Guest / Limited Access /

John Nemecek struggled with gender confusion from early childhood. Marrying at age 21 didn't change that confusion. Neither did raising three sons—all of whom are themselves now happily married. Four years ago, Nemecek's Internet search of a medical site matched the symptoms he exhibited: gender identity disorder (GID). "It was an awesome experience to realize something I'd been dealing with all my life had a name," Nemecek says. A therapist, endocrinologist, and a counselor all later confirmed the diagnosis.

In 2004, Nemecek began taking female hormones, a process that will last his lifetime. However, there will be no sex reassignment surgery. Nemecek is staying with his wife, Joanne, and they recently celebrated 35 years of marriage.

Nemecek, 56, may now feel he has more clarity about gender identity, but much ambiguity remains. Nemecek's driver's license says "male," but on credit card applications, Nemecek writes "female." Since John and Joanne wed legally, their marriage isn't illegal, even though it appears they are in a lesbian union.

In 2005, Nemecek's employer, Spring Arbor University, learned of John's plans for a court-approved change of first name to "Julie." Afterwards, the Free Methodist-affiliated school in southern Michigan cut Nemecek's pay and reduced job responsibilities. Eventually, Spring Arbor decided not to rehire the business professor and associate dean when Nemecek started wearing a wig, makeup, fingernail polish, and earrings on campus. Nemecek was a 15-year veteran at the university, located in the small town of Spring Arbor, a conservative, churchgoing community of 2,100 people.

After the university's action, Nemecek filed an employment discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedKirsten Powers: The Rise of the Intolerant Left
Kirsten Powers: The Rise of the Intolerant Left
The commentator says we are in a new McCarthyist era—and that the Americans quashing free speech are the ones who have typically heralded it.
TrendingJosh Duggar of '19 Kids and Counting' Apologizes, Resigns after Reports of Molesting 5 Young Girls
Josh Duggar of '19 Kids and Counting' Apologizes, Resigns after Reports of Molesting 5 Young Girls
Police investigated sexual assaults in 2006, but no charges were brought against Duggar. TLC pulls program from its lineup.
Editor's PickThe Christians Who Annoy Us Are the Christians We Need Most
The Christians Who Annoy Us Are the Christians We Need Most
Why learning from those outside your tribe is essential to the church’s witness.
Comments
Christianity Today
The Transgender Moment
hide thisFebruary February

In the Magazine

February 2008

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.