My name is Louie Lopez. I’m originally from Los Angeles and was a Jockey in my younger years. Because of constant starvation, I decided to walk away from my Horse Racing career and joined the Navy, which landed me in Jacksonville. In 1990, I married for the first time and from that marriage came two wonderful sons; John David and Curren. I longed for a daughter, but was blessed with my boys.
John David, being the oldest, gave me visions of grandchildren and granddaughters. At a very early age John was not interested in toy cars or any thing of that sort. His mother and I recognized during that period that John’s interest were different. At the age of four, when John made his Christmas list, he specifically asked for an “Easy Bake” oven. Of course, Santa granted his wish. In the meantime, his younger sibling, Curren, was involved in skateboarding, surfing and all the benefits that living at the beach offers.
By the time John was twelve, we were convinced he might be gay and were always conscientious to let John know we were accepting, if that was the case. John would never come out and say he was gay to me, and it baffled me since I had seen pictures of him in women’s clothing and makeup. To my lack of understanding, John did finally come out. But he came out to me as a Transgendered young adult and preferred we call her Nina. In Nina’s (John) eyes, she was never gay, but someone who has felt, and viewed herself, as a girl at a very early age!
I personally have seen some of the rejection, prejudice and taunts my daughter has experienced. As a parent, I can be hurt by someone, but if it happens to my children it slices like a dagger every time. The irony is, I always wanted a daughter and a son, and in the end it looks like that is who I have been given.
My second wife, Suzanne, and I will continue to love and support our adult children, and support Nina in the journey she is on.
My hope is for people will take the time to understand and not judge because everything is not always what it seems to be.