We had the good fortune of connecting with Lucia Leon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lucia, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
A year ago, during a period of severe isolation because of the effects of the pandemic, I started using social media as a form of escapism and self expression. I opened a TikTok account (@lucy.thinks.aloud) where I shared my thoughts and opinions about a variety of different subjects related to my experience as a trans woman. I was genuinely surprised when my follower count started quickly growing. My content and style seem to have resonated with a significant sector of the community who felt like I was able to represent some of the modern anxieties felt by trans people. It was then that what started as a small pandemic hobby became a much bigger part of my life. I realized that I had a talent for communication, content creation and that I was passionate about working for and with my community.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I believe that my life path as a immigrant woman of trans experience who has had the opportunity to exist in a variety of different social environments in different moments of my life has provided me a unique perspective as well as the necessary tools to tell my story.
I often described the journey of my life and my transition as a quest to find my own voice. As a child I struggled communicating complicated feelings that now, in hindsight, I can recognize as the dissonance between my assigned gender at birth and my experience of the world.
The lack of words to describe this incongruence made me feel alone for a big portion of my life. This was amplified when my family moved to America. I was not fluent in english and at first I struggled with a cultural shock that made me feel like I would never belong anywhere.
But it was precisely this struggle that led me to fight for place. when i couldn’t communicate with words I started doing it through visual arts or music, and when I finally was able to speak the language fluently I worked really hard on sharpening my eloquence. I got an education in vocal performance and while in college I was exposed to queerness, transness and other aspects of the human experience that deeply resonated with me in ways I never imagined. I was able to come out and started my transition during my senior year at SDSU.
Now I utilize the skills that I learned as a performer to build a platform on social media where my voice is often heard by thousands of people. This is what eventually led me to become an associate to the TH&WC where I have the chance to empower other voices within my community.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If they were visiting for a day, I would probably take them for a great breakfast and a walk by the ocean possibly somewhere in la Jolla, followed by a trip to Balboa Park and where we can walk around and enjoy the beautiful museums and architecture. Later in the day we would go barhopping around Hillcrest starting at the our amazing local sapphic bar Gossip Grill before dancing all night at Riches or if we are lucky ending up in the always interesting gothic landscape of Sabbat.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I believe that there is not such a thing as a self made person. We all are to some extent “community made.” I was allowed a platform by the people who so potential in me and what I had to say. The experiences of the elder members of the trans community has also greatly influenced my world view. In addition I was afforded the opportunity to professionalize my skills by the women at the Transgender Health & Wellness center. People like our CEO Thomi Clinton and our director of programs Naya Velazco. This women make me believe in the potential I had to contribute and the value of my work.
Other: TikTok : lucy.thinks.aloud