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Teddy Geiger made a name for herself as a rising teen star in the early 2000s but has remained behind the scenes in the music industry in recent years. Geiger made headlines in October when she announced that she is transitioning.
“I just feel more open,” Geiger told The New York Times on Thursday (July 5) about how announcing her transition has impacted her songwriting. “Because I’m willing to talk about everything now, people are then more open with me.”
Geiger revealed that she dealt with intense anxiety and developed obsessive-compulsive tendencies, as well as became dependent on marijuana and cigarettes, before her transition. She also found solace in painting her nails based on advice from an ex-girlfriend. “It was the only femininity that I was expressing, so I wanted it to be so perfect,” she said. “It was the only thing I could control.”
She said that she eventually entered a monthlong treatment program to address the problems. Geiger said that the program helped her “get to the bottom of the gender thing.”
“I can remember back to being 5 and looking in the mirror, feeling like a girl and wanting that,” she said. Geiger added that her hometown of Rochester, New York did not provide many of the resources necessary. “I’d never met a trans person before,” she said. Geiger credits the recent transgender visibility in pop culture as a crucial part of her journey and ultimate decision to transition.
“I threw away all my boys clothes and started wearing makeup,” she said about returning home from treatment. Geiger also quit smoking and said that she now spends her money on makeup and musical equipment.
Geiger also reflected on her early career and the emotional toll that went along with it. Following a stint on the VH1 competition show In Search of the Partridge Family, she signed a record deal and served as the opening act for Hilary Duff on tour. She then released her hit single “For You I Will (Confidence),” which led to a partnership with Procter & Gamble that painted her as a sex symbol to sell products like deodorant and makeup to women.
“I was going through adolescence and having sex for the first time, but it was in this really weird context,” she said. “I didn’t have a real support group.”
When she tried to take on a career as an actor, she found that the roles she was being put up for did not align with her personality. After making appearances in the musical comedy The Rocker and on the short-lived CBS show Love Monkey, Geiger did not feel she should be playing stereotypically masculine roles. “The only roles I had done were musician roles, and then they were sending me out for the lead in Spider-Man, or like, the military boy with a crew cut,” she said. “Um, it’s not going to work.”
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