August 31, 2015 – University of Houston Law Center alumna Phyllis Randolph Frye ’81, a pioneer in the transgender rights movement, was featured in a lengthy profile in the Saturday New York Times.
The article, “Once a Pariah, Now a Judge: The Early Transgender Journey of Phyllis Frye,” traces her transition from Eagle Scout, former member of the Texas A&M Corp of Cadets, and Army veteran to a national leader in the fight for equal rights for transgender people. Along the way, she was divorced, estranged from her son, blackballed in the engineering profession, and rejected for a government job. Her attendance at the then-UH Bates College of Law prompted concerns over use of restrooms, an issue that has risen again 35 years later in the politically charged rhetoric over the city of Houston’s proposed equal rights ordinance.
But Frye has seen great progress in the intervening years. Once at odds with gays and lesbians, transgenders now represent the “T” in the united LGBT front and were even recognized by President Obama in a State of the Union address. Frye, now considered the “grandmother of the transgender movement,” continues her efforts in private practice, exclusively representing clients with transgender issues. In 2010, she was appointed by Mayor Annise Parker to the municipal court bench, the nation’s first openly transgender judge.
Click here to read the full article.