Before there were any laws proposed on bathrooms, transwomen were already sharing bathrooms. People just never knew about it. I’ve been avoiding having to go to the bathroom out in public. It is one of the things that was the hardest to deal with, especially when I didn’t look as feminine.
It hit my mother in the face when she was cleaning – but she totally wasn’t – I think she was almost looking for an excuse. Looking for something maybe to make it easier? Because I asked her years later, “Did you know?” and she goes, “Oh, your grandmother and I talked about it because mothers always know.”
We often don’t think about our childhood because we're so consumed with moving far away from being young. It was interesting to reflect on a time when I was still becoming who I am today. I don't like to think about that part of my life, but experiences in my past formed a part of who I am now.
I don’t remember having any assumptions about her sexuality, but I figured she may fall on the spectrum given that she worked at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. We always had all these awkward run-ins at work. I saw her as a really smart and experienced seasoned clinician. I was just starting off in this career, so I felt intimidated. I surprised myself because I did not stop pursuing her.
The positive outpour we received from our posting on Pantsuit Nation has reignited our positivity in humanity since the election. We didn't realize how important the statement we made was to people like us. When you are living your everyday life, you don't recognize that you can serve as an inspiration to other people. Sharing our story really opened our eyes to realize that we can inspire others. I had a girl reach out to me expressing she was in the same boat as I was. Her family, who are Trump supporters, rejected her when she came out as a lesbian. Our story helped reignite her drive of knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
So many women have had the story where they found out after the fact. They ended up building trust as a couple on a foundation of lies. I got to that place where I just shared my story on my dates. I had a peace in my spirit. Whoever was good with it, that was fine. Whoever was not good with it, that was fine too.
I told my family and close friends who I am and whom I love on National Coming Out Day. I’ve stopped hiding it. This was a huge deal for me, and just three years ago I never would have imagined that I would be where I am today.
"When I was in the Air Force 10 years ago, we had to sign a paper that said we weren't gay or bisexual. That was probably the hardest thing I ever had to do. I was willing to risk my life, but not be able to live my life. I’m ecstatic I can finally live my life openly."
"They have 'gay day' here in Macedonia, so I asked a colleague what 'gay day' meant. He told me, 'it's a day where we bully people who are gay.' When I hear people say ignorant comments like this, I have to understand it is coming from a different society and a different culture. Without imposing my 'American views', I need to figure out how to say something culturally appropriate to show this is not right."