Sojourner Chloe Xiu says she was late to the party, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t as passionate as she can be when it comes to fighting for transgender rights. She was 19 years old and still identified as a boy. Not once growing up did she ever believe she was meant to be a woman. That was until she watched a documentary on transwomen and felt like that is where she needed to be.
“I have a lot of respect for transfolk who truly feel they are the opposite gender trapped in their assigned at birth gender’s body. That wasn’t me. Me being a transwoman was completely by choice. I just felt that I could make a bigger impact on this world and be a bigger voice in the progressive community as a woman.” said Xiu.
To be sure, Xiu dabbled in crossdressing before confirming it was the right call, and began to transition in late 2014. Now she is two and a half years into horomone treatments and considers herself to be a “full fledged woman”.
“I chose the name Sojourner because Sojourner Truth fought hard for the rights of her people in the 1800s, and I feel like it would be honoring her taking her name as my first name. I want to fight for transgender rights and put my neck out there like she put her neck out there.”
She took Chloe as a “second name, not a middle name” because “I have always liked that name.” said Xiu. “Being a woman has been everything I dreamed it would be and more. I am completely satisfied with my decision. It feels right and I feel empowered.”
Xiu graduated from University of Washington in 2015, and became popular with her own YouTube channel that documented her transition. But the channel wasn’t just about transgender issues, but also politics – Xiu’s channel had many videos dealing with her staunch, fiery progressive viewpoints. One of her eventual subscribers was Rennis Rinke, who became a fan of Xiu and recruited her to Public Radio Seattle in late 2015 as the stations first transwoman host. Since then, Xiu has hosted Trans Mission Radio, a 4 hour weekend radio program from 8pm to 12 midnight on Public Radio Seattle. The show deals with both transgender topics as well as politics. “You can not separate transgender rights and progressive politics, they go hand in hand.” said Xiu.
Xiu lives in Ballard and still video blogs on her YouTube Channel which earns her some income, but spends the rest of her week working as a financial analyst downtown.