Transgender Women Share Their Personal Stories with ET Special Correspondent Janet Mock

by Raphael Chestang 10:53 PM PST, March 05, 2015
Playing Transgender Women Share Their Personal Stories with ET Special Correspondent Janet Mock

ET special correspondent Janet Mock recently sat down with four women whose experiences with coming out and living post-transition may give some insight into what could lie ahead for Bruce Jenner, who is reportedly going to tell his family -- and Diane Sawyer -- that he is transgender.

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"It's been one of the most wonderful experiences I've ever been through," Jessica Kowalski said. "It's awesome. I love it."

"For a long time trans people have always been defined by what's in between their legs," Carmen Carrera said. "They have more to offer."

"I'm a woman," Jessica added. "That's the only word to describe the feeling. I feel like a woman. I am a woman. There's no doubt about it."

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As Jessica, Carmen, Victory Le and Kinley Preston began to talk about their own individual journeys, it became clear that there were some parallels.

"I grew up only knowing straight and gay," Jessica said. "I didn't know transgender. I knew COPS and Jerry Springer and I definitely didn't want to be that. It wasn't until I moved to Florida that I met my first transgender person and was like, 'Wow!' I didn't realize it was okay to be who you want to be. And at that point I felt like, 'There's a word for me! I'm transgender.'"

Victory was dumped while still finding her way to understanding herself.

"It was such a crazy experience," she said. "I was actually dating this guy at the moment when I was living as a confused gay boy -- that was how I identified back then. He broke up with me because he said I was just too feminine -- that it reminded him of a woman."

Kinley also had a bumpy road.

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"It was very dark and lonely," Kinley said. "I ended up homeless on the streets for a couple years. I didn't have any support systems. I'm from the Midwest. I'm from a very small community where I didn't even know what transgender was. I spent the first couple years of my transition trying to figure out what it meant for me."

While their journeys weren't always easy, they eventually saw a light at the end of the tunnel. In describing her experience, Jessica wanted to make clear that their transitions were made so that they could live their lives how they feel comfortable.

"We're not trying to harm anybody. We're just trying to live our lives," Jessica said. "We just want to be happy."

For more commentary from Janet Mock, the best-selling author of the memoir Redefining Realness, go to