Setting Myself Free: An Interview with Logan Alcosiba
Logan with a PRIDE background

Meet Logan Alcosiba; an inspiring activist and model that’s on a mission to promote equality for all, including transgender women of color. At the age of 15, Logan bravely shared her truth — that she was a transgender woman – and despite the negativity of the time, she was fortunate to have a strong foundation of support.

To spread awareness and acceptance, Logan became ultra-involved in her community, dedicating her time to academics, leadership, athletics, drama, and clubs. She would also become her city’s first openly transgender athlete, ASB President, Homecoming Queen, and more.

Logan founded her high school’s annual Transgender Presentation to teach others about the transgender experience, as well as her school’s first LGBTQ+ Support Club, a safe space for students to collect and organize. All the while, Logan was medically transitioning, breaking down barriers in transgender healthcare.

Jennifer Norman, the Human Beauty Movement’s founder, had the privilege of interviewing Logan for The HBM’s Role Models podcast during PRIDE to discuss how she blossomed into the beautiful and brave human that she is today and how her trail-blazing determination has led her on a truly unique path.

Read on to see what Logan has to say about learning to accept yourself in the face of adversity and how she came to terms with the amount of work our society has to do to provide acceptance and rights for transgender people. Logan continues to set an example for many of us on the importance of doing our part and standing up for what we believe in.

Logan

Pictured: Logan   Source: Instagram

Jennifer: I am so pleased to have you on Role Models! I’d love to hear more about the early days. What you were like as a child? What was your family like? 

Logan: When I was a toddler, it was pretty evident to my parents that I was more on the feminine side. I would always gravitate toward feminine toys and clothing. My parents didn’t care about that, though. They were very easygoing and just thought that it was me being a toddler and having fun.

I didn’t realize I was different until I entered kindergarten because I showed up to class one day wearing pink nail polish. One of my classmates pointed it out to the rest of the class, which was when they started poking fun at me and calling me names. I felt embarrassed and insecure because I didn’t realize that me wearing nail polish was “wrong.”

After that incident, I restricted myself from expressing my feminine side. It was so debilitating at such a young age to realize how negative the world can be towards your own expression.

Young Logan

Pictured: Young Logan    Source: Instagram

Jennifer: You essentially felt like you had to hide who you were. You were doing that up until high school, right? 

Logan: Yes! The year after kindergarten, I learned about Gwen Araujo, a 17-year-old transgender Latina who lived in my hometown of Newark, California. She was murdered because of being trans. It was so frightening hearing that story as I related to her, and I was truly frozen in fear at the prospect of being killed because of who I am.

Adding the knowledge of Gwen’s story to the fact that I was already being teased about the way I expressed myself made me want to hide my true self. This led me to police my thoughts, actions, words, and any kind of behaviors that could be coded as feminine.

It became a very isolating experience. I also felt extremely guilty because I wasn’t sharing who I truly was with the people I cared the most about. I also didn’t know how to reach out to people.

Jennifer: What was the turning point that caused you, at the age of 15, to say “I need to be true to who I really am?”

Logan: One of the turning points was actually in junior high when I first learned about the word transgender. Having access to language and the internet helped me find a community and come to the realization that there were other trans people out there; they did exist. 

During this time, I also looked up more about Gwen on Wikipedia, but I found myself seeing her story from a new perspective; one that wasn’t just rooted in tragedy, but also inspiration. She was herself no matter the consequences, and I commend her for that. Even though I never met Gwen, she made a mark on my life. 

I still carried the guilt of not being true to myself, especially when I started making so many more connections through leadership, sports, clubs, and classes. I felt like there wasn’t a solid foundation of truth within any of my relationships. I honestly felt more inclined to share my truth as a transgender woman with people because that guilt was just getting to me. It was nearly pushing me towards that edge of no return.

I knew I had to tell my parents; I felt like I owed that to them. They had done so much for me, and I loved them so much for it. So on May 31, 2014, I wrote this long letter with plans of handing it to my parents. I was too nervous to vocalize my truth, so I went this route. When I went to slip it under their door that night, I found myself crumbling it into a ball.

I decided to just keep it simple, so I took a post-it note instead and wrote down that I was transgender. I slipped it under their door, went back into my room, and cried myself to sleep; it was both the longest and shortest night of my life. When I woke up, my parents were sitting at my bedside, and I can remember them being very gentle as they told me they loved me and were ready to talk when I was.

When I went into the living room to talk, I found them on the couch smiling. We had a great conversation. They told me they were going to do their absolute best to support me however they could, which made me bawl my eyes out. From that moment, my journey was no longer a lonely one; we learned together and educated each other.

During PRIDE 2014, we started to go to doctor’s appointments because I knew medically transitioning was a process that I wanted, and it was something that we had access to. I began taking hormone blockers to stop the majority of the testosterone that was coursing through my body at a time. 

Before school started, my parents and I met with my school’s administration to discuss facilities and sports teams. We got the green light for me to use the female bathrooms/locker rooms, and we found out that California had made it law in 2014 that I, as a trans girl, was allowed to participate in sports on girls’ teams.

Logan in her cross country uniform

Pictured: Logan in her cross country uniform   Source: Instagram

When school began, I came out to everybody on Facebook with the longest post ever that explained who I was. In the post, I had told everybody that I was going to show up to school on Monday, September 8, 2014, in more feminine clothing. I also said I was going to be using she/her pronouns, but that I’d still be Logan Alcosiba.

Most of my peers were very supportive, but I did have a few negative reactions, especially that day. While it was extremely hard, it did show me a few things about perseverance and the power of knowledge.

Logan and her family

Pictured: Logan with her sister and parents    Source: Instagram

Jennifer: I just want to throw love your parents’ way because they have been able to demonstrate unconditional love so beautifully. So tell me more about your hormone replacement and medical transition journey. 

Logan: As I mentioned before I started the hormone blockers almost immediately after I came out to my parents. A few months later, near the start of school, I started to finally see my body changing in the direction that I wanted it to change. 

This change was freeing because, before then, it was difficult to do daily tasks like dressing myself, going to the bathroom, and looking in the mirror. Those things were all personal challenges because they made me come to terms with what my body was.

However, because I was still a minor, I wasn’t eligible for gender affirmation surgery. I knew I wanted and needed the surgery, so, with the help of my parents, we petitioned over and over until I was finally able to be interviewed by healthcare professionals. 

After explaining my situation and reaching out to my healthcare provider, Kaiser Permanente, I was approved to have gender affirmation surgery. I’m also Kaiser Permanente’s first minor to have the surgery!

Logan after her chondrolaryngoplasty, or tracheal shave surgery

Pictured: Logan after her chondrolaryngoplasty, or tracheal shave surgery   Source: Instagram

Jennifer: I know that you went on to help educate your school about the transgender experience. Can you share the cliff note version of your Transgender Presentation with us?

Logan: I created the Transgender Presentation from the native experiences that I had at school and out of school. For example, I was shoved against lockers and harassed in the bathrooms. These aggressions showed me that people didn’t understand the transgender community. Plus, the people who did support me wanted to learn more as well. 

I created a slideshow presentation that laid out basic terminology, like transgender and cisgender, along with what gender is and some common experiences/issues of the trans community and how we can overcome them with allyship.

My first Transgender Presentation occurred in 2015 and we had a great turnout and reaction. A lot of people became more supportive of the trans community and wanted to learn more. It made people feel more comfortable being themselves regardless of their sexual orientation or how they identify.

From this, my friends and I decided to create a Queer Student Union on campus to provide a safe space for students to express themselves. This club was also open to all who wanted to offer their support and be a part of the community, whether as a member or as an ally. 

Logan (on the right) with friends after the first Transgender Presentation

Pictured: Logan (on the right) with friends after the first Transgender Presentation    Source: Instagram

Jennifer: In college, you had some assistance from the Point Foundation. Tell us about the Point Foundation!

Logan: The Point Foundation is the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ scholarship fund that also provides mentorship and a lot of resources for students to access and explore. It’s just a great organization overall to help students make their way through college with financial support and community support.

Logan Speaking for the Point Foundation

Pictured: Logan Speaking for the Point Foundation   Source: Instagram

Jennifer: What do you think is a healthy way to inspire more acceptance of marginalized people, like the trans community, among those who are still on the fence about it?

Logan: I think it’s simply important to remember that we are just as human as you. Please respect us, our names, our pronouns, and in general, who we are. You don’t have to know every statistic or historical moment about the trans community, though I do encourage you to learn.

It’s important to remember that we’re not just a one-dimensional monolithic group of people. There are going to be connections between cis people and trans people. All of humankind is tied together somehow, so I think it’s important that we treat each other with that kindness, respect, and love.

Jennifer: You are now a model! What’s it like to step into a role where you’re met with more acceptance?

Logan: It’s been a wild ride to get here! I was scouted for modeling while I was going to college. After my first photo shoot, I was signed with We Speak Models, an agency based in New York. We Speak Models also helped me sign with Natural Models in Los Angeles and Body London Models in London.

I stepped into all of these opportunities, understanding that I was also making an impact for the transgender community regarding visibility and representation. I have carried that with me in every shoot that I’ve done.

Having this career seemed impossible to me growing up because every time I used to look in the mirror, I hated how I looked and who I was. It was hard for me to imagine a future for myself where I was happy and truly me. Having a job where I’m making a positive impact on the world, while embracing the real me, is amazing.

Logan

Pictured: Logan     Source: Instagram

Jennifer: What would you say to individuals that are going through the same journey that might not feel ready yet? 

Logan: I would say it’s okay if you don’t feel ready; everyone’s journey is their own. This is your life, so do what you want and need to do. There’s no rush and no pressure. Find ways that you can care for yourself and be who you are in your own way.

And if you do feel like sharing your truth with other people as part of your journey, I encourage you to do that, but always make sure to prioritize your own safety and preserve your self-love.

Logan with the transgender flag

Pictured: Logan with the transgender flag    Source: Instagram

To hear more of Logan’s interview on the Role Models podcast where she further discusses the difficult road to her gender affirmation surgery and the importance of self-love, click here

Show Your PRIDE by Supporting The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is an American nonprofit organization founded in 1998 that focuses on suicide prevention efforts among LGBTQ+ youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources including its nationwide, 24/7 crisis intervention lifeline, digital community, and advocacy/educational programs that create a safe, supportive, and positive environment for everyone.

The Human Beauty Movement fully stands behind The Trevor Project as one of the faces of acceptance and inclusivity for the LGBTQ+ community. True support for all individuals is also at the core of The HBM’s mission and we believe that, just as Logan mentioned, having support and finding your community is incredibly important. Let’s be that encouraging good-vibe tribe that offers true acceptance and understanding to all.

If you’re able, we implore you to donate to The Trevor Project to help ensure that the LGBTQ+ young people who need support nationwide know they are not alone. If you can’t donate at this time, you can also get involved by exploring The Trevor Project’s volunteer opportunities as well as keeping up-to-date with the organization’s blog

Happy PRIDE!

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