This Deaf Transgender Activist Broke Boundaries Through His Social Media

Chella Man proves to be one of the most influential artists in this generation.

He utilizes social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube as a platform to share his artworks. His works include abstract expressionism depicted through bodily portraits. In addition to his art that often borders transgression as it makes use of nudity and abstraction, he is also known for his own character. Chella Man is deaf, POC genderqueer, and transgender.

Today is my one year on testosterone. I honestly do not know if I will ever find the words to properly express how thankful I am for this opportunity and privilege. It seems that words will never suffice to convey the intensity of my appreciation. So, I turn to the perpetual fight of equality and continue to be mindful of the pain I used to live in. Without my personal memories of extreme dysphoria and depression, I would not be my best self. Clinging to these memories that have impinged me fuel the fire and fight. I will never stop. This past year was the most honest year of my life, the first year of my life. I took a wrecking ball to the walls I built around my core throughout the past eighteen years of my life. Opening up the heaviest, most internalized aspects of my identity, I shared them, unapologetically, with the world to accept. This was never easy, but the idea of having a chance to become the physical embodiment of my true self was enough to put everything on the line. I had no idea what to expect or what I would look like. But, here I am. I am him. My name is Chella Man. And, I am one year on testosterone today. Thank you to all who have fought for transgender and queer rights, now and in the past, as you have allowed me to live this life. Thank you MaryV for consistently reminding me; I am worthy of love in this world. Thank you to my family for listening to me, verbally or through sign language. Thank you to all of you who have sent your hearts to me, wherever you may be. Please know, your messages of support and encouragement are taken in, not just by me, but countless others who need to see the love, acceptance, and support. This world is changing. To be continued. image description: me holding up my first shot vs my one year shot

A post shared by Chella Man (@chellaman) on

He uses his YouTube channel as a medium for posting his art as well.

Most of which include his journey and struggles dealing with gender dysphoria. It is defined to be the condition of feeling that one’s own identity in relation to their gender, physically and psychologically, to be the opposite. Thus, Chella Man has been undergoing transition as he takes hormones in order to complete the process.

Recently, TEDX featured Chella Man as one of their speakers.

This is a momentous moment especially in this day and age. Visibility proves to be crucial and essential when it comes to acceptance of marginalized groups of people, such as POCs, and LGBTQ+ community. Chella Man is all of those. In his Ted talk, he opens up three important points:

He puts emphasis on educating oneself to get to know oneself more.

There had been a time in his life where he felt cornered. He didn’t know how and what to identify himself with. When his mom had asked him if he had wanted to be a boy or a girl, he couldn’t answer. There are traits he connects with on both spectrums. Before learning more about the fluidity of the notion of gender, not one identification satisfied him. Encountering and reading up on the term “genderqueer,” he finally found himself. This, of course, should not only be applied to those who are unsure of their own identification. Others are also encouraged to educate themselves on these terms and their definitions. Through this, we open ourselves to the many possibilities that come with the fluidity of gender and, essentially, of being human.

Chella Man makes us question what we think we know.

His point regarding the difference between presentation and inherent identification is something worth considering and reflecting upon. He defines presentation as the manner in which we show ourselves to others physically. This also includes our mannerisms, interactions with other people, and overall presentation.

On the other hand, inherent identification is found within. Mentally, he identifies as genderqueer. As mentioned earlier, he has a connection with both of his feminine and masculine side. To choose one over the other would be a betrayal to his own identity and to himself. And thus, inherently, on the inside, he is genderqueer. This has little, or even nothing, to do with how he presents himself. Despite him being trans masculine, meaning his presentation is that of a man, he still identifies as genderqueer.

Through all of this, he displays no shame in showing his transformation physically, mentally, and emotionally to the public.

It is no easy feat to be in the process of transition. And there are a lot more people having the same experience and condition as Chella Man. He serves to be an inspiration and hope to the people relating to him. There’s little visibility for transgendered people. Even more so those of POC, and genderqueer. So, it comes as no surprise that he is continuously growing a larger number of fans and audience. From his mere appearance all around social media sites, and his courage to share his story to others, he has already broken a whole lot of boundaries and misconceptions that have served as boundaries to society’s progression.


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