Rizi Xavier Timane is a female-to-male transgender Entertainer, pre-licensed psychotherapist and Certified Trans-sensitivity/Diversity Trainer who advocates for transgender rights. He was born and raised in Nigeria, West Africa. Rizi realized at age eight that he was a boy living in a girl’s body and approached his parents about this dilemma. His parents, converts to fundamentalist Christianity, responded with attempted exorcisms and other reparative therapies that sought to “pray the trans away.” This rejection and disapproval carried over to the community-at-large as well as peers at school making Rizi the victim of bullying and harassment driving him to years of alcohol and drug abuse and suicidal ideation.
After enduring many years of being told that God/Source was opposed to him being LGBT and undergoing numerous exorcisms to pray the trans away, Rizi embarked on a spiritual journey to discover where he really stood with God or Source. After many years of studying religion, the Bible and attending seminary at the Claremont School of Theology, Rizi was delighted to realize that God/Source is accepting of all people, LGBT persons included. Thankfully, Rizi is now 10 years free from alcohol abuse and 12 years clean from using drugs.
As an ordained Jesusian and Humanist Minister, Rizi is wary of the prevalent hypocrisy and hatefulness made manifest in the name of organized religion. He encourages Christians and others, regardless of their religious backgrounds, to explore a spiritual path that embraces a life modeled on Jesus’ example, one in which “love thy neighbor as thyself” is the resounding message. In his memoir, “An Unspoken Compromise”, a best-seller on Amazon, Rizi shares his spiritual insights along with details of his journey from his childhood discovery of being trans through his gender transition in his 30’s and his eventual reconciliation with his family.
Armed with his life experiences and a keen desire to support his LGBT community, Rizi founded The Happy Transgender Center in 2012 to provide much-needed support to trans individuals and their families during the transition process. That same year, Rizi enrolled in a Masters of Social Work program at the University of Southern California and is currently a pre-licensed psychotherapist working towards his LCSW license and completing his Doctorate in Social work.
In working with the trans community, Rizi has encountered many trans youth and adults who desire gender re-assignment surgery, but cannot afford it. As a response to this truly heartbreaking situation, Rizi established the Rizi Timane Annual Transgender Surgery Grant in 2014, which provides financial support to others as they transition. The Grant is funded exclusively with a portion of proceeds from his music and book sales. To date, seven trans surgeries have been funded through the scholarship, with hopes of many more to come. To learn more about the Grant or to apply, please click here
When Rizi is not advocating for trans rights, working with the community as a pre-licensed therapist, or providing Trans-sensitivity training to others, he is pursuing his other passion as an entertainer. Throughout his challenging life growing up trans without adequate support, Rizi found solace in music and acting. He wrote his first song at age six and created the first-ever drama club in his high school in Nigeria. Rizi notes that as long as people were listening to him sing or laughing at his improv performance, the bullying stopped and he was able to feel he was just like everyone else.
The passion to entertain remained with Rizi well past his high school years and he has since released five albums and numerous singles to date. His music genre spans pop, EDM, gospel and hip hop and all his songs feature positive lyrics that encourage the LGBT community to live authentically no matter what challenges they encounter.
Rizi has performed at over 40 Pride festivals and LGBT events in the US and Europe. His latest singles, “Feels Good to Be Free” featuring trans star, Miss Candis Cayne and his Trump Response single “Love is All We Need”, are viral on Youtube.
Rizi’s acting career is also thriving and includes a guest star role on the Emmy-winning Venice: The Series; a recurring co-star role on Decker Unclassified (airing on Adult Swim Network in September 2017), and upcoming appearances alongside known actors including action star Danny Trejo.
Whether he is advocating on behalf of trans people, training others or entertaining, Rizi’s message to the LGBT community is twofold: “First, be your authentic self—it’s the only way to inner peace and happiness. Second, if you are in search of a relationship with God, a spiritual path to unconditional love and acceptance does exist for you, free from condemnation and negative judgement.”
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