Trans Day of Visibility: Life’s too short not to embrace the true you. You deserve the life you want

Hinge's love and connection expert Moe Ari Brown for Trans Day of Visibility.

On Trans Day of Visibility, Moe Ari Brown, therapist, speaker and love and connection expert for dating app Hinge, explains how choosing the path of radical authenticity has revolutionised their life.

When I began my transition, there weren’t many resources that had the answers I needed to support me on my journey as a trans person.

I was assigned female at birth. With this comes certain assumptions, such as what kind of toys you’ll play with, your interests, the clothes you’ll wear, and even the gender of the people you’ll date.

My identical twin sister and I have been inseparable since we were born, but despite our similarities, we aren’t exactly the same.

Everyone expected us to be identical in every way, and I spent most of my childhood trying to be who other people told me to be. But while I attempted to live up to these expectations, I couldn’t escape the nagging feeling that I wasn’t living authentically.

As an adult, I found myself experiencing success but I was creatively blocked and struggling to connect with joy. I now know I was experiencing high-functioning depression.

You may like to watch

Determined to make a change, I needed to release what was no longer serving me, to choose who I wanted to be. I had to unlearn all the societal norms and expectations foisted on someone deemed female at birth and learn how to be Moe Ari.

I didn’t know who that was, but I jumped into the uncertainty of figuring it out. I realised that my authenticity was hidden behind constant validation for showing up in a way that fits society’s narrative.

The path of radical authenticity has been scenic and special. Like almost a third of trans Hinge users in the past year, I grew more spiritual. I reconnected and revived my relationship with the earth through meditation and plant medicine.

In the end, I found love and sacred partnership.

As I explored my gender identity, I remembered experiences when I was younger that pointed to how I truly felt. For example, crying in the car and telling my mom that I didn’t want bras or breasts. It was clear I felt discomfort in my body, but neither myself nor my mom had the language for this at the time.

When I was older, I started seeing people’s stories on social media, and it revolutionised how I thought about myself.

This was the catalyst I needed to take further steps to create my authentic identity. I cut my hair pretty soon after that, and then I started experimenting with how I dressed. I wore ties and more masculine clothing.

At the time, I didn’t know the extent of the changes I would make or expect to end up where I am today. I only knew that every change I made felt good, so I was sure I was going in the right direction.

For me, gender exists outside what is expected of men and women. It now feels great to be me without being restricted by what it means to be a girl or boy.

I’ve lived and loved in many genders, and it’s much easier to define my gender as everything and nothing. My gender is Moe Ari.

Today, I’m still a work in progress, and I hope that never changes. I’ve learned we don’t ever “find ourselves”. We create our own authenticity. We have to be open to the unknown, the birthplace of creating.

This moment in history is an important one for transgender visibility and allyship.

Every day I am reminded of how far we’ve come. I’m also aware of how far we still have to go for my daughter’s generation to inherit a world where they are free to live authentically and be loved unconditionally.

Many of our collective ancestors protested the types of discrimination that transgender people face today.

Many lawmakers have introduced legislation against transgender people that, in 2023, are far too eerily reminiscent of the Jim Crow era oppression. They not only infringe on civil rights, but also too eagerly make it a punishable crime to go against their discriminatory policies.

It is my hope and fervent dream for people to realise that we all, regardless of identity, are pursuing the same three things; belonging, authenticity, and love.

We will know that we’ve arrived at our ideal world when everyone is celebrated and free to be who they are destined to be.

Now, through my work as Hinge’s love and connection expert, I’m supporting all people with their own ‘Not-so Frequently Asked Questions’ and helping them embark on a journey to radical authenticity.

No matter where you are on your journey to self-acceptance, remember you deserve to live the life you want. You will face obstacles along the way, but do not let that get in the way of achieving your dreams of being your authentic self.

Life is way too short not to embrace the true you.

Moe Ari Brown is a licensed marriage and family therapist, Hinge’s love and connection expert and a leading transgender identity mental health expert. You can read more of Hinge’s NFAQs here.