There was never a particular moment when AJ Young felt that he was supposed to be a guy, but it was more of a continual questioning why it was he felt uncomfortable around friends and family. Not just generally, but socially.

Young was born Catherine Rebecca Young. He grew up in Elgin, Illinois where he realized early that people didn’t really recognize his gender identity the way that he wanted. AJ stands for Andrew James, a name Young would have been given had he been born a male.


I had a lot of friends, but was always the odd one out for many reasons and a lot of reasons,Young said. Click To Tweet

“There was never one moment when I was like, of course I’m suppose to be a guy. It was more of figuring out why I had felt uncomfortable and off a little bit, not just in my body.”

It was around the time that Young was a sophomore in college at American University in Washington, D.C. and taking women’s studies courses that he had become aware that trans people existed.

Young started to realize that he was reading about things he had been experiencing and dealing with. For the next few years he did more reading on trans identities and things started to fall into place.

“I was sitting in a training about trans identities at the Gay and Lesbian Resource Center and I was listening to trans people tell their stories and realized that what they were going through was what was going on with me,” Young said. “It took a couple of years to digest that and actually move to making the decision to start transitioning.”

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