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Phyllis Frye, a pioneer in the fight for transgender rights, delivered the 2022 Kirschner Human Rights Memorial Lecture. Called the "grandmother" of the movement for legal rights of transgender individuals, she is the first openly transgender judge to be appointed in the U.S.

Over 100 transgender bills were introduced in 34 states during the past three months. Frye addressed how far we've come in the fight for transgender rights and where we still need to go.

Frye delivered the Spring 2022 Robert H. Kirschner, MD, Human Rights Memorial Lecture. This lecture series honors the life and work of Dr. Robert H. Kirschner, noted forensic pathologist and a founder of the University of Chicago Human Rights Program.  The event was moderated by Kristen Schilt, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Sociology, and Director of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality. 


About the Speaker: 

Phyllis Randolph Frye is an Eagle Scout, a former member of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, a veteran (1LT-USA), an engineer, an attorney, a father, a grandmother and a lesbian widow. Frye was the first attorney to obtain corrected birth certificates for transgender people who had not undergone gender confirmation surgery.  Frye authored a law review article that helped thousands of employers adopt supportive policies for their workers. She pushed major gay and lesbian rights groups to include transgender people in employment nondiscrimination bills. 

Among her many accomplishments, Frye founded the first national organization devoted to shaping transgender law—the International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy, which has since created a body of work that includes the International Bill of Gender Rights. Frye has trained a cadre of transgender activists and built the first national movement for transgender legal and political rights. Her story has been featured in the New York Times, and her book, Phyllis Frye and the Fight for Transgender Rights will be published later this year.



Presented by the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights and co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality and the University of Chicago Law School.