November 20th is Transgender Day of Remembrance and was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder - like most anti-transgender murder cases - has yet to be solved.
Every year, hundreds of transgender men and women are beaten, raped or murdered in the United States and around the world due to a misunderstanding of what it means to be transgender. Many see the transgender community as sexual deviants and only education can enlighten the public to the reality of being a transgender person. Dr. Rizi Timane has been bullied, faced exorcisms and been ostracized from his church. After years of struggling to accept himself, abusing drugs and alcohol and attempting suicide, he is clean and sober and married to the woman of his dreams. He has reconciled with his fundamentalist Christian parents. In addition, as a certified transgender life coach he continually helps others to fully accept themselves and now works with corporations, schools and other agencies on what to do when a trans person comes out.
Dr Timane speaks internationally about :
• LGBT rights and marriage
• Religion based abuse
• Difficulties in coming out as transgender
• The effects of family rejection of LGBT persons
• Reparative therapy or conversion therapy
• Public bathroom humiliation - too female for the men’s room; too male for the ladies room
Rizi Xavier Timane is a transgender minister, an author, a recording artist, and an outspoken advocate for the LGBT community. He has performed many of his positive LGBT inclusive inspirational music at venues all across the USA and internationally. In his memoir, An Unspoken Compromise, he shares his journey to self-acceptance as a trans man of faith; he also writes for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance blog, is a sought-after public speaker on the intersection of religion and LGBT civil rights, and holds a master’s in social work and a PhD in Christian counseling.
As the founder of Rizi Timane Ministries and The Happy Transgender Center, he provides affirming spiritual support to people of all faiths, sexual orientations, and gender identities. Having been subjected to what he terms, "involuntary religious-based abuse" in the form of multiple exorcisms to pray the gay or trans away and the subsequent self-loathing and drug/alcohol abuse that resulted from that, Rizi is a firm believer in Spiritual Affirmation for the Trans Community.
Rizi writes "I'm one of the luckiest transgender men in the world. People have no idea that I have undergone 20 surgical procedures to transition from female to male. Most transgender people are not as invisible. As a transgender life coach, corporate transgender diversity trainer and author of an Amazon best-selling memoir, I'd like to address the biggest myths about transgender people, myths that are responsible in part for the extraordinary suicide and violence rate people like me experience."
His greatest accomplishment has been the establishment of an annual Transgender Surgery and Hormones Scholarship for Trans-persons who, for whatever reason (insurance denial, financial crisis or otherwise) want to have surgery or hormone treatment (HRT) but cannot afford to do so.
Visit his website here.
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