Local transgender woman, father featured in national ad

Family shares story about importance of acceptance

SAN ANTONIO – Currently in the United States, 1.4 million people identify as transgender, according to a 2015 U.S. Transgender survey.

It's a statistic that has grown every year, but many transgender individuals still face many obstacles.

One of those obstacles is acceptance by their family.

Jessica Zyrie and her father, Dwayne Price, are hoping their story will help other families.

Zyrie at 16 took the first steps to becoming the person she always wanted to be. 

"I started to express myself in ways that were natural to me because this is who I am, but it took me many years to get to a point to realize that this was an option," Zyrie said.

As a parent, Price, always supported her decisions but was nervous about how others would react.

"I was just worried about her well-being the whole time, you know," Price said. "I was a little worried about how her classmates and how everyone would receive her."

Since transitioning, Zyrie now works as a model and has been featured on magazine covers and on the runway at New York Fashion Week. 

"I'm over-proud of her," Price said. "She has always exceeded my expectations."

Their inspirational story is now being featured in a national GLAAD and Absolut Vodka campaign about acceptance.

"I think it was extremely important to provide hope to other trans children out there who may not have as much support, and it was educational for parents who have trans children who are struggling," Zyrie said.

According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender survey 8%, of transgender individuals reported being kicked out of their home, and in another startling statistic, 40% of respondents have attempted suicide in their lifetime - - nearly nine times the attempted suicide rate in the general U.S. population.

While their story is one they are sharing with the world, the father and daughter understand many people are still not as accepting.

"Today, I know there's a lot more support, but there's still a long way to go," Zyrie said. 



About the Authors

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

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