HPD officer recounts long battle with gender identity

Chron.com – Robert Crowe – Houston Chronicle

The father of 5 will work as a man until name is legally changed

Sgt. Jack Oliver, the Houston police officer preparing to undergo gender reassignment surgery, says the reaction from colleagues has been mostly positive since coming out to the department last week.

Oliver, 49, a deputy day sergeant at the Fondren substation, greeted the media Wednesday wearing a woman’s pinstripe suit, lipstick, blush and pumps.

It’s a look fellow officers won’t see at work until the sergeant officially becomes “Julia Christine” Oliver after a legal name change, Oliver’s attorney said.

“I had many officers tell me they are very proud and would like to continue working with me,” Oliver said. Sporting a short, curly bob with bangs, Oliver spoke about a long struggle with gender identity.

“I haven’t thought of myself as Jack in years,” said Oliver, whose lawyer, Phyllis R. Frye, has been a transgender woman for nearly 30 years.

Wearing makeup, earrings and a silver heart-shaped charm dangling from a necklace, the divorced father of five children addressed reporters with a soft voice.

“I spent most of my adult life defending the rights of others to be who they are,” he said.