However, the day was not horrible. I spent the morning teaching my middle schoolers and then we jetted up to UC Merced. I gave my TG presentation detailing my decision to transition and afterwards we both fielded questions from the students.
The professor there is amazing and he sent me a link to his student responses to our discussion. Here are a few of their responses (there are 7 pages of them!) :
"I found it very surprising that it wasn't more of a sudden realization. The decision to decide that kelly was trans was a culmination of most of her life. It was very surprising to imagine not feeling yourself most of your life."
"I believe what I found most memorable about Kelly's story that she was able to make it out of the hardest parts of her life, and is still smiling. She went through so much and faced so many difficult obstacles but she did it all and I find her really admirable for that."
"I found most memorable how supportive her wife was throughout the years. That must of been a great thing to have a great social support. I was surprised that it took her years to finally know how to identify herself after years of dressing like a woman."
"I just think its so amazing how loving they are... just like any "regular" couple. ( heart emoji)"
"The fact that it took Kelly years to not be afraid with who she truly was was the most surprising to me. It has made me realize how hard it must be for every transgender person to be out & happy with themselves. I think she's an amazing & inspiring person. The world definitely needs more people like her & Jodie."
"It was surprising it was more beneficial to hear her story. In the past I had an ex girlfriend who transition into a man and at the time it was difficult for me to understand what it was like for her and the emotions that came with it."
"I enjoyed the realistic lecture that she gave. Having her being open and unapologetic with how she felt made it easier to understand how different everyone's journey can be."
"i was suprised that so many people face this issue and feel like they're going through it alone. Transgender issues can be really complicating but i hope people can learn to accept them for who they are instead of what they look like."
"I think what was most surprising is Kelly not changing anything other than her hormones. I have personally never met a transgender person or know their stories so I always assumed that they needed many surgeries and pills and all. However, it's amazing realising how she was simply being herself."
"Her partner has known her since she was 8. It's so cute how she stayed beside her transition ! :,)"
"The most surprising to me was the fact that she felt obligated to deny that she wanted to be a woman. It was really heartbreaking that she had to make herself feel horrible in order to please society. What I found really powerful was when she mentioned you can easily change your body but not the gender in your mind."
"The fact that she knew who she was at such a young age. I was surprised kids at that age are even thinking about themselves"
Okay, I gotta stop....... there are so many comments that mean so much! There are about 64 student responses. All of them positive, loving, and supportive!
Um..... am I glowing much this morning? Yes, yes I am!
I think I'm doing this advocating thing pretty darn well!
Thank you for the help and gentle pushing Jessica Lynn, Carol Montgomery Brosnac, Dr Julie Nicole. Thank you for seeing something I struggle to see.
Love telling your own story!