31 Days 31 Trans Voices|Day 1: Christa Lou Cunningham, A Self-made Memory

Many of us turn to social media for sharing our experiences with friends and family. We document parties, friendships and life-changing events in our lives. And as quickly as we scroll through the day’s current happenings, we are often stopped in our tracks by memories that deserve more than a passing glance – and we make time to consider that which was and wonder through tears and smiles at the present.  We will begin our 31 Days 31 Trans Voices series for International Transgender Day of Visibility with one such story.

On February 29, 2020 Christa Lou Cunningham remembers the day she took the biggest leap of her life. She shares her Facebook posts with us.

Wow….

it was 4 years ago today (seems like a lifetime away), where I announced that I was transitioning to live my life 100% authentically in my truth.

Everything I mentioned then, still rings true. I am still learning and still being challenged on a daily basis.

I’ve gained so much more than I could have ever dreamed, people will always surprise you in showing acceptance and support. There continues to be the highest of highs and the lowest of lows – this crazy rollercoaster ride. I’ve laughed so hard I’ve cried and I’ve hurt so much I’ve quietly sobbed alone.

Christa Lou Cunningham

Despite always being surrounded by people, you can still be so lonely. A loneliness that actually physically hurts.

Those moments when you are with others that your heart is so full of joy… those are the moments to live for.

I am grateful for every day. Grateful that I still have my loving family- for without their love and support, I don’t know where I would be today.

I am grateful for the chosen family in the Queer community that has given me and so many others a place to be safe and call home and to call each other family.

Obstacles and hurdles every day. Today’s political climate is a major stressor, as laws are being encouraged and brought forth to further divide our humans, deny basic rights, deny employment, deny housing, deny basic health care…. it all makes me ashamed of how our society is creating further divides- all of that does not sit well with me, not one bit.

“So I fight – fight all of that…to be authentic.”

So I fight – fight all of that…to be authentic. There has been a cost paid, and believe me, I have paid dearly, but I would do it all over again without hesitation (but smarter).

Mentors are few and far between, learn to appreciate them, for there will be a time when you will be in their place to pay it forward.

I’m far from completing this transition to where my end goal is, but I’m happy where I am, knowing that this isn’t a race to the end, and to smell the roses along the way, to find love in others and also find love in myself in this journey.

I’ve only just begun….

❤️ Christa Lou

Christa Lou Cunningham

29 February 2016 ·

The last remnants have been disposed off….a metamorphosis if you will…taken a long time to blossom into the authentic beautiful person inside and out that I am, but have always been. So much to do…. so much to learn…. so much to share… so much to teach. My old self, I learned so much from, and still rely on his talents and strengths, his sheer determination, stubbornness, independence and humor. I will take those with me. I am Christa Lou. Christa a revised name of my precious and previous life. The middle name was demanded, by my hero (Mom) take my mother’s middle name, which was also her mother’s middle name. Two very strong-willed people that I admire and strive to be like every day. Join me in my journey, or not. Like or dislike, I don’t care, this is my path alone. If you like…. loudly proclaim, if you dislike- please quietly and gracefully excuse yourself and fade into the background. This is me, genuine authentic self. All my love- Christa Lou (formerly known as Christopher)

Christa Lou Cunningham in The Vagina Monologues, St. Louis, MO | Photo Joan Lipkin

Christa Lou Cunningham lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri. She is a community leader and LGBTQ+ advocate and activist; and is the current President of the Pride St. Louis Board of Directors.

Terry Willits

Trans Speak's Editor-in-Chief is an international mixed media artist, writer, LGBTQ advocate, coffee snob, dog dad, and FTM transgender - but not necessarily in that order, who practices what he posts. A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; he now does the writing thing from St. Louis, Missouri. You should check out his work - it's recommended by 4 out of 5 people that recommend stuff.

One thought on “31 Days 31 Trans Voices|Day 1: Christa Lou Cunningham, A Self-made Memory

  • March 1, 2020 at 2:02 pm
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    Thank you Terry, for representing us in such a wonderful way. I don’t know how you find the time in addition to your full time job.
    Janey

    Reply

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