Chris Tina Bruce made history in October 2011 when she competed as the first transgender woman in a bodybuilding contest in San Diego. Since then, when Bruce isn't busy competing and running her personal training business, she has used her visibility to speak out about transgender issues.
Bruce situates herself in the center of the gender spectrum, preferring to identify as not entirely male or female, a position that many people -- including LGBT people -- find difficult to understand. But Bruce has offered us the chance to reconsider our approach to gender and is helping to shatter antiquated notions about gender identity and expression and exactly how diverse they can be.
Aside from public speaking, the San Diego-based fitness trainer started the "Be Bold, Be Proud" foundation, which is a non-profit organization that seeks increased awareness and equality for transgender people.
Bruce was also recently featured on National Geographic Channel's "Taboo: Changing Genders" in September. Days before the episode about gender identity aired, Bruce spoke with the Huffington Post and noted, "So much of society associates the stereotypes of Ru-Paul, Rocky Horror Picture Show or Corporal Klinger of MASH portrayed by much of our media as what being transgender is... My hope is that telling my story would assist in cultivating change in our society about transgender people."
Each day in October, which is LGBT History Month, we'll be featuring a different LGBT icon. Check back tomorrow for a look at another incredible individual who changed history and visit our LGBT History Month Big News Page for more stories.