Kristyn Weed (KW) and Sue McConnell (SM)
KW: I didn’t start transitioning until I was 58.
SM: I guess I was 50.
KW: How did your family accept you?
SM: Well, my son disowned me. He told his mother that he didn’t want anything to do with the fucking freak. So I don’t get to talk to my grandson or my granddaughter.
KW: My family is similar to yours.
SM: Your daughter disowned you?
KW: Both my daughters disowned me, yeah.
SM: When I was growing up, I always knew there was something different. I didn’t like the same things the other boys did. You know, they wanted to play Army and Cowboys and Indians. And I wanted to be the girl on the wagon that was sewing and making coffee [laughs].
SM: But you know, I had to be who I wasn’t so that I could survive.
KW: I spent 15 years in the Army and I enlisted, of all places, as a paratrooper going to the 82nd Airborne Division. And the units I was in, the soldiers were pretty hard-charging, so that was the image you had to portray. I didn’t start wearing women’s clothes until I was out of the military. I wouldn’t do it because I was afraid.
SM: Oh in the military, yeah. But then, we met at the transgender support group –
KW: Yeah, the VA support group —
SM: And we started joking and then just like nitpicking at each other, and stuff —
SM: —people said, ‘Well, you guys really are sisters!’ We do sit around and talk a lot. We would sit in Denny’s for coffee at like 2 o’clock in the afternoon and it’d be dark —
KW: And leave there at 10 o’clock at night
SM: —10 o’clock at night.
SM & KW: [laughs]
KW: The servers all know us, the managers know us.
SM: She flirts with all the waitresses.
KW: Me? [laughs]
SM: Yes, you do!
SM & KW: [laughs]
KW: We get twenty percent military discount.
SM: Yes, we do!
KW: [laughs] You know, it hurts to have lost my daughters, but I found out love is not a two-way street, and love is not unconditional.
SM: It is for some of us.
KW: You’re always there for me. There’s never a doubt or question as to whether you would be or not.
SM: You are my sister.
KW: I’m glad of it.