A Self-Made Man

About This Episode

Gender identity issues often appear in early childhood. Some kids, feel they were born in the wrong body and this belief creates conflict in how they view and define themselves. Once a young person makes up his or her mind to embark on a gender transition, both parents and the teenager face questions and daunting challenges that they would have never imagined. Tony Ferraiolo knows this from experience. As an adult, he successfully transitioned from being female to male.

Now a Certified Life Coach and Transgender Youth Advocate in New Haven, CT, we watch Tony in his role as educator and activist, guiding children as young as 8 and their parents, through the arduous journey. Tony thoughtfully acknowledges the complicated dynamics of transitioning from multiple perspectives, and he creates safe spaces and support groups for teens and their families. Formerly identifying as a lesbian, Tony comes to terms with the complexities of his own life as a female-to-male transgender person. He honors the little girl that he was and tattoos an image of her on his arm. He also muses about love, friendship and self-determination.