Visibili-T is dedicated to transgender members of our community in Central Florida and Tampa Bay, some you know and many you don’t. It is designed to amplify their voices and detail their experiences in life.
This issue, we check in with Cindi Grace Miller, a woman who’s passionate about helping others live authentically. An avid golfer and Ocala native, she now resides in Tampa Bay with her spouse of more than three decades, with whom she shares two adult children.
Miller has a Masters in Counseling and Psychology as well as a Master of Divinity and Theology. She owns a health insurance agency and a travel agency specializing in LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ markets.
If that weren’t enough, she’s also an author, speaker and international gender consultant. She published “Gender Transition: Where to Start and How to Thrive” in 2022, which serves as “a complete guide to the gender transition experience.”
“If you have struggled with questions about your gender identity, then this is the road map you need to unleash the authentic you,” the book’s synopsis reads. “You may have tried to tell others at one time and maybe you were shut down or shamed for what you expressed. If you’re like most people of trans experience, you are probably really good at being secretive. You have had to be for your survival.
“Maybe you have silenced the questioning in your own head or maybe it has made you feel like you have multiple personalities,” it continues. “You may have spent years trying to prove that you are the gender that you were assigned at birth, even though you knew it wasn’t true … In this book I map out exactly what you need to know to live your true gender and your best life.”
“When you transition it is way more than just coming out socially and going through physical changes,” Miller explains. “Depending on how long a person pretended to be a different gender, there can be a ton of emotional and mental challenges that they must overcome.
“There are a lot of ways of being that they must let go of and re-learn new ways of being,” she adds. “This applies to both their inner dialogue and how they interact with others. In addition, most individuals of trans experience must deal with the loss of people and situations in their life due to coming out. This requires a period of mourning and adjustment.”
Miller came out herself four and a half years ago.
“I lived in fear of revealing my true gender to the world for way too many years,” she says. “I have since learned that most of what I was afraid of never happened and those things that did were never as bad as I thought they would be.”
It’s why she would tell her younger self “about the biological foundations of being a person whose outward gender is inaccurate to their true gender.” She says that’s “something we just didn’t know in the 70s and 80s and when I learned it, it changed everything for me.”
Her return to Florida has helped change things as well. She and her spouse moved to Tampa Bay after living in California for more than a decade to “be in a place we felt was safe to transition in.”
“I love the support and love that I have experienced and witnessed in our Tampa/St. Pete LGBTQ+ community,” Miller says. “It is very easy for most to find this support as well as many activities where they can begin to connect with like-minded people. This is something I really never saw in other communities.”
Miller says she has noticed “a lot of fear and guilt being spread within the community,” however, something she’d like to see improved.
“We should not make members of the community feel guilt if they do not act or think in a way that some think they should,” she says. “Coming out and learning to be a new you is hard enough without adding LGBTQ+ guilt on top of the process.”
That message is one she regularly shares with audiences in Tampa Bay and beyond. She consults with organizations who want to increase their understanding of transgender employees and can often be found speaking at events or conferences.
Earlier this month, that included a presentation at FLOCC, Florida’s first LGBTQ+-focused tourism convention. Miller led “Creating Transformative Experiences for Transgender Travelers.”
“I love to help educate others about the trans experience,” she says. That’s evident at CindiGraceMiller.com, where you can learn more.
Interested in being featured in Visibili-T? Email Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Williams in Central Florida or Managing Editor Ryan Williams-Jent in Tampa Bay.