A reporter for a local Des Moines, Iowa TV station delivered news this week that she is a transgender woman.
Nora J.S. Reichardt, 24, who has worked at Local 5 News since July 2021, came out on-air to fellow broadcaster Eva Andersen in an in-studio interview.
“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 while I do it,” the Minnesota native said.
She continued, “To gradually come into a role where I am feeling more and more at home in my body than I really ever did before has been amazing to get to experience and share with people.”
Reichardt’s transition began a year ago, she said, but she “had some thoughts in that direction” when she was in high school. But growing up in rural Hanover, Minnesota, she added that she “didn’t even have the language to describe what I was feeling.”
“Especially early on, it’s hard to place that sense of wrongness — like I’m a person who’s wearing my body, and not a person who’s living in it,” she told Andersen. “I thought I was just depressed, I thought I was just anxious. And I’ve had those feelings almost as long as I can remember.”
Even when Reichardt joined Local 5 News, she felt as though she was playing “dress up,” living and working as a man.
“Awhile after I started being on air, I kind of just reached a personal breaking point where I thought, ‘Why don’t I like the person that I am seeing every time I am going out in the field? Why don’t I connect with that person? Why don’t I want to be that person?’ ”
After entering therapy, the reporter began to find happiness, she said. Now on hormone replacement therapy, she takes estradiol to increase her estrogen levels as well as pills that reduce her testosterone output.
“There’s beauty in this process,” she said. “And I wish that got discussed more. Especially among people who are cis and don’t find themselves as familiar with it. What I find is learning to love my body, love me, and just the way I want to live my life, it’s the best act of self actualization that I could ever imagine.”
On Facebook Tuesday, Reichardt elaborated on the backstory for why she decided to publicly share her story.
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“I’m finally going to be bringing my whole self to work every day, and I’m ready to be that person all the time,” she wrote. “I realize that many Iowans probably haven’t met a trans person (at least not that they’re aware of). And so often, conversations about people like me center around whether or not we can play sports or what bathrooms we have to use, and that reductiveness really bothers me.”
She concluded, “There is so much joy and beauty to be found in being trans, and I want to share that. For almost 24 years of my life, I didn’t know what it was like to truly love myself. Now I do, and I’m never going back.”