Local 5 News WOI-TV’s Nora J.S. Reichardt has been reporting in Iowa since July 2021, but up until now, she’s been doing it under a different name — and a different gender.
Well, that’s all changed now, after Reichardt, 24, announced on-air that she is a transgender woman during a segment about her transitioning experience.
“Today is a very special day here at Local 5,” began anchor Stephanie Angleson before reintroducing “the real Nora” to her community.
“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,” Reichardt said.
The broadcast aired on the same day the reporter went to an Iowa courthouse and officially changed her name.
Reichardt sat down with former Local 5 News reporter Eva Anderson of KARE 11 and explained that she has been “gradually” coming into her identity over the past several years. In September 2021, she took it to the next level and began the process of medically transitioning.
“A while after I started being on air,” she shared, “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?”
While she was swapping out her wardrobe at home and enduring hormone replacement therapy, she was still donning slacks and button-up shirts for work.
“There was a decent span of time where everyone in my life functionally knew me as Nora, except for the viewers at home,” she said. “[I felt like] I was splitting myself in two.”
Finally, she decided it was time to tell her audience.
“When I made this exact leap of telling the viewers at home that everything was going to be different, that the little name under my headshot is going to look a little different now on air,” she said, “and I wanted to personally feel as ready as possible to make that jump because there are expectations that come with it.”
As for reactions to her trans-formation, Reichardt says she’s “very fortunate that almost everyone I have told has been nothing but immediately affirming and supportive.”
“Being trans is not a burden. If someone is trusting you with that information, it means that you mean something to them. And they really want to get to share that,” she said. “I hope if anyone is ever in that position where someone is telling you something like this about themselves, the best thing you can do is tell them, ‘I’m glad. I’m glad that you trust me, I’m glad that you are being who you are, and what can I do for you?'”
Apparently, doing all you can to ensure trans people don’t have “their comfort level” impinged upon is the duty of all decent people. If you aren’t sure where that level lies, “just ask.”
“Everyone needs something different,” Reichardt said. “Every trans person has different standards about their comfort level with their dead name or things like that.”
“Just ask,” she instructed her viewers. “We are not scary, I don’t think.”
On Twitter, Reichardt celebrated her newfound freedom.
“Now that the cat’s out of the bag, I’ve been waiting to say this for a very long time,” she tweeted.
In the accompanying clip, the smiling reporter stated at the end of a story, “In Des Moines, I am Nora J.S. Reichardt for Local 5 News.”
Now that the cat's out of the bag, I've been waiting to say this for a very long time 🥰 pic.twitter.com/tmCqcs4Xp5
— Nora J.S. Reichardt 🏳️⚧️ (@Nora_JSR) October 5, 2022
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