BobbieJoy began transitioning in 2008, and since she lives in a small community, she wanted to transition in a way that eased her local community into it. So, she came out incrementally and selectively, a few people at a time. Eventually it became common knowledge that she is transgender, meaning she was born male but knew herself for a long time to be female, and so she transitioned and lives every day as the woman she has long known herself to be. Since BobbieJoy was self-employed throughout most of her time transitioning – finding work as a flight instructor and through her DJ business – she didn’t have the concerns with employment discrimination that so many other transgender people face. But she does know that transgender people face discrimination, including some of the transgender people in her support group dedicated to transgender individuals in Stevens Point.
BobbieJoy urges transgender people across the country to take hope from the success of others, and to keep pushing for nondiscrimination protections at their local level. “The key is to work locally – and to encourage people that it may not be as tough as you’d imagine to work with your local municipality to get protections passed,” BobbieJoy said. “You need to have allies, you need to have positive visibility, and you need to show that the support for these protections is coming from the grassroots. It’s hard for representatives to ignore that support.”