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Orange County's First Openly-Transgender Deputy Learning New Life Day By Day

Deputy Rebecca Storozuk. Photo by Crystal Chavez
Deputy Rebecca Storozuk. Photo by Crystal Chavez

Orange County’s first openly-transgender sheriff’s deputy was hired almost five years ago as Peter John Storozuk. Today, she’s legally Rebecca Storozuk. When the Pulse tragedy happened, she was already transitioning to her new self-- but she was still in the closet.

Now, Storozuk is learning to navigate new territory in her personal and professional life.

Chavez: How have your coworkers reacted?

Storozuk: They've been amazing. A lot of them have been very supportive. I don't think I could have made it without most of my coworkers here who are like my family; my work family. They have been amazing.

Chavez: And what about your superiors and people you directly report to?

Storozuk: In the beginning it was a little rocky, because we didn't know what was going on but as soon as we got a plan in place and as soon as we started establishing guidelines and kind of where the agency stood, it was so much better from there.

Chavez: What would you say has been the biggest challenge so far?

Storozuk: Just everyday personally, my own anxiety, going out of the house with a new look or trying on makeup or a different outfit or kind of slowly transitioning; my own anxiety is the biggest issue.

Listen to the rest of the conversation, including what Pulse nightclub meant to Storozuk by clicking on the audio player above.