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'I'm so excited to wake up and be myself': KC-area transgender woman shares journey to self-acceptance

March 31 is Transgender Day of Visibility
hazel krebs.jpg
Posted at 8:43 PM, Mar 31, 2024

MERRIAM, Kan. — March 31 holds a special place in Hazel Krebs' heart.

“I'm enthusiastic to live; I'm so excited to wake up and be myself every single day,” Krebs said. "It's a day for the trans community to be visible in a world that's often trying to make us invisible.” 

Krebs said Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31) is more than just a day of awareness, it’s a celebration.

“My journey and my experience — but [also] all my friends, my trans friends across the spectrum, [it's] their day, [too] — and celebrating all of us being visible and being happy with who we are,” Krebs said.  

She shared she struggled with not feeling like herself for most of her adult life.

"I couldn't quite identify it because I'm 42. Thirty years ago, I didn't see trans people, so I didn't know what my feelings were,” Krebs said. "Just like depression and battling substance abuse most of my life until I started to figure out who I was."

On March 9, 2021, she said she not only found herself but her name, Hazel.

“It meant so much to find my name, the pronouns that I was using and become this person that I am right now,” Krebs said.

Krebs' support system — her kids, their moms, friends, etc. — inspired her to share her journey.

Her first book, titled "Enthusiastically Me," covers where she's been and where she's going.

“People know me as I am, as the final product, as Hazel, and I wanted to write this to show it's a very sad start to the story," she said. "Yet, where I am now, I am very happy, and I wanted to show everyone no matter where you are starting, you can find a life you are happy for."

Krebs' message to others is to be who you truly want to be. 

“Keep living your life visibly, authentically and wonderfully in the ways that you are,” she said.