Lately the trans community has had some wonderful representation in television, movies and the media. These women are strong, successful, talented and articulate. Pretty much everyone knows of Janet Mock, Laverne Cox, Andreja Pejic, etc, or Jazz Jennings...a 14 yr old that was named one of Time Magazine's 25 most influential teens of 2014. These women weren't the first to be successful, but they have increased awareness and put us in the spotlight in a favorable way. Transwomen have been leading successful lives for a long time, but more quietly and in the shadows than now. We are doctors, lawyers, athletes, politicians, soldiers, authors, top students , etc.
I think the first words I keyed into a search engine were something like "boys who are really girls." I didn't really know where to start. I was just trying to learn about myself and if there were others that had the same feelings that I did. At first, I discovered a few older girls like the woman from England that had transitioned and found success as a model and even appeared in a movie at one time, but she did it in stealth mode and was later outed. As far as I know, that was pretty much the end of her career as an actress and there didn't seem to be much more information about her. I think she did write a book later though. When I was 13, I came across a Canadian girl who made Youtube videos and called herself Gregory Gorgeous. She seemed to identify as gay then, but was feminine and usually presented herself as a girl, doing a lot of makeup and fashion tutorials. A couple of years ago she came out as trans and is now well into her physical transition as Gigi. About the same time, I found out about Kim Petras, a 16 yr old girl from Germany who became the youngest to have GRS. I was so happy to find these girls I found so much inspiration and through them, I found the courage to come out when I started high school, However, the woman that became my most important roll model is a doctor here in Philadelphia, and who I admire very much, Dr Christine McGinn. I first saw her on Oprah about four years ago and I more or less idolized her from the moment I saw her. She was everything I aspire to be as a woman. Not only is she beautiful, super intelligent, extremely well spoken, but she has devoted her practice to gender reassignment surgery, donates "pro bono" services for the trans-community and has won awards for trans-advocacy and awareness.
These are just a few of the many trans-people that helped me feel "not so alone" when I was growing up. Now, there are so many amazing women in the media, the internet and...everywhere:)
I'd like to hear from some of you girls, about who helped or inspire you to be who you are. Was there anyone that you admired or inspired you, or just helped you feel like you weren't the only one that felt different from everyone else on the planet?
Dr Christine McGinn