Transgender activist says KOMU \"changed my life in a fantastic way\"
COLUMBIA — A woman who shared her transition with KOMU 8 a year ago, Cathy Serino, said the interview "changed my life in a fantastic way."
"Before that first interview I basically was just a disabled trans woman living in a nursing home, and in the last year since the first interview, it kind of awakened me to advocate and all that," Serino said. "Since then, I've been in more publications than I can count, trips to New York and California."
Serino just came back from the GLAAD Media Awards in Hollywood where she sat next to two people who received awards.
Serino said she was in a bad place before the interview. She had attempted suicide in 2010 and pleaded guilty to a 2014 counterfeit suit.
"When I woke up in the hospital, and realized that I'd failed and had all of these tubes sticking out of me and everything like that, was when I came to the realization that, you know, what the heck am I doing here?" Serino said. "I'm gonna live my life as myself, and if people don't like it, too bad."
Since then, she has been an advocate for the LGBT community, attending many rallies and speaking against bills and laws that are seen as discriminatory.
She tried changing her gender between two failed marriages but did not utilize a therapist or doctor to help with the transition.
She said after the second failed marriage, she moved back to Missouri and took hormones full time.
"Never looked back, just never looked back on it. No doubts, no regrets. It hasn't been easy," Serino said.
She said sharing her story for the first time with KOMU 8 helped push her into advocacy.
"The positive feedback I got from the first interview," Serino said. "That was kind of like the kicker, you know? I was flooded with thousands of messages and stuff on social media and such afterwards, and it was virtually all positive."
Serino said she does not know what is next, but everytime she sets out to do something and does it successfully, she is always surprised.