EL CENTRO, Calif. – Ever since she was a child Ricarda Gomez had doubts about her gender. The doctors had said she was a male – but she said she knew better.
“I considered myself like a woman, not like a man,” Gomez said.
She said growing up this way was tough.
“Like don’t have any friends, nothing, like to be alone,” Gomez said.
That feeling of loneliness followed her through high school and college, as well. And that’s because she was born different than most people, Gomez explained.
“I was born with female and female everything inside and everything with,” Gomez said.
She was born with both male and female parts, but identified as a female.
Gomez said she was afraid to use the women’s public restroom since her legal identification card didn’t reflect the gender she identified with.
“I went to the ladies restroom – women – and the security told me, are you a woman or man – because they see me like a man, they don’t see me like a woman,” Gomez said.
That’s what helped push Gomez to change her identification legally.
And that’s when the LGBT Resource Center stepped in to help, said Rosa Diaz, CEO of the center.
“To go with her to the court, go with her to the different offices so that I can help her explain some of the process,” Diaz said.
After four months of going back and forth, Gomez said she finally felt free.
“Live like a woman 100 percent and just enjoy my life,” Gomez said.
Now, Gomez said, she’ll have no trouble going into the women’s public restroom for fear of someone questioning her gender.