Be proud, be bold, be yourselfAround the City Thursday, April 14th, 2011
Chris Tina Bruce’s unique approach to life, fitness
Chris Tina Bruce has made a large impact on her hometown just outside Dallas, Texas – in more ways that one. The 6-foot-1, 200 pound, former male bodybuilder drew a lot of attention in the conservative Southern town when he became a popular and successful female personal trainer.
Now, Bruce is bringing her Southern charm and unique perspective towards personal fitness to San Diego. What makes her so unique? She’s different – even for a trans person.
“I am not the typical transgender person. The typical trans wants to be all female – in varying degrees,” she said.
“There are a lot of degrees to everything,” she continued. “I think a lot of transgendered … they think everything they have that is male is disgusting because they think they should have been born in the other body. Then there is a cross dresser who likes to dress up now and then, but they don’t want to change.”
Bruce said she is somewhere in the middle of those two examples. As a man, she never considered herself gay – “I date girls. I don’t date guys, I never have. I’ve always been attracted to women,” she said – but she still desired to live as a woman.
“I’m very different, even in the transgender community. I like being a hybrid,” she said. Bruce has taken hormones, had breast implants and even some face work done, yet “I still have not had the operation below. I don’t want to. I like that down there. The women I date like it, too.”
“I didn’t want to lose my male identity. I like that part of me,” she added. She lives as a woman, but still responds when people mistakenly call her by “him” or “he” or other male pronouns. “I am different. I am unique. I think that’s what’s made me successful.”
Bruce has been successful her entire life, never taking the easy road, and excelling in everything she did. She has had a high-profile job, profitable businesses, family with two kids, a house on the golf course – “I had everything that the typical American dream would say you should want,” she said.
Yet, she felt she was missing something. She still had not found her own identity.
“I was always trying to succeed, and then when I succeeded it just didn’t seem like enough,” she said. “Football, I was good at. Then it was bodybuilding. I was good at that. Then it was business. I was keeping myself occupied instead of dealing with the issues I had. I didn’t know myself.”
She discovered she wanted to live as a woman in 2005, when Bruce openly dressed as a woman at Mardi Gras in New Orleans. It wasn’t until the end of 2010 – after a lot of soul searching and mentoring – that she decided to make the change. A few months later, Christopher Bruce officially transitioned to Chris Tina Bruce and she starting working full-time as a personal trainer.
“Almost a year ago, last April 15, I quit the job I had, nice six figure salary, company car and all the perks … and started doing this full time. It was a really hard decision, but I love every minute of it.”
Being a transgender bodybuilder both before and after transition provides insight into body manipulation and development she can offer to any and all. Since 1993, when Chris Tina Bruce founded Discover Health and Fitness – just part time originally – her goal has been to help as many people as possible achieve the benefits of a healthy, active and fun lifestyle.
Bruce offers personal training in gyms, mobile fitness services, boot camps and nutrition consultation. More information about her work can be found at DiscoverHealthandFitness.com. In San Diego for only three weeks, Bruce already has several clients and is quickly getting involved in the community. “Like me or not, you’re not going to forget me,” she joked.
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