Transcend Charlotte Co-founder and Executive Director Trey Greene, despite his prominent position in the city’s LGBTQ community, is not one to draw attention to himself. Rather, the clinical social worker, educator, dedicated gamer, television binge-watcher, cat dad, hamster dad and all-around introvert prefers to focus on those he serves: individuals grappling with issues of gender identity, social marginalization, and, frequently, the lasting trauma of abuse and sexual assault.
Born and raised in the conservative hamlet of Wilkesboro, N.C. — population approximately 3,500, to the Charlotte metropolitan area’s 2.5 million — Greene “struggled greatly throughout [his] youth with feeling isolated and misunderstood.” Amidst the deeply rooted culture of condemnation he encountered in his hometown, Greene’s mental health deteriorated to such an extent that he describes himself as having been “selectively mute” for the better part of a decade.
Although a profound burden was lifted when he began presenting as male following a move to sunny California (“I spent a year in Los Angeles looking to find myself,” he explains, “as one does.”) Greene continued to feel distanced from his peers and potential allies in the queer community, even when he attempted to reach out to LGBTQ organizations. “There were either only services for LGB people or for trans females,” he commented in a 2016 qnotes interview, “or I felt too socially awkward or anxious to connect, or it was too intimidating to go at all.”
by: Torie Dominguez