My story began in Ireland, where I was born. My earliest memories were of a pub and looking over the top of the bar from father’s knee.
I have been an active alcoholic for most of my adult life (see earliest memory above). I hit an absolute bottom three years ago and from that nadir, I built a foundation which saved my life and made possible a life beyond my wildest dreams.
Perhaps it was in my blood given my Irish heritage. I was a journalist for about 15 years, and from that experience I witnessed and came to strongly believe that a story well told can impact the world, or at least a part of it.
I decided to come out as a transgender woman in the Spring of 2019 after listening to a panel discussion at Goldman Sachs on supporting transgender people in the work place. One woman on the panel was Sarah McBride, who at that time worked for the Human Rights Campaign. She was the most confident, poised transgender person I had ever met. She has since gone on to be elected to the Delaware state senate.
I’m relatively new to the LGBTQ+ community, but it certainly felt like “Black Lives Matter” collided with “Pride Month” last year and both were enriched. Trans people of color are going to become more visible. It’s inevitable and about time.
Of course I’d like to see our first woman President. It would also be nice to have a transgender woman elected to national office. I think and hope both will happen soon.
I’ll mention the Netflix series, “Pose.” I had not been aware of the gender non-conforming ball culture of the 1980s, which was populated by people of color. I was in Japan for most of that decade but I don’t imagine that culture would have been a topic of conversation where I was raised in southeastern Massachusetts. The trans women’s fashion was beautiful and the storytelling was riveting.
Covid, social unrest, and the US election have loomed so large in the public consciousness that smaller stories which typically would have been told over the last year have been missed. I am hoping to see more inspiring stories of female heroism—especially the unsung kind.