People of Georgian: Programmer shares transgender journey to happiness

Happy Pride Month!

To help celebrate, four Georgian College employees who are either members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community or allies are sharing their stories throughout the month.

Learn more about what Georgian’s doing to honour Pride Month, along with history, community resources, crisis support, and learning and allyship.  

People of Georgian: Meet Jessica Hunt

I knew I was trans when I was age 12 or 13.

I don’t know specifically when it clicked, but when I first stumbled upon it even being a thing way back then, it had much more derogatory connotations than now. I knew right away that I couldn’t ever say anything.

So, I kept it a secret until years later, when the person I was dating at the time asked, “Do you think maybe you’re trans?” I said, “Yeah, probably, but I don’t know what I’m supposed to do about it.”

A person sits on a bed while holding a cup of coffee and takes a selfie.
Jessica came out as trans in 2021.

Twenty-five years ago, transitioning was done all black market. You had to make your own estrogen and everything. By the time I started transitioning, it was covered by OHIP.

I’m glad it happened because I’m way happier now. I’m no longer trapped in a body that isn’t right for me.

I used to put in so much energy to pretend like I was every other guy out there just to appear normal. It was exhausting – on top of the fact that you’re miserable because you know you can’t be who you really feel like you should be.

I came out as trans in 2021 to my inner circle and then slowly opened up to more people. And by that July, I started medically transitioning because there are wait times to see doctors.

Two people stand together in front of a wall of flowers in rainbow colours. A sign reads: Love grows here.
Jessica and her partner.

‘I look like I always felt inside’

I got lucky and it only took me about five months to get set up with my care, which is really fast. To give you an idea – there are trans clinics in Toronto that still haven’t called me when I got on their waitlists in 2021.

I officially changed my name, and then I got facial surgery in 2022, which took four months to heal.

Growing up with the wrong hormones and everything, you transform into something that’s just ever-worsening. Now, when I look at old pictures of myself, you wouldn’t even connect that I was that person.

When I walk by mirrors, I still sometimes do a double take. I spent 36 years of my life looking one way, and all of a sudden there’s a different person in the mirror.

But it makes me happy. I look like I always felt inside.

Two adults, two kids and a dog pose for a photo at a Pride event.
Jessica, second from right, with her partner, kids and dog.

I’m also happy to have such a good support system.

My family blew me away when I came out. When I said I was trans, not a quarter of a second went by and my mom said, “I don’t care. We still love you.”

That was the most stressful conversation ever, and it went so much better than I expected.

I also have a partner and two kids who call me mom now. I couldn’t ask for better kids.

We love camping and all four of us are gamers, and I’m a drone pilot as well. We’ve got a little poodle, too. My parents breed dogs, so we always have at least one around.

A person sits in a canoe with a dog on a lake with trees in the background.
Jessica and her family love to go camping.
A person cuddles with a puppy.
Jessica Hunt always has dogs around.

‘It’s just to be happy’

When it comes to people who are transphobic, I don’t really understand why they are so bothered by my existence.

I’m not out there trying to do anything but exist and be treated like anyone else on the street.

No one would go through the amount of pain and medications and side effects trans people do just for fun.

I recently had bottom surgery and the recovery from that is ridiculous. I was in bed for basically three months straight. You’re telling me I’m doing that just for fun? I don’t think so.

It’s just to be happy.

Jessica Hunt, Programmer Analyst at Georgian College.

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