Abigail Jensen was recently placed in the Trans 100 and from her website, she says:
I’m a 55-year-old trans woman living with more peace and harmony in my life than I ever thought possible. It took me a long time to get here and I’m infinitely grateful that I did. I wouldn’t have chosen many of the experiences that led me to this place, if I’d had the choice, which, of course, I didn’t, since that was Spirit’s job, not mine. But, now that I’m here, I have no doubt that it was worth every challenging step that it took.
As I transitioned, I began to learn about and experience (thankfully, to a lesser extent than some) the many injustices that trans women and men must endure. This has led me to become somewhat of an activist for the first time since college. For example, in December 2007, I appeared before the Scottsdale, Arizona City Council on behalf of the Arizona Transgender Alliance in support of proposed ordinances to ban employment discrimination on the grounds of gender identity and expression and sexual orientation. Unfortunately, the City Council refused to extend the ban to private businesses but did apply it to city employment. In 2007, I also became the first transgender attorney to appear before the Arizona Supreme Court and the first attorney to appear before that court as both a man and a woman. (The first appearance was about a month before I legally changed my name and went full-time; the second was months later.) I also joined the Board of Directors and became President of QsquaredYouth, a support, educational and advocacy organization for LGBTQ youth ages 13-20 in Yavapai County, Arizona. Most recently, as a result of an LGBTQ diversity training that my friend Terry and I presented to shelter volunteers last fall, I was asked to join the Board of the new Prescott Area Women’s Shelter (PAWS). I welcome all of these, and other, opportunities to advocate for the rights of trans people and support them in their journeys, and to simply be an example to others that we are just people like everyone else, trying to live with dignity and peace.
For the last 10+ years, I have worked for myself representing criminal defendants who wish to challenge their convictions and sentences, either on direct appeal or through post-conviction relief (similar to habeas corpus) proceedings. Someday soon, I hope to move on to a job directly involved in education and advocacy on behalf of the trans community, in particular, and the greater LGBTQ community, in general. If you know of any opportunities where I may be able to contribute, please contact me at abbyj (at) cableone.net.