Thursday, July 10, 2008

Transgender Discrimination Hearing: Diane Schroer

Diane Schroer, a retired Colonel in the United States Army, testifies before the Committee on Education and Labor at a hearing examining discrimination against transgender Americans in the workplace on June 26, 2008.

Critique, POV, Opinion: "Letting Go Of God"

A lot of Ts (and others, too) have questions, concerns about religion and being T (or somewhere GLBTQ). Here, Julia Sweeney, who played "Pat" the androgynous person, on one of my favorite television programs,"Saturday Night Live," presents her personal perspective on religion, titled, "Letting Go of God."

Strongly recommended.

Also, see the numerous listeners' comments than follow on the same page.


Jack Bee Garland (aka Babe Bean)

by Liz Highleyman

Lavender Magazine, Issue 341

Jack Bee Garland was a pioneer on multiple fronts, crossing boundaries of gender, ethnicity, class, and geography.

Born Elvira Virginia Mugarrieta in 1869 in the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, Garland was the child of an upper-class white woman and a Mexican military officer who became the city’s first Mexican consul. A rebellious tomboy, Garland was sent to a convent school, but escaped by marrying a family friend at age 15, and divorcing a few months later.

Garland began dressing in men’s clothing, and spent the next several years traveling and working odd jobs. In 1897, he was arrested in Stockton, California, for masquerading as a man. Claiming to be mute, and communicating in writing, he gave his name as Babe Bean, and made no attempt to hide that he was biologically female. The authorities soon released him, much to the chagrin of a group of young women who demanded that if he could dress in men’s clothing, they ought to have the same privilege.

Garland, who lived alone on a houseboat in a lake, was hired as a reporter by The Stockton Evening Mail. He was accepted as an eccentric local celebrity. The press often speculated about his gender, referring to him as “the mysterious girl-boy, man-woman.” . . . .Read More

The “Transational” Dr. Marci Bowers

by Chris Jackson

Lavender Magazine, Issue 340

A polite round of applause, and she takes the stage. Adjusting her glasses, and buttoning the microphone to her blouse, she begins to speak. Doctors, med students, and activists alike lean forward in anticipation.

Dr. Marci Bowers

Photo by Sophia Hantzes

“Never dreamed I’d walk back in here in a dress,” she mused.

And then she was off. Coyly, letting her audience idle, and then full force. Smiling, she started in.

The Denver Post calls her the “Rockstar” of gender-confirming surgeries. Dr. Marci Bowers is that and much more. She is one of the premier sexual reassignment surgery (SRS) surgeons worldwide, performing more than 350 alignment procedures every year. Trained under the direction of Dr. Stanley Biber, she has followed in his footsteps, perfecting the techniques that he pioneered.

I had a chance to speak with Bowers just before her recent keynote address at the Minnesota Trans Health & Wellness Fair on May 10.

Dr. Bowers, what is your background in the medical field? Sexual reassignment surgery, in addition to being highly controversial, is a challenging and specialized field. How did you come to call it your own?

I am trained formally as an Ob/Gyn. I attended the University of Minnesota, where I graduated in 1986, where I was Medical School Class President and President of the Medical Student Council. I then went to Seattle, where I did my residency in Ob/Gyn at the University of Washington.

I settled into private practice at a large multispecialty clinic in Downtown Seattle called the Polyclinic. I practiced there for 12 years.

About my 10th year, I actually met Dr. Biber. He indicated that Trinidad was in need of an Ob/Gyn, and that, if I came here, I could learn the SRS procedure from him, while performing obstetrics and gynecology for the community. In January 2003, I finally did just that, leaving the relative security of an established practice in Seattle, and facing the specter of the many hours and hassles that go with practicing in a large urban area.

I decided to roll the dice, so to speak, noting that there were very few reassignment surgeons in the United States, and that two of the most prominent, Dr. Biber and Dr. [Eugene] Schrang, were already well into their 70s at the time. I worked with Dr. Biber, side by side, for six months, and then, with his inability to obtain malpractice insurance, took over his duties in July 2003, surviving with a combination of good luck, good skills, intuition, and faith that I was doing the right thing. . . .Read More