"It all started when I came out. And not just because of the gay stuff. It was a waterfall of everything."
Estelle has a great sense of humor - but she feels funniest, and most in tune with herself, when she is not in her "normal boy clothes." Being herself is new to Estelle, but she's already on a fantastic journey of authenticity, and she's not looking back. One of the main reasons, she claims, is that she found an incredible group of people to support her along the way!
Even then I wasn't clear this is who I was, but it was... To simply summarize it, 'You are a gay man' - that took much longer. And it's still going on today!
Probably I was about 12 years old when I said it out loud, but I never really thought about it, but I remember telling my mom, ‘I’m not gonna just date men. I’m have no interest in gender. It’s more about the connection I have with the person.’ I don’t really think she reacted to it. She was just like, ‘Okay!’
Yuhua Hamasaki knows that to get through life, you have to love yourself. It took her a long time to learn some really important lessons, but her best advice is that your happiness should always come first.
The person that really made the most impact on me - I worked Monday nights - and my bouncer was Stormé DeLarverie...She was 65 when I met her and she was the bouncer at Cubby Hole. You know, Monday nights would be really quiet, but we had to stay open until 4 am. I would study my psychology books from 1 am to 3 am, and then Stormé would share stories about her life
Accepting it for myself was the struggle. We’ve always been Christian - gone to church - and just not really being super educated about what being a gay Christian means - just going off what other people thought and misconceptions and stuff like that - is really what I’ve based my beliefs on. My struggles - it all really came from that. I had a hard time accepting - just admitting to myself that I was gay.
Grace is the epitome of her name. She experienced abuse from her biological parents, lived in the foster care system, transitioned in a time of what seemed like politically sanctioned prejudice, and has the best attitude about life you could possibly imagine.