In an all new episode of Here & Queer, we hear from Ravanna Michelle Menendez who bravely opens up about her life’s journey, from being raised in the south all the way to transitioning before the public eye. Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Overcast and more!
Excerpt beginning 2:03
I grew up knowing that I was trans, but I grew up in a very conservative, very religious household, you know? You got the whole Cuban Italian thing. It's really in in the Bible Belt. So a lot of my growing up, was really stifled and repressed, based off of who I was, and who I know that I had to be in that scenario. One of the things that, you know, really stifled a lot of that was I grew up in a very abusive household with my stepfather. And that was very much a constant threat to my sense of safety and my general ability to just live freely. So there's a lot of tiptoeing, lots of eggshells, lots of you know, having to live and be myself behind closed doors. And even within those own little confinements that I had, it wasn't something where I could still absolutely with, you know, no certain terms be able to live freely without someone possibly walking in through the door, you know, I mean, lots of exploring with makeup and everything else like that. But there was always times where they would come in, and they would find my stuff, take it away from me, makeup, things of that nature. But it was always one of those things where, you know, on the religious side of it, I had to really look in and reflect going, Okay, I know that this is supposedly not correct. But I know with every fiber in my being, this is who I am. And I know with every fiber in my being that this isn't going to change. I spent so many nights trying to pray it away, you know. And I'm so one of those very vividly, one of the prayers that I was constantly asking
was, God, please just let me wake up as a girl, please just let me wake up as a girl like I'm supposed to be and let everything stop. So that doesn't have to be wrong.