Saturday, December 20, 2014

Happy Holidays 2014!

Me in my Superman Onesie - Christmas 2014
Happy Holidays!  Thank you all for being in my life, and for the ways you support and encourage me!!

For those of you who may not know, I came out as transgender in September, 2013.
I chose the name Leo Channing, which means lion, fierce wolf, and church leader. My name reminds me to be courageous and strong in my activism, advocacy and faith.

2014 is the year that I embraced my new sense of identity: changing my name legally, transitioning medically with top surgery and testosterone. I am happier than I have ever been in my life, and so much more comfortable in my own skin. My voice is getting deeper, but still cracks, which makes me laugh!

I was surprised and thrilled to have my church embrace me as Leo. The opportunity to share my story with other churches as well has been an awesome gift. I truly enjoy this public speaking and sharing on my blog.

And for big news this year: In November, I was elected to the Board of Directors at one of my favorite non-profits, Cascade AIDS Project. I am so excited to be able to continue my support of this organization in their mission: “To prevent HIV infections, support and empower people living with or affected by HIV, and eliminate HIV-related stigma and health disparities.”

And I’m really looking forward to 2015….! I’m going to start taking aerial classes, with the hopes that one day I can meet a life goal of being on a flying trapeze (just for fun, I’m not changing careers, yet).

Here are some other highlights for 2015…

This year I am grateful to have the opportunity to organize a church service for the Portland Metro area, sponsored by the Portland Metro Chapter of ReconcilingWorks. This is an annual community-wide worship service and reception celebrating that we really do mean All Are Welcome, including the LGBT community. We will have an amazing preacher from Minnesota, Rev. Anita Hill, a pioneer of the movement for full inclusion! If that interests you, come on by! 
St. Andrew Lutheran, 12405 SW Butner Road, Beaverton, OR.
January 18th, 2015 – 6:30pm

Save the date: My 40th Birthday! – July 15th, 2015
Groan… I can’t believe I turn 40 in 2015. Say it ain’t so! Save the date now for a big blow-out event, July 15th, 2015. It will be a fundraiser for my AIDS Walk goal and will have entertainment, a silent auction and more! I am not ready to face 40, and plan on softening the blow of this milestone birthday with as many good friends and as much giving-back as one night can handle. PS - Do you make crafts, create art, quilt, knit, or other skills you may be interested in donating to the silent auction? Oooooh….. let’s talk! 

Stay Tuned: Faith Campaign for AIDS Walk – September 12th, 2015
In 2014 I helped to recruit communities of faith to start up teams for AIDS Walk. It was fantastic, and many great people participated and donated. Thank you! And in 2015, we are going to BRING IT! I’m excited to be involved in this endeavor again. Stay tuned for news of fun events!

Thank You! Thank you! Thank you!
Thank you for helping make this year so incredible and full of love. I’m excited for adventures and good work to be done in 2015. I’m glad you’re in my life and hope we stay connected over the years.

Wishing you a holiday season full of peace, love, hope, joy, and just the right mix of naughty and nice.



  1. Love this look back on last year and ahead to the next! Wishing you much love, joy, laughter and blessings. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  2. Love back to you, Leo! I hope you come to embrace 40. (I loved 40.) I suppose it might help that you still look like a very young man. :-) xoxoxoxox