Sahara Gentry shares how fitness allowed him to emerge as a transgender. (Photo courtesy of Sahara Gentry; by Quiné Lemers)

It’s numbers. It is a series of Yahoo’s life on the journey of influential and inspiring people as they explore what self-confidence, body neutrality, and self-love mean to them.

Sahara Gentry Members of the LGBT community who want comfort in their bodies have turned their physical needs into a lifestyle, using social media as a transgender coaching profession. But the 27-year-old South Kentucky native, who has grown to more than 19,000 Instagram followers, said he wanted to create the masculine personality he had learned after going to the gym as a lesbian. Transgender people.

“At the age of 18, I knew nothing about the trans community. And I was always a very lesbian, I always wore men’s clothing. I never knew the reality of hormonal therapy could happen to me. I was growing up, ‘OK, these are the cards I carry, I have to deal with this sex. “Even though I’m not very comfortable with this,” he recalls speaking to Yahoo Life. I started learning about the trans community and you can definitely go to the doctor. And hormone therapy blew my mind, ‘Wow, this is true for me’.

When Gentry first joined the gym eight years ago, he recalled that he had fitness goals because of his unhappiness. “I was always very, very small and I felt very masculine and this little body shape. I was always given a very bad body disorder,” he says. “So the gym was a place I went to try and build myself, just to paint my canvas.”

Gentry developed a love of bodybuilding as a way to relieve the discomfort he had always dreamed of for himself. Still, it takes time to understand how his body shape relates to his gender identity as he works to better match his identity, both internally and externally. Working with trans male clients has helped in this process.

“I did not go out. [as transgender] They still saw me as a male lesbian, but they saw the change I was making in my body, how small and feminine I was, and how I was changing to look more masculine. “I respect your identity. It’s not like yours, but I appreciate your physical change and I want changes like yours.” So can you help me make the change? ‘”Gentry explained.

As a fitness trainer, Gentry admits that Jim is a vulnerable place for anyone who wants to improve physically. As a member of the LGBT community, he also realizes that getting in there can be even more daunting.

“When you work with someone in the Quarter community, you are also a little therapist. I also helped them with their physical issues rather than just talking about health and fitness, but I was helping them to love themselves at all levels,” he said. “I think it’s another reason people are attracted to me because I’m so real and accurate.”

He quickly realized that he needed to apply his counsel.

“I had to take a step back and learn to love myself at every step, which was difficult. But for me, when I went to the gym, I changed and I always found the masculine qualities I always wanted. I grew up as a woman all my life,” he said. “It was kind of every two months. As long as it wasn’t consistent, I had to look at the changes in the mirror that helped my body adapt to the masculine mind I always had. And I started looking in the mirror and for the first time I felt like. It is the kind of connection that the two states have for me.

Beyond physical changes, however, he realized that he had more power when he understood his gender identity and how he presented it. He began posting material that explained how he was different, even though he made assumptions based on his physical appearance.

“Be a caring man, be a strong woman, be the profile of both!” He was photographed wearing a t-shirt titled “Gender Roles Dies” on Instagram in 2019.

Still, as the journey progressed, he faced other obstacles as he came to accept his true identity. In particular, with hormonal therapies, he came to know how the treatment would affect his training and transgender client programs. He also struggled to get to the gym, knowing that his behavior was changing in more visible ways.

“It was scary,” he says. “I went to the gym for the first two weeks to have my facial hair grow and with a little beard and beard because even before I had major surgery. I was like, ‘Oh, these Kentucky people are really going to be like this. What’s the matter?’ But, you know, it was just one of those things that forced me to live my own life, and I forbade the outside world a little bit.

Although Gentry knew he was unacceptable in his homeland, he was proud of his parents’ support since he first became a lesbian. “My mother prepared me,” he says. “You have to be a little stronger when you come out of this world.”

To this day, however, the biggest show of courage in the process of verifying his sexuality took place on November 1 in the gym where he first entered the men’s locker room – seven years after he started working there and four months after major surgery.

“It was like putting on an invisible badge badge because there are people in the back of Trump’s stickers in the car and we have a lot of men in the car and police officers and men at work. Only men I expect to be very close-minded. They greeted me in the locker room and he said, ‘Hey man, good job, you look good.’ “They were surprisingly welcoming. Maybe I had a negative interaction and 25 good relationships. “

As he continues his personal journey and transformation, he proudly works in front of a growing Instagram audience with the aim of creating greater representation of the LGBT community and normalizing its existence in the fitness arena.

“Education is very important because the people out there are people who are very hateful and judgmental and commit crimes of hatred, killing trans women every year, they should touch that soft spot in their hearts. Put your foot in this man’s shoes. That is why these speeches should be more open and public. ” “Every time I look in the mirror, I feel proud of what I’ve built.