Britney Stinson (pictured center) helped to organize the Trans Day of Remembrance event in Orlando Nov. 20, where the City of Orlando presented a proclamation to the organizers at the event. (Photos by Jeremy Williams)
Visibili-T is dedicated to transgender members of our community in Central Florida and Tampa Bay, some you know and many you don’t. It is designed to amplify their voices and detail their experiences in life.
In this issue we check in with Central Florida’s Britney Stinson, a United States Army veteran, a mental health professional and the founder of Transitional Space.
Transitional Space began in 2018 as a Discord server Stinson created after a bad breakup.
“I was really, really lonely so I started up this Discord server just to try and meet people and have somebody to talk to and stuff because my boyfriend that I was spending all my time with was now gone,” she says. “I felt alone so I reached out, created that server and then it just kind of blossomed.”
When the server reached 5,000 members from all around the world, Stinson realized she had something that could be impactful.
“I was thinking, with my background in mental health, I could do some good. I can make this into a real-deal nonprofit and really help some people,” Stinson says. “I’ve met so many awesome people, a lot of who started their transition within the server, which is really cool because you can see their progress from ‘I don’t know if I want to come out, I’m scared’ to coming out and now they’re on HRT, full-time name change and everything.”
Stinson’s own coming out started when she was a teenager growing up in Central Florida.
“When I first started to transition, the only support I had was from people online,” she says. “It was like I had two different lives. At school and at home with my family I was the jock kid but then I also had this other life where I was able to be Britney, so that was kind of the struggle every day.”
Stinson was raised in the rural areas of Central Florida, growing up in Narcoossee and Eustis.
“It was amazing. Out where I grew up we had cow fields as far as you can see. Swamps and orange trees, I remember us having to hire people to help us pick all our oranges because we had so many orange trees,” she recalls. “People think of Disney when you say Central Florida but I think of cow fields and swamps and horses.”
Growing up in rural Florida gave Stinson an appreciation for things that are stereotypically not always seen as hobbies LGBTQ+ folks would be into.
“I love country music, I love shooting sports, I’m pro Second Amendment and I’m really into sports; a lot of people think if you’re trans then you have to hate guns, if you’re trans then you have to hate sports, if you’re trans you have to hate country music. I kind of break those stereotypes,” she says.
Another topic that Stinson is passionate about is true crime stories. It’s partly what led her to study forensic psychology in college.
“Forensic psychology is kind of the marriage between the criminal justice system and the application of psychology to criminal justice,” she says. “For me personally, I’ve had some experiences where people were less than kind to me so working with victims is probably one of my main reasons for studying forensic psychology.”
Stinson uses her skills in her daytime job as a counselor for teenagers who have dual diagnosis — kids who have a substance abuse history and mental health history. After a long day at work, she then has to make time for Transitional Space, Come Out With Pride’s Trans and Non-Binary Task Force (which she is a member of) and working on football plays for the Women’s Football Alliance (which she plays on).
“I love football and that is the sport I play the most because there is the WFA, but baseball is my passion,” she says. “I played semi-pro baseball in Australia for one season. Baseball and the romanticism that goes along with baseball, I just love it.”
Stinson’s love of sports has led her to start on an initiative within Transitional Space where they can bring sports to LGBTQ+ kids in Central Florida.
“Right now trans youth have nowhere to play sports really in Florida, and since sports were such a big part of my life, I want to bring that to other kids,” she says. “I want to bring in some more opportunities for LGBT+ kids and kids who are allies. I’m not going to discriminate; everybody is welcome to come out and play.”
Stinson was asked what advice she would give to her younger self if given the chance.
“I’d tell my younger self don’t be so afraid of what other people think and hug my maw maw and paw paw a little bit more.”
Interested in being featured in Visibili-T? Email Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Williams in Central Florida or Managing Editor Ryan Williams-Jent in Tampa Bay.