The Return of Corey Rae
After long hiatus, I am back. Over the past two months I haven't been doing much writing, which is not good. When I launched my website, I was receiving admiration for my bravery, and for my writing. The amount of love, support, and curiosity was humbling, and I finally felt appreciated for being me. As my blog attracted attention, my dreams of notoriety seemed to be more attainable. Four months later, and it feels like my dreams have come to a halt. The offers to contribute to major online publications, the photoshoots, the interviews, have all seemed to slowly fade away. Why? I don’t feel I’ve expressed clearly what I’d like to contribute to the world as a “passing” transgender woman, and that is what I want to accomplish with this post. When I was little all I wanted (besides to wake up as a girl) was to be in the spotlight. I have always wanted to model or act, and after a few attempts of doing school plays I ruled out being an actress or singer (impersonating Britney Spears’ voice didn’t do me any favors when learning how to sing). Instead, I focused on how I could use communication and sociology to further my career.
Towards the end of college, I started to think about how I could become an activist. I know that I’ve explained this before, but I wanted to reiterate what I have mentioned in my previous posts. Because I am transgender, and my story is filled with circumstances many transgender individuals do not experience (such as acceptance in high school, supportive family and friends, undergoing a successful surgery at a young age, and having a successful dating and sex life), I feel that people should know about my story. I want the world to know that there is success among the transgender community when that individual is loved, supported, and treated properly (both medically and socially). Going through my transition wasn’t close to easy, but all of the struggles I went through to become a “complete” woman were worth it.
After the launch of my site I thought I would instantly become a face for the transgender community. What I’ve recently been reminded of is that nothing worthwhile comes easily, and what I thought was hustling before led to a major wake up call for me. I went back to working for The Standard Hotel brand in the middle of August, which is the main reason for my writing hiatus. I’ve been struggling to juggle my dream job of representing the transgender community with my day job. Now that I’ve gotten my life together and am on a more consistent schedule I am back and dedicating my life to helping our world become more accepting.
Between my personal experiences, knowledge of the sociology of gender and sexuality, and overall bold personality, I feel that my voice can and will be well received by the general public. With my passion for public speaking, I want to work with human rights organizations to help normalize a minority group that is no longer in the dark. The transgender movement has been avoided in conversation for so many years, taking a back seat to the gay movement. Because the conversation is opening up for transgender rights, now is the time for proper activism.
I want to travel across the country and eventually the globe giving speeches and attending fundraisers to help make people aware of the transgender experience. I want to help teach parents and the younger generations how to accept the LGBTQ+ community, as well as how to support transgender individuals in all stages of their lives (from subtle hints of being “different” at a young age to post-surgery). I want to change our sexual education system in The United States, specifically how and when we teach sex-ed to our children; not just having a gym teacher lecture “you’re a boy or a girl, wear deodorant, you’ll have sex one day to make a baby and this is how it’s done.” We need our youth to have open conversations about what gender, sexuality, sex, and the gender spectrum are; and for them to know that it’s okay to be somewhere in-between on that spectrum. We need our youth to learn where normative gender roles come from and what the feelings of being masculine or feminine mean. Equally as important, we need to teach boys not to rape, not teach girls how to not get raped. I want to see a world where kids can come home from school and tell their parents of their new found gender identity, and have their parents say “That's so great, I’m proud of you, I love you.” My goal is to help bring our society to a place where our children will never have to think twice about if they will be loved and supported because of their gender expression.
I don't want to be a prominent figure just because it sounds cool. My best talent, I’ve realized, is being myself. With the beauty I’ve been blessed with comes the second part to my dream career: representing the transgender community on a global level. I not only want to teach about being transgender and the experiences we go through, but I also want to show everyone the beauty that comes from our courage.
So how do I do that? By modeling, being a true role model, and having ad campaigns around the world. I want to promote all types of healthy and confident living. I want to show that different is good, and there is no such thing as “normal” anymore. Normal is boring, and made up, and that’s what I need to prove to this world, especially to our younger generations. I want to show that I am a positive example, I am someone little trans kids can look up to and want to be like. I am passionate about being capable of changing transgender stereotypes and perceptions. Taking an example from Modern Family, we see a gay couple learning to raise a family just like any other couple does, therefore normalizing what was once a controversial lifestyle. In my career, I want to show the successful and “normal” side to being transgender.
I wasn’t sure how blogging or writing would make me an activist, but I knew staying silent wouldn’t make me one. I wasn’t sure what kind of blogger I wanted to be when I launched CoreyRae.com. There are so many aspects that I want people to know about me and I knew I could make them come across through different types of posts. What I didn't realize, however, was the wide variety of readers I would have: older generations, grandparents, ex’s, mothers, fathers, students of all ages, even pre-teens. In the beginning I didn’t know what people wanted from my posts, whether it was beauty and health tips or stories of my dating life and sexual experiences. Did my readers just want the details of my upbringing or transitional phases? I felt pressured to post too often, to keep all of the momentum I had going, and wasn’t really thinking about what I was putting out there, which at the end of the day needs to be posts that would help people.
Last week we celebrated National Coming Out Day, a day that invites so many to share themselves with the world. I don’t regret coming out, I would hate for anyone to gather that from this post. What would sadden me, however, is not achieving my goals of being a voice for the transgender community after putting myself out there like I have. So to you, my readers, my friends, my support system, I’m asking you to help me reach my dreams. As you may know, social media and word of mouth is the way of the world, and I’m open to any connections you may have for me. Share my story with everyone and anyone who will listen, promote me on any and all of your social media accounts. I hope everyone will keep reading along to follow my path towards success. I am going to devote my life to the transgender experience and work as hard as I can to make sure my goals are accomplished. Yes, I want to be the Gigi Hadid of the transgender community, but it’s for a good reason: change.
“Success isn’t just about accomplishment. It’s also about how the things you do in your life motivate and inspire others to do something motivating and inspiring in theirs.” - Zero Dean
Written by Corey Rae --- Edited by Emily Turner