James Kester carried a secret for more than 40 years.
Through growing up in small-town Alabama to serving 20 years in the military, being married twice, raising three children, and working in the radio business, he kept that secret until the burden became too heavy to carry.
So James became Molly.
“When I finally got my last child out of the house, I started really concentrating on my own happiness and I started realizing I was actually faking being happy,” Kester said. “I started opening that box I had packed away since I was 6 years old and realizing what it would take to make me happy.”
As a little boy, she made clothes for her G.I. Joe action figure. She learned how to sew by hand and played house and school. She longed to dress in girls’ clothes, but the fear of getting caught by her siblings made that a rare occasion.
Even then, she knew she was different.
“I thought like a female, I felt like a female, I had the same kind of reactions and things as a female does but I had to play it off,” she said.