Doug Mink, February 2004
Changes:I have not always had the same name and appearance.
Jessica Mink outside and inside, March 2014
I was a transgender person for as long as I can remember. Despite having been identified as male at birth and living as a male person for most of my first 60 years, I am a woman rather than a man. After struggling with this disparity for most of my life, this conflict increasingly affected me during the first decade of the twenty-first century. After spending a few years learning about possibilities, I began to prepare to live full-time as a woman in 2010. I started transitioning to my friends in Boston's bicycle community in the late spring of 2011. In the middle of that summer, I had an accident and was hospitalized briefly, causing some awkward, but educational to all involved, moments as my appearance and identification did not match. After a few weeks, I got back on my bike and started leading rides as Jessica. Before the end of the year, I transitioned at work, too. I have been blessed with an accepting circle of friends in my neighborhood, the bicycle and open space communities of metropolitan Boston, the astronomical community where I work and world-wide, and to a great extent, my family.
I gave this interview to Wladimir Lyra and Stefano Meschiari of the American Astronomical Society Working Group on LGBTIQ Equality (WGLE) in April 2014 to tell the story of my transition in astronomy.
"Assigned Male", by Sophie LaBelle, is a great web comic about a young trans* woman who really knows who she is, no matter what the adults around her might think.
Being able to finally be myself in the world is freeing me from constraints which have held me back from committing more of myself to my friends, my work, and my causes. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.
Now that you know, especially if you first met me as Jessica, please be careful about telling other people. Since I transitioned, I really, really do not like being referred to with male pronouns, especially by people I am just meeting. I'm public to those who know me, but prefer to just be a woman in the world. Here is a good list of reasons to not talk about it from a friend of mine.
As a person who has tended to be more into books than real people, I've read about more than acted upon my transgender feelings over many years. Here are some books in my library which might help others understand my position.
-Jessica Mink (2015-01-20)