Skip to comments.HPD officer recounts long battle with gender identity
Posted on 06/15/2006 4:49:51 AM PDT by cbkaty
HPD officer recounts long battle with gender identity The father of 5 will work as a man until name is legally changed
Sgt. Jack Oliver, the Houston police officer preparing to undergo gender reassignment surgery, says the reaction from colleagues has been mostly positive since coming out to the department last week.
Oliver, 49, a deputy day sergeant at the Fondren substation, greeted the media Wednesday wearing a woman's pinstripe suit, lipstick, blush and pumps.
It's a look fellow officers won't see at work until the sergeant officially becomes "Julia Christine" Oliver after a legal name change, Oliver's attorney said.
"I had many officers tell me they are very proud and would like to continue working with me," Oliver said. Sporting a short, curly bob with bangs, Oliver spoke about a long struggle with gender identity.
"I haven't thought of myself as Jack in years," said Oliver, whose lawyer, Phyllis R. Frye, has been a transgender woman for nearly 30 years.
Wearing makeup, earrings and a silver heart-shaped charm dangling from a necklace, the divorced father of five children addressed reporters with a soft voice.
"I spent most of my adult life defending the rights of others to be who they are," he said.
Since being thrust into the limelight, Oliver decided to "stand up and be proud." Oliver will continue to appear as a man while reporting for work, at least until the name change becomes effective, Frye said.
To cover a growing crown of hair, Oliver will wear a short-cropped wig. As part of the process that Oliver calls "gender correction," the officer dresses and lives as a woman at home in preparation for gender reassignment surgery.
"As far as HPD is concerned, he's Sgt. Jack Oliver. Anything else in regards to what he does on his personal matters, that doesn't (have to) do with the Houston Police Department," said HPD's Alvin Wright.
Oliver's doctors say the officer will have to live for at least one year as a woman for 24 hours a day before the surgery can take place. That process cannot officially begin until Oliver can dress as a woman at work, Frye said.
Oliver and the Houston Police Department have worked out a deal where the officer will begin to transition as a woman on the job after legally changing his name. That could take place within the next two to three months, Frye said.
"It will delay that for me somewhat but, rather than cause problems with the department, I want to stay within guidelines," Oliver said. "I told them I would continue to present as I have been."
Although Frye said Oliver will be allowed to dress as a woman after a legal name change, a police spokesman said he is unaware of such an agreement.
Frye said she has taken Oliver on as a pro bono client so that the officer might have legal representation in case actions by the department warrant legal action. Frye's law partner, Jerry Simoneaux, doesn't think that will happen.
"We are absolutely satisfied and very happy with the city of Houston and police department because they're working with us on this long transition," Simoneaux said.
Julie Marin, spokeswoman for TCOPS, or Transgender Community of Police & Sheriffs, a transgender police officers' support group, said most transgender officers transition without the media knowing. A significant number of those officers, however, found work difficult after being outed on the job.
"For those who aren't terminated, many are harassed into resigning," she said.
She knows of 10 transgender officers in Texas. About 550 transgender officers are members of the group.
Frye and Oliver said they received a positive response after meeting with Houston Police Officers' Union President Hans Marticiuc.
Since allowing Oliver to hold a press conference last week at the union office, Marticiuc has been criticized by some officers for appearing to support Oliver's personal decisions.
Marticiuc also stood near Oliver during the press conference, which Frye said was hastily organized when a television reporter broke the story June 8 by ambushing Oliver at his home.
" ... In my capacity as Union president and spokesperson, the organization neither supports nor opposes Sgt. Oliver's issues related to his personal life choices and decisions," Marticiuc wrote Tuesday on the union Web site.
" ... My effort was to merely provide a venue for the sergeant, who is obviously going through some deep personal issues and challenges, and to pacify the media's desire to tell his story."
What is that remark about putting lipstick on a pig.
So there are so many of the "policemen" that they need a support group?
Another batch of kids who will be hurt emotionally....
Its all about him...............to hell with the kids and the department..!!!!
Shim is uglier than farting in church.
Do ya think he is disruptive?
I imagine it is like someone with a hairlip. After awhile you don't notice it anymore.
But I think it looks like a cross between Wayne Gretsky and Janet Reno.
Isn't he/her/it that guy from Full House? :-)
You got that right! My Hub served 30 years with HPD and is madder than hell about this. It's going to take a group of citizens to file a class-action suit to keep this "thing" off the streets since this is being condoned by the city. I would hate to know that someone so screwed up would be making life and death decisions for me. Folks, it's gettin' bad out there..........we all better wake up and see what's happening to our society.
Imagine your last moments of life and you look up to see this guy/gal looking back at you..... ( I am not attempting humor!)
Ewwww, I got goose bumps! *~*
Dry Heaves.....for me... What is Hans thinking?
Hans is a boob and a fool. My Hub and he got into it more than once about his stupid ideas for HPOU. Maybe this latest stunt will render him outta his position as president........I sure hope so.
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