By Selena Haynes | photo By Tabitha Hawk
Life is a journey to empower your true self. All the answers you seek are in your grasp. Nothing is random. You are light, you are loved, and you are not alone.
These are the words of Kesley Page, a well-known member of Middle Tennessee’s transgender community and the current board president of OutCentral in Nashville.
Kesley was raised in Big Rock, Tennessee, and if you don’t where that is, don’t feel bad. We had to look it up, too! He attended college in Clarksville where he graduated in July 2009. He then moved to Nashville and began his transition from female to male in November 2009.
“I found the TVALS support group and went to my first meeting in December 2009,” said Page. “I quickly began compiling resources and information to share with others. I started hormone therapy in February 2010 and had top surgery in September 2010.”
Within two weeks of his surgery, he took part in his first documentary “Transmen” that was filmed by Tiffany Dickerson, a student at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). Most recently, he participated in a documentary by Leah Carlisle that focuses on transgender healthcare.
In addition to documentaries, Page has been involved with several nonprofits in Nashville including PFLAG, TVALS, and
“I really needed a mentor in my transition. It is a lot to go through alone. Having someone to talk with that has lived the experience is very helpful,” he said.
“When the parents reach a deeper understanding of what their kids are going through, I think that is very helpful. I am happy to help bridge some of those gaps and answer sensitive questions.”
His commitment to the community doesn’t stop there. Page is passionate about improving transgender healthcare and providing affirming resources to the community.
“I have had the pleasure of providing sensitivity training with Meharry Medical Center, Murray State University and several small groups of providers,” said Page. “Volunteering has brought many amazing people into my life and I appreciate those folks every day. I wear many volunteer hats and strive to help build up our community.”
Kesley’s passion for people and community recently took him to Guatemala with Hug It Forward to help build a bottle school in memory of a dear friend who passed away.
“Guatemala was a life changing experience with an amazing group of people. I feel like I found family there,” said Page. “The kids were an absolute delight. They loved my tattoos and blonde hair. I met so many amazing change makers in Guatemala. The community there is very spiritual. I have a thing where often I find heart shaped rocks when I’m hiking etc. it helps me know I’m in the right place at the right time. When the last bottle was tied on the Mary Alice bottle school in Piquip Palima Guatemala, I was cleaning our work area and found a giant heart shaped rock. In that moment, I was filled with such gratitude and love! We all took pictures with the heart rock outside the school.”
Kesley hopes to empower, inspire, and motivate others through his experience and story.
“I decided once I started to transition that I would live my life out and proud so that others could learn from my experiences and know that they are not alone,” he said. “I use my voice when others can’t. I hope my presence in the community creates lasting change.”
Visit OutCentral’s web site online at www.outcentral.org.