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"GLBTI Weddings PLUS!"

The Blog of the U.S.'s first GLBTI-specific Wedding and Events firm. Discussion spot for clients and visitors to interact with staff and experts, in an informal forum, regarding Gay Weddings or Same-Sex Marriage, LGBT weddings and Traditional weddings and other issues affecting the GLBTI.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Beating the Odds
Q&A with Terri O'Connell, NASCAR's only trans driver.
by Daniel Weil, via

If you grew up as a good ol’ boy from Mississippi, a NASCAR career may have been higher among the echelon of your future dream achievements – especially if you wanted to make your racing-hero dad proud. J.T. Hayes faced just such a situation. With 500 wins on the NASCAR circuit and a promising career ahead of him, he thought he had found the “right” track - Almost.

A series of events and one particularly awful racing accident in 1991 shifted J.T.’s perceptions. Trapped upside down by his seatbelt with fuel pouring and smoke billowing from the vehicle, J.T. Hayes decided life was really too short to not live it as who you are.

To greatly simplify the story, a decision was made and cars sold to finance a sexual reassignment surgery that put a racing career on hold. In time, the sheltering and constraining cocoon of J.T. Hayes had disappeared and Terri O’Connell emerged to take the wheel.

Full of inner conflicts and fights with the world to be who she is and do what she loves, Terri’s is one of those stories to which many gay people can relate. But ask Terri her story today and she’ll tell you, “I’m a woman fighting the odds… I may have come from a very unique set of circumstances, but today, I’m a woman whose fighting to do what she loves to do the most.” With a new book coming out soon, television appearances behind and ahead of her, movie deals in the works and a new competitive NASCAR team being assembled, Terri O’Connell’s dream of once again setting hot rubber against professional pavement will soon be a reality. Only this time she has an added advantage – she lives as the person she was born to the link to continue

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