Jeremy Bearer-Friend

Jeremy Bearer-Friend is a Ph.D. student in education policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a former fellow with the Movement Strategy Center, the Greenlining Institute, and Young People For.

Recent Articles

Trans in the Red States

A grass-roots movement for transgender rights is flourishing in some of America's most conservative regions.

M ichelle and her daughter M.J. sit in a coffee shop in a Wyoming strip mall, just over the border from their small town in Colorado. M.J., an eighth-grader, shyly sips her iced mocha and speaks with the "likes" endemic to junior-high hallways. Michelle talks with a calm and slightly tired maternal presence. She and M.J. take turns explaining how they learned to remake the boundaries of their own hometown. M.J. was born a boy, Michelle explains, but as M.J. grew up, she made it clear to Michelle that she didn't feel like one. "I knew something was going on at age two," Michelle says. "But I couldn't accept it at the time. So I put a lot of time into changing her or suppressing her." But M.J. didn't change, and she continued to insist on wearing skirts and dresses and play with "girl typical" toys. In sixth grade, the school counselor called Michelle to tell her that the other kids were teasing M.J. and that it was only getting worse. "They were concerned because she was being open...