Growing up difficult for transgender woman – Crystal Bonvillian

Janus Carson spent the first 45 years of her life striving to become the person she is today.

Carson, 47, was born Phillip Freeman, the youngest of seven siblings who grew up in Graysville, a small town about 14 miles northwest of Birmingham. On the outside, Phillip looked like a typical little boy.

On the inside, Phillip knew he was a girl.

“I knew from the time I was really little that something was terribly wrong,” said Carson, 47, of Titus.

Carson initially sat down with the Montgomery Advertiser in March after deciding to tell her story as a way to raise awareness of transgenderism.

“The education is out there a little bit, but the prejudice is still thick,” said Carson, who works in Montgomery as a security guard. “I feel there is more fear than hatred, and understanding can help to alleviate some of that. We’re just like everyone else. We’re just born with a bit of a problem.”

Carson explained she knew early on that she was a girl trapped in a boy’s body. Some of her earliest recollections are of her parents and older siblings scolding her for her mannerisms.

She was feminine naturally and swayed her hips when she walked.

“I spent most of my time in my room trying to stay out of everybody’s way so I wouldn’t make mistakes,” Carson said. “As a child, it’s a private hell you’re living in.”