You Are Worth The Effort - Gabe Cano

Gabe had always known since he was a kid that if he could choose, he would choose to be a boy.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if I just woke up and somehow I was a boy and it had always been that way….it would just happen and it would be kinda magical.”

Growing up Gabe had very long hair. He would always try to avoid catching his own reflection. And when he did, he would look away and get a feeling of disgust. During his time at BYU in Provo Utah, he cut his hair and began to "take selfies" and became more comfortable with his reflection.

“I can remember, brushing my teeth and being like, ‘why am I looking at myself, i’ve never done that before.’”

While on a mission for the LDS church, Gabe had an unfortunate experience with his mission president. During one of their regular interviews, his mission president said that Gabe needed to change and be more feminine. Heeding the words of this authoritative figure, he did his best to accommodate the request. After a few months he fell into a depressive state and began to break down. Gabe believes that his mission president had the best of intentions but didn’t fully understand the gravity of what he was asking.

After becoming involved with USGA (Understanding Same Gender Attraction) at BYU, Gabe attended a panel where a transgender person shared their own experience. Gabe says,

“It was like 50,000,000 light bulbs going off!” “That’s what this is!”

Gabe is openly queer, “I have MANY gay stickers on my laptop.” but prefers that people get to know him as a person first and as a transgender person second.

Gabe wants transgender people to know that there are good things to come. He has learned to fight for himself and to care about himself enough to do something as challenging as transitioning.

“I really had to love and care about myself--and feel like I was worth all that effort."

Benjamin Dunford