SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt. – The Vermont Law School is celebrating milestones when it comes to transgender rights in the Green Mountains.
The school is dedicating the month of April to the issue. People in the transgender community say more work is needed in the name of equality.
Gabriella Netsch loves her career as an educator. A job she has had in Vermont for 32 years.
“We’re both women, I just got here differently than you did,” Netsch said.
But Gabriella, born Gary, started her career and lived most of her life as a man. She says she realized at a very young age that she identified with the female gender.
“I would pull my sheets over my head and I would say, ‘God, can I just try being a girl? I think I’m supposed to be a girl,'” Netsch said.
As an adult she started efforts to appear female, including electrolysis, laser therapy, hormone therapy, and a testosterone blocker. Her church had a renaming ceremony for her and she got her Vermont drivers license indicating the gender she identifies with. She says the Green Mountain State is a great place to be transgender.
“Vermont’s come a long long way, such a long way,” Netsch said.
Governor Shumlin agrees and spoke at the Vermont Law School this week as part of its ‘Sex, Gender, Expression and the 1st Amendment’ Project. The program consists of several events through April including a photography exhibit. Project creator Taylor Curtis wants to take the conversation about transgender rights to the next level.