Tag Archives: society

My Guest Spot on ‘Think Opposite’, and Why You Should Tune in EVERY Week

I’m filled with gratitude and excitement to announce my upcoming guest spot on Think Opposite, hosted by thought strategist, public speaker, successful business owner and author: Alison Donaghey.

The 1-hour talk show will air live on the Contact Talk Radio Network Wednesday, May 24 at 4:00 PM EDT (1:00 PM PDT, UTC -7:00)

Normal is the New Mental Illness
We’ll be talking about controversial anti-transgender bathroom legislation, related social challenges and why legalizing discrimination against any segment of the population causes hardship all around (not just for the targets of discrimination). I’ll also be sharing life lessons and wisdom learned along my journey – knowledge that can empower and benefit everyone.
Continue reading My Guest Spot on ‘Think Opposite’, and Why You Should Tune in EVERY Week

Separation of Church and State of Mind – Discrimination Masquerading as Religious Freedom & Superiority

Gabrielle speaking in Church

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

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

An Interview with Yours Truly in “The Empty Closet” and Speaking Publicly About LGBTQ

Gabrielle Hermosa in The Empty Closet

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.

Why me?
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

A Documentary About Transgender Realities and Addressing Public Questions

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

“What the Hell Was That?”, He Asked His Friends, Referring to Me

Gabrielle's New Year Portrait 20142013 was a year filled with beautiful new experiences, new friends, personal growth and important life lessons. In 2014 I plan to continue working toward my goal of living life (full-time) as a trans woman and fostering much needed, positive trans awareness in society. Among other things, it includes taking every opportunity to attend to public aspects of life in my female form; as my true self (Gabrielle, not my man-facade).

The photo (upper-left) was taken just before heading out to make a few purchases from a local grocery store, and meet up with a friend at a local coffee shop. I ended up wearing a faux leather hat, which my wife, the Fabulous Mrs. H., recommended just before leaving the house. You can see the hat here in my Flickr photo.

Continued positive public experiences
I’ve gone grocery shopping several times over the last few months (in my female form) without a hitch. I’m happy to say it’s almost become routine and boring. Almost. I still experience some fear in doing so, but I know that the fear is a lie, and I choose not to listen to it. With an “I don’t care what people think of me” attitude, I just go about my business, and things tend to go very smoothly. No one has laughed at me in public in quite some time.

More often than not, the grocery store cashiers seem to be a little shy around me, or perhaps slightly uncomfortable. It’s an understandable reaction in dealing with a trans woman, which is something they probably don’t encounter in day to day life, and so may be filled with the usual misconceptions. Even though they’re a little quieter when dealing with me, and often make as little eye contact as possible, they’ve been nothing but polite and professional, and I’m pleased with that.

I’m a person, NOT a thing
As I approached the grocery store this past Saturday, a group of four teenage boys were making their exit. They stopped talking immediately upon noticing me, and made no effort to disguise their stares. Just as we had passed by each other and they were now behind me, I clearly heard one of them comment, “What the hell was that?!”, referring to me as the “that”.

Continue reading “What the Hell Was That?”, He Asked His Friends, Referring to Me

Getting Out and Speaking Out

SpeakOut Certification

On Saturday, I completed a 2-day SpeakOUT training workshop. SpeakOUT is a program offered by The Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley. Its purpose is to improve the skills of graduates so they may effectively educate about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their allies.

The need to “speak out” in outreach programs
The reason I chose to take this workshop is because I feel a calling to get out and educate people about the realities of being transgender. There are many complex issues to cover, but perhaps the most significant point is a very simple one – the fact that trans people are far more similar to cisgender (non-trans) people, than we are different.

The SpeakOUT workshop was just the first step in many training workshops and activities I will need to take part in before a final graduation of sorts. If/when I pass the requirements necessary, I may be deployed to various organizations, companies, medical training centers, schools, etc. to tell my personal story, educate about trans realities, and answer questions.

It’s hard to explain, but I almost have a need to get out there and educate about trans realities and issues. This has been brewing within me for quite some time – especially after certain personal realities were realized.

The desire to go full time
My life is very busy and often rather hectic. There are never enough hours in the day to manage everything I need to do, let alone things I want to do. Many interesting things have been playing out in my life that haven’t been shared here due to lack of time. One of which is the realization that I’m more of a trans-woman-in-progress, than a crossdresser. These days, I only feel like I’m “crossdressing” when I’m at work (or wherever) putting on my “man act” to appease a world that expects me to be “a man”. I posted a very brief update this past July, to one of my more rushed writing jobs, that offers a little insight: Crossdressing Myth #2. There’s much I could write about this, and why it took so long to figure out. If time allows, I will elaborate in future updates.

Continue reading Getting Out and Speaking Out