Watch: Iowa TV Reporter Reintroduces Herself to Viewers as a Trans Woman

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Friday October 7, 2022
Originally published on October 5, 2022

Watch: Iowa TV Reporter Reintroduces Herself to Viewers as a Trans Woman

A reporter on Des Moines-area news channel WOI-TV came out as transgender in an Oct. 4 interview that introduced her all over again to viewers, starting with her name: Nora J.S. Reichardt.

"Reichardt has been a reporter at the station for about a year, appearing on TV screens across central Iowa under a different name as she sorted out how to be an on-air journalist and her true self ― a transgender woman," the Des Moines Register reported.

The article went on to transcribe Reichardt's poignant following words, which she addressed directly to viewers in a video essay: "I didn't know if there was a place and a space for me to do this sort of work that I've really come to love and enjoy, while also getting to be myself."

In the news clips, the text of which WeAreIowa posted online, Reichardt said that now that she's living and identifying publicly as a woman, she is "feeling more and more at home in my body than I really ever did before," and described a life-long sense that she was "a person who's wearing my body, and not a person who's living in it."

"And I've had those feelings almost as long as I can remember," Reichardt went on to add.

Reichardt talked about how her job at the news station felt like "dress up day," as she donned male clothing to do her on-camera reporting. "A while after I started being on air, I kind of just reached a personal breaking point where I thought, why don't I like the person that I am seeing every time I am going out in the field?" Reichardt detailed. "Why don't I connect with that person? Why don't I want to be that person?"

Now she's on hormone therapy as part of her transition and, she said, "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."

In the time leading up to her public transition, Reichardt noted, "everyone in my life functionally knew me as Nora, except for the viewers at home." That, she said, led to the feeling that "I was splitting myself in two."

Now, however, she's experiencing wholeness — and she's sharing that with others.

"When people tell you who they are, believe them," Reichardt advised viewers. "The very first thing that you tell someone after they come out to you really will dictate the tone of your relationship moving forward, for better or for worse. And I am very fortunate that almost everyone I have told has been nothing but immediately affirming and supportive."

For those getting acquainted, or reacquainted, with transgender friends and family, Reichardt noted that, "you're getting someone better. You're getting someone that that person is so much happier being."

"Being trans is not a burden," Reichardt said. "If someone is trusting you with that information, it means that you mean something to them. And they really want to get to share that."

Reichardt went on to note that though she's now publicly living as a woman, there's much about her that isn't different from before.

"I still know too many Spider-Man facts," she said. "I still play a little too many video games for my own good. I still enjoy reading at the coffee shops around Des Moines which is where you can usually find me on my days off. None of that has changed."

The reporter acknowledged that the culture has been flooded with fear around the issue of transgender people, but "I promise we are more interesting than bathrooms or sports, or whatever," she said. "We're still living wonderful, fulfilling lives outside of that."

To watch the news clip, follow this link.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.