Thursday, 18 January 2018

Interview with Kelly Metzgar

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Kelly Metzgar, an inspirational transgender rights activist from Saranac Lake, New York, USA, a co-founder of Adirondack North Country Gender Alliance, a community based LGBTQ organization providing services to the Adirondack North Country of Upstate New York. Hello Kelly! 
Kelly: Hi Monika, thank you so much for reaching out to me for this wonderful opportunity for a nice international chat!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Kelly: I am a transgender woman living in Saranac Lake in the Adirondack North Country of upstate New York.
I am passionate about my advocacy and educational work having been involved in Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming/Non-Binary as well as Lesbian, Gay, Bi/Pansexual training workshops for several years speaking in regional colleges and universities, as well as to various religious, business and civic organizations. I present customized, targeted workshops and training sessions at Transgender and LGBTQ conferences in both my regional area, New York State and National levels.
I work for Transgender rights here in New York State including working to pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act – GENDA hopefully in 2018.
I love the community in which I’ve had the pleasure of living for the past 35 years. We are close to Lake Placid NY, site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. Whiteface Mountain, which I love to ski, is the 1980 Olympic Alpine mountain is only a 30 minute drive from my home.
In the summer I enjoy gardening, kayaking and canoeing on our many rivers and mountain lakes.
Monika: When did you decide that trans activism would be the main driver of your professional career?
Kelly: In the spring of 2013 I met an amazing woman Juli Grey-Owens at Equality and Justice Day in Albany NY. Juli was part of an organization (I later joined) known as the New York State Transgender Rights Coalition, the purpose of which was to enact the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act in New York State. GENDA as of this writing, some 15 years after it was first introduced in the New York State Legislature, has still not passed into State law. I have continued to work with Juli and many other transgender rights advocates for the past several years on many different projects across the state for the passage of this very vital piece of civil rights non-discrimination legislation.
2017 Adirondack North Country Pride Parade,
Plattsburgh NY.
In the spring of 2014 I attended a Transgender Advocacy training in Syracuse, NY. I stayed with a woman, Terri Cook, who I met briefly several months earlier in Albany NY. Terri & her husband Vince are very proud parents of an amazing transgender son Drew. Talking with Terri over the course of three days I came to learn her family’s story for the struggle they went through as Drew transitioned FTM.
I also learned they wrote an amazing book Allies and Angles, which I purchased a copy of and read upon my return home. There were pages upon pages in this book where I laughed, and more importantly cried, as I read of the struggles Drew and the Cook family went through in his transition. I remembered how I felt as a young person, as a teen and later a young adult with no one to talk to, no one to share this “terrible secret” with. I thought how wonderful it would have been to have understanding and accepting parents as Terri and Vince when I was growing up.
There were pages that made me very angry as I read how Drew was treated by not only his student peers, but also by schools teachers, administrators and the general public. I vowed that I needed to find a way to make things better for our youth and young people, so they would not have to continue to go through the bullying and harassment that LGBTQ youth faced when I was young, or like Drew encountered as he transitioned.
I read about a wonderful place in Syracuse called the Q Center Youth Center and how they provided a safe place for LGBTQ youth in Syracuse and how the Q Center helped Drew regain his confidence and be accepted by his peers. I read how the Q Center helps other families like the Cook’s and knew I needed to at least try to find a way to bring similar resources to the area I live in (Northeastern New York State).
I made a promise to myself in 2014 that my transition would not be solely be “about me” but I needed to find a way to help other LGBTQ or otherwise marginalized group of people in their struggle for a life of freedom, equality, love and acceptance in living as their true and authentic self. 

Monika: Could you elaborate more on some of your initiatives?
Kelly: OK, but remember you asked for this... :)
As I looked to begin my transition (MTF) in 2012 I could not find a medical doctor in my area to prescribe the needed hormones to begin my journey. While I absolutely do not encourage this behavior in any way, I was forced to self prescribe HRT knowing full well the potential dangers I faces. In the winter of 2014 I decided I needed to double my dosages in order to achieve the desired effects. Still I could not find any doctor willing to take this on. I wrote an Opinion Editorial which appeared in our local newspaper. I was asked by the Chief Executive Officer of our regional hospital if I would be interested in coming to talk to her about these health care needs. Long story short, Adirondack Health hired a relatively young family practice doctor and asked her if she would take on transgender health care as none of the local doctors were willing to do so. This doctor agreed providing Adirondack Health would find her the training and resources she needed.
Adirondack Health did not stop there, they organized a transgender training program for hospital staff in three of their regional facilities of which I was a member of the four person training team.
I am happy to say everything is working out now in terms of medical transgender health care in the Adirondack North Country. I spoke with my doctor recently and she informed me she as 40-50 transgender patients – MTF, FTM all age groups.
I am now working to find qualified behavioral health specialists for our community. I have three people I am comfortable recommending to date.
I believe education is very important in understanding any situation, group of people or moment in history. Certainly what the transgender movement has done in recent years in making ourselves visible is a major cultural shift in society today. To that end, I began speaking in college & university classrooms in the Fall of 2013. I continue my speaking, training and educational programming today anywhere and everywhere I can. I enjoy speaking about not only the LGBTQI+ community but about all marginalized groups in society today needing social justice awareness.
Kelly at her first day of work in her authentic gender.
Of course my emphasis is on the Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming/Non-Binary and Intersexed communities. Not enough is said about our Intersexed community. In addition to presenting my own customized trainings, to regional colleges/universities, business, civic and religious organizations I also show the National Geographic Society’s Gender Revolution video to various groups hosted by Katie Couric. 
In the spring of 2015 I was looking to put together a youth support group in our region. I found a group of young people who were meeting, but their group was very loosely organized and about to fall apart. Together with a counseling friend of mine, we began a youth peer support group in Plattsburgh NY about an hour’s drive northeast of my home. Generally the group meets on the second and fourth Sunday of each month. We have met regularly since then. Group sizes vary depending on time of year, weather, actives going on in our region etc. We have had as few as 5 and as many as 20+ at a single session. We are looking for funding as well as ways to increase group attendance.
As I stated earlier, I am very good friends with Juli Grey-Owens from Long Island NY. Juli put together a statewide Transgender Town Hall Project to learn from community members around New York State the needs, concerns, struggles, hopes, of the Transgender Gender Non-Conforming/Non-Binary community and our allies. To that end I worked to bring three such town hall meetings to the Plattsburgh NY community in a one year time span. The Transgender Town Hall Project was a big success as we gathered the issues the Transgender community faces. We will use those findings as we work for Transgender rights and access to needed resources moving forward.
In August of 2016 I formed a not-for-profit organization the Adirondack North Country Gender Alliance. The mission is to bring needed resources to LGBTQI+ youth and young adults here in the Adirondack North Country region of northeastern New York State. It is now through ANCGA that we hold our peer support group meetings, take group members to regional LGBTQI+ outings and events. We also sponsored the first ever LGBTQ Pride Parade in our region of the state on October 1st 2016. We followed that up again in 2017 with an even bigger event. Both Pride events were held in Plattsburgh NY. ANCGA also sponsored the first Transgender Day of Remembrance events held in Plattsburgh and Saranac Lake in 2016 and 2017. Interview on Transgender activities in the Adirondack North Country.
In January 2017 I was the Keynote speaker at the North Country March for Unity & Respect held in Plattsburgh NY. My remarks centered on Acceptance of diversity in promoting unity among all people. Click here for a video of that speech my comments begin at the 12:30 minute mark and continues until minute 21:30 (Requires a FaceBook sign in. You may need to refresh the screen to continue if buffering is an issue!)
In June 2017 I was once again the Keynote speaker at the We Exist rally in Plattsburgh NY to commemorate the 45 anniversary of the passing of federal Title IX civil and educational rights protections in the US.

Monika: The transgender community is said to be thriving now. As Laverne Cox announced “Trans is beautiful.” Teenage girls become models and dancers, talented ladies become writers, singers, and actresses. Those ladies with interest in politics, science, and business become successful politicians, academics, and businesswomen. What do you think in general about the present situation of transgender women in the contemporary society? Are we just scratching the surface or the change is really happening?
Kelly: First I think we need to expand the conversation, not just about Transgender women, but we also need to remember and include our Transgender men who are often forgotten and left out of most Transgender conversations. With that in mind, it is time the Transgender community makes ourselves known in all segments of society throughout the world in everyday life, in ever profession. The Transgender community is full of talented, smart, active individuals who wish to make this world a better more understanding, accepting and inclusive place to live our authentic lives.
We are just beginning to come out and show the world stage who we are. As with any societal or cultural movement it takes time. But this is a movement that once we began, it will not end. This societal change IS HAPPENING! Finally!!!
Monika: The transgender cause is usually manifested together with the other LGBTQ communities. Being the penultimate letter in this abbreviation, is the transgender community able to promote its own cause within the LGBTQ group?
Kelly: This is truly the decade the Transgender community is making ourselves known. The Gay & Lesbian communities have done much work over the past 20+ years to bring attention to sexual orientation issues. Now is our time to bring attention to gender identity and expression issues. In many respects I believe the Gay and Lesbian communities have left us out to our own devices. They have all the rights and protections they sought.
In New York State sexual orientation is a part of the state’s Human Rights protected classes. Yet, in my mind, many in the Gay & Lesbian community do little for Transgender or Gender Non-Conforming/Non-Binary civil rights. As we know Gay, Lesbian, Bi/Pansexuals deal with orientation. The Transgender Gender Non-Conforming/Non-Binary community is about gender identity and expression.
On top of gender identity we also need to express and be accepted for our own sexual orientation. Many people still get these two very different aspects of our lives confused. Many CIS gender heterosexual people try to combine these two aspects of our lives into one classification. Society tries to lump anyone who is not Cis Gender or Hetrosexual into the LGBTQI+ umbrella when really we are all separate communities of people with many different and sometimes competing needs.
Book of Nicole Maines via Amazon.
The Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming/Non-Binary communities, along with our allies who love, accept and support us, need to work for ourselves to steer our own path, to guide our own future and not be dependent on others. We need to speak up, act up, make our voices and presence known everywhere in society in a positive way. Showing who we are - brothers, sisters, husband, wives, children, parents, siblings, neighbors, coworkers, coaches, teachers/educators wishing only to live in an open and accepting society as our true and authentic selves.
I hope we will make a very positive impact on the local/regional communities in which we live our everyday lives. We need parents of Transgender children to speak up and advocate for their children. We need our allies to march hand in hand with us and fight for basic human civil rights.
Monika: What do you think in general about transgender news stories or characters which have been featured in films, newspapers or books so far?
Kelly: With few exceptions, especially in films and on television, many Transgender characters were played by CIS gender actors or actresses and not by people in the Transgender community. It is time Transgender actors or actresses assume Transgender character roles! This sends the constant message that Transgender people are not to be actually seen, but it’s alright to depict us, often in very non-flattery ways, by CIS gender people to make the topic more digestible. I am happy that slowly there are some Transgender people finally able to break though, such as Candis Cane and Laverne Cox. Still there are many more roles in film and television that Transgender people need fill.
I love many of the stories I read on Facebook and other social media sites in terms of Transgender news worthy events. We need those positive stories of personal success and the struggles we endure in everyday life. We are a resilient determined community of people. Our stories need to be told and listened to. The result of many of these stories are often personal and societal triumph for our often much maligned community.
I love reading books written by our Transgender youth and young adults. It is important that people know the struggles and successes our children and their families go though. It is important not only for members and allies of the Transgender Gender Non-Conforming/Non-Binary community to read these but more importantly non-community members. It is important for parents of Transgender Gender Non-Conforming/Non-Binary children to read these books to know they are not alone in their struggles that others have and are currently walking their same path. I personally have in my collection books written by Jazz Jennings, Nicole Maines, Katie Rain Hill, Aaron Andrews, Terri and Vince Cook among many other titles. I heartily recommend these to anyone interested in gaining an understanding of life as a Transgender person.
Monika: Do you participate in any lobbying campaigns? Do you think transgender women can make a difference in politics?
Kelly: Again I wish to take gender out of the equation and talk about Transgender Gender Non-Conforming/Non-Binary people which include Transgender Gender Non-Conforming/Non-Binary men.
I think Transgender people can, will and do make a difference in everything we do. That includes politics! In the US this year, several Transgender people were elected into various state legislatures. Many more are or will be on the ballot in coming years. We see “haters” voted out or not elected to begin with. More Transgender people need to enter the political arena, win those important seats on the local, state and national levels.
Demonstrating at NYS Governor's State of the State Address
 in 2014 for the passage of the Gender Expression
Non-Discrimination Act - (GENDA) with other NYS activists,
including Juli Grey-Owens.
For the past several years I have been involved in groups working to pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act – GENDA in New York State. Every year the bill does not pass, the following year we need to start over from the beginning with our legislature which becomes very frustrating. GENDA has passed the New York State Assembly for 10 consecutive years! The Senate has refused to bring the bill to the floor for the past 15 years for discussion, consideration or a vote!
In November of 2015 our Governor, Andrew Cuomo, issued an Executive Action whereby the New York State Transgender community was “granted” implicit protections by redefining the States Human Rights laws to include transgender under the categories of “sex” and “disability”. As we have seen on the US Federal level, Executive Actions and Orders of a past leader can be overturned by the current leader. That is why having these protections written “explicitly” into New York State law is so vitally important. Our work and struggle continues!
Monika: At what age did you transition into woman yourself? Was it a difficult process? 
Kelly: For a woman who will freely admit to being in my mid to late 40’s, I lead a dual gender life for my entire life. My “secret” was hidden to most people (including family and close friends) known only to a select few. After two terrible years in 2010 and 2011, in the winter and spring of 2012 when I made the very hard decision to “live” I slowly began the process planning my transition.
As stated above I began taking hormones in August of 2012, then sought medical assistance in August of 2014. My transition, for me personally, was initially a very slow process. I knew what I always wanted, but was never really sure transitioning would be something I could successfully accomplish. Still my body was changing, transforming. I came out to my sister in the spring of 2013. Her comments to me were:
• I am so happy for you!
• Why did you hide this for so long?
• Do you know the fun we could have had all these years?
• Do you know how long I’ve always wanted a sister?
My female cousins met me in November of 2013, they were very accepting and supportive.
In a very emotional conversation in March or April of 2014, I came out to my then 84 year old very Irish Catholic mother. After her initial confusion as to what Transgender actually meant and what it meant for me, she was not very supportive. With help of my sister, Mom slowly began to learn concepts of being transgender, but did not wish to see me as a female. She thanked me for telling her of the lifelong struggles I lived with, but when I came to visit (she lives 440 miles and 7+ hours away from me), she only wished to see “her son”.
In late June 2014 still having issues with who I was becoming, she went to see her local parish priest. They had a 10 – 15 minute conversation in which the priest told her, “Mary, you love your son and God loves him also. You need to find a way to make this right between you.” Without talking to me, Mom went home and took it upon herself to out me to all my aunts, telling them that I would be coming home the following week, I would be dresses as a woman and my name is Kelly Metzgar. If they did not like that, they could stay away. Mom called me that evening to tell me what she did and that when I came home the next week, she wanted “Kelly” to come, and for “Kelly” to be at all the family social events including her 85th birthday. Suddenly I would be “out” to my entire extended family. Surprisingly this went very well. There was some confusion, but my coming out to family was very positive.
Jazz Jennings's memoirs via Amazon.
With coming out to family a success the next hurdle was to come out at work. As I stated previously, my body by this time was defiantly changing and I was showing obvious breast development that was extremely hard to hide wearing male business dress shirts. Hiding under sweaters as I do during the bone chilling Adirondack winte, is not an option in the hot summer months!
I worked with a Transgender mentor for my coming out at work which my employer ultimately rejected. I presented my boss (at the time) with a formal letter outlining my transgender identity and transition plans. We immediately booked a meeting with our Human Resources manager and had a meeting that same day. While I wish I could say that whole process was positive, there were many hurdles (some very negative experiences) that had to be overcome. I could write and entire essay (which I have already done to great extent) outlining that experience.
With time running out at work for my debut, and the company not having any corporate training lined up, things were looking rather scary. At the very last minute the company was able to find a person to do a “Coming Out in the Workplace” training. I demanded to have a part in this training process to make my own “announcement” to the company, then with a follow up email letter to the rest of the staff in the organization who were not able to attend the training.
At age 55, my “Rebirth” day is officially November 1, 2014. Two days later I finally came to work as my true self! The reception that first day was very positive, not only from staff but also from our Inpatient clients. (I worked in the Information Technology department of an Inpatient/Outpatient alcohol, chemical dependency, substance abuse treatment and recovery organization.) 
One of the most affirming presents I received that day was my new name plate – Kelly Metzgar!
In the Saranac Lake and surrounding community I was warmly greeted with comments such as “Well it’s about time”,” we’ve been waiting for you to come out for a long time”, “We’re so happy you are finally able to live your life as you want”, “You deserve to live and be happy in your life”. I am so very blessed to live in such a wonderful and affirming area! Who Knew!
Monika: At that time of your transition, did you have any transgender role models that you followed?
Kelly: I joined the Vanity Club online international sorority of transgender women in 2003. We are a small, by invitation only sorority. I think more than any celebrity role models, the amazing women in my sorority were the people I admired and looked up to.
As I was able to finally attend regional Transgender Conferences in Boston MA and Harrisburg Pa., I think the amazing people to attend those conferences also became people I admired.
I cannot say I really had celebrity role models for very few existed at that time. 
Monika: Are there are any transgender ladies that you admire and respect now?
Kelly: There are several Transgender people I admire and respect.
First, of course, is my dear and good friend Juli Grey-Owens from Long Island NY. I admire her leadership in the New York State Transgender movement for equality and basic rights protections. She is a constant source of inspiration for continuing the work we do.
Next, I admire all the Transgender youth who are coming forward into advocacy roles. People like Jazz Jennings, Nicole Maines, Katie Hill, Juliet Evancho, Gavin Grimm who are becoming the next leaders.
I am also a big fan of Janet Mock. She is a very positive and inspirational person in our community.
Laverne Cox.
Monika: We all pay the highest price for the fulfilment of our dreams to be ourselves. As a result, many trans women lose their families, friends, jobs, and social positions. Did you pay such a high price as well? What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Kelly: As stated above, my initial coming out was unexpectedly easy and uneventful so, initially, I really did not lose too much in terms of family and friends.
Subsequently however, five weeks after returning to work from in October 2016 from CGS that summer, I was told my job was “no longer needed”. I was affiliated with my previous employer for 17+ years, 10.5+ of which as a full-time employee. (I was a shared resource and a consultant for 6.5 years) The reason given was the new electronic health record system the company recently upgraded to did not require a programmer and they no longer needed me as an IT help desk support person.
It is now well over a year and I cannot find full-time employment in my region in or out of the Information Technology environment. Personally, I would much rather find a non-IT position as that was my old life, but not being employed in a full-time position for so long is becoming VERY SCARY and DESPARATE! I have so much wisdom, professionalism and talents to offer a new employer. I don’t know if it is because of my age, the fact that I’m Transgender or what! This girl needs a full-time job!!!!
I also have no contact with my two children - a son and a daughter both now in their mid to late 30’s. They have totally disowned me for the past several years. I have two new grandchildren I will never be able to meet, even with my son now living in an apartment two houses down from me!
I try my best not to focus on the losses but rather try embracing the positive, the people who know and accept me for who I am today. Many in the present day do not even know the person I “use to be”, they only know me, Kelly, the person I am now! 
Monika: I have read somewhere that cisgender women were liberated thanks to the development of contraceptive pill whereas transgender women are free now thanks to the development of cosmetic surgery, so they are no longer prisoners of passing or non-passing syndrome …
Kelly: I believe transgender people, myself included, are obsessed with passing. Whether one is transmale or transfemale, being able to go out in public and be taken for the person you identify as is vitally important to our sense of self. Billions of dollars (or whatever currency you may use) are spent on looking good or having a physical body that matches our gender identity. I do not see that ever not being an issue we face. After all, that is what we are fighting gender and body dysphoria.
If anything I see the advances in cosmetic surgery playing an even bigger role for trans-identity issues. Unfortunately many of these cosmetic surgeries form GCS, breast augmentation and facial feminization surgery are not covered by all insurances (in the US) making such procedures out of the financial reach for many transgender individuals. Passing vs. Non-Passing issues I am afraid will remain for quite a long time.

Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Kelly: Friends have encouraged me to write my story, but I am not sure who would really be interested in it. I have had newspaper articles written about my life, been featured in radio and television interviews, and certainly share my life stories in some of my educational trainings.
If anyone wishes to know about me, my previous or current life or what I’ve encountered in my life, I am very happy to share those stories. I am not sure who would be interested in yet “another” Transgender book about me. I watch my dear friend Terri Cook and many other people who write books at the various conferences I attend being “stuck” at their tables selling their books. I would rather enjoy and actively participate in those conferences and events meeting and talking directly to attendees.
Still if anyone is interested in writing my story, please drop me an email and we could talk! 
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Kelly: I think every person whether CIS or Trans would like someone special in their life. For me, personally, there has not been that special person for far too many years.
In my previous life I have never identified as Gay (being attracted to men). I have always been attracted to women. I was married with children, had girlfriends and always enjoyed the company of being (dating or more intimately) with women. Sorry Gentlemen! This goes back to my earlier statement of CIS Gender/Heterosexual normativity sexual orientation/gender identity confusion.
Still there are times I wish I had someone special to share my life with! Someone to have lunch, dinner, go to the movies or theater with. She would have to enjoy downhill skiing, kayaking/canoeing, bike riding, gardening and life in a small rural Adirondack North Country town.
Currently my heart belongs to one very special little girl – my little Lexi (Lexianna Maria).
I am reminded and I will paraphrase something I read recently, -- I don’t want to be a person who needs someone, but rather a person who someone wants to be with! Who knows, perhaps someday that special person (CIS or Trans female) will come along. Until then…….
Monika: Are you working on any new projects now?
Kelly: My biggest project is finding a full-time job that pays a decent living wage! After that, I am involved in assisting with getting GENDA in New York State passed in 2018!
I am also a founding board member of a new statewide Transgender advocacy group – Gender Equality New York lead by my good friend Juli Owens. Getting this new statewide advocacy organization started I think will be the big item for this year.
I am also looking to get my Adirondack North Country Gender Advocacy and Education consulting business setup and running. My goal is to bring Transgender Gender Non-Conforming/Non-Binary education, training and consulting services to area schools, colleges, universities, civic, business and religious based organizations. This will be a formal continuation of my education and advocacy services over the past several years.
Monika: What would you recommend to all transgender girls struggling with gender dysphoria?
Kelly: Again I prefer this question to be gender neutral! I think any Transgender person (transmale or transfemale) needs to find loving and supportive people to help with their sense of self. Not everyone is able to see trained therapists. Indeed, sadly many therapists are still not trained in Transgender Gender Non-Conforming/Non-Binary issues! Still there are support groups one can reach out to if not in your local, regional community, then on-line support groups regardless of age.
Finding a person you can reach out to, trust (I know that’s a hard one) and share your “secret” with. I also know many parents and family members are not supporting so family even extended family may not be an option. 
Perhaps there might be a trusted teacher, neighbor, accepting religious member, someone in the medical or behavioral health field, someone you can feel safe with! The important thing is to reach out and not suffer in silence. If you are visiting this website, find someone to connect with!
Lexi exploring the shores of Lake Erie
Erie Pa. Nov. 2017.
Monika: My pen friend Gina Grahame wrote to me once that we should not limit our potential because of how we were born or by what we see other transsexuals and transgender people doing. Our dreams should not end on an operating table; that’s where they begin. Do you agree with this?
Kelly: I think is it important to realize your dreams whatever they are! Our dreams and aspirations should not be dependent on our gender status. I understand for many Transgender people, myself included, their goal is to live daily in their authentic gender identity, but that should not be to main focus of our existence. Yes I believe living an authentic life is a goal we seek to achieve, but not our dream! Gender Confirmation Surgery for me was not my dream! In fact for many years I believed it to be far out of my realm of possibilities. My dreams of a better life did not begin nor end on the operating table.
As I realized my goal of living full-time in my authentic gender identity in November 2014, CGS fin 2016 or me was just part of the “next logical step” in my life process. It was not my dream, but a goal I was finally able to realize. CGS I do not believe “changed me” in any significant way. In many ways I am still the person I was. I live in the same town, in the same house, have the same friends (sort of), enjoy the same hobbies and interest as I did previously. No one sees my body except Lexi & I know she will never tell anyone.
No my life did not begin after I transitioned (socially or medically), transitioning was just one part of my life!
Monika: Kelly, thank you for the interview!
Kelly: Thank you so much Monika for this opportunity to tell at least part of my story with your readers. I hope you and they find parts of this interesting.

All the photos: courtesy of Kelly Metzgar. 
Done on 18 January 2018
© 2018 - Monika 

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