Events seek to raise awareness of transgender issues – By Stephanie Innes

When he was carded recently at a local convenience store, the clerk noticed something odd on Joe Nutini’s driver’s license. Next to sex, it said female.

The clerk laughed at what he thought was a mistake by the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division. Nutini laughed, too, though he knew the state had not made an error.

Nutini looks and sounds like a man, has legally changed his name to Joe, and identifies as male, but the 25-year-old graduate student was born female. Now “transitioning,” from female to male, Nutini’s government documents still list him as the sex he was at birth. He’s hoping to change that following scheduled surgery in May.

Legal identification for transgender people will be among the highlighted issues during the first-ever local Transgender Awareness Week, which begins today.

Emphasizing that the transgender population has its own set of stressors and issues unique from gays, lesbians and bisexuals, organizers from the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance say they want to heighten awareness of the ‘T’ in GLBT, which stands for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.