Minty Yukime has changed a lot over the last decade.
She was 21 when one of her friends from high school came out as transgender, something which Minty hadn’t heard of before. It wasn’t much longer until her partner at the time “was toying with the idea of being non-binary or transmasculine.”
The whirlwind of college had thrusted her into a much more open and accepting environment, and it gave her the space to explore her own identity.
“I thought to myself ‘you know, there might be something there, but it would be too inconvenient to deal with.’ I told myself that for a good year and a half, before it started to become apparent to me that actually I don’t have the choice to ignore this,” she laughed.
Now at 29, Minty Yukime is a trans icon in the VTubing space. Having made content as a facecam streamer for some time before getting a virtual form, she has been incredibly open about her growth over the last four years.
Content creation isn’t just an outlet for her creativity. It’s a way of being a potential role model to youngsters who are questioning their gender identity but don’t have the resources to truly understand that journey.
“I really would have benefitted from getting the chance to see some trans people in my media when I was younger and benefitted from getting the chance to look into ‘hey what if I got HRT earlier in my life and got as many surgeries as I needed to get to where I am?’
“I just really want to put myself out there and be one example of what I wanted to see in the world. I wanted to be a content creator who is openly trans and shares my experiences so who knows, maybe someone sees me and learns what a trans person is. Maybe they learn ‘well she’s happy with herself, maybe I could be happy with myself.’”
Minty has done that through extensive documenting of her experience from the start of her transition. Whether it be the effects of HRT on her body, or what goes into voice feminization and ‘bottom surgery’, she’s been an open book and putting together a resource for other trans folk to use on their own journeys.
But as much as it’s beneficial for the wider trans community, the process of journaling the transition has been cathartic for her.
“I had fun just documenting it knowing this is cool and it’s great to see my own journey and great to see I’m getting to be who I want to be. To see so many people like you see it and be moved by it and talk to me or want to learn about the process or more about trans people.
“I hoped I could be a good role model and be ‘successful’ so I could reach more people and have that kind of effect. It’s been a really pleasant experience and I’m happy for it.”
VTubing has opened it up even further for her. While for many creators they can just experiment with unrealistic characteristics on a model, trans people can get some level of visual affirmation with a model that aligns with their desired gender.
That’s an incredibly powerful tool: “You can choose to get a model that looks exactly how you are and is exactly like you in real life, but it’s extremely rare that people do that. I find people who aren’t trans will get models that have animal traits or different hair colors or whatever traits they feel like, and that in and of itself is kind of trans.
“For trans people, it is a great tool for exploration and getting to learn about yourself. You can suddenly just have this perfect version of yourself you maybe never thought you could have before, and that opens up a lot of opportunities for self-exploration.”
All this has made Minty into the person she has always wanted to be.
“Back before I started I was a lot more quiet, reserved, I wasn’t very confident. I had a lot of big aspirations for the future, but I never really acted on any of them. I was a lot more quiet a person. I wasn’t as outgoing, or friendly, or bubbly, or excitable.
“The Minty you know today—the excitable, magnetic version of me—is a culmination of all of that. I feel like a different person than when I started four years ago.
“It’s one of those things where if you ask yourself ‘if you got to go back in time, how crazy would your past self think you are now?’ For some people that answer isn’t all that crazy, but for me, I wouldn’t recognize myself. It’s that drastic. It’s been that much of a change and a journey for me.
“I’m really happy with where I’ve gotten to be, happy with myself, and I’m grateful for the chance to transition, be a content creator, have my supportive poly partners. It’s all been really good. It’s been a really good time.”
Learn more about Minty Yukime’s story in her Behind The Model episode below.