Transgenders Over The Years

Andrew Mosley, Journalist

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   Many people have assumptions of what it means to be transgender. Well let’s put it like this…biology determines sex, but one determine their identity. They came along way in the world and have became some of the strongest group of people that had to deal with cruelty such as the little things like calling names, to being beaten, raped, and murdered. The timeline of how they have overcome as a group is heartwarming.

   December 2, 1952, was when the first transgender came out in the world. Christine Jorgensen (formerly George Jorgensen Jr.) was born on May 30, 1926 and grew up in Bronx, New York and became an Army Private. Jorgensen made a huge hit when she came back from Denmark, where doctors were able to perform the first gender reassignment surgery. When she was in Denmark, she took hormone pills and had gotten the surgery and she stayed there for about a little under 2 years. She later became a singer and an actress.

   A physician, Harry Benjamin, published a book called The Transsexual Phenomenon  in 1966, explaining how transgender people could transition medically. Basically the booked talked about the procedure and what it does to you.

   In 1975, Minneapolis became the first city to pass a law  prohibiting discrimination against transexuals.

   The New York Supreme Court (Richards V. US Tennis ASS) ruled that Renèe Richards (formerly Richard Raskind), a transgender who played professional tennis, was eligible to play tennis and be represented as a women.

   Minnesota became the first state to expand protections like discrimination problems towards transgenders in 1993.

   On December 1993, 21-year-old transgender named Brandon Teena, was beaten, raped and murdered in Nebraska for being transgender. His story was later shared in the film Boys Don’t Cry, a movie about a young female-to-male transgender Brandon Teena leaving his hometown under threat when his ex-girlfriend’s brother discovers that he’s biologically female. Resettling in the small town of Falls City, Nebraska, Brandon falls for Lana, an aspiring singer, and begins to plan for their future together. But when her ex-convict friends, John and Tom, learn Brandon’s secret, things change very quickly.

   In 1995, Phyllis Frye and Riki Anne Wilchins held the first transgender lobbying day.

   The first Transgender Law Center opened its first office in San Francisco in 2001 because they felt like transgenders needed to be protected more.

   In May, 2003, former president George W. Bush became the first president to officially let a transgender person inside the White House. Most of the transgender advocacy organizations started up during the Bush years like the Transgender Law Center, Sylvia Rivera Law, the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health.

   California was the first state to mandate transgender health care coverage with the Insurance Gender Nondiscrimination Act. This helps this pay for things like hormone pills.

   Stu Rasmussen was elected for mayor of Silverton, Oregon, becoming the first openly transgender mayor in America on November of 2008.

   In June 2009, Chaz Bono, formerly known as Chastity Bono, the child of famous singer Cher and her then husband, Sonny Bono came out as a transgender man.

   October 17, 2010, the first openly transgender judge came out. Phyllis R. Frye had been a lawyer in Houston since 1981.

   In November 2010, Kye Allums, who played basketball at George Washington University, came out as a transgender man. He is believed to be the first Division 1 college basketball player to complete publicly as a transgender man.

   In June of 2014, Laverne Cox, an actress in Orange Is the New Black, became the first transgender to appear on the cover of Time Magazine. In July, she became the first transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy.

   Alexandra Billings was the first transgender to play a transgender character on television show called Transparent.

Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, an ex- Olympic gold medalist, author, actress and reality television star talked about her transition from an man to a woman in an article in Vanity Fair. In an acceptance speech for the Arthur Ashe Courage award at the Espy Awards in Los Angeles in July, she said she planned to use the attention that she gained to push acceptance for transgenders people all around the world.

   Transgenders made a huge impact in society by being themselves and making a stand for themselves by getting laws to protect them some became worldwide stars for being what they are. They still have a long way to go because people still criticize them, people will say the rudest things, and people still do the meanest things to hurt them. But I’m proud to say that I support transgenders and honor how they are a strong group of people.