Christin Milloy:

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Rachel Dolezal Drops New Bombshell: “I’m Also Transgender”


In 2015, the story of Rachel Dolezal went viral when it emerged that the leader of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP was in fact a white woman posing as black, after she was revealed publicly by her parents. In the wake of the revelation, she was compared by many on Twitter to transgender people such as Caitlyn Jenner, creating a trend on the hashtag #transracial. She broke her silence on the Today show, telling Matt Laur in an interview, “I identify as black.”

We caught up with Rachel Dolezal, for an update on the impact she’s experienced since coming out as transracial on national television.

“Suddenly, I saw all these people online arguing about me, and some are saying ‘it’s like transgender,’ and others are saying ‘no it’s not like transgender…'”

“It all made me realize, I’m actually in a position to give an authoritative opinion on both of these issues, if I were transgender,” she said. “…since I’m also transgender,” she clarified, gesturing about the space in front of her, as if trying to reorder her words in midair.

It proved to be an emotionally charged interview. At times, she appeared to have difficulty finding language for some of the concepts she wanted to express.

“I identify as… I’m a black woman, with the mind of a… Of a woman, I guess… Who’s trapped inside a man’s brain, trapped in another woman’s body,” she explained. “…A white woman’s body,” she added quickly. “But that’s not how I identify.”

“Trans issues are very important,” she added. “I know from Twitter that being a trans woman happened to Caitlyn Jenner, and Laverne Cox— They’re both very popular. So we know it affects black women and white women equally,” she said. “It can obviously happen to me, to anyone.”

When asked to clarify if she was planning to transition into life as a man, or whether she was coming out today as having been assigned male at birth, Dolezal frowned slightly and paused. “Racial… I mean, gender identity is complex. I identify as a black trans woman, I just happen to have been born, physically, a cis white woman.”

If that sounds like a new concept, it is. “I am glad for the chance to legitimize transracial identity this way, by explaining about my transgender [sic] at the same time.” Indeed, other sources confirm Dolezal might be the very first case of her kind.

“No, that’s not actually a thing (I’ve ever heard of before),” admitted GLAAD representative Al E. Katt via text message.

Dolezal’s parents, who originally outed her as white, were apparently stunned by this latest revelation. We reached Lawrence Dolezal by phone, at his place of employment. “…I can’t even…” he said, before hanging up the phone with a loud clatter.

Ruthanne Dolezal, answering the door at her family home, reacted with even less sympathy for her transgender daughter. “Are you kidding me? F–k off.”

“It’s not uncommon for parents to reject their trans kids,” explains Dolezal, scrolling through a wikipedia page on her iPhone. “I suppose that could be the reason why I don’t get along with them. That makes sense, right?”

Dolezal confirmed that finding support has been a challenge. But struggling under all the public scrutiny of the past year, she noted widespread public support has gone out to famous trans women such as Jenner and Cox. “…So I wanted to set the record straight, since I feel that I deserve that support too,” she explained.

What’s next for Rachel Dolezal?

“I don’t want any more special attention,” she said bashfully. “To be honest, all I want is to return to a leadership role in a well-resourced organization, so I can get back to working hard to improve things for my kind, for my peoples.”

She is set to begin working as a manager at the National Center for Transgender Equality on April 1st.

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Christin Milloy