Chaune King Headshot

South American-born and London-based Chaune King once identified as a masculine female or masculine lesbian, and hit the music scene in 2002 with LGBT status-confirming lyrics. “I felt if I wasn’t going to be honest about my life,” he says, “I would be lying to my fans.” In 2008, the LGBT History Month patron recalls, he was given a ‘Woman of the Year’ award having made the decision to transition, one he’d announced at the LGBT HM March conference – “It was very ironic.” Transitioning impacted his vocals, and he took a break from his music career – though did run a music studio for a youth project. “When my voice changed it hit me really hard. I disappeared, went into hiding, transitioned, and now I’m coming back out.” He started focusing on his acting career some years back, appearing in Campbell X’s hit LGBT film Stud Life in 2012. Here he expands on his journey to self and the difficulties faced by BAME trans people.

The journey to self.

The journey to self is never-ending, a lifelong investment, and I am continually evolving. I have learnt to gratefully respect the process, making sure my life is rich and fulfilled. I have been transitioning for a number of years and I am still developing myself. I have come through some dark times and finally some light is radiating through the clouds. The journey has not been easy and along the way I have encountered many obstacles. But I remain empowered. I have worked on my spiritual healing and this allows my love to grow and my light to glow. I have shed a number of people in the process of my growth and my life has opened up to new opportunities and experiences.

The public view on trans.

There are still a lot of places where being transgender is illegal. This leads to many of our trans sisters and brothers being murdered in cold blood. Even in our ‘free’ world, we seem to be pedalling backwards. There are people in high places working their hardest to eradicate and erase our very existence. On the other hand, there has been some progress. We are seeing more representation of trans people in the media, taking a stand to usualise our presence. I hope that we continue to grow stronger as a community and remain visible.

BAME trans.

I would hazard and say it’s more difficult for BAME men and women to take the plunge to transition. It’s a big decision and it is not going to be the easiest of roads. I’ve been messaged by many who ask for direction and advice but hold off their decision because of how their family would react, because the way they spoke about people of the trans community was never positive, so they feel it’s best to wait. I tell them it takes time and when they are ready they will know it and nothing or no one will be able to hold them back.

BAME trans issues can only be highlighted with more visibility and there needs to be more support for the BAME trans community. With a lot of LGBT support groups SHORT OF funding, it’s no surprise the lack of support groups out there for the BAME trans community. In the UK there are a few non trans-specific groups that are of course happy to help in the best way possible. Personally I have been lucky enough to utilise the support of my friends at cliniQ at 56 Dean Street, London. They have been my rock and were more than happy to help me rebuild myself after going through the mill of emotions.

A message for young trans.

To any young trans person out there I would say take your time and focus on you. Take in only the positive and don’t allow negative people or influences to hold you back. Pay attention to the people around you and know their intentions. Find support in people who you know will be there for you. Dysphoria is inevitable and you need to learn how to manage it and not let it control you. Be true to yourself, finding yourself is all part of the process and there will be confusing times where you will question your decision and everything after it. Try to stay healthy, testosterone is a strong drug and the body will take some pressure, so a healthy body will aid in the processing. Depending on where you are, try to gather as much information online to better explain things to your health professional. Be knowledgeable of what the process is, the more you know the more likely they’ll be to put your case forward for treatment.

 

 

 

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