When I was traveling through California, setting up pop-up shops for a company, we decided to hit up the Los Angeles LGBT Center and set up shop there. Upon arrival, this bright eyed, handsome transman introduced himself to me holding a fancy camera in his hands.

Alex Schmider is the Assistant at The Center. The Los Angeles LGBT Center is building a world where LGBT people thrive as healthy, equal and complete members of society. If you haven’t found The Center in your gayborhood, you should! The Centers are always there to help and are packed full of information.

As for Alex, he was a huge help the day I met him, snapping pictures and dishing out information. Alex is always ready to teach, speak, and help with anything LGBTQ related. In fact, Alex is soon to be seen in a Hallmark TV commercial which will be nationally broadcast. The commercial will be covering the subject about LGBT kids and their moms.

HEAR IT FROM ALEX SCHMIDER

_AlexSchmider

I wear my heart on my t-shirt – who you see is what you get.

My style has simplified in the last few years. It’s been stripped down in many ways to the bare minimum: t-shirt, jeans, solid-colored shoes. The reason is as much a reflection of my evolved sense of style as it is my evolved sense of self. For most of my life, I tried to live for other people. I tried to be who I thought other people wanted me to be. I tried to dress how I thought other people wanted me to dress. I tried to bend and contort to fit into a gender identity that simply didn’t fit.

I felt perpetually uncomfortable and stuck and “not enough” in my own skin. It’s taken years to gradually outgrow and shed that shell. It’s taken good relationships and bad ones. It’s taken time by myself to finally get to know who I am. The true me. Not the person projected for or echoed by others. It’s taken good experiences and ones I’d rather wash away to preserve an eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. It’s taken everything I’ve been through to find myself here – a place of continual and pursuing peace, contentment, and self-awareness.

I would not be who I am without my family – their love even if sometimes imperfect. I would not be who I am without my friends – their acceptance of me as an unabashed nerd who is far too easily excited about the smallest things and in total embarrassing glory. I would not be who I am without finally accepting who I really am.

The journey has not been without its downs, but the peaks are far more visible when I look back at how far I’ve come. My style has simplified in the last few years. It’s been stripped down in many ways to the bare minimum. I’m not trying to be anyone else anymore. I’m not pretending or dressing to meet anyone else’s expectations. And it finally feels right, comfortable, genuine. What’s more, as soon as I stopped trying to be who I thought everyone else wanted me to be, I realized I already was.

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Instagram : @anderfinn
Twitter : @anderfinn
Facebook : @AlexSchmider

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