Transitions

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Posts Tagged ‘Dallas Voice’

In the News: Dallas Police Department breaks transgender barrier

Posted by TransMan on October 13, 2007

Nineteen years ago, Mike Smith attended police academy alongside Joe Grabowski.

Today, as a sergeant for the Dallas Police Department, Smith supervises Officer Deborah Grabowski.

But Joe and Deborah aren’t husband and wife, brother and sister, or father and daughter.

Deborah Grabowski, 42, is the department’s first known transgender officer, having undergone sexual reassignment surgery in May.

But Smith said that for him and others who work with Grabowski out of a substation at Love Field, little has changed.

“To me, she’s the same person as she was 19 years ago,” Smith said. “We get along the same way. I treat her just like any other police officer. “

Grabowski said she’s thankful for that.

She’s witnessed horror stories from around the country involving transgender people being fired and the like.

Although Dallas has an ordinance, passed in 2002, prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity, Grabowski says she was fearful when she came out. But with the support of the city, she began living as a woman full time in 2006.

Grabowski, an 18-year veteran of the force, sat down with Dallas Voice recently to talk more about her experience. More…

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