There are key moments in a person’s life when you just know your destiny is about to change. For me, this moment came when Wendi started taking female hormone pills.
-Quote on Janet’s friendship with Wendi from Marie Claire piece
When I first met Wendi in the 7th grade, she had a green mop of hair that bounced atop her head as she strutted through the halls, signaling her flamboyant arrival to school.
Wendi’s bright hair was symbolic of her boldness, her fearlessness to stand out as we were all still trying to find ourselves. At age 12, I hadn’t told anyone outside of myself that I knew I was a girl, but with one look, Wendi “read” me, nonverbally telling me that she saw every little desire I hadn’t told anyone. And most importantly that it was okay and that she too had the same desires.
From that first day, playing volleyball together at recess in Hawaii, Wendi and I have been friends, sisters and soul mates. Her friendship has been vital to my person, to me being my authentic self and giving me the tools and support necessary to become my dream.
In my It Gets Better video, I urge kids who are growing up struggling with being different to seek out one person who they can talk to, someone whom they can tell their truth to – and just telling that one person can help them exponentially.
This person for me was Wendi.
She was the first person who knew my intentions to become Janet. She held the tweezers that first plucked my eyebrows in the 7th grade. It was her drug-store cosmetics that I lacquered onto my face and her bell bottoms that I borrowed for my nights out with the girls. And as detailed in the Marie Claire piece, it was her Premarin pills that I took behind my mother’s back in high school.
Wendi was there cheering me on as I took the steps necessary to align my internal sense of gender with my body, and she’s still cheering me on as I take this public journey to hopefully change the way our society sees transgender and transexual people. Her friendship has been integral to everything that I have and will accomplishment, and I was just so lucky to have grown up with a friend, who didn’t only support me, but intimately understood my struggle as she was also trans.
I can’t wait to share more stories about our friendship in deeper detail with you in my forthcoming memoir , where I discuss my journey to womanhood as a teenager.