In the comments to our post below, GlindaG points us to the above video of a full-length interview with Nikki Araguz, the transgender widow of fallen Texas firefighter Thomas Araguz III.
In the 16-minute interview, during which she chokes up repeatedly, Araguz explains that she has neither male nor female reproductive organs. She says she was born with male genitalia that progressed to the point of a 2-year-old’s.
“I had the operation two months after our marriage, and my husband was fully aware, and the birth defect that I had essentially was not a problem to my husband,” she says. “He was proud to be my husband as much as I was proud to be his wife.”
Pressed by the reporter about whether she was born male, Araguz responds: “I do not and have not ever considered myself in that way, but I understand that some people are explaining it like that. And what I’d like to say is that essentially I had a disorder much like anyone else who was born with a birth defect of any kind — no arm, six toes, no vision, OK? There was an anatomical birth defect that was underdeveloped beyond the age of 2 years old.”
At the end of the interview, Araguz vows to continue fighting her husband’s family’s effort to deny her death benefits, because she says that’s what he would have wanted.
“I’m deeply, deeply devastated by the loss of my husband,” she says. “I have not even had the opportunity to grieve, and I’m having to deal with this awful, awful situation. I love you, my sweet husband, may you rest in peace.”