Alana Nicole Sholar was born as Alan in KY in 1961, and by the age of eight realized something was ‘wrong.’ He spent most of his life on some of Kentucky’s now-famous thoroughbred farms (and even trained to become a jockey), while hiding, and running from, the secret within.
Determined to hide the struggle within, Alan is a fast driving, hard drinking, pill popping guitar player with a sex addiction that leads to multiple partner encounters and the consequences. Alan struggled with his difference well into his mid-30’s before he became aware there were others like him and began the journey to become Alana. She thought ‘coming-out’ to her family would be the most difficult task she’d ever have to face in life. She was wrong.
Sholar pulls no punches as she shares a very frank and honest portrayal of a bittersweet journey of struggle with gender identity, sexuality, self-acceptance, and love.
We each face life’s challenges. Although the challenges may differ, Alana’s story is a wonderfully uplifting and encouraging resource for anyone traveling their own journey of self-discovery – and everyone is on the path of discovering ‘self.’
Alana Nicole Sholar was born as Alan in 1961 as part of a close-knit, church-going family who lived and worked on several now-famous thoroughbred horse farms in the central region of Kentucky, the Bluegrass state.
One of Alan’s earliest childhood memories is putting on his mother’s clothes (as shown on the cover of Hung in the Middle) and discovering not only that it felt good, but it just seemed right. With no understanding of why it seemed right, this experience sent Alan into years of hiding how he felt from everyone—including self-denial. After all, in that place—rural central Kentucky—and at that time—1960’s—this was not something to be talked about, let alone admitted, ever.
Alan, like most middle-class Americans, held blue-collar jobs including construction, over-the-road truck driver, and in a factory. Alan’s name was legally changed in 2005—one of the first steps in the journey toward becoming, and accepting, Alana Nicole.
Alana still lives in the same small town of Versailles in central Kentucky—even after coming out by writing her book, Hung in the Middle: A Journey of Gender Discovery. She is married, has one son, and a granddaughter.