History of transgender people in the United States

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The Transgender Pride flag, created by openly transgender American woman Monica Helms.

This article addresses the history of transgender people in the United States from prior to western contact until the present.

Prior to 1800[edit]

Prior to western contact, many[quantify] American Native tribes had third-gender roles. These include "berdaches" (a derogatory term for people assigned male at birth who assumed a traditionally feminine role) and "passing women" (people assigned female at birth who took on a traditionally masculine role). The term berdache is not a Native American word; rather it was a European definition covering a range of third-gender people in different tribes. Starting in the 1990s, LGBT and indigenous activists have promoted the use of the term Two-Spirit to describe gender-variant Native Americans.[1][2] Not all Native American tribes have traditionally recognized transgender people.[3]

1800–1950[edit]

Joseph Lobdell (born in 1829 as Lucy Ann Lobdell), lived as a man for sixty years and due to this was arrested and incarcerated in an insane asylum. He was, however, able to marry a woman.[4]

During the American Civil War (1861–1865) at least 240 people assigned female at birth are known to have worn what was traditionally men's clothing and fought as soldiers. Many may have worn men's clothes because they weren't allowed to fight and this was their only means of participating in the war effort. Some of them were transgender and continued to live as men throughout their lives.[5] One such notable soldier was Albert Cashier.[6]

Jennie June (born in 1874 as Earl Lind) wrote The Autobiography of an Androgyne (1918) and The Female Impersonators (1922), memoirs that provide rare first-person testimony about the early-20th-century life of a transgender person. The words "transsexual" and "transgender" had not yet been coined, and June described herself as a "fairie" or "androgyne", an individual, she said, "with male genitals", but whose "physical constitution" and sexual life "approach the female type".[7] In 2010 five sections of her third volume of memoirs (dated 1921 but never published), previously lost, were discovered and published on OutHistory.org.[7]

In 1895 a group of self-described androgynes in New York organized a club called the Cercle Hermaphroditos, based on their wish "to unite for defense against the world's bitter persecution".[8]

Billy Tipton (born in 1914 as Dorothy Lucille Tipton) was a notable American jazz musician and bandleader who lived as a man in all aspects of his life from the 1940s until his death. His own son did not know of his past until Tipton's death. The first newspaper article about Tipton was published the day after his funeral and was quickly picked up by wire services. Stories about Tipton appeared in a variety of papers including tabloids such as the National Enquirer and Star, as well as more reputable papers such as New York Magazine and The Seattle Times. Tipton's family also made talk show appearances.[9]

1950s and 1960s[edit]

The 1950s and 1960s saw some of the first transgender organizations and publications, but law and medicine did not respond favorably to growing awareness of transgender people.

The most famous American transgender person of the time was Christine Jorgensen, who in 1952 became the first widely publicized person to have undergone sex reassignment surgery, (in this case, male to female), creating a worldwide sensation.[10] However, she was denied a marriage license in 1959 when she attempted to marry a man, and her fiancee lost his job when his engagement to Christine became public knowledge.[11]

Virginia Prince, a transgender person who began living full-time as a woman in San Francisco in the 1940s, developed a widespread correspondence network with transgender people throughout Europe and the United States by the 1950s. She worked closely with Alfred Kinsey to bring the needs of transgender people to the attention of social scientists and sex reformers.[12]

In 1952, using Virginia Prince's correspondence network for its initial subscription list, a handful of other transgender people in Southern California launched Transvestia: The Journal of the American Society for Equality in Dress, which published two issues. The Society that launched the journal also only briefly existed in Southern California.[12]

In 1960 Virginia Prince began another publication, also called Transvestia, that discussed transgender concerns. In 1962, she founded the Hose and Heels Club for cross-dressers, which soon changed its name to Phi Pi Epsilon, a name designed to evoke Greek-letter sororities and to play on the initials FPE, the acronym for Prince's philosophy of "Full Personality Expression". Prince believed that the binary gender system harmed both men and women by keeping them from their full human potential, and she considered cross-dressing to be one means of fixing this.[12]

Reed Erickson, a transsexual man, founded the Erickson Educational Foundation in 1964. EEF supplied information at no cost to transgender people, family members, and professionals and provided funding for the publication of Richard Green and John Money's edited 1969 text Transsexualism and Sex Reassignment and other books about sex and gender.[13] EEF also funded the earliest symposia for professionals who worked with transsexuals; this eventually resulted in the formation of the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, which is today called the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.[14][15] The work of the EEF would be continued by psychologist Paul Walker in the late 1970s, in the 1980s by Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark and Jude Patton, and in the 1990s by Dallas Denny.[16]

In the late 1960s in New York, Mario Martino founded the Labyrinth Foundation Counseling Service, which was the first transgender community-based organization that specifically addressed the needs of female-to-male transsexuals.[citation needed]

Transgender people also gained some exposure through popular culture, in particular the work of Andy Warhol. In the 1960s and early 1970s the transgender actresses Holly Woodlawn and Candy Darling were among Warhol's Warhol Superstars, appearing in several of his films.[citation needed]

In 1965 150 gender non-conforming people came to Dewey's Coffee Shop in Philadelphia to protest the fact that the shop was refusing to serve young people in "non-conformist clothing".[17] After three protesters refused to leave after being denied service they, along with a black gay activist, were arrested. This led to a picket of the establishment organized by the black GLBT population. In May another sit-in was organized and Dewey's finally agreed to end their discriminatory policies.[18]

The following year, in 1966, one of the first recorded transgender riots in US history took place. The Compton's Cafeteria Riot occurred in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. The night after the riot, more transgender people, hustlers, Tenderloin street people, and other members of the LGBT population joined in a picket of the cafeteria, which would not allow transgender people back in. The demonstration ended with the newly installed plate-glass windows being smashed again. According to the online encyclopedia glbtq.com, "In the aftermath of the riot at Compton's, a network of transgender social, psychological, and medical support services was established, which culminated in 1968 with the creation of the National Transsexual Counseling Unit [NTCU], the first such peer-run support and advocacy organization in the world".[19]

Transgender people were also heavily involved in the Stonewall Riots of 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in New York. These riots are widely considered to have begun the LGBT rights movement in America. A transgender woman, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, was a leader in the riots,[20] but was struck on her head by a police officer and was taken into custody. While in prison, she reported that a corrections officer broke her jaw.[21] Holly Woodlawn, also a transgender woman, was also part of the rioting.[22]

Though transgender activism began on a larger scale in this period, it was also a period of heavy discrimination for those who were known to be transsexual, a term that was coined by cisgender American physician Harry Benjamin in 1957. In 1966 the first case to consider transsexualism in the US was heard, Mtr. of Anonymous v. Weiner, 50 Misc. 2d 380, 270 N.Y.S.2d 319 (1966). The case concerned a transsexual person from New York City who had undergone sex reassignment surgery and wanted a change of name and sex on their birth certificate. The New York City Health Department refused to grant the request, and the court ruled that the New York City and New Jersey Health Code only permitted a change of sex on the birth certificate if an error was made recording it at birth, so the Health Department acted correctly. The decision of the court in Weiner was affirmed in Mtr. of Hartin v. Dir. of Bur. of Recs., 75 Misc. 2d 229, 232, 347 N.Y.S.2d 515 (1973) and Anonymous v. Mellon, 91 Misc. 2d 375, 383, 398 N.Y.S.2d 99 (1977).[citation needed]

In 1968 a transgender person again sought a change of name and sex on their birth certificate in the case of Matter of Anonymous, 57 Misc. 2d 813, 293 N.Y.S.2d 834 (1968). The change of sex was denied, but the name change was granted. The same occurred in the case of Matter of Anonymous, 64 Misc. 2d 309, 314 N.Y.S.2d 668 (1970).[citation needed]

1970s and 1980s[edit]

Many support organizations for male cross-dressers began in the 1970s and 1980s, with most beginning as offshoots of Virginia Prince's organizations from the early 1960s.[12] Transgender activists Lee Brewster began publishing the transgender women's magazine Queens.[12] Angela Douglas founded TAO (Transsexual/Transvestite Action Organization), which published the Moonshadow and Mirage newsletters. TAO moved to Miami in 1972, where it came to include several Puerto Rican and Cuban members, and soon grew into the first international transgender community organization.[12]

Another significant event for activism occurred in 1979, with the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights held in Washington, D.C. on October 14. It drew between 75,000 and 125,000[23] transgender people, lesbians, bisexual people, gay men, and straight allies to demand equal civil rights and urge the passage of protective civil rights legislation.[24][25] The march was organized by Phyllis Frye (who in 2010 became Texas's first openly transgender judge)[26] and three other activists, but no transgender people spoke at the main rally.

A few other scattered positive developments also occurred in this period. In 1975 Minneapolis became the first city in the United States to pass trans-inclusive civil rights protection legislation.[12] In 1977 Renee Richards, a transsexual woman, was granted entry to the U.S. Open (in tennis) after a ruling in her favor by the New York Supreme Court. This was considered a landmark decision in favor of transgender rights.[27]

Other legal cases continued to consider the issue of changing the gender marker on one's official documentation, but cases in this period also considered other issues of anti-transgender discrimination. In 1975 in the case of Darnell v. Lloyd, 395 F. Supp. 1210 (D. Conn. 1975), a Connecticut court found that substantial state interest must be demonstrated to justify refusing to grant a change in sex recorded on a birth certificate. However, in 1977, in the case K. v. Health Division, 277 Or. 371, 560 P.2d 1070 (1977), the Oregon Supreme Court rejected an application for a change of name or sex on the birth certificate of a post-operative transsexual, on the grounds that there was no legislative authority for such a change to be made.

In 1976 the first case in the United States that found post-operative transsexuals could marry in their post-operative sex was decided. In the New Jersey case M.T. v. J.T., 140 N.J. Super. 77, 355 A.2d 204, cert. denied 71 N.J. 345 (1976), the court expressly considered the English Corbett v. Corbett decision that disallowed such a marriage, but rejected its reasoning.

Also in 1976, the New Jersey Supreme Court rejected the appeal of a transgender plaintiff, Paula Grossman, in a sex discrimination case involving termination from her teaching job after sex reassignment surgery.[28] Another sex discrimination case in 1984, Ulane v. Eastern Airlines Inc. 742 F.2d 1081 (7th Cir. 1984), concerned Karen Ulane, a transsexual pilot. The Seventh Circuit denied her Title VII (of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) sex discrimination protection by narrowly interpreting "sex" discrimination as discrimination "against women", and denying Ulane's womanhood.

The 1970s also saw conflict between the transgender and lesbian communities in America. A dispute began in 1973, when the West Coast Lesbian Conference split over a scheduled performance by the lesbian transgender folk-singer Beth Elliott.[29] Elliot had served as vice-president of the San Francisco chapter of the lesbian group Daughters of Bilitis, and edited the chapter's newsletter, Sisters, but was expelled from the group in 1973 on the grounds that she was not really a woman.[12] [30] In 1977 some lesbians protested the fact that lesbian transgender woman Sandy Stone was employed at Olivia Records.[30] In 1979 lesbian radical feminist activist Janice Raymond released the book The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male, which she framed as a critique of a patriarchal medical and psychiatric establishment, and which maintains that transsexualism is based on the "patriarchal myths" of "male mothering," and "making of woman according to man's image." Raymond claimed this was done in order "to colonize feminist identification, culture, politics and sexuality," adding: "All transsexuals rape women's bodies by reducing the real female form to an artifact, appropriating this body for themselves .... Transsexuals merely cut off the most obvious means of invading women, so that they seem non-invasive." In this charge, Raymond echoed feminist Robin Morgan's charge at the 1973 West Coast Lesbian Conference, held in Los Angeles, that pre-op transsexual folk singer Beth Elliott, who had performed the previous day, was "an opportunist, an infiltrator, and a destroyer-with the mentality of a rapist."[31] In particular, Raymond mounted an ad hominem attack on Sandy Stone in The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male.[32] Raymond accused Stone by name of plotting to destroy the Olivia Records collective and womanhood in general with "male energy." In 1976, prior to publication, Raymond had sent a draft of the chapter attacking Stone to the Olivia collective "for comment", apparently in anticipation of outing Stone. Raymond appeared unaware that Stone had informed the collective of her transgender status before agreeing to join. The collective did return comments to Raymond, suggesting that her description of transgender and of Stone's place in and effect on the collective was at odds with the reality of the collective's interaction with Stone. Raymond responded by increasing the virulence of her attack on Stone in the published version of the manuscript:

Masculine behavior is notably obtrusive. It is significant that transsexually constructed lesbian feminists have inserted themselves into positions of importance and/or performance in the feminist population. Sandy Stone, the transsexual engineer with Olivia Records, an "all-women" recording company, illustrates this well. Stone is not only crucial to the Olivia enterprise but plays a very dominant role there. The...visibility he achieved in the aftermath of the Olivia controversy...only serves to enhance his previously dominant role and to divide women, as men frequently do, when they make their presence necessary and vital to women. As one woman wrote: "I feel raped when Olivia passes off Sandy...as a real woman. After all his male privilege, is he going to cash in on lesbian feminist culture too?"[32]

The collective responded in turn by publicly defending Stone in various feminist publications of the time. Stone continued as a member of the collective and continued to record Olivia artists until political dissension over her transgender status, exacerbated by Janice's book, culminated in 1979 in the threat of a boycott of Olivia products. After long debate, Stone left the collective and returned to Santa Cruz.

By the late 1970s, despite increasing recognition in medical circles, the battle for acceptance was far from won and some of the reverses of this period included the dissolution of some of the first transsexual advocacy groups including the NTCU, and the loss of support in both gay and feminist circles.[30]:255

In 1980, transgender people were officially classified by the American Psychiatric Association as having "gender identity disorder."[12]

The 1980s saw the founding of a number of newsletters and magazines of central important to trans people. In the 1980s, most of the subscribers to Rupert Raj's Toronto-based publications, Metamorphosis and Gender NetWorker, were Americans. Metamorphosis was founded by Raj in early 1982 as a bi-monthly newsletter. It was a "newsletter exclusively for F-M men" (with an intended readership among their families, wives/girlfriends, as well as professionals and "para professionals interested in female TSism"). By the third issue, the newsletter averaged around 8 pages, whereas in 1986, most issues were 24 pages; the last issue was in 1988. In 1986 transgender activist Lou Sullivan founded the support group that grew into FTM International, the leading advocacy group for female-to-male transgender individuals, and began publishing The FTM Newsletter.[12] Gender NetWorker was founded by Raj in 1988, and lasted two issues. This publication was directed specifically towards "helping professionals and resource providers."[33]

The term "transgender" as an umbrella term to refer to all gender non-conforming people became more commonplace in the late 1980s.[34][dead link][35][better source needed] In 1987 Sandy Stone, an American transgender woman, published the essay "The Empire Strikes Back: A Posttranssexual Manifesto," in response to the anti-transsexual book Transsexual Empire.[36] Her essay has been cited as the origin of transgender studies.[36]

1990s and 2000s[edit]

In 1991 a transgender woman named Nancy Burkholder was removed from the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival when security guards realized she was transgender. After that there were demonstrations against the Festival's women-born-women only policy. These demonstrations were known as Camp Trans.[37] The final Michigan Womyn's Music Festival was held in 2015.[38]

1991 was also the year of the first Southern Comfort Conference. The Southern Comfort Conference is a major[39] transgender conference that takes place annually in Atlanta, Georgia.[40][41] It is the largest,[41] most famous, and pre-eminent such conference in the United States.[42]

Several transgender organizations were founded in the 1990s and early 2000s. Transgender Nation, an offshoot of Queer Nation's San Francisco chapter, was one of the early transgender organizations, lasting from 1992–1994.[12] Transexual Menace (sic) was another such group, founded in 1994 by Riki Wilchins.[12] One of its first actions was to hold a memorial vigil outside at the trial of Brandon Teena's killers. In 1995, all the national transgender organizations got together and formed the board of GenderPAC, the first national political advocacy organization devoted to the right to one's gender identity. GenderPAC organized the first National Gender Lobby Day on Capitol Hill the following year, with help from activists Phyllis Frye and Jane Fee. It also launched a Corporate Diversity Pledge of Fortune 500 companies that had added "gender identity" to their non-discrimination policies (since HRC's at that point was only "sexual orientation") as well as a similar Congressional Diversity Pledge. However, GenderPAC saw its focus as also including gender non-conforming gays and lesbians who were discriminated against, causing a split in the organization. In 1999 the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition was founded by a group of experienced transgender lobbyists, who discovered after lobbying Congress in May 1999 that other organizations ostensibly supportive of rights for transgender people had been lobbying against the interests of the transgender community. The Transgender Foundation of America was founded in 2001.[43] In 2003 the National Center for Transgender Equality[44] and the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) were founded.[45]

The LGBT rights group Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), founded in 1972, also became more supportive of transgender people at this time. In 1998 gender identity was added to their mission after a vote at their annual meeting in San Francisco.[46] PFLAG was the first national LGBT organization to officially adopt a transgender-inclusion policy for its work.[47] PFLAG established its Transgender Network, also known as TNET, in 2002, as its first official "Special Affiliate," recognized with the same privileges and responsibilities as its regular chapters.[46]

At this time the transgender community became more visible. A high school teacher in Lake Forest, IL, Karen Kopriva, became the first American teacher to transition on the job in 1998. There was considerable media uproar, but when another teacher followed the next year in a different suburb hardly anyone noticed. The Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1998 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, an American transgender graphic designer, columnist, and activist,[48] to memorialize the murder of transgender woman Rita Hester in Massachusetts in 1998.[49] The Transgender Day of Remembrance is held every year on November 20 and now memorializes all those murdered due to transphobic hate and prejudice.[50] The most prominent version of the Transgender Pride flag was created in 1999 by the American trans woman Monica Helms.[51] The flag was first shown at a pride parade in Phoenix, Arizona in 2000. In 2012 Spokane Trans created their own version of the transgender pride flag. They describe it on their web site as follows: "The top two stripes represent male (blue) to female (pink). The purple represents non-binary and genderqueer people (as the genderqueer flag colors are green, white and purple) the thin white stripe represents all people as well as the "line" trans* folks cross during their transition. Then the female (pink) to male (blue) along the bottom."[52] In 2009 the International Transgender Day of Visibility was founded by Rachel Crandall, also the founder of TransGender Michigan; it is an annual holiday occurring on March 31, dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide.[53][54]

Transgender visibility in the LGBT community also gathered force in the 2000s. In 2002, Pete Chvany, Luigi Ferrer, James Green, Loraine Hutchins and Monica McLemore presented at the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Health Summit, held in Boulder, Colorado, marking the first time transgender people, bisexual people, and intersex people were recognized as co-equal partners on the national level rather than gay and lesbian "allies" or tokens.[55] In 2004 the San Francisco Trans March was first held.[56] It has been held annually since; it is San Francisco's largest transgender Pride event and one of the largest trans events in the entire world.[56] Also in 2004 the book The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism by the highly controversial researcher J. Michael Bailey was announced as a finalist in the Transgender category of the 2003 Lambda Literary Awards. Transgender people immediately protested the nomination and gathered thousands of petition signatures in opposition within a few days. After the petition, the Foundation's judges examined the book more closely, decided that they considered it transphobic and removed it from their list of finalists.[57] Within a year the executive director who had initially approved of the book's inclusion resigned.[58] Executive director Charles Flowers later stated that "the Bailey incident revealed flaws in our awards nomination process, which I have completely overhauled since becoming the foundation's executive director in January 2006."[59] In 2005 transgender activist Pauline Park became the first openly transgender person chosen to be grand marshal of the New York City Pride March, the oldest and largest LGBT pride event in the United States.

Politics increasingly began to include openly transgender people. In 2003 Theresa Sparks was the first openly transgender woman ever named "Woman of the Year" by the California State Assembly,[60] and in 2007 she was elected president of the San Francisco Police Commission by a single vote, making her the first openly transgender person ever to be elected president of any San Francisco commission, as well as San Francisco's highest ranking openly transgender official.[61][62][63][64] In 2006 Kim Coco Iwamoto was elected as a member of the Hawaii Board of Education, making her at that time the highest ranking openly transgender elected official in the United States, as well as the first openly transgender official to win statewide office.[65][66] In 2008 Stu Rasmussen became the first openly transgender mayor in America (in Silverton, Oregon).[67][68] In 2009 Diego Sanchez became the first openly transgender person to work on Capitol Hill, where he worked as a legislative assistant for Barney Frank.[69] Sanchez was also the first transgender person on the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) Platform Committee in 2008.[70][71] In 2009 Barbra "Babs" Siperstein was nominated and confirmed as the first openly transgender at-large member of the Democratic National Committee,[72] and in 2012 she became the first elected openly transgender member of the DNC.[73]

Transgender history also began to be recognized around this time. In 1996 Leslie Feinberg published Transgender Warriors, a history of transgender people.[74] Dallas Denny founded the Transgender Historical Society in 1995 and in 2000 donated her collection of historical materials to the Joseph A. Labadie Collection at the University of Michigan.[75][76] In 2008 Cristan Williams donated her personal collection to the Transgender Foundation of America, where it became the first collection in the Transgender Archive, an archive of transgender history worldwide.[77][78] In 2009 the Committee on Lesbian and Gay History, an affiliated society of the American Historical Association, changed its name to the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History.[79]

Transgender people also made groundbreaking strides in entertainment. In 2004, the first all-transgender performance of the Vagina Monologues was held. The monologues were read by eighteen notable transgender women, and a new monologue revolving around the experiences and struggles of transgender women was included.[80] In 2005 Alexandra Billings became the second openly transgender woman to have played a transgender character on television, which she did in the made-for-TV movie Romy and Michelle: A New Beginning.[81] From 2007 to 2008 actress Candis Cayne played Carmelita Rainer, a transgender woman having an affair with married New York Attorney General Patrick Darling (played by William Baldwin), on the ABC prime time drama Dirty Sexy Money.[82][83][84] The role made Cayne the first openly transgender actress to play a recurring transgender character in prime time.[82][83][84]

The American transgender community also achieved some firsts in religion around this time. In 2002 at the Reform Jewish seminary Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York the Reform rabbi Margaret Wenig organized the first school-wide seminar at any rabbinical school which addressed the psychological, legal, and religious issues affecting people who are transsexual or intersex.[85] In 2003 she organized the first school-wide seminar at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College which addressed the psychological, legal, and religious issues affecting people who are transsexual or intersex.[85] Also in 2003, Reuben Zellman became the first openly transgender person accepted to the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he was ordained in 2010.[86][87][88] Elliot Kukla, who came out as transgender six months before his ordination in 2006, was the first openly transgender person to be ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.[89] HUC-JIR is the oldest extant Jewish seminary in the Americas and the main seminary for training rabbis, cantors, educators, and communal workers in Reform Judaism. In 2007 Joy Ladin became the first openly transgender professor at an Orthodox Jewish institution (Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University).[90][91] Emily Aviva Kapor was ordained privately by a rabbi she defined as "Conservadox" in 2005, but did not begin living as a woman until 2012, thus becoming the first openly transgender female rabbi.[92]

2010s[edit]

In the 2010s openly transgender people became increasingly prominent in entertainment. Chaz Bono became a highly visible transgender celebrity when he appeared on the 13th season of the US version of Dancing with the Stars in 2011, which was the first time an openly transgender man starred on a major network television show for something unrelated to being transgender.[93] He also made Becoming Chaz, a documentary about his gender transition that premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network) acquired the rights to the documentary and debuted it on May 10, 2011. Also in 2011, Harmony Santana became the first openly transgender actress to receive a major acting award nomination when she was nominated by the Independent Spirit Awards as Best Supporting Actress for the movie Gun Hill Road.[93] In 2012, Bring It On: The Musical premiered on Broadway, and it featured the first transgender teenage character ever in a Broadway show - La Cienega, a transgender woman played by actor Gregory Haney.[94] That same year singer Tom Gabel made headlines when she publicly came out as transgender, planning to begin medical transition and eventually take the name Laura Jane Grace.[95] She is the first major rock star to come out as transgender.[95] Perhaps most notably, famous director Lana Wachowski, formerly known as Larry Wachowski, came out as transgender in 2012 while doing publicity for her movie Cloud Atlas.[96] This made her the first major Hollywood director to come out as transgender.[97]

In the early 2010s transgender people also made more inroads in politics. In 2010 Amanda Simpson became the first openly transgender presidential appointee in America when she was appointed as senior technical adviser in the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security.[98] Also in 2010, Victoria Kolakowski became the first openly transgender judge in America.[99] In 2012 Stacie Laughton became the first openly transgender person elected as a state legislator in United States history. However, she resigned before she was sworn in and was never seated. It was revealed that she was a convicted felon and was still on probation, having served four months in Belknap County House of Corrections following a 2008 credit card fraud conviction. It was later determined that she was ineligible to serve in the New Hampshire State Legislature.[100][101][102] Previously, in 1992 Althea Garrison had been elected as a state legislator, serving one term in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, but it was not publicly known she was transgender when she was elected.[103]

In 2014 openly transgender people became more visible. That year Laverne Cox was on the cover of the June 9, 2014, issue of Time, and was interviewed for the article "The Transgender Tipping Point" by Katy Steinmetz, which ran in that issue and the title of which was also featured on the cover; this made Cox the first openly transgender person on the cover of Time.[104][105][106] Later in 2014 Cox became the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy in an acting category: Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Sophia Burset in Orange Is the New Black.[107][108][109] She did not win, however.[110] Also that year Transgender Studies Quarterly, the first non-medical academic journal devoted to transgender issues, began publication with two openly transgender coeditors, Susan Stryker and Paisley Currah.[111][112] Also in 2014 a wooden racket used by openly transgender tennis player Renée Richards and the original transgender pride flag created by openly transgender activist and Navy veteran Monica Helms, as well as items from Helms's career in the service as a submariner, were donated to the National Museum of American History, which is part of the Smithsonian.[113] But perhaps the most important change in 2014 was that Mills College became the first single-sex college in the U.S. to adopt a policy explicitly welcoming openly transgender students, followed by Mount Holyoke becoming the first Seven Sisters college to accept transgender students.[114][115]

Following her divorce in 2015, Caitlyn Jenner came out in a television interview as a transgender woman.[116] On June 1, 2015, Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce Jenner) revealed her new name, Caitlyn, and her use of female pronouns officially.[117] Many news sources have described Jenner as the most famous openly transgender American.[118][119][120]

As for political organizations fighting for LGBT rights, in 2012 Allyson Robinson, who graduated West Point as Daniel Robinson, was appointed as the first Executive Director of OutServe-SLDN, the association of LGBT people serving in the military, making her the first openly transgender person to lead a national LGBT organization that does not have an explicit transgender focus.[121] 2012 also saw the country's first government-funded campaign to combat anti-transgender discrimination, held by the D.C. Office of Human Rights.[122]

There were also two firsts for transgender people in sports in the 2010s. Kye Allums became the first openly transgender athlete to play NCAA basketball in 2010.[123][124] Allums is a transgender man who played on George Washington University's women's team.[125][126] In 2012 Keelin Godsey became the first openly transgender contender for the U.S. Olympic team, but he failed to qualify and did not go to the Olympics.[127][128]

Three groups - the Girl Scouts, the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance, and the Episcopal Church in the United States - announced their acceptance of transgender people in this decade. In 2011, after the initial rejection of Bobby Montoya, a transgender girl, from the Girl Scouts of Colorado, the Girl Scouts of Colorado announced that "Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization and we accept all girls in Kindergarten through 12th grade as members. If a child identifies as a girl and the child's family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout."[129] Also in 2011, the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance changed its policy to include transgender and bisexual players.[130] In 2012 the Episcopal Church in the United States approved a change to their nondiscrimination canons to include gender identity and expression.[131]

There were also two important advances in equal opportunity employment for transgender people at this time. In 2012 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission expanded upon these individual court cases by ruling that Title VII (of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) does prohibit gender identity-based employment discrimination as sex discrimination.[132] The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission declared, "intentional discrimination against a transgender individual because that person is transgender is, by definition, discrimination 'based on ... sex' and such discrimination ... violates Title VII".[132] This ruling was for a discrimination complaint filed by the Transgender Law Center on behalf of openly transgender woman Mia Macy, who had been denied a job due to her gender identity.[132] The ruling opens the door for any transgender employees or potential employees who have been discriminated against by a business hiring 15 or more people in the US based on their gender identity to file a claim with the EEOC for sex discrimination. Then in 2013 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in favor of an openly transgender woman (name not made public) who was subjected to physical and verbal harassment at her job with a federal contractor in Maryland.[133] This, according to the LGBT rights organization Freedom to Work, is the first time in history that the EEOC has investigated allegations of anti-transgender harassment and ruled for the transgender employee.[133]

Another significant change for transgender people occurred in 2013 when the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) was released. This edition eliminated the term "gender identity disorder," which was considered stigmatizing, instead referring to "gender dysphoria," which focuses attention only on those who feel distressed by their gender identity.[134]

Another important change that year was that California enacted America's first law protecting transgender students; the law, called the School Success and Opportunity Act, declares that every public school student in California from kindergarten to 12th grade must be "permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil's records."[135]

The Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, officially called "An Act to Provide for Single-sex Multiple Occupancy Bathroom and Changing Facilities in Schools and Public Agencies and to Create Statewide Consistency in Regulation of Employment and Public Accommodations" but commonly known as "House Bill 2" or "HB2", is an act passed in the U.S. state of North Carolina in March 2016. It has been described as the most anti-LGBT legislation in the United States.[136][137][138][139] Proponents of HB2 call it "common sense" legislation,[140][141][142] while advocates of repeal say replacing it with an anti-discrimination law is "common sense".[143] One contentious element of the law eliminates anti-discrimination protections for gay, bisexual, transgender, genderqueer, and intersex people, and legislates that in government buildings, individuals may only use restrooms and changing facilities that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates.[144][145] This has been criticized because it prevents transgender people who do not or cannot alter their birth certificates from using the restroom consistent with their gender identity:[144] in North Carolina, only people who undergo sex reassignment surgery can change the sex on their birth certificates, and outside jurisdictions have different rules, some more restrictive.[146] The legislation changes the definition of sex in the state's anti-discrimination law to "the physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a person's birth certificate."[147][148][149] The act also prohibits municipalities in North Carolina from enacting anti-discrimination policies,[150] setting a local minimum wage, regulating child labor, or making certain regulations for city workers. The legislation initially removed the statutory and common-law private right of action to enforce state anti-discrimination statutes in state courts,[151] but was later amended to restore that right.[152] On May 9, 2016, the United States Department of Justice sued Governor Pat McCrory, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, and the University of North Carolina system, stating that House Bill 2 violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Violence Against Women Act. On the same day, North Carolina's governor and legislative leaders filed two separate lawsuits against the Department of Justice to defend the law. Two private lawsuits are also underway, one challenging and the other defending the law.

An important legal victory for transgender people occurred in April 2016, when the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of transgender male student Gavin Grimm, which marked the first ruling by an appeals court to find that transgender students are protected under federal laws that ban sex-based discrimination.[153] The ruling came on a challenge to the Gloucester County School Board's policy of making transgender students use alternative restroom facilities.[153] However, later in 2016 the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to put that ruling on hold.[154]

On June 10, 2016, an Oregon circuit court ruled that a resident, Jamie Shupe, could legally change their gender to non-binary. The Transgender Law Center believes this to be "the first ruling of its kind in the U.S."[155]

On June 11, 2016, Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was hosting Latin Night, a weekly Saturday-night event drawing a primarily Hispanic crowd.[156][157] Two Puerto Rican transgender women were headlining performers.[158] In what was the deadliest mass shooting and the worst terror attack since 9/11 to occur in the United States, a mass shooting then occurred which killed 50 people, including the shooter, and injured 53.[159][160][161][162][163] ISIL's Amaq News Agency claimed that the assault, "... was carried out by an Islamic State fighter".[164][165] The FBI identified the deceased gunman as Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, a 29-year-old American citizen born in New York to Afghani parents, and living in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Mateen called 9-1-1 during the attack and pledged allegiance to ISIL.[165]

It was announced on June 30, 2016 that, beginning on that date, otherwise qualified United States service members could not any longer be discharged, denied reenlistment, involuntarily separated, or denied continuation of service because of being transgender.[166]

Sarah McBride was a speaker at the Democratic National Convention in July 2016, becoming the first openly transgender person to address a major party convention in American history.[167][168][169][170]

Education[edit]

Sandy Stone is an openly transgender woman whose essay, titled "The Empire Strikes Back: A Posttranssexual Manifesto," and published in 1987 in response to the anti-transsexual book Transsexual Empire, has been cited as the origin of transgender studies.[36]

In 1971, Bernardsville, New Jersey junior high music teacher Paula Grossman was fired from her position of 14 years after openly transitioning and announcing her identity as a woman. She appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 1976 refused to hear the case.

In August 2005, it was revealed that New Jersey Public School teacher ″Mr. Herb McCaffrey″ had secretly become ″Ms. Kerri Nicole McCaffrey″ in the middle of the previous school year, becoming the first openly transgender teacher in New Jersey in over thirty years Because she was non-tenured, Kerri Nicole McCaffrey was forced to hide her identity until the end of that 2005 school year and only revealed her changed name and status publicly that summer. After controversy ensued, Kerri Nicole McCaffrey successfully kept her 5th grade teaching job. Ms. Kerri Nicole McCaffrey still teaches in Mendham Boro, New Jersey as of 2005.[171]

In 2011 the FAIR Education Act (Senate Bill 48) became law in California, requiring the inclusion of political, economic, and social contributions of transgender people (along with lesbian, gay, and bisexual people and people with disabilities) in California's textbooks and public school social studies curricula.[172]

In 2012 Campus Pride, founded in 2001, issued its first list of the most welcoming places for trans students to go to college.[173][174][175]

In 2013 California enacted America's first law protecting transgender students; the law, called the School Success and Opportunity Act, declares that every public school student in California from kindergarten to 12th grade must be "permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil's records."[135]

In 2014 Mills College became the first single-sex college in the U.S. to adopt a policy explicitly welcoming openly transgender students. The policy states that applicants not assigned to the female sex at birth but who self-identify as women are welcome, as are applicants who identify as neither male or female if they were assigned to the female sex at birth. It also states that students assigned to the female sex at birth who have legally become male prior to applying are not eligible unless they apply to the graduate program, which is coeducational, although female students who become male after enrolling may stay and graduate.[114]

Also in 2014, guidelines were issued by the U.S. Department of Education stating that transgender students are protected from sex-based discrimination under Title IX, and instructing public schools to treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity in single-sex classes, so that a student who identifies as a transgender boy is allowed entry to a boys-only class, and a student who identifies as a transgender girl is allowed entry to a girls-only class.[176] The memo states in part that "[a]ll students, including transgender students and students who do not conform to sex stereotypes, are protected from sex-based discrimination under Title IX. Under Title IX, a recipient generally must treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity in all aspects of the planning, implementation, enrollment, operation, and evaluation of single-sex classes."[176]

Also in 2014 Mount Holyoke became the first Seven Sisters college to accept openly transgender students.[115]

Also in 2014, Transgender Studies Quarterly, the first non-medical academic journal devoted to transgender issues, began publication, with two openly transgender coeditors, Susan Stryker and Paisley Currah.[111][177]

In 2015, Schools In Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools was introduced; it is a first-of-its-kind publication for school administrations, teachers, and parents about how to provide safe and supportive environments for all transgender students in kindergarten through twelfth grade.[178] Its authors are the Transgender Youth Project Staff Attorney for the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Gender Spectrum's Senior Director for Professional Development and Family Services, the National Education Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Human Rights Campaign.[178]

In May 2016, the Obama administration issued guidance that directed public schools to let transgender students use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity, and to use the student's preferred name and pronouns.[179] However, later that year, in August, Texas federal judge Reed O'Connor issued a nationwide injunction forbidding federal government agencies from taking any action against school districts which fail to follow the Obama administration's guidance on transgender bathroom and locker room policies in schools.[180]

An important legal victory for transgender people occurred in April 2016, when the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of transgender male student Gavin Grimm, which marked the first ruling by an appeals court to find that transgender students are protected under federal laws that ban sex-based discrimination.[153] The ruling came on a challenge to the Gloucester County School Board's policy of making transgender students use alternative restroom facilities.[153] However, later in 2016 the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to put that ruling on hold.[154]

Employment[edit]

In 1971, Bernardsville, New Jersey junior high music teacher Paula Grossman was fired from her position of 14 years after openly transitioning and announcing her identity as a woman. She appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 1976 refused to hear the case.

Mary Elizabeth Clark served as a United States Navy chief petty officer (E-7), serving as an instructor in anti-submarine warfare, before she underwent sex reassignment surgery; knowing of her past,[181] a U.S. Army Reserves recruiter signed her up for the Army, which she enlisted in in 1976.[182] A year-and-a-half later she was discharged from the Army when her history became known to higher-ups. She brought suit against the Army and won a settlement of $25,000 and an honorable discharge.[183][184]

In the 2004 case Smith v. City of Salem 378 F.3d 566, 568 (6th Cir. 2004) Smith, a female transsexual, filed Title VII (of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) claims of sex discrimination and retaliation, equal protection and due process claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and state law claims of invasion of privacy and civil conspiracy. On appeal, the Price Waterhouse precedent was applied: "[i]t follows that employers who discriminate against men because they do wear dresses and makeup, or otherwise act femininely, are also engaging in sex discrimination, because the discrimination would not occur but for the victim's sex". This was considered a significant victory for transgender people, as the case reiterated that discrimination based on both sex and gender expression is forbidden under Title VII (of the Civil Rights Act of 1964), opening the door for more expansive jurisprudence on transgender issues in the future. This case did not, however, eliminate workplace dress codes, which frequently have separate rules based solely on gender.

In August 2005, it was revealed that New Jersey Public School teacher ″Mr. Herb McCaffrey″ had secretly become ″Ms. Kerri Nicole McCaffrey″ in the middle of the previous school year, becoming the first openly transgender teacher in New Jersey in over thirty years–Paula Grossman had tried unsuccessfully to teach in a town near McCaffrey's district in 1971. Because she was non-tenured, Kerri Nicole McCaffrey was forced to hide her identity until the end of that 2005 school year and only revealed her changed name and status publicly that summer. After controversy ensued, Kerri Nicole McCaffrey successfully kept her 5th grade teaching job. Ms. Kerri Nicole McCaffrey still teaches in Mendham Boro, New Jersey as of 2005.[171]

In 2005 Izza Lopez was denied a job for "misrepresenting" her gender. A subsequent lawsuit, Lopez v. River Oaks Imaging & Diagnostic Group, Inc., established there was discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In 2008 the District Court of DC ruled in favor of Diane Schroer, who was denied a position as a terrorism research analyst at the Library of Congress after revealing that she would be transitioning from male to female.[185] The Court agreed that Shroer's case fell under sex discrimination regulations.[185]

Also in 2008 the first ever U.S. Congressional hearing on discrimination against transgender people in the workplace was held by the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions.[186]

In 2010 the Obama administration explicitly banned gender identity-based discrimination on the federal jobs web site USAJobs.[187]

In 2011 Vandy Beth Glenn, a transgender woman, won a lawsuit against then-Legislative Counsel Sewell Brumby. Brumby fired Glenn in 2007 for deciding to transition genders on the job, and a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's ruling that Brumby had wrongly fired Glenn.[188]

In 2012 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission expanded upon these individual court cases by ruling that Title VII (of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) does prohibit gender identity-based employment discrimination as sex discrimination.[132] The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission declared, "intentional discrimination against a transgender individual because that person is transgender is, by definition, discrimination 'based on ... sex' and such discrimination ... violates Title VII".[132] This ruling was for a discrimination complaint filed by the Transgender Law Center on behalf of transgender woman Mia Macy, who had been denied a job due to her gender identity.[132] The ruling opens the door for any transgender employees or potential employees who have been discriminated against by a business hiring 15 or more people in the US based on their gender identity to file a claim with the EEOC for sex discrimination.

Also in 2012, Kylar Broadus, founder of the Trans People of Color Coalition of Columbia, Missouri, spoke to the Senate in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.[189][190] His speech was the first-ever Senate testimony from an openly transgender witness.[190]

In 2013 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in favor of a transgender woman (name not made public) who was subjected to physical and verbal harassment at her job with a federal contractor in Maryland.[133] This, according to the LGBT rights organization Freedom to Work, is the first time in history that the EEOC has investigated allegations of anti-transgender harassment and ruled for the transgender employee.[133]

In 2014 the Labor Department extended nondiscrimination protections to its transgender employees.[191]

Also in 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order 13672, adding "gender identity" to the categories protected against discrimination in hiring in the federal civilian workforce and both "gender identity" and "sexual orientation" to the categories protected against discrimination in employment and hiring on the part of federal government contractors and sub-contractors.[192]

Also in 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed two lawsuits against companies accused of discriminating against employees on the basis of gender identity; these lawsuits were the first Title VII (of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) action taken by the federal government on behalf of transgender workers.[193] The lawsuits were filed for Amiee Stephens and Brandi Branson, both transgender women.[194] The clinic being sued on behalf of Branson settled with her in 2015, admitting no wrongdoing but agreeing to pay her $150,000 in backpay and damages and agreeing to implement gender identity nondiscrimination protections and trainings for employees.[195]

Also in 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder stated that the Justice Department's position going forward in litigation would be that discrimination against transgender people is covered under the sex discrimination prohibition in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.[196]

In 2015 the Army issued a directive that protected transgender soldiers from being dismissed by mid-level officers by requiring the decision for discharge to be made by the service's top civilian for personnel matters.[197] Later that year, the Air Force stated that for enlisted airmen, there was no outright grounds for discharge for anyone with gender dysphoria or who identified as transgender, and that a person would only be subject to eviction from the Air Force if his or her condition interfered with their potential deployment or performance on active duty.[198] Later in 2015, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus signed a memorandum directed to the chief of Naval operations and commandant of the Marine Corps stating: "Effective immediately, separations initiated under the provisions of the reference for service members with a diagnosis or history of gender dysphoria, who identify themselves as transgender, or who have taken steps to externalize the condition, must be forwarded to the assistant secretary of the Navy (manpower and reserve affairs) for decision."[199] Still later in 2015, Defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered the creation of a Pentagon working group "to study over the next six months the policy and readiness implications of welcoming transgender persons to serve openly."[200] He also stated that all decisions to dismiss troops with gender dysphoria would be handled by the Pentagon's acting under secretary of Defense for personnel and readiness (Brad Carson).[200]

Also in 2015, the Justice Department announced that it had filed its first civil lawsuit on behalf of a transgender person (Rachel Tudor); the lawsuit was United States of America v. Southeastern Oklahoma State University and the Regional University System of Oklahoma, filed in federal court in that state.[201]

Also in 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled for the first time that Army-imposed restroom restrictions on a transgender civilian employee (Tamara Lusardi) violated the sex discrimination provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.[202]

Also in 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration published a Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers, which provides guidance to employers on best practices regarding restroom access for transgender workers.[203]

It was announced on June 30, 2016 that, beginning on that date, otherwise qualified United States service members could not any longer be discharged, denied reenlistment, involuntarily separated, or denied continuation of service because of being transgender.[166]

Health[edit]

In 1980, transgender people were officially classified by the American Psychiatric Association as having "gender identity disorder."[12]

In February 2007, Norman Spack co-founded Boston Children's Hospital's Gender Management Service (GeMS) clinic; it is America's first clinic to treat transgender children.[204][205]

In 2009, America's professional association of endocrinologists established best practices for transgender children that included prescribing puberty-suppressing drugs to preteens followed by hormone therapy beginning at about age 16.[204] In 2012 the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry echoed these recommendations.[204]

In 2011, the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health published the first-ever protocols for transgender primary care.[93]

Also in 2011, the Veterans Health Administration issued a directive stipulating that all transgender and intersex veterans are entitled to the same level of care "without discrimination" as other veterans, consistent across all Veterans Administration healthcare facilities.[206]

In 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's ban on sex-based discrimination, which will take effect by January 2014, "extends to claims of discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity."[207]

Also in 2012, Beth Scott, a transgender woman from New Jersey, successfully appealed Aetna's decision not to cover her mammogram because she is transgender. Aetna eventually paid the cost of her mammogram and agreed to ensure that transgender people can access all necessary sex-specific care, such as prostate exams and gynecological care, regardless of whether they are categorized as male or female in insurance records.[208]

Also in 2012, the American Psychiatric Association issued official position statements supporting the care and civil rights of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.[209]

In 2013, the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) was released. This edition eliminated the term "gender identity disorder," which was considered stigmatizing, instead referring to "gender dysphoria," which focuses attention only on those who feel distressed by their gender identity.[134]

Also in 2013, at the request of a panel of endocrinologists, U.S. News and World Report, for the first time in its hospital rankings, assigned additional points to hospitals that had programs designed to meet the needs of transgender youth.[204]

Starting in January 2014, each American state must have a Health Benefit Exchange where individuals and families can buy health care plans, and no state's exchange may discriminate against consumers on the basis of gender identity.[210]

In 2014 it was decided that transgender people receiving Medicare may not be automatically denied coverage by them for sex reassignment surgeries; this was decided in a ruling on the case of Denee Mallon, a transgender woman, but it applies to all transgender people receiving Medicare and not just her.[211]

Also in 2014, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management announced an end to the ban on transition-related healthcare in Federal Employee Health Benefits plans (FEHB).[212] This decision did not mean FEHB insurance providers were required to cover transition-related healthcare, only that they could if they wanted.[212] But in 2015, it was announced that effective January 1, 2016, insurance companies that participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program must include transition-related coverage.[213]

In 2015, a federal court first confirmed that the Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination against transgender people by any health care provider accepting federal funds.[214] Specifically, in the case of a young transgender man who said he was badly mistreated in a Minnesota hospital, the court ruled that Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act prohibits gender identity discrimination under the umbrella of sex discrimination, and that by accepting Medicare and Medicaid funds the hospital was subject to the law.[214]

Also in 2015, new guidance was issued from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury declaring that when, "an attending provider determines that a recommended preventive service is medically appropriate for the individual – such as, for example, providing a mammogram or pap smear for a transgender man who has residual breast tissue or an intact cervix – and the individual otherwise satisfies the criteria in the relevant recommendation or guideline as well as all other applicable coverage requirements,the plan or issuer must provide coverage for the recommended preventive service, without cost sharing, regardless of sex assigned at birth, gender identity, or gender of the individual otherwise recorded by the plan or issuer."[215][216]

Also in 2015, the American Psychological Association's Council of Representatives adopted "Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People" at the Association's 123rd Annual Convention.[217] Such guidelines set ideals to which the American Psychological Association encourages psychologists to aspire.[217] According to the "Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People", psychologists who work with transgender or gender nonconforming people should seek to provide acceptance, support and understanding without making assumptions about their clients’ gender identities or gender expressions.[217]

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ruled for the first time that transgender people are entitled to surgical benefits provided under Medicare Advantage insurers, including sex reassignment surgery; the ruling came in a case regarding the transgender woman Charlene Lauderdale but does not only apply to her.[218]

Also in 2016, new regulations were published stating that any health care provider or health insurance company that receives federal funds, as well as state Medicaid agencies and Obamacare health insurance exchange marketplaces, must give transgender people equal treatment, and transgender people have the right to make civil rights claims if such entities deny them coverage or necessary care because they are transgender.[219]

Housing[edit]

In 2012 United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced new regulations that require all housing providers that receive HUD funding to prevent housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.[220] These regulations went into effect on March 5, 2012.[221]

In a memo made public in 2015, officials issued guidance for Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel directing staff to house transgender immigrants in sex-segregated housing that corresponds with their gender identity.[222]

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice released guidelines forbidding corrections agencies from placing transgender inmates into men's or women's units solely based on their anatomy at birth.[223]

Also in 2016, HUD declared that homeless shelters it funds must give transgender people the option of being housed with the gender with which they identify.[224]

Identity and status issues[edit]

In 2003 Conservative Judaism's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards approved a rabbinic ruling on the status of transsexuals. The ruling concluded that individuals who have undergone full sexual reassignment surgery, and whose sexual reassignment has been recognized by civil authorities, are considered to have changed their sex status according to Jewish law. Furthermore, it concluded that sexual reassignment surgery is an acceptable treatment under Jewish law for individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria.[225]

In 2010 the State Department amended its policy to allow permanent gender marker changes on passports where a physician states that "the applicant has had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition to the new gender".[226] The previous policy required a statement from a surgeon that gender reassignment surgery was completed.[227]

In 2011 the Social Security Administration (SSA) ended the practice of allowing gender to be matched in its Social Security Number Verification System (SSNVS). Therefore, the Social Security Administration no longer sends notifications that alert employers when the gender marker on an employee's W-2 does not match Social Security records, a practice that "outed" some transgender Americans in the past.[228]

In 2012 the Veterans Health Administration declared that transgender veterans are able to change the gender marker on their medical records by providing a physician's letter confirming gender reassignment.[229]

In 2013 the Social Security Administration (SSA) removed its requirement that transgender people wanting to amend their gender on a Social Security card provide proof of gender reassignment surgery, instead stating that a transgender person wanting to amend their gender on a Social Security card must provide a passport or birth certificate reflecting their accurate gender, or a certification from a physician confirming that the individual has had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition.[230]

In 2014 the American Medical Association adopted a policy stating that transgender people should not be required to undergo genital surgery in order to update legal identification documents, including birth certificates.[231]

Also in 2014, the Social Security Administration (SSA) stated that although its "past policy was to refer all marriage-based claims involving transgender individuals for a legal opinion from the Regional Chief Counsel[,] [o]ur new policy allows us to process most claims...without the need for a legal opinion."[232] This change came soon after Robina Asti, a 92-year-old transgender woman, was denied survivor benefits by the SSA for two years after her husband's death, benefits she finally received on February 14, 2014.[232][233]

Also in 2014, Facebook introduced dozens of options for users to specify their gender, including a custom gender option, as well as allowing users to select between three pronouns: "him," "her" or "their."[234] Later that year Facebook added a gender-neutral option for users to use when identifying family members, for example Parent (gender neutral) and Child (gender neutral).[235]

Also in 2014, Google Plus introduced a new gender category called "Custom", which generates a freeform text field and a pronoun field, and also provides users with an option to limit who can see their gender.[236]

Marriage and parenting[edit]

In the 1999 case Littleton v. Prange, 9 SW3d 223 (1999),[237] Christie Lee Littleton, a post-operative female transsexual, argued to the Texas 4th Court of Appeals that her marriage to her deceased male husband was legally binding and she was entitled to his estate. The court decided that Littleton's gender corresponded to her chromosomes, which were XY (male). The court subsequently invalidated her revision to her birth certificate, as well as her Kentucky marriage license, ruling "We hold, as a matter of law, that Christie Littleton is a male. As a male, Christie cannot be married to another male. Her marriage to Jonathon was invalid, and she cannot bring a cause of action as his surviving spouse." Littleton appealed to the Supreme Court but it denied her writ of certiorari on October 2, 2000.

In the 2001 case In re Estate of Gardiner (2001)[238] the Kansas Appellate Court applied a different standard to the marriage of transgender woman J'Noel Gardiner, concluding that "[A] trial court must consider and decide whether an individual was male or female at the time the individual's marriage license was issued and the individual was married, not simply what the individual's chromosomes were or were not at the moment of birth. The court may use chromosome makeup as one factor, but not the exclusive factor, in arriving at a decision. Aside from chromosomes, we adopt the criteria set forth by Professor Greenberg. On remand, the trial court is directed to consider factors in addition to chromosome makeup, including: gonadal sex, internal morphologic sex, external morphologic sex, hormonal sex, phenotypic sex, assigned sex and gender of rearing, and sexual identity". Gardiner ultimately lost her case in the Kansas Supreme Court, which declared her marriage invalid.[239]

In 2002 transgender man Michael Kantaras made national news when he won primary custody of his children upon divorce; however, that case was reversed on appeal in 2004 by the Florida Supreme Court, upholding the claim that the marriage was null and void because Michael Kantaras was still a woman and same-sex marriages were illegal in Florida.[240] The couple settled the case with joint custody in 2005.[241][242]

The 2005 case re Jose Mauricio LOVO-Lara, 23 I&N Dec. 746 (BIA 2005)[243] considered marriage under federal law, as it pertains to immigration. The Board of Immigration Appeals (a federal body under the US Department of Justice) ruled that for purposes of an immigration visa: "A marriage between a postoperative transsexual and a person of the opposite sex may be the basis for benefits under ..., where the State in which the marriage occurred recognizes the change in sex of the postoperative transsexual and considers the marriage a valid heterosexual marriage."

In 2008 Thomas Beatie, an American transgender man, became pregnant, making international news. He wrote an article about his experience of pregnancy in The Advocate.[244] The Washington Post blogger Emil Steiner called Beatie the first "legally" pregnant man on record,[245] in reference to certain states' and federal legal recognition of Beatie as a man.[244][246] Beatie gave birth to a girl named Susan Juliette Beatie on June 29, 2008.[247][248] In 2010 Guinness World Records recognized Beatie as the world's "First Married Man to Give Birth."[249]

Violence against transgender people and their partners[edit]

In 1993 Brandon Teena, a transgender man, was raped and murdered in Nebraska. In 1999 he became the subject of a biopic entitled Boys Don't Cry, starring Hilary Swank as Brandon Teena, for which Swank won an Academy Award.

In 1995 in Washington, D.C. Tyra Hunter, a transgender woman, died after being denied medical care by ER staff due to her gender identity.[250][251] In 1998 her mother was awarded $2.8 million after the District of Columbia was found guilty of negligence and malpractice in Tyra's death. The Chicago area organization T.Y.R.A. (Transgender Youth Resources and Advocacy) was created in her memory.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1998 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, an American transgender graphic designer, columnist, and activist,[48] to memorialize the murder of transgender woman Rita Hester in Massachusetts in 1998.[49] The Transgender Day of Remembrance is held every year on November 20 and now memorializes all those murdered due to transphobic hate and prejudice.[50]

In 1999 Calpernia Addams, a transgender woman, began dating PFC Barry Winchell. Word of the relationship spread at Winchell's Army base, where he was harassed by fellow soldiers and ultimately murdered.[252] Winchell's murder and the subsequent trial resulted in widespread press coverage[253] and a formal review of the US "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) military policy, ordered by President Bill Clinton.[254][255][256] The case became a prominent example used to illustrate the failure of Don't Ask, Don't Tell to protect LGBT service members.[253] Addams' and Winchell's romance and the crimes of their abusers are depicted in the film Soldier's Girl, released in 2003. A subsequent New York Times article, "An Inconvenient Woman", documented the marginalization and misrepresentation of transgender sexuality even by gay rights activists.[253][257]

In 2002 Gwen Araujo, a transgender woman, was murdered in California by four men after they discovered she was transgender. The case made international news and became a rallying cause for the transgender and ultimately the larger LGBT community.[258][259][260][261][262][263][264][265] The events of the case, including both criminal trials, were portrayed in a television movie, A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story.[260][262]

In 2008 Angie Zapata, a transgender woman, was murdered in Greeley, Colorado. Allen Andrade was convicted of first-degree murder and committing a bias-motivated crime, because he killed her after he learned that she was transgender. Andrade was the first person in the US to be convicted of a hate crime involving a transgender victim.[266] Angie Zapata's story and murder were featured on Univision's "Aqui y Ahora" television show on November 1, 2009.

In 2009, due to the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act being signed into law, the definition of a federal hate crime was expanded to include those violent crimes in which the victim is selected due to their actual or perceived gender or gender identity. Previously federal hate crimes were defined as only those violent crimes where the victim is selected due to their race, color, religion, or national origin.[267]

In 2014, California became the first state in the U.S. to officially ban the use of trans panic and gay panic defenses in murder trials.[268]

On June 11, 2016, Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was hosting Latin Night, a weekly Saturday-night event drawing a primarily Hispanic crowd.[156][157] Two Puerto Rican transgender women were headlining performers.[158] In what was the deadliest mass shooting and the worst terror attack since 9/11 to occur in the United States, a mass shooting then occurred which killed 50 people, including the shooter, and injured 53.[159][160][161][162][163] ISIL's Amaq News Agency claimed that the assault, "... was carried out by an Islamic State fighter".[164][165] The FBI identified the deceased gunman as Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, a 29-year-old American citizen born in New York to Afghani parents, and living in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Mateen called 9-1-1 during the attack and pledged allegiance to ISIL.[165]

In 2015, 21 transgender women were murdered, most being women of color. In 2016, the death toll reached 21 just through September, placing 2016 on pace to be the deadliest year on record. [269]

Notable American transgender people[edit]

Nahshon Dion Anderson Los Angeles, California, 2011

Nahshon Dion Anderson is an award-winning writer, actor, model, and human rights activist who survived a brutal assault at age 19.[270]

Ben Barres, M.D., Ph.D. is Chair of the Neurobiology department at Stanford University School of Medicine. His research focuses on the interaction between neurons and glial cells in the nervous system.

Chaz Bono became a highly visible transgender celebrity when he appeared on the 13th season of the US version of Dancing with the Stars in 2011. This was the first time an openly transgender man starred on a major network television show for something unrelated to being transgender.[93] He also made Becoming Chaz, a documentary about his gender transition that premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network) acquired the rights to the documentary and debuted it on May 10, 2011.

Jennifer Finney Boylan is an author, political activist, and professor of English at Colby College in Maine. Her 2003 autobiography, She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders, was the first book by an openly transgender American to become a bestseller.[271] In 2013 Boylan was chosen as the first openly transgender co-chair of GLAAD's National Board of Directors.[272]

The Lady Chablis (March 11, 1957 – September 8, 2016) was an actress, drag performer, writer, and The Grand Empress of Savanah.

Lynn Conway, a computer scientist noted for the Mead & Conway revolution in VLSI design and the invention of generalized dynamic instruction handling, came out as transgender in 1999.[273][274][275][276][277][278][279][280][281] Her transition was more widely reported in 2000 in profiles in Scientific American and the Los Angeles Times, and she founded a well-known website providing emotional and medical resources and advice to transgender people.[281][282] Parts of the website have been translated into most of the world's major languages.[283]

Laverne Cox is an American actress, reality star, and transgender activist.[284][285][286] Cox has a recurring role in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black as Sophia Burset, a transgender woman who went to prison for credit-card fraud, and is the hairdresser for many of the inmates. Cox is best known for her role on Orange Is the New Black, for being a contestant on the first season of VH1's I Want to Work for Diddy and for producing and co-hosting the VH1 makeover television series TRANSform Me (which made her the first African-American transgender person to produce and star in her own TV show).[287][288] Cox was on the cover of the June 9, 2014 issue of Time, and was interviewed for the article "The Transgender Tipping Point" by Katy Steinmetz, which ran in that issue and the title of which was also featured on the cover; this makes Cox the first openly transgender person on the cover of Time.[104][105][106] Later in 2014 Cox became the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy in an acting category: Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Sophia Burset in Orange Is the New Black.[107][108][109] She did not win, however.[110]

Laura Jane Grace is the first major rock star to come out as transgender, which she did in 2012.[95] She is the founder, lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the punk rock band Against Me![95]

Stephen Ira, the son of Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, is an openly transgender and gay man.[289]

Elliot Kukla is a rabbi at the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center.[290][291] He came out as transgender six months before his ordination in 2006.[292][293] He was the first openly transgender person to be ordained by the Reform Jewish seminary Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. Later, at the request of a friend of his who was also transgender, he wrote the first blessing sanctifying the sex-change process to be included in the 2007 edition of the Union for Reform Judaism's resource manual for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender inclusion called Kulanu.[294][295][296]

Caitlyn Jenner is an American former track and field athlete and current television personality. Jenner came to international attention when, while still publicly identifying as a man, she won the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics held in Montreal. Subsequently, she starred in several made-for-TV movies and was briefly Erik Estrada's replacement on the TV series CHiPs. Jenner was married for nearly 24 years to Kris Jenner (formerly Kardashian); the couple and their children appeared beginning in 2007 on the television reality series Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Following her divorce in 2015, Jenner came out in a television interview as a transgender woman.[116] On June 1, 2015, Caitlyn Jenner officially revealed her new name.[117] Many news sources have described Jenner as the most famous openly transgender American.[118][119][120]

Chelsea Manning is a United States Army soldier and whistleblower who was convicted in July 2013 of violations of the Espionage Act and other offenses, after providing WikiLeaks the largest set of classified documents ever leaked to the public.[297]

Billy Martin, known professionally as Poppy Z. Brite, is an American author. He initially achieved fame in the gothic horror genre of literature in the early 1990s after publishing a string of successful novels and short story collections. Martin's recent work has moved into the related genre of dark comedy, with many works set in the New Orleans restaurant world. Martin's novels are typically standalone books but may feature recurring characters from previous novels and short stories.

Amy Beth Prager is an MIT alumna in applied mathematics and computational science who does research in gender issues in mathematics and computer science education.[298]

Jennifer Pritzker came out as transgender in 2013 and thus became the world's first openly transgender billionaire.[299]

Sylvia Rae Rivera (July 2, 1951 – February 19, 2002) was an American gay liberation[300] and transgender activist[301] and drag queen.[302][303][304] She was a founding member of both the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance. With her close friend Marsha P. Johnson, Rivera co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), a group dedicated to helping homeless young drag queens and trans women of color.[305]

Max Wolf Valerio is a Native American poet, memoir writer, essayist and actor. His 2006 memoir The Testosterone Files describes his experience as a female-to-male transsexual.

Lana Wachowski is the first major Hollywood director to come out as transgender.[97] She came out in 2012 while doing publicity for her movie Cloud Atlas.[96]

In 2016, Lilly Wachowski disclosed to the Windy City Times that she, like her sister Lana, was transgender, after an interview done with the Daily Mail.

Jazz Jennings is a trans woman, who was the focus of a 20/20 episode with Barbara Walters in 2007. She has remained in the public eye, writing a book for trans children, as well as acting as a trans activist.

Janet Mock is a columnist, author, editor, and trans activist. Her story was first highlighted in a 2011 Marie Claire article about her and her life.

Kortney Ryan Ziegler is an award-winning filmmaker,[306] visual artist, writer,[307] and scholar based in Oakland, California.[308][309] His artistic and academic work focuses on queer/trans issues, body image, racialized sexualities, gender, performance and black queer theory. Ziegler is also the first person in history to receive the PhD of African American Studies from Northwestern University.[310]

See also[edit]

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Further reading[edit]