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Interview with Matt Ellison

Matt Ellison is an inspiring and thought-provoking transgender speaker. In today’s world we are becoming more and more accepting of transgender people yet there’s still widespread misunderstanding which makes it an important topic to discuss. Matt’s keynotes can benefit healthcare professionals, businesses, educational institutions and more. Read his interview and learn more about him and his speaking.

What made you realize you wanted to become a speaker? 

There were a few things that all came together.

As a young child at school I discovered how much I loved giving talks and presentations to my class. Most of my classmates would be really nervous but I was always excited. I just really enjoy speaking.

Then when I started teaching as an adult, I soon realized I was in a fantastic position to inspire students and to make a real and positive difference in all areas of their lives. I loved the way that teaching enabled me to do this, however I then realized those opportunities are even greater as a speaker.

Then lastly since deciding to transition from female to male I have become very passionate about the topic and am excited to help others have a better understanding. Transition has taught me a lot. It wasn’t all easy, but it’s certainly been the most life affirming and amazing journey one could ever imagine.

So I get to do something I love while educating, inspiring and helping others.


How much does humor factor into your keynotes and other speaking engagements?

What a great question. We can usually find a light-hearted side to life and that was something I actually made use of to cope with some awkward moments during my transition that might otherwise have been difficult or even traumatic. Bringing humor into a talk at an appropriate moment certainly helps me to connect and engage with the audience. And it certainly lets me know they’re still awake!


Why should clients use you for their next event?

What I offer is unique, current, interesting, educating and inspiring. Transgender issues are a hot topic in today’s world. Although society has recently become more accepting, things are still very new and a greater understanding can be facilitated.

I can educate on transgender issues from a social, medical, legal, psychological or moral point of view, depending on the client’s requirements.

I truly believe my life experience has relevance to everyone, and the strategies I developed can be applied to all areas of professional and personal life. I survived living in the wrong identity for years, and took tough decisions to make fundamental changes in my life that could have lost me everything. I broke down my barriers and learnt to cope with major challenges both during and after my transition. These strategies can help others transform their life situation and realize the person they really are.

I educate and entertain, with a story you’ve not heard before, and won’t forget in a hurry!


What are your biggest goals in your life or career currently?

My biggest goal at present is to make a real difference by reaching out to more and more people through my public speaking. I want to give as many people as possible a very positive and memorable experience around meeting a transgender person. I relish the opportunity to entertain, educate, and really change the way individuals, organizations and businesses think about many things including, but not limited to, transgender issues.

Oh, and a personal goal? I want to learn to sing better.


‪Who or what inspires you most?‬

I’m inspired by people who faced with adversity, and despite the odds against them, keep going and keep fighting, making a real difference in this world. Especially those who can do all this with a smile on their face.


What’s something you should never ask a transgender person? 

Definitely a big no-no is ‘What was your previous name?’

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