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  WINDY CITY TIMES

T in the Life: Karen Elizabeth McReady
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2012-04-11

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Identifies as:

A pansexual, transsexual woman.

Pronouns:

She, her, hers

Neighborhood:

Edison Park

Life's work:

"I have always been a dilettante. I like to find a variety of ways to use my skills."

Job:

"Currently I work doing investigations for a company which coordinates benefits for multi party health insurance claims."

Hobbies:

"I really enjoy doing karaoke. I also read extensively both fiction and non-fiction. I am very interested in history."

When did you start questioning gender?

"I think I suppressed my transsexual identity my whole life, but I always knew there was something different about myself. I really only became consciously aware of my female identity about eight years ago."

What is the best thing about being trans/ gender-variant?

"For me it is the opportunity to understand traditional gender roles from both sides and be free to construct my own outside the traditional binary box."

Do you have a coming out story?

"I agonized over coming out to my son because I didn't want to lose my relationship with him. It turned out that he already had found out. It turned into an anti-climax, and he was and is very supportive of my transition."

What issues outside of the queer community do you care about?

"Where do you start? Real equality for women, homelessness, separation of church and state, income inequality, civil rights, etc."

What do you think are the most important issues facing the trans/ gender-variant community?

"Violence against transgender people, employment discrimination and lack of awareness of trans issues in the healthcare community."

What is the best thing about being trans?

"For me it is the opportunity to understand traditional gender roles from both sides and be free to construct my own outside the traditional binary box."

Whom do you admire most?

"To be honest, I can't think of a single celebrity I would walk across the street to get an autograph from. I admire my friends and family who have overcome adversity to make a difference in their own lives and others."

Do you consider yourself an activist?

"I have just started working with Illinois Gender Advocates, and I am the current president of Bisexual Queer Alliance Chicago. I have also been active in PFLAG and Chicago Gender Society as well as participating in support groups."


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