Klan leader's kid charts their journey from white nationalism to coming out as trans

In 1999, R. Derek Black appeared on Jenny Jones' troll show as a proud second-generation white supremacist: the child of Ku Klux Klan leader Don Black and a family friend of David Duke, Black would soon be on the Republican executive committee for Florida's Palm Beach County. By 2013, though, they'd left the movement and denounced it. Now, they're out as trans.

"You can sort of bury these things, and for a lot of my teenage years, it was often feeling like it wanted to burst through," Black, who uses they/them and she/her pronouns, told NBC News. "But it was also something that I just didn't talk about with almost anybody."

Black learned not to talk about their gender identity, or anything private for that matter, from a young age.

They write in their memoir, released earlier this month, that their father — who founded what is thought to be the internet's first neo-Nazi website, Stormfront — taught them that the notion of privacy was "absurd."

Going to college cured them of it.

As a college student, they continued to host their morning neo-Nazi radio show, "The Derek Black Show," in secrecy from their peers. Simultaneously, Black formed close friendships with the same groups of people they regularly targeted on the radio: Jewish people and people of color.

This is why right-wingers hate colleges.

"It wasn't the first time someone told me racism was bad. I had 10,000 emails from strangers throughout my whole adolescence telling me that," they said. "But it was the first time that I lived in a community where the people on the other end telling me I was responsible for ignorance and hate and was spouting stuff that was stupid and ridiculous and wrong was coming from a community of people who I knew and respected and cared about and wanted to be connected with."

The Klansman's Son [Amazon]