As in any profession, it is important for us at The Standard to keep our private lives separate from our work in covering the communities of Warrick County. But, there are times when our private lives are brought into the public eye.

For me, that time is now.

In the coming months, I will be making major and obvious changes. People I interact with for my job as a reporter at sporting events and other community events will begin to see those changes. Instead of staying silent and allowing rumors to spread, I’m speaking out now because I have no reason to be ashamed.

I am transgender. In October, I completed the process to begin hormone replacement therapy. My body will soon start to reshape and in a few short months my voice will change. I am known as Wyatt by many of my friends and family members and will now use that name openly.

I am writing this in hopes that those with questions or concerns will be able to come to me. I am proud of who I am and will be glad to answer questions about what it means to be trans or any other concerns.

I am also writing this to show other LGBTQ members of this community that they are not alone. It is easy for us to be scared and stay silent about who we are. Keeping quiet and blaming other ailments for my changes would be easy. Taking time off and reemerging under another identity wouldn’t be as easy, but would still avoid the issue of speaking out about who I am.

I am choosing to show others who I am unapologetically. To do otherwise would be dishonest and would be a disservice to those who have fought and died before me to give me the right to have that choice.

I hope that people in the community will continue to judge me on my merits and my journalistic ability. I hope that my fellow LGBTQ community members will take heart in the knowledge that we aren’t alone in Warrick County.

Overall, I hope that we will all continue to be good to our neighbors because there may be a day when we need them to be good to us. I hope you all will continue to treat me as Wyatt as well as you’ve treated me as Jessica. I am very thankful to have found a loving community in Warrick County and to have the opportunity to cover the amazing people who live here.

Wyatt Squires is a staff writer for The Standard. Before coming to Warrick, Wyatt has worked as a reporter in Jackson, Greene and Knox counties in Indiana.

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