Meet Catherine Carlson, a transgender female fighting to get her birth name, Daniel Carlson, removed from her personal documents. See a photo and video below.

Daniel Carlson had gender reassignment surgery some 28 years ago, and became Catherine Carlson. You can see a photo here. Today, she is in a very public battle to have her birth name, Daniel Carlson, removed from her legal records.

Although Catherine Carlson is her legal name, her mother told a court ten years ago, in an unrelated lawsuit, that Catherine was born a male. Her name entered court documents at that time as both Catherine and Daniel, and now Catherine can’t rid herself of Daniel.

Catherine was devastated by the public acknowledgment of her male birth and transgender surgery. The glare of small town publicity brutally spotlighted Catherine Carlson’s hidden life when she was issued a traffic ticket in December 2007. Once the fine was paid, you might think that would be the end of the public story, but you would be wrong.

Catherine Carlson – Daniel Carlson Biography

Daniel Steven Carlson was born in 1957 in Wyoming. He was one of six children and is about 52 years old. His mother, June Bowman, said to be a strict Mormon, was married five times and claimed three of the husbands abused her children. Her biography is the story of her struggle and how a recent event catapulted her into the fight to be “Catherine.”

As you might suspect, Carlson’s life story is one of abuse, confusion, alienation, and sadness. Catherine Carlson admits that she was “abused” by a stepfather at the age of 15. June Bowman admits that she beat her “awful mischievous” child. Daniel believed he should have been a girl from the age of 5 years old. His mother had him excommunicated from the Mormon church. He was in and out of mental hospitals, medicated and sometimes strapped to a bed.

Later, after transgender transformation, Catherine Carlson lived quietly, knowing that few knew her as a man, or as a transgender until December 2007. As a young man, Dan Carlson considered suicide and said he could not stand being an “abomination of God.” Today, things aren’t much different for Catherine.

Carlson received a traffic ticket in December 2007 for driving without a seat belt, which she says is “too constricting and distracting.” The $841.00 ticket was issued to Catherine Carlson as well as Daniel Carlson, and so began the saga.

Daniel Carlson was listed on her driver license as “also known as,” or “aka.” Catherine Carlson says she is not Daniel Carlson, and the name Daniel Carlson has no relevance to her life now. She refused to pay the ticket.

Carlson, “as a matter of principle,” refused to show up for “court-ordered community service and a hearing.” So she has been in jail four times in the past year. Her longest jail stay was five days, with time cut after she refused to eat. Each time, Catherine Carlson was housed in the men’s wing in a separate cell, although she asked to be held in the women’s wing. The Sheriff in Payette said they do not do strip searches for misdemeanors and he couldn’t confirm her gender. “She doesn’t get to dictate to me where she spends time in jail,” he said. But Payette didn’t want her in jail, they just wanted her to pay the ticket.

With each day in jail, the fine owed was reduced. Elizabeth Barbour, a California woman, heard about Carlson’s unpaid fine of $510.00 and said she couldn’t imagine how difficult it must be to be a transgender. Barbour paid the entire fine.

Carlson’s real objection is the dual name written on the ticket itself. “If I pay the ticket, I am paying someone to terrorize me.” Nevermind that both Catherine Carlson and transgender Daniel Carlson broke the law.

She petitioned the court to drop the ticket and remove the name Daniel Carlson from her records for good. According to this report:

…the judge verified Catherine’s legal name, promised to treat her with courtesy and respect, and pledged to address her how she wished to be addressed. Then Magistrate Judge A. Lynne Krogh called her “sir” eight times within a span of 10 minutes.

Across Catherine’s handwritten plea to the court, the letter asking that Daniel Steven Carlson be stricken from public records, the word “DENIED” is stamped in giant red letters.

Catherine lives in a trailer park, considered a “transient” park with the exception of Carlson, in Payette, Idaho. She has two black Pomeranian dogs: Teeny Tiny Tina and Shadow.

Until the court case with her mother, Carlson had successfully hidden her male birth from society. She is said to have been married and divorced, she was a pretty blond woman, but now shamed by the revelation of Daniel Carlson’s transgender surgery, she stopped wearing skirts and dresses. Her younger brother, Patrick Carlson believes Catherine “just gave up.” He said the fact that the court allowed both names “to come in play, killed a part of her.”

She has heart problems, emphysema and suffers from depression, and perhaps out of desperation, she blames everyone but herself for the ticket and her life. She reportedly lives off of $1,000.00 a month social security, “[I] pretty much just live off of coffee with milk and sugar,” she said, although she has a heart condition. She smokes, although she has emphysema. She walks to the store and seldom has groceries because she is afraid of the Payette police, and the walk is difficult for her.

Transgender transformation, and all the legalities surrounding it, is out of the hands of Payette police. Carlson told the Gay and Lesbian Times that she is fighting the local justice system for rights granted to everyone else under the U.S. Constitution, which she characterizes as “acceptance in…society.” “Acceptance in society” is not a right granted by the Constitution, of course, nevertheless she says “You’re going to have to make me one of ‘We the People.’

Catherine Carlson does not speak to her mother or her siblings, with the exception of brother Patrick.

Catherine Carlson – Transgender (Video)