Ian Murphy, 20

Grand St at Broadway

Ian Murphy
Ian Murphy

Photograph by Jay Muhlin

"This is the first time I've dyed my hair since I was 14. I needed a change."

What are you up to? I'm job hunting.

Oh yeah? What are you looking to do? Um, anything.

Really? Anything anything? [Laughs] Yeah. Well, hopefully something remotely interesting. But I'm getting to the point that I'll take just about whatever I can get.

How long have you been sporting the 'do? Not long. It's a Mohawk, but I just have it brushed to the side today.

Do you cultivate an androgynous look? I'd rather that than come off feminine. I consider myself transgender. Eventually I'll be starting hormone therapy. I'm not very far along yet because I couldn't do anything while I was living with my family—they wouldn't let me live at home if I made any changes to my body.

So do you see gender as being on a gradient rather than as a black-and-white sort of thing? Yes. We expect people to fit under these definitions of man and woman, and I don't necessarily think that a lot of people actually do.

Are you dating? I've had my girlfriend for a couple years now.

How does she feel knowing that her partner is going to change sexes? She actually already respects me as being male. She has the entire time. She considers herself pansexual, which is how I consider myself too. It's pretty much the equivalent of being gender-blind. You can fall in love with a man or a woman, a transgender or anyone outside of those genders. And it's different from being bi, because you're not limited to two sexes.

Is there a community of pangender people? Online, yes, but I haven't met a lot of people in person.

Where are they hiding? [Laughs] I have no idea.--Kate Lowenstein