(WOIO) - Days after
to the world that he is a transgender female, a conversation has sparked.
"To be able to come out and be authentic in who you are and in your identity, that's not just something that's put on for a show," explains Jake Nash.
Nash is a transgender male who says he spent the first 33 years of his life not being able to identify as a female. That, he says, was like living a lie.
"I didn't know who I was before. When the words came and I was able to verbalize who I was and talk about it, that's when my life literally changed for the better," says Nash.
Nash, now 50, has been educating and counseling others in diversity and transgender issues for 15 years. He started his own organization called
back in 2011.
He says it's important for people to understand that gender identity is who you are inside. Sexual orientation is who you are attracted to.
"If we can't share our truth with people, then we're not really sharing who we are," says Nash.
Nash says he's glad Jenner shared his story with the world and hopes it gives a better understanding and acceptance of the transgender community.
"One kid some day is probably going to look at that and go, 'Wow. Bruce is just like me and look, I can even be an Olympian, regardless of the fact of transgender or not,'" Nash says.
Click here for more information on the transgender community.