I believe I came upon Christian’s blog, “Translating Gender” back in June while looking for some posts about Pride Month.
While reading some of his posts I could feel his emotion as he wrote about his journey. So several days ago I asked Christian if I could interview him.
Following is Christian’s Interview. I feel you will see a man who has had his battles, still is.
Christian’s Interview for RTS
Christian tell the readers and myself something about you that is not found on your About Page.
I am a life coach, writer, traveler. I wander for the sake of wandering and wondering. For the longest time I thought I wanted to figure out who I am but I realize that identity is a moving target, or maybe not even a target at all, rather; identity is somewhat of an illusion. We all have everything inside of us and I have chosen exactly who I want to be although I’d rather enjoy the journey instead of living my life as a means to an end. I believe that, what we focus on expands. I want to make a difference in this world. I love astrology and I feel most in tune with myself when traveling and in fact, I have a road trip planned in October. Stay tuned!
Why did you start a blog? What is your goal or expectation for your blog in the future?
When I first started the blog, it was a personal challenge to share myself, be less private, and “put myself out there”. I have always been extremely private and by hiding myself I was hiding an opportunity to have a positive impact on people. I wanted to conquer my own fear of judgement in order to be seen. By being vulnerable, I gift others the opportunity to allow themselves to be vulnerable. This promotes deeper connections and I thrive off of intense, deep, transformative periods of growth. I wanted to transcend boundaries- the boundaries people impose on themselves and also between each other. I wanted to get people thinking that we are all more alike than different.
Eventually, I want to compile all the posts into a book to get published. My hope is that my story can help others feel a little less alone and bring all people together.
Initially, I was obsessed with reaching as many people as possible but now I realize that if I can positively influence the life of one person, I have achieved success by my own definition.
Can you tell the readers and myself Christian, what it means to be transgender and how does it differ from all others in the LGBTQ community?
Being transgender means that I did not (and do not) identify with the gender assigned to me at birth. I was labeled as female at birth which they determined only by genitalia but I identify and feel like a man, not a woman. Transgender is a spectrum not a binary meaning people can identify as a man, a woman, both or neither and fall somewhere on a diverse spectrum. Being transgender relates to gender as opposed to gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. which relate to sexual orientation. Sexual orientation and gender are two different things.
When did you realize that you were different and are transgender?
I actually did not realize it until 2013 around the age of 30. I did not come out until the age of 36. I had a happy childhood and had all the normal milestones and successes and did not really know what being transgender actually meant. I did not have a concept or the language to understand or articulate that a person could identify as the opposite gender from the one they were socialized and raised as. It took 5 years for me to fully understand my transgender identity so that helped me to have an immense amount of compassion now for those who do not understand me or people like me.
I guess I am “different” but everyone is different and that is what makes us alike and beautiful. People are afraid of what they don’t understand but when you remove all the societal or self-imposed labels, it is clear that we are all connected by universal human emotions and energy.
How did you break the news to family, friends, and co-workers?
Coming out to family was hard; coming out to myself was harder. As far as coming out to family, there is never a perfect time to do it. It came down to biting the bullet and stepping into the unknown. I actually emailed my parents and sent a written letter via mail to my grandmother. I told some of my co-workers one-to-one and also had a team meeting. Most importantly, coming out was a process not a definitive moment in time. I “came out” to my girlfriend over a period of years which entailed a process of “testing the waters” and ongoing conversations as my understanding and self-awareness developed. It was difficult to articulate something that I didn’t fully understand myself.
What type of reactions did you hear? Which one those reactions shocked you?
Some people said “Oh you don’t seem like a boy.” Others thought it could be a phase. Fortunately, most people were supportive and were happy for me that I my authentic self was now on display and saw coming out as brave. Nothing shocked me but I was pleasantly surprised by how supportive people were. As humans, I guess we tend to worry about the worst-case scenario which can be paralyzing. In reality, I felt like I gave loved ones the opportunity to expand their minds, their worldview, and their sense of compassion for those who are different from them. I also felt like people were better able to see their own sense of bravery through me.
Do you have a robust support system in place? Can you explain where you draw support from?
In September 2017 I started seeing a therapist – Dr. April Owen who had a profound effect on my life. She believed in me and affirmed my gender identity. After 5 years of working through internalized transphobia and the feeling that I could be crazy, she made me feel normal. With her support, I was able to transition and words cannot convey how grateful I am to her. If I could change just one person’s life in the way that she changed mine, I would die a happy person. This is one of the reasons I chose to go into life coaching. I also feel so much gratitude for my partner as she has stood by me through everything and with her support, I was able to transition without feeling like I could loose her. Our process was not an easy one but she is open-minded and loves me as a person so whether I looked like a man or woman did not matter to her. I am full of gratitude for her. Her support bolstered my confidence to trust my truth of self. We have been happily together for nine years! My parents love me unconditionally so that provided a foundation of support as well.
Name one myth, if you can correct it for the readers and myself?
Myth#1: Transgender people all live unhappy, abnormal lives devoid of healthy relationships. False. Many transgender people live successful, happy, fulfilling lives and enjoy good relationships, meaningful jobs and friendships just like everyone else. Trans people are normal people.
Myth#2: You can spot a transgender person. False. Many times, you cannot tell the difference between a trans person and a non-trans person. You have probably met a transgender person without even knowing it.
What type of support would you tell somebody that wants to take the step to live as transgender?
Get a gender-affirming therapist, counselor or life coach who specializes in transgender issues. Meet other transgender people in your community or at least online, through Facebook groups for example. Being around other transgender people is important in normalizing transgender and also feeling a sense of solidarity. Become mindful and develop good boundaries. Know that your transgender journey can be different from everyone else’s and there is no right or wrong way to be transgender. Be cognizant of your negative self-talk; you are worthy, you are normal, you are good enough, and you have the bravery and confidence to live life as your authentic being despite what society thinks of you!
Where do you see your life going as a transgenderin the future?
I feel like the possibilities are endless and this is the most exciting and empowering feeling. If I have the courage to come out as transgender, I believe I have the courage to do anything. I believe that everyone has the courage to be who they want to be! Right now, I am focusing on my life coaching business so that I can help other transgender people and parents of transgender children. I eventually want to write and have books published and also partner with other transgender people in the community to make the biggest impact possible. I have a passion for helping society to re-frame how we think about being transgender and normalizing the transgender experience. Transgender people are ahead of the times and I with a compassionate mindset, I want to help the rest of society catch up. Adopting a wider perspective on gender not only liberates trans people, it liberates all people from self-limiting definitions of existence.
If there is someone reading this wants to talk with you can they email you, or any other type of communication?
Yes, I can be reached by email at:
Facebook: Out and Proud Life Coaching
I truly hope that you found Christian’s story enlightening. Now take a minute a read his posts at: Translating Transgender
Christian, thank you so much for this interview. You provided us insight concerning transgender!
I am looking for others to interview. If that is you send a message by using the Contact Page. Looking forward to hearing from you!