"I got married and moved to Houston for my husband's job. Little did I know that he was married to someone else. When I found out, I left him and his other wife found me and we shared stories with each other. Even though it didn't work out with him he forced me to grow-me-up and give me, the self love and security of being a trans woman that I needed to become self sufficient. Trying to live the perfect homemaker life led to a betrayal which then led to something beautiful." - Diamond Stylz is a blogger and produces the podcast Marsha'sPlate.
"My own choice of my name as a professional was to keep it gender neutral. Our world is almost pushing us to reflect on gender and see that it does impact everything. When I was at school at the Chicago Art Institute there was this male student who wanted to explore what it was to be a female artist so he painted only flowers. It was ridiculous, does it really need to be that obvious? People come up to me while I am working and ask, "Did you do that all by yourself?" I would never have to have my basic skillset questioned if I didn't happen to be born a woman." - AJ Kinney is a painter living in New Orleans.
"Coming to this country ten years ago made my life. Being here opened up my mind to what it means to be a gay person. When I got my NYC city card they asked me whether I wanted to register as a woman, a man, both or neither. I said, "What? Wow! This is the country that I needed." In my country, Columbia, I couldn't come out as being a gay person. Being here gave me the opportunity to create my business with my wife. The small business center in NYC helped us get through the legal parts of setting up our business and helped us with marketing." Omary Carreo is the c0-owner of Tangerine Cleaning Service.
"I have always wanted to be a man and I have always been proud to be a woman. It seems simpler to be a man, you know, I have my dick and my knife and I am ready. But I always knew that there was certain power in being a woman. Women have the skills and capacity to multitask, analyze, to look at problems, measure, assess them - we can even look at anything and know what container it will fit in - we just know how to get shit done." - Laurence is a European actor and dancer.