Cathy Serino served in the United States National Guard from 1986 until 1998. As a service member she worked as a mechanic and a truck driver, based largely in Missouri. Cathy was born male and lived as a male during her time in the military, but for a long time she understood herself to be female. She kept these feelings to herself while serving in the military, since LGBTQ people were dishonorably discharged but afterward Cathy transitioned from male to female and now lives every day as the woman she has long known herself to be.
Cathy now lives in Linn, a small town just outside of Jefferson City, Missouri. Cathy was disabled when discharged, and she hopped around to a few different jobs. But now she spends most of her time as an advocate for LGBTQ equality – particularly transgender inclusion. “I’m really passionate about this,” Cathy said. “I know about this, because I live it every day. I tell everyone that this isn’t so much to better my own life, but it’s to better the lives of my grandchildren’s generation, and hopefully they don’t have to do this. I want to make a difference for the younger generation, and that’s a big driving force. That’s what drives me.”