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Before moving into a new home with her partner, Jessica has to reckon with relics from her pre-transition life.

Jessica Soukup

Systems Analyst / Activist

Transformation and Story Notes

Jessica transitioned in 2015-2016. In 2020, her marriage of 37 years ended, a marriage that yielded Jessica twins, now 26. Once painfully introverted, post-transition Jessica now advocates and has even given a TED Talk on her trans experience.

Jessica has a partner of 2.5 years, Liz, that was married for 25 years themselves. They share a full 800 sq. foot apartment together, and two storage units between them. In mid-July, Jessica and Liz are moving into a house together; the very house where Jessica raised her family for six years (2006 - 2012).

Jessica wants to death clean the life she lived prior to when she transitioned. She is afraid if she dies tomorrow, that she will be remembered as her dead name. She wants to have conversations with her kids about what they want to keep because there’s stuff she’s not sure what to do with. She thinks there is a way to repurpose stuff she received from her now-adult twins for Father’s Day; it has meaning, but it reminds them of the past, yet Jessica doesn't want to shove it in a drawer. Another quandary is grandfather’s radio and hutch that Jessica's parents want her to have. Does she keep it, or I pass it on? Will her kids even want it?

She has travel photos, family photos, items that she loves but remind her of when she was presenting as a man. In order to move forward with her life with her partner Liz, Jessica has to go through her life pre-transition. It will be a walk down memory lane, a path that isn’t filled with the brightest of memories. She is such a loving and passionate person, these memories are holding her back. This isn't just about moving forward with Liz, this is also about the hard conversations she needs to have with her  family to assure they understand how to properly memorialize her when she is gone.  She wants to own her future legacy and she is terrified her tombstone with be enscribed with her dead name. 

  • Pre-transition memories

  • Family obligation to keep grandma’s hutch

  • Jessica’s daughter probably won’t want things but she has no idea what to do with them. She doesn’t want to erase her kids’ childhood but she also doesn’t want to remembered as a man. Does her wish for a legacy as Jessica stand in the way of her children's fond memories of time with their father? She has made sure that in her will, when she dies, she will be noted as Jessica (a woman) and not her dead name (a man).

Stuff/Random Objects
  • Family photos, graduation photos before Jessica’s transition (memories of children as they grew up but she sees a man, and not herself)

  • College degree with her dead name

  • A plate her daughter made her for Father’s Day

  • Family heirlooms (a hutch and an old radio)

  • Jessica’s souvenirs from traveling with her kids

  • Stack of wigs, fake breasts, scandalous clothing from beginning of transition (bad taste in clothing) (THIS IS HOW SHE BECAME JESSICA)

  • Large collection of shoes

Who is getting their stuff?
  • Daughter to get photos

  • Fiesta Youth is an organization that she would like to donate to. She wants to make sure that her wigs and her items from her transition can be used by other people who are currently transitioning.

Their Thoughts on Death

Jessica believes it's important to live her best life, after spending too many years pretending to be someone she isn't.

”I have no interest in dying but it’s coming, right?” Although she does not fear death, she has great fear that the legacy she leaves behind will not honor who she is.

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