Name: Taylor Lianne Chandler
City, State: Sykesville, MD
Profession: Author, Activist, Model and National Speaker on Transgender Rights
In a few words, how would you describe yourself?
A survivor of all that life has thrown at me.
Your favorite hangout spots.
Depends on the day of the week. I always love a stroll through City Center. I adore a cocktail and great conversation at Number 9. On a Saturday night it is all about Avalon. My new favorite place is XX+ Crostino, great food, ambiance, and cocktails.
Favorite guilty pleasure.
Macaroni & Cheese.
“Love and fame can’t live in the same place.” – Country Strong
Who is your biggest influence? And why?
The first person I ever saw myself in and wanted to be was Oprah Winfrey. She represented women like no one ever had before. She talked about things that made you think and want to change and be better. At the lowest point in my life, being 15, homeless and left to my own devices, she was like a beacon of hope. If she could go through and get through anything, so could I. She gave me that hope through her words and actions.
May Is? All About Trans and the Capital Pride Festival. I love that in Washington, D.C. we have a whole month of events for and by Transgender men and women. The Capital Pride festival [allows me] to be part of something so much bigger than any one of us.
Do you have any regrets in life?
Absolutely! My biggest regret would have to be after my relationship with Michael Phelps was made public, and how I handled myself. I had lived stealth my whole life and all of a sudden I was “outed” by the media. My Borderline Personality Disorder hit overdrive and I felt broken. I needed validation. I needed self worth again. I needed people to still see me as a woman, and not a freak! I chose to shoot “Going for the Gold” with Steve Hirsh at Vivid Entertainment. That decision forever changed how the world saw me. Unfortunately people see me as only that, and not as something I did at my lowest point to survive on all levels.
Favorite lesbian celebrity.
Ruby Rose, she is striking and gender fluid in my opinion. She is everything you want in a woman, but doesn’t leave you longing for a man.