It was not easy for Metro Philadelphia salesperson Jennifer Lydon to come out to her children, ex-wife, siblings and parents as a transgender woman. "It was really a lifelong struggle and there were so many hurdles along the way," said Lydon.
Lydon made the bold decision to come out to her close-knit, Irish Catholic family years ago, and found that her loved ones were far more accepting than she could have anticipated, but there was still one major obstacle left for her to tackle: the workplace.
"I didn't think I could make a living as Jennifer," admitted Lydon. She pointed out that transgender individuals have a particularly difficult time finding employment.
In March, Lydon made the big leap and gathered her coworkers for an announcement. Metro Philadelphia employees who knew Lydon as Brian would now call her Jennifer. Lydon took a sabbatical for several weeks as she completed her transition and met with clients so they could get to know Jen.
Lydon said her biggest concerns about the transition over the years were telling her family and telling her colleagues. "They're the huge hurdles," she said of the two obstacles. Lydon said she is now "crazy happy" and excited to be back at her office.
Read more about Lydon's journey to becoming Jennifer in an exclusive feature on Metro.