Sona, formerly known as Matthew, says her identity crisis started when she was a child. “When I was just 7 years old, my mom caught me cross dressing,” she says in her transition video, which has over 1.6 million views and counting. “Devastated and ashamed, it turned into my deepest, darkest secret for 23 years.” She added that for many years she was unaware of the term “transgender,” and thought she was the only one facing “these issues.”
Afraid to confront her true self, the Michigan native spent nine years working overseas as a Marine. Desperate to fit in, Sona overcompensated by bulking up to 240 lbs., growing a large beard and driving around in a muscle car. Along with serving six combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Sona also went on to marry a woman named Lucy, with whom she shares a young daughter— neither of whom knew about her painful secret. “I became 238 lbs. of sadness,” she says. “I was exhausted and I could no longer hide.”
Finally in 2012, Sona came out as transgender and began her transition. She immediately “started taking hormones, received laser hair removal treatments and got breast implants,” People reports. Sona also cut out fast food from her diet and started practicing yoga, which helped her to loose 98 lbs as part of her transition.
The former Marine is now “amicably” divorced from her wife and living in Texas, where she works as a Lyft and Uber driver. “Since I came out I have tried to live a normal life – it’s like anyone, there are good and bad times. Personally I’m much happier, I don’t have any conflicts with who I am,” she told Caters News Agency. “I am definitely a tomboy and that’s okay. Before I couldn’t stand myself and I couldn’t interact with people.”
“The wife, the child, cars, guns, the Marines, everything – I have zero regrets,” she says. “It was part of my journey.”
HollywoodLifers, are you inspired by Sona’s remarkable transition? Share you well wishes in the comments below!
— Alyssa Montemurro