For 10 years, Chaz says he didn't have the courage to start living his life as a transgender man. In those years, he struggled with the deaths of his partner and his father, and a painkiller addiction. "Getting sober was like the first step towards anything because you can't do anything when you're in that state," he says.

Chaz says he then started to go to therapy and learned he needed to focus on himself. "It was growing up and getting the clarity that my needs need to come first," he says. "Everybody else in my life are adults, and they will handle their emotional process around this, and I'm just responsible for myself."


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