Jamie Pandit (she/her) is a digital creator, fashion expert, and influencer based out of Toronto. Her story of “living in stealth” for 16 years before publicly coming out as a transgender woman in 2020 touched the hearts of many. We chatted with Jamie about her story, her style, Pride, and what it means to be a good ally. You’re going to want to get to know her.
What inspired you to become a digital creator and share your story?
I’ve been creating on social media for years, at first hiding my transgender identity. It was never just about the outfit; it was about sharing my thoughts and perspectives and connecting with others. But from hiding my identity and seeing misrepresentation and lack of representation of transgender people, I internalized that transphobia. I wasn’t proud of who I was because I didn’t see people like me online. After coming out through a Youtube video, I realized there were so many others like me who didn’t feel seen or heard. There’s so much hate put on trans people for just existing. I saw that negative energy and decided it was important for me to not only exist but prove that transgender people can thrive and lead lives full of success and happiness. I also wanted to prove we deserve to exist in all spaces, including in this “influencer” world, where we haven’t always been included. By sharing my story I’m hoping to normalize our identities, livelihoods, and unique experiences.
"By sharing my story I’m hoping to normalize our identities, livelihoods, and unique experiences.“
Are there any aspects of the LGBTQ2S+ community that you wish were more common knowledge? Or things about Pride that you wish more people knew about?
It takes time to for people to understand the difference between gender identity and sexual identity. Being transgender has to do with one’s gender identity not matching the sex assigned at birth. It’s also important to understand that the LGBTQ2S+ community is not a monolith. We have shared and individual experiences despite all belonging to the “queer” community. Pride isn’t for a day or a month. It’s more than the rainbows, parades, fun parties, and drag shows. As LGBTQ2S+ people, we have to consciously choose our happiness and take pride in who we are even when the world tells us to dim our light. Pride month can look different for every person. For some, Pride is a time to get together with kin—and other LGBTQ2S+ community members—to celebrate boldly and proudly. For others, it’s a time to really focus on advocacy work and to call for the action needed to inspire necessary change. Pride can also encourage people to reflect on how they can be better allies and support the community. For LGBTQ2S+ members who have not come out to themselves or others, Pride can be a time to step out of their comfort zone and into a space where they can start to be who they really are.
"Pride isn’t for a day or a month. It’s more than the rainbows, parades, fun parties, and drag shows. As LGBTQ2S+ people, we have to consciously choose our happiness and take pride in who we are even when the world tells us to dim our light."
What is the biggest or most common misconception about trans people?
It would have to be that transgender people have a “mental illness,” or that they are confused and don’t know who they are. We do know who we are but are often afraid to explore and be ourselves because of the policing, marginalization, and oppression of trans people. A trans person knows who they are better than any stranger ever can. Cisgender and transgender people may have different experiences but trans people’s experiences are still valid and legitimate. One doesn’t have to take away from the other.
Why did it feel right for you to be a part of this specific campaign?
It’s an honour to be part of this campaign because, after coming out in 2020 and not being able to celebrate Pride during the pandemic, it feels special to be seen and celebrated. As I get older, I’ve started appreciating jewellery for how it reminds me of special moments in time. I’ll remember celebrating this year’s Pride through this campaign.
Although Pride month is important to celebrate, this Prism Sparkle collection will be available year-round with proceeds donated to the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (CCGSD). I love that you can share the magic of Pride with anybody throughout the year and keep donations going to a good cause.
What can we do as allies to show support to the trans community?
Society, medical knowledge, and science are evolving—we need to evolve as well. There are so many harmful myths that contribute to transphobia and continue to put the lives of trans people at risk. An important part of allyship is critically thinking about what you hear and read, and how you address your own biases. With the existence of harmful anti-trans bills and policies, we need the support of allies more than ever. You can use your voice to dispel harmful misconceptions and call out transphobic comments and behavior when you witness it.
"An important part of allyship is critically thinking about what you hear and read, and how you address your own biases.“
What builds or represents community for you?
Community to me is based on respect, kindness, love, and shared attributes. The community that I have built online through my platform is based on connection. I typically connect with people through their authenticity and vulnerability.
How would you describe your personal style?
My style is always evolving depending on how I feel. I draw from different experiences, what’s happening in my life, and of course trends! At its core, I’d say my personal style is bold, bohemian and ethereal glam goddess.
How does adding jewellery to an outfit, or fashion in general, make you feel like you're embracing your brightest, boldest self and standing in your power?
I’ve always loved bright colours, but in the last year my outfits have been even more vibrant and bold. I’ve been especially drawn to rainbow and the shades of pink, white, and blue that represent the trans flag. I lived in stealth for over half my life and now I just want to celebrate with colour and sparkle.
In the last few years, I’d gotten used to wearing simpler jewellery but felt like something was missing from my outfits. Now I’m adding and layering jewellery and it’s really elevated my style and made me feel more put together. This collection specifically shows off my Pride and gives me that feel-good energy to step into my day.
What life (or fashion!) advice would you give your younger self and why?
I would’ve told my younger self that I was proud of her for doing what felt right in the moment and staying authentic. All through my life I tried to fit in so I wouldn’t stand out, but my style was always bold. My energy radiated. I’m glad I never changed that about myself because I was born to sparkle.
"All through my life I tried to fit in so I wouldn’t stand out, but my style was always bold. My energy radiated. I’m glad I never changed that about myself because I was born to sparkle.”
If we asked your loved ones what makes you Sparkle, what would they tell us?
I asked my husband this question and he said, “your big heart.”
Writing: Carter Selinger