About Jack Ori

FTM motivational speaker Jack Ori

Jack Ori is a speaker, writer and  communications coach serving  teenagers and their families, with a  special emphasis on those who have  learning differences such as Aspergers  syndrome and those who are members  of the transgender community. He has a  Masters in creative writing from the  University of Southern California and a  Bachelors in psychology from Pitzer  College, both of which he uses in his  quest to help teens feel more connected  to their families and communities.

Jack’s passion for ending the isolation and depression that often contribute to teen suicide rates comes out of his personal struggle with depression, anger and pain prior to his transition. Although he was aware on some level as a child that he was different, he didn’t know how to express his gender identity to his family or community as a child, and as a result grew up feeling invisible and angry without knowing exactly why he felt that way. As he grew older, his emotional distress turned into depression and he continued to struggle with anger issues. It wasn’t until he was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome at the age of 31 that he began to understand himself and seek answers to his emotional problems.

Shortly after his diagnosis, Jack became involved with the LGBT community after a roommate came out to him. Through his involvement, he not only became interested in suicide prevention in this community, but also began to explore his gender identity. He began working with a life coach and a therapist in 2011 and his maleness slowly emerged. This seemed to be the missing piece of the identity puzzle he needed to be able to work through his childhood feelings and regain mental health. In 2012, he came out to his family and began rebuilding a more honest and intimate relationship with them as well as beginning the process of gender transition.

Today, Jack’s understanding of his childhood experiences fuels his intense desire to pave an easier path for transgender children and children with Aspergers. He travels around the United States and Europe to give lectures and workshops to parents, teachers and other adults who want to learn how to better support their children as well as writing articles and young adult novels for these groups of teenagers. He also works one-one-one with parents and teenagers to help them embrace one another and their own identities.

Jack now lives a happy, well-adjusted life filled with love. His life mission is to bring peace and happiness to those who are struggling because of their gender identity, sexual orientation, or learning differences. He welcomes letters from parents and children and is often touched by how much of a difference he’s able to make in their lives.

3 Comments

3 thoughts on “About Jack Ori

  1. Jazz

    Jack,
    Your story is straight from the heart and I believe your honesty and straightforwardness about your life will encourage other people to be more honest and straightforward about theirs. Good luck to you!
    Jazz

  2. Prudence Rexroat

    Jack, HELP!! My 19 son has Aspergers and has been exploring his gender identity issues. He has been seeing a therapist who specializes in transgenderism for the past year and now would like to start taking female hormones. I have so very many concerns about this. My biggest concern is that this idea about becoming female became evident while my ex and I were going through a very acromonious divorce. Unfortunately, Mike was around for all of bad and the ugly. My concern is that this is a result of the incredible turmoil that this divorce created in his life. But, here are a few of my other concerns:

    My first and foremost concern is that we have not been able to adequately address his depression. I think the top priority for him should be to get his depression under control and get his mood stabilized. I don’t think that adding estrogen to the mix should even be on the table until he has had an opportunity to live depression free on a consistent basis for at least 6 months. Estrogen will only serve to exacerbate his mood swings and that deeply worries me.

    Secondly, I am troubled by the fact that he wants to begin this therapy without truly having experienced life. He is only 19 and has only come to this gender revelation in the last couple of years. He has zero life experiences. He has never been in a relationship, been in love, or even kissed anyone for that matter. How can he possibly know that he wants to begin hormone therapy to become a woman when he hasn’t truly lived life as a man. His life experience has consisted of living within four walls and “experiencing” the world through his computer. To take this irreparable step at this point in his life seems very irresponsible to me. Furthermore, why would this even be an option for him before he has tried to live life as a woman in any way? He has not presented himself as a woman except within the confines of his apartment. For all intents and purposes he looks and behaves like a male and has attitudes and outlooks of a male. I don’t think that he can even begin to understand the bigotry and prejudice that he is going to experience. I think that he should be prepared to present himself as a woman to the world before doing anything that will permanently change his body chemistry. This isn’t a matter of changing his hair color and if he doesn’t like it, no harm, no foul. He takes this medication without full knowledge of all of the consequences and the results could be utterly devastating.

    Lastly, I have a concern about this transition at all, given the fact that he can’t even brush his teeth consistently. How in the world does he think that he going to live as a woman with all that entails; make-up, hair, shaving half his body, etc? I really don’t think that he has taken all of this into consideration. His lack of motivation to do the simplest of things to move toward with this transition speaks volumes to me. Wearing a sports bra and women’s panties does not a woman make. And, my concern is that he thinks that taking a pill will be an easy and trouble-free resolution to this issue. No problem is ever solved by simply taking a drug.

    Which leads me to my final concern; putting his life and his education on hold on the assumption that this is going to lead to some mystical type of happiness. I was a very different person at 29, 39, 49 than I was at 19 (as is everyone) and to do something so drastic with such little information or hands on experience at this point in his life is absurd to me. Trying to find happiness and peace through external means is never a good idea. What if he takes these hormones, damages his body chemistry irrevocably and then decides that this is not bringing him the happiness he was looking for? That being a woman was a bad solution to his self-image issues. Then what? What happens then?

    OK, I’ve bent your ear enough. Any suggestions you can give me or issues that I can address with his therapist would be GREATLY appreciated. Thank you in advance for your time. Prudence

    • Hi Prudence,
      I want to thank you for reaching out. It’s great that you are supporting your child’s best interests.

      For some trans people, getting on hormones and beginning to look like the gender they identify as can help relieve depression despite the effects of the hormones on mood. That’s what happened for me, but I’m not a doctor and you will want to bring up this concern to your child’s therapist and/or the doctor who would prescribe hormones.

      I would recommend sharing all of these concerns with the therapist. If s/he is a specialist in transgenderism, s/he should be exploring all of this with your child, and if they haven’t been brought up and explored, they should be now before prescribing hormones or anything else. I would also ask the therapist what the written transition plan is–is there a protocol in place for how and when the medication will be given, who will be responsible for what, what steps transition will entail? Having it all laid out step-by-step may relieve some of your anxieties and be helpful for your child as well.

      Your last paragraph is my biggest concern as well about anyone who is transitioning. Transition in and of itself is not a magical solution to anything. If the gender identity issue is at the heart of your child’s distress, as it was for me, it *may* be a prerequisite for dealing with the other stuff, but the other stuff still needs to be dealt with in order to be happy. I think that’s definitely something you want to bring up to the therapist. The therapist’s goal is supposed to be to make sure that transition is the right step for your child and that it is done in a manner that will most help.

      I hope this was helpful to you, and please feel free to reach out with any other questions. You can reach me via email at ftm.coach.jack@gmail.com

      best,
      Jack

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