In the late 80’s or early 90’s, I watched a horror movie in which Grace Jones played the lead role, as a vampire named Katrina. I said, “Oh my goodness, I love that name; I have to have it.” I’ve been calling myself Katrina ever since.

The 80’s were hard, because I always wanted to work—but when you came in with your hair and your nails done, they didn’t want to hire you.

It’s still hard to get hired.

Transgender people should be given more chances in the work force. That would help us to move forward, to be part of the population. That’s the only thing I really want: to be able to come in, fill out an application, not be questioned about what my gender is or what bathroom I’m going to use.

Transitioning is difficult anyway, because you have to deal with your family; you have to deal with your friends; you have to deal with everybody around you. When I was growing up, my grandma loved me, but she definitely didn’t want me to be a girl. It’s hard to go through with the name change when you’re dealing with people who don’t want you to be yourself.

A person’s whole identity is connected to their name. And if you’re transitioning, your identity is different from what was prescribed at birth. Being able to get your name changed to something that fits with that identity? That’s a godsend.