LGBTQ+ Voices: Interview with Tammy Story

Title

LGBTQ+ Voices: Interview with Tammy Story

Subject

Queer Omaha Archives
Sexual minorities -- Nebraska -- Omaha
interviews
oral histories (document genres)

Description

Click here to access the interview, LGBTQ+ Voices: Interview with Tammy Story

Ms.Tammy Story, LGBTQ+ advocate and veteran, was interviewed by Luke Wegener on March 1, 2018, in Omaha, Nebraska. Story shared information about growing up in Arkansas, serving 18 years in the Army, suppressing her gender identity, coming out as transgender, medically transitioning, and her experiences with job discrimination.
Biographical Sketch

Ms. Tammy Story, born in Little Rock, Arkansas, is a Native American, bisexual, trans woman, army veteran, and LGBTQ+ advocate. Story served as a Staff Seargent and Foreperson in the U.S. Army for 18 years (1980-1998), during which she fought in the Persian-Gulf War from 1990-1991. After leaving the military and coming out as transgender, Story went on to serve as both Secretary and President of River City Gender Alliance. As of March 2018, Story resides in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Interview Summary

Ms. Tammy Story, LGBTQ+ advocate and combat veteran, was interviewed by Luke Wegener on March 1, 2018 in Omaha, Nebraska. Story was born in Little Rock, Arkansas to a conservative, Pentecostal family in the early 1960's. As a child, Story's family made it clear to her that she was not to express her true gender identity. Story's hyper-masculine and domineering father disapproved of her femininity, which drove Story to join the U.S. Army in the hopes of making her father happy. During her 18 years of service, Story "buried herself" in the macho, toxic masculinity of the military in order to fit in with her fellow officers, which had devastating consequences for her.

After leaving the Army in 1998, Story began to use the internet to connect with others in the trans community who were coming to terms with their gender identity. Story came out in the early 2000's to her wife, and their marriage dissolved soon after. Determined not to give up, she eventually pushed forward with her medical transition. Unable to find a medical professional or therapist who was familiar with the needs of transgender patients, Story resorted to using the internet black market to find hormones, until she was finally helped out by Omaha's VA Medical Center. Over the years, Story has experienced numerous instances of discrimination, including being blocked for job promotions, receiving death threats while attending Iowa Western Community College, and losing her job at Kwik Shop for pursuing gender-affirming surgery.
Story has served as both Secretary and President of Nebraska's River City Gender Alliance. As of March 2018, Story is employed by K-Mart and resides in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Interview Notes

Trigger warning for suicide and domestic violence.

Date

2018 March 1

Creator

Luke Wegener

Publisher

University of Nebraska at Omaha Libraries

Relation

LGBTQ+ Oral History Collection finding aid available at https://archives.nebraska.edu/repositories/4/resources/604

Interviewer

Luke Wegener

Duration

01:07:13

Files

TammyStoryPic_Omeka.jpg

Citation

Luke Wegener, “LGBTQ+ Voices: Interview with Tammy Story,” Queer Omaha Archives, accessed September 20, 2018, https://queeromahaarchives.omeka.net/items/show/3278.

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