Monika: Today’s interview will be with Emma Shinn, a transgender woman that documents her transition on Reddit as ScoutSeven. Emma is a retired US Marine Corps officer and a now is an award-winning civilian attorney in Denver, Colorado. She is a LGBT activist and a member of the Board of Directors for the Colorado LGBT Bar Association. Hello Emma!
Monika: What is the main agenda of the Colorado LGBT Bar Association?
Emma: The Colorado Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (“LGBT”) Bar Association is a voluntary professional association of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender attorneys, judges, paralegals and law students and allies who provide a LGBT presence within Colorado’s legal community.
We exist to promote the recognition of civil and human rights; promote sensitivity to legal issues faced by the LGBT community; assure the fair and just treatment of members of the LGBT community; provide opportunities for LGBT attorneys, judges, and law students and allies to interact in a professional setting; build alliances with other diversity bar associations and legal organizations; and enhance the practice and professional expertise of lawyers who serve or who are members of the LGBT community.
Monika: What are the biggest legal challenges for the Colorado transgender community now?
Emma: The legal challenges facing Colorado trans residents are similar to many across the US; however, we have robust anti-discrimination laws surrounding employment, housing, and bathrooms to name a few. The fight for equality is not over, though.
Despite our progress, recent legislation to advance equality has met with stiff opposition in the Colorado Senate, which has a Republican majority. We still face gatekeeping hurdles in changing birth certificates, gaining and maintaining employment commiserate with skills and experience, as well as renewed pushes by social conservatives for discrimination loosely framed as “religious freedom."
|Comparison between last photo on active duty with|
the US Marine Corps (Feb 2014) and now (Feb 2017).
Monika: At which stage of the transition are you right now?
Emma: I am full-time, legally changed my name and gender marker on everything except my birth certificate.
|Fallujah, Iraq after Operation PHANTOM FURY.|
Another way I look at it is like two circles in a Venn diagram that don’t necessarily touch since they are independent of each other.