Category: Transgender

  • 30 Years Zurich Pride

    At the Zurich Pride Parade with BCG and GetConnected last Saturday, celebrating humanity, DE&I, and the parade’s 30ieth anniversary. There are not enough words to describe how happy I was. 75’000 people were celebrating the amazing diverse human beings they are this year at our parade. It was my very first time being on a…

  • Let’s Not Forget

    I transitioned 30 years ago. Back then, even in Central Europe, this still meant that your professional life basically came to an end. All of a sudden, no one wanted to employ you anymore. Thus, many transgender individuals often had only one option remaining open to them: prostitution.  I was lucky and this never happened…

  • Trans and gender non-conforming individuals at the workplace

    Delighted to share a research that I undertook with colleagues at @BostonConsultingGroup has been published in the Sep-Oct Issue of Harvard Business Review (‘HBR’)! Earlier this year, our report on the experience of trans and gender non-conforming individuals (‘TGNC’) at the workplace spanning 8 countries was published online on HBR. The research uncovered some rather…

  • A Long and Painful Journey of Growth and Discovery

    I’ve always had to battle challenges and adversity far larger than being transgender. In this blog post, let’s focus on the transgender part of my story… I was born in 1971 and grew up in a time, a conservative geographic region, and surrounded by people who never asked me why I was so unhappy and hid away…

  • The Hazards of Traveling

    Traveling. That magical word. Those moments, surreal almost in their beauty and intensity once we return home and try to hold on to them in our thoughts. And then, of course, while on the road, there is this feeling of being intensely alive. I had missed especially this vividness when finally, after 2 years of…

  • On Stage with Kurt Aeschbacher at Haebse in Basel

    For a second time, I had the pleasure to be invited as a guest to Kurt Aeschbacher’s talk show. This time not on television but life on stage at the Kulturhaus Haebse in Basel. It’s been – once again – a special honor and precious life experience, whilst at the same time also an opportunity…

  • Come see me on stage in Basel on April 16th

    On Sunday, April 16, 2023, come see me on stage in Basel, Switzerland. I will be one of four guests of Swiss talk show legend Kurt Aeschbacher. And he will surely have an amazing conversation with each of us. For 30 years, Kurt Aeschbacher had his own talk show on Swiss TV. Now he is…

  • Traveling Aotearoa and Gazing Within

    Currently, I am traveling in Aotearoa, mesmerizingly beautiful New Zealand. On my own, in a camper van, catching up with friends, and attending a wedding along the way. I love this mix of meeting wonderful humans whilst at the same time being able to enjoy lots of quality alone-time…

  • The Amazing Zurich PRIDE Parade

    Yesterday, on June 18th, 2022, the annual Zurich PRIDE parade took place in the center of town. It was the first parade after the pandemic. And it was fabulous in so many ways… let me tell you more… Arriving at the meeting point, I already thought, “Oh, there are way more people here than in the…

  • Featured in Podcast ‘Mis Coming Out’

    For all Swiss-German and German speakers out there, here a little something to listen to on a relaxed Sunday afternoon: Marco Schaettin recently interviewed me for his fabulous podcast ‘Mis Coming Out’ (my coming out) and I told him about my life story… ☺️  Click here to get to the podcast episode. Further information on…

  • Paralian at Paranoia City

    Since yesterday, my book is available for sale in Paranoia City, a wonderful, little, independent book shop in Zurich. Paralian is officially out of print, so these are the last 6 copies available for now. What better place to sell them at than in my old home which inspired a large part of this book…

  • My Book Paralian is Still Available as eBook – Only Few Print Copies Left

    It’s been a long long time since I have posted about Paralian. With Covid, and things that happened in the year before Covid, I have been so absorbed, and left to fend for my survival, I could not really (and still can’t) keep up-to-date with all social media channels. I also realize, I want to…

  • Little Challenges

    Only 6 more days until I’ll be on my way! I’m getting quite excited and a bit frazzled. As always, the closer the date comes the more it seems like time is racing way too fast, and there is still quite a bit to prepare and test. One of the toughest things in organizing this…

  • Enveloped

    Dreaming of my days traveling and exploring the oceans. Like here in Palau, getting ready to submerge for a night dive with one of my best friends. Underwater, you are profoundly yourself. You rely on your skills, on the integrity of your mind. There are no doubts. There is only peace and focus. Your buddy…

  • Freedom and Independence

    Freedom and independence have always been important to me. These past few years, I’ve been increasingly reminded of their importance because – additionally to my own constant quest – someone close to my heart has been struggling with claiming her independence after having been imprisoned by religious and societal standards for most of her life.…

  • I Am Liam

    Ever since writing this blog, I’ve noticed how I lose followers when, for a while, I don’t specifically write about being transgender. I guess some people are hoping for specific insights into a trans existence. But what is a trans existence? The truth is – and I can’t stress this often enough – we are…

  • Review for Paralian

    Hello 😊 Shout-out to all of you, who have read my book ‘Paralian’. If you haven’t done so already, can you be so kind and write a little review for it? Even if it’s just one word? Like a thought shared with buddies around a camp fire, books live on and grow through word-of-mouth. If…

  • I Often Fondly Remember…

    I often fondly remember working as a diving instructor in the Maldives. Four years of living and working on a small island with individuals from all corners of the globe, in closest quarters, with hardly any privacy. Teaching students who are sometimes terrified of the element they are about to enter. Learning a whole new…

  • Am Writing

    What better to do during an unexpected break between jobs than to catch up on some writing… (under the strict supervision of my cats, naturally).       

  • Simple Pleasures

    As I get older, I remind myself to not forget the simple pleasures which made my heart beat faster when I was a kid. Sweet, sticky ice cream dissolving on my tongue and brain freeze on a hot summer’s day… Sitting in the shade of a tree, day dreaming and escaping the sizzling afternoon heat……

  • First Presentation in Hong Kong

    A couple of weeks ago, I was invited by UBS Hong Kong to give a presentation about my life journey. It was my first ever speaking engagement in Hong Kong. The audience was wonderful. Curious, openminded, and not shy to bombard me with questions after the talk. Standing in the conference room on the 56th…

  • Paralian – Not Just Transgender

    Flashback to 2016, the year Paralian was first published. Writing this book was one of the best things I’ve ever done, even though letting myself be seen to such an extent was also terrifying. Over the last year, life has been so turbulent, I wasn’t able to focus on anything at all. But, I will…

  • Home By The Sea

    It’s always been my dream to live right next to the deep blue sea. There is something healing about gazing at the water’s surface, and something exciting about hearing the waves break when they arrive at the beach after their long journey across the sea… Currently at least part of my dream has come true.…

  • What Really Matters

    One of my favourite moments. All is quiet on the boat. The divers are basking in the sun whilst I am in my own creative space, visualizing the landscape underneath the waves… to bring it alive on a chalk board for the dive site briefing. I loved calling everyone closer around me, telling my boat-full…

  • Behind These Walls

    For four years, I entered this concrete fortress almost every day. What looks like an oppressive Orwellian government building is in fact the Dragone theater in Macau. A visionary creative endeavor was realized here: The House of Dancing Water. It truly is a show like no other. A fairy tale that rises from below the…

  • Immersed in the Sea

    This picture was taken in 2005, right after I arrived in the Maldives. I stayed and worked there for four years. When I was ready for new adventures, I left… I am grateful for all experiences I’ve had since. However, to this day, I treasure every minute I spent in the Indian Ocean as a…

  • Here Is Where It All Began

    The other week, I went back to our old house on Lamma Island in Hong Kong. Here is where it all began. This was our garden… and behind those windows on the ground floor was our orange-coloured living room… featuring a small table on which I wrote Paralian. One of the happiest years of my…

  • Fast-Flowing River

    Most mornings over the last 3 years, my work days began like this: I would get up, have a strong coffee, then stumble out the door and walk down the hill from our house to this place, where I would be greeted with a beautiful view of the river Limmat. I would then proceed to…

  • Looking Forward to ‘Sticks & Stones’

    On June 2nd, if you are in Berlin, come to the Sticks & Stones career fair. I’ll be giving a presentation about my life and about what being transgender means to me. In short, I don’t believe in labels. We are all the sum of our experiences. I don’t ‘identify’ as anything. I simply am.…

  • Liam on Aeschbacher

    Super kind of the Aeschbacher team to already give us stills to help promote the show. Love it and will treasure these memories to keep. Recording this show in Labor Bar in Zurich last Wednesday was a beautiful life experience in every respect! Sooo… for all of you who want to watch it, don’t forget…

  • Liam Klenk on Aeschbacher, Apr 15th 2018

    Here is a bit of exciting news: I’ve been invited to the ‘Aeschbacher’ talk show on Swiss TV! For all of you who want to watch the show, tune in on SRF 1 at 22:10 on Sunday, the 15th of April, 2018. The show will be in Swiss German, but hey, it might be worth…

  • Into The Unknown

    Change is life. And, for me, the thought of heading into the unknown is invigorating. I am ready to dive in once more, leave this safe harbor, to simply trust and see where life will lead me. While selling and giving away our belongings, I am amazed yet again by how little I truly need…

  • Thanks to UBS Pride Switzerland

    I gave a presentation yesterday evening on my life journey and being transgender. We’re the sum of our experiences. The audience was wonderful, attentive, and engaged. A flood of questions after my talk. Great, in-depth conversations afterwards in the bar. Thanks so much to UBS Pride Switzerland for hosting this event!       

  • Remembering ‘LGBT Talents’ in Paris

    A couple of weeks ago, I took part in the annual ‘LGBT Talents’ event in Paris. I was deeply honored to have been invited as one of the panel speakers for one of half a dozen inspirational workshops on offer that day. I love speaking at this kind of event. It makes me happy to…

  • LGBT Talents

    This coming Saturday, I will be given the wonderful opportunity to be part of the “LGBT Talents” event in Paris. I will be one of the speakers for the panel “MasterClass LGBT+ : Challenges of the less known letters” and hope to lend my unique perspective to an open and lively discussion. https://www.lgbt-talents.eu/index.html Thank you…

  • No Stereotypical Male

    “I myself had fallen prey to stereotype some years earlier by adopting a swagger and hiding my curves beneath voluminous sweaters. Now, talking with other transgender people, I learned more about who I had become since then. I had no intention of becoming a stereotypical male. Rather, why not become my own species? I was…

  • Always on Edge

    It’s easy to blame feeling lost, torn, and confused on one particular part of our lives. Over the years, I could have blamed it on being orphaned, adopted, having a neurotic mother, being bullied at school, being transgender, being rejected by my birth mother, betrayed by my girlfriend, etc. etc. The older I get, however,…

  • Which Way To Go…

    I’d love to hear your honest opinion: While writing the first draft of my second book, it’s becoming clear that I need to make a decision whether it should include me as a character or not. As you might know already, the book will be a collection of stories about the animal companions I’ve shared…

  • Trust Your Children

    Two of the most common questions people ask me are: “When did you know?” and “How did you know?” In a way, I always knew. Even as a three-year old child I instinctively thought of myself as male. My body was female, but I knew I was a boy. This was no clearly defined thought…

  • We’re All Human

    Today, as every year on the 20ieth of November we remember all those who have been killed because of their gender identity. Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance. The sheer numbers of those killed in the most barbaric ways are staggering and break my heart. This year it is 325 individuals that we know of…

  • No Limits

    25 years ago, when I had my gender reassignment surgeries, I vowed to never let this important decision of aligning my soul with my body hamper or limit me in any way. I was going to continue going after my dreams. And I wouldn’t take no for an answer. Part of this meant to be…

  • The Perfect Moment

    The perfect moment. Sunshine. A group of delighted scuba divers whom I had guided throughout the morning. Jackfish. Chilli Sauce. Sand as soft a velvet. Palm Trees. A blazing azure sky and turquoise sea all around us. I enjoyed myself. Enjoyed to guide, coach, and drink in our surroundings with all my senses. It didn’t…

  • What Would an Ocean Be…

    “What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams.” by Werner Herzog is the quote I chose for the beginning of Paralian. Because this is life. No matter what our backgrounds. There is no sleep without dreams. No growth without challenge. No clarity without ambivalence.…

  • Whatever

    I continue to be amused as well as annoyed (and sometimes a bit alarmed) by the endless gender bathroom debates. I am female-to-male transgender. When I was four years old, I knew I was a boy. Being born in a girl’s body, my parents kept sending me to bathrooms assigned to female gender even though…

  • I Hope, Deep Down You Knew

    Uniting my body with my soul meant breaking the heart of the one person who had always been there for me – my oma (grandma). As the hormones took an ever-firmer hold, I tried explaining to her who I was. Unfortunately, she was becoming progressively more senile. Oma sadly asked for me. Countless times, she…

  • The Sparkling Rainbow of Creation

    LGBT, trans, and whatever shade in between, we’ve always been around. Be it amongst humans or within the plant and animal kingdom. Just another bunch of colors in the sparkling rainbow of creation. ”Oddly, humans are not the only animals that engage in cross-dressing or have transgender identity issues; a lot of animals also have…

  • Surfer’s Nipples

    “In the past, I had often been stared at and asked about the sizeable scars on my chest. At The House of Dancing Water, no one asked. My fellow divers seemed curious, but no one ever approached me. As for our performers, I knew they had seen so many scars in their lives, they had…

  • Summer Reading

    ‘What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams.’ Werner Herzog       

  • Presentation at Zurich Insurance Group

    Yesterday, I was invited by the Zurich Insurance Group to give a presentation on diversity, inclusion, and transgender, combined with reading from my book Paralian. There are no quick fixes, no recipes, no instruction manuals. But I do believe there is nothing more valuable than personal experience. So that’s what I gave, as always striving…

  • This is to you Dad

    For my Dad. I love you. Check out my story here on Bored Panda. Or, of course, you can read it right here: When you were little, you had a tame chicken, then a crow, and later an Alsatian. You named them all ‘Jakob’. No points for creativity but, most definitely, for purity of heart.…

  • Discovering the Ocean

    “During my early years, we would go to the North Sea every summer for a long family holiday. I was enchanted from the first moment I laid eyes on the dark blue endlessness. My senses were alert and I felt intensely alive. Nowhere else had I felt so invigorated. Every cell of my small body…

  • Shuffle Those Cards and Start a New Game

    The other week, when giving a presentation about my life journey, someone asked, “Why did you go and work in, for example, muslim countries, and travel worldwide to places where, as a transgender person, you were often potentially in danger of becoming the victim of a hate crime?” The answer to this is really quite…

  • Yet Another Presentation

    Last Friday, I gave a presentation and read from my book ‘Paralian’ at the offices of The Boston Consulting Group in Zurich. Thanks so much to BCG for the opportunity! Special thanks to the amazing, open-minded, and engaged audience!       

  • Story of the Day

    My post “You don’t Have To” is Story of the Day on Scriggler today! Read more here. Thanks @DSelemir and Scriggler! #Paralian #LiamKlenk #lifejourney #beyourself #nobox #nolabels       

  • You Always Can – A Story of Coming Home to Myself

    Just put this story on Bored Panda. Have a look at the actual Bored Panda page here and please upvote, like and share as much as you can all over social media. Thanks! I have always been drawn to water. Any body of water. Oceans mostly. Wanted to immerse myself. Dive in. Explore and discover. But,…

  • International author backs Kent transgender student

    Thank you Sean McPolin. I’m glad Lily won this battle. There’ll be many more to come. Some to do with her being trans, others just because challenging us is what life does… Makes me think of a quote I read the other day, “You’re gonna be happy’” said life, “but first I’ll make you strong.”…

  • You Don’t Have To

    From when I was four years old, I was happiest during vacations, far away from all who thought they knew me. I ran out to play, introduced myself as ‘Stefan’, and no one was the wiser. I would play “Cowboys and Indians” with the boys, roam through the forests or sand dunes and be free……

  • Lending a Voice

    Annually, on the 20ieth of November we remember those who have been taken from us way too early, but, until we have reached a state of mutual respect and acceptance, every day is Transgender Day of Remembrance… I was born in Germany in 1971, a little boy in a girl’s body… then transitioned almost twenty…

  • A Story of Hope

    Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance #TODR. https://tdor.info Everyone on this list has lost their lives simply for being themselves, for longing to live their lives as who they truly were. In honor of those who have been taken from us so violently, let me share a positive story with you of how it could…

  • Just As You Are

    Lots has been said already about a certain orange-faced individual winning the presidency. I was shocked over here in Europe when waking up to the sad news. Terrified really and worried out of my mind for all of us. The only question was what to get worried about first… human rights issues, environmental concerns, international…

  • Allow us to come home to Ourselves

    An article I wrote for one person in particular (this is for you Lily!) … but ultimately for all of us. Read the full featured story here. (Thank you Vada magazine!)       

  • Honorable Mention for Paralian

    Yay, Paralian has just received an honorable mention at this year’s Rainbow Awards. Read more here. I’m immensely happy. Big thanks to the Rainbow Awards judges!       

  • Imagine …

    “Some men are born in their bodies, others have to fight for it.” This is not just another quote. Gender dysphoria unfortunately is a reality for many. I myself was struggling with it for many years until I finally transitioned from Stefanie to Liam when I was twenty-three years old. A weight, as unbearably heavy…

  • Silver Award for Paralian

    Busy day today Just now Paralian received a Silver Award from The Hungry Monster Book Review. To say it in the Monster’s own voice, “The Silver Award is bestowed on books that expertly deliver complex characters, intricate worlds, and thought provoking themes. The ease with which the story is told is a reflection of the…

  • A Chat With Hungry Monsters

    Great interview was just published online! Take a moment and have a look here. Thanks to the Hungry Monsters for devouring my book and for taking the time to chat with me after!       

  • Bucket List

    What will the future bring … ? I don’t care much about amassing material wealth but, oh wow, my head is spinning just thinking of all the points on my bucket list… The seven most important ones have been fulfilled already: – travel the world and live abroad – become a professional scuba diver –…

  • Looking for Adam!

    Hello, I’m looking for Adam. He wrote me a beautiful message to my private Liam Klenk FB page about 2 weeks ago. He mentioned he’s from Denmark, currently living in London, and that he received my book Paralian as a gift. Adam: if and when you see this, please get in touch once more!! Or…

  • Heading into Cerulean Blue

    A long-awaited vacation is coming up… this exhausted author urgently needs two weeks of sunshine and ocean! But before I head out, I wanted to extend a BIG THANK YOU to all of you. These past 10 days, you’ve all helped so much to push my Bored Panda story. Because of your support, your multiple…

  • You’re Not Alone!

    At the moment I am sharing this story on Bored Panda to reach as many people as possible – with your help. Can you please share this link, and also go on the page and give it an “up” vote? We got about 3’000k views so far and many good responses. I’ve received emails from people…

  • Conquering those Mountains…

    “As a teenager, I started to feel like a dwindling army, spread over too many fronts. Slowly but surely, I spiraled into a deep depression. My parents were in no position to help me. Apart from me witnessing their arguments, their involvement in my daily life was minimal. They were too deeply entangled with their…

  • Liam Klenk on life and being transgender…

    Sharing a bit about the transgender part of my life journey on YouTube and Vimeo… What it felt like growing up in the wrong body and how a book helped me realize I was trans… How I risked it all to give myself a chance at life; the reactions of family, friends, and employers…  About…

  • Paralian Interview in Gay Times Magazine

    An interview with me about my book ‪Paralian‬ and my life journey has just been published in the August issue of Gay Times magazine, page 124-127 🙂 ‪Big thanks to fabulous interviewer Nick Hoare!       

  • The Boy Who Knew

    As a child I knew instinctively… trapped within this little girl’s body was a little boy… and that’s who he’d always be… “Each summer, I couldn’t wait to get back to the ocean. The sand dunes seemed to traverse the island like mountainous, slow-gliding golems. More than anything, I longed to reclaim my freedom. As…

  • Unconditional Love

    This lovely, good-humoured correction to a child’s birth announcement years after the fact just made my day! In a perfect world I’d wish all human beings were capable of such unconditional love and acceptance… thanks so much to the wonderful parents for their open and genuine gesture!       

  • Can I Do Something?

    Caught a flu in the middle of summer. I am now in a near-zombie state on my couch and – dare I admit it – googling myself 😉 To my astonishment I found 2 (!) newspapers in Nigeria who picked up last week’s Mirror article about the transgender part of my life story. It makes me…

  • Top 100 and featured in Nigeria Today!

    It’s only noon here and it’s already been a great day! Early this morning, I was quite stunned to find myself featured in yet another online newspaper: Nigeria Today picked up yesterday’s Mirror article. I’m honored and still a bit speechless! Hello Africa!!! Only a few hours later I was delighted to discover that ‘Paralian:…

  • If you want to give yourself a chance…

    … at happiness, there is really only one option… We’ve come so far. At least we like to think so on most days. But then, members of the LGBT community are questioned on how they feel about society and about living openly as who they are. The answers are nothing short of stunning (and terrifying).…

  • Paralian Finished Printing!

    *** EXCITING NEWS *** Just heard from my publisher TODAY that Paralian has finished printing and a few copies are on their way to me!!! In about 2 weeks I’ll hold the real-life copy of my very first book in my hands. What a fabulous adventure!       

  • Paralian: Not Just Transgender Author Heads To UK For Book Launch Press Tour – Interview Dates Available

          

  • The Danish Girl And Me

    Have you seen “The Danish Girl”? Go see it! I loved the sensitivity, the subtleness, the clarity, the not-so-in-your-face way of it. Never have I seen a transgender person portrayed with more love, sensitivity, and acceptance. “The Danish Girl” makes you really FEEL what it is like to be trapped in the wrong body. There…

  • LGBT History Month: Not Just Transgender

    And here right away another press release from LiterallyPR (thanks so much Helen, Sam and Diana) this time focussing more on the transgender/LGBT side of things…       

  • Needle Work

    Every twenty days or so I need to help my body along with a little testosterone. The needle is a good 4 cm long and also not the thinnest kind. Rather a McDonalds straw as opposed to a thin reed if you know what I mean. It needs to be that big because the large…

  • Transgender Today – Liam’s Thoughts

    [wpvideo w4SQzHUq] Here a short video I submitted to the New York Times today… they are doing a series of portraits on transgender people… intriguing stories and beautiful thoughts from around the world on gender identity and what it means to be human: https://www.nytimes.com/…/the-quest-for-transgender-equality… ‪#‎Paralian‬‪#‎LiamKlenk‬ ‪#‎notjusttrans‬ ‪#‎LGBT‬ ‪#‎lovinglife‬ ‪#‎nevergiveup‬ ‪#‎beinghuman‬‪#‎wearethesumofourexperiences‬ ‪#‎lifejourney‬ ‪#‎goforward‬       

  • Author Liam Klenk Responds to Seven Sisters Festival Trans Exclusion

    https://pridelife.com/author-liam-klenk-responds-to-seven-sisters-festival-trans-exclusion/#prettyPhoto       

  • Be Yourself!

    Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance… https://www.facebook.com/thefortunatenomad/ ‪#‎Paralian‬ ‪#‎TDOR‬ ‪#‎LGBT‬ ‪#‎humanist‬ ‪#‎lovinglife‬ ‪#‎diversity‬‪#‎respectforeachother‬ ‪#‎notjusttrans‬ ‪#‎nevergiveup‬       

  • Transgender Day of Remembrance

    https://tdor.info If you have a moment, take a look at this list of transgender individuals who have been murdered so far in 2015. How can this gruesome list still be so long in our day and age? I am not much of a politician, and never will be, but I hope with all my heart…

  • One More Round

    Here we go… final typeset for ‘Paralian’ is done. I’ll spend the next days going through it all once more to look for any remaining typos and grammatical errors. Right after that we’ll be ready to shoot for the stars and the production of my memoirs will begin in earnest! ‪#‎Paralian‬ ‪#‎memoirs‬ ‪#‎LiamKlenk‬ ‪#‎LGBT‬ ‪#‎notjusttrans‬ ‪#‎transgender‬‪#‎ilovewriting‬ ‪#‎nevergiveup‬       

  • Under Pressure

    Here I am, working as a hyperbaric chamber operator in the Maldives. Running the chamber from the outside was great. I loved being able to help and make a real difference. Tending to the patient on the inside, however, wasn’t so groovy. Being stuck together in a space smaller than a broom closet for up…

  • Already listed on Amazon!

    Amazing, a friend just brought it to my attention that ‪#‎Paralian‬ is already listed worldwide on Amazon!       

  • A Healthy Level of Caution

    Most days being trans isn’t a big deal. I go about my business just like everyone else, dealing with all the usual problems and insecurities of everyday life. Then, there are other days… The media coverage you see every now and then about transgender people being badly harassed or even beaten to death aren’t just…