Identifies as: Transsexual, male to female
Neighborhood: River North
Career: "I am retired from the work world, but I used do social casework, customer service and retail sales."
Hobbies: "Photography, interior decorating, gardening, watching TV and writing in my journal and my blog at defianttransgothgirl.wordpress.com . My interests are most anything related to transsexual life, my transition and my children."
Do you have a coming out story?
"My coming out was a gradual process that started with me telling a good friend, then strangers I encountered who were important to me in some professional capacity. Then, I started living as a woman full-time about a year ago and taking hormones about eight months ago. Lastly, [I told] my family. The most emotional moment in my coming out was when I told my four daughters one evening. I had gotten them all together to tell them that I had prostate cancer and that I was transsexual. I was very surprised because no one freaked out, and they took the cancer harder then my being trans. They actually embraced my new identity and have been very supportive all in all."
What issues outside of the queer community do you care about?
"I am very concerned about climate change and human rights. I am Goth and that is another issue that I find I have to clarify and defend to some people."
When did you start questioning gender?
I'm not really clear on when I started questioning my gender because it has been something that I have been wrestling with for as long as I can remember. Interestingly enough, I never knew of the existence of transsexuals until a few years ago when I discovered them online while searching for interesting porn sites. I studied the pictures of the beautiful girls there and after some time I realized that my fascination with them was not sexual, but rather I found that I identified with them. It was then that I realized that I was transsexual."
How do you explain the way you feel about gender to others?
"It is difficult to explain gender to others because most people think of gender and sex as one in the same. To my knowledge gender is derived from a part of us that is beyond the physical. It comes from the soul and has very little to do with the sex of a person. It is possible there is some chromosomal or genetic link that allows one's gender to come through from the soul to the physical. That is how you can end up with gender incongruence."
What do you think is the most pressing issues facing trans people?
"Achieving worldwide human rights legally is, in my opinion, the most important issue facing the trans/gender-variant community."
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