Part 1: My Fraternity Brother is Now a Transgender Woman…And She’s Awesome

Everybody Helping
Jun 16, 2017 · 3 min read

From frat pledge trainer to trans activist, Jessica Jones has experienced quite the transition to becoming the badass transgender woman she was always meant to be.

Jessica Jones — at a friend’s wedding earlier this year.

I’m standing at my desk a few months ago when I notice a friend request from someone named Jessica Jones. I don’t know Jessica Jones, I can’t remember meeting anyone by that name, so naturally I’m about to delete the request. But then, out of curiosity, I click her profile to see who this person is and I see the picture above.

Wait, what? “That’s Chris Jones, but why is he in this picture with this girl?” I ask myself.

Wait…wait a minute.

Wait, hold on a sec. You mean…Chris Jones is that girl? Now, naturally taken aback — a genuine first-time experience for me — I realized that yes, Chris Jones is in fact Jessica Jones, now a transgender woman. Whoa.

One of my old fraternity brothers, my pledge-trainer of all people, a guy some could call an asshole at times, is now a transgender woman. Wow, I thought. Genuinely, holy wow OK.

Chris Jones (left) in September 2015 and Jessica Jones (right) just two years later in May 2017.

And as I stood in amazement, I began to imagine how that experience — transitioning into yourself as a transgender woman — must be for someone so entrenched in the very traditional natures of conservative Texas and college life. That sounds terrifying, I thought. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, I thought. And here’s Jessica Jones, my old pledge trainer, one of the actual “frattiest” people I know, running head-first into this — her new reality — with a big ass smile on her face. Again, just wow.

Here’s what happened next:

  • I accepted Jess’s request (thanks, Facebook)
  • I tell her that I love her and I’m proud to know her and that she’s inspired me with her legit disregard for fear
  • We quickly catch up — I mention Everybody Helping, she mentions Equality Texas — and we meet up in Austin a week later (for the first time ever)
A snap Jess grabbed of us when we met for the first time. Flower crowns for the win.

And we drink beer at the Haymaker and catch up. I’d gotten married and had a few kids since school, so naturally we had a lot to talk about.

Meeting Jess for the first time was incredible. It was truly an experience I’ll never forget. Hearing her story the way that she tells it is as awe-inspiring as it is informative. She is a special woman and I’m so glad that she’s sharing her story here with us in Part 2 of this piece later this month.

So stay tuned. And thank you, Jess.

Thank you!

Equality Texas is working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.

Learn more here.

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