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This Is For Trans People And Anyone Else Out There Facing Tough Challenges. You’re Not Alone!
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Social Issues5 years ago

This Is For Trans People And Anyone Else Out There Facing Tough Challenges. You’re Not Alone!

Excerpt from my memoir “Paralian: Not Just Transgender,” Chapter 5, “Swabian Ocean”: “As a teenager, I started to feel like a dwindling army, spread over too many fronts. Slowly but surely, I spiraled into a deep depression. My parents were in no position to help me. <...> I had no choice but to overcome all obstacles by myself.”

Gradually, the stress at home, alongside my other troubles of a Transgender male, became too much for me to handle. I became suicidal. During this phase of my life, I frequently jumped up onto bridge railings, despite being probably the worst athlete anyone had ever laid eyes on. With no sense of balance or coordination, I would teeter at the edge of the abyss. <...> Thankfully, these moments of tempting fate taught me how much I loved being alive. After only a few months of contemplating taking my own life, I dug deep and found courage. And I made a decision: whenever faced with seemingly insurmountable problems, I would do my best to stop running, stop resisting, and instead choose to embrace them.”

I’ve experienced times like these more than once over the years (and probably will again). It just got too much sometimes as I became a sherpa struggling through my very own Himalayan mountain ranges. As life added bag by bag to my transsexual load, the weight began crushing me. Laboring on, lonely, caught in a storm, the air thinning with every step I took, it seemed soothing and attractive to simply jump off the edge of a cliff and have it done with.

I am glad I never jumped. It’s not just a cliche: there always IS a way. And life is damn beautiful precisely because those forbidding mountain ranges sometimes rise up way too high in front of us. So we go forward, put one proverbial, optimistic hiking boot in front of the other, over and over, until we conquer those mountains. We have the strength to do it more than once in life if we have to. And along the way, throughout our journey, we discover moments of pure happiness we’d never have found otherwise.

More info: liamklenk.com

1972 – 1st birthday with mom

1973 – a small boy trapped in a girl’s body

1978 – 1st grade portrait

1982 – at home with my dog Cora

1985 – with my grandma

1990 – High School graduation

1995 – still trapped, a month before gender reassignment surgery

1998 – the times in between

2001 – at lake Zurich with Sami

2002 – in a hat and a suit

2004 – studying natural sciences

2006 – happiest in the water

2008 – traveling in Palawan

2009 – diving Mexico’s cenotes

2013 – graduating in Hong Kong

2016 – taking life by the horns. Being who I always was: Liam!

No one can tell you who you are. You know best. Embrace it and be true to yourself. It’s the only way to be happy!

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Ariela Hornstein
Community Member
5 years ago

You sound like an incredible human being - smart, sensitive, kind and very very courageous. A true inspiration!!

Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you Ariela. I am far from perfect :) Just always trying to do the right thing. I hope in the future I can reach out more, and make a real difference. Thanks for your support xx

Load More Replies...
Talise Snyder
Community Member
5 years ago

wow, very powerful and inspiring!

Community Member
5 years ago

This is a reply for Limin Huang: I worked in Macau for 4 years for a big show called "The House of Dancing Water", coaching artists for their underwater entries in the show. While I was there I did a diploma at the HongKong Academy for Performing Arts, commuting over on my off days. It was a grand adventure, exhausting but really worth it in so many ways. Plus I met my wife there :) I never thought I'd meet anyone in HK to be honest and surprisingly we bumped into each other :)

Load More Replies...
Saumya
Community Member
5 years ago

I think more people need to hear your story. You can be a motivation for millions. I wish you the very best in all your future endeavours.

Community Member
5 years ago

3 years ago I fulfilled myself a life's dream and took a 1-year sabbatical to write a book about my life so far. It's called Paralian: Not Just Transgender (because yes I am trans and proud of it but I am also the sum of my experiences). I hope the story will go out there slowly, and I dream of maybe being allowed to give TED talks in the future. I want to reach out. I don't want to tell people what to do. Rather I'd love to keep sharing my experiences in a very authentic, genuine way and then they can interpret it all as it fits best for them. Thank you Saumya. All the very best!

Load More Replies...
over opinionated
Community Member
5 years ago

I wish what people understood the difficulties that not being comfortable in the skin they were given. I applaud your courage and hope for a more tolerant society. I'm sharing your story with my friend Jake (Dianna) who is struggling with becoming true to himself (religious upbringing) thanks for sharing your an inspiration

Community Member
5 years ago

Hello and thank you. Plus give my best regards to your friend Jake. If he ever wants to chat or has any questions, I'll be there. Just tell him to go to my website liamklenk.com and there is a contact page. If he writes me from there it goes straight into my inbox xxx I also hope that one day we won't need to label people so much anymore. And that gender won't be seen binary but rather as something fluid. I read the other day that many Native American tribes believed and accepted up to 9 genders... anything from trans to binary to female to male. It seems even back then they were already much smarter and more accepting about these things than we are :) I see the person, the human being in front of me. And I believe who they tell me they are and don't judge. Because they know best. After all they're living in their body, not me. I'll do my best over the years to try and help make a tiny bit of difference. Best wishes xxx

Load More Replies...
Katarina Bucic
Community Member
5 years ago

👏👏👏

Community Member
5 years ago

thank you Katarina xxx

Load More Replies...
Helen Lewis
Community Member
5 years ago

Fabulously honest, open post by a lovely guy...Paralian is the book to read if you're in need of a boost in your life, whatever your circumstances.

Community Member
5 years ago

Thanks Helen :)

Load More Replies...
Pi...
Community Member
5 years ago

Very inspirational...

Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you, I hope my story will reach many more xx

Load More Replies...
Susanna Vesna
Community Member
5 years ago

You are so handsome! <3 I really enjoyed your video! Don't know who would say no to employing you! You have got very kind and beautiful eyes! I wish you all the best!

Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you Susanna xx all the best for you, too!

Load More Replies...
Qyntel Smith
Community Member
5 years ago

Beautiful...

Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you!

Load More Replies...
Emy Reynoso
Community Member
5 years ago

This is NOT ONLY for transgenders, but also for us, who think that we struggle with so much in life and are so ungrateful, without knowing that, some others have it much worse, in different aspects in life. I loved your story, I really appreciate that you have the courage of sharing it with the inter-world, and I really like the peace and good energy you reflect in this video, like everything in your life is where its supposed to be. Thanks a lot, you've made me a better person today.

Community Member
5 years ago

Dear Emy, thank you so much! Your words mean a lot to me. Struggle comes in all forms and shapes though and we can't easily put value on it or compare it. Life isn't easy on any of us. What matters is how we deal with things and that no matter what we remain respectful to each other and try to make the best of it. Much love xx

Load More Replies...
Karina Andersen
Community Member
5 years ago

I feel in my heart JOY for you , that you are being who you are

Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you so much Karina!

Load More Replies...
Irene Fluit
Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you for sharing your story. You are a wonderful, brave person :)

Community Member
5 years ago

You are so very welcome. Thanks for taking the time to read it! All the best xx

Load More Replies...
Anita Leon
Community Member
5 years ago

Well done Liam!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!! People like you is what this planet need: Courageous and willing to fight for what they believe is right. Thanks for showing the planet that when you want you can. I wish you all the very best!! :) :) :)

Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you Anita! Your words mean a lot to me. And there is many of us out there. I've met so many inspirational amazing individuals on my travels. I wish you all the best, too! Much happiness xx

Load More Replies...
ShepherdXiap
Community Member
5 years ago

Great, happy to see you face the struggle and find a way out of it.

Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you, not jumping but embracing is so important! Best wishes :)

Load More Replies...
Teresa Stockroske
Community Member
5 years ago

Do you do vlogs on youtube? I'd totally love to watch more of you chatting. :D

Community Member
5 years ago

Hi Teresa, not yet but it is something I've been considering more lately. Can you recommend a good site? I've seen Vine for example, but I felt most videos there are so short, only a few seconds long, and I think I'd need at least 1-2 min for each video...

Load More Replies...
Aleksandra Kozłowska
Community Member
5 years ago

Fantastic journey! And really good photostory tho, i like the one in the water the most;)

Community Member
5 years ago

me too :) just got back from two weeks underwater again. thanks for the compliment and all the best!

Load More Replies...
frederic eeckman
Community Member
5 years ago

You sound like a strong and positive person, it's very inspiring ! And may I say, you're really a handsome man :p !

Community Member
5 years ago

thanks Frederic, much appreciated :)))

Load More Replies...
Riya Samanta
Community Member
5 years ago

Man, you are damn cool!!! Did anyone tell you that before? Brave to the core, and a true inspiration! Hats off to you!!!

Community Member
5 years ago

Thanks so much :) nope no one has ever called me cool before :) thanks :) just trying to make the most of it and life the best life possible. All the best to you!

Load More Replies...
Jade
Community Member
5 years ago

Wow! I wish all trans people could see this, and I wish all people who do not understand trans people could also see it for different reasons. You're awesome.

Community Member
5 years ago

Thanks so much Jade. I hope to reach many... now... and over the years... I'll keep reaching out.

Load More Replies...
Lily-Mae Sharpe
Community Member
5 years ago

FTM or MTF

Community Member
5 years ago

Ha! good if you can't tell because it really doesn't matter :) I was born in a female body but I was always a boy/man

Load More Replies...
Vincent Jay
Community Member
5 years ago

No one can tell you who you are? God can tell you.

Sheryl Kelly
Community Member
5 years ago

EXACTLY!!! I use to be anti-against-anything 'not normal'... it was how I was raised. Then a wonderful TV show called Star Trek aired and I slowly learned to accept people for who they are. Because who you are is WHO YOU ARE... NOT another person's perception. We all have experiences to teach others. Thank you for sharing yours!

Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you Sheryl for commenting. Yes, we are who we are. And in all our diversity as human beings we are beautiful :)

Load More Replies...
--
Community Member
5 years ago

ok this is awkward but what exactly happens to the *parts* down there (or at least in your case) --- anyway, good job in loving yourself and whatever you may be :-)

Community Member
5 years ago

I'm just another guy, not much different from most guys out there. Being trans doesn't mean you cease to be someone :) To your question: it really depends. Every person who feels they are stuck in the wrong body can decide for themselves how far they want to go. Both ways of gender reassignment surgeries it's possible to adjust the body so it is pretty much the way it was supposed to look from the beginning (with a bit of scars and complications thrown in). If you want to take a trip into the unknown, read my book "Paralian - Not Just Transgender". It's a turbulent adventure, engaging, and it will answer many of your questions without being in your face :)

Load More Replies...
frank0ys
Community Member
5 years ago

...Palawan!!!

Angie Allen
Community Member
5 years ago

When i meet children who already don't like themselves. If I can get them to like who they are and have pride in their accomplishments, I know they will have a better chance at life.

Angie Allen
Community Member
5 years ago

That is very true. I teach and it hurts my heart

Lily-Mae Sharpe
Community Member
5 years ago

Question How did you found out you was trans

Community Member
5 years ago

Hi Lily-Mae, sorry for the late response. I was away scuba diving :) I knew from when I was 3-4 years old that I was actually a little boy stuck in the wrongly-gendered body. Then I lost myself for a while as I tried to fit in, and listened too much when others told me who I was... When I was 21 years old, I came across a book with short stories about trans people, and it was like looking into a crystal-clear mirror. I finally knew without a doubt.

Load More Replies...
Angie Allen
Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you for putting your story out there. You did what you needed to do for you! I wish more people had the confidence and strength to take control of their own destiny! You love yourself and what's the BEST place to start!

Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you Angie xxx I believe no matter what our backgrounds and stories, we need to be true to ourselves. It's the only way to be happy, to love ourselves, be capable to love others and be loved.

Load More Replies...
Michelangelo
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Gross

Doge_Is_Derpy
Community Member
5 years ago

Your a dinus

Load More Replies...
Ariela Hornstein
Community Member
5 years ago

You sound like an incredible human being - smart, sensitive, kind and very very courageous. A true inspiration!!

Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you Ariela. I am far from perfect :) Just always trying to do the right thing. I hope in the future I can reach out more, and make a real difference. Thanks for your support xx

Load More Replies...
Talise Snyder
Community Member
5 years ago

wow, very powerful and inspiring!

Community Member
5 years ago

This is a reply for Limin Huang: I worked in Macau for 4 years for a big show called "The House of Dancing Water", coaching artists for their underwater entries in the show. While I was there I did a diploma at the HongKong Academy for Performing Arts, commuting over on my off days. It was a grand adventure, exhausting but really worth it in so many ways. Plus I met my wife there :) I never thought I'd meet anyone in HK to be honest and surprisingly we bumped into each other :)

Load More Replies...
Saumya
Community Member
5 years ago

I think more people need to hear your story. You can be a motivation for millions. I wish you the very best in all your future endeavours.

Community Member
5 years ago

3 years ago I fulfilled myself a life's dream and took a 1-year sabbatical to write a book about my life so far. It's called Paralian: Not Just Transgender (because yes I am trans and proud of it but I am also the sum of my experiences). I hope the story will go out there slowly, and I dream of maybe being allowed to give TED talks in the future. I want to reach out. I don't want to tell people what to do. Rather I'd love to keep sharing my experiences in a very authentic, genuine way and then they can interpret it all as it fits best for them. Thank you Saumya. All the very best!

Load More Replies...
over opinionated
Community Member
5 years ago

I wish what people understood the difficulties that not being comfortable in the skin they were given. I applaud your courage and hope for a more tolerant society. I'm sharing your story with my friend Jake (Dianna) who is struggling with becoming true to himself (religious upbringing) thanks for sharing your an inspiration

Community Member
5 years ago

Hello and thank you. Plus give my best regards to your friend Jake. If he ever wants to chat or has any questions, I'll be there. Just tell him to go to my website liamklenk.com and there is a contact page. If he writes me from there it goes straight into my inbox xxx I also hope that one day we won't need to label people so much anymore. And that gender won't be seen binary but rather as something fluid. I read the other day that many Native American tribes believed and accepted up to 9 genders... anything from trans to binary to female to male. It seems even back then they were already much smarter and more accepting about these things than we are :) I see the person, the human being in front of me. And I believe who they tell me they are and don't judge. Because they know best. After all they're living in their body, not me. I'll do my best over the years to try and help make a tiny bit of difference. Best wishes xxx

Load More Replies...
Katarina Bucic
Community Member
5 years ago

👏👏👏

Community Member
5 years ago

thank you Katarina xxx

Load More Replies...
Helen Lewis
Community Member
5 years ago

Fabulously honest, open post by a lovely guy...Paralian is the book to read if you're in need of a boost in your life, whatever your circumstances.

Community Member
5 years ago

Thanks Helen :)

Load More Replies...
Pi...
Community Member
5 years ago

Very inspirational...

Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you, I hope my story will reach many more xx

Load More Replies...
Susanna Vesna
Community Member
5 years ago

You are so handsome! <3 I really enjoyed your video! Don't know who would say no to employing you! You have got very kind and beautiful eyes! I wish you all the best!

Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you Susanna xx all the best for you, too!

Load More Replies...
Qyntel Smith
Community Member
5 years ago

Beautiful...

Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you!

Load More Replies...
Emy Reynoso
Community Member
5 years ago

This is NOT ONLY for transgenders, but also for us, who think that we struggle with so much in life and are so ungrateful, without knowing that, some others have it much worse, in different aspects in life. I loved your story, I really appreciate that you have the courage of sharing it with the inter-world, and I really like the peace and good energy you reflect in this video, like everything in your life is where its supposed to be. Thanks a lot, you've made me a better person today.

Community Member
5 years ago

Dear Emy, thank you so much! Your words mean a lot to me. Struggle comes in all forms and shapes though and we can't easily put value on it or compare it. Life isn't easy on any of us. What matters is how we deal with things and that no matter what we remain respectful to each other and try to make the best of it. Much love xx

Load More Replies...
Karina Andersen
Community Member
5 years ago

I feel in my heart JOY for you , that you are being who you are

Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you so much Karina!

Load More Replies...
Irene Fluit
Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you for sharing your story. You are a wonderful, brave person :)

Community Member
5 years ago

You are so very welcome. Thanks for taking the time to read it! All the best xx

Load More Replies...
Anita Leon
Community Member
5 years ago

Well done Liam!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!! People like you is what this planet need: Courageous and willing to fight for what they believe is right. Thanks for showing the planet that when you want you can. I wish you all the very best!! :) :) :)

Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you Anita! Your words mean a lot to me. And there is many of us out there. I've met so many inspirational amazing individuals on my travels. I wish you all the best, too! Much happiness xx

Load More Replies...
ShepherdXiap
Community Member
5 years ago

Great, happy to see you face the struggle and find a way out of it.

Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you, not jumping but embracing is so important! Best wishes :)

Load More Replies...
Teresa Stockroske
Community Member
5 years ago

Do you do vlogs on youtube? I'd totally love to watch more of you chatting. :D

Community Member
5 years ago

Hi Teresa, not yet but it is something I've been considering more lately. Can you recommend a good site? I've seen Vine for example, but I felt most videos there are so short, only a few seconds long, and I think I'd need at least 1-2 min for each video...

Load More Replies...
Aleksandra Kozłowska
Community Member
5 years ago

Fantastic journey! And really good photostory tho, i like the one in the water the most;)

Community Member
5 years ago

me too :) just got back from two weeks underwater again. thanks for the compliment and all the best!

Load More Replies...
frederic eeckman
Community Member
5 years ago

You sound like a strong and positive person, it's very inspiring ! And may I say, you're really a handsome man :p !

Community Member
5 years ago

thanks Frederic, much appreciated :)))

Load More Replies...
Riya Samanta
Community Member
5 years ago

Man, you are damn cool!!! Did anyone tell you that before? Brave to the core, and a true inspiration! Hats off to you!!!

Community Member
5 years ago

Thanks so much :) nope no one has ever called me cool before :) thanks :) just trying to make the most of it and life the best life possible. All the best to you!

Load More Replies...
Jade
Community Member
5 years ago

Wow! I wish all trans people could see this, and I wish all people who do not understand trans people could also see it for different reasons. You're awesome.

Community Member
5 years ago

Thanks so much Jade. I hope to reach many... now... and over the years... I'll keep reaching out.

Load More Replies...
Lily-Mae Sharpe
Community Member
5 years ago

FTM or MTF

Community Member
5 years ago

Ha! good if you can't tell because it really doesn't matter :) I was born in a female body but I was always a boy/man

Load More Replies...
Vincent Jay
Community Member
5 years ago

No one can tell you who you are? God can tell you.

Sheryl Kelly
Community Member
5 years ago

EXACTLY!!! I use to be anti-against-anything 'not normal'... it was how I was raised. Then a wonderful TV show called Star Trek aired and I slowly learned to accept people for who they are. Because who you are is WHO YOU ARE... NOT another person's perception. We all have experiences to teach others. Thank you for sharing yours!

Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you Sheryl for commenting. Yes, we are who we are. And in all our diversity as human beings we are beautiful :)

Load More Replies...
--
Community Member
5 years ago

ok this is awkward but what exactly happens to the *parts* down there (or at least in your case) --- anyway, good job in loving yourself and whatever you may be :-)

Community Member
5 years ago

I'm just another guy, not much different from most guys out there. Being trans doesn't mean you cease to be someone :) To your question: it really depends. Every person who feels they are stuck in the wrong body can decide for themselves how far they want to go. Both ways of gender reassignment surgeries it's possible to adjust the body so it is pretty much the way it was supposed to look from the beginning (with a bit of scars and complications thrown in). If you want to take a trip into the unknown, read my book "Paralian - Not Just Transgender". It's a turbulent adventure, engaging, and it will answer many of your questions without being in your face :)

Load More Replies...
frank0ys
Community Member
5 years ago

...Palawan!!!

Angie Allen
Community Member
5 years ago

When i meet children who already don't like themselves. If I can get them to like who they are and have pride in their accomplishments, I know they will have a better chance at life.

Angie Allen
Community Member
5 years ago

That is very true. I teach and it hurts my heart

Lily-Mae Sharpe
Community Member
5 years ago

Question How did you found out you was trans

Community Member
5 years ago

Hi Lily-Mae, sorry for the late response. I was away scuba diving :) I knew from when I was 3-4 years old that I was actually a little boy stuck in the wrongly-gendered body. Then I lost myself for a while as I tried to fit in, and listened too much when others told me who I was... When I was 21 years old, I came across a book with short stories about trans people, and it was like looking into a crystal-clear mirror. I finally knew without a doubt.

Load More Replies...
Angie Allen
Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you for putting your story out there. You did what you needed to do for you! I wish more people had the confidence and strength to take control of their own destiny! You love yourself and what's the BEST place to start!

Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you Angie xxx I believe no matter what our backgrounds and stories, we need to be true to ourselves. It's the only way to be happy, to love ourselves, be capable to love others and be loved.

Load More Replies...
Michelangelo
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Gross

Doge_Is_Derpy
Community Member
5 years ago

Your a dinus

Load More Replies...
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