“We have your back,” those were the words of President Joe Biden on this national transgender day of visibility, a day to raise awareness and draw attention to discrimination targeting transgender people.
Brody Fitzpatrick says there was a constant internal struggle.
“There’s something off with me, something different and I couldn't articulate what it was,” Fitzpatrick said.
He talks about not fitting into the role he was born into as a female. No matter how he tried he said femininity was a foreign concept.
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In 1982, Fitzpatrick became a firefighter, one of the first women ever in New York city.
“There are still people who can’t accept women as firefighters either and I was in that first group,” Fitzpatrick said. “I loved being a firefighter but I hated my body even though I masculinized it as much as I could.”
Eight years ago he chose to go through what he calls his second puberty and transitioned into a man.
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“I’m the same person I've always been but my packaging is just a little different and quite honestly I like it better,” Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick admits transitioning has cost him friendships and strained relations with his family.
“My favorite definition of courage. Feeling the fear. Doing it anyway,” Fitzpatrick said.
Dr. Kristen Vierregger says in the eight years snce she opened the metamorphosis clinic she has treated more than 1,300 transgender patients but also spent more than 6,000 hours counseling them.
“When we’re presented with-somebody outside our personal experience our first reaction is fear and rejection . but you met brody what a dear soul and he’s just one of many,” Dr. Vierregger from the Metamorphosis Medical Center said.
In a tweet today President Joe Biden announced he will work towards a bi partisan gender equality act.
"I want you to know that you are so brave. You belong. I have your back,” the president said via Twitter.
“My wish is that every trans kid can just be themselves without ever having to worry if somebody has their back. They could just thrive,” Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick says he’s never been in a better place, the place where he knew he belonged all along.