In these hurried times, it is always good to celebrate our neighbors who are finding themselves, and finding success.
So it is with Jaylen Marie Block, a 2019 Detroit Lakes High School graduate who is living a dream.
Block -- who goes by Jaylen Marie in her business -- has recently started J-Baby Lashes, importing mink hair lashes from her vendor in China, and selling them under her new brand.
The business is an integral part of Jaylen's process to be true to herself.
Jaylen came out as transgender during her sophomore year in high school. In an August Tribune story, Jaylen told about being bullied in high school at Detroit Lakes and Frazee, where she had transferred.
This did not stop her from advocating for gender-neutral restroom options at both schools, or from putting herself out there with her new business.
“Makeup was kind of my escape,” Jaylen told reporter Desiree Bauer. Through dramatic lashes and colors, Jaylen found herself.
Now, the makeup is the first step toward her cosmetics empire.
Jaylen is matter-of-fact when talking about one of the J-Baby goals: to help her pay for her transition. Depending on the types of surgeries, therapy or medicine, that transition can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The biggest takeaway from Jaylen's story is how much effort she has put into J-Baby Lashes. From the concepts, to the research, to identifying vendors, to branding and marketing, Jaylen is serious about her business. That's something to which anyone can relate: Having a passion, a goal, and putting all of your focus and creativity to make it real.
We know that issues of gender identity are hard for some folks to understand. Human beings are complicated, and we are not one-size-fits-all. It is impossible for any of us to understand what makes everyone else feel happy.
Treating others the way we wish to be treated never goes out of style.
Neither does applauding hard work and supporting someone else's dream. It's easy to look at Jaylen's story and find some joy in her happiness and success.