Euphoria's Hunter Schafer says it took "bravery" growing up trans in a conservative state
24 February 2022, 15:02 | Updated: 24 February 2022, 15:22
"Everyone’s expected to act a certain way and there’s traditional, conservative, gender roles and cultural expectations."
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There's no denying that Hunter Schafer is one of the most successful models and actresses of her generation. Whether she is walking the runway for Prada or playing Jules in Euphoria, she never fails to wow fans with her talent. However, before Hunter became a household name, she was a high school student with big dreams in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Now, Hunter has revealed what that was like and how it took "a little bravery" to be her authentic trans self as a teenager.
Speaking to i-D about growing up trans in a traditional neighbourhood, Hunter said: "I have to be honest – I was not thrilled! Everything I was interested in was happening in big cities. And it’s all I wanted, all the time… I had these really vivid dreams of what I wanted to achieve." Hunter originally wanted to become a fashion designer before rising to fame.
Talking about Raleigh in particular, Hunter then added: "As far as growing up in places where everyone’s expected to act a certain way and there’s traditional, conservative, gender roles and cultural expectations… having to work in opposition to those is weirdly something I’m thankful for."
Hunter continued: "It takes a little bit of bravery to step out, to be like, okay, I don’t look like anybody else around here. I am making the conscious decision to present myself the way I want to today, and no one’s really going to fuck with it, but I fuck with it. And that’s all that matters."
Hunter ended by saying that she took solace in comic books and graphic novels at the time: "The protagonists are always the odd one out, which is probably a relatable feeling for a lot of queer kids or trans kids that grew up somewhere where there’s no one like you."
As well as being a model and an actress, Hunter has been a prominent trans activist since she was in high school. In 2017, she was a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against North Carlolina's discriminatory bathroom bill "which sought to force trans people to use the bathrooms of the gender they were assigned at birth".
In an essay for i-D at the time, Hunter called out the bill for appealing "to a public still clinging to the gender binary and fearful depictions of those who reside outside of it".
Read more about Euphoria here:
- Euphoria's Hunter Schafer says she questioned Elliot's storyline in season 2 at first
- Hunter Schafer reveals why she initially said no to playing Jules in Euphoria
- Euphoria's Hunter Schafer wants to make a movie about two trans girls falling in love
- Euphoria season 3: Release date, cast, spoilers and news about the HBO series