HELENA — Harper Paige Frasard's smile and laughter could lighten a room. She says she has good reason to smile now that she is living her true self as a woman. "Well, all my life from the time I was little, I would see a shooting star, and I would go, 'I wish I was a girl, wish I was a girl.' And then, when it happened, it was like...my wish came true,” said Frasard.
When she was younger she was diagnosed with Klinefelter Syndrome, a condition where a person has two X chromosomes and a Y chromosome. The condition often leads to less testosterone being produced in the body.
“There is a marker system, from one up to 17, I believe it’s 17, and I am 14 markers out of 17,” said Frasard. “I was more female than male, but ugh, I had a little appendage that I was born with, and society in 1951 - you are a boy, that’s it.”
During her pre-teen years, her parents did not openly communicate about her medical condition, “My parents didn’t tell me, my doctors told my mom and dad not to say anything, just watch as I began going through puberty to see what would happen. Well, what happened is I was inside myself, for so long I didn’t talk to anybody.”
Growing up as a man, when she finally came out it didn’t come without some scrutiny, and tragically, physical hatred as well. “I was attacked on September 9th in 2020...broke my wrist with a 2 X 6.”
The attack, which happened in Washington, resulted in her being in and out of the hospital for four months.
In 2019, there were six suspected hate crimes reported in Montana that were motivated by gender identity, gender or sexual orientation bias. Nationally, in that same year, the Federal Bureau of Investigations reported 224 attacks were a result of gender-identity bias, 173 attacks were anti-transgender related and there were 51 attacks on anti-gender non-conforming individuals.
For other Montanans that are going through the struggles, Frasard says, “Connecting with the LGBTQ community because there is so much support, housing, everything possible I can think of."