Hi, my friends! This week I want to introduce you to a young woman who holds a special spot in my heart. When I was up in San Francisco at the HRC facility, I met this wonderful young lady named Blossom. She is enthusiastic, energetic and just absolutely great. I love her story.
She's about to be the first trans woman to graduate from Mississippi University for Women – an incredible accomplishment. The problem she has right now is that she hasn't been able to take the leap from college to nursing school, and she really feels like the reason she's not able to do that is because she's trans. She wants to work in public health in the trans community, and I know she would be absolutely great. Blossom is just such a wonderful person, and she deserves to be in nursing school. I want to see what we can do to help her out. I want her to tell you her story. Blossom, the floor is all yours …
When I was I was young, I always figured something was a little different about me. I remember telling my music teacher when she'd call roll that my name was "Brittany" instead of my government name. In kindergarten, I was taking crayons and coloring my nails red. I'm the oldest child out of four children, and sometimes I would play with my sisters' dolls and dress up in my mother's things when she wasn't around ... different things like that.
That said, I had no idea who I was. Throughout middle school and high school, I was dating women and men. I could put on boy clothes and try to fit in with the gay community, but I always felt like something was always off about me. I really wasn't happy with myself. When I was 19 or 20 I started researching, trying to figure out why I still had these feelings after so long. It kind of hit me, "Hey, you might be trans."
When I first started transitioning, I didn't know what it was like to be trans. I didn't know about hormones or how to dress as a woman. I had to do a lot of researching on my own. At first, I was doing it in the nighttime because my parents weren't receptive of my transitioning and I didn't want to get kicked out of the house.
When I moved out of the house, things finally started to come together for me. I was finally able to go to work dressed as a woman (even though when they hired me I was still coming to work dressed as a boy because of the whole parents situation).
I never got an explanation. It kind of dawned on me that the most likely reason is because I'm trans. I started publicly transitioning the year I applied to nursing school, and I think that negatively affected the school's decision.
At that point, I had finished community college, so I transferred to Mississippi University for Women for my last two years of college and decided to major in public health, which is what I'm finishing now. Hopefully when I'm done with my public health major, I'll finally be able to get into nursing school.
I want to go into public health nursing and focus my work on the LGBT community in general. I feel like we're the ones that need the most help – especially the transgender community. I'm a trans health advocate and I want to develop resources and mentorships for them.
First and foremost, we need to reduce the number of murders of transgender women of color. There is not one day when I don't wake up, get dressed and think that I might be a target. Transgender women of color are misgendered in the media all the time. Plus, the media often make it seem like we deserve to be murdered. Supposedly we "aren't being honest about who we are" – when in reality, we are most likely being punished for being who we are and telling our truths. The ultimate price of this is being murdered. I hope that these murders can be reduced. It's very sad.
RELATED VIDEO: Caitlyn Jenner's Message to Transgender Youth: 'We Are All Beautiful'
For more information on the transgender movement, see a list of resources at CaitlynJenner.com.