Before transitioning, Jake, who was still living as Julia, says she thought she might be a lesbian. "But then I met a friend who was transgender and I was, like, 'Oh, what's transgender?' And he's like, 'I was born a girl but I'm a boy.' And I said, 'Oh my God, that sounds just like me,'" he says. "It's not that I just want to be someone's girlfriend. I want to be their husband. I wanted to be the dad. I wanted to be a positive male role model in someone's life, and that's when I knew that there was a difference between being a lesbian and who I was."
At 13, Julia told her parents she was transgender, and at 15, she started the physical transition to become Jake. "Julia was never there, I don't think," Jake says. "I think I was always Jake, just with a different name [and] different body."