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Diane Manuel, News Service (650) 725-1945; e-mail:

Sex-change forum to be held at Stanford on April 13

The Humanities Center Workshop on Lesbian, Gay and Queer Studies will sponsor several presentations in Spring Quarter beginning April 6. In addition, it will host a public forum on "Sex Change at Stanford" on April 13.

"Sex-Change at Stanford: Historical and Personal Perspectives on Stanford's Pioneering Gender Dysphoria Program, 1968--Present," will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 13, in Geology Corner (Building 320), Room 105.

The first university-based American clinic for sex-reassignment opened at Johns Hopkins in 1966. In 1968, under the direction of plastic surgeon Dr. Donald Laub, Stanford opened the first sex-reassignment clinic on the West Coast and launched one of the pioneering programs that addressed so-called "gender dysphoria," better known as transsexuality. Although the history of the program is little known outside the transsexual community, it represents an important chapter in the history of sexuality in the United States.

A panel of experts will offer a mix of personal and historical perspectives on Stanford's role in the formation of transgender identity, community, politics and scholarship. They include the following:

Joanne Meyerowitz, a professor of history at Indiana University who earned her doctorate in U.S. history at Stanford in the early 1980s, will speak about "An Overview of Transsexual History in the United States." Author of Women Adrift: Independent Wage Earners in Chicago, 1880-1930 and the incoming editor of the Journal of American History, Meyerowitz currently is working on a history of transsexuality that will be published by Harvard University Press.

Allucquere "Sandy" Stone, an associate professor in the Radio, Television and Film Department at the University of Texas at Austin, where she teaches new media studies, will speak about "The Stanford Gender Dysphoria Program -- An MTF View." Stone is the author of The Empire Strikes Back: A Post-Transsexual Manifesto and The War of Desire and Technology at the Close of the Mechanical Age. She served as Jimi Hendrix's sound engineer and went through the Stanford Gender Dysphoria Program in the early 1970s. Since then, she has become one of the foremost theoreticians of transgender identity. The Empire Strikes Back helped to launch the academic field of transgender studies.

Jamison Green, a transgender community elder and activist who lectures on transgender topics to audiences worldwide, will address "The Stanford Gender Dysphoria Program -- An FTM View." A creative and technical writer, he was president for many years of FTM International, the nation's largest advocacy and support group for female-to-male individuals. Green passed through the Stanford program in the 1980s.

Susan Stryker, a Social Science Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow in Sexuality Studies in the Stanford History Department, will talk about "The Bay Area's Transsexual History." Stryker is researching the history of transgender community formation in the San Francisco Bay Area and producing a documentary film on a 1966 riot involving transgender prostitutes in San Francisco's Tenderloin district.

"Sex-change operations were not readily available in the United States until the fall of 1966," Stryker says. "The advent of transsexuality represents a significant shift in our culture's understanding of sexual identity, and Stanford was at the forefront of this shift."

All but one of the Humanities Center workshops, which are free and open to the public, will be held in the conference room at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWG). The schedule for Spring Quarter follows:

Dr. Nanette Gartrell, a Stanford graduate and San Francisco psychiatrist, will discuss "The National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study" at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, April 6. Gartrell's study follows 84 lesbian families from the birthmother's pregnancy through the index child's early adulthood.

Stryker will talk about her research on the history of transgender community formation in the San Francisco Bay Area at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, April 13. Her talk will be held at the Humanities Center Annex, not at IRWG.

Julian Carter, a lecturer in the School of Humanities and Sciences, will talk about the intellectual history of sex education at 4:15 p.m. Monday, May 1.

Tirza Latimer, a graduate student in the Department of Art and Art History, will present work from her dissertation "Looking Like a Lesbian: Romaine Brooks, Claude Cahun, Suzy Solidor and the Politics of Portraiture" at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, May 11. Latimer's talk will focus on artist Romaine Brooks and will include slides of her work.

Jim Reichert, assistant professor of Asian languages, will speak about "The 19th-Century Construction of Samurai Masculinity and Same-Sex Sexuality" at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, May 25.

For more information about the workshops, contact Daniel Rivers at


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