Digital Transgender Archive

Interview with Denise Sudbeck

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Denise Sudbeck is from Downeast, Maine in a small fishing village on the coast. She identifies as a bisexual trans woman and was assigned male at birth. Sudbeck’s family moved to Skowhegan, Maine when her father got a job there in electronic maintenance. Her mother was her first-grade teacher. She comes from a very conservative, evangelical family. She had two brothers one of whom died of alcoholism when he was 40. Sudbeck is a recovering alcoholic herself. She’s a high school dropout, leaving home at 16 during the late 1960s. She wound up living with an aunt and uncle for a while in Charlotte, North Carolina where she got her GED. She describes herself during this time as rebellious, drinking and doing drugs. She spent a lot of time on the road, even hitchhiking between Maine and Florida twice within one year. She’s lived in 11 different states, and she is a navy veteran in the submarine service. Sudbeck has been married a few times and describes herself as “the poster child for serial monogamy.” She repeatedly tried to prove her masculinity by marrying and having kids to somehow fix herself. She’s been in the closet since she was young. She came out as a trans person and sobered up in 2010 after a suicide attempt when she was married to a woman. Her wife knew about Sudbeck’s crossdressing but couldn’t handle Sudbeck transitioning publicly so they separated. Sudbeck been on estrogen which has positively impacted her. She is currently married in a lesbian relationship. She has a dual major in Psychology and History from what was then the State University of New York, and she went to seminary school in Maine for her master’s. She is currently working on her dissertation on trans liberation theology for her doctoral degree in Ministry at the United Theological New Brighton. She also facilitates a group for trans identifying people at her church called Transcend.

Item Information:

Identifier
7s75dc54w
Collection
Audio and Video Clips and Transcripts
Institution
Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection, University of Minnesota
Creator(s)
Sudbeck, Denise
Contributor(s)
Jenkins, Andrea
Publisher
University of Minnesota Minneapolis Libraries
Date Created
Jan. 15, 2016
Genre
Oral Histories
Transcriptions
Subject(s)
State University of New York
Transgender Day of Remembrance
United Theological New Brighton
Places
Minnesota > Hennepin County > City of Minneapolis > Minneapolis
Topic(s)
Addictions
Alcoholism
Baptist church
Bisexuality
Coming out
Dissertations
Doctor of philosophy degree
Estrogen
Evangelicalism
Gender identity
Hormones
Law enforcement
Lesbian identity
Liberation theology
Marriage
MtFs
Pronoun
Psychology
Religions
Sexuality
Stereotypes
Substance abuse
Theological seminaries
Transgender people
Transitioning (Transgender)
Resource Type
Moving image
Text
Language
English
Related URL
https://umedia.lib.umn.edu/
Rights
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