Digital Transgender Archive

Interview with Jessica Polacek

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Jessica Polacek, a self-described “woman of transgender history,” recounts the stories of her life so far with great care in this oral history. Polacek has spent her life in the Upper Midwest, living mostly in Wisconsin and serving in the U.S. military for 24 years. During her time in the military, she was deployed to Iraq. Eventually discharged due in part to her questioning gender identity, Polacek now works for an LGBT center in LaCrosse, WI. She is deeply reflective in this interview, sharing painful experiences of familial estrangement, divorce, abuse and mental illness. She discusses the benefits and limits of the decision to allow transgender people to openly serve in the military. Despite significant hurdles, Polacek’s story is full of hope and compassion for others.

Item Information:

Identifier
cz30ps92j
Collection
Audio and Video: Clips and Transcripts
Institution
Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection, University of Minnesota
Creator(s)
Jenkins, Andrea
Polacek, Jessica
Publisher
University of Minnesota Minneapolis Libraries
Date Created
Aug. 17, 2016
Genre
Oral Histories
Transcriptions
Subject(s)
Jessica Polacek
Veteran’s Administration hospital
Places
Wisconsin > La Crosse County > City of La Crosse > La Crosse
Topic(s)
Army
Child abuse
Childhood
Christianity
Coming out
Divorce
Lesbians
Marriage
Mental disorders
Resource Type
Moving image
Text
Language
English
Related URL
https://umedia.lib.umn.edu/search?facets%5Bcollection_name_s%5D%5B%5D=Transgender+Oral+History+Project&q=transgender
Rights
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