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Geena Rocero: Why I must come out #GenderProud

"I want to help others live their truth without shame and terror."

When fashion model Geena Rocero first saw a professionally shot photo of herself clad in a bikini, she was beside herself. "I thought...you have arrived!" she says proudly. This might not be the typical experience, but, as Rocero reveals, that's because she was born with the gender assignment "boy." In a moving and personal talk, Rocero finds that transgender activism is giving her a whole new sense of pride and purpose.

Geena Rocero at TEDTalks

The world makes you something that you're not, but you know inside what you are, and that question burns in your heart: "How will you become that?" I may be someone unique in this, but I am not alone -- not alone at all.

I think, in mystery, this is called the reveal. Here is mine.  I was assigned boy at birth based on the appearance of my genitalia.

Geena Rocero is a model and activist. As founder of Gender Proud, she works to advance the global conversation about transgender equality. In March 2014, Geena 'came out' as transgender at TED; prior to that, she spent 12 years building a successful career as a fashion model. Born to humble beginnings in Manila, Geena emigrated to the United States at 18; prior to that, she underwent reassignment surgery in Thailand. Geena started Gender Proud as a way to draw attention to the need for more progressive gender marker policy; only a handful of countries allow transgender individuals to change their name + marker without having to undergo surgery. Geena's vision is for a world where trans individuals are able to self-identify with the fewest possible barriers.

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