Way before the word transgender became well known, Leland Kolbert knew he wasn’t a she.

“I know that I should have been born male. I’m just in the wrong body. You have these two protruding things on your chest you can’t relate to.”

Kolbert, co-founder of New Beginnings in Davie, said he’s always been hyper masculine. Now, armed with a professional background in nursing and an intimate understanding of the challenges faced by transgender individuals, he runs New Beginnings.

It’s a facility designed to care for transgender individuals who have had surgery. And, he said, it costs nothing for those who stay. “I’ve got a 9,000 square foot mansion. I just completely take care of them. I’ve been a nurse since 1983 and my partner does pain management and life coaching.”

Compared to the way things were in the past, Kolbert’s amazed at how open people can be about being gay and/or transgender. “Back then, you didn’t even talk about being gay.” But there’s still a lot of progress to be made.

The evidence of that was the assault he sustained just two weeks ago. “No matter what community you live in, there’s always someone who doesn’t want you.”

– MDO


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