Rachael Passalt

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Rachael Passalt

Rachael Passalt in 2022
Born Raymond Ethan Passalt
August 18, 1980 (1980-08-18) (age 43)
Terre Haute, Indiana, United States
Occupation Writer, activist
Years active 1983–present
  • WMNC "11Alive" (2002-09)
  • Aeverine Zinn Holdings (2014-present)
  • WTOR (2009-22)
  • WMRI (2023-present)
Known for First child of Julia Passalt
Home town Minneapolis, Minnesota
Spouse Traci Davidson (1998-present)
Parents Julia Pasalt
Yvonne Quimby

Rachael Valerie Passalt[1] (born Raymond Ethan Passalt; August 18, 1980) is an American advocate and writer. She is the oldest child of former American news presenter Julia and Yvonne Passalt.

Passalt, like her father (Julia), is a transgender woman. In 2002, several years after being outed as bisexual by the tabloid press, she publicly self-identified as such in a cover story on WMNC (11Alive, ABC), eventually going on to discuss the process of coming out to oneself and to others in her autobiography, Minnesota Bi Man's Outing: A Guide to the Coming Out Process for Gays, Lesbians, and Their Families (2004) includes her coming out account.

Between 2013 and 2017, Passalt underwent male-to-female gender transition. A two-part ABC 11 News Nightline feature in November 2014 explained that her transition had started a year before.[2] In October 2014, she legally changed her gender and name.

Early life[edit]

Passalt is the oldest child of former news presenters Julia Passalt and Yvonne Quimby, from KFMN-FTV (Fox 5, later Minnesota's 5) and WTCC 4 (CBS), respectively on which on occasion the young child often appeared. Passalt was named Raymond Ethan Pasalt after Raymond Burr, the actor who played the lead role in Perry Mason, which was one of the favorite shows that her maternal grandfather (Hamilton Quimby) watched.[3] Passalt has two younger siblings: a brother, Nickolas (b. 1984), and a sister, Gloria (b. 1988).

Passalt came out to both parents as bisexual at age 16. In the autobiography, Passalt wrote that, "as a child, I always felt there was something different about me. I'd look at other boys my age and feel perplexed by their obvious interests, which girl in class was the hottest, and who looked the most like cover boy George Clooney. When I was 11, I finally found a name for exactly how I was different. I realized I was bi."


WMNC/11Alive (2002-09)[edit]

Passalt began her career at ABC affiliate (now ABC O&O) WMNC "11Alive" (now ABC 11) after graduating from the University of Minnesota. She worked as a general assignment reporter from 2002 to 2012 when she was promoted to weekend evening anchor. Although her wife, Traci, took a job at WMNC's sister station WMRI in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Passalt stayed at WMNC until 2010 to fulfill the remainder of her contract. Passalt took a five year break from journalism after relocating from Minnesota to Indiana.

Vote for the Girls UK and USA (2012-21)[edit]

Passalt (then known as Raymond) filled in for Robyn Hurd as a guest moderator during the third season of the popular and controversial American adaptation of Vote for the Girls for the Duets competition in June 2012. Passalt's gender transition eventually provided an opportunity as Rachel Passalt filled in as a guest moderator on Vote for the Girls as part of an April Fool's Day prank involving the male news staff at CBS 41 and the moderator panel of the web site in the seventh season. WTOR anchorman Frank Davidson and Zinn's Villain Luka Runecraft hosted, filling in for Ava Zinn and Holly Everman on the Vote for the Girls: GUYS RULE edition that aired on April 1, 2016.

Tim Doogan became the first guy in the moderator panel in the site's history as the Zinn's Villains panel is mostly males and transmales. Doogan's arrival and Nadia Lorenzo's move from the pink to purple team saw Passalt as the lone solo moderator on the purple team at the time.

Passalt joined the moderator panel in the fall of 2016, Passalt inheriting Julia's role. Passalt is a member of the Purple Team North with Ava Zinn, Kendra Ray, and Donna Doogan. On November 25, 2019, Passalt earned her very first victory as winning moderator as her last Vote for the Girls pick, Hannah Brown, was announced the winner of the twenty-eighth season of Dancing with the Stars.

WTOR/CBS 41 (2014-22)[edit]

Passalt joined CBS 41/INNCD 47 in 2014 after transitioning to female. She was the weekday mid-morning anchor from 2014 until leaving WTOR on December 16, 2022.

WMRI/9abc (2023-)[edit]

After Pete Ward announced he is scaling back his duties at ABC O&O WMRI, Ward revealed on December 19, 2022 that Passalt will join WMRI in April 2023. Passalt will join her wife Traci (becoming one of the few married couples to anchor news and the only same sex anchor team in the United States to do so) after her no-compete clause from WTOR expires.

Queen of the Willis, Caprice & Ella, and Vote for the Girls reboot (2019-present)[edit]

Passalt has a recurring role as the voice of Deanna Willis in the animated comedy series Queen of the Willis and its spin off The Souzas, replacing Candis Cayne who had left to focus on other projects.

In the Caprice & Ella miniseries "Breaking Boiling Point", Passalt revealed that she will join the cast of Caprice & Ella, sharing narrator duties with Karly Jameson.

In July 2023, it was revealed that Passalt would not only join the moderator panel of Vote for the Girls but also sharing co-hosting duties with Karly Jameson.



Year Title Role Notes
2024 Caprice & Ella: The Movie herself


Year Title Role Notes
2002-09 11Alive News Anchor/Reporter
2012-21 Vote for the Girls with Ava Zinn and Alexandra Moffitt Herself/judge
2014-22 CBS 41 Action News Anchor
2019-26 Queen of the Willis Deanna Willis
2021-present Caprice & Ella Herself/narrator Also Producer
2023-present News Center 9 Anchor
2024-present Vote for the Girls with Ava Zinn Herself/co-host/judge Co-hosts with Karly Jameson

Activism and Personal life[edit]

In 1996, while attending high school, Passalt met and began dating U of M sophomore Traci Davidson. Rachael (as Raymond) proposed to Traci at her high school prom and were married in 1998.[4]

In 1998, Passalt graduated from high school and attended the University of Minnesota. The 2004 book Minnesota's Bi Man Outing detailed how Passalt's coming out "catapulted me into a political role that has transformed my life, providing me with affirmation as a bisexual, as a man, and as an individual." In the same book, Passalt reported that her father (Julia, then known as Jeffery Passalt), who was both a gay icon and an ally of LGBT communities, was quite uncomfortable with the news at first and "went ballistic"[5] before coming to terms with it: "By 2000, two years after I came out publicly, my father had progressed so far that she agreed to 'come out' herself as the proud father of a bisexual son." Julia Passalt has since become an outspoken LGBT rights activist.

Passalt worked as a writer at large for U of M's LGBT Advocate and served as a director for WLMM NBC 13 Minnesota and was supported by wife (Traci Passalt). [4]

In October 2022, Passalt did what other television personalities almost never did back in the 1980's: renounced hair colring products and began wearing her hair grey, which was its natural hair style by that time.[6]

Gender transition[edit]

Passalt in 2015.

In mid-2013, Passalt began undergoing a physical and social gender transition from male to female. This was confirmed in September 2014 by her father and her wife[4] who then identified Passalt's preferred name as Rachael Passalt and posted on Facebook, "I almost feel like saying I lost a son, but gained a daughter after my son Raymond Passalt came out and just reconciled with his wife, Traci."[7] Vote for the Girls U.S./UK founder and creator Ava Zinn, Fiona Johnson from KBYF, future fellow Vote for the Girls Australia moderator Kathi Jameson, among other colleagues were quick to offer praise and support for the announcement.[8] Passalt's legal transition began on December 1, 2014 (coincidentally ten years after Ava Zinn began her own transition and another coincidence, the spouse of Kellie Rock and transgender daughter of Kym Christian began theirs as the same day as Rachael's), when Passalt began requesting an Indiana court to grant her request for a gender and name change tht was eventually granted in April 2015. She chose the name "Rachael Valerie Passalt" in honor of Rachael O'Connor and Valerie Rockey[7], both previously were supported by the Vote for the Girls franchise in 2014 (O'Connor was supported by the UK Vote for the Girls for the third series of the British adaptation of The Voice and Rockey was supported by the U.S. Vote for the Girls for the eleventh season of the American adaptation of So You Think You Can Dance).[9]


  1. ??
  2. "Rachael Passalt", November 2014, ABC 11 News Nightline.
  3. Julia Passalt biography on KFMN-FTV.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "I prefer her as a woman: Traci Davidson speaks out about her husband's sex change as the pair discuss baby plans | NewsCenter 9 (WMRI-FTV)". ATE Media Corp.. September 13, 2014. 
  5. ??
  6. "Rachael Passalt shows off her new grey hair". September 12, 2022. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 https://www.facebook.com/julia.passalt/posts/308148202698250
  8. "Julia Passalt's son Raymond's Gender Transition Announcement". September 1, 2014. 
  9. ??

External links[edit]