For a transgender person, their journey is usually complicated. Transitioning is a huge step, and it’s even more daunting in a small town, when you’re a local celebrity.
Meet Mikaela Taylor. Taylor is the host of the “Morning Mayhem Show” on 99.1 Mike FM in Kerrville, Texas. Every weekday morning, Taylor and his sidekick Radkowski air a comedy-focused morning radio show with lots of funny jokes and modern music.
Mikaela is married and has five children between her and her wife. She is about six months into hormone replacement therapy after announcing on social media, and later on air, that she is a trans woman.
Mikaela’s journey with gender dysphoria began at an early age, but as a teenager things got worse. “My body was making changes and I wasn’t comfortable with the changes,” she said. “And I was told before, you know, before I hit puberty that my body would make these changes. And it didn’t sound very appealing to me when I was told that. And then they started to happen. And that’s when it all got out of hand.”
She struggled with her feelings. She turned to alcohol and drugs. At one point, Mikaela contemplated suicide. Then there was the first time she tried on women’s clothing. She described the experience. “It was complete euphoria. I finally felt complete. And it was the first time in my life that I felt like that. And, you know, I had substance abuse issues at the time. I was an alcoholic. times, I had a few months of sobriety that first time. But actually, I felt like I saw myself more in the mirror. It was actually me. And not, you know, what I had become.
In 2021, Mikaela had told his wife of his feelings, before she made the decision to make the transition. She asked his wife Chelsea to take Antonio on a “girls’ trip”.
“I wanted to go for the river walk. I wanted to go to different places in San Antonio,” Mikaela said. “I wanted to go where nobody knew me. Where no one would know who I was and would just walk around and be free and be myself.
Chelsea went with it.
“We went shopping and she was like, you know, I want to buy myself some women’s clothes. And I was like, really? I guess that’s something we do. And that’s what she did. She bought women’s clothes. clothes for herself,” she said.
It was that night that convinced Mikaela to make the transition
“And I just thought to myself, I’m a trans woman. And I felt instant relief. My shoulders dropped. They had been tight for 20 years or whatever,” Taylor said.
Chelsea have embraced Mikaela’s transition. “As far as Mikaela and I are concerned, you know, I married her. I married her because I love her. I love the person she is. And, you know, it doesn’t matter that she either male or female. I’m going to love it anyway,” she said.
Chelsea have seen Mikaela start to change. “She’s a lot more emotional, for sure. Things with the kids that excited me like, oh, it’s the first day of school, it’s this and that. And, you know, before this n It wasn’t really a big thing for her. And now she gets emotional about these things with me,” Chelsea said.
Then, came public. His bosses were supportive. On her morning show before her official release, Mikaela and co-host Radkowski began to occasionally reference her transition. One morning, they joked about giving the employee of the month award “to a Mike Taylor, who no longer works at the company.”
Kerrville, with a population of just over 23,000, is a fiercely conservative town. About 75% of voters turned Republican in the last presidential election. “I expected to have to pack up my family and move out of town,” she said. “You know, Kerrville is a very conservative neighborhood. I was expecting rocks and beer bottles.”
But the community adopted Mikaela. Kelsey Wallace is a longtime listener to the show. She loved feeling like she was part of Mikaela’s transition. “I thought it was the coolest thing to know that this is how Mikaela has felt for so many years, I was glad to be a part of the whole coming out story,” Wallace said.
Despite the support from the community and radio listeners, Taylor says there has been a casualty in her relationships. After seeing a photo of Mikaela wearing makeup, her father stopped talking to her.