Today is Transgender Day. According to the Human Rights Campaign. In 2018 advocates have tracked a minimum of 28 deaths in the United States. We spoke with the leader of a local transgender support group and she shares her story with us.

Since childhood, Jada Jozette has identified as a woman even though she was born a male.

“But I felt kinda very supposedly feminine. So it has always been something that I felt 100% that I was female.”

Growing up in a home where her parents pastored a church, she felt she was never truly accepted and eventually got kicked out. At 20 years old, she moved to California in hopes of finding acceptance.

“But also moving to Los Angeles, I can do whatever I want, so Santa Monica boulevard was where I hanged out.”

Being a Rio grande valley native, she has seen improvement in people’s way of thinking, but she still considers a stigma toward her lifestyle even if it’s as simple as seeking a job.

“That was a challenge I faced because when you’re presenting female and your documentation is male, so there is that discrimination factor when looking for jobs so that what I indoor during those years of trying to find a job before my current employer.”

Jada first experienced discrimination when she was no longer welcomed in her parent’s home. However, it shaped her into the woman she is today.

What they also taught us was work ethics, how to humble yourself, they taught us how to love one another so there was some positive of their teaching and I brush it off because they don’t know me they don’t know my story so why should I let that affect me.

Jada is the leader of a transgender woman support group – their goal is to help members of the LGBTQ community in our area. By sharing her message, she wants others to know they are not alone.