JoAnne was born on February 16, 1945 in Sylacauga, Alabama. She grew up in the very small town of Sonora, Kentucky in Southern Hardin County. Her ancestors on her father's side came to Central Kentucky in 1781. She attended a small rural school in Sonora for 11 years. The Hardin County Schools consolidated and she graduated in the first class of East Hardin High School. JoAnne then went to the University of Kentucky in the Fall of 1963. She graduated from UK in 1967 with a BS in Business and Economics and was a member of the honors society. JoAnne then started Law School at UK in the Fall of 1967. While in Law School, she was in the top portion of her Class and was a member of the Kentucky Law Journal and won top honors for writing the best Law Journal articles. She graduated from Law School in 1970. During her seven years at UK, JoAnne was an active member and board member of the UK Wesley Foundation. After graduation, JoAnne continued to be very active in the Methodist Church and the Emmaus Community. In 1970, JoAnne began practicing law in Elizabethtown. She developed one of the larger civil practices in Central Kentucky. JoAnne's clients love her. September of 2011 will mark her 41st year of actively practicing law. JoAnne served briefly as a Special Justice on the Kentucky Supreme Court. In addition to being an active member of her church, JoAnne rigorously studied Theology for 13 years. JoAnne became a teacher and an evangelist. JoAnne was able to accomplish these activities even though she lived a very tormented life. For JoAnne was born with a female brain and soul and the semblance of a male outer body. JoAnne grew up in the 50's and 60's in rural Kentucky. JoAnne had to repress her gender identity issues for 65 years. It was not until February of 2010 that JoAnne realized that she had to become her true self. Four gender therapists, two Endocrinologists, a new primary care physician, a wonderful Laser hair removal nurse and 26 hours of surgery in seven days by the most awesome surgeon in America, JoAnne has become the complete true woman that she was meant to be. JoAnne has chosen to be very open about her life story in order to educate, help, and change the hearts, minds and attitudes of others regarding gender identity issues. JoAnne's story has been on the front page of newspapers. She has become a popular public speaker who has been willing to share her story with many others. In addition to practicing law daily, she also has been seeing members of the LGBTQ community with their legal issues. And she is currently trying to help over 150 adult males in Central Kentucky with their gender identity issues. Additionally she is working with several children and their families in dealing with gender identity issues. Recently she has been helping members of the gay and lesbian community as well. While continuing to practice law in Elizabethown, JoAnne now resides on Frankfort Avenue in Louisville.
The Ampersand symbolizes the solidarity we are building through Friends & Family, and suggests the inclusiveness we are working toward. It reflects the idea that no one individual, legislator, organization, or city can carry all the water for equality. Our success lies in our solidarity.