Johnnie[This is] my message in the community: Our problem is us, and not believing in ourselves. I mean, think about it, people! And I say this every time I get the opportunity to stand in front of a group: The problem is us. It’s not people accepting us, it’s us accepting ourselves.
And I want to clue you in: You are the reason why you are standing here right now. You have made some choices that have been outside of what everybody else believed about who you were or what people said you were supposed to be like. You have made some choices to be standing here right now. Get with that.
People told me ‘You can’t be a boy…You can’t have those feelings…You can’t do that.’ But I chose to, in my own little way, hold onto that. That speaks volumes about courage and strength and who we are.—Johnnie

Jacqui’s paintings, inspired by her interview with Johnnie
All paintings are mixed-media. Click any image for a larger view.

"Garden Guardians," by Jacqui Beck, inspired by Johnnie.

Garden Guardians, 36″ x 36″

 "Reach for It All," by Jacqui Beck, inspired by Johnnie

Reach for It All, 17″ x 14″

"We're in This Together," by Jacqui Beck, inspired by Johnnie.

We’re in This Together, 18″ x 24″