Transgender activist comes out to 2.4 million people via text message
Freddie Bologno made the decision to come out come out to 2.4 million people all at once by sending a single text message.
Bologno – who prefers to use the gender-neutral pronouns “they”, “them” and “their” – used their position as DoSomething.org’s mobile engagement manager to do something they are used to doing everyday – engaging youth on social issues via various forms of media, including SMS messages.
Bologno made the brave decision last week, and took the opportunity of having access to such a large audience to be honest about their gender identity and the struggles they have experienced.
When texting the organisation’s 2.4 million strong mobile audience about campaigns and good causes for more than three years, Bologno always signed off messages with “Alysha.”
Bologno, who says they have a rule of always being honest with their audience, decided they wanted to use the platform to show they identify as transgender and open up a discussion about the experiences they have been through.
“There was that option of, ‘Okay, do we just say Alysha has left, and Freddie’s taking over now?'” Bologno, 27, told Mashable.
“But that feels gross. I’m not a television character that gets killed off. I’m a real person. So, to hold true to that best practice we have of being authentic and honest, the only option was to send this text today.”
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The message then asked users to choose from three options: ask a question, support Bologno by tweeting a celebration song with the hash tag #Ready4Freddie or neither.
Bologno has received an outpouring of support from users and public figures alike, including YouTube personality Tyler Oakley and musicians Tegan and Sara, who tweeted their support for Bologno.
“I’ve just been blown away by how positive the responses have been,” Bologno said.
“That’s so amazing to see. I have so much faith in this generation.”
Earlier this week, US presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton and US TV Host Ellen DeGeneres sent messages of support to a boy captured worrying about his sexuality on website Humans of New York.