The first openly transgender judge to be appointed in the United States, the first attorney to obtain corrected birth certificates for transgender people who had not undergone gender confirmation surgery, a survivor of conversion therapy, and author of a law review article that helped thousands of employers adopt supportive policies for their workers, Phyllis Frye is truly a pioneer in the fight for transgender rights. 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–trained a cadre of future trans activists, and built the first national movement for transgender legal and political rights. Based on interviews with Frye, Phyllis Frye and the Fight for Transgender Rights covers her early life, the discrimination she faced while struggling with her identity–including being discharged from the army and fired from a subsequent job at her alma mater, Texas A&M–her transition in 1976, her many years of activism, and her current position as an associate judge for the municipal courts of Houston. This gripping account of Frye’s efforts to establish and protect the constitutional rights of transgender individuals not only fills a gap in existing histories of LGBTQ+ activism but will also inform and instruct contemporary trans activists.
We are excited to announce that activist, actress, international model and performer Carmen Carrera will be a featured speaker at the 2019 Houston Transgender Unity Banquet!
Carmen is a strong advocate for many causes, including Human Rights, HIV Prevention, and Discrimination against Transgender Women.
As a famous transgender model, actress, performer and activist who received her start with RuPaul’s Drag Race. This past winter, Carmen partnered with Christina Aguilera performing at Radio City Music Hall and hosted events at the Sundance Film Festival for AT&T and at NYC Fashion Week for Fashion News Live on Amazon Prime. In April, she spoke at the Iowa Safe Schools Governor’s Conference, which is the largest LGBTQ Youth Conference in the country and in May, was the special celebrity host for the Equality California Awards in San Francisco. This summer be on the lookout for her on the cover of Spirit Magazine.
Carmen is a featured model, including working with PUMA and has walked shows at New York City Fashion Week and Miami Swim Week. Carmen was the first transgender model to ever walk at Miami Swim Week. In a very special project “Show Girl”, Carmen was photographed by the legendary Steven Meisel for a spread in W Magazine. She also did a special project with HBO creating Transgender Awareness in Latin America for the show “Outpost” and was the face of the New York City Health Department’s #PlaySure Campaign.
We are pleased to welcome Lana Blake As our MC for 2019 Houston Transgender Unity Banquet!
Lana has been an Entertainer / Drag impersonator for over 25 years. Lana has performed all over Texas and held several titles including Miss Houston USofA, Miss Southwest Continental and Miss Texas USofA Classic 2015.
We are excited to announce that Cassandro will speaking at the 2019 Houston Transgender Unity Banquet!
World-renowned wrestler and winner of several world titles, Cassandro has toured the world for nearly three decades , but had his start on the U.S/Mexico border. Cassandro was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, but spent much of his time across the border in Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua. At the age of fifteen, Cassandro began training lucha libre in Juárez.
Cassandro has been a circuit speaker on a wide variety of topics including discrimination, spirituality, overcoming adversity, and LGBTQ issues. He has presented his story at high schools, universities, conventions, TED Talk, and other venues. Whether in front of a classroom of 20 students or on stage in front of 8,000 attendees, Cassandro has a way of relating to his audience regardless of their walk of life.
We are excited to announce that Vica Papp will be returning to Houston to speak at the 2019 Houston Transgender Unity Banquet!
Vica is a forensic speech scientist specializing in mining speaker characteristics and biometrics from large data bases with a background in forensic text linguistics, as well as in theoretical and applied linguistics and is currently a Forensic Speech Science Lecturer at University of Canterbury New Zealand.
Vica spent a lot of time working with the Houston transgender community while pursuing a PHD at Rice.
While in Houston the week following the banquet Vica will be offering group and individual voice classes for those one wishing to masculinize or feminize their voice and speech. The classes will be September 22 – Sept 27.
State Representative Jon Rosenthal to open the 2019 Houston Transgender Unity Banquet!
The Houston Transgender Unity Committee (HTUC) is pleased to announce that District 135 State Representative Jon Rosenthal will deliver opening remarks for this year’s banquet.
Jon is a strong ally to the LGBTQ+ community and is a champion for improving public education in Texas. After completing a very successful freshman year in the Texas Legislature where his engineering background allowed him to provide a science and fact based perspective discussions about legislation Jon was named Freshman of the Year by the Legislative Study Group (LSG) Caucus.