Rebecca Storozuk became the first openly transgender deputy in the Orange County Sheriff’s Office this year, reported Caitlin Doornbos in the Orlando Sentinel.
Storozuk began her transition last year and has now legally changed her name and documented gender.
Initially, she was afraid to come out as transgender, especially in a male-dominated field. However, she drew courage from the story of Christine Garcia, who became the first openly transgender officer in the San Diego Police Department in 2015.
Like many transgender people, she faces a number of challenges, from navigating conflicting workplace dress codes to saving up enough money for gender confirmation surgeries not covered by insurance. She also struggles with colleagues who don’t understand her transition.
However, she is happy with the training the Sheriff’s Office began using on working with transgender peers. “In no unclear terms they’re saying, ‘Hey, we’re not going to stand for any discrimination,’” Storozuk stated.
She also feels she has helped her colleagues understand transgender issues and says she was largely accepted by the department.
Storozuk hopes other transgender people might take courage from her story, just as she took courage from Christine Garcia’s story. She is “ready for [transitioning] to just become a norm.”
Read the Orlando Sentinel article here.