Sparkle Thornton


Oakland, CA

SPARKLE : " A good teacher will always try to see something amazing and magical in a student and then try to show that student the amazing and magical thing that they see.

When I was in my teens a voice teacher told me, “You have this charismatic energy. You have this thing that stands out about you and you have an amazing vocal range.” Nobody had ever said anything nice and encouraging to me like that. I really respected her after that and did what she said. She told me that I needed to practice yoga every day, so I did.

When I first started doing yoga I was a mess, I was on a bunch of medications for depression, ADD, and anxiety and I was doing recreational drugs on the side. No matter how hopeless or how depressed I was I started to feel like yoga was my outlet. Yoga kind of forces you to stop repressing things and that’s where all my pieces came together. I did it on my own for a long time and I eventually became a teacher. After I transitioned I started a trans and queer yoga retreat called YoGay.

I am proud of who I am. I am not necessarily proud of being a yoga teacher. I love the practice and helping my community. But I am pretty jaded with the yoga industry. It’s terribly corrupt. Teachers are paid so low. At the same time, as a teacher, you are constantly asked to teach for free.

I am not impressed when people tell me they are a yoga teacher. These days, every middle, upper middle class, health conscious white woman with $3,000 is becoming a yoga teacher.

I’m thinking about what the next step is for me. Before I transitioned I was into musical theatre and I really miss it. I basically changed routes in life due to my transition. As a trans woman, at the time of my transition, I felt like my only options were to do drag or be a sex worker. Now, things are starting to change! I feel like the direction I am being pulled towards is acting and music. I want to be a creative person in some collaborative performance way.

I am excited about what’s happening in L.A. There are all these awesome queer and trans roles and stories that are coming out on shows. I think the missing piece of my life may be is happening there.”

Check out Sparkle’s website: and her instagram account:@sparkleasyouare for updates on her work!