When I finally and fully transitioned in 2010 at the age of 45 it was the culmination of a significant part of a life-journey which I had started in my own mind, with my own self-awareness and on my own. At the age of four.
My name is Jessica Lynn and I am a transgender woman, originally from California I now live in sunny Sutton Coldfield, in the West Midlands, England.
When I was a child, the term Gender Dysphoria had not been identified or labelled. Even today the definition, and understanding, continues to evolve.
As young as four years old I did not feel comfortable living my life as a boy. Born in 1965 I have come to understand that I coped with the loneliness of my identity through many outlets. In the era of my teenage years, I acutely felt that this was a crisis which afflicted only me.
From oil painting to football, I poured myself into any pastime that would take my mind off my constant feelings of an inner discomfort, which, at its worst moments felt like torture. I made these coping activities so important in my life that I had to excel at everything I undertook. This led me to several sports scholarship offers and even an offer to play in a local professional soccer team when I was 16.
It was only after a car accident in 1985 took the life of my fiancé, the only person I had ever confided in about my true gender, did I finally come out to my parents, only to find that they had known since I was four.
In 1990, after years of research, I decided I had to transition. I had befriended another woman who, like my fiancé, was initially supportive of my true identity.
However, after an unplanned pregnancy, I postponed my transition rather than let my son come into the world without a father. After another two decades, three children and a divorce, my ex-wife moved the children to Texas so that I could finally begin my transition, something we had discussed, agreed on and she had supported me in, from the very beginning of our relationship. What I did not know was that my ex-wife had only made this relocation, to the most conservative county in the United States, in a calculated move to challenge my parental rights to our youngest son. She succeeded and I become the first parent in US history to have their name removed from their own child's birth-certificate, despite testimonies from a court appointed psychiatric evaluator citing, me as having an active, and supportive loving role in all my children’s lives.
A GLOBAL EDUCATOR IS BORN
This, amongst several other experiences served as the catalyst for me to use my story to help educate the world about the transgender community. A community which is found, overtly or covertly, in practically every country, every culture, within history and even within religion. A community which has always had the right to exist in every society.
I have now given over 1,200 presentations, in 28 different countries across the globe and hopefully opened many hearts and minds to a real understanding of what it means to be transgender and my experiences. I do not claim to own every experience of that journey, but I do hope I am helping the taking of the first step a little bit easier for those who need to take it.
In 2016, my work in promoting the education and the understanding of the transgender community led The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, to appoint me as a global ambassador. I have also served as a Stonewall School Role Model and maintain an advisory position at the University of Oxford, on a research project aimed towards improving health services for gender diverse youths and their families.
I have had the privilege of helping to educate tens of thousands of people about the many identities throughout the gender spectrum. I have also worked with teachers, professors, nurses, doctors, business leaders, and many others to help further the understanding of gender non-conforming communities. With the aid of colleagues from the University of Oxford, Kinsey Institute, Michigan State University, within the NHS, and many others, I have developed training and educational programs for the business and medical communities. These training programs are structured to educate and give a better understanding of the history of transgender communities, social and political impacts, challenging unconscious bias, and working towards non-prejudicial and anti-discriminatory practices. I have also worked with many hospitals across the UK to help medical professionals to better understand our transgender communities.
Since that moment and other seminal moments in my life I have dedicated myself to this cause, not in any self-sacrificing personification but as someone who has a deep motivation to explain and educate. I have been told that I am good at speaking, which is another reason to continue to do it. If I may quote Justin Garcia, PhD, Ruth Halls Associate Professor of Gender Studies, Director, The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University: ‘Students and faculty routinely walk away from her talks -- usually after laughing, often crying, and always thinking deeply – with a profound appreciation for the complex lives of transgender people, including some of the social, legal, psychological, and medical aspects of Jessica’s journey’.
I hope to continue to make that happen and to improve understanding of what it means to be transgender, not just through my many experiences but also to allow the wonderful people I have met within this community feel empowered and supported to tell their own stories too.
My Non-Profit: YOUR TRUE GENDER
YOUR TRUE GENDER, is a non-profit organization in California founded to be an transgender educational resource for both men and women.
We are dedicated to helping them in transitioning into
their true gender.
If you would like to donate to our non-profit, the proceeds are used to fulfill our mission: Educate the World.
We thank you for your consideration.
IN THE PRESS
Countless newspapers and websites have written about Jessica, her Journey and her mission. She has also been the subject in a few books: