Daniel Weil, Gaywheels.comIf you grew up a good ol' boy from Mississippi, a NASCAR career may have been high among your dream achievements -- especially if you wanted to make your racing-hero dad proud.
J.T. Hayes faced just such a situation: With 500 wins on the NASCAR circuit and a promising career ahead of him, he thought he had found the "right" track... Almost.
A series of events and one particularly awful racing accident in 1991 shifted J.T.'s perceptions. Trapped upside-down by his seatbelt, seeing fuel pouring and smoke billowing from the vehicle, J.T. Hayes decided life was really too short to not live it as who you are.
To greatly simplify the story, a decision was made -- and cars were sold -- to finance a gender-reassignment surgery that put a racing career on hold. In time, the sheltering and constraining cocoon of J.T. Hayes had disappeared, and Terri O'Connell emerged to take the wheel. . . .