“I know a lot of queer folks have been burned by the church, I totally understand why people are really confused when I tell them I love Jesus. Like, really, really confused. I get it, I grew up with the fire and brimstone stuff my whole life and it took me such a long time to unlearn that. For me, God is truly love and that's what He is for me. In fact, being non-binary only makes me feel closer to God, since God doesn't have a gender either (even though folks say He.)
My relationship with God is alive and thriving, bright and vibrant. I always hope that every new person I meet feels loved my me so they can get a glimpse of what His love does to someone.
I hope people never think that God and queerness are incompatible; Jesus was radical. His brand of love is radical. He queered so much of what religion was at the time and so much of it resonates with me.
However, I won't try to proselytize! Do you and connect to your God in whatever form you connect best with them. I just hope you approach your fellow humans with love & respect!” - Remy (Pronouns: they/them/their)
“When I was little, I always wondered: ‘Why am I a woman?’ and the only explanation I found was that God had made a mistake and had put me on the wrong line (I thought men and women were assigned a line in life according to their gender). So God had got distracted and had assigned me the wrong line and at the age of five. I thought I needed to meet someone who also had been assigned to the wrong line and who wanted to switch places.
Today I am thirty five years old, I’m a clinical psychologist and I work with sexual and gender diverse consultants in LIBERARTE (www.liberarte.co). I love being able to help them question their "assigned lines" in gender, sexuality and other life matters and to support them in their creative process of finding "new lines", stepping out of the line and building new pathways for their lives.
I am Colombian and I fight every day so that others can have better opportunities at designing their lives according to their own parameters.” -Simon Torres, Bogota, Colombia (pronouns: he/him/his)
Cuando era pequeño y pensaba "¿por qué seré mujer?", la única explicación que podía darme era que Dios se había equivocado de fila (yo pensaba que ser hombre o mujer era una asignación que te daban hacia una fila u otra). Dios se había despistado y me había asignado a la fila equivocada y a la edad de 5 años pensaba que necesitaba conocer a alguien a quien también lo hubieran acomodado en la fila equivocada y que quisiera cambiar conmigo de lugares.
Hoy a mis 35 años soy psicólogo clínico, psicoterapeuta, trabajo con personas sexualmente diversas en LIBERARTE (www.liberarte.co) y aliento a muchos a que cuestionen sus propias filas, a que creen filas nuevas y a que se salgan de la linea. Hoy, después de yo haber cuestionado mi propia fila, ayudo a otros a que construyan la suya.
Soy colombiano y lucho cada día para que muchos puedan tener más oportunidades de diseñar sus vidas de acuerdo con sus propios parámetros.
Aliento a todos y a todas a que se salgan de sus filas y se muevan de sus lugares para construir ese mundo en el que siempre han deseado vivir.
"A pronoun is just a sound to me and all I’m listening for in that sound is positivity. So call me what feels right or comfortable in the moment. I don’t let language be my prison- or definition. It’s just a sound, with intention, and the history of that sound is constantly being recreated every time it’s used. For me I feel we are already so limited by the need for food, shelter, water, oxygen, gravity and more... why would we limit ourselves any further if we can help it?
I respect that there are people who fought hard for the right to use their pronoun. he or She is more than a history- it’s a marker of a future. Of respect. So I respect it. It’s never been about the labels for me- it’s been about the limitations that come with the labels. And hopefully one day we can all be as limitless as one can be in this existence." -Rain Dove
"When I woke up in the recovery room after getting my breast implants, I looked down and was so excited and in disbelief that all my hard work over the years finally paid off. I was so excited. I was bandaged for a week, and when I finally saw them I was so thrilled and excited that I had finally made the next step into my womenhood. I just cried." -Monique Fontaine (pronouns: she/her/hers)
"There’s a lot of fear and uncertainty that goes along with transitioning. For me, I go back and forth about whether I want to go on testosterone. What will I look like? What will I sound like? Will people treat me differently? I think representation, especially on the internet helps. It gives us a semi-clear picture of what our futures will look like." -LB Branson (pronouns: they/them/their & he/him/his)
I’ve got this fighter instinct in me. I’ve had in since I was a kid. I think it’s because my mom has lupus and I’ve seen her fighting for her life since I was an infant. At age 13, when I lost hearing in my left ear and was sick in the hospital hooked up on morphine and Toradol, doctors thought I wouldn’t be able to walk or even lift my head up straight again. I never gave up though. I figured out how to crawl and then eventually with enough self love and determination, I figured out how to walk again. I’ve been sick and close to death for a lot of my life but I keep fighting. Some things have gotten better and some things haven’t but I know one thing for sure, things got easier to deal with. I just have to continue to do everything I can to better myself and help myself. Giving up is not an option for me. Life is too good and precious. I’m grateful I’m here and I’ll stay for as long as I can." -Ryan Cassata (Pronouns: he/him/his)
"My life as a Trans Woman has been a long, difficult, but interesting road for me. I started my transition when "transgender" was not a word on everyone's lips. People were not as informed or educated to what it all meant. People will always look at you and draw their own conclusion, regardless if they know your story or not. I've always looked at myself in this manner… "My trans body is just a small part of what makes me different, but a HUGE part of what makes me unique " -Laila Lancing (pronouns: she/her/hers)
"I didn't really start living my life till after 30. Nothing had ever made sense before I started physical transition. As a result, I spent my adolecense and 20's crippled by mental health issues, but always wanted more from my life. I could not imagine what it would be like to be happy, or without constant anxiety. All I had was a love of music and a desire to do something to make the world a better place. About 5 years ago, I met my first drag queen friends in Albany. Drag culture inspired me to start learning how to accept and empower myself. One day, a queen asked me to DJ her show. It didn't take me long to realize I'd found my calling. I was the only trans guy I knew in the scene at that time, but they accepted me. For the first time, I started feeling like there was a place I could belong. Since then, I have chased my dream of making a career out of DJ'ing, so that I can create these experiences for others. At nearly 37, I am finally grateful to be alive and although life continues to be challenging, I wouldn't have it any other way. I hope my story can be one of encouragement. When you learn to love and believe in yourself, life becomes possible." -Jake MacMillan (pronouns: he/him/his)
"I remember the summer of 2012 when my friend sat me down one evening and said, 'I think you would do really well on hormones.' My PTSD kicked in as I remembered the first time I realized I was trans; I dropped out of college, became homeless to avoid going back into conversion therapy with my parents, and moved across country where my friends abandoned me after I was sexually assaulted. I took a moment to breathe as her words sunk in. My friend is a trans femme herbalist like myself, so I could not deflect with my typical rant about using plants to transition. Everything I had tried, she had done ten times over. We talked all night and as she told me about her journey my fear began to shift. She didn't force me into anything and accepted that everyone's transition is unique to them. Instead, I feel like she passed the torch on to me. I began to believe that another way was possible, another way was real. At the time, I was in such a state of self neglect and denial that I was abusing the people I loved the most. I knew that I could not run anymore: I had to take care of myself. But I ran anyway. I bounced around the country, continuing to put others before myself until I hit rock bottom, surrounded by people who had no love to give. A close friend rescued me from that scene and I went to the city I swore I'd never set foot in: New York City. Miss New York welcomed me with tired, weary arms and I, yearning to breathe free, fell in love with the island forest overnight. Navigating the medical system was tough but worth it, I'll put it that way. But I will never forget beginning HRT -- it was the first time in two decades that I could fall asleep with ease. I'm not saying that everything was perfect after that, hormones did not fix all the broken parts of myself or mend the hurts I had inflicted. But it made room for healing to begin." -Jacqualin Keeling (pronouns: she/per/pers)
"My trans journey finds refuge & strength in so many domains. Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) inspires me to dance, sing, connect with the Universe across multiple dimensions. Integrating TEK with the arts, activism, community building & decolonizing notions of gender diversity - I look forward to collaborating on these & much more. You interested?" -Houston Cypress (pronouns: they/them/their & he/him/his)
"It's hard to be a Black Transman in America. You have to worry about perception all the time. Is someone judging me because of my race or my gender? I try to take life as it comes and do my best to be true to myself." -Cameron Campbell (pronouns: he/him/his)
"I grew up in a small town in Mississippi where everyone knew each other. When I was a baby, my two older sisters use to dress me up in girls clothes and I felt so comfortable. Every year on Halloween, I would dress as a girl, but then I would come home and see the person who I didn't want to be. Finally at the age of 15, I told my mother I couldn't take it anymore and I had to do what made me happy or I was going to end my life. Transitioning as a teenager in the South was very difficult. I had just started high school and I got teased every day because I was different, but I made it through. When I was 19, I got arrested for giving a cop my preferred name (which is my now legal name) and it was really scary. " -Aubrey Fioranelli (pronouns: she/her/hers)
"There are some people who say, “Your life experiences depends on your values, morals, and beliefs ” I say it’s about the risk you choose to take without analyzing the consequences. I decided to transition later in life due to fears of not wanting to bring shame/disappointment to those closest to me.
Over the years society has learned every transgender person transitions at their own rate. In fact this rate isn’t monitored by calendar days, rather your own personal clock. My transition has been slow due to a lack of funds, resources, politics, and a general lack of understanding from others.
I’m not living my life for your approval nor am I telling you to show me disrespect because you don’t agree. I am who I am whether you see as a woman, transgender woman, a man in women’s clothes, pretender etc. Please don’t make assumptions about me, take the courage to get to truly know me. Please don’t expect me to be like any other transgender person, individuality is the greatest gift of life.
No matter your definition of me, it doesn’t matter. I set my life’s journey according to my beliefs and I welcome you to join me on my journey." - Allegra Layton (pronouns: she/her/hers)
"In 4th grade I had my communion and i cried and cried to my parents to allow me to wear a tuxedo like the boys. I always hated dresses and didn't want my first professional photos to have me in a white puffy dress. So, as good parents do, they bribed me. They bought me the Nintendo game "Jaws" for me to stop crying and wear the damn dress!. Although I hate seeing those pics, I still love that video game. Luckily, my parents now are more then happy to see me rocking a nice suit." -AJ Mattioli (pronouns: he/him/his)
"This city is slowing enveloping in it's womb and birthing me into the world again. My shell has been completely shattered and the scars of my past have faded away. My once broken bones have grown stronger and I'm so ready to take on this new chapter in my life. Being trans in this city has it's pros and cons but it allows for so much more personal growth than anywhere else in the world." -Brandy-Alexander (pronouns: she/her/hers)
"The longer I’ve been on Testosterone, the less that the medical and physical part of my transition takes up the forefront of my mind. At 11 months into my transition from female to male, I’ve begun to focus more on my relationship with the world at large and how I fit in socially and culturally. Finding my new place in the world and how I relate to others is actually more confusing than it sounds. As a “lesbian” I kind of flew under the radar. I was always masculine presenting even before my transition, so I never got cat-called by men because they weren’t sexually attracted to me. I also could be a smart ass because men couldn’t publicly “hit a girl”. The more I start to “pass” as male the more I wonder out of curiosity how other people perceive me, especially men. I identify as a straight Transman, but I have found that a lot of people see me as a gay male, which is apparently common among FTMs. I have also noticed heightened male aggression towards me for no reason." -Max Skraff (pronouns: he/him/his)
"I remember the summer of 2012 when my friend sat me down one evening and said, 'I think you would do really well on hormones.' My PTSD kicked in as I remembered the first time I realized I was trans; I dropped out of college, became homeless to avoid going back into conversion therapy with my parents, and moved across country where my friends abandoned me after I was sexually assaulted. I took a moment to breathe as her words sunk in. My friend is a trans femme herbalist like myself, so I could not deflect with my typical rant about using plants to transition. Everything I had tried, she had done ten times over. We talked all night and as she told me about her journey my fear began to shift. She didn't force me into anything and accepted that everyone's transition is unique to them. Instead, I feel like she passed the torch on to me. I began to believe that another way was possible, another way was real. At the time, I was in such a state of self neglect and denial that I was abusing the people I loved the most. I knew that I could not run anymore: I had to take care of myself. But I ran anyway. I bounced around the country, continuing to put others before myself until I hit rock bottom, surrounded by people who had no love to give. A close friend rescued me from that scene and I went to the city I swore I'd never set foot in: New York City. Miss New York welcomed me with tired, weary arms and I, yearning to breathe free, fell in love with the island forest overnight. Navigating the medical system was tough but worth it, I'll put it that way. But I will never forget beginning HRT -- it was the first time in two decades that I could fall asleep with ease. I'm not saying that everything was perfect after that, hormones did not fix all the broken parts of myself or mend the hurts I had inflicted. But it made room for healing to begin." - Dezjorn Gauthier (pronouns: he/him/his)
"Survival is worth it. Twenty nine years ago, when I was sent off to be 'cured', I never thought I would be happily married, because I was sure nobody could love me. Nineteen years ago, when homeless, I didn't imagine I'd have beautiful children, because I was too far out of the norm. After many failed starts, I finally got help, support, pills, and hands up to bring about my transformation into the woman I am today; accomplished theater professional, mother, wife, and valued community member. Survival is worth it." - Ael Lotterle (pronouns: she/her/hers)