WOI Local 5 News reporter Nora J.S. Reichardt has been coming into her own as transgender woman since September 2021. Now, she’s ready to share her truth with the world and did so in an interview with a former local news reporter. Reichardt reintroduced herself to her community and shared her transition experience as a reporter on the day she filed for her name change with the Iowan courts.
“To gradually come into a role where I am feeling more and more at home in my body than I really ever did before has been amazing to get to experience and share with people”, Reichardt said for WOI Local 5 News.
Reichardt realized her identity as a trans woman late in high school, but growing up within rural Minnesota, she lacked the language to describe how she felt. Continuing through life not living out her truth created a dissonance between her and her body.
“Especially early on, it’s hard to place that sense of wrongness–like I’m a person who’s wearing my body, and not a person who’s living in it”, she said. “I thought I was just depressed, I thought I was just anxious. And I’ve had those feelings almost as long as I can remember”.
But in September 2021, she decided to take the step towards living her truth, starting with counseling and then with hormone replacement therapy.
“There’s beauty in this process. And I wish that got discussed more. Especially among people who are cis and don’t find themselves as familiar with it. What I find is learning to love my body, love me, and just the way I want to live my life, it’s the best act of self actualization that I could ever imagine”.
Telling viewers about her being trans was one thing, but Reichartdt was much more reticent about communicating this to her parents. Having witnessed close friends lose parental support after coming out as trans, she didn’t want to endure this type of pain.
That lack of support can lead to serious mental health challenges. According to a survey conducted by Trevor Project, “73% of LGBTQ youth (18-24 years old) reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety”, with more than three-quarters of transgender and nonbinary youth experiencing this. Additionally, “58% of LGBTQ youth (18-24 years old) reported experiencing symptoms of depression”, with two-thirds of transgender and nonbinary youth navigating depression.
Thankfully, Reichardt was surrounded by the unconditional support of her family.
“…I love them so much, and I’m really, really grateful that they are still around for me. They want to support me in this”, she said. “What really stuck with me is when my mom told me that she doesn’t think she’s ever seen me this happy. And I feel the same way. To know that other people are seeing that too–especially my mom and dad, who I love so much; I can do anything as long as I still have them”.
Reichardt’s presence as a local reporter is the type of representation that we hope other young trans people see and realize that they too can live life as the person they were always meant to be.