When I logged into Zoom yesterday, I was faced with a woman with perfectly coiffed hair, nails with no chips in them and all done up in makeup. I was wearing pants and a bra and I felt like I was winning.
This was the second time I had the opportunity to talk to Ms. Sherrie Scaffidi, the president of the Transgender Allies Group, or TAG. TAG is mostly a lobbying organization for transgender rights, but they provide extensive resources for those who are seeking legal gender identity changes, including a flow chart on how to do it.
She’s not only a customer, but she’s one of their biggest clients. Not really—that’s just a goofy old saying from a commercial in the 80’s.
But she has had to walk through many of the scary legal transitioning experiences and now helps transgender Nevadans gain easier access. She said that she tried to sell her house in Fernley after transitioning, which was the impetus for developing a form to help others to sell their houses after their names are legally changed.
As someone who was assigned male at birth, she play-acted her life as a man for decades, through a 43-year marriage that ended when her wife passed away in 2012 from cancer. She still keeps close with her three kids who are all adults themselves now. She said her kids still call her Dad and Pop.
Sherrie explained that her sister asked her how she learned to walk after transitioning with such a feminine sway, Sherrie explained that she actually had to learn how to walk like a man throughout her life. She said she’s felt different since she was 8 years old.
Sherrie is also a military Veteran and an advocate for LGBTQ Veterans in Nevada. She’s worked with the local VA, and she estimates that there are 2,000 transgender Vets living in Nevada today.
In 2013, when she started transitioning, she had a lot of fear about coming out as a woman. Now, she hands out her personal information to anyone who will take it so that she can make connections and help others in the transgender community.
Please check back in tomorrow, where I will talk some more about Sherrie and her great work in Northern Nevada.