WOI anchor Nora J.S. Reichardt has re-introduced herself to viewers of the Des Moines, Iowa ABC affiliate.
Reichardt had been working as a male reporter at the station for about a year, until she made the transition to female. She introduced herself by her new name in a story on the station’s evening newscast.
“For a long time, I didn’t think that I would get to say that,” she said in the story after announcing her name as Nora. “At least not on air like this. 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 an interview with KARE reporter Eva Andersen, Reichardt said she started feeling like “a person who’s wearing my body, and not a person who’s living in it” in high school.
After starting counseling last year, she made the transition in her personal life, but not professionally.
“It’s very weird to approach every day at work as if it’s a dress-up day,” she said. “But there were times that that’s really what it felt like.”
Reichardt said she was fully supported by her colleagues and her station, which has already updated her name and headshot on its website.
“Being trans is not a burden,” she 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.”
She also said that when someone “is telling you something like this about themselves, the best thing you can do is tell them, I’m glad.”
“I’m glad that you trust me, I’m glad that you are being who you are and what can I do for you? Everyone needs something different,” she said. “Every trans person has different standards about their comfort level with their dead name, or things like that. Just ask. We are not scary, I don’t think. There’s a sense that because people don’t have exposure to people like me so often, that they don’t even know where to start.”
Saying she is still the person she was before, she said she still knows “too many Spider-Man facts. 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.”
“But the way I would ask people to reframe that is, you’re getting someone better,” she said. “You’re getting some of that that person is so much happier being and for them to get to share that with you, it’s a magical thing.”