Child of Trump nominee speaks out
By Robin Dorner
Editor in Chief
“I just feel like I should let people know,” exclaimed Nicholas Bailey in an exclusive interview with The Gayly.
“When I came out as transgender, I was told I was corrupted, a freak in a dress, influenced by demons and the devil and more. I was told this by Trump’s nominee for U.S. Marshal of the Eastern District of Oklahoma, Frank M. Coffman.”
Coffman is Bailey’s father. Bailey identifies as transgender and gender neutral using They/Them/Their pronouns.
When they heard about the nomination, Bailey said, “I just felt sick to my stomach. I didn’t think at the time there was anything I could do. I felt humiliated. I’m sure I felt a lot of the same things he felt when I came out to him.”
Bailey has since called a Congressman in their state and received positive feedback.
“Two years ago, I began my transition and came out to myself, my parents, my fiancé and work. My mom was very upset and pretty much cried the whole time, but didn’t say much. She has come to visit where I live now, and in her own way, I think she is trying.”
Bailey had written both parents a letter to tell them they are transgender. “My father refused to look at me or say anything. It was a lot of, ‘I don’t know what to say. This goes against the way you were brought up.’”
Bailey was also asked by their father, “Why can’t you keep this to yourself?’ To him, I’ll always be a freak in a dress.”
Bailey didn’t tell their parents about transitioning at the same time because Coffman divorced his wife, Bailey’s mother when they were in the first grade.
Bailey does remember Coffman as a very caring father.
“I saw him, for the most part, on weekends. There is nothing that really stands out. I did tell him once I had questions about my Christianity and he said, ‘You’ll just grow out of it.’ I knew he wouldn’t do well with this. That’s why I felt the need to be out of Oklahoma.”
Bailey was raised in Manford, OK, but has moved out of the state.
“Since coming out to my family and, especially my father, we rarely speak. He is unable to even use the term transgender. His consumption of discriminatory “Christian” values and alt-right media makes reconnecting seemingly impossible.
“I strongly believe the people of Oklahoma deserve to know the anti-LGBTQ+ views this particular Trump nominee holds.”
We reached out to Frank Coffman to ask, “Nicholas is concerned about your appointment as US Marshal because of your anti-gay, alt-right Christian stance toward the LGBT community. Can you speak to how your anti-LGBT bias will affect carrying out your job?”
“I have no comment," Coffman said.
To further garner information we felt would be pertinent to our readers, The Gayly continued to pursue Coffman asking, “If you can’t acknowledge your own child as transgender or refer to them in terms they prefer, how can you perform your job duties as a US Marshal without LGBT prejudice?”
Coffman replied, “I don’t know where this call is coming from so I just can’t comment.” However, The Gayly had clearly identified themselves as a media source/newspaper in the south-central region, including Oklahoma when the call was initiated.
One more time we pursued answers from Coffman about his abilities to perform his job when any citizen is in his care as a Marshal, to which he replied, “I am not in a position to answer these questions so I’m just not going to comment.”
If confirmed, Coffman would serve as the United States Marshal for the Eastern District of Oklahoma. He is currently a Senior Special Agent for the U.S. Secret Service. In his 18-year career with the U.S. Secret Service, he has supported multiple field offices, including Oklahoma City and Tulsa. He managed President George W. Bush’s security detail.
Prior to joining the Secret Service, he served as a police officer with the Norman Police Department and a U.S. Probation Officer and has served in the Army. Coffman holds a B.S. in political science from Oklahoma State University and an M.S. in criminal justice from Northeastern State University.
Since Bailey came out to live their authentic self, the father-child relationship is just strained. “I didn’t speak to him for months right after I told him. We have very awkward, generic ‘how are things going’ conversations. We see each other very little and my birthday card said, ‘Happy Birthday, son.’”
Bailey said they see no effort towards acceptance.
Coffman did text Bailey about the nomination who thought, “How am I supposed to get excited about this?
“It would be nice to say I think he would do the right thing [on the job], but if his initial reaction to me being my true self was for him to bring in the bible and demean me for coming out - that’s someone I have known for 28 years. At the end of the day, I can’t say [he’d do the right thing]. That’s why I feel like I have to say something now.”
As the enforcement arm of the US Federal Courts, the Marshals are tasked with capturing fugitives, serving federal arrest warrants, transporting prisoners and overseeing the witness protection program.
“To me, I just hope he will come around. I’m hopeful. Knowing that he is in a position of power, I hope he would do the right thing, but I just don’t know, especially regarding the LGBT community”
On October 5, the nomination of Frank Coffman was received in the U.S. Senate and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. His confirmation is pending.
Copyright The Gayly - 11/7/2017 @ 1:48 p.m. CST