One of the things I like to point out is that your family expands, not contracts after you transition, and in many cases those family members you gain are your trans siblings around the world.
One of those people I've had the pleasure of getting to know is my Brazilian sis Aleikasandria Barros. Since her reign as Miss Trans Universo 2015 is coming to an end and she'll have to return to Italy to crown her successor, I wanted to take a moment to give her a TransGriot shoutout.
Thanks Aleika for representing yourself, your nation and our community while wearing the Miss Trans Universo crown.
The Miss Trans Universo pageant is taking place on December 10, and it's on that night in Perugia, Italy she will crown her successor.
I've had the pleasure of getting to know Aleika for the last few years, and I've had some interesting conversations with her about a variety of subjects along the way.
In addition to being involved in the pageant world, she's passionate about causes near and dear to all of our hearts around the world in the eradication of transphobia, educating about our lives, the expansion of our human rights and building sisterhood in our ranks.
I've seen that firsthand since I have been in the position a few times of being a trans pageant judge. My pageant sisters at times are also advocates. They are not only serving as community ambassadors facilitating conversations between the cis and trans communities, there are qualities and things that you learn while competing in pageants that also translate to life outside the pageant world.
Congrats on your amazing year as Miss Trans Universo Aleika! May the blessings continue to flow for you in 2017 and beyond.