Jiovani Carcione

By TMPlanetThere’s another name in our community to familiar yourself with, Jiovani Carcione, but just call him Jio. He’s the all around guy, that’s down for his family, friends, and community. A man meant to be in a uniform, be it his work uniform as an exterminator or as paramedic student, or just modeling some. His Instagram/modeling page has become one of the guys in the transborhood to watch and follow. A face and humble charm that’s catching the eyes of modeling scouts. Yet, that’s just the awesomeness on the surface.

Jio, another Chicago native on our list, is a proud single parent, who made the conscious decision to enjoy the gift of life just before beginning his transition, two years ago. On if being a single parent of a three-year old and transitioning is more difficult? Jio says,

I feel it’s the same as any single parent. Because honestly. She doesn’t know any better and my family knows not to say anything unless I tell her myself. Outsiders don’t know the difference of what’s in my pants and so I keep it that ways. I’m just the adorable dad that does his job and makes sure his daughter is loved and cared for, how she’s suppose to be. She Is my life.¬†I waited to transition for her. I wanted a mini me in this world and frankly I wouldn’t have changed it for anything.

Jio  is open on his views of revealing trans status. On living undetected he says,

All my past gfs knew… even this recent one she knew after the first date because I told her. If I didn’t think the date was gonna go anywhere, I wouldn’t have told her.. so when I first meet or talk to people they don’t know anything unless I tell them. And majority of people don’t know unless they knew me before.

He¬† aspires to be more involved with in the community and continue speaking on a transgender person’s right to disclosure, and continue the education as an EMT, that he began in Savannah GA.

He is a TMP Role Model, for being an example to youth everywhere that you can have a fulfilling life as a trans person, who embraces the joys of being a parent, and despite the obstacles of single parent hood he is beating the odds. Get to know him, and you will see the joy and love between him and his beautiful daughter. He keeps a positive and hopeful outlook for the future and his passion of being a chef with his own restaurant.

 

We have dreams, we have a right to those dreams and we have the right to pursue those dreams. Jio is an inspiring example of that truth.

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Le’O Wallace

Le’O Wallace, ¬†is a 27 year old trans male originally from Chicago Illinois. He currently lives in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, with his younger sister and fur baby, (his cat). He serves in the military as a reservist and also works for Panasonic on the civilian side. He is very passionate about his career in the military, civilian job, family, his lady (sorry ladies), and about helping others when he can. Le’O started his transition in November 2015, when he decided what exactly he wanted for himself and who he truly was as a person.

“I remember when I was younger always hanging out with the guys, not so much girls and it never phased me one bit. For the longest time I thought for sure I was one of the guys. Even when my mom dressed me up in girl clothes. I didn’t care because I was one of the guys, did what they did, ¬†and didn’t feel weird about it. It wasn’t until I got older, and my body started puberty as a female, did I realize, that I’m really not like the other guys. Though that bothered me some, I just continued to live my life as a masculine individual. I played all kinds of sports while I was in school. I had the most fun playing wrestling, football, ¬†and was even the only female on my high school football team for 3 years and wrestling team for 2 years. Of course, I had to continually prove myself because, some of the guys didn’t think I should be there. Yet, I surely gain their respect after making it through 2 weeks of hell week, when I played football. When high school was over I continued to struggle with trying to find a place where I fit, and for people to see me as another man. Even though that’s what I wanted, when people would use male pronouns, because I was assigned female at birth, I’d correct them as if it wasn’t right. I didn’t know at the time, what I was feeling then was actually called gender dysphoria. I just thought I needed to keep suppressing those feelings of wanting to be this guy that I wasn’t assigned at birth,” says Le’O Wallace.

It was a few years ago while on Active Duty that Le’O says he started watching YouTube videos on other people like himself. Listening to what they were going through. It was through those videos that he says he ¬†learned what transgender meant. At that time being active duty and coming out as trans was not an option, so he left his position and kept it to himself. Later he would join the reserves, feeling it would be easier to transition while continuing to serve, and continued his education. That November in 2015 was when he decided to go see a therapist and figure himself out. After attending therapy session, support group for other trans guys, he decided to live his truth. On 6 April 2016 Le’O says he had his first shot of testosterone and began living his authentic truth, while serving his country ever since.

Last week #notourpresident tweeted a ban on transgender service, though currently unofficial, it has halted the hopes of many transgender military service members. Our country is plagued by division at an all time high. Records numbers of African American men have been victim to police violence and the murders of transgender women of color continues to be an epidemic, largely ignored by our own black community. Division plagues even the trans community. The voices of trans men of color often goes overlooked or out right ignored. Trans men of color are among the most courageous, silent heroes of ¬†our community, as well as trans military personnel that are the most ignored and under appreciated people serving this country with their lives. For these reasons and many more is why Le’O Wallace is TMP’s Role Model of the Month.

 

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Dezjorn Gauthier

From male model, advocate, a member of the American Bar Association, CEO and founder of the upcoming Trans culture magazine¬†‘Black T’, Dezjorn Gauthier is proving that Trans men are more than a handsome face, and chiseled body. Along with those qualities, one can be an outstanding advocate, businessman,¬†and supporter of his community.

With his mid-western work ethics, he has directed that energy towards the advancement and visibility of trans men of color. An advocate on behalf of all Trans people, he has worked diligently to help improve the lives of  Trans men. He has continuously taken on the daunting task, of improving the much needed awareness, and visibility of Trans men of color.

Our warriors of African, Latin, and Asian descent, are far too often placed on the back burner of visibility, even in our own community. It is¬†due to¬†this struggle that he has recently¬†responded to¬†the call of Trans people of color around the world, in creating ‘Black T Magazine’. A magazine that is sure to greatly further the¬†much needed representation of ¬†Trans people of color. This fight to level the playing field of representation within our community, and to foster unity among us, is why Dezjorn Gauthier is TMP’s Role Model for the month of February.

The 25 year old is a Milwaukee, WI native, and started his transition in April 2014 just shortly after he had appeared in the well known¬†Barneys New York ad campaign. It also featured well known Trans personalities¬†like Laith Ashley, Katie Hill, and Arin Andrews. The ad campaign was in some ways¬†his coming out, as his first work as a Trans man. He first started modeling at the ripe old age of six months old, for top children’s brands around the nation, and has won several national titles. He was also, part of the first modeling agency for Transgender people.
 

While serving as Student Ambassador, he was also being featured internationally in many articles and modeling shoots.¬†In 2016,¬† Dezjorn was featured in the series¬†‘America in Transition’, by Andre Perez. As a model he also earned his degree in Criminology, Law Studies, and Sociology from Marquette University in 2013. He earned his paralegal diploma, and member of the American Bar Association, while attending Washington University School of Law. At his home in Milwaukee, he teaches a high school level law course, allowing students to learn more about the justice system, United States Constitution, and understand policies.

Even while furthering his education, modeling, advocating for Trans men; he has also started his own business, to effectively bring awareness to the transgender community, with special focus on Trans males and Trans men of color; through education, empowerment and inspiration. His business hosts an annual surgery fund, laptop scholarship, FtM essentials donation programs and mentoring. Gauthier, is also the founder of ‘The Dorothy J. Carr Fund’,¬†and has worked as the V.P. ¬†of¬† ‘Point Of Pride‘. His latest creation,¬†‘Black T Magazine’, is destined to change the landscape among representation¬† for Trans people of color; show the¬†diversity in our community, unite and inspire young Trans men of color around the world that their lives matter, and are valid.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DISCUSS THIS OR ANY OTHER TOPIC ON OUR SITE, PLEASE JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON  THE TMP FORUM

 

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Neo L. Sandja

Neo Sandja is an author, speaker, business consultant and certified life coach.¬†He’s the founder of the first international bodybuilding competition for people¬†of Trans experience, and featured on major media outlets like, Al Jazeera America¬†and CNN. His business, FTM Fitness World, along with its affiliated annual conference #transfitCon, focuses on empowering the Trans community in all 5 core areas of their lives: Spirituality, Personal Growth, Fitness/Wellness Health, Finances, and Family/Relationships through the motto ‘Fitness for the Mind, Body, and Spirit.’
 
His book, ‘Right Mind, Wrong Body’, was written for people who are looking for more happiness, peace, and fulfillment in their journey. Based on the lessons he himself learned through his transition.
 
 

 

 

 

He is also the chair of the FTM foundation, which he created to help Trans-identified people with their transitional needs.¬†Partial proceeds of the book ‘Right Mind Wrong Body’, is going directly into the surgery fun.
 
Neo considers himself, a spiritual warrior and a transformational trainer. He defines being a spiritual warrior, as someone who knows¬†themselves and conquers their deepest fears, and limitations. Transformational trainer’s, are trainers who change people’s lives from the inside out, by giving them the tools to create permanent change for success.
As a speaker he is very passionate about business, financial and emotional intelligence, as well asspirituality and communication.

He migrated to the U.S., from the Republic of Congo in 2004, and began his transition in 2011. His life’s mission he states, “Transform people’s lives through his writing, speaking engagements, personal life coaching, and mentoring, but most importantly through his personal day to day interactions.”

¬†Neo Sandja is an example of the masculine leadership that is leading our community into the future. He, along with countless men, have become more visible over the past few years, ¬†in a weary movement that needed rejuvenation. Yet, he is among those talented Trans men of color whose work often is over shadowed, and goes unnoticed by the majority within our community. Let’s stand united, with our brothers, regardless of race, religion or nationality. We share at least one thing, and it is the greatest thing that bonds us all; the desire to live an authentic life against all odds. TMP salutes our brother Neo Sandja for the work he has done and continue to do, that enhances the lives of all Trans people.

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Meggan Sommerville

Living in the aftermath of the Leelah Alcorn’s suicide¬†and being¬†a transgender¬†Christian, I’ve noticed a lot of anger towards Christians. I’ve had a transgender roommate who became the spokesperson for Pfox and their transgender conversion therapy and also watched it fail. I’ve also noticed countless trans people writing to tell¬†me how bullied they felt as well by the church.¬†I’ve watched for years as an old¬†trans girl friend of mine, who sought out Christ, be¬†told not to come back to specific churches. My own ex-fianc√© who is trans, has also had a church¬†ostracized¬†him.¬†I know as well, Jesus Christ himself was crucified by organized religion and he too hated it. What’s sad as a Christian¬†to see is members of¬†my own community turn their backs and literally hate¬†God for what a man has¬†said or did to them.¬†¬†It’s easy to blame God for what a specific church or preacher said or did, but not all who follow are of God. That is something my ex-fianc√© knows and regardless of what happened, he’s still a man of God. It is what my old girl friend knows, as she continues relentlessly searching¬†for a welcoming church. I’ve often myself asked her why and she’d say, “I’m not ever going to let someone take God from me, cause I know what he has done.”

Another one of those sisters fighting for the lord is Meggan Sommerville, blogger of Trans Girl at the Cross.¬†There Meggan not only chronicles her life as a transgender person, but also¬†as a Christian. There she educates many within the community about Christ and how a trans person also can love and be loved by God. Since¬† 2012 she’s discussed topics like Praying for our Enemies, My Tale of Surviving Bullying, and one of her latest Being Christian and Transgender- feeling caught in the Middle.¬†It is the later that prompted me to signal boost my sister and her¬†work.¬†Among the many things we hear coming out of Trans society,¬† rare is there a voice like Meggan Sommerville.¬† This is why after such a great tragedy that she is TMP’s choice for¬†trans role model of the¬†month and upcoming Trans¬†Faces interview.¬†Spreading the good news of the¬†lord from a unlikely¬†yet loved¬†girl at the cross.
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