Des Moines, Iowa, news reporter Nora J. S. Reichardt is being celebrated after coming out as a transgender woman.

In September, the 24-year-old, who has worked at Local 5 News since July 2021, began the process of her medical transition. Now, she's reintroducing herself to her community, beginning with coming out on air to her co-worker Eva Andersen.

"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. To gradually come into a role where I am feeling more and more at home in my body than I really ever did before has been amazing to get to experience and share with people," Reichardt told Local 5 News.

The Minnesota native noted she had "some thoughts" she might be trans when she was in high school. Growing up in a small town, she didn't "have the language to describe what [she] was feeling" at the time.

"Especially early on, it's hard to place that sense of wrongness — like I'm a person who's wearing my body, and not a person who's living in it. I thought I was just depressed, I thought I was just anxious. And I've had those feelings almost as long as I can remember," she continued.

After joining the news team, Reichardt felt as if she were playing "dress up."

"A while after I started being on air, 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?'" the Duke University alum shared.

While in therapy, Reichardt began to feel more comfortable in her skin. She has since begun hormone replacement therapy.

"There's beauty in this process. And I wish that got discussed more. Especially among people who are cis and don't find themselves as familiar with it. What I find is learning to love my body, love me and just the way I want to live my life — it's the best act of self actualization that I could ever imagine," Reichardt added.

Watch her full interview segment below:

On Oct. 11, a.k.a. National Coming Out Day, Reichardt shared a post on Facebook revealing why she decided to come out in a public way.

Read her message below:

Thank you so much to my friends Eva Andersen and Mitchell Yehl for telling my story. The first time I saw a proud, openly-trans person was when Sarah McBride visited Drake during my sophomore year. I may not be a state senator, but I still hope I can pay that experience forward for other trans folks out there. I’m finally going to be bringing my whole self to work every day, and I’m ready to be that person all the time.

 

I realize that many Iowans probably haven’t met a trans person (at least not that they’re aware of). And so often, conversations about people like me center around whether or not we can play sports or what bathrooms we have to use, and that reductiveness really bothers me. There is so much joy and beauty to be found in being trans, and I want to share that. For almost 24 years of my life, I didn’t know what it was like to truly love myself. Now I do, and I’m never going back.

Reichardt concluded her post by sharing she would like to "reintroduce" herself to her followers: "My name is Nora Josephine Scott Reichardt, I’m a transgender woman, and I wouldn’t change that for the world."

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