DES MOINES, Iowa — A Des Moines television reporter announced this week on a newscast that she will publicly identify as a transgender woman.
Nora J.S. Reichardt of WOI-TV said that for a long time she didn’t think she would be able to reveal her identity on air.
“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 while I do it,” she said on the same day that she officially filed for a name change with the Iowa courts.
She is not the first reporter to make that announcement. ESPN journalist M.A. Voepel announced in a tweet in August that he is transitioning and would use male pronouns.
In an interview with a friend who is a former reporter for the station, Reichardt said she had thoughts about being transgender in high school. But she noted that her Minnesota hometown is rural and she “didn’t even have the language to describe what I was feeling.”
She said that at work she felt like “I was someone I didn’t really feel like” when she dressed in slacks and button-up shirts.
“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? Why don’t I connect with that person? Why don’t I want to be that person?’”
Reichardt said she gradually came into her identity as a transgender woman over the course of several years and began a medical transition process in September 2021.
“To gradually come into a role where I am feeling more and more at home in my body than I really ever did before has been amazing to get to experience and share with people,” she said.