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Transgender woman fights to have contact with fiance’s child

New Hampshire Union Leader

July 25. 2011 11:07PM

LACONIA - Ally Collina, 26, of Gilford, picketed the Family Division of the Laconia District Court yesterday to decry what she considers to be discrimination.

Collina believes that a switch in gender from male to female is the reason she is not allowed contact with her fiance's 2-1/2-year-old son.

Holding a sign that read 'I am trans gender not Casey Anthony' in reference to the Florida woman accused of killing her daughter and just acquitted, and another sign reading, 'People are not born equal, they are just Born,' Collina joined others, including a 6-year-old holding a sign saying 'I Love Auntie Ally,' picketing the court yesterday afternoon.

The mother of the 2-1/2-year-old argued to the court that Collina is unfit to be in the presence of her child. In filings on the mother's behalf, attorney Diane Puckhaber argued the sole issue was Collina's criminal past.

As Richard Dunkin, Collina said she was convicted of three counts of simple assault, robbery and macing a police officer and was sentenced to the Lakes Region Corrections Facility.

Collina's fiance, who was a corrections officer in Concord, is now an electrician.

Collina said she did not meet her fiance while incarcerated and noted it would be considered a crime to have had a relationship with a corrections officer.

Since her release in 2009, Collina has not re-offended and has tried to lead a quiet life, she said.

In the divorce proceeding, the court has limited Collina's contact by allowing the father contact with his child only at his mother's house two days a week.

But the guardian in the case has said she believes the child needs more contact with the father, and the case is awaiting a recommendation and ruling.

'I regret everything I did in the past,' Collina said of the criminal history. But she said she has not seen the child since December and considers that unfair.

Collina said her parole officer, David Place, does not believe she is a danger to the child.

'The real issue is my gender,' she said, contending that the mother's argument is that she is 'perverted' and her sexuality would confuse the child, particularly when he goes to school.

'I have lived a stealth life until now,' she said of her sexual identity. 'My neighbors don't even know,' but because of what she feels is an injustice,she said she had to go public.

Marital Master Michael Garner has requested additional parenting time be allowed, and a mediation session in the divorce is planned for Aug. 11.

Judge Lucinda Sadler will preside over the final decree.

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