Google Just Made a Powerful Statement About the Trans Community

July 16th 2015

Laura Donovan

During the 2015 ESPYs, Google aired a powerful ad titled "The Story of Jacob and City Gym" that tells the story of a trans athlete.

The ad opens with a man named Jacob Wanderling talking about how his late uncle raised him and taught him to fish. The camera cuts to childhood photos of Jacob, who was born female.

"Growing up, I was never comfortable with the way I looked when I looked in the mirror," he says. "I would want to see something masculine. I would want to be able to take off my shirt one day and have all these muscles. Knowing that that was never going to happen, I couldn't actually be happy. When the idea of starting to transition was brought about, it was like, this is it. This is what I've been waiting for. This is what I need."

In the clip, Wanderling looks happy as ever working out at the gym. Three years ago, Wanderling posted a video to YouTube revealing the plan to transition:

"It's always been in the back of my mind, "Wanderling said at the time. "It's something I've kind of denied for a long time due to the way that I was kind of raised a little bit."

Though Wanderling had no memory of this, he said his parents told him that he asked to become a boy when he was five-years-old.

Google's ad came right before Caitlyn Jenner's Arthur Ashe Courage Award acceptance speech:

In 90 Seconds, Caitlyn Jenner Sums up Many Struggles of the Tr...

In 90 seconds, Caitlyn Jenner sums up many struggles of the trans community...

Posted by ATTN: on Thursday, July 16, 2015


Earlier this month, ATTN: reported that incoming Harvard freshman Schuyler Bailar is believed to be the NCAA's first openly transgender swimmer. Bailar was first recruited to join the women's swim team, but when he explained his intention to transition, Harvard enabled him to join the men's team.

“Initially the decision was, ‘Do I swim, or do I quit and transition?’” Bailar told student publication The Harvard Crimson. “I really didn’t want to give up swimming, but I also didn’t know how much longer I could do the living as a girl thing.”

Bailar posted this on Facebook in early May:


IMPORTANT PSA: Please read this! Hey everybody! So if you've been following me on social media over the past year, I'm...

Posted by Schuyler Bailar on Sunday, May 10, 2015

For more on issues facing transgender Americans, check out our video on the battle for gender-neutral bathrooms:

Why We're Still Fighting Over Bathrooms

Haven't we seen "separate but equal" before?

Posted by ATTN: on Thursday, January 29, 2015