“I am 57 and I began transitioning fifteen years ago. I have three children and they have been just perfect through everything, so supportive. I truly did not expect it. I thought they would be mad at me for killing their Dad or some business like that, but actually when I came out to my oldest, she said, ‘Oh, that’s good. I knew there was something making you unhappy! I’m glad you figured it out.’ She even offered to do my hair and makeup. I couldn’t be more blessed.
Obviously I am black, and black transgender women are murdered at an alarming rate. I do fear for my safety at times when I’m out in public. I keep my head up, though. I let fear dictate my life for forty years and I’m not about to let it dictate the time I have left. I know I’m not beautiful, and I know I get stares, but my worth as a woman doesn’t come from beauty. It comes from bravery, strength, compassion, love, intelligence, creativity.
I have been fortunate to serve as a mentor for some younger transgender people, and they have taught me so much. The courage in this community has always and will always astound me. So many of us have survived incredible hardship. And yet we continue, in the name of truth. There is something very special in that.”