|Me in my Superman Onesie – Christmas 2014|
I chose the name Leo Channing, which means lion, fierce wolf, and church leader. My name reminds me to be courageous and strong in my activism, advocacy and faith.
2014 is the year that I embraced my new sense of identity: changing my name legally, transitioning medically with top surgery and testosterone. I am happier than I have ever been in my life, and so much more comfortable in my own skin. My voice is getting deeper, but still cracks, which makes me laugh!
I was surprised and thrilled to have my church embrace me as Leo. The opportunity to share my story with other churches as well has been an awesome gift. I truly enjoy this public speaking and sharing on my blog.
And for big news this year: In November, I was elected to the Board of Directors at one of my favorite non-profits, Cascade AIDS Project. I am so excited to be able to continue my support of this organization in their mission: “To prevent HIV infections, support and empower people living with or affected by HIV, and eliminate HIV-related stigma and health disparities.”
And I’m really looking forward to 2015….! I’m going to start taking aerial classes, with the hopes that one day I can meet a life goal of being on a flying trapeze (just for fun, I’m not changing careers, yet).
In 2014 I helped to recruit communities of faith to start up teams for AIDS Walk. It was fantastic, and many great people participated and donated. Thank you! And in 2015, we are going to BRING IT! I’m excited to be involved in this endeavor again. Stay tuned for news of fun events!
Thank you for helping make this year so incredible and full of love. I’m excited for adventures and good work to be done in 2015. I’m glad you’re in my life and hope we stay connected over the years.
Wishing you a holiday season full of peace, love, hope, joy, and just the right mix of naughty and nice.