Today the City of San Deigo announced Officer Christine Garcia’s transition with a heartwarming video and story on Inside San Diego which is an extension of the official City of San Diego website.
On any given day, Christine Garcia is prepared to respond to the worse. With nearly nine years of service on the books with the San Diego Police Department (SDPD), Garcia has worked every avenue of traffic policing, from neighborhood patrol to fatal accident investigations.
But, what most people don’t know, underneath the badge is a 32-year-old officer who has spent a majority of her life struggling with her identity. Garcia, a former high school wrestler, came out to the police department as being transgender in July 2015. In November, she began to make her physical transformation from Chris to Christine – reporting for duty as a female.
“I felt like I was Christine all along,” she said. “I am who I am.”
But, learning to be comfortable with who she really is, wasn’t easy.
“I would often sit there and think to myself, ‘If this is in my brain, if I was born this way, then I’m broken,’” she said. “I would constantly sit there and pick myself apart.”
It took years for her to feel comfortable enough to finally tell those around her. Her biggest barrier wasn’t telling her family, however, it was revealing the truth to her colleagues at the department.
‘Nothing but positivity’ from SDPD
As the only openly transgender police officer in San Diego, announcing her transition within the department was unprecedented.
“I didn’t know if I was going to lose complete respect from them [other officers],” she said. “Because here I was, going from masculine to feminine, in a primarily masculine profession.”