Defence deposition of Julienne Goins (Vol. I)

In re: Julienne Goins v. West Group, Inc. [Hennepin County District Court 98–18222]








Julienne Goins,



West Group, a Minnesota Corporation,


File No. 98–18222





APRIL 20 , 1999

10:05 AM

Reported by:






#1: Summons and Complaint: (Page) 5

#2: Plaintiff’s Response to Defendant’s Interrogatories, Set 1: (page) 9

#3: Plaintiff’s Response to Defendant’s Interrogatories, Set 2: (page) 10

#4: Letter dated April 29, 1997: (page) 76

#5: Letter dated May 14, 1997: (page) 78

#6: Memorandum dated June 17, 1997: (page) 89

#7: West Group Employee Relocation Policy: (page) 91

#8: Letter dated August 12, 1997: (page) 95

#9: Summary of events written by Julienne Goins: (page) 137

#10: Plaintiff’s Response to Defendants First Set of Request for Documents: (page) 141

REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION: pages 111 and 186



DEPOSITION OF JULIENNE GOINS, taken on the 20th day of April, 1999, commencing at 10:05 AM at Lockridge, Grindal, Nauen, & Holstein, 1000 Washington Avenue South, Suite 2200, Minneapolis, Minnesota, before Lorraine Matuseski, Notary Public.


LOCKRIDGE, GRINDAL, NAUEN, & HOLSTEIN, 100 Washington Avenue South, Suite 2200, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401, by MS. SUSAN E. ELLINGSTAD, Attorney at Law, and PATRICIA A. BLOODGOOD, Attorney at Law, appeared representing the Defendant.

MS. JONI M. THOME, Attorney at Law, 8400 Lyndale Avenue South, Bloomington, Minnesota 55420

ALSO PRESENT: Claire Schnurr, Legal Assistant

* * * *


JULIENNE GOINS, after having been duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:


Q: My name is Susan Ellingstad, and I represent West Group in the lawsuit that you’ve filed.

Would you state your name and address for the record, please?

A: My name is Julienne Hannah Goins. My address is 2405 Hennepin Avenue, Number 2, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55405.

Q: And your phone number, please?

A: My phone number is area code 612-374-2416.

Q: How would you prefer that I address you during the deposition?

A: Julie.

Q: Julie or Ms. Goins?

A: Just Julie. I prefer Julie.

Q: I’ll try. I sometimes try to slip into the more formal —

A: You can use the formality, if you want.

Q: Okay. Julie, have you ever had your deposition taken before?

A: No.

PAGES 5–24 [unavailable]. Transcript continues with page 25.


A: After I requested it, she let me look at my personnel file in which I found items such as my application for employment, all the reviews I had had with Kinko’s, one customer compliment and one customer complaint that actually was applied to the entire Computer Services Department. We were understaffed and always were basically overwhelmed with people. And so, all of us received basically a boilerplate complaint stating that we were slow in our service.

Q: So there was one complaint —

A: Yes, it was not —

Q: — regarding service?

A: That’s correct. It was not waged against me, personally. It was waged against our department, but put in all of our personnel files.

Q: And the reason she had given you was poor customer service?

A: That is correct.

Q: Did she give you any specific examples?

A: No, she did not.

Q: I take it from your tone that you didn’t believe her reason?

A: That is correct.

Q: Why do you believe that you were terminated?


A: I do not know why specifically I was terminated. My guess, from what I knew, was the situation leading up to my termination, had to do with —  well, my transition of living from male to female, which was approved by her in the summer of 1995.

I had dealt with, starting in November of 1995, a series of harassing phone calls from from people stalking me from across the street. I had confronted her with these issues and suggested many forms of handling the matter, including doing a call trace, getting a caller ID box, putting flood lights out in the parking lot, which at that point we didn’t have any lights in the parking lot, which a lot of the customers had complained about.

We also had a store from where I was — at the front of this tiny little building, the entire front of the building is nothing but pure glass. So, essentially they could see in at night when I was working the evening shift alone, and I could not take recourse. I suggested that we pull down the mini blinds at night, and she said no, that that would not be appropriate because it would imply that the store would look


like it’s closed.

And every suggestion I offered, she rejected it on the basis that it was inconvenient or that it cost money. The calls more or less calmed down and stopped during the Christmas break. During that break, I also purchased another car. When I came back, the calls returned with basically the same two or three boys — guys that lived across the street, I’m assuming, in the apartment complex that was — 

For point of reference, this Kinko’s was located across the street from the University of Texas campus. We had a very high traffic right from college-age students. And there was also an apartment complex across the street from my location.

Going back to these two guys, they continued to harass and stalk me and call me very derogatory words like faggot and what the hell’s your — you know, that rainbow sticker doing on your new car, which made me kind of realize that they knew what kind of car I drive and they knew everything about me that I didn’t want them to know. And I felt very threatened.

And, again, I confronted her with this


in January of 1996. She would have no part in trying to solve the problem by stating the same reasons she had stated previously. I think that was one reason that the relationship was very heavily strained. I think she may have been getting pressure from her superiors that she had someone who is transidentified. And I think that was also pressure on her to either — well, rid of me — well, essentially rid me of her, you know — let me reword that. Basically get rid of me so that she didn’t have to deal with it anymore.

Q: Okay. Let me back up for a second. We’re going to get more into detail on this in a few minutes, but just to make it clear, you had begun your transition by the summer of ’95 when you were at Kinko’s?

A: I started to work as female by the summer of 1995. At Kinko’s at ABCD’s, and pretty much — well, everywhere.

Q: Okay. And that was the first time you started identifying as a female, in 1995?

A: To everybody, yes.

Q: Okay.


A: Before then, almost every one of my friends and colleagues knew. It was just a matter of time.

Q: When you say that it was — what was your manager’s name there?

A: The last manager and the manager — she was a General Manager. Her name is Tammy Braun.

Q: Tammy Braun?

A: My direct supervisor in that department was Angel Clark.

Q: Now, you said that your transition was approved by Ms. Braun. What did you mean by that?

A: When the time came — she had already known that I was going to transition eventually. I had just not confronted her on when it would be okay or if it would be okay for me to transition in the workplace under her.

Q: How had she known that you were going to transition eventually?

A: It was general knowledge.

Q: Okay. And by “transition”, you mean?

A: Presenting myself legally as female with a female name and the whole nine yards, yes.

Q: And what did she indicate as far as how she felt about that?

A: I had a talk with her and basically outlined to


her where I was at, as far as where I was ready to go forward with my transition working full-time in the workplace when she was ready. I asked her how she felt about that. I also told her, I said, this doesn’t have to be now if you’re not ready. If you need to talk to your supervisors or talk to other people in the department before you get approval, I understand. And she says, no, if you want to do it now, I am ready for you to do it. You can do it whenever you’re ready. And I said, are you sure? And she said, yes, I am. And I said, okay. So, within a day or two, I actually started to come to work full-time as female.

Q: Why did you feel you needed to get her approval?

A: Well, because — well, it’s not something you see every day. And I understand, because I’m in a service-oriented business where I see a lot of animus [sic: anonymous] people every day, that there were going to be questions and issues, and she would obviously have to field some of them. And I thought it was only fair to give a heads-up on what I was doing so that she wouldn’t be caught off guard. Even though she knew I was going to do it, I just wanted to make sure that she was on


the same plane with me.

Q: But you didn’t need her approval to be able to do that?

A: I don’t know. I just wanted to be, you know, generous and fair.

Q: Okay. If she had said, I don’t want you to do that, would you not have —

A: I would have waited a little —

Q: Can you let me finish?

Would you not have begun at that time identifying as a female?

MS. THOME: And I’ll object on the basis that it calls for speculation.

A: I’m not going to answer that question.


Q: And why is that?

A: That seems speculative.


Q: Okay. I guess I’m trying to understand.

A: Maybe reword it, if you could.


Q: Sure. I’m trying to understand your thinking at the time as far as whether you needed permission in order to pursue your transition.

MS. THOME: And that’s been asked and answered.


Q: Can you —

A: I’ve already answered that, haven’t I?

(The reporter read the requested testimony.)

MS. THOME: And I do believe that question has been asked and answered —


Q: Okay. Can you answer it?

MS. THOME: — three of our questions. Again, if she can answer yes or no —


Q: Can you answer that question, please?

A: If you reword it in a similar, less convoluted sense, I can answer it, yes.

Q: Okay. Did you feel that you needed permission in order to go forward with your transition?

A: Yes.

PAGES 33–48 [unavailable]. Transcript continues with page 49.


MS. THOME: Calls for speculation.

If you know.

A: Well, it was rather piecemeal, to my knowledge. You know, it’s the south. It’s harder for people to generally congeal into groups than it is here in Minnesota or maybe out in New York City or in California, for instance. It’s very different.


Q: Okay. What — were there any activities that you partook as part of that community, or meetings or support groups, anything like that?

A: Well, there was a little informal gathering that one person had put together. Every couple of weeks we’d just get together and, you know, have coffee and sit on the porch and talk. It was just basic stuff. It was more just like, you know, seeing how things are going with everybody. It wasn’t really a support group, but if someone had an issue they they wanted to talk through or they had to get something off their mind, they certainly made light of it and other people would sit down and listen. Like I said, it was very informal. Sometimes it wouldn’t be for three or four weeks, but it would just be


announced a couple of weeks in advance. And, you know, we’d know when to come.

Q: How many people were in this group?

A: It varied from two or three people to sometimes 15 or 20.

Q: And these were people — in addition to transgender, were there other lesbians?

A: This was essentially a transidentified group. Any — ranging anywhere from someone who — you know, who is transsexual who may be identified as transgendered, or just identified as sort of you, you know, person of gender, if you will.

Q: Okay. What do you mean when you say “person of gender”?

A: Well, as someone who didn’t necessarily identify as transsexual or transgender, but basically didn’t conform to the strict rules of what gender means in this world.

For instance, if I could give an example: A very masculine looking woman or a very feminine looking man who basically is aware of the fact that they are and they they don’t pass for, whatever that means, “straight”, or pass for, whatever it means, “heterosexual”, or


whatever. And there were a couple of people there who came that were like that.

Q: Okay. Can you explain for me the different, as you understand it, between being transgendered and transsexual?

A: Clinically speaking — this is not my opinion, but this is clinical reasons — transsexualism was more or less a term that was put together about 40 years ago — a little over 40 years ago by doctors and psychotherapists.

And transgendered, I think, became more of a social term that may have developed over the last 20 or 25 years. That’s my guess, from what I understand the history of it.

And transidentified is a term I came up with myself because I think that it takes away some of the, you know, the shoehorning of labels and just kind of opens it up a little bit. And it doesn’t lead to speculation as to, you know, the obvious things when someone meets someone who is transsexual, like: So you were this or so you were that, you know; so you were a man or so you were a woman. What’s between your legs? Those are the kind of lovely questions. Does that answer your question?


Q: Well, almost. What — why don’t you tell me what you understand your term “transidentified” to encompass, then.

A: Anyone who’s queer — identifies as queer as far as their gender identity. That could be anyone from, like I said, effeminate men to masculine women who identify as such, who choose to be identified a[s] trans.

And trans is another — is an abbreviated term that’s used commonly in the community. I don’t actually — I was not the first person to come up with that at all. It’s just generally understood that when someone is trans, that they’re transgendered or transidentified or transsexual.

Q: And you say — when you say “queer”, do you mean homosexual when you use that term?

A: I mean anybody from being gay, lesbian, bisexual, trisexual, or transgendered, transsexual. It’s sometimes considered the perjorative term within the gay, lesbian, bi, trans community. I like to use it more empoweringly.

We have all these labels in this world, and the one thing that holds us together is – people who are queer, is that we’re all hated by

PAGES 53–100 [unavailable]. Transcript continues with page 101.

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accepted the transfer to Minnesota?

A: That is correct.

Q: Okay, So, by taking the transfer, you got the increase in salary, the compensation bonus, and relocation expenses paid for; is that right?

A: That is correct.

Q: Okay. Now —

MS. ELLINGSTAD: Maybe it’s a good time to break for lunch.

We can go off the record.

(Lunch break was taken.)


Q: Okay, We were about up to the time when you transferred to the Eagan facility. I wanted to ask you: Did you have any complaints about your treatment in Rochester?

A: No.

Q: Okay. Did you feel that anyone there was hostile to you based on your sexual identity?

A: No.

Q: Did you feel that they were tolerant of your sexual identity issues?

A: Yes. I made it a nontopic for discussion. It was never discussed. And that was — you know, it was never brought up, either.

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Q: What do you mean you made it a nontopic?

A: I made it a personal policy not to discuss it with anybody. It wasn’t really their business.

Q: Okay.

A: I mean, it never got brought up by anybody either. So, as far as I can tell, it was, you know, fine with everybody.

Q: But you didn’t feel personally that anyone treated you in a hostile or intimidating manner?

A: No.

Q: Okay. And, in fact, did you make some friends at West in Rochester?

A: Uh-huh (Yes) yes.

Q: Okay. Do you still keep in touch with anyone from Rochester today?

A: Just intermittently, really.

Q: Who primarily would you keep in touch with today?

A: Occasionally I will call Nancy Mallo and find out how she’s doing and to let her know how I’m doing.

Q: And she was your original supervisor; is that correct?

A: Yes.

Q: Did she continue to supervise you once you accepted the full-time position?

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A: No. Oh, when I accepted the full-time position?

Q: In May of ’97.

A: Yes, she did.

Q: Okay. Anyone else you keep up with in Rochester?

A: Occasionally through E-mail I keep in touch with Joan Tarbox.

Q: Okay. Anyone else?

A: No.

Q: Okay. Now, I wanted to go back to our discussion on these terms. You defined for me — you were trying to distinguish transgender from transsexual. And I have in my notes that you wrote down — or that you said transsexual was more a clinical term and transgender was more of a social term. Is that a fair statement?

A: Nowadays, yes.

Q: Is there any other distinction between those terms, as you know?

A: Well, it’s a matter of who wants to use it and how they wish to use it. Basically, those are terms that are kind of — in and of themselves kind of fluid in meaning.

Q: I guess it was my understanding from things that I’ve read that transsexual referred more to

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someone who has undergone a sex change operation; and transgender referred to an individual prior to that process. Is that a fair statement?

A: It’s a great misconception, but, no, it’s not correct.

Q: Okay.

A: The clinical term for transsexualism did apply to the doctors who came up with the idea that genital surgery — as I like to refer to it, as many others do — was a solution or a means to [an] end essentially — to what they call as gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder. That’s the clinical aspect of it.

Transgender is more of an umbrella understanding — an umbrella term, if you will, and, you know, one who has or has not had surgery.

As far as the [term] transsexual goes, you can still be transsexual if you identify as such and have not had surgery or have had surgery or choose not to have surgery, as the case may be.

Q: In the way you use those terms, both of them are interchangeable?

A: No, not really. I — that’s why I tend to use transidentified because it takes some of the

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cultural and medical weight off the term, if you will. It’s more of a general — someone who identifies, basically, as — well, another term I use: Gender queer, which is someone who basically just doesn’t conform to the rules of, you know, male/female, man/woman, or however you want to look at it, in our society.

Q: Okay. But as you understand the terms, both transsexual and transgender can refer to an individual either before or after a sex change operation?

A: Sure. It can also apply to people who don’t have any intent of having any kind of surgery, either.

Q: Okay. Is there any term that applies only to someone who has had a sex change operation?

MS. THOME: Can I just clarify? Are we asking for the witness’s — her own opinion?


Q: Yes. I’m asking for your own understanding of the terms.

MS. THOME: Realizing she’s not an expert.

MS. ELLINGSTAD: Right. Exactly.

A: Well, the only way I usually hear somebody talk about it is if they’re postop, which is short for

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postoperative, if they choose to talk about it.

Or postsurgical, if you will.


Q: Okay. And I don’t know if that answered my question.

MS. ELLINGSTAD: Could you read back my previous question?

(The reporter read the requested testimony.)


Q: Okay. You did answer it, then.

Gender queer, that’s a term that you’ve used here today. Does that, when you refer to it, encompass also gay and lesbian individuals as well as the identity issues?

A: It can. It can apply to someone who is an extremely, quote, unquote, butch woman; it can apply to effeminate men; it can apply to drag queens; it can apply to cross-dressers, male or female. It can apply to anyone who basically just doesn’t look, you know, conventional, if you will.

Q: In using the terms “transgender” and “transsexual”, where — and I’m just asking for your understanding in your use of these terms —

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A: Okay.

Q: — where does the term “transvestite” fit in?

A: That would be also, I guess, another term for gender queer. It’s another label. And within the community, I guess, there is a slightly different meaning applied to that as opposed to, say, a cross-dresser.

Q: And what would the distinction within your own community be?

A: And I should say; not just within my community, but even sometimes recognized by people who are considered experts.

Q: Okay.

A: Generally, my understanding of transvestite is — and it usually applies to heterosexual men who find sexual gratification in wearing women’s clothes.

Cross-dressers, while commonly more associated with genetic males, essentially are people who choose to dress in that — you know, in their opposite — if you will, opposite gender role part-time to — just because they’re more comfortable with it. It has nothing to do with sexual gratification.

And of course, you may wonder what

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what drag queen is, commonly known in the community as basically gay men who perform in drag and do it for performance reasons like Miss Richfield, of you will, because I think she’s pretty commonly popular in the Twin Cities as far as, like, theater goes.

Q: Ms. Richfield?

A: Miss, M-I-S-S, Richfield 1981. That’s her trade name.

Q: This is a person who performs in drag?

A: Yes.

Q: Okay. And where would that be?

A: Where would that be? Where would you see Miss Richfield?

Q: Exactly.

A: A number of theater venues. A lot of — I mean, Bryant Lake Bowl, I know she’s done things there.

THE WITNESS: You might help me on this one, Joni, because I don’t know. I don’t keep up. I just know the name.


Q: And you’ve already stated that you prefer to yourself as transidentified?

A: That is correct.

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Q: Would either of the terms “transvestite” or “cross-dresser” apply to you?

A: No, it would not.

Q: Okay. And you testified earlier that you started your transition in presenting yourself as a female in 1995?

A: I started presenting myself as female in 1995, correct.

Q: And you’ve referred in the Complaint and in some of your documents about having your identity changed; is that right?

A: That is —

MS. THOME: The question is a little vague and ambiguous.


Q: Okay. Have you had your identity changed?

MS. THOME: It’s still vague.

“Identity” referring to what?


Q: Okay. In your Complaint you’ve alleged — and we can find it — get the Complaint out. I believe you allege that you told Mr. Freeman — excuse me one minute. Okay.

Paragraph 14 of your Complaint, you allege that you explained to Mr. Freeman that you

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are legally female. Do you see that?

A: Yes, I do.

Q: Okay. What did you mean when you say you’re legally female?

A: My legal identification is female, and this concurs with my legal name.

Q: I guess what I’m trying to get at here is what type of process you went — you underwent to change your name and your identity to be female?

MS. THOME: I’m going to object to this as far as relevancy and that it’s not likely to — reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible information.

But I guess you can answer.

A: Well, in Texas I had a judge sign an order, basically a petition; thereby making it a decree that my legal identity was female, as far as my gender identity. And my legal name is as it is, as you know it now.


Q: This order changed; not only your name, but your gender identity?

A: That is correct.

Q: Do you have a copy of this order?

A: I do.

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Q: Okay.

MS. ELLINGSTAD: We would request a copy of that. I believe it’s been requested in our previous —

MS. THOME: It was requested and we objected to the production. And we can have more conversation about that before you decide about your motion to compel or not.

MS. ELLINGSTAD: But at this time, you’re refusing to produce that document?

MS. THOME: At this time, the objection is on the record in the response to —

MS. ELLINGSTAD: In your responses?

All right.




Q: Is there any other process which you went through, or paperwork that you went through, to change your legal identity?

A: No.

Q: Okay. What was your name before you changed it

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to Julie?

MS. THOME: Objection as to relevancy, and that is not likely to lead to the discovery of admissible information.

But the witness can answer.


MS. THOME: You can answer.

THE WITNESS: Does that mean do it?

MS. THOME: Uh-huh. (Yes)

THE WITNESS: All right.

A: Previous name was Justin Travis. My last name was the same.


Q: And what date was it that you had the judge sign this order?

A: 31st of October, 1995.

Q: Were you represented by Counsel in Texas during this process?

A: No.

Q: Okay. Did it just entail petitioning to the court?

A: Yes.

Q: And your Social Security number is the same?

A: Yes.

Q: Prior to October ’95 and after?

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A: That is correct.

Q: Can you describe for me the process that a person goes through making a transition to the opposite identity or gender?

A: It sounds like a legal — or an expert question to me.

Q: Okay. I just want your opinion and your understanding of what types of things you do.

A: For the legal?

Q: No. And I’m just talking about the actual process, mental and emotional, logistical process you go through.

A: Well, first of all, you are trying to figure out from a young age what’s going on with you and why. You know you’re different than other people, but you just can’t put a finger on what it is. And you deal with that for a long time. Some people deal with it for a very long time, and some others figure it out pretty early.

Of course, then there’s the process of coming to terms that this is really part of who you are and part of what you are, I suppose. And then you have the arduous task of telling your closest loved ones that you are in this way queer and different.

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And, you know, then there comes a time when, unlike being just gay or lesbian, — which I don’t mean to discredit — you have to go through even more than that. You’ve already come out to the people you love, but then, you know, you come to a point where you feel that it’s time present yourself in the way that you identify as.

And, you know, in no specific order after that, people can choose to legally change their names; some people don’t. Some people can choose to change their gender identity legally; some people don’t. Some people can choose to have genital surgery; some people don’t.

Q: When you’re going through this process, as you did, did you seek any counseling or therapist’s support groups, anything like that to help you with it?

A: I did. I have one therapist in Austin. And I mentioned earlier about an informal group that got together that was transidentified people. And it was not really much more than just, you know, getting together and talking.

Q: What time period did you see a therapist regarding these issues?

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A: To my recollection, it started in May 1995. And the sessions ended when I moved from Texas to Rochester, New York in May of 1996.

Q: Did you see anyone, a counselor or therapist, after you moved to Rochester —

A: No, I did not.

Q: — regarding this issue?

A: I did not.

Q: Okay. How about Minnesota?

A: Very briefly.

Q: Okay. Where was that counselor?

A: Where was that counselor?

Q: Uh-huh. (Yes)

A: At his practice at the — one of the University of Minnesota buildings.

Q: Is that in the University of Minnesota, it’s like sexual —

A: It’s called the Program of Human Sexuality, also known as PHS.

Q: You said you saw someone there briefly?

A: That is correct.

Q: How many times?

A: Probably around four or five at the most.

Q: And when was that?

A: From October 1997 through January 1998.

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Q: And was that in individual or group therapy?

A: All but one were individual. The last one was group.

Q: And what was your therapist’s name?

A: His name was Dr. Walter Bockting, B-O-C-T-I-N-G — no, B-O-C-K-T-I-N-G.

Q: Okay. Are there things that you are supposed to do or some kind of ordered process that you’re supposed to do when you’re going through this; such as dressing female? Anything else that you’re supposed to do during this process?

MS. THOME: That question is vague and ambiguous. And, again, it sounds like it calls for — it’s a question more suitable for an expert in gender reassignment.

MS. ELLINGSTAD: I’m not looking for expert testimony here.


Q: Anything else? Let’s just — what you did — have you — for example, have you taken female hormones?

MS. THOME: And I object to this question on the basis of relevancy. It’s the biological status or hormonal status of the witness and the Plaintiff in this case, and is

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not — is not something that should be an issue, and it has no relevance; and I believe will have no admissibility and is invasive, oppressive, and I think it could be construed to harassing.

If the witness is comfortable in answering that question, she can go ahead.

A: I choose not to.

MS. ELLINGSTAD: Okay. Are you instructing her not to answer?

MS. THOME: I’ll instruct her not to answer.


BY MS. ELLINGSTAD: Okay. Counsel, the biological status of of your client goes directly to issues in the case and in our defense. And, therefore, I believe your objection as to relevance is unfounded, and I would request that you want to discuss this with your client and answer the questions or we’re going to have to call the judge or move to compel and reconvene after we get a ruling.

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MS THOME: Well, and I understand how this information may go to your defense and how you would like to be able to use it in your defense. I see the law as it not being relevant, as it not being something that ought to be put into issue. And that has been discussed with Counsel before you in the same case. And if I could take a moment, I will take a moment with my client —


MS. THOME: — and come back.

(A recess was taken.)

MS. THOME: Should we just go back to the last actual question and I’ll make my objection?


Why don’t you re-read my last question.

(The reporter read the requested testimony.)

MS. THOME: And the objection is as to relevance. Any questions as to the Plaintiff’s biological hormonal status or state or state of transition from male to female is not relevant to thee proceedings, particularly given the fact that the definition of sexual orientation under

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Minnesota Statute 363 states without — that it is without regard to biological maleness or femaleness.

Also, in her Complaint, Plaintiff has claimed both sexual orientation discrimination and perceived sexual orientation discrimination. Production of evidence of this type at this time is invasive, it’s oppressive, I think it only meant to be harassing, and certainly isn’t reasonably calculated to lead to discovery of information that would be admissible in these proceedings. And I will direct my client not answer any questions relating to her biological hormonal status of transition from male to female.

MS. ELLINGSTAD: Okay. Counsel, first of all, relevance is not a basis on which you can direct your client not to answer under the Rules of Minnesota Civil Procedure.

MS. THOME: And I’ve also stated that production of this information is invasive and it’s oppressive and is intended to harass. And —

MS. ELLINGSTAD: Okay. And, Counsel, you know that that’s not the intent of the

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questions. And although sexual orientation may not be defined to include the biological maleness or femaleness, I represent to you that sex, as is defined under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, is defined as through biological maleness or femaleness, and it is directly relevant to an issue in the case and our defense of West’s actions in this case as to whether your client is a biological male or female is directly relevant to that.

If you persist in your objection in refusing to let your client answer, we will move the court to compel. We will seek sanctions against you for obstructing this deposition. And given that, I don’t know if you want to reconsider your position or if you’re going to maintain your objection.

MS. THOME: I’ll maintain our objection. And at the same time, if you bring your motion to compel, I will seek fees.

MS. ELLINGSTAD: So, is it my understanding, to be clear, in addition to my last question, you will not let your client answer the question of whether she has undergone a sex change operation; is that correct?

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MS. THOME: That’s correct.

MS. ELLINGSTAD: Let the record reflect that we will be moving to compel the answers to these questions and seeking sanctions, and that this deposition will not close due to Counsel’s objections. And we’ll move on for now.


Q: Ms. Goins, what is your sexual orientation?

A: Given the clearly defined labels in our lexicon, there are basically no words to explain my sexual orientation.

Q: Okay. Are you sexually attracted to females?

A: I did not say that.

Q: That’s my question.

A: I did not say that. I’m attracted to people.

Q: Okay. Are you sexually attracted to both males and females?

A: Like I said, there is not — in our lexicon in the English language, there are not words to describe the people or the breadth or the specificity of the people that I’m attracted to.

Q: Okay. Ms. Goins, you’ve brought a claim against my client based on discrimination for sexual

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orientation and perceived sexual orientation. In addition to the identity — the sexual identity, I am trying to get at whether you fall within any other definition under that statute.

A: If my recollection serves correctly, that statute states under the definition of sexual orientation actual or perceived affection for one’s own or opposite gender, according to that. And also includes in that definition, maybe as a Part 3, if you will, one’s perceived biological — one’s actual [or] perceived biological maleness or femaleness. I brought this suit on the basis of that latter argument. Who I sleep with, who I’m attracted to was not an issue in as much as my identity being perceived in the workplace.

That’s where I brought this suit.

Q: So, to be clear, you brought this suit based on your — on actions which went to your sexual identity and not —

A: My gender identity.

Q: — your gender identity.

A: Under the definition of sexual orientation.

Q: And not your affectional preference?

A: That is correct. My affectional preference, as I prefer to call it, was not brought into question,

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Q: Okay. So, you are not claiming that you were discriminated against based on your affectional preference; is that correct?

A: That is correct.

Q: Once you got to West, Ms. Goins, who were your supervisors?

A: My immediate supervisor was John Elstad. Overseeing him and over most of the department was Jim Joseph.

Q: Anyone else have supervisory authority over you?

A: No.

Q: Do you claim in your lawsuit that John Elstad discriminated against you in any way?

A: I did not see or say that he did.

Q: I guess I want to know today —

A: What I’m saying —

Q: — do you?

A: Do I think he discriminated against me?

Q: Yes.

A: No, I do not feel that John Elstad discriminated against me.

Q: Do you feel that be behaved in a hostile manner toward you in any way, based on your gender identity?

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A: The only thing hostile that I can imagine John Elstad being responsible for was his enabling of the actions that Lewis Freeman took when we were in my second meeting. John Elstad was in attendance that day.

Q: What do you mean by enabling the actions that Lewis Freeman took?

A: Rather than ever speaking up any time in the meeting to either defend my experience, my character, et cetera, he did not take that opportunity. Through that meeting, both he and Jim Joseph were completely silent.

Q: Okay. And it’s that silence that you’re saying ay be the only example of being —

A: That would be probably the only example that John Elstad could actually be, if you will, liable for being discriminatory against me.

Q: Okay. And I guess same question with Jim Joseph. Any other actions that he took that you construed as hostile?

A: Jim Joseph was present at both meetings I had with Lewis Freeman, and in both meetings Jim Joseph did not speak a word. And in doing so, I think that was also enabling Lewis Freeman’s behaviour in decisions that he made.

PAGES 155–164 [unavailable]. Transcript continues with page 165.

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and I think I started to say — and I knew we were still on the record — let’s hear the question and see if she’s able to answer the question.


Q: Okay. My question —

MS. THOME: If we could hear it again.


Q: My question was that I also walked it and timed it, and I’m asking if you disagree with my assessment that the walk is really two to three minutes

A: I disagree. To me, it was more like five.

Q: Okay.

MS. ELLINGSTAD: We can go off.

(A recess was taken.)


Q: I’m going to be skipping a little bit, Ms. Goins.

Are you claiming in this lawsuit that you have suffered emotional distress as a result of the conduct of West Publishing Company?

A: I have.

Q: What emotional distress do you claim that you have suffered?

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A: In summary, I have felt a lot of humiliation. I have felt like my credibility was being questioned, that my reputation was being damaged, and it took away a lot of my security in thinking that I could do a good job. Like I said, I may have mentioned humiliation, but I think that was really a bit part of it.

And having to go home every night remembering why I was so hungry every day because of the fact that it wasn’t conducive to using the bathroom; therefore, I couldn’t really eat breakfast or lunch or drink a lot of water, which I was accustomed to doing.

Q: We haven’t talked about that yet and we’re not going to have too much time. And I will — next time I want to go back to that, but let me just ask you: I think you just testified you couldn’t eat lunch or breakfast; is that right?

A: I could if I wanted to take the risk of using one of the washrooms that he — Lewis Freeman asked me to use or demanded that I use. He didn’t ask. He demanded.

Q: Why do you say that if you wanted to take the risk of using one of those washrooms?

A: I guess it was, in this case, an act of defiance

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on my end. I realized that what he was requesting and demanding that I do was outside of being very legal, and I wasn’t going to, you know, submit to those unwritten rules that were never put into writing anywhere. So, I chose not to eat breakfast and lunch and try not to drink many fluids so as not to risk having to use the washroom.

Q: Okay. Did that work?

A: No.

Q: Did you have to use the washroom?

A: A couple of times I did.

Q: And which washroom would you use?

A: The one nearest my unit. It was the women’s washroom. Or nearest my cubical [sic], I should say.

Q: And you used that even though Mr. Freeman had directed that you not use that, correct?

A: That is correct.

Q: Did you use that for the six weeks following the first meeting?

A: I used it pretty regularly after the first six weeks, yes.

Q: What about after the second meeting on November 20th, which I know we haven’t discussed in detail yet — did you continue to use —

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A: In emergency situations I sometimes did, yes.

Usually after hours, if necessary.

Q: What do you mean by “emergency situations”?

A: Well, when I couldn’t hold it any longer and I had to pee. Even when I hadn’t drank anything all day, or if I just had to use the washroom and I couldn’t hold it any longer.

Q: And you would make an effort not to have to use that restroom?

A: That is correct.

Q: Okay. And you chose not to eat or drink rather than using the unisex bathroom in the C building; is that right?

A: That is correct.

Q: And you are alleging in this lawsuit that your not eating and drinking caused you pain and discomfort.

A: The only discomfort I received was more emotional when I remembered when my stomach would growl out of hunger the reason why I’m not eating. And that reason was I was treated different and that I wasn’t given the same access to the same facilities that everybody else in the company was allowed to use.

Q: And just to be clear for the record, it wasn’t

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that you were denied access to a bathroom; is that right?

A: I was denied access to all washrooms except for the unisex washroom Lewis Freeman appointed me to use.

Q: Okay. But you were not denied access to a restroom facility, correct?

A: Could you rephrase the question?

Q: Okay. Did West deny you access to restroom facilities completely?

A: When you say “deny”, do you mean that someone actually held — stood in front of the door and kept me from going in?

Q: Did they, in any way, keep you from using a restroom facility?

A: They physically did not restrain me, no.

Q: Okay. It was your choice not to use it, right?

A: The — which washroom are you referring to now now?

Q: The unisex restroom.

A: Oh. the unisex restroom. The unisex restroom, obviously, was allowed — I was allowed to use it, according to Lewis Freeman.

Q: And you weren’t allowed to use the restroom of your choice, correct?

A: I was not allowed to use any other restroom other

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than the unisex washroom, regardless of whether it was my choice or not.

Q: But you wanted to use the one closest to your cubical.

A: Of course.

Q: And you were denied the one closest to your cubicle.

A: Yes.

Q: And because you were denied the one closest to your cubical, you chose, instead, not to eat or drink any food or water.

A: In order not to, A, break the rule of using the nearest restroom; but at the same time not conceding and bending down to Lewis Freeman’s unwritten rule.

Q: You were trying to make a point, right?

A: Absolutely.

Q: Okay. What emotional distress symptoms do you claim that you have suffered as a result of your employment at West?

A: As I said previously, I was humiliated by the incident. I felt like my dignity was trampled upon or severely compromised, if you will. I had no network of support when I moved to Minnesota; therefore, I couldn’t go to a friend’s house or

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to a colleague’s house and, you know, have someone to talk to. I felt pretty isolated. I was in a new area of the country. I didn’t know anybody I didn’t know who to turn to. I felt like I had done something terribly wrong, when I know I hadn’t. I was very lonely.

And when I would see the hostility from the faces of people when I walked down the hallway, especially early on, when I arrived in October, I think maybe those alaid [allayed] a little bit after some time, basically because people got used to seeing my face every day. It still didn’t make it any easier.

I would get a glare from somebody just because of the fact that I was who I was. And that — especially with a couple of the people who I was, at the time, pretty certain, and later on, had pretty much found out through other people that they were the ones who had said something to Lewis Freeman, those looks were very piercing and very hostile. And I felt like I was in a very hostile place. I mean, I didn’t feel welcome.

I felt like they originally pulled out a welcome mat, and then they had pulled the rug

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from me as soon as I stepped on it. And I felt — well, I don’t know. I felt — I can’t even think of the word. I don’t know. I’ll get back to it, if I can.

Q: Okay. Part of — you said you felt isolated. Part of that was obviously because you were in a place with no friends or family, correct?

A: That is correct.

Q: Okay. Was there any other conduct by your co-workers? You said there were glares; is that right?

A: Not from my own co-workers, the people I dealt with regularly. It generally was just from other departments, people I did not know, people I just passed by in the hallway or on other floors, other departments.

I think part of when I returned from the first meeting with Jim Joseph after Lewis Freeman — dealing with Lewis Freeman and coming back to my cubicle, I felt like I was being extremely scrutinized. And I think I had lost objectivity in that point, based on the fact that I had just gotten out of a very serious meeting. And I felt like I was totally violated. So, I felt like everybody had their eyes on me. But

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after that —

Q: And that might have been part of your perception?

A: That moment, yes.

Q: Okay. The glares that you said you felt, you didn’t really feel that from people you worked with in your department is that correct?

A: Not particularly, no.

Q: These were just people who you didn’t know, like in the hallway?

A: These are people I didn’t know. And, again, the people I think, you know, that had a consistent problem with it made it very clear to me, you know, by the glares every time I would walk by their area of — their work area where their department was. Which weren’t too terribly far away from where I ended up being — my cubicle ended up being.

Q: I imagine you must experience that kind of staring or glares in other places outside of West. Is that a fair statement?

A: It can happen.

Q: Okay. Okay. Did you ever talk to your supervisors about feeling uncomfortable because of glares from anyone at West?

A: Yes.

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Q: Who did you talk to?

A: I talked to John Elstad about, first of all, the meeting that I has had that day. And he understood what had happened in that meeting, I guess, through Jim Joseph, is my understanding.

And I told him, I said, you know, I didn’t come here expecting this. And I don’t feel very welcome. And he was very good at nodding a lot to me. He really didn’t have too, too much to say, except we’ll try to get the work done — the work of taking care of the department migration.

Q: Was that conversation with John Elstad primarily about the meeting you had just had with Lou Freeman?

A: Lewis Freeman. Yeah, I mean, it was — the same day that the whole meeting took place. And it was just later that day when I sat down and spoke with John. It was — he knew about the meeting, he knew about what happened, I guess through Lewis Freeman. And I made known to him that Lewis Freeman and I had been in in E-mail correspondence, and it was still going on at that point. And I told him, I said, I just didn’t expect this when I came here.

PAGE 175

Q: Okay. I guess, the incident or the meeting you had with Mr. Freeman aside, I’m wondering if you reported or complained to John Elstad about anyone in particular or any individuals who were making you feel uncomfortable by glaring at you or staring at you?

A: No.

Q: Okay. Other than feeling like people were glaring at you, did anyone — and other than the bathroom issue, did anyone do anything else to you that was offensive?

A: No.

Q: Okay. Any other symptoms of emotional distress that you claim you have suffered as a result of your employment at West?

A: I believe aside from what I’ve mentioned previously that I — the hostile environment and the fact that I didn’t feel welcome there and that I felt very out of place. And for the first month that I lived in Minnesota, I did not have a permanent address I think all contributed to the fact that I felt extremely isolated and very unwelcome and — well, quite worthless feeling, actually.

Q: You said a minute ago that you felt your

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credibility was questioned. Why is that? And how does that relate to being directed to use a particular restroom?

A: Well, I came, when they asked me to join the department migration, based on my qualifications. And they made it very clear that I would be very valuable to the department, based on my experience and the tools of understanding that I had with material that I was coming with.

And despite the fact that that was what I was bringing with me is experience, and me reviewing and reinstating this to like, John Elstad, that I’m here to help, it didn’t seem to make a difference because of the fact that I was being treated differently.

You know, I asked him — you know, I was essentially looking for, I guess, a basis of support. This was my new team. And I wasn’t getting any support. And it made me feel like, well, how serious am I being taken here, as far as, like, how much am I really needed, how much do you guys really appreciate the fact that I’m coming to help you guys out? I’m hoping that I’m still needed here, which they said I was. But I never really got a bit of affirmation from

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anybody, you know. So, certainly not from John Elstad that indicated that they were concerned about my well-being there.

And I felt like, well, you know, is it because no one believes who I am? Is it because, you know, I can’t be taken seriously? What is it? I had so many things I didn’t understand what was going on at the time.

Q: Okay. In your Complaint, when you allege that you suffered emotional pain and stress — and can look at it, it’s Paragraph 38 of the Complaint — you also say: As a result of said discrimination, Plaintiff suffered physical pain and discomfort.

And I just want to pin that down as to what you’re referring to. Are you talking about pain and discomfort from being hungry or from not being able to go to the bathroom because you chose not to or from something else?

A: Basically from both of those last two. Basically from not being able to eat when I want to; so, therefore, I could use the washroom when I wanted to. And sometimes when I had to use the washroom and either couldn’t or chose not to.

Q: Okay. And both of those things; not eating, not

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using the restroom, that was your choice because you were not going to give in to Lou’s directive; is that right?

A: That is correct.

Q: Have you ever experienced — some of the symptoms you mentioned a minute ago were isolation, humiliation and feelings of worthlessness. Have you ever experienced those feelings or those symptoms prior to October of 1997 when you started at West in Eagan?

A: You mean the general sensation of feeling humiliated?

Q: Or isolated?

A: Or isolated? Not isolated. But I’ve been humiliated in the past. I was humiliated in grade school all the way up to my adult life. I think that’s a general universal human emotion. I had experienced it previously, so I knew exactly what is was when it was happening.

Q: What symptoms or feelings would you describe you went through in your transition in 1995 and thereafter, and even before the transition? Did you have any feelings of worthlessness, anything like that when you were going into your transition?

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A: No.

Q: You felt great about yourself the whole time?

A: I felt better about myself than I had felt for a long time in my life.

Q: Before the transition, had you felt bad about yourself or felt isolated?

A: Yeah, I felt isolated in a different way than from what had happened with the incident at West Group, sure.

Q: And in what way did you feel isolated?

A: Well, for a long time in my life I couldn’t tell anybody about what I had been holding in me for a long time, that I was different than them. I was afraid to because I was afraid of the repercussions of saying such.

Q: Anything else other than feeling isolated? Any other feelings that you went through before you made your decision to transition into being a female?

A: To being female?

Q: Uh-huh. (Yes)

A: You mean, just every emotion I’ve experienced up to the age of 22?

Q: Well, I imagine this was a significant event in your life, making this decision.

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A: It was definitely a big one.

Q: Okay. I’m just trying to get at what kinds of emotional issues you had to deal with in making that decision.

A: Well, I had to deal with coming out to people and risking whether or not they were going to understand or know where I was coming from. I risked, you know, losing friends or family — or what was left of my family as far as my relationship with them. I risked — I knew fully aware that people who identified the way I did generally are treated as second-class citizens or even third-class. And that there was — you know, there’s no one there to protect you if something happens to you in a legal situation or in a criminal situation or whatnot, if someone attacked you or, you know, tried to kill you based on the fact that you were different. I was aware of the risks involved. I have — you know, I was nervous, apprehensive, and really didn’t know what the future was going to hold. It was basically an open book.

Q: You’ve already testified today about going through, at least in the Kinko’s situation, some kids of stalking and harassment once you made

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the decision; is that right?

A: Yes, that was, I think, my first closest taste to how ugly things can get.

Q: Okay. Have you — since your employment at West, have you received any kind of treatment for emotional distress or mental — any kind of mental or emotional problems?

A: I have not.

Q: And you’re not currently under the treatment of any doctor or therapist or counselor?

A: I have a nurse practitioner who is my GP essentially. And through her — GYN or OB/GYN, if you will.

Q: Have you mentioned to just your general practitioner — your nurse practitioner any issues relating to the emotional distress that you believe you’ve suffered due to your employment at West?

A: Well, my first intake appointment with her, I basically reviewed pretty much everything up to the present. And I really touched on the events at West Group, but very briefly. I really didn’t get into detail with her on that. She was more interested in my medical history.

Q: And you said that for a while in Minnesota you

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went to a number of sessions at the Program in Human Sexuality at the University; is that right?

A: That is correct.

Q: Okay. And you have not seen anyone there since January of ’98; is that right?

A: That is correct.

Q: When you were seeing the counselor there, did you mention any of the events that had occurred at West?

A: Yes, I did.

Q: Other than the counselor at the Program in Human Sexuality and your nurse practitioner, is there anyone else in Minnesota whom you have seen, either a therapist or counselor or physician?

A: No.

Q: Okay. And when you were seeing a therapist beginning in Texas, you’ve already talked about that you saw the therapist for issues relating to your transgender status and your transition.

A: Not only that. That was one reason.

Q: Okay. What else?

A: Well, I was heavily abused as a kid by my mother. And I was dealing with the emotional abuse issues associated with that time of my life. And I was also dealing with stress

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management and trying to juggle 20,000 things at once. And, as you know, that’s an exaggeration, but —

Q: Prior to May of 1995, had you seen a counselor or therapist regarding these abuse issues or any other issues?

A: Not — no, not transgendered or gendered identity or the abuse issues, no.

Q: Had you seen a therapist for any other issues?

A: I had.

Q: Okay. When did you first see a therapist?

A: May have been about 9 years old, I’m thinking. Maybe 10, maybe 11.

Q: What issues did you originally begin counseling for?

A: It’s unclear because I never got to see the prognosis — or the diagnosis, I should say, of — prognosis is not the right word, but the diagnosis of what my — I was brought in there for. But it was, you know, the issues of depression and my relations with my family and the treatment that my mother had given or had projected towards me.

Q: When you say you were abused by your mother, are you referring to physical abuse or sexual abuse?

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A: I’m referring to verbal, emotional, and physical abuse.

Q: Have you ever taken any medication for depression or any other kind of mood-altering medications?

A: Yes.

Q: Okay. What have you taken?

A: When I was 13, I was prescribed with a medication called Triavil.

Q: And what is that for?

A: It’s for depression. It’s an antidepressant.

Q: Anything else?

A: At the age of 16, my mother somehow — I still to this day don’t know how — managed to get the family doctor to prescribe me something that was out of his jurisdiction, which was called Lithium Carbonate. And based on on assumptions from my mother that I was — that I had bipolar disorder — which later on was diagnosed by my therapist in Austin, Texas to not be the case — and that she explained to me from her professional background in psychotherapy that this physician should not — even though he could really prescribe any medication available, he should not have been prescribing this medication without consultation with another therapist. And 

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I was only on that for three short months, three unpleasant short months.

Q: Anything — any other medications since the time you were 16?

A: No.

Q: Okay. And you’re currently not taking any medications?

A: For?

Q: For depression or any kind of mood altering medications?

A: No.

Q: So, age 16 was the last time you had some kind of mood altering drug?

A: If you call it mood altering, yes.

Q: Antidepressant, anxiety.

A: Right.

Q: Did you receive therapy fairly consistently between your first time, between 9 and 11 years old, and your adult life?

A: I received therapy from that period, 9 to 11-ish, like ’83, ’84, I guess, until about 1987, which means I would have been about 14, maybe 15. I think it may have been as far as 1988. I can’t really remember.

Q: And then any counseling or therapy until 1995?

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A: No.

Q: Okay.

MS. ELLINGSTAD: Counsel, in light of the testimony, I guess I’d like to renew our request for medical records as contained in our document requests. And I don’t know if you’ve changed your position on that or if we need to proceed with our motion to compel.

MS. THOME: I have not changed my position on it. Same objection. And would want to have some consultation with my client before I talk with you about whether or not we can work something out with regard to provision of some authorization for at least some medical records.



Q: Ms. Goins, I’m wondering if there are any other facts or conduct by West on which you are claiming that you suffered emotional distress or which resulted in your emotional distress, other than the issue of directing you to use the unisex restrooms?

A: No, it’s that issue and that issue only.

Q: Okay.

MS. ELLINGSTAD: We’ve almost reached

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our stopping point, so I think we should break for the day. We’ll be continuing this deposition at a later date.

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I, Lorraine Matuseski, a Notary Public in and for the State of Minnesota, hereby certify that the within-named deponent was sworn to testify the truth, in the aforementioned cause of action.

I further certify that this deposition was stenographically reported by me and later reduced to to print through Computer-Aided Transcription, and the foregoing is a full and true record of the testimony given by the deponent.

I further certify that I am a disinterested person in the event or outcome of the above-named cause of action.

I further certify that the witness chose to exercise the right to read and sign.

Finally, that the cost of the original has been charged to the party who noticed the deposition, and that all parties who ordered copies have been charged the same rate for such copies.

IN WITNESS THEREOF, I subscribe my hand and affix my seal on this date, April 28, 1999 dated at Arden Hills, Minnesota.


Notary Public

My Commission Expires

December 2000


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