Meet the ladies of What's The T? They range from a bodaciously beautiful reality star to a biochemistry pre-med student. These ladies were carefully handpicked to become a part of this documentary because of their fascinating, intriguing stories that speak volumes on how transwomen are going to take over the world.
Melanie was born in Hayward, California to Filipino parents. She has 2 siblings, a brother and sister. She briefly lived in Manila to go to school where she managed to be both the class clown and the teacher’s pet therefore alleviating any chance of bullying as she was growing up. She returned to California and continued her schooling where she met her best friend, Dee.
She currently works at AsiaSF as one of the ladies of AsiaSF. She started performing at AsiaSF 9 years ago where she has developed a very close bond with her co-performers.
Nya’s unapologetic approach to dance and movement has allowed her to perform in numerous venues and artists.
Rakash Armani Singh was born Rakash Singh in an extended interracial family in Maryland. She currently resides in New Jersey with her family. Rakash says she has 3 jobs, she is a nurse, works at a rehab facility and her third job is being Armani. Other than coming from a supportive family, Armani has found solace and acceptance through another type of family, the house of St. Clair.
Houses are generally groups of trans-women that have a “father” and a “mother” and other “sisters”. They generally support one another and compete against other houses in underground balls to get prestige by way of titles. In order to be part of a house, one has to walk at a ball as an independent and when a certain house finds a girl interesting, she is then asked to join a house. Armani is special in the sense that she hadn’t walked her first ball yet and she was ultimately asked to join the house of St. Clair the first time she went to a ball. She was going to compete versus her current mother now, Aaliyah St. Clair.
Cassandra was born in Des Moines, Iowa. She was born in a family of 4 boys within 4 years. Her beauty is clearly undeniable is this constant taunting was what motivated Cassandra to be a model, actress, and calendar girl now. She has appeared in shows such as The Tyra show, CSI Las Vegas, the documentary, Trantasia, and her own reality show called, "Wild Things".
Cassandra moved to SF in 2004, after college in both Chicago and Florida. She also currently has her own revue at the Harry Denton’s Starlight room every Sunday and stars in her own Calendar, Cassandra Cass “Fantasy Girl”.
Her style icons are Pam Anderson, Bob Mackie, Terri Mugler, Cher, and Madonna. When asked who Cassandra really is, she responds with, “Just Cassandra with some really bitchin’ clothes”. Ever the industrious one, Cassandra spends her day to day life doing her own clothes and exercising.
Ms. Cass lives and works in the city that never sleeps alone, San Francisco.
Victory, more commonly known as Vi is a San Francisco native. Born, Victor Le in Chinatown, Vi’s comfort and ease can be credited to the support of her family, most especially her bond with her younger brother. She is currently in school finishing her undergrad in Biology with an emphasis on Cell and Molecular Biology.
She identifies with being transgender or a male-woman in her own words. Growing up, Vi was always mistaken for a little girl. She tried to exhibit more masculine behavior however it placed her into a deep depression. Vi started blossoming in high school and started to accept her being transgender however again, she was always mistaken for a lesbian, a very pretty lesbian. Vi actually drew strength from the constant mistakes and started to accept how beautiful she was and in that process found herself.
Vi is of strong character and knows that she is in control of her own life. This was brought upon by the strong support of her family. Vi’s story is unique in the sense that Asian families generally are not accepting of anything non-conforming however, Vi was gifted with a strong supportive family which is helping her achieve her dreams of being a surgeon or a psychiatrist.
Victory officially came to life on October 14, 2010.
Mia Tu Mutch is an LGBT advocate from San Francisco, California. She currently serves as the Commissioner for District 11 of the San Francisco Youth Commission, which provides guidance and advice to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors regarding legislation and policies that affect the City's young people. She also works as a Program Assistant at LYRIC, providing education, career training, health awareness, and community building among San Francisco's LGBT youth. Mia also attends City College of San Francisco where she is majoring in LGBT studies.
Mia is a strong advocate and activist for LGBT causes because she is a determined and confident individual, despite having been a victim of anti-lgbt discrimination herself. As a transgender individual, Mia suffered extreme bullying, not only from her classmates, but also from her ultra-conservative, Southern Baptist Family. In her senior year of high school, Mia's parents forced her out of the closet and subjected her to reparative therapy. Eventually, Mia was forced out of her home and disowned by her family. She finished high school while living with a friend an hour-and-a-half from her school. After high school, she sought sanctuary in San Francisco, but found herself homeless. Yet, Mia managed to complete a degree in American Sign Language, secure an apartment, and she began to help others who were walking the path she once trod. Even after being beaten on the street in a hate crime, she has never wavered in her pursuit of justice and equality for the LGBT community. The San Francisco District Attorney recently honored her for her cooperation and assistance with the investigation of her own and similar incidences and for her public speaking about hate crimes. This young woman is a force to be reckoned with, and we are sure to hear about her in the future, as a leader for LGBT causes.