Phyllis Randolph Frye has been fighting the good fight for LGBT rights for more than 30 years. She is the most high-profile transgender activist in Texas and is recognized around the country for her work. And now she is being recognized by her alma mater, no other than that bastion of machismo and heterosexuality, Texas A&M University.
A&M’s Department of Multicultural Services recently presented the 2009 Diversity Service Awards, including the Phyllis Frye Advocacy Award.
Here’s what the invitation to the awards ceremony had to say:
“2009Â marks an auspicious year at Texas A&M University and the surrounding community. We areÂ experiencing a seachange in regard to diversity inclusiveness within the Brazos Valley and how TAMU works in partnership with the gay,Â lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.Â This is evidenced by the growth in the amount of programming, outreach, attendance, and visibility at events and organizational meetings both on and off campus.
“Today, the Department of Multicultural Services announced the recipients of the 2009 Diversity Awards. Included this year is a new award honoring civil rights pioneer and the grandmother of the transgenderÂ movement in America – Phyllis R. Frye who graduated from Texas A&M University in 1970 with herÂ B.S. Â Degree in CivilÂ Engineering and in 1971 with her M.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering.
“Phyllis Frye’s philosophy of not just walking through doors of intolerance, but tearing them down is exemplified by the 2009 recipient of this prestigious award, Dr. James Rosenheim.Â Dr. Rosenheim has nurtured relationships with GLBT faculty, staff, students, allies and community members for over two decades both on and off campus, Â His leadership and brilliant mind have inspired and encouraged those who have found themselves in a place affectionately called “Closet Station,” and he is credited with helping to transform Texas A&M University into a place where every individual is valued.”
Here’s a little info from Frye’s own Web site, TransgenderLegal.com, about Frye’s background and history:
Phyllis Randolph is an OUT transgender attorney from Houston. In her earlier life she was an Eagle Boy Scout, her high school’s ROTC commander, a member of the Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets, a military officer, a civil engineer and a father. Ms. Frye has been involved, consistently on the front lines of the LGBT freedom movement, for 25 consecutive years. In 1980, she changed the Houston law against crossdressing. She founded the Transgender Law Conference in 1991. She was the pioneer in the national movement for transgender legal and political action. In 1995, Ms. Frye received the “Creator of Change” Award from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. In 1999, she received the Virginia Prince Lifetime Contribution Award from the International Foundation for Gender Education. During this year, she and attorney Alyson Meiselman of Maryland, took the Christie Lee Littleton case (http://christielee.net) which declared that genitals were not dispositive in the legal definition of sex so that a transgendered woman, vaginaed for over twenty years, was declared to be legally male. (The Littleton case was denied certiorari to the US Supreme Court a few weeks ago.) She has also taught as an adjunct professor of law and wants to continue that if allowed.”
Congratulations Phyllis Frye. You deserve this recognition, the appreciation of every LGBT person in Texas and so much more!