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Public Affairs

The Uncompromising Emerson Sloane: After

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Katrina Pierson.
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Emerson Sloane

"It takes strength to live with joy. It takes strength to climb out of decades of denial, of being rebutted, of being hurt. You make the choice to feel that you're deserving of joy in a world that has often told you that you can't have it."

"No matter how pretty you are, or how femme you are, or how hot your body is post-transition; no matter how many guys will find you attractive, want to date you, treat you like everything you've ever wanted to be treated as ... The moment - the second - they find out who you were: what body parts you used to have; what your name used to be. what your body used to look like — the minute that happens, you're in danger."
Emerson Sloane

A stroke - and a pandemic - couldn't keep Emerson Sloane from becoming who she really was.

It took her until her 40s to say "No - I can't live like this anymore," and once that decision was made, she never looked back.

But like most things, taking your life and - in her words - "throwing it up in the air" has pros and cons. On the one hand ... she's finally living the life she always dreamed of. On the other, there's the red tape, the need for medical staff and others to develop "cultural competence" when it comes to trans and gender non-conforming people, and dealing with all the really, really personal questions. And she's not so naive as to be unaware of the, sadly, literal danger that her new, authentic self presents.

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Katrina Pierson
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Emerson Sloane

Emersonc says she talked about the medical team that guided her transition specifically, so people who are trans or questioning know there is support for them here in our community. You can find more information on Essentia's website, Emerson's blog and through a local organization, Trans Plus, that provides community care, connections and resources to trans-plus people.

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Emerson Sloane
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(l to r) James Conniff, MD. Essentia Health; Eric Griffith, CNP. Essentia Health Endocrinology; Michaela Mayfield, Ph.D. Essentia. Behavioral Health.

And here's an update:

Emerson has just been appointed as a commissioner to the Superior Tourism Commission, where she's pretty sure she's the first trans person appointed to city government in the area.

Thanks to Emerson Sloane for the honest and insightful conversation, and to Chris Harwood for production help.