Cover Story: Gender from the inside out – by Meg Krugel

There wasn’t an exact moment when they knew.

For the five people of color featured in this article, outward changes started at different ages ranging from 5 to 33. Inward changes happened much before that. The realization of feeling “different,” as far as gender identity was concerned, continued in various ways – when one kissed a third-grade crush of the same sex because he felt more masculine than feminine; when, as a 5-year-old, another felt out of place wearing “boy” clothes and put on pearls instead; when a woman’s basketball team supported him through the beginning stages of his transition from female to male; when yet another was forced into “early retirement” from her position as a deputy sheriff.