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Jackie talks about her CNC machining company, PXR. She started her first plastics machining company back in 1992. Over the years she has designed and machined a variety products in the plastics sector from tabletops, to signs, to gun smithing tools, one of her most steady products these days. Her shop features CNC routers and CNC mills such as the Fanuc Robodrill (pictured). (3:00)
Jackie talks about a brutal motorcycle accident she had 15 years ago at age 35. She spent three years in a wheelchair, yet continued to run her business. Then a friend of hers was going to get married, and she decided she was not going to go to the wedding in a wheelchair. Her right leg was mostly paralyzed, so she needed an orthotic foot device in that shoe to keep her foot from flopping around. She fabricated one for herself in her shop in one day. (6:00)
Jackie talks about first realizing she was a female trapped in a male’s body at four years old. Her grandmother asked her what she wanted to be and she said she wanted to look pretty like mom. Jackie’s parents then had a serious talk with her to clarify that she was not a girl. (9:30)
Jackie said she first thought about undergoing a sex change when she was 17, while working at Radio Shack alongside a trans woman, but she was too scared to do it. Instead, she got married the next year, with the hope that if she built a family and a successful business she could bury her feelings of being a woman stuck in a man’s body. Sometimes that worked, but she says after the motorcycle accident the walls came down around her and it was very visible to her that she had “hid herself from reality.” (11:00)
But somehow Jackie then managed to bury her painful feelings once again. She had just gotten remarried a year before and was planning to have another child. She also wanted to get her shop going strong. Jackie says she wishes during those three years in a wheelchair she had gotten a therapist, but she had been turned off by the stigma of getting one and instead tried to “DIY” her mental health. She says she finds it interesting how most people will take care of their physical health when they get hurt, like getting a cast after breaking a leg, but when they get a mental injury they to try “walk it off.” (13:31)
Jackie talks about constantly trying to overcompensate for her knowledge that she was a woman on the inside. She owned a restored Dodge Charger that was a replica of the General Lee from Dukes of Hazard. She owned 10 motorcycles and the biggest pickup truck you could buy. But later on, after she came out as transgender, friends told her they had sensed her secret for a long time—she could never actually have hid what was going on inside. (15:30)
In her latter 40s Jackie hit a wall. She says she had lost all the fire in her belly that tells a person to do things. Her shop was suffering, her home life was suffering, her mental health was suffering and she knew she needed help. She joined an online forum for trans-support and the members told her to get a therapist. (16:30)
Jackie says getting a therapist was the most important pivot point for making improvements in her life—it finally got her to start the transition process. (17:30)
Jackie talks about her current relationships with family members. She works alongside her father in her shop. She does not talk to her sister often. Her 30-year-old daughter is starting her own machine shop right now, and they share a bond with that. She has a teenage daughter who lives with her mother (Jackie’s ex-wife) who understandably has had difficulty with the transition. (18:30)
Jackie says the first step in a transition process is to get a therapist. Her therapist eventually told her to go to a medical doctor to start hormone replacement. She decided in therapy she was interested in getting a lot of surgical procedures to make her look more feminine. She says everyone has different preferences of what they want to get augmented or reconstructed. Jackie has had her breasts enlarged, facial reconstruction, vocal reconstruction, and “downstairs surgery.” I asked her if it was traumatic to look at herself after her organs were swapped out. She says she was finally able to look at herself in the mirror and say, “that’s actually me.” (21:30)
Jackie says the transition took her about three years and that hers was a relatively quick process. She says some people can do it faster, but other transitions can take over 15 years. She says she continually saw her therapist during the process, which she likens to going through puberty rapidly. She says getting rid of facial hair is one of the most difficult parts of the transition process. It can take years of electrolysis. Another change she has had to get used to is having less lean muscle mass because she has less testosterone. Now she can’t lift things around her shop like she used to. (23:30)
Jackie says despite transitioning to become a woman, she still is attracted to women rather than men. (29:30)
Jackie says she feels people have core personalities that are just us, but we all also have masks. She says she pulled her mask over herself so people would see only what she wanted them to see. But now that she has let the mask go she finally gets to see who she really is, along with everyone else. (30:15)
Jackie says her advice for people who need to alter their life or deal with things that require a lot of thought is to see a therapist—they should ignore the negative stigma and stop trying to DIY their mental health.
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Fascinating podcast and blog. I salute you and Jackie for the guts to this piece on Todays Machining World Swarfcast.
Thanks! I figured someone of your sophistication would appreciate it.:-)
Accepting a job in the US while giving up my part time but profitable music agency in Basel Switzerland.
All that, just after booking Dexter Gorton in a local joint for a weekend gig and renewed a contract with the Grand Bellevue in Gstaad.
No regrets at all, worked out just fine and left me with great memories. Even found myself twenty years later in Basel reading an article about the upcoming 25 year celebration of the Basel jazz scene, the writer even saluted me for the gigs I provided years ago.
Proud as a Peacock!
Paul Huber LSME
Thanks for your interesting comments as usual Paul. No regrets? Did you really have the same fire in your belly for the machining trade as you did for JAZZ?
Or was the opportunity to go to the US part of what pulled you?
I really liked Basel by the way. Brought back my future wife some fantastic chocolate and a Swatch, TRULY FROM SWITZERLAND! I think it’s still hip. I went salsa dancing when I was there.
Did quickly realize that growing the music business ( Jazz ) does require English knowledge.
Besides, it was no fun to rub elbows with famous Americans in Gstaad unable to converse!
Therefore, learning English while making good money was my original idea. Travel and meeting great people made me fall in love with the US. Also, I did smell some good business opportunities.
The rest is history!
More like you smelled cutting oil!😀
Thank you for sharing this, it shows we still have open minded people in this world!
I am glad that Jackie ultimately found to be true to one’s self.
Unlike Mulvaney, I don’t need to know about it!
Perhaps I may even get proposals and sub-components from Jackie. who knows? This is a relatively small industry.
One’s personal life is their business and me having or not having sex with my wife is mine.
DON’T push this upon me PLEASE!
Whatever floats your boat, as long as it doesn’t sink mine nor have me pay for it.
For Jackie it was a successful journey.
Please realize that some 25% of transitions end up as suicides! THE BIG SECRET !!!
Such a life altering decision and action is not something to enter into until one is mature and totally understanding. IMHO
We all understand that the effects of hormones, just like most human Physiology, is just barely understood!
So the introduction of life altering hormone therapy prior to adulthood is WRONG.
That is the time for wise council, restraint and caution.
“Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less, in human beings of whom they know nothing.”
The first an foremost tenant of the Hippocratic Oath is:
DO NO HARM!
Err on the side of caution and restraint.
Some people are always looking for something else and are just confused over their life’s lot, and this is a way to escape and start anew, or so it is sold – literally!
Unfortunately it always goes back to the money.
Once someone is on the road to transition, it is a lifetime of profit for the medical and therapy community. That is why, imho, there are far too many looking to get confused youths hitched to the transition train, a never ending cash cow.
And again as seen from the recently released twitter files, there is so much manipulation of information, that any reversals, unsuccessful outcomes, horror stories, and suicides are removed from search results and memory-holed…
I am quite sure, that in many years to come, Jackie, in her golden years will reflect and realize that waiting was the right choice, allowing the gift of one’s own children to provide posterity, comfort and care in the last days – may it be far long from now, with great success and joy.
I pray for those who most recently, have been medically castrated and sterilized, (for what reason? profit?) that will die miserable and alone…
I know this isn’t the suggested topic of discussion, Noah, but Michael is right – please don’t bring me into your bedroom!
It used to be that it wasn’t right to ask who someone sleeps with. Now (for some sectors of society) it seems that the color of your skin and who you sleep with are the only things that matter.
The problem with Dylan Mulvane is that he is putting on “woman face”, akin to people putting on “black face”, and broadcasting all the worst stereotypes of females as if they’ are normal, and even something to be celebrated.
I’d like to her Jackie’s take on Dylan!