TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - It was one of the top trending topics on social media on Saturday, March 31st. Thousands took to Twitter and Facebook on 'Transgender Day of Visibility' to share their journeys and make their voices heard in the transgender community.
A local Tucson woman opened up to Tucson News Now about her transition.
It started with a difficult question.
"Do I own who I am and risk losing that or do I try to suppress that and hold on to this life that I have had?," asked Andrea Carmichael, a local transgender woman.
She knew the answer.
Carmichael was once married. She felt her true self was locked deep within.
"Unfortunately, my spouse was not able to make that journey with me. We're no longer together and that was really hard," she explained, "I lost a lot of friends when I transitioned."
She made the change at the risk of losing those closest to her, but told TNN she wouldn't turn back.
"To live day by day being who you are is an amazing feeling when you felt like you were living in hiding all your life," she said.
Carmichael is one of many who shared her story on the Transgender Day of Visibility.
The day was created to celebrate the transgender community. Carmichael said, "At first we seem really different, but we're not different. We're just people."
The day also aims to combat the discrimination many transgender people face in the world.
"To not have to worry about whether we'll be verbally or visibly attacked. Whether we're going to be denied services or lose our jobs," Carmichael described.
She said there's been a handful of times she hasn't felt welcome for who she is. Many of those in her life have been supportive throughout her journey.