Transgender woman tells her story for the first time

2 years 2 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, June 25 2015 Jun 25, 2015 Thursday, June 25, 2015 8:50:00 AM CDT June 25, 2015 in News
By: Blair Ussary, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

LINN - A transgender woman in mid-Missouri is telling her story publically for the first time.

Cathy Serino's story starts at a young age, when she was still identified as male.

"I was about five or six years old, and I knew something was wrong," Serino said. "But it was the 70s, and that wasn't something you talked about."

Serino is describing the first time she realized she was transgender, although it wasn't until her high school years she realized what transgender meant. Serino said she didn't have a lot of people to talk to, which made her suffer a deep depression, which led to an attempted suicide.

"It was about five years ago, I guess." Serino said. "And after I got out of the hospital, I decided I was going to live for myself." 

Once Serino decided to transition, she immediately started educating herself on what it would take to transition. After the Social Security Administration changed its policy on transgender benefits, Serino decided to continue her transition with the surgery she wanted to become a woman. She said because she followed all of her doctor's instructions by the book, her transition went pretty smooth. The struggle came when she had to let her family and friends know.

"The first person I told was my ex-wife. I wanted her to be the one to tell our kids, but then we decided I had to be the one to do it," Serino said.

Serino described the difficulty in telling her family, how her two sons won't talk to her, and her second ex-wife won't even speak to her.

"She [the second ex-wife] won't even let me tell the kids. But they're pretty young," Serino said. "And she won't even talk to me anymore. She wants nothing to do with me."

Even though it took some time for them to adjust, Serino said her two oldest daughters have come to terms with her transition. She said they now all get along very well. 

"I can sometimes see people snickering when they see me walk down the street," Serino said. "But nobody has really made fun of me outright to my face. Most people just leave me be."

Frank Johnson, the Men's Leadership and Activities Network coordinator at The Center Project, said those who come out as transgender should be commended.

"It takes a lot of nerve to come out to society and tell them you are transgender. I think it's incredibly brave of them," Johnson said.

At The Center Project, an LGBT center in Columbia, Christianne Benedict said suicide is common among those in the transgender community.

"I think it's somewhere around 41 percent of the trans community tries to commit suicide at least once in their life," Benedict said. "And I think that number is a little higher, because there are those suicides of people who weren't out as transgender."

Benedict is a coordinator for a group called the Transgender Blender. The group meets on a monthly basis to talk about transgender issues in the mid-Missouri area. 

"We saw a need for a transgender community group that needed to be filled, and so we decided to open up a group where we can come together and talk about issues and relationships and stuff like that," Benedict said.

But for Serino, who lives an hour away from The Center Project, with no car, the next best thing is social media.

"I have a lot of support on social media, with people in the trans community who don't live close to me," Serino said. "They really helped me when I first came out, and now I'm helping them."

Serino said she would eventually like to start a transgender community group closer to where she is. She said she'd like to aim it towards the older trans community, as groups like the LGBTQ center at the University of Missouri caters to the younger generation. 

More News

Grid
List
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Missouri congressman has heightened security to his office after a shooting at a congressional baseball practice... More >>
43 minutes ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 2:01:00 PM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
MOBERLY- Moberly Fire Department firefighters dropped down 8 feet underground Thursday to rescue two mock victims. “It’s a little... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 12:45:00 PM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on demonstrations following the acquittal of a former St. Louis police officer (all times... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 11:49:00 AM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
PLATTE CITY (AP) — Jurors have convicted a Kansas City, Kansas, man of first-degree murder for being an accomplice in... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 10:45:00 AM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on demonstrations after the acquittal of a former St. Louis police officer (all times... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 10:24:00 AM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS — There have been more fatal police shootings in St. Louis in 2017 than for a decade —... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 9:35:00 AM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Home Instead Senior Care in Columbia is set to host a day of education: Alzheimer's Learning Day. ... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 2:53:00 AM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Veterans living in the Patriot Place apartments will now have room to take their four-legged friends and their... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 7:22:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A man has been charged in the killing of an off-duty police officer at a restaurant... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:55:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri has received a grant from the American Cancer Society and CVS Health Foundation to... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:55:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is set to end on Sept. 30. The program... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:33:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Hasbro and Missouri UnitedHealthcare developed a wristband that can help reduce child obesity while getting kids up... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:32:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police could be wearing body cameras within 60 to 90 days. After a... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:02:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
OSAGE BEACH - A firefighter was hospitalized with heat exhaustion after responding to a condo building fire Wednesday at 9:54... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 5:53:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
ASHLAND - The Southern Boone School Board is taking a new approach on unpaid school lunches. Parents not paying... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 5:52:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - David Robinson is one of the hundreds of people who will lose help paying his utilities, if a... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 5:50:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
FULTON - Buying food locally can save gas and money and get the food to the table faster. A family... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 5:26:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Missouri couple who received an engagement ring on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" after dropping theirs into... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 5:16:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 89°
3pm 90°
4pm 92°
5pm 92°
6pm 90°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:00p
The Dr. Oz Show
3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
2:00p
Maury
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show
4:00p
The Goldbergs

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
American Ninja Warrior
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
8:00p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld