The first openly transgender judge to be appointed in the United States, the first attorney to obtain corrected birth certificates for transgender people who had not undergone gender confirmation surgery, a survivor of conversion therapy, and author of a law review article that helped thousands of employers adopt supportive policies for their workers, Phyllis Frye is truly a pioneer in the fight for transgender rights.
Among her many accomplishments, Frye founded the first national organization devoted to shaping transgender law—the International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy, which has since created a body of work that includes the International Bill of Gender Rights—trained a cadre of future trans activists, and built the first national movement for transgender legal and political rights.
Based on interviews with Frye, Phyllis Frye and the Fight for Transgender Rights covers her early life, the discrimination she faced while struggling with her identity—including being discharged from the army and fired from a subsequent job at her alma mater, Texas A&M—her transition in 1976, her many years of activism, and her current position as an associate judge for the municipal courts of Houston.
This gripping account of Frye’s efforts to establish and protect the constitutional rights of transgender individuals not only fills a gap in existing histories of LGBTQ+ activism but will also inform and instruct contemporary trans activists.
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Published by Texas A&M University Press