A note for my
friends and family

Hi! I’d like to share something very personal and important with you. It’s not bad news, but it may be a surprise! To be completely honest, even now I’m not quite sure how to tell people this, so thanks in advance for listening.

I hope it’s pretty clear both personally and professionally that I take diversity and inclusion seriously, and that’s been the case for a very long time. Back when I was in ROTC in college, it was stressed to us that diversity is an asset that makes groups better. I took that lesson to heart back then, and my belief has only gotten stronger as the years have passed. Given politics lately, I've been more vocal about that and it's also forced me to take an accounting of myself as well.

The thing is, I’ve known I was different in some way since I was a kid. Over the last thirty or so years, I think I’ve finally figured out what those feelings mean: I’m transgender. Although I was assigned male at birth, I identify as female. Boom. So what do I do about it?

To get some facts out of the way, I’ve been seeing a therapist for about three years to work through this. I started taking hormone replacement therapy (estrogen) in June of 2016. Since then I’ve slowly explored that part of myself and come out to a majority of my family and friends.

In early October of last year, I decided that I couldn't honestly support and value other people's diversity, and I mean truly support it, unless I was honest about who I am. So after talking with Lindsey, I came out and transitioned at work. Since then I've basically been living as my real self 100% of the time.

None of those things have been decisions that I’ve taken lightly or without due consideration. I can’t imagine anyone would go through this unless they felt they had to in order to be happy.

You might be thinking, okay, cool Shea, but what does that mean for me? Check out this handy dandy list of questions and answers I put together:

View the FAQ →

Please feel free to message me or call or hang out and ask me questions. From my experiences coming out to people so far, I’ve seen that it’s very hard to understand what it’s like to feel transgender unless you’ve lived it yourself. After all, I don’t know what it’s like to not feel this way. However, I have seen that open dialog helps. I appreciate the questions very much, and I’ll do my best to answer them in a way that makes sense.

Another thing: it’s going to be hard to completely avoid some awkward moments, but that’s really the last thing I want. Although your perception of me will change, I’m still the same person. I also understand that people may have their own opinions on this topic. I can’t change that, and that’s okay. I hope we can get by on mutual respect and love as friends if that's the case.

Alright, I’ve rambled long enough, so I’ll end with this: I think people can sense when you’re being authentic. As a part of this journey, I’ve finally had a chance to do that, and my heart is full. I’ve never felt so much love from so many people in my life, ever. That is truly a wonderful thing and I wouldn't change it for the world!

Photo of Shea