Where Are They Now?: Corey Rae

Corey Rae

CoreyRae.com

Hometown: Short Hills, NJ

Major: Public Relations

Graduation Year: May 2015

Clubs/Involvement at Hofstra: Limb-it-less, founded by Dayna Troisi. I was less involved organizationally but I was very prominent and social on and off campus. 

Current Position: Activist and Writer, Transgender Role Model, and Contributor for StyleCaster on Transgender Lifestyle and Fashion Evolution

 

Did you go into college with a media related major declared, if so how confident were you in that choice and if not, what made you change?

Yes, very confident. In high school, I didn’t know if I wanted to go to college. My mom didn’t and was very successful but she pushed me to. I wanted to be my generations Samantha Jones, I wanted to be a celebrity publicist. Throughout college, I lost my passion for public relations but I used the skills I learned to do self PR.

How did you establish your writers’ voice?

Carrie Bradshaw, another Sex and the City reference. I enjoyed how conversational her writing was. My writing, even in high school, always reflected her style and I wanted my blog to be relatable yet educational.

When did you know that you wanted to use it for activism?

The winter after I graduated. I started making my website for personal branding purposes and through writing my story down (to be a future memoir) it turned into the perfect format for a blog. Caitlyn Jenner had come out my senior year of college and that opened up a dialogue for transgender people in mainstream media.  I had no idea what the blog was going to be but by that winter I just wanted to come out. When I was at Hofstra [being transgender] was a secret I kept to myself and a choice few friends. Because of the immediate notoriety, my blog received, and the positivity that came from coming out, I decided to keep sharing my story with the world.

How many internships did you have during college and what were your greatest lessons from those?

I had two internships. I learned that I didn’t want to work in PR, and that I would never want to be treated so inhumanely again. I’m thankful because it made me realize I didn’t want to work my entire life making other people’s dreams come true, but instead taking the skills I had acquired to brand and promote myself.

What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self regarding achieving your goals professionally and personally?

When I was 18 it was my freshman year, I hadn’t had surgery*. I would have told myself that every single low point is worth it, that it’ll pass, to trust my natural path in life, to not stress on the small stuff, but rather focus on inner happiness.

*During freshman year Corey hadn’t undergone gender reassignment surgery from male to female and details that often times she wore things to cover up. June 4th, 2012 was her surgery and once she came back to school for sophomore year she says, “I left little to the imagination.” Corey started pushing limits then. She describes her wardrobe as, “a lot of high slits, crop tops, lace, and platform sneakers. I love messing with people, and I wanted to see how far I could push the limits in an academic setting, and I succeeded with grace and dignity.”

 

How would you describe your aesthetic?

Eccentric. I like to push limits and do things no one else would think or dare of doing. On my last day of classes at Hofstra, I wore nothing more than a bikini and wedges. Even at graduation, I couldn’t just walk across the stage like a normal person, instead, I stripped off my robe, threw it over my shoulder, and blew a kiss to the president.

Can you sum up your career right now in 3 hashtags?

#transisbeautiful #brokegirlproblems #entrefemmeur*

*a term coined by La Femme Collective founder and Editor in Chief Nora Henick

What has been one of your most memorable moments thus far in your career?

The positive response I’ve gotten has been monumental. I’m out and proud.  Talking about being transgender in a normal setting is huge for me, it’s something I never thought I’d be able to do.

Another cool moment was meeting my number one fan, Julia.  She goes to the high school I went to and there I became the World’s First Transgender Prom Queen. Because of my transition in that high school, Julia knew that being transgender was possible. She told me she wants to grow up and be just like me. Throughout Julia’s male to female transition, our moms became very good friends.  I finally met her this July when she and her mom flew out to California. It was very rewarding and all due to never allowing anyone to deter me from being my true self.

What role does social media have in your personal and professional life?

Social media is important, unfortunately. In my personal life, I use it to stalk people. Professionally I keep up with it because I feel like I have to. My online blog doesn’t necessarily transfer to social media because of the wide demographics, like grandparents and younger children using it as an educational tool. I struggle to not let it consume me. Having authenticity is really important to me and something I’ve been preaching since coming out on my blog. Without 10K+ Instagram followers, you can’t have a professional account that allows you to link your articles on IG stories and without that it’s difficult to promote myself. I don’t want to be phony and just be known for beauty, but social media is a platform that can seriously alter your career and monetary situation in a favorable way.

How important do you think bad experiences are to your professional life?

Crucial. Every experience good or bad shapes you and shapes your life story. It’s important to remember that when you’re really low, it prepares you for a great high.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue a career as a blogger?

Be more creative. Have a good amount of content before you ever start. I lacked content when I first created my blog, granted I didn’t know it would take off so fast, but that pushed my content further apart. Make sure you have at least three months of content before you ever make your blog public.

For your future goals, what’s next?

There are a lot of goals I want to accomplish and I have a lot of projects in the works, which is super exciting. I think what’s next is expanding my website with the blog. I want to become a resource and build the site to be a tool for trans education. That’s in the nearest future.

I want transgender individuals to know that you can live a normal life. I haven’t struggled with being kicked out, experiencing violence, hatred in the bathroom, or being unable to pay for treatment. I think if anything I have experienced having to prove to others that I am transgender because of the abnormally normal life I’ve lived, which is the opposite of many others.

Do you have any closing words of advice for college students?

Don’t stress about college. Enjoy every second. College is the best time of your life even if you think you hate it in the present moment. And support transgender people, they need it.

For additional content you can follow Corey Rae on her website: CoreyRae.com Instagram and Twitter.

 

For additional content, you can follow Corey Rae on her website: CoreyRae.com, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter