This is the second installment of my interview with Ms. Sherrie Scafidi, 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.
Please go back and read the short article from yesterday to learn about her story coming out as a transgender woman.
She also helps those not in the community by educating, speaking, and acting as a “standardized patient,” which is someone who plays the part of the patient at a medical school and guides the med student or nurse practitioner in the proper language and treatment of a transgender person. There is a great article from my very own UNR where Sherrie is quoted and photographed.
What are some of the things that you have done with TAG that you are particularly proud of?
- A transgender person no longer has to publish their name change in the newspaper. When she changed her name in January 2017, it had to be listed in the newspaper. The law which changed that was passed in the 2017 legislative session one month later, in February.
- A transgender person no longer has to prove by a third party to the DMV that they are who they say they are. She said that when she changed her driver’s license, she had to get a third-party doctor to verify who she was. Now, Nevada is one of the few states that has an X gender and no verification now needed.
Sherrie also works full-time currently and is the president of PFLAG, the first and largest organization for LGBTQ+ people, their parents and families, and allies. She also has her own consulting business where she gets paid to educate and speak. She works with local security firms to educate their guards on the laws surrounding gender and bathroom use in Nevada.
In what little free time I can’t imagine she has much of, she loves to cook. She said that she spends all her money on shoes, cooking stuff, and model railroading. She also still has all the equipment from when she had worked as a gunsmith.
Sherrie identifies as a lesbian. She laments that the local lesbian community is not as welcoming to her as a transgender woman as she wishes they were. As a member of that community, I was saddened by that statement but I also recognize that, though a generalization, my experience is similar. I believe it may be due to a lack of understanding (and maybe even empathy?).
Sherrie wants people to know that if they are transgender, they can help out the community by being open and visible if they are brave enough. She would love to start back up her half-hour radio show about LGBTQ individuals that was cut short by COVID-19. She sees the value in growing a national audience for something like that.
Please check out the TAG website and read more about Sherrie’s work with the UNR med school.