Geena Rocero was a working model for ten years who seemingly had it all, and she did: commercial beauty contracts, swimsuit campaigns, and a book of tear sheets from top magazines. But Geena wanted more and she knew that to get it she had to give some, too. So a month after her 30th birthday, on the International Transgender Day of Visibility, she took the global TED stage and came out as a transgender woman of color. She’d been concealing her trans identity for over a decade in fear of the effect that coming out would have on her career.
“It was simply time,” she said. “I had gotten sick of constantly living a double life in fear and paranoia. When I got to the point where I was ready, the sense of purpose in sharing my story was so much bigger than any fear I’d ever had.”
On stage Geena made a commitment to support the trans community and quickly formed Gender Proud, an advocacy campaign that aims to advance the rights of all transgender individuals. And now she has created “Beautiful As I Want To Be,” a digital series for Logo that spotlights transgender youth and pairs them with a mentor from the community. She enlisted the help of her new friend, Caitlyn Jenner, for the first episode, which was shot at The Standard, Downtown LA.
The series focuses not on transition stories, but on what connects all of us as humans: our dreams, aspirations, and curiosities. It’s about fostering the life of an individual after coming out by promoting creativity and community.
Against a backdrop of city lights and skyscrapers, Rocero premiered the first episode, projected against The Rooftop of The Standard, Downtown LA. It was an evening of tears, happiness, and healing. And also, impromptu celebration: Caitlyn Jenner celebrated her 1st birthday—since her transition that is—with candles and cake.
A new episode of “Beautiful As I Want To Be” will air each Wednesday for the month of November on LogoTV.com.