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Daly, Suzanne Lindley, 1937-2002
Suzanne Lindley Daly was a transgender woman born in 1937 as Tim Michael Daly. In 1969, Suzanne married Nan Toews while still identifying as a man. The couple had a child, Mary Daly, in 1973 while they were living in California. In 1981, the couple divorced, and Nan took Mary and moved to Reno, Nevada. Suzanne stayed in California to continue working at her job for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. During a visit with her daughter, Suzanne came out to her and told Mary not to share this information with Nan. Mary did eventually tell her mother, and on May 12, 1982, Nan Daly filed a petition to terminate Suzanne's parental rights, starting the case of Daly v. Daly.
In 1982, Suzanne also started her transition and began openly living as a woman. She changed her name and underwent gender reassignment surgery while her parental termination proceedings were underway. Because of her open transgender status, her previous family court attorneys would not represent her, so she hired Susan J. Haveson, Ellen LaCroix, and Ann Casamajor as her legal defense team. Ultimately, Suzanne lost her parental rights of Mary, ceasing to be her legal parent on May 2, 1983.
Suzanne and her legal team appealed the judgement and won a hearing before the Nevada Supreme Court in 1985. The Nevada Supreme Court took over a year to decide it's judgement, upholding the original judge's decision to terminate Suzanne's parental rights. Suzanne Daly then appealed to the United States Supreme Court, as well as filing suit in federal courts for civil rights violations. Suzanne lost every appeal and eventually dropped all her legal claims and cases in 1989.
Suzanne was discriminated against at her job for being openly transgender, and eventually left her job at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She became an alocholic and agoraphobic, which eventually led to her death in 2002.
Daly v. Daly Collection, 1980-2003. MS-00502. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.