Transgender Issues

This week the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed its decision in the case of Idaho inmate Adree Edmo, the transgender woman who sued the state to be provided sex reassignment surgery.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the state of Idaho must provide sex reassignment surgery to inmate Adree Edmo.

Editor's Note: This story includes accounts of self-harm and attempted suicide.

On a late afternoon in September 2015, a 27-year-old transgender inmate named Adree Edmo wrote a note in her cinder block prison cell at the Idaho State Correctional Institution.

She insisted that what she was about to do was not an attempt at suicide.

The note read, "I do not want to die, but I am a woman, and women do not have these."

Edmo then attempted to castrate herself.

Edmo didn't succeed, but she would go on to try again.

On a late afternoon in September 2015, a 27-year-old transgender inmate named Adree Edmo wrote a note in her cinder block prison cell in Idaho. She wanted to be clear that what she was about to do was not an attempt at suicide.


Lt. Col. Bree "B" Fram left a doctor's office on April 2. Presenting that day as Bryan, the name given to them at birth, B should have been relieved.

"Overall, it's a good thing," said B. "It just didn't feel great to have to do it on someone else's timeline other than my own."

"It" was an official diagnosis of gender dysphoria. As a transgender member of the military, B had to secure the diagnosis by April 12 in order to continue serving openly.

When Sgt. Anna Lange moved with her young family from Columbus, Ga., to the state's more rural Houston County, her main priority was being able to stay near her son.

After five years of marriage — and many more years of internal turmoil — Lange had realized that despite being assigned male at birth, she'd felt female her entire life.

She had decided to undergo gender transition and knew it would eventually end her marriage. She also knew her soon-to-be ex-wife would want to move back home to Houston County, an hour and a half's drive from Columbus.

Capt. Alivia Stehlik
Michael de Yoanna / KUNC

When the Pentagon announced in 2016 it would end its ban on transgender troops, allowing them to serve openly, Army Capt. Alivia Stehlik was thrilled.

"It was pretty wild," Stehlik said as a smile flashed across her face. "It was unexpected and here we are."

The announcement was made during the Obama administration by former Defense Secretary Ash Carter. It prompted Stehlik to transition from male to female. She recalled being nervous about rejection by her peers and commanders at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs.

Stacy Nick / KUNC

Despite some complaints about its appropriateness for young audiences, organizers of an upcoming Drag Queen Story Hour at the Windsor-Severance Library said the event will continue as planned.

Sponsored by the Northern Colorado group SPLASH LGBTQIA-Youth, the children’s story hour will feature drag queens reading children’s books with inclusive storylines.

“The event is going to go on because it’s the right thing to do,” said SPLASH director Kimberly Chambers. “Having conversations with our young children about diversity — no matter what that looks like — is an important factor.”

Matt Bloom / KUNC

Jade Koch doesn't like showing people her Colorado driver's license.

Sitting on the couch in her living room, Koch pulls out the 2 by 3.5-inch piece of plastic from a pocket on her phone case. Next to her black and white portrait, underneath the sex category, a little "F" indicates female.

For as long she can remember, she said, the tiny marker has been a huge burden.

Martin Falbisoner / Wikimedia Commons

The future of health care and the politics of gender have been front and center in the national headlines this week. Colorado’s congressional delegation -- made up of the representatives and senators elected to office -- have been part of the action. Here’s a round-up of the votes, reactions and statements from your Colorado representatives.