Aiden James Kosciesza is a speaker and educator who has been sharing his gender transition with audiences in America and internationally since 2011. He has been invited to speak at universities, conferences, hospitals, and gatherings to introduce audiences to transgender issues and to his own personal story.
Unlike some transgender people who have been aware of their identities from a young age, Aiden didn’t encounter his gender troubles until he hit puberty. He struggled with body image, gender, and sexuality for years until a theater project brought him face to face with his own masculinity in his junior year of college. Once realized, Aiden quickly became comfortable with his gender identity, but hesitated to transition medically.
From 2007 to 2010, he lived and taught in Mie Prefecture, Japan, where his masculinity was implied but never formally acknowledged. Upon his return to the United States, Aiden was determined to begin medical and legal procedures to transition from female to male; he took his first testosterone injection in 2011 and completed his legal name change in 2012. He has been living and working as male ever since.
In 2011, Aiden spent three months traveling around the world with the Peace Boat, a Japan-based NGO that promotes peace through sustainable tourism. It was there that he spoke publicly for the first time about his gender transition, and the success of that voyage inspired him to continue his speaking career when he returned to the United States. His personal mission is to foster acceptance of transgender people worldwide through increased awareness and understanding of gender identity.
Aiden received his B.A. from Drew University in 2005 and completed his M.A. in English at Villanova University in 2011. His thesis, entitled “Ordinary, Extraordinary Men: Heroism, Community, Crisis, and the Prescription for American Masculinity in Continental Drift, Watchmen, and Fight Club,” studies manhood in post-Vietnam, pre-9/11 American literature and resonates with his experience of defining his own masculinity. Now an English professor at the Community College of Philadelphia, Aiden remains fascinated with gender in both practical and philosophical terms. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Kerri, and their cats, Miles and Parker.