Dr. Rizi Nasele Bamaiyi Timane LCSW, DSW, is an entertainer, a licensed psychotherapist, and a Certified Trans-sensitivity and Diversity Trainer who advocates for transgender rights. In June 2018, he spoke at the United Nations Global Entrepreneur Summit on the need for greater trans awareness and trans workplace advocacy.
Rizi is the recipient of the 2019 Transgender Visibility Award, which was presented to him at City Hall by Congressman Mitch O’Farrell and the City of Los Angeles Transgender Advisory Council.
Rizi has worked within the trans community in various affirming roles since 2007. His prior work includes being a trans minister, an affirming LGBTQI psychotherapist at the L.A. LGBT Center, and prior service as the Associate Director of the nation’s largest transgender health program at St. John’s Well Child and Family Clinic in Downtown Los Angeles.
In working with the trans community, Rizi has encountered many trans youth and adults who desire gender confirmation surgery but cannot afford it. As a response to this truly heartbreaking situation, Rizi established an annual transgender surgery grant that provides financial support to them so they can undergo gender confirmation surgery if they desire it but can’t afford it. Since its inception in 2012, the grant has been exclusively funded from a portion of Rizi’s personal income, including from portions of his first edition memoir, private therapy practice, acting gigs, speaking engagements, and music sales.
When Rizi is not advocating for trans rights, working with the community as a 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 that 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 genres span World, Afro-House, Pop, EDM, Gospel, and Hip Hop, and all his songs feature positive lyrics that encourage the LGBTQI community to live authentically no matter what challenges they encounter.
Rizi has performed at over 40 Pride festivals and LGBTQI events in the US and Europe. His single, “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 guest star roles on TV, as well as movie roles alongside some notable Hollywood actors.
Whether he is advocating on behalf of trans people, training others on trans sensitivity and diversity, or simply entertaining, Rizi’s message to the LGBTQI 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, Source, the Universe, or whatever you call the power that creates worlds, a spiritual path to unconditional love and acceptance does exist for you, free from condemnation and negative judgement.”
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