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
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 74°
Albert Lea
79° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 79°
Austin
79° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 79°
Charles City
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 75°
Rochester
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 76°
After a busy morning we're tracking a much calmer Sunday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Newman drops West Fork to win district; other district scores

Image

Rochester native Alex Martin takes 2nd in 250 Moto race

Image

Floyd County Veterans Affairs office asking for box AC units

Image

Tracking pleasant temps to start the week

Image

Severe WX Cut-In July 20

Image

Motocross comes to Millville

Image

Robotics demonstrations at family fun night

Image

Auditor comes to town

Image

New aquatic center being considered in Byron

Image

North Iowa Fair on a hot night

Community Events