Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Trans supermodel Geena Rocero on 'Beautiful As I Want to Be'
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2015-11-18

This article shared 6927 times since Wed Nov 18, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


This fall, Logo TV and Gender Proud Production teamed for a new digital exclusive video series. Beautiful As I Want To Be is introduced by transgender supermodel/executive producer Geena Rocero; then, individuals' personal stories are depicted, each with a selected mentor to assist the journey.

The first episode features reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner guiding a young trans man named Zeam. There are more episodes, with people such as Jen Richards and Chicagoan Angelica Ross, who are two friends producing one of the first scripted dramas starring transgender actors, called HerStory.

Rocero appears in each of the episodes, bringing a strong background in the public eye to each segment. She is regularly featured on E!'s I Am Cait and was the first trans woman to be a part of the CoverGirl campaign. Her TED talk has been viewed more than 2.7 million times. Rocero is the founder of Gender Proud, an organization advocating for trans equality involved with the new show.

Windy City spoke with Rocero to learn a bit more about the groundbreaking series.

Windy City Times: Where in the world are you calling from?

Geena Rocero: I'm in New York, where I live.

WCT: Talk about your background so our readers can know better.

GR: Sure. I am a fashion model. I am the founder of Gender Proud. This is an organization advocating for transgender rights. We also produce media to tell an empowered dignified story about what it means to be trans.

I was originally born in the Philippines but moved to New York City to start my modeling career. I did that but for the longest time I was not out as a trans model. My modeling agent did not even know that I was trans. After living for many years in fear in society, I decided to come out and share my story. I came out on a TED Talk and after that we launched Gender Proud. That took me traveling around the world advocating for transgender rights. I went back to the Philippines where I came from, and traveled to other countries where I met other communities.

WCT: Were you treated differently after coming out as a trans model?

GR: Well, it doesn't help me in my career for sure. Not being out held me back professionally and creatively. I wasn't able to express myself and I wasn't able to fully participate because I felt there were certain limits. Now that I am out I can fully express myself and it allows me to pursue my dream. I don't have to worry now about not being out.

WCT: How is your family with everything?

GR: My family has been incredibly supportive since the very beginning. I told my mom when I was 5 years old that I was a girl in my head. My mom has been especially supportive.

WCT: How did the series Beautiful As I Want To Be get started?

GR: It has always been important to me to communicate about trans narratives when I look back and see the opportunities that were given to me. I had been in pageants in the Philippines and wanted to use my modeling background.

I wanted to tell a story so the inspiration on this project was asking these trans kids what beautiful means to them. How would they like to communicate that into a photograph? You saw the first episode where someone wanted to be a painter. We go on a journey through painting and Zeam's story.

The second episode has two trans teens that want to share to the world the beauty of their friendship because they transitioned together when they were young. It is taking the trans youth and combining it with photography and modeling. I am guiding them through that.

It made sense to provide a coach and a mentor that had gone through the same journey as them. Caitlyn Jenner and Zeam on the first episode connected through their truth. I think the lesson is no matter who you are you should express your truth. The second episode features Chicago locals and Angelica Ross.

WCT: When are you visiting Chicago?

GR: I have been there the last two years for the Trans 100. It is a big family reunion to me. I was there weeks before my TED Talk came out, so I have always felt close to Chicago. I love it there.

WCT: Do you feel that the transgender community seems more united than ever?

GR: Yes; I feel everyone recognizes each other. When we are all doing incredible work we look to support one another and be goddesses that we are. It is a sisterhood and brotherhood now. How can empower each other's gifts? It is not reflected on each other.

WCT: Where did you first meet Caitlyn?

GR: I met Caitlyn in L.A. They got in touch with me when they used my TED Talk for the Diane Sawyer interview. They told me they were doing a TV show and Caitlyn loved my TED Talk and was inspired by my story. I went to LA and met her. I was the very first person that she met. It was just a meeting of sharing each other's stories.

WCT: What was the filming like when you were on I Am Cait?

GR: I couldn't believe it was happening. I think it may be a generational thing because I knew nothing about Bruce Jenner. I was raised in the Philippines and didn't know the story. Meeting her I thought the story was amazing but I just saw her as the woman that she is. We just connected. She is really funny!

WCT: There are four parts to the Beautiful As I Want To Be series. What else is coming up?

GR: Well, the mentor's for the next episode is Tiq & Kim Milan, who are husband-and-wife trans activists. The last one is with Trace Lysette, an actor from Transparent, and Our Lady J, a writer for Transparent.

WCT: Are you friends with Broadway's Lea Salonga? I saw you tweeting to each other.

GR: Yes, of course. Last week we just did a photo shoot.

WCT: Do we know how Zeam is doing?

GR: Zeam is doing great. I just checked in with Zeam last week. Zeam's parents are incredible. I spent time with Zeam's father, who is brilliant, loving and supportive.

Visit www.logotv.com/shows/beautiful-as-i-want-to-be for more information .


This article shared 6927 times since Wed Nov 18, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

LGBT HISTORY MONTH Angela Davis, revolutionary
2021-10-24
By Victoria A. Brownworth - "You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time," said Angela Davis, 78, the country's most famous living revolutionary. She was born ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Trans women in sports, Grindr crime, 'Berlin Patient,' trans death
2021-10-24
Sports icon Billie Jean King, U.S. National Women's Soccer Team Co-Captain and World Cup Champion Megan Rapinoe, and WNBA stars Layshia Clarendon and Brianna Turner joined more than 150 fellow athletes in women's sports to support ...


Gay News

WORLD Indian commission, queer royals, MTV, Putin, attack in Jamaica
2021-10-24
India's National Medical Commission has ordered publishers and medical schools to edit their textbooks and curricula to exclude discriminatory and unscientific portrayals of LGBTI people, according to Human Rights Watch. ...


Gay News

CTA proposes reduced fare changes
2021-10-22
During a time when the prices of just about everything seems to increase, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is proposing the opposite, according to The Chicago Sun-Times. The CTA has proposed slashing some fares to boost ...


Gay News

Author Margaret Atwood in anti-trans controversy
2021-10-21
The Handmaid's Tale author Margaret Atwood has been called transphobic after she shared an article complaining about gender-neutral language on Twitter. According to PinkNews, the opinion piece—which Toronto Star columnist ...


Gay News

Celebrities support trans employees in Netflix walkout with video
2021-10-20
As the Netflix walkout in response to the company's continued support of Dave Chappelle's special The Closer was underway at the streamer's Los Angeles headquarters Oct. 20, a video that includes activists and Netflix talent alike ...


Gay News

Colorado becomes first state to require trans care as essential health benefit
2021-10-17
Colorado has become the first state in the country to include transition-related care for transgender people as part of the requirements for essential healthcare in the state, The Washington Blade reported. As part of the change, ...


Gay News

BOOKS Twelfth (and final) 'Boystown' cover revealed
2021-10-17
Boystown author Jake Biondi has revealed the cover of the twelfth book of his series—while simultaneously sharing that the next installment will be the final one. Boystown: Season Twelve: The Final Season will be released in ...


Gay News

WORLD Plus magazine, The Guardian, Dutch princess, anti-trans ruling
2021-10-17
The largest circulated HIV publication in the country, Plus, unveiled its 25 Amazing People of the Year, per a press release. Just a few of the individuals are actor Billy Porter; Mandisa Nikita Dukashe: South African ...


Gay News

Attorneys general file pro-transgender brief
2021-10-15
A coalition of 20 attorneys general, including Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and New York counterpart Letitia James, filed an amicus brief in the case of Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools, opposing the plaintiffs' efforts ...


Gay News

Chicago Plumbing Code allows all-gender multiple occupancy restrooms
2021-10-15
--From a Community Restroom Access Project (CRAP) press release - CHICAGO — The Community Restroom Access Project (CRAP) applauds passage Thursday by the Chicago City Council of the plumbing code modernization ordinance that will allow businesses and building owners to ...


Gay News

Dozens of celebrities, companies set to take part in Spirit Day on Oct. 21
2021-10-15
--From a press release - New York, NY, Thursday, October 14, 2021 - Today, GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, announced a preliminary list of celebrities, shows ...


Gay News

Brave Space Alliance's 'Out 'N Brave' panel on beauty, coming out
2021-10-14
By Cris Villalonga-Vivoni - Coming out is one of the most terrifying yet liberating experiences that an LGBTQ+ person must endure to achieve happiness. Brave Space Alliance (BSA)—Chicago's South Side, Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ+ resource ...


Gay News

LGBTQ History Month: Pauli Murray, architect of history
2021-10-13
By Victoria A. Brownworth - (Note: The pronouns she/her are used in keeping with Murray's own writings, but Murray was a transmasculine and gender-nonconforming lesbian.) Some say Pauli Murray is the most important U.S. activist many have never heard of. An ...


Gay News

Trans employees plan Oct. 20 walkout at Netflix [UPDATE]
2021-10-13
Netflix's trans employee resource group is planning a company-wide walkout Wed., Oct. 20, to protest statements made by co-CEO Ted Sarandos regarding Dave Chappelle's latest comedy special The Closer, according to The Verge. "Trans Lives Matter. ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.