Insiders: Living a Transgender Life

Margeaux Mutz
Posted at 4:37 PM, Feb 12, 2015
and last updated 2017-12-13 05:25:12-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) --Bruce Jenner is one of the most iconic athletes in the world, winning an Olympic gold medal in the decathlon in the 1976 Montreal games.

Decades later, arguably many more people know him as a reality T.V. star. The latest headlines aren't about Keeping up with the Kardashians, they're about Jenner making the ultimate change.

Sources close to Jenner confirm he's transitioning from male to female.

Jenner is expected to talk about the life-changing move publicly with ABC's Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview.

It is a huge change for Jenner, transitioning,and it may impact others as well, not only worldwide, but locally as well.

 According to the web site, anywhere between two to five percent of the population identify as transgender.

It is deeply personal, making the decision to transition from one sex to another.

But what is life like for someone living as a transgender person?

Margeaux Mutz, 63 years young, is proud of the woman she's become.

"I had this inclination something was different about me, from the time I was very young, 8ish," said Mutz, a transgender woman."It was a like a bomb went off inside of me, the nerve endings started tingling. I didn't know what that meant, but I did know I couldn't let anybody know that. Back in those days, people who felt this way were called odd, nuts or crazy, mentally ill or those kinds of things."

The first transexual Mutz had ever heard of was Christine Jorgensen.

Jorgensen was a pioneer in the transgender movement. A World War II veteran, she was an advocate for transgender people, fighting for equal rights until her death in 1989.

Today, the Transgender community is becoming more mainstream. For example, actress Laverne Cox, a transgender woman, is one of the stars of the Netflix series, "Orange is the New Black." And now, the news that Bruce Jenner is transitioning from male to female.

Mutz says with Jenner being in the public eye, his journey could have a far reaching impact.

"For people to think the way Bruce Jenner is, is the way we all are, would be a mistake. You know, as I am only one personification of transgender so is Bruce," Mutz says.

It's Andie Seeber's hope if Jenner does make the transition, people will respect that decision. 

"I hope people will respect that journey and provide whatever distance needed for that journey, and will be supportive of it," said Seeber, a transgender person. "I do think we are at a certain point, sort of trans advocacy, where people are becoming better about learning in a way that's less confrontational and combative with trans folks and more accepting."

Seeber's family was supportive as well, but that's not always the case.

"They had a pretty good idea I was different, so it wasn't a huge shock to them," said Seeber. "My family has been incredibly supportive and I've been very fortunate. I have two older brothers, and a younger half sister, and all of them have been amazing, so all of them have been pretty great."

Mutz, who made her transition about 10 years ago, said for her it was almost impossible.

"I was so fearful of losing everything I had, all my friends, my family, people you work with, each person you feel is going to reject you," said Mutz.

She remembers showing up to work in a skirt when she was in her mid- 40's.

"My daughter came into the salon and caught me in something that was not, I think, all that feminine, but it was feminine for me and it freaked my daughter out along with my ex," said Mutz.

Mutz and her ex split. Her daughter, upset at the time, has come around and accepts Mutz.

Finally, after years of suppressing her true self, Mutz says she feels good about her decision and is enjoying life as a woman.

Margeaux uses her experiences to educate and raise awareness about the transgender community.

Locally, there's a support system in place through the Family Tree Center.