Meet Chelsea: Trans Day of Visibility Spotlight

Co-Authored by Chelsea Brennan. Featured photo by Mx. Gay Photography.

In honor and celebration of Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31st, Chelsea Brennan was kind enough to share some of her insights and experiences related to her journey of self-acceptance. As an active member of the LGBTQ+ community and transgender advocate, her positive, relentless spirit, and innate sense of being, serve as inspiration to her peers, friends, family, and all members of our LGBTQ+ community in Cleveland.

“Being Transgender Doesn’t Define You, It Only Refines You”

Chelsea was asked to comment on her early life and some of the biggest challenges and struggles she encountered growing up. Although she had some difficulty being able to open up about her dysphoria and her journey toward transition with her peers, there was plenty of intrinsic motivation and hopefulness that empowered Chelsea later in life. She discovered that positivity and other like-minded, accepting individuals helped create a supportive network and inspired growth. Chelsea believes that being transgender doesn’t define you, it only refines you, without the need to validate yourself to appease or accommodate anyone else. Believing in herself served as a helpful tool on her journey.

A dear friend of Chelsea’s shared a piece of advice with her that continues to serve as a guiding light. This friend reminded Chelsea that there are more good people than bad people in the world. It was that resilience of hope that opened her heart to believe again. Chelsea learned that the key to self-acceptance involved self-awareness and staying true to herself. She believes that audacious perseverance pays off in the long run. Of course, her quick-witted sense of humor and “Irish diplomacy” came in handy during times of adversity.

Discovering Inspirational Moments on Her Journey

When asked to reflect on what people or situations helped inspire and motivate Chelsea, she quickly answered with the project of the Fieldhouse. Chelsea credits her involvement in the project for developing new partnerships, a desire to give back, meeting other members of the community, and keeping her inspired to be an advocate for Trans individuals within the LGBTQ+ community. She went on to say that the people who are the greatest inspiration to her are the ones who never make her feel like she has to validate her identity.

Chelsea helping in the Community Garden with other LGBTQ+ community members.

One particularly prominent memory in Chelsea’s life came on the grand opening day of the Fieldhouse. Involved in the lead-up to the big day, she was extremely proud to be surrounded by talented and supportive individuals who collaborated on the event. She knew right then that she was in the exact place she needed to be at that moment. Knowing that she contributed to helping others find a place where they belong and kick-start their journey toward self-acceptance gave her a profound sense of pride and accomplishment.

It’s no secret that sometimes life’s most rewarding moments come as the result of overcoming tough challenges and emotional struggles. Steadfast in her commitment to succeeding despite the obstacles, Chelsea was once again inspired by a dear friend to regain her electrical contractor’s license and open her very own business.

Looking Ahead to Continue Achieving Her Goals and Inspiring Others

This advice, along with her hard work and dedication, paid off for Chelsea. Even in the face of adversity, she was able to achieve her goals and is now the proud founder and owner of Innate Electric – specializing in residential, commercial, and industrial electrical work. Never satisfied with complacency, Chelsea is committed to growing her business and giving back to the LGBTQ+ community. By aiming to employ fellow community members, she takes great pride in helping them work towards building sustainable careers while simultaneously making her industry more inclusive.

What final pieces of advice does Chelsea have to offer individuals at various stages of their self-acceptance journeys? She reminds them to trust their intuition and always follow their heart. Be true to yourself, never be ashamed of who you are, and surround yourself with the right people within a positive support network that will help you thrive. She believes that there are no limits to what you can accomplish with the right mindset and an innate sense of being.