Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Julie Nemecek, an American transgender activist, lecturer, professor, ordained Baptist minister and Presbyterian Church elder. Hello Julie!
Julie: Hello Monika.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Julie: I am 63 and retired, but still active for LGBTQ rights and equality. I will have been married 42 years this June; have 3 boys – all married – and 5 grandchildren with another on the way.
Monika: In 2007 you made headlines for being fired by Spring Arbor University after saying you were going to transition into a woman. Are you still bitter about that act of discrimination?
Julie: Not really. I have had a lot of support from former colleagues and students. It was mainly the Board that had issues (fearing lost revenue and/or students). I worked for 18 months AFTER they knew I was trans and transitioning.
We reached a mediated settlement to my Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint after 13 hours of negotiation over two days. They knew they were in a difficult position because they taught the standards of care that I was following and had admitted a transgender student to a graduate program based on her Christian witness.
One positive outcome was that their act of discrimination brought me over 100 media interviews in 2007 including Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and even Christianity Today. This, along with two other highly publicized trans stories in early 2007, had a collective impact of bringing trans issues to the forefront of public thought.