Caitlyn Jenner understands this. Yesterday I applauded her for mentioning Sam Taub, the Detroit-area transgender teenager who committed suicide. Now, Ms. Jenner's example is encouraging some of us, who transitioned long before Ms. Jenner, to tell our stories. And the New York Daily News featured a few of them today:
Caitlyn Jenner said she couldn’t wait to hear the stories of her transgender sisters. Well, the Daily News is providing three gripping tales from men who transitioned long before it became a reality TV show.
Like the 65-year-old Olympic gold-medal champ, this trio has struggled with doubts, fears and tears — including ones shed from the joy of finally embracing a life that’s been in limbo, in some cases for decades.
Each personal journey is unique, but share common threads. The road to transitioning reaches back to childhood — as early as first grade. Experimenting with cross-dressing came long before these women’s brave decisions to live authentically.
Discussing their lives wasn’t an invitation for tell-all revelations about surgery, genitals or sexual mores. But in reading each story, you get intimate portraits of the people living them — and the challenges that face all transgender Americans.
Transgender actress Shakina Nayfack tells of her incredible journey from being a young Jewish boy bullied by high school classmates to an outspoken theater veteran. "I’m a white trans woman playing the Statue of Liberty in a show about illegal immigration," she says. READ THE STORY.
Willa France was at the top of her career as a lawyer when she transitioned to being a woman in her 50s. The East Harlem resident talks to the News about her own transformation, keeping her marriage intact and a defense of Jenner's fashion sense. READ THE STORY.
Patricia Harrington says her transformation into her "authentic person" has been a series of small victories since trying to stand on the girl's line as a six year old boy. "It took another 35 years or so to open up," she says. " I’ve come so far in my life." READ THE STORY
Meet Veronica Vera, founder of the Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls, who has helped countless men transition into women from her center in Chelsea. The once-repressed Catholic girl came to New York in the 1970s to explore her own sexuality, which led to her becoming her adopted home town's bbt. READ THE STORY.