How old were you when you started your transition?
“I felt I was different from a very young age, I never knew difference in gender till my parents started making it a bigger deal as my body developed. I discover transgender people when I was 18, but due to personal circumstances and safety, didn’t transition still I was 26.”
How did you feel physically and mentally during These processes?
“Honestly, I felt scared, sometimes depressed, many times nervous but excited to be free and live authentically. It wasn’t so much physical as much mental. Everyday brought a new challenge on whether my changes were happening fast enough so people wouldn’t notice I was different. The surgery was evasive but it really only took 6 weeks to heal which is short comparative to the 5 plus years to mentally feel comfortable that my body matched my how I felt inside to the outside.”
What kind of support system did/do you have?
“I didn’t have much to be honest, but I feel blessed and lucky to the friends that did step in to help because without them I would have never made it. My parents had already passed away 4 years prior and my half-sister knew nothing about what was happening till after it already occurred.”
How did the gym/physical activity help you through this time?
“The gym has been in my life for over 14 years. Prior to transitioning, I was a female competitive bodybuilder. It helped me cope pre-transition with my body dysphoria and after. 8-year post transition and I am finally almost ready to compete again, but as I really am. The gym has always been my method of dealing with inner conflict. It helped me build the base to a great foundation. It also let me escape and be me.”
What made you decide to become a body builder?
“After college in 2006, I suffered a severe shoulder injury and went into a deep depression. Started drinking heavily, taking pills, and became bulimic. I made myself really sick and became mentally unstable. One day a friend in the gym, noticed I lost a lot of weight and got really shredded and asked if I was getting ready to compete. Of course, I had no idea what he was talking about. Then he explained about female bodybuilding and I instantly felt in love. It was a way for me to slightly be more masculine built and be accepted. From that point forward I was in love with how I could transform my body and it became and addiction.”
Any fitness or f2m inspirations growing up or currently?
“I looked up to the biggest built female bodybuilders for years prior transition, mainly because they didn’t care what others thought about how big they got or ripped. Now I look up to all bodybuilders, I am open to many I meet about be transgender and many are surprised on how I have built my body. As far as FTM, I really didn’t have many to look up to accept local guys that were my friends from being a drag king and performing at bars.”
What are your future fitness goals?
“To compete again! I want to get up to 200lbs… But realistically 180 lean would be amazing. I want to show transgender people live and have dreams just like everyone else.”
Future life goals?
“To graduate college like I promised my father and live the best life I can!”
“My workouts change constantly, I never do the same routine ever. Chest is a top, but I love arms and we can all agree legs are the hardest. Honestly, any day is the gym is my favorite. I am always chasing the great pump no matter what body part.”
Favorite meals to cook?
“I totally love making a mean turkey lasagna or chicken pizza. Either of those are my favorite in the off season. When cutting time comes, I got to say I love my grits especially when they are home made.”
TheLeeGonzalez would like to thank Paulo for graciously partaking in this interview. You are an inspiration to all Trans & Bodybuilding Men worldwide 💪🏼🌍