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Seattle, WA

Ever since she picked up a guitar for the first time at the age of 16, music has been a core part of Claire’s life. Raised in a small town in Michigan, Claire didn’t always feel like she belonged and craved to find a way to connect with others. “Reflecting back, maybe that is why it was so hard to play music when I came out as a woman,” she said. “Transitioning can be a scary experience. You don’t know how people – from strangers to your parents – will react. Coming out was an act of vulnerability, and I was having a hard time dedicating myself fully to making music. So while I was opening up to everyone around me, I held off on playing. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was afraid of being taken less seriously as a musician or seen as a joke. So I bottled that part of myself.”

Eventually, Claire’s best friend Steven was playing one night at an open mic event, and he asked Claire to join him. Claire wanted to be sure Steven felt supported, and so she agreed to join him. “After six months, an eternity in guitar years, I played in public again,” Claire reflected. “I now have a YouTube channel where I am now completely open about sharing my music and my personal experiences as a transgender woman. This openness has led me to a sea of friendships across the globe. I used to constantly think about how I should act based on others expectations. Now I don’t have to think, I just am. It took me a while, but I’ve started to understand that only you can decide who you are.”

Read More Stories By:  TRANSform Washington

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