Tony Ferraiolo

Check out the book “Artistic Expression of Transgender Youth” on sale at Amazon today!

When I realized I was transgender, I didn’t do cartwheels. I didn’t know anyone else like me. I remember going to the beach and crying, wondering if I wanted to live . Wondering, if my life was so unbearable now, how would it be if I came out as transgender?  Then something happened.  I realized that I had the opportunity to create myself into the person who I always wanted to be. I remember asking myself,  what do I need to do to become that person?  There was a very long list of “To Do’s.”  I knew that the anger I carried would transfer over into the person I wanted to create, so I worked very hard to let go of it. I forgave everyone who abused me, including myself.  Once I let go of my anger, my soul filled with compassion.  I believe that you must see the dark before you see the light — and that some of us must struggle through the challenges we face because it is part of the growth.  I can honestly say that I would not change anything about my past.  I truly believe that my past is what created “Tony.”

A Self-Made Man groupIn 2008 I founded two youth groups:  Translation, a support group for transgender teenagers, and Create Yourself, an art group for transgender and gender non conforming children under the age of twelve.  I also assisted in forming TransPACT, a support group for parents of transgender and gender non-conforming children.  The work I have been doing with transgender youth and families has allowed me to witness a child go from hopelessness to hopefulness by simply affirming their gender.  I watch families grow through the struggles they face when their child comes out as transgender.  It is truly my honor to be a part of my clients’ journeys.


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