Love Ourselves, Love Our Bodies: Monica Rochon

Today’s reflection on body image and fitness comes to us from Monica Rochon.

Using fitness as a form of resistance my entire life has helped me to be confident in my ability, to be seen, and to be held accountable to a team’s goals. More recently, my enthusiasm around fitness has helped inspire me to work for the body I’ve always wanted–to constantly challenge myself mentally and physically, build strength and endurance, and to sustain a community and foundation of wellness.

My gender identity and sexuality are both things I value. I am masculine. I am gender non-conforming. I am Trans. I am Monica. And it’s complicated, mostly for others. I don’t feel like a woman or man, I’m Monica and I look forward to the day I can have top surgery so I can feel like the person I have always felt I was, and be in the body that I wanted to be in. BodyImage4Justice represents love. Caring about my health and wellness is a gift to myself so that one day I can feel like my whole self. I hope to encourage others to continue finding the strength and courage to live life in the body they’ve always wanted.

– Monica Rochon


BI4J Presents: Healing Touch Focus Group

Are you curious about how massage, Reiki, and other healing touch therapies can benefit trans people? Are you a healing touch therapist who is interested in serving members of the trans community? Are you a trans or genderqueer person who wants to experience massage in a safe and comfortable environment?

The Healing Touch Focus Group for Trans Awareness will bring healing practitioners, trans people and allies together for a dynamic discussion on topics of concern to clients and therapists alike. Learn more about the benefits of massage and healing touch for people at all stages of transition, how therapists can create a welcoming environment for trans clients, and how we can work together to make healing touch more accessible.

Following the discussion session, attendees will have an opportunity to experience sample massage and healing touch sessions from professional therapists.

Refreshments will be provided courtesy of Ula Cafe. Co-sponsored by BodyImage4Justice, HBGC Boston, Heidi Stucker Massage Therapy, Pathways to Wellness, and The Meeting Point.

Love Ourselves, Love Our Bodies: Von Stowers

Today’s story comes to us from BI4J intern Von Stowers.


Growing up I was just like every other little boy in my small town. We would all ride our bikes to the park on the weekend and play basketball, football and baseball. I was often picked first because I was fast, strong and extremely athletic. I was very proud of my body and never hesitated to rip my shirt off when I was on the skins team. In physical education class I always paired with the other boys for competition and could hold my own.

As we grew older, the other boys started going through physical changes that I didn’t. They became taller, gained more muscle mass and soon were easily out running me and had no problem tackling me. In attempts to keep up with my peers I hit the gym and started working out twice as hard as them in hopes of changing my body. My attempts failed and soon I stopped being able to compete and play with the other boys and became very isolated, inactive and anti-social, which lead to a deep depression that lasted well into my 20’s.

As time went by I learned that the only person I had to compete against or be stronger or better than was myself. I learned to love myself and my body again, and was able to find a healthy way to transition into the person I always felt I was. I am still not as fast or as strong as my peers, but I am happy to work towards my own personal goals and am comfortable being the man that I am today.

– Von