PROFILES: One transgender woman's journey

Oct 14, 2014

Cadence Custin
Credit Courtesy - Cadence Custin

A few weeks ago, we kicked off a new series called Profiles, where we sit down for extended conversations with people in our community. Today, Current State's Joe Linstroth speaks with a young woman to find out what it was actually like for one transgender person to undergo the transition from being a man to a woman.

Late last month, the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission filed a discrimination suit against a Michigan funeral home in Garden City. The funeral home is accused of firing a transgender employee after it learned she was planning to present herself as a woman. The lawsuit, along with another in Florida, are the first in the nation since the EEOC ruled in 2012 that transgender workers should be protected under existing federal law.

According to statistics, transgender people make up about two to five percent of the population, but they are much more likely to be discriminated against. They face rejection from employers, churches and their families. Rates of suicide and sexual assault among transgender people are also elevated.

Cadence Custin is a third-year law student at MSU’s College of Law. She grew up in a small town in southwest Virginia near the famed Martinsville Speedway. Before she arrived in East Lansing, Cadence had lived her entire life as a male.