Tag Archives: lgbtq

Writing for Rochester Woman Online – “All About the H”

Just as 2016 was coming to a close, a cool and exciting new opportunity came knocking at my door. I was invited to join the writing team of Rochester Woman Online (formerly Rochester Woman Magazine). The publication started the new year moving from printed magazine to digital distribution.

My contribution will be a monthly column called: “All About the H” Please take a few minutes to read the first entry featured in the January edition: Meeting Life’s Challenges as Growth Opportunities. My biggest challenge in life has been being a transgender woman in a world that doesn’t understand what “transgender” means. I share how I turned this challenge into a rewarding career path as a public speaker and human rights advocate.
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Transition Transmission: Episode 71 Gabbing Gabby is Back!

Transition Transmission PodcastI was invited to join podcasters: Amber, Tibby and Ramona for Episode 71 of Transition Transmission. It was an honor and joy to join the Transgender Trio for my third appearance on their entertaining and informative podcast.

Show topics:

  • I talk about public speaking, personal history, family and the complicated relationship with my wife
  • The potential social impact of trans model Carmen Carrera getting married on reality TV
  • Caitlyn Jenner’s remark about trans women who look like a “man in a dress”
  • A 46 year old trans woman living as a 6 year old girl
  • Discussion about a woman who claims Star Wars is racist

I’ve been a big fan of Transition Transmission since discovering it about a year and a half ago. Give it a listen and I bet you’ll become a fan, too! One of my favorite things about the show is that they’re not all about trans stuff, all the time. In addition to intelligent and thoughtful discussion about the latest transgender news, there’s plenty of humor, fun, geek-talk, banter and off-topic side discussions.

Website: Transition Transmission
iTunes: Transition Transmission
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Transition Transmission #62: Caitlyn Jenner, Does Passing Matter, Transrace and Diverse Opinions

Transition Transmission PodcastAs stated on the official website: “Transition Transmission is a podcast by, and for, transgender people. We are also a transgender and lgbt news conduit. Our mission is to push for transgender rights, visibility of transgender women and men, and let our readers and listeners know what’s going on in the world.”

I highly encourage you to listen to episode 62 of the podcast for thought provoking, in-depth exploration and discussion about Caitlyn Jenner’s big reveal in the Vanity Fair glamor spread earlier this month.

In this episode, I had the honor of joining the Transgender Trio, along with Bunny, as a guest during the roundtable discussion about Caitlyn Jenner and a variety of topics, including “transrace” and Sense8. It was fun and exciting to be on the podcast and add my thoughts and feelings to the mix. I’m so very grateful for the opportunity! Apologies for the poor quality of my audio (due to hardware issues on my end). I was able to remedy the problem after the recording was in the can. Doh!

Podcast discussion points
Do looks matter? Would there have been a different reaction if Caitlyn wasn’t as glamorous? Is passing important? Caitlyn thinks so – do you? Is Caitlyn a hero? Is she a good representative for the trans community? Is all the publicity about Caitlyn Jenner a good thing or a bad thing for transgender people?

Much of the episode revolves around Caitlyn Jenner and the very diverse thoughts and feelings evoked by the recent explosion of publicity. This serves as a springboard for important discussions about the underlying issues that many within the transgender population feel so passionate about: positive, negative and everything in-between. There’s more going on than just Caitlyn-talk and you’ll find plenty of intriguing discussion contained within.

But don’t stop at just one episode – this podcast is a collection of coolness, informative, entertaining and all out fun. Transgender talk is just the tip of the iceberg.

Website: Transition Transmission
iTunes: Transition Transmission
Continue reading Transition Transmission #62: Caitlyn Jenner, Does Passing Matter, Transrace and Diverse Opinions

I’m Trans, I Don’t Pass, and Christmas Shopping at the Mall is a Breeze

Gabrielle in car 2012-12-20Almost daily, I hear accounts of transgender people having a difficult time in public, often being disparaged, laughed at, or otherwise treated poorly/different just for being trans. It used to be that way with me, too. It wasn’t long ago that I also experienced being laughed at and disparaged. Today however, it’s a pretty rare occurrence.

Christmas shopping is a pretty common activity. Most people do it, and their biggest complaint is finding a parking space. I’m happy to say that on this particular day, I had little trouble finding a good parking space at a local mall, packed as it was.

The reason I’m posting this is to draw attention to the very positive experiences I have out in public, and why I believe no one gives me a hard time anymore.

Passing isn’t everything
Within the very diverse transgender community, there is some debate as to whether or not it’s important, or even desirable to pass (ie: to look like a cisgender person; to not look trans). Some feel it is very important to pass, others don’t care, some don’t want to, and there are even those who look down upon trans people who do, want to, or go out of their way to pass.

Personally, I do want to pass. I want to look like an attractive cisgender woman to the rest of the world. There is no shame in being transgender. I’m rather proud to be trans and plan to continue speaking publicly to educate about trans realities. For me it’s a vanity thing, and I don’t care what anyone thinks of my desire to pass – good or bad.
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Recognition for a Mother and Her Transgender Daughter (Me)

Volunteers of the Month: Cille Haley and Gabrielle Hermosa

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.
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Meeting Laverne Cox and Attending Her Inspirational Talk

Gabrielle and Laverne Cox on October 18, 2014

On Saturday, October 18, 2014, I had the opportunity to attend a talk given by Laverne Cox at the University of Rochester. Prior to her talk, I was among a group of people to have a photo taken with her. My excitement level was through the roof and I was filled with gratitude!

Meeting Laverne Cox
When it was my turn to have my photo taken with Laverne, I entered the room where they were handling the pictures. Laverne was over to the right and I immediately went up to her and thanked her for all she’s done to raise positive awareness and educate people about transgender realities. “Your welcome.”, she replied.
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Rochester Pride 2014 Parade & Festival, from Fear to Cheer

Gabrielle in Pride Parade 2014-07-19
Image credit: unknown

Friday, July 18 through Sunday, July 20, I experienced my first (ever) Pride festival and parade. For three days, I was high on life, low on sleep, and filled with love, gratitude, and an emotional bliss I’m not sure how to describe. It was beautiful, just beautiful!

The photo above was taken on Saturday, July 19. That’s me in the top row, 4th from the left, flashing “I love you” in sign language. Not only did I attend my first Pride Parade, but I was also in it, riding on the first ever official transgender float to grace the RocPride Parade. Represented were several trans organizations, including: The Q Center (Syracuse, NY), Genesee Valley Gender Variants (Rochester, NY), Trans* Alliance of Greater Rochester (TAGR), and the Transgender Alliance of Central New York.

I’m trans and proud! So how is it that I attended my first Pride event at the age of 43? In a nutshell, I’m a late bloomer. It took quite some time to fully figure out who and what I Am. Better late than never. Let’s face it – many people never do truly figure themselves out, regardless of gender identity. I very much wanted to attend RocPride in 2013, but…
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