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I went skydiving twice — in two genders. Here's what it taught me.

This transgender woman is on a mission to repeat all the things she did before coming out.

I am living as a woman the second time I prepare to leap out of an airplane, 7,000 feet above Florida, the world filled with the drone of the plane like the rumble of some metal giant’s stomach.

The plane has one seat for the pilot, and my back is pressed against it. I’m facing the man I will be strapped to when we step into the space beneath the clouds. I am not as nervous this time as he checks the harness.

The door of the plane cranks open, and it’s like the rush of a storm has entered the plane. I imagine I am being pulled out of the plane as my partner tells me to crawl toward the open door. Instinctively, I begin grabbing at the controls because I want something to hold on to, until I realize that the pilot is yelling at me over the twin roar of wind and plane to let go.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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