Meet Kris Marquis, a transgender veteran on a mission to turn Silicon Valley on its head with the first-ever, all-inclusive online resource for transgender Americans, Genderis.
Kris Marquis, a former Marine, says that growing up in the suburbs of Houston left almost no outlets to air her own growing questions about gender identity, no less in a medical setting. “There wasn’t a lot known about this topic, and it was horribly taboo to discuss,” Kris says of her early years. “The environment around me cast a shadow of fear to not talk about these things, so I buried it.”
Kris, living full-time as Mark at the time, enlisted in the military at the offset of high school, and over the course of four years would become a decorated serviceman. But despite the hyper-machismo of the military, Kris’ true gender identity was inescapable as time went on, and perpetually at odds with her mismatched gender expression.
“No matter how driven or how much I buried myself in other activities, I was always conflicted with my gender identity,” she says. “It’s something that never goes away.” At the age of 27, Kris embarked on an arduous search for a properly-trained healthcare professional in her area, bouncing for months between therapists. By 28, she had discovered the Rosenberg Gender Clinic in Galveston, Texas, where she would later be referred from to begin her first hormone treatments.
Now, Kris works to ensure quality healthcare can be found expediently by parents of transgender children and all transgender Americans, with Genderis. The site aims to be the organized resource patients like Kris never had access to, with emotional support and “everything from counseling and qualified physicians to electrolysis and beyond.”
“People can’t find the right care, and sometimes when they do, they are often looked down upon or treated badly. This is a problem!” says Kris.
To learn more about Genderis, which will launch in December 2016, click here.