It was never some big revelation. It wasn’t a lightbulb moment. My understanding of myself as a non-binary and trans person slowly revealed itself. It took it’s sweet damn time. I spent years trying to figure this out. This feeling that something just didn’t feel right. It was nothing like realizing I was gay. When I knew I was gay, it was because I was in love for the first time. That felt monumental and exciting. Acknowledging these new identities didn’t come with any of the appeal of a first love. Instead, it was a creative expedition. A constant exploration of posts that resonated. Observations of other queer people living out loud. People more brave than me.
I didn’t want to tell anyone until I felt sure that I knew who I was. I could have waited forever. I didn’t know what it meant to me or would mean to anyone else to take testosterone. I wasn’t ready to have that conversation. I just knew something inside of me felt excited and happy when I booked that Plume appointment all those years ago.
I ended up telling exactly two people at first: my partner and my best friend, Lex. I don’t remember exactly what I said to my best friend. I do remember her response. Something along the lines of: “Cool. I love you no matter what.” Then she asked me what I needed. My response? “I needed you to tell me you loved me and some alcohol wipes. JK. You’re good.” A few days later, a few hundred alcohol wipes showed up on my doorstep anyway. For the last two years, I thought of that moment of affirmation every time I did my weekly shot.
In every part of my life since we were just 18 years old, Lex has shown up to support and cheer me on. Whether it was sharing my new blog post on LinkedIn, my wedding day, the day of my divorce, or hosting me during van life – she has been there for every important milestone of my life. Whatever support means in the moment, she has gone above and beyond to always be there.
When I think about a week like Trans Awareness Week, my prayer for every trans person is that they have a friend as incredible as my best friend Lex. That they have just 1 person in their life that loves them unconditionally and is willing to support them in whatever way they need – whether it’s a text or a massive box of alcohol wipes.
Love and allyship can really be just that simple.
Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.