Growing up, Otti hated their developing body, but didn’t understand why. They didn’t feel like a boy or girl, but they had no words for it. Over time, they began to understand that they were a nonbinary person and started making changes to their body to align it with their gender identity.
Growing up in upstate New York, Christina didn’t feel safe coming out as a lesbian. Once she moved to Chicago, she finally felt free to be herself, but there were no dedicated spaces for women. Together with a friend, she launched Back Lot Bash 15 years ago, now one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ women’s events.
When Rocky considered transitioning genders, he thought it might be too late and wasn’t sure if he’d ever meet a partner who accepted him fully. Luckily he found Sarah, a queer woman, and together they work to be visible as an interracial trans-cis couple.
When Aydian realized he was transgender, in an effort to feel less alone, he started a YouTube channel. It gained popularity, eventually helping him become the first trans man on the cover of Men’s Health. This is his story of embracing his identity, creating resources for the trans community, and starting a family.
Throughout her transition, Emily didn’t have enough community, support, or information. So she’s dedicated herself to helping the transgender community by demanding changes at her college, joining a nonprofit board, sharing her story far and wide, and launching her career in politics.
After a rough childhood, Alex was forced into homelessness. Helping hands got him off the streets, and he now gives back by volunteering as Sister Dottie Bair with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and working to end youth homelessness.
Larry “Lare” Nelson moved to San Francisco in the 1970s and had a ball. Several years later, the AIDS pandemic struck and he lost most of his friends. These losses, coupled with his mother’s passion for giving back, launched him full-force into volunteerism.
By the time Noel realized she was gay, she was deeply involved in the Catholic church. She was eventually forced to resign as a college campus minister, and while this was extremely painful, she has cultivated a new sense of spirituality and purpose.
Jessica, who has a love for activism and youth leadership programs, and her wife Kayla, who grew up attending summer camp, have married their passions to create Camp Brave Trails: a leadership camp for LGBTQ youth.
When Trystan, a trans man, wanted to build his family, he decided to have a child biologically despite the social risks and personal challenges. Here’s what it was like for him and his partner.