Couple Hopes Transgender Rights Bill Helps Them, Others

- HAGERSTOWN, Md. - The Maryland General Assembly passed a controversial transgender rights bill this session, and the governor says he will sign it into law.

Jack and Sarah Ralls say they feel like other heterosexual married couples.

"Most transgender people are straight," Sarah Ralls said.

The Ralls are a transgender married couple who live in Hagerstown, Md., Jack was born female and identifies as a male, and Sarah was born male and identifies as a female.

The couple are thrilled the transgender rights bill passed in the State House assembly this year.

"You have this extra layer of people just automatically not hiring you or  people that have had had jobs and transitioned and lost their jobs. Now that's not something that can be done," Sarah Ralls said.

The Ralls say their gender identity was pretty black and white all their lives. They both felt from a young age their bodies didn't match who they were inside.

"I definitely always felt like a boy but it was finding out that that was an option that people who didn't end up on Jerry Springer had," Jack Ralls said.

"I knew I was a girl when I was a little kid. I then thought i was wrong because everybody was telling me I was a boy," Sarah Ralls said.

Sarah started transitioning to a girl when she was 20. She's officially changed her name and is taking hormones.

However, getting to this point came after a lot of heated debate in the State House, with opponents fearing what could happen in public restrooms.

"What you're going to have are men going into the women's room and women able to go into the men's room, and all they have to be able to say at that time is I genuinely feel like a woman right now," said Del. Neil Parrott, (R ) - Washington County.

Sarah Ralls said those things are already illegal.

"You would have to be thinking that right now, women can go in the women's room and expose themselves to other people or molest people or assault people and get away with it because, well, I'm in the right bathroom," Sarah Ralls said.

"Trans people are finally acknowledged as actually existing and both needing and deserving the same rights as everybody else does," Jack Ralls said.

Maryland joins 17 other states and the District of Columbia who have similar transgender rights laws. The bill will go into effect this October.

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