curious, trying to understand more to be a better ally, etc.
Having a figure such as Stef Sanjati be accessible to a wide audience is important, and is something that she’s aware of. She loves being open and telling about her experience, and most importantly, she loves being able to validate the experiences of others. As she states in nearly all of her videos, she does not want anyone to see her videos as a “universal experience” since that doesn’t exist.