Badge of Honor

What It’s Like To Be A Transgender Cop Coming Out To 1,800 Officers

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 2.51.53 PM

“Telling 1,800 officers that I’m transgender and not knowing how they were going to treat me was my biggest obstacle. I really didn’t know if I was going to lose all respect from them because here I was, I was going from masculine to feminine in a primarily masculine profession.”

That’s Christina Garcia, an accident investigation officer with the San Diego Police Department (SPDP), who was fully expecting a backlash in July 2015 when she announced to her department that she was transgender.

Related: Transgender Woman Makes ‘The LGBT Case For Guns’ In The New York Times

“I knew I was different since I was a child,” she tells NBC San Diego“Being very young I didn’t know what I was going through. I didn’t quite know why I felt this way.”

The first person she came out to was Dan Meyer, the department’s LGBTQ liaison sergeant.

“I was really having a tough time with it,” Garcia admits. “I did’t know of any other transgender officers, and I didn’t know you could be transgender and be a police offer.”

Related: Multimillionaire Tech Giant Comes Out As Transgender On National Television

According to Meyer, “This definitely was a first for the San Diego Police Department. “I knew kind of going into this we were going to kind of set the standard. We just wanted to make sure we were doing everything we could to make sure her process was what she wanted to make it look like.”

The hardest part of her transition from Chris to Christina wasn’t making the announcement to her family, but telling her co-workers.

Fortunately, instead of the backlash she anticipated, she received nothing but support.

“Proud of you,” wrote one officer. “You have my full support. Let me know if you need anything.”

Another wrote, “Please tell Chris I am proud of him and wish him the best in the process.”

And another: “He is stronger than I have ever been.”

Garcia claims that “a lot of them came to me and said ‘you know what? You’re a good cop and that’s all that matters is that you’re a good cop. It was very inspiring to me. It showed me that I really can be a cop and I can be transgender and it really is okay.”

In order to emotionally deal with the transition, Garcia has been working with The Center throughout, and hopes to help and inspire others going through a similar journey.

“I took it upon myself to get involved in the community because I care about my community,” she explained. “It’s the community that I work for. I know there are others out there like me, and I also want to be there to help them through their process if they choose to come out because it’s really difficult to do this alone.”

Listen to Garcia share her story here: 

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #christinagarcia #danmeyer #sandiegopolicedepartment(spdp) stories and more

30 Comments

  • IDoNotHaveToAgreeWithYou

    How about a story on what it’s like for those 1,800 officers to know they have to depend on a mentally ill person that can’t handle reality and how they are forced to lie and say this is a woman?

    • osiriszuberi

      The difference between an individual that comes out and you is that they have dealt with their issues and you still have a myriad of them to deal with on top with having severe homophobia.

    • osiriszuberi

      Mental illness is something as serious as innate hate.

  • IDoNotHaveToAgreeWithYou

    @bottom250: Actually sexuality can be proven. They only way you can explain looking in your pants and denying what you see, is mental illness. That’s why they get free drugs and surgery for it by claiming disability and now the military is going to give out free sex changes while war heroes can’t get life saving treatments. Why is that again. Oh that’s right to “cure” a mental illness.

  • Dave Downunder

    @IDoNotHaveToAgreeWithYou: Since when are we calling trans people mentally ill? Do you have a link to a report or study that states this or is it just your personal opinion?

  • IDoNotHaveToAgreeWithYou

    @Dave Downunder: Psychiatrists label it gender dysphoria. Look it up yourself. It’s something you should already know. If you are a taxpayer then you are paying for the freebies when they claim it.

  • ErikO

    Do women police officers in that SD precinct like sharing a locker room/changing area, and bathrooms with a Trans person?

  • Masc Pride

    That was smart thinking to go for a job in law enforcement since most female cops and correctional officers look like men anyway.

  • bottom250

    @IDoNotHaveToAgreeWithYou: Transgenderism is called a human variant not a mental illness.

  • IDoNotHaveToAgreeWithYou

    @bottom250: Then get your kind off the welfare roles and get them to working.

  • Bob LaBlah

    I think the police have a hard enough job as it is without having to deal with this. Imagine going into a “shots fired” situation with someone like that in tow where everyone knows the officers personal business. The same goes for being captured during a war.

    Allowing it was a noble gesture but was it really thought out throughly? It doesn’t appear to be.

  • bottom250

    @Bob LaBlah: so only straight men can be cops?

  • Masc Pride

    @bottom250: That’s not what Bob said at all. He said that cops have more pressing matters to deal with, and particularly with all the recent cop-killing, he’s right.

  • bottom250

    @Masc Pride: that isn’t how it reads.

  • Bob LaBlah

    @bottom250: ” that isn’t how it reads.”

    Would you please be kind enough to explain just how it does read? There are some careers that do to the nature of the job itself it is best not to advertise to the world that something like you are on the way to possibly put a person behind bars for the rest of their life. When a person is mad enough to start shooting at police officers I find it hard to believe a person of such as featured in this article would not turn into that more of a liability than an asset. That scenario has a lot to do with why the majority of police officers do not want to work with an obvious gay partner. You must understand that the role of a police officer does require taking away the freedom of harden criminals. Many of them do not come willingly.

  • bottom250

    @Bob LaBlah: How does one’s gender effect their ability to do the job?

  • Bob LaBlah

    @bottom250: “How does one’s gender effect their ability to do the job?”

    To answer that question would amount to child abuse. You learned how to read in public school but you did not learn how to reason in regards to what you have read. I guess YOU would apply the same question to why your kind do not make it to senior management positions in companies loaded with “good ol’ boy” networks inside the company culture. Laws do not change the “nature” of humans in many cases. Law enforcement happens to be one of those cases. Consider the people they HAVE to deal with for a moment. Had those people followed the rules do you think they would be in handcuffs?

    I stand with my summation. Keep your mouth closed when it is in the best interest of everyone, including you.

  • bottom250

    @Bob LaBlah: I get what you are saying straight men only. You are pro-segregation.

  • Bob LaBlah

    @bottom250: “I get what you are saying straight men only. You are pro-segregation.”

    Thank you for proving my presumption about child abuse in regards to a response to your question. A person can learn to do anything but it does not mean you should be in that type of job or environment. Tell me something; what do you think would happen to someone like her and the other guys in the platoon who found themselves a prisoner of war in a conflict that involved Iran or ISIS? The Pentagon lowered the bar and now allows them in combat zones. I’m sure your intellect is strained to its max on that one but give it a shot (no pun intended).

  • bottom250

    @Bob LaBlah: They would be tortured or killed like everyone else. Welcome to freedom.

  • Bob LaBlah

    @bottom250: I’ll be damned. I thought you said you weren’t coming back on Queerty? Who ELSE could be that dumb? I knew you’d be back.

  • Masc Pride

    @bottom250: “I think the police have a hard enough job as it is without having to deal with this.”

    Seems like a pretty clear statement to me. And as far as your question as to how one’s being transgender may affect their performance, Garcia is a perfect example. You have people shooting cops and cops shooting at unarmed people…but Garcia wants to take a moment to discuss being trans, you know, the real issue. Meanwhile male and female officers can focus on “trivial” things like protecting people.

  • bottom250

    @Masc Pride: Wow i feel sad for you that you can’t focus on more than one issue. One all police are aware of and one concerns this person who can focus on both issues.

  • Masc Pride

    @bottom250: No, now you’re misrepresenting my statements as well. This is all personal sh!t, and law enforcement isn’t the place for it. They should be focused on crime, not being trans and coming out.

  • Bob LaBlah

    @Masc Pride and others I ask you this question; doesn’t “something” sound strangely “familiar” with bottom250? Think about the grammar for a moment.

  • Masc Pride

    @Bob LaBlah: Are you thinking it’s Giancrazy? Nowhere near as hostile or unrelenting. Plus, I’m pretty sure bottom was active way before Giancrazy huffed and puffed off, but I’m sure that thing will be back soon enough.

  • Bob LaBlah

    @Masc Pride…………….the fact that Gianknucklehead (bottom250) hasn’t come back with a denial after her post that shows how nervous and excited she got (why else would she have clicked my name twice and not notice that) has me sure thats who it is/was.

Comments are closed.