This article is part of an on-going original series written by Caitlyn Jenner for WhoSay called “The Real Me,” which explores issues and people in the LGBT community.
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…
Hi everyone! Blossom here. Caitlyn, thank you for this platform. I love your energy and personality.
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 night time 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).
During my studies I was a huge nursing fanatic and I started applying for nursing school. I did my undergrad — my two years at the community college — and I was convinced I would get accepted. But after the first time, I didn’t get in. I thought maybe I needed to boost my GPA, so I did that and tried again. The next time, I tried for two different nursing programs and still didn’t get in. I kept applying and applying, up until about the sixth time and still nothing.
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 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 where 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 makes 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 by telling our truths. The ultimate price of this is being murdered. I hope that these murders can be reduced. It’s very sad.
For those of you in the transgender community who are having problems with acceptance, never lose hope or give up on your dreams. There is light at the end of the tunnel. We all have major setbacks, but they are only setups for a major comeback. We deserve to be here, just like everyone else. Never cheat yourself out of this world because people refuse to accept you. Continue to live your truth, embrace yourself, and keep your head held high. We are beautiful, smart, and outgoing people and we will survive! We are in this together! I love you all!
For more information on the transgender movement, see a list of resources at CaitlynJenner.com.