Visible Bodies: Transgender Narratives Retold

San Diego is helping rewrite the way stories about transgender people are told, through an exhibit of more than 30 portraits of people in the local transgender community.



I am a 62-year-old trans male who also happens to blind. I am pictured with my seeing eye dog, Landon, who is a certified therapy dog. My photo shows us doing something that we both love: bringing joy to disabled and elderly people through pet-assisted therapy with the San Diego Humane Society.

Even as a child, I knew something was amiss with my gender. As early as 1960, I remember feeling male on the inside. When I played games with friends and siblings, I automatically took on the male role. For example, I was the father when we played house. My family gave me some opportunities to express my maleness, but there were limits; I wasn’t allowed the same crew cut as my brother, for instance. For my part, I tried to act like a girl, but it just never felt right. I thought I was weird, and my family knew being feminine didn’t work for me, but none of us had words to describe who I really was.

As an adult, I found lesbianism, a common route for many trans guys, but never fit in. Eventually, I discovered that I could transition to male. I am now early transition, pre-op and taking hormones. I am enjoying the journey, though it began rather late in life.

I have had an interesting, though at times difficult life. I have faced discrimination both within LGBT community and in society at large. In my situation, I have no way to know what I was being discriminated against for: my blindness, my gender identity or both. Nonetheless, I continue to enjoy life to the fullest. To everyone, I say be yourself no matter what. We are all created as unique human beings, a fact worth celebrating.

Lyn Edward Gwizdak, age 62
Assigned Sex: female
Gender Identity: trans male
Pronouns: he/him/his

Tags: Transgender