When did you realize you didn’t relate to your birth gender?

I realized i was a different at a very young age. i was around 5 years old and all i wanted to do was play with girl things and and be identified as female.

How did you deal with that mentally & physically?

In 1988 my parents didn't know how to deal with me so i was told i had to suppress such feeling and just be a special little boy. as i got older i put on weight, and  i wore baggy clothes to hide my body. I was a very awkward PreTeen. At age 15 i came out as a gay man and i was able to be an effeminate boy, i was so happy that i thought that was just who i was meant to be.  It wasn't until i was 25 that i started living my truth and being who truly was on the inside. Im Gabrielle Gibson and I'm a transgender woman. 

Give me a glimpse of the inside you verse your outward appearance.

Well the inside me is finally at piece it was a bit hectic for a bit, but she stayed patient until the outside caught up. i have finally gotten to a point in my transition were i can finally say i pass. I have had only one surgery so far but i work out and maintain my body to keep it natural that people don't look at me and wonder whats between my legs. That makes me feel so good. In saying all of that, i am still researching and saving to have have my gender conformation surgery in the near future.

How would you prefer people to address you? Pronouns, preferred name etc

I have so many nicknames, my parents renamed me Gabrielle but my dad still calls me Charlie, my family calls me GiGi, my really close friends call me ChaChi Divine, but i mostly just go by Gabby. My pronouns are she and her. 

What does gender identity mean to you?

Gender identity is a major thing to me,  i have worked hard for 9 long years to be seen and respected as a female. Its funny how i look and present female yet people still mess up and miss gender me. I feel the people that do that really don't have much experience with transgender people. If its someone your around a lot lets say a co worker for example, i find it very easy to speak to them and not in a confrontational way to correct them and inform them of the proper pronouns.

Was there someone in your life that helped you start to see your authentic/true self? Tell me about how they helped you/who they are/

The one person i can say really helped me at the being of my transition is still to the day my best friend Jason Tavares. He and i use to work together in a salon and he was one of the first people i told i was becoming a woman. With us being in the beauty industry he helped me tone down my make up to look less stage and more natural. He helped me shop and always made sure my hair was right. Jason always encouraged me to be myself and never hide who i am. Even at my worst he always made me feel beautiful. To this day if i post a picture i alway get a call or a text saying "Slay Bitch!!!"

Talk to me about your struggles with identity and how you’ve grown to overcome them.

At the beginning of my transition i did have some trouble trying to separate my drag persona from who i was a woman. It started with the make-up, i had to find the right balance of what to much was and what was not enough. (side note: By todays standards a lot of woman today are painting like drag Queens these days.) I wanted my look to be right, i just wanted pass. I really had to figure out who i was as a woman so i took a major break from being ChaChi Divine to learn who i was a Gabrielle Gibson. Honestly it was the best thing i could have done for myself. Learned how to be less of a man acting like a woman and became a strong woman. I didn't totally retire ChaChi, she returned to the stage 3 years after Gabrielle really started living.

what i really want people to know about me is that i'm a girl thats just trying to be me with no interruptions.

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