Dr Rizi Xavier Timane, DSW is a female-to-male transgender Entertainer, a licensed therapist (LCSW) and Certified Trans-sensitivity/Diversity Trainer who advocates for transgender rights. Rizi is the winner 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 as a trans minister, an affirming LGBT psychotherapist at the L A LGBT Center, and prior service as the Associate Director of the transgender health program at St John’s well child and family clinic. 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 has overcome his addictions and been free from any substance abuse for over 15 years.
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.
As Rizi began his medical transition, he realized there was a desperate need for trans-affirming psychotherapists, so armed with his life experiences, Rizi enrolled in a Masters of Social Work program at the University of Southern California and proceeded to obtain his LCSW therapy license and he has been providing affirming therapy to trans clients ever since. As of May 2020, he also completed 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 an annual Transgender surgery grant which provides financial support to trans individuals who desire gender confirmation surgeries but can’t afford it. Since it’s inception in 2012, the grant had been exclusively funded from a portion of Rizi’s personal income, including from portions of his memoir and music sales.
To learn more about the grant and to apply or to support us with a donation, please visit the grant link.
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 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 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 a guest star role on the Emmy-winning Venice: The Series; a recurring co-star role on Decker Unclassified (airs on Adult Swim Network), as well as Movie roles alongside known actors such as Romany Malco (Weeds, A million little things), and Costas Mandylor (Saw V, Saw VI) amongst others.
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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