Rizi Xavier Timane'
Rizi Xavier Timane' was born in Northern Nigeria, West Africa. He grew up in a fundamentalist Christian home and was taught from an early age that being part of the LGBT community would lead him straight to hell. Like most transgendered persons, Rizi struggled with gender dysphoria in early childhood and initially identified as a lesbian.The rejection and persecution that Rizi was subjected to led him to abuse drugs and alcohol, and coupled with his growing gender dysphoria, culminated in a suicide attempt. After much soul searching and research, Rizi, like many LGBT people today, discovered that nothing is wrong with him being transgender nor is anything wrong with LGBT sexuality, which are both in fact, natural God-given traits. His struggles and persecution identifying first as an openly out lesbian in Africa, and then subsequently as a trans-man, are the inspiration behind his ministry today. Rizi is a commissioned minister and spiritual counselor within Rizi Timane Ministries-a Jesus based ministry that values people of all faiths and religious backgrounds. He routinely provides affirming spiritual support to the LGBT community and is much sought after as a public speaker on the subject of the intersection of Religion/Spirituality and LGBT Civil Rights. Rizi’s speaking engagements have included universities, colleges, churches and other non-profit organizations. Rizi is also an inspirational/gospel singer whose album "Come Out" has been well received within the community and had him booked in numerous affirming churches/venues all over the USA and Internationally. Rizi completed year long seminary studies at Claremont School of Theology in California, earning a graduate certificate in Religion, Activism and Social Justice. He has also earned a PhD in Christian Counseling and a Masters in Social Work from University of Southern California (USC) with the intent to become fully Licensed as a Psychotherapist in Los Angeles.