The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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September 7, 2013

Kasey’s quest

Transgender teen shrugs off slings and arrows, travels road from girl to manhood


JOHNSTOWN — Determined to help

Kasey has not yet started hormone treatments to begin the transition process, but he plans to begin as soon as his therapy requirements have been met. He is an honor student and is looking forward to college. In addition to his girlfriend, he has added a number of friends – both male and female – and seems quite well-adjusted. He’s become a bit of a mini-celebrity, even before the story surrounding homecoming surfaced.

“He always hid in the background,” said MacKenzie, his 16-year-old sister. “Now, everybody knows Kasey, not just people in her class. People all over town know who Kasey is. He uses that as an empowering experience. He has really opened people’s eyes and helped to educate people.”

Stephanie Theys, Kasey’s 23-year-old stepsister, is amazed at what Kasey has become.

“I generally hope that someday I have a kid that is as awesome as he is,” she said.

Kasey hopes that he can pave the way for other transgender students that follow him.

“I’m not going to be the only one,” he said. “People are becoming more comfortable, society is becoming more comfortable with it. It’s going to be a more acceptable thing. If they don’t deal with it now, five or 10 years from now, someone else is going to come along and they’re going to need to deal with it. They have to deal with it eventually.”

And Kasey hopes to continue helping people deal with it after his transformation, both from female to male and from high school to college and, eventually, professional.

“I was thinking about going to college to be a therapist or somebody that’s going to help somebody like me,” Kasey said.

“That or art or music therapy, because I’m a huge nerd about art and music. Honestly, what I want to do with my life is strictly based on helping people. I haven’t figured out the exact details yet.”

Eric Knopsnyder is the editor of The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at

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