My message is love
They say it’s best to avoid talking about religion and politics so as not to offend anyone. If I held my tongue every time there was potential for someone to find what I have to share offensive, I’d never speak publicly again. Having said that, it is my goal to offer useful information, insight and opinion in thoughtful, respectful ways least likely to be off-putting. When I get things wrong, I’m always grateful to be called on it. Feedback and criticism are welcome and appreciated. Some seek to shame and control people. My passion is to enlighten, inspire and empower, starting with you…
Religious denial of service
You may recall reports of Christian owned bakeries refusing service to gay and lesbian couples, citing religious beliefs. A few years ago, these reports were heavily debated in the news and social media. To some, the whole argument might seem trivial, I mean, why not just do business with another bakery, right? That’s not the point, but for most people it may seem like a complete non-issue. However, the consequences extend well beyond what appears deceptively simple on the surface.
Continue reading Separation of Church and State of Mind – Discrimination Masquerading as Religious Freedom & Superiority
On July 19, 2016, politician and former presidential candidate Ben Carson referred to transgender people as the “height of absurdity” (see video clip). His disparaging remarks were met by the audience with laughter and applause. On August 7, 2016, I addressed Mr. Carson’s poor behavior during an event called “Breaking Bread, Building Bridges“.
Continue reading Addressing Ben Carson’s Transphobic Remarks in a Public Forum
The December/January issue of The Empty Closet is honoring a mother and her transgender daughter for their volunteer work with the Gay Alliance and efforts to make the world a better place. If you haven’t figured it out yet, that’s my mother and I. :)
From coming out to volunteering
On January 16, 2014, I came out to my mother as a trans woman. Earlier that day, I had just completed my second (or third?) public presentation about LGBTQ awareness and education. Mom took the news rather well, commenting: “I always wanted to have a daughter!”.
She had a lot of questions about what it means to be transgender. We talked for about 2 or 3 hours the day I came out. Eager to gain more insight about her trans daughter and learn as much as she could about the diversity within the LGBTQIA, Mom started volunteering at the Gay Alliance as an office worker.
Continue reading Recognition for a Mother and Her Transgender Daughter (Me)
The Empty Closet is New York State’s oldest “gay newspaper”. I prefer to think of it as an LGBTQ focused publication, which it very much is. It’s published monthly by the Gay Alliance in Rochester, NY. Don’t let the name “Gay Alliance” fool you, either. They’re tapped into the whole alphabet soup of the LGBTQIA… not just the “G”. In my opinion, it’s more about the “H” than anything. The H is for human being, which is what we ALL are, regardless of how many of the other letters apply (or don’t apply).
Editor and photographer Susan Jordan reached out and asked if I’d be interested in being featured in the “My Own Private Rochester” column for November, 2014. I was honored by the request and pushed the “let’s do this” button without hesitation.
Susan learned of me through my work with the Gay Alliance as an active member of their Speaker’s Bureau. To date (as of making this post), I’ve talked publicly about LGBTQ issues and realities on more than 30 occasions. This includes LGBTQ panels, SafeZone training, transgender-specific and general diversity presentations.
Continue reading An Interview with Yours Truly in “The Empty Closet” and Speaking Publicly About LGBTQ
Rising to Your Greatness, Sharing Your Journey and Transforming the World
A Community Discussion with Gabrielle Hermosa on Saturday, September 20, 2014 @ 6:30 PM.
About the event
Life can seem hectic, stressful and unfair. Social inequalities, separatism and disparities have many of us feeling helpless, lost, alone and without options.
But we’re NOT alone. We’re all in this world together. By making changes in the way we think, feel and act, we can turn things around and super-charge our lives. Working together we can build strong, uplifting, supportive communities. By rising to our greatness, sharing our gifts, passions and journeys, we have the power to transform the world and make it a better place for everyone.
Continue reading Rising to Your Greatness: A Community Discussion with Gabrielle Hermosa
Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend a screening of the documentary “Just Gender“. It was shown at the Little Theatre downtown, Rochester, NY.
The film explores various myths and misconceptions about transgender people. It was very interesting to learn about experiences shared by some of the people interviewed, that closely resemble my own. Things such as creating a “character” for oneself (of the socially expected gender role prior to coming out) in order to fit in and having to come out to people a second time after figuring out one’s true identity, really hit close to home. I was impressed with the very polished, informative presentation, and the depth of the people interviewed, offering a realistic look into many of the dangers and challenges we face in today’s society. Transgender people are shown as human beings, dealing with some very unique and difficult obstacles in life. I was almost brought to tears a few times.
Continue reading A Documentary About Transgender Realities and Addressing Public Questions
This past Saturday, March 22, 2014, I had an opportunity to speak about transgender realities at the University of Rochester. It was my 6th time talking publicly about transgender awareness and education.
A long time ago, in a hospital far, far away…
I start by telling my personal story: from birth to where I am today. It’s limited to key points in my life as they pertain to growing up different (trans) in a world that demands conformity and punishes those who fall outside “social norms”.
Some rather painful and emotionally devastating moments are shared. In contrast, I incorporate humor to keep things fresh, fun, and prevent the audience from loosing interest.
Continue reading Speaking About Transgender Realities at the University of Rochester