Michael Soto is a transgender man who grew up a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mesa, Arizona. He credits his family and the Church for setting an example of being a man of value, character, integrity, and being a leader in a challenging world. Michael grew up in the 1980s and 90s and at that time he and his family did not even know transgender people existed, nor that gender affirmative medical care and support were an option. From his earliest ages, Michael knew he was a boy. After years of struggle, learning, and prayer, Michael received personal and overwhelming revelation from God that his life has purpose, that there is much work for him to do, that he is a child of God no matter his sexual orientation or gender identity, and that this is a part of his purpose. He believes his queer transgender identity is one of life’s greatest blessings and he is dedicated to loving and supporting his fellow human beings along their journey toward authentic and purposeful lives.
Today, Michael is a leader in the U.S. LGBTQ+ rights movement and for the past 25 years he has committed his life to this work. Recently, he has worked closely with leaders of the Church in Arizona and Salt Lake City on anti-discrimination legislation, where he has built long-lasting relationships of goodwill and trust.
Michael is Co-Founder of the Equality and Fairness Coalition and the Chief Advocacy Officer for One Community. He holds two degrees from Arizona State University—a B.A. in Women and Gender Studies and a M.S. in Justice Studies. He is currently a PhD student in Justice Studies. He is also a proud dog dad and caregiver for his mom—his living example of unconditional love.
Content Advisory: This episode contains mention of death by homicide related to Transgender Day of Rembrance.
Connect with Michael: email@example.com
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