BREAKING NEWS 16-year-old girl killed in Freeborn County 2-vehicle crash Full Story
CLOSINGS: View Closings

Transgender Day of Visibility

One woman is sharing her story to bring awareness to the transgender community in Rochester.

Posted: Apr 2, 2018 6:48 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - According to the University of California Los Angeles' law school, about 7,400 people identify as transgender in Iowa. About 24, 250 people identify as transgender in Minnesota. 

One of those people is Jessi Wangen. 

"Probably since I was about 8 or so, I for sure knew I wanted to be a girl," Jessi said. 

Growing up in a conservative area, Jessi kept this a secret. 

"One of the ways I could cope was I could grow my hair long," she said. 

Jessi said not living her true self was is hard to explain but it is an extremely lonely way to live. 

"To be completely invisible to people is an incredibly isolating thing," she said.

Jessi kept her secret and turned to religion. She eventually became a pastor, and was a pastor for six years. While she is now removed from her faith, Jessi said it was during this time she decided to come out. 

She said most of her family was supportive but not all. Jessi underwent gender reassignment surgery a few weeks ago and is even a leader of a support group in Rochester for the transgender community. On this Transgender Day of Visibility, March 31st, she wants people to recognize and celebrate the transgender community. 

She said talking about trans-issues is not taboo.

"Talk to your family and friend about them. If your friend says a trans-phobic joke or something like that say hey that's not okay," she said. 

Article Comments

Mason City
21° wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: 0°
Feels Like: 6°
Albert Lea
Scattered Clouds
19° wxIcon
Hi: 20° Lo: -2°
Feels Like: 7°
23° wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: -1°
Feels Like: 10°
Charles City
23° wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: -1°
Feels Like: 11°
20° wxIcon
Hi: 20° Lo: -4°
Feels Like: 5°
Sunny skies and dangerous cold return
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video


Changing the start time for Rochester Public Schools


Raising the age to get married


Sara's Daybreak Forecast - Tuesday


Osage has built a small town powerhouse


Chris' PM Weather Forecast 2/17


Pool and field house moving forward


Cookies for the troops


Riding along as plow drivers clear the roads


Spring Break Travel Danger


Sibshop program helping siblings of kids with disabilities

Community Events