Phyllis Frye and the Fight for Transgender Rights

Texas A&M Univ. Jun. 2022. 360p. ISBN 9781623499846. $34.95. BIOG
Long (Gay Is Good: The Life and Letters of Gay Rights Pioneer Franklin Kameny) and Tuttle’s (Exactly as You Are: The Life and Faith of Mister Rogers) excellent biography of Phyllis Frye, a transgender rights pioneer who founded the International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy, is based upon lengthy interviews with Frye. She was raised in a conservative Texas family that did not accept who she was, and as a young adult made attempts to fit in as a man. She found personal happiness in 1976 by marrying her wife Marie. But professionally she struggled, finding that her desire to dress as the woman she knew she was cost her several jobs. She also had to deal with the stress of facing arrest on a daily basis, as Houston banned people from wearing clothes of the opposite gender. This spurred Frye’s initial activism and decision to enter law school. She was the first attorney to obtain corrected birth certificates for transgender people who had not undergone gender confirmation surgery and became the first openly transgender judge to be appointed in the United States.
VERDICT This compelling and inspirational biography is a great addition to the collection.
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