When Jacki decided she wanted to marry her girlfriend Christine, marriage wasn't yet legal in California, where they live. And so she hatched a plan: "I started looking into transgender," she says, as if it's a new diet or LASIK. "In the eyes of the courts, if I were to have my gender changed to male, just like that she gets my social security, she gets my pension." Jacki had a double mastectomy and her gender on her birth certificate changed to "male." She still goes by "Jacki," and Christine still refers to her as "she."
This story was shared briefly (maddeningly so) on OWN's Oprah: Where Are They Now?, which catches up with has-been celebrities and some memorable guests from The Oprah Winfrey Show. The segment initially focused on Christine, who made daytime TV watchers' mouths drop in 2006 when she went on Oprah to talk about coming out to her husband and leaving him for a woman. He then came out to her, and lol isn't modern life queer?
The nature of Christine and Jacki's legal union was described by the show as a "loophole," and Christine describes Jacki's double mastectomy as, "The biggest act of love that anyone's ever done for me." It's certainly a doozy. I wish Jacki talked a bit more about her specific gender identity—if it for her exists in a gray area, that's certainly not a narrative we here very much on TV. This issue is way too huge and fascinating to be compressed into two minutes.
But also, maybe she's just playing trans for the sake of the law?