Today is Trans Day of Visibility - a day to celebrate trans people and advocate for people of all gender identities.
We're delighted to get to celebrate Jessie Faubion: outstanding Bunch mechanic since 2021, roller derby rockstar and leader in our local queer community!
Kid me's dream job
I grew up working on cars and motorcycles. We couldn't afford to take them into the shop every time they broke so we did it ourselves - I loved my dad's motorcycle and I learned from him.
After high school I was working delivery on my motorcycle, and I would help my friends with their motorcycles. I was fixing a friend's motorcycle and he told me about this job.
It's honestly my favorite job I've ever had.
I loved biking around as a kid. I didn't get my driver's license until after I was an Eagle Scout! When I discovered cargo bikes it made so much sense because I could bring my tools and stuff wherever I went.
At Bunch I get to help bring cargo biking to the US. I'm loving it! This is pretty much kid me's dream job.
Coming out as trans
I knew there was something "off" about me as a kid, but I didn't focus on it - I tried to just focus on the next thing I was doing. I didn't realize that I wasn't actually living my life. I didn't feel comfortable with myself. It took a while to kind of understand myself.
The first person I told was my best friend from high school. That same night that I was going to tell her, she also came out to me. We had been friends since sophomore year and this was when we were 18 or 19. I think our friendship was so strong because we were both struggling with the same things.
It's so different for me now. It's like my shirt says - "100% Me." I can be authentically myself, I don't have to hold myself back. I've been on hormones for six years now and I'm just a lot happier.
My family has done their best to be supportive. At first it was hard for them but they've definitely come a long way. Having their support really helps - they came to one of my roller derby games.
Roller derby rocks
Roller derby has been a huge help for me, for my mental health and my self image. Just having a community that's queer friendly and supportive makes a big difference.
I have friends all over the country because of roller derby, people I can visit. It's taken me places that I never thought I would be able to go. I really can't thank it enough.
Dealing with protests
I think those protests that have been happening are really hurtful. People showing up in force to label LGBT people as groomers brings a lot of hate to people who are just trying to live their lives. We're people just like anyone else. I'm here, I work here, I build bikes. Being trans is part of me but it's not the only thing I think about - what I think about is "is my motorcycle going to start this morning, am I in good shape for roller derby."
If you know somebody who is trans - we are the same people we were before. The hormones don't change who we fundamentally are. It's just that we can truly be happy now. We're more comfortable with ourselves.
I used to lead a support group for trans people and we like to say that we're the same people as before, just with a bigger smile. We can truly be ourselves.
From all of us in the Bunch fam: We love you, Jessie! We appreciate your passion and focus - you can usually find Jessie on Frame Build station because she gets your bikes ready for you so quickly and accurately! We're grateful for your sense of humor, the joy and kindness you bring to Bunch and your leadership and visibility for the trans community.