This month I introduce you to Michelle Sheppard, a gorgeous Trans Woman, who I met through social media. We connected over our love of bras (surprise) and I am happy that I was able to help Michelle. Although Michelle has not experienced breast cancer personally, I believe her story is important; her advocacy work within her community and teaching her young daughters about body confidence.
Michelle was recently invited by Cancer Council Victoria to participate in their “The Beautiful Women Campaign”. This campaign is designed to celebrate the beauty and diversity of women and encourage all women in all communities, to have their regular health checks. This is what I love about Michelle. She is always ready to put her hand up, help and promote a positive message.
I asked Michelle what her shade of pink was and she replied: “My shade would be more of a Plum/Raisin. To me a darker pink inspires confidence yet appears practical, shows emotional balance and maturity, encouraging common sense and a balanced outlook on life. Unconditional and romantic love, warmth, hope, calming, sweetness, projects feminine and intuitive energy, spiritual yet practical, negotiator”.
This is Michelle’s Story
I am a Trans Woman and a proud parent of two amazing daughters. I was born and raised in St Louis, Missouri USA. I have lived in Australia for the past 15 years and call Australia home.
I struggled all of my life with the thoughts of not identifying the way I was told I should as a young man and often wondered if I was gay but because of my cultural background I lived much of my life with guilt and ongoing confusion. It wasn’t until my marriage ended when I was 36, after many years of seeing a counsellor and psychologist trying to source the best self-help that I could think of trying to find a solution to rid myself of these feelings, which became endless and exhausting. But in the end I finally made the decision that I couldn’t hide anymore and made the decision to transition.
The last three years has been an amazing eye opener and a rare privilege being able to generate greater awareness of the unique challenges faced by LGBTIQ+ peoples but especially lesbian, bisexual and transgender and queer (LBTQ) women in the workplace by co-founding LGBTIjobs.com.au as a way to create better awareness of LGBTI issues in the workplace.
I have been blessed to be invited to unique female spaces and have developed amazing relationships with several women who are involved in many important projects that help not only the wider LGBTIQ+ community but also women’s issues. This is one issue that was more personal because of my ex, my close girlfriends, and my mother, as well as the one topic that brought me closer to other women the most.
As a parent of two girls I wanted to make sure they know their worth as women beyond their bodies. Often finding it hard I have made sure not to vocalise any discomfort with my own body, if I do i.e. around dry skin I try and have a positive conversation with them teaching them about it and discuss moisturising etc. being aware of the words I say to myself. It is sad how mean we can be to ourselves.
It is important as parents to make sure the information our daughters are getting is factual and complete because she is going to get answers from somewhere, so for me it is important to spend time together and keep an open line of communication.
Then I thought it is important for my oldest to understand our bodies come in different shapes and sizes and not to be ashamed and where I can I try and shift her to understand that its ok to say “Today I accept myself and love myself for who I am.”.
Originally posted by Red Fern lingerie: