Presentation on theme: "2009 by Renée Baker. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including."— Presentation transcript:
2009 by Renée Baker. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, microfilm and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from Renée Baker.
Contents Introduction Part 1: From My Heart to Yours - A Personal Transgender Sharing (oral) Mystery of gender, a childhood look Growing up and family life Coming out Journey to self Transitional experiences from HRT to surgery Q&A Part 2 – Working With Transgender Individuals (slides) Terminology History Etiquette Equality, rights and current events Transgender standards of care Marketing to Transgender Clients Ten Steps to a Transgender Inclusive Workplace Back Matter
December 2004 Right Before FFS May 2006 One week after FFS First Day of Hormones August 30, 2005 Circa 2000 Transitional Changes
Males & Females Biologically speaking, the only defining factor for whether an organism is male or female is the gamete size it produces. Males – sperm or small gametes Females – eggs or large gametes Biologically speaking, the only defining factor for whether an organism is male or female is the gamete size it produces. Males – sperm or small gametes Females – eggs or large gametes Help! Pssst…we havent talked about sex and gender yet.
The Root of Sex: Biological Hermaphrodites* Hermaphrodite The most common reproductive system Produces both large and small gametes during a lifetime (biological term) Most flowering plants are simultaneously hermaphroditic as are many deep sea fish Simultaneous hermaphroditic both gametes made same time Sequentially hermaphroditic both gametes made different times About ¼ of the fish near coral reefs are hermaphroditic. *Do not use this to refer to intersexed people.
Sex Traditional Sex is defined as whether a human is either male or female, or by which gamete they produce. Assumptions about what genitalia should then look like are then made. The Problem Secondary sex characteristics and sexual anatomy are much more diverse. There is spectrum of human males and human females. About 2% of the human population is intersexed having a sexed body outside of what society expects. *See A. Lev Were X girl stuff I am Y boy stuff
Commonality of Intersexed Conditions Intersexed people or mammals Produce eggs & sperm And/or have combinations of egg/sperm related genitalia Intersexed beings play an important role in society and in biology Commonality of Intersexed Conditions Among Mammals Percent of Species
Varying Effects of Intersexed Conditions There are over 70 types of chromosomal and hormonal conditions causing intersexed syndromes or ambiguous genitalia (Lev) Effects are quite diverse Varying penis or clitoris size Varying location of urethra opening along penis Closure of labia / scrotal appearance Varying vaginal depth or no vagina Varying size testes or partially descended or not descended No uterus or cervix or fallopian tubes Varying degrees of feminization or masculinization Varying body shapes Many intersexed people are raised as the opposite sex to their chromosomes Many intersexed people are given genital surgery for correction Many consider this practice unethical About five baby girls have their clitorises operated on each day (Ms. Mag.) Many intersexed people also identify as transgendered
More on Sex Modern Sex is the anatomical and physiological makeup of a human being, referred to as the biological or natal sex. Sex is not bipolar in one type of male and one type of female. Sex is a complex interaction of determinates that affect the body physiology and sexual differentiation in the brain Genetics Hormone Morphology, Biochemistry Anatomical In short, there are more than two sexes, even if we only legally have two. *See A. Lev
Sexism Sexism is when an individual is judged to be certain way by virtue of their sex. See! As I said, all men clowns No we arent!
Sex Myth Busters * Males and females are males and females for life. False! The most common form of plant life is simultaneous male & female Half of the animal kingdom is simultaneously male or female or changes throughout life Females always give birth. False! In many species, the female deposits the eggs in the males pouch and the male tends the nest *See Joan Roughgarden reference Males are always bigger than females. False! No, in many species such as fish, the female is the biggest Males always have XY chromosomes and females have XX. False! In birds, the reverse is true (ZZ is male, ZW is female) In many species, males and females have the same chromosomes. The male seahorse carries the baby and gives birth The turtles sex is determined by temperature of egg laying environment
Sex Myth Busters II There are only two genders. False! Many species have three or more genders Each sex can have more than one form Males and females always look different. False! In some species, males and female look alike The male always has a penis and the female lactates. False! The female hyena for example has a penis like structure The male fruit bat of Borneo for example produces milk in mammary glands Males always control females. False! In some species, females actually dominate Females dont always prefer a dominant male Females always prefer monogamy and males want to fool around. False! In many species, males and females play around Lifelong monogamy is rare Sometimes the male of a species lactates
Nature sometimes seeks a balance of males and females Protogyny Females change into males Protandry Males change into females Sex Myth Busters III No animal species changes their sex. False! Many fish families change their sex (both ways) The moray eel changes its sex
Gender Traditional Gender is defined as a way a person expresses their sexual identity in a given society. The assumption is that all men have something in common and women differ from men. Men are considered the norm and women deviate. Masculine - differing attributes of males Feminine- differing attributes of females Modern Gender is defined in terms of attributes we ascribe to an individual regardless of their sexual identity Emotions Thoughts Desires Behaviors Gender and Sex are not synonymous I am a real man!
Gender Our gender role is the social roles we play in life, conscious or not. Our gender identity is how we describe ourselves in terms of gender Including man, woman or androgyne and so on. It is a self description. Person of gender is a term not used much, but I am promoting as an alternative to transgendered and is inclusive of all humans. It puts the focus on that we are persons first. The gender community is an inclusive term for gender variant Individuals and SOFFA (significant others, friends, family, allies)
An umbrella term encompassing all those gender expressions that fall outside of the expected range for a given sex. A term of empowerment for those that use it.
DRAG Queens DR ESSED A S A G IRL (DRAG) Most DRAG Queens are male identified female performers, often gay Some DRAG Queens are female identified female performers, often lesbian A typical performance is song and dance with lip syncing and comedy It is common for DRAG Queens to support local GLBT community fundraising (e.g., Lone Star Court / Gay Bingo) It is common for DRAG Queens to perform at clubs, organizations and schools as part of GLBT outreach DRAG Queen competitions are common and many earn money by performing DRAG is not universally accepted Miss and Mr. Texas Gay Rodeo Association hosting the UT Dallas DRAG Queen GALA, benefiting the Resource Center of Dallas, Source: Renee Baker
Cross Dressers Cross dressers are those that occasionally wear clothes outside the socially prescribed gender norms Cross dressers are typically male identified and cross dress outside of their functioning male roles Women that wear mens casual clothes occasionally generally dont define themselves as cross dressers Many early cross dressers will later identify as trans women Many cross dressers do not identify with the term transgendered Cross dressers often just want to be a girl for a night to break from the male role. Majority of CDs are closeted in some respect. Derogatory and Passé - Transvestite A male identified cross dresser with a supportive spouse at Southern Comfort Conference, Source: Renee Baker
Crossdressing Accessories Breast Forms Hip pads Wigs Corsets Gaffs Dermablend Makeup Crossdressers and transgender individuals will often go to great lengths to pass or blend The opposite of passing is being read. Part of the unfolding is to learn not to worry what others think. Passing no longer is a priority and instead self-expression is the key.
Bi-Gender Many people reject the notion that we have one gender as male or female Some are androgynous displaying masculine and feminine traits simultaneously Some are gender neutral like Pat on Saturday Night Live Other common names – Two-Spirit – Gender Queer, – Third Sex – Gender Bender – Gender Warrior
Trans Men and Women Transsexuals are people that alter their bodies (surgically or hormonally) with the desire to change their sex The term transsexual is a medical term and has a pathological history of abuse by the psychological and psychiatric community Trans is often preferred, or just man or woman Transgenderist is someone that feels they are more than a cross- dresser, but not a transsexual Ethan St. Pierre A Female to Male (FTM) Trans Man photo courtesy of
Transition Transition is that time of life we go from one state to another. Three Steps An ending occurs A challenging neutral zone of disorienting and reorienting is experienced A new beginning The big transgender question: Should I transition? Transition is often a painful time, fraught with uncertainty, sadness, depression and loss. Transition is a time that is disorienting and reorienting. Solitude is needed for a time of reflection to break patterns and awaken.
Possible Steps in a Male to Female (MTF) Transition Counseling Real Life Test Name Change Personal Changes Hair Removal Hormone Treatments Facial Surgery Gender Surgery Breast Augmentation Gender Marker Change
Coming Out Coming out is allowing self-disclosure We have a choice at each moment of encounter To share who we are To hide who we are LGB people come out about their sexuality T people come out about their gender identity The more educated people become about gender and sexuality, the more accepting they are. Acceptance by allowing others to simply be is a great gift of love. Avoiding judgment allows others a chance to discover their authentic selves.
MTF Hormone Therapy* Typically, trans women take Estrogen: feminizing growth hormone Spironolactone: antiandrogen to decrease masculinization Typical feminizing effects Breast development Softening of skin Emotional changes similar to experienced in puberty An increase in fat Subcutaneous below the skin Hips and buttocks Decrease in size of testes and prostate gland Decrease in ejaculate and frequency of erections Eventual infertility Effects NOT expected Decrease in beard growth A change in ones voice or increase in pitch Estradiol 2 mg Spironolactone 100 mg *Not medical advice. See doctor for proper treatment.
Roman History Eunuchs were well known throughout ancient Roman times. There were two types Eunuchs by nature Eunuchs by castration Served as guardians for women and children Many were strongly female identified Many became priestesses to the goddess Cybele In the Middle East, Mukhannathun were a group of feminine men that would be considered modern day MTF transgendered
Medieval History Jehanne or Joan is a popular hero for trans men Born in France in 1412 A military leader who defeated the English at Orleans making the way for Charles to receive the crown Dressed as a man as religious duty Burned at the stake alive at age 19 Jehanne D Arc Source: wikipedia, public domain
Modern History Christine Jorgensen was the first widely known transsexual Woman in the U.S. The first modern day sex change was in 1945 Ex-GI Becomes Blonde Beauty – NY Daily, 1952 The stonewall riots of 1969 were in response of police brutality towards transgender women Transgender women and bi-gender individuals Ignited riots to protest Stonewall was the launch of the modern day gay rights movement.
Bathrooms Generally we should allow people to use bathrooms in the gender they are presenting in. A business has a right to decide which bathrooms people can use, or can escort the client off premises.
Terms of Endearment* *See GLAAD.org Problematic Terminology Endearing Terminology Comment A transgenderA transgender personTransgender is an adjective, not a noun Sex change, pre-op, or post-op TransitionOne does not have to have surgery to change their sex Sex change surgeryGender Confirming Surgery or Gender Reassignment Surgery Sex reassignment surgery is also used, but usage is declining HermaphroditeIntersexedHermaphrodite is old school and often used to sensationalize intersexed people
Phrases to Avoid Problematic PhraseComment You look just like a woman or just like a man. Saying a transwoman or transman look just like a woman or man is arrogant, judgmental and presumptuous. It reduces a person to an object. You pass so well.The goal is to be authentic and not to pass. If someone is authentic, they pass as themself. If you had facial surgery (etc.), you would pass better. A transgender person should never be pressured to have surgery or make physical changes. They should be encouraged to discover themselves until they know what is best for them. I never would have known you were a man / woman. It is really not a complement to say how well a person passes. It makes you feel like you are not being valued as a human, but a physical object.
Defamatory* *See GLAAD.org Defamatory TerminologyComment "she-male," "he-she," "it," "trannie," "tranny," "gender- bender" These are all dehumanizing terms that tend to reduce transgender people to something less than human. They are sometimes used by transgender people themselves, but in general, they should be avoided and assumed to be degrading. "deceptive," "fooling," "pretending," "posing," or "masquerading" While transgender people are expressing gender in a gender-variant way, it is insulting to assume they are putting on a show or faking it. For those just coming out of a closet, extra patience is needed while allowing the transgender individual time to try on various hats until the right one fits.
Names and Pronouns* *See GLAAD.org NameTo be respectful, be sure to use the individuals chosen name, regardless of their legal name or their previous legal name. Pronouns When you are not sure which pronoun to use, go ahead and ask the person which pronoun they prefer. They may prefer you to use he or she dependent upon the situation and how they are presenting at that time. If you cant ask, then you can use gender neutral they or them as singular pronouns even if awkward. Quotation MarksAvoid putting quotation marks around names and pronouns. It implies a snarky attitude.
Equality Everyone wants the same opportunity for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness If we can understand that everyone has a masculine and feminine side, then we recognize that equality for transgender people is equality for all. E QUALITY FOR TRANSGENDER INDIVIDUALS IS THE SAME AS EQUALITY FOR ANYONE ELSE
Rights Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits workplace discrimination based upon sex In 2004, it was ruled that transgender people were included under Title VII However, violence and discrimination is commonplace R IGHTS ARE MORAL PRINCIPLES DEFINING A HUMAN ' S FREEDOM OF ACTION IN SOCIETY
Example: Jet Pilot Fired Jamy Spradlin was fired in 2006 and lost her flying license It took two years of fighting to get back in the air She still has not found another flying job to replace her first one Jamy Spradlin Source: Renee Baker
Example: Police Beating In June of 2008, footage was leaked to the press of a police beating caught on tape Two officers were fired The transgender woman filed suit She was mysteriously murdered execution style before trial Grainy security camera footage at Memphis police station shows police officers brutally beating Duana Johnson Source:WMC-TV Memphis, Tennessee Duanna Johnson Murdered Nov. 9, 2008
International Bill of Transgender Rights
Current Event – Transgender Regret Sometimes, transgender people regret their transition. Christine Daniels, a sports reporter for the LA Times, decided not to transition. He is returning to live as Mike Penner. Data is sketchy, but about one in twenty that begin transition change their minds. Christine Daniels Source: USA Today 2/26 /09
Days of Importance DayDescription Transgender Day of Remembrance A day to remember those transgender individuals that were murdered. About two murders are occurring each month. TransAction DayGLSEN held this day for the first time in 2009 to educate teachers and counselors about gender variance Pride DayMost major cities have a pride day to celebrate the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community Lawrence King Murdered Feb 12, 2008
WPATH Mission is to promote evidence based care, education, research, advocacy, public policy and respect in transgender health. Publish the Standards of Care and Ethical Guidelines for gender transition The World Professional Association For Transgender Health
Marketing to the Gender Community ConnectionWhat To Do CounselorsConnect with local counselors that offer transgender counseling and let them know you are trans-friendly. Find them on the internet by searching on WPATH as they will be members. Counselors will have resource sheets that they give to clients. Ask to be on it. Drop off business cards or postcards. Local transgender and cross-dresser clubs. Connect with local organizations and offer a get-to-know you seminar. Facial SurgeonsFind facial surgeons that are transgender friendly. Let them know you are trans friendly and can support their clients. Wig SalonsMost wig salons work with transgender clients. Start a referral program and offer referral fee for any transgender clients they send to you. GLBT Community Centers Most large cities have a resource center for the gay community. Investigate their transgender programs and attend their meetings.
Marketing to the Gender Community ConnectionWhat To Do Local ChaptersFind local chapters of national transgender organizations and get connected to their organization. Make yourself available for seminars and public speaking. MediaFind local and national GLBT media outlets. Write articles on your expertise related to transgenderism, gender or sex. Current EventsParticipate in local or national transgender events such as DOR and TransAction Day. Word of MouthWord of mouth is your best bet. Deliver a good service and be generous and you will be valued. Yahoo, Facebook, Myspace, Forums, LinkedIn, Twitter There are a plethora of transgender groups online that you can become a part of. Advertise with the online company to place ads on trans individuals pages in your area (hyper-local ads).
A Few Organizations to Know NameWhat To DoWebsite International Foundation For Gender Education The IFGE resource directory lists local organizations and counselors by state and city. Tri-Ess, The Society for Second Self Tri-Ess has local chapters throughout the country. Out & Equal Workplace Advocates O&E has regional affiliates throughout the U.S. Human Rights CampaignHRC has local communities in the U.S.www.hrc.org Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation GLAAD has media resourceswww.glaad.org Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network GLSEN sponsors TransAction Day and Day of Silence. Trans Youth Family AlliesTYFA supports transgender youthwww.imatyfa.org
The Trans Inclusive Checklist HR departments are generally responsible for ensuring that all transgender employees follow certain procedures through any type of gender transition. The following checklist should help ensure that the transition takes place in a positive manner for transgender employees, coworkers and the management team.
Step 1 – EEO Policy S TEP 1: C REATE A N I NCLUSIVE E QUAL O PPORTUNITY E MPLOYMENT P OLICY The most important step in becoming a transgender inclusive company is to include language in the EEO policy stating the company prohibits discrimination and harassment of individuals because of their gender identity, gender expression or gender characteristics. Very simply include all three phrases – Gender Identity – Gender Characteristics – Gender Expression Closeted employees will then feel safe to come out of the closet and potential employees will know to consider you for employment Equality is not just a word Equality is a way of life Equality says we are all human and have equal potential
Step 2 – Update Policies S TEP 2: U PDATE T RANSGENDER R ELATED P OLICIES The company will need to address company policies in several areas as the transgender employee goes through transition. – Bathrooms (be very careful not to segregate) – Dressing Rooms/Showers – Dress Codes (all employees, including trans, must follow the dress codes) – Employee Records and Identification – Offsite Travel Help, there is a frog in my bathroom!
Step 3 – Transition Policy S TEP 3: C REATE A T RANSGENDER T RANSITION P OLICY The company will need to create a new policy addressing gender transition in the workplace. The policy should include the following items: – Purpose of the policy – Statement of corporate intention to be supportive of transgender transition – Basic transgender / corporate definitions and terminology – Responsibilities and Steps by HR or Diversity Leadership – Responsibilities and Steps to be taken by the Employee – Resources Help! Im making a change, what is the companys policy for transition?
Step 4 – Create Transition Plans S TEP 4: T RANSGENDER E MPLOYEE T RANSITION P LAN For each employee that transitions, the company should have a personalized written plan describing the roles of the employee and company during the time period. The plan can be a form that is filled out with specific details pertinent to each employee. – Name of employee – Listing the approximate date transition is to begin (living as new gender role) and end – Dress codes expected – List of individual names / contact for support – HR transition lead – EAP contact – Diversity and/or Employee Resource Group contacts – Health benefits contact – PTO/leave benefits contact – New name, pronouns and records changes – Security clearance issues – Bathroom / Dressing room / Offsite Facility usage Tailor a personal plan for each employee
Step 5 – Transgender Health Benefits S TEP 5: Determine Transgender Health Benefits Health benefits regarding licensed professional counseling, medical doctor treatments and potential surgeries should be addressed. As of 2008, the American Medical Association now regards gender reassignment surgery a medical necessity for transgender men and women. Personal time off or leave of absence will also need to be addressed. Here is a list of items to consider. – Licensed Professional Counseling – Sexuality – Gender Identity Disorder – Medical Treatments Hormone Replacement Therapy Hair Removal (Laser, Electrolysis) – Potential Surgeries for Male to Female Transsexual Women Genital Reconstruction Surgery (Orchiectomy, Penile Inversion) Facial Feminization Surgery Tracheal Shave Body Feminization Surgery (Breast Augmentation, Liposuction, Abdominoplasty, Buttock Augmentation) Voice Box Surgery – Potential Surgeries for Female to Male Transsexual Men Genital Reconstruction Surgery (Hysterectomy, Metoidioplasty, Pedicle Flap) Facial Masculinization Surgery Body Masculinization Surgery (Chest Reconstruction, Calf Implants, Thigh Lifts, Liposuction)
Step 6 – Communications Checklist S TEP 6: C OMMUNICATE, C OMMUNICATE, C OMMUNICATE ! Communications during an employee transition is very important and also can be very challenging. Some companies tend to ignore the matter which can be seen as an invitation by some coworkers to harass the transgender employee. Communication helps to keep people informed so that anxiety is reduced. There are several items to keep in mind: – Have an HR meeting w/ employee when they announce their transition – Meet with the employees supervisor – Meet with the employees coworkers, usually without the employee so they may feel free to ask questions – Hold a Transgender Sensitivity Training Remember that transgender employees are often quite nervous during transition, so extra kindness is always welcome!
Step 7 – Transgender Training S TEP 7: T RANSGENDER S ENSITIVITY T RAINING The best thing a company can do in providing transgender diversity training is to bring a mature transgender voice into the workplace. Often, employers will depend upon the transgender employee to be that voice, but that is not fair to the employee as they are in the midst of the complex and generally emotional transition itself and are still learning. Training can include a number of topics such as: – Sharing of a personal journey – Causation of Transgenderism – Workplace Experiences – Terminology – History – Etiquette – Equality and Equal Rights – Current Events – Transition Experiences – Participatory Exercises / Testing – Q&A Real change may come when people listen to the voice of a transgender individual
Step 8 – An Executive Statement S TEP 8: In addition to any formal company policies and guidelines, the President or CEO of an organization should regularly address that the company is LGBT friendly and supports the creation of employee resource groups and safe zones. Leadership should be clear that discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated. Conscientious and caring employees generally appreciate executives that embrace diversity openly
Step 9 – Legal & Health S TEP 9: B E A WARE OF T RANSGENDER L AWS AND H EALTH I SSUES Laws – The local, state and national laws are in a constant state of flux, but the trend is moving towards providing protections for transgender and gender non- conforming people. Similarly, transgender transitions are being viewed as medically necessary and hence discriminatory to deny coverage. – ENDA – Employment Non Discrimination Act will impact sexuality and gender variance (not passed) – OSHA – Impacts bathroom usage, distance to bathrooms, etc. – Title VII – 1964 Civil rights act ruling prohibiting discrimination. Diane Schroer v. Library of Congress Case ruled you cant discriminate against trans in employment (i.e., overturns previous ruling that trans are neither men nor women, hence not covered under Title VII) – Local statutes, court rulings, administrative regulations and administrative tribunals -Local rulings dictate discriminatory practices, which are still legal in some jurisdictions Laws help protect both employers and employees! Much research is yet to be done on transgender health Trans Health Organizations – WPATH – Impacts how the transition needs to take place for the employee (was HBIGIDA) – APA / DSM - The American Psychiatric Association defines criteria for gender identity disorder controversial terminology) – TransgenderCare.com – A popular resource for transition guidance – Check the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association – Trans Health Coordinators is a new resource coming online soon
Step 10 – Read! S TEP 10: R EAD T RANSGENDER L ITERATURE There are two recent books on transgender in the workplace and a more historical book on sexuality which is also quite helpful. With these three plus online resources (check genderpower.com), you will be in good shape! Jillian Weiss, Transgender Workplace Diversity, Booksurge Publishing. Vanessa Sheridan, Transgender in the Workplace, ABC- CLIO. Bob Powers and Alan Ellis, A Managers Guide to Sexual Orientation in the Workplace, Routledge.
References R. Baker, The Mystery of Coming Out, EDGE Publications, Aug. 20, 2008 R. Baker, Transgender Pilot Regains Her Wings, EDGE Publications, June 20, 2008 R. Baker, Police Beating of Transgender Woman Ignites Controversy, EDGE Publications, June 27, 2008 R. Baker, Metroplex Crossdressers Feel Support From Dallas Police, EDGE Publications, Oct. 10, 2008 A. Beall and R. Sternberg, 1993, The Psychology of Gender K. Bornstein, 1998, My Gender Workbook P. Currah, R. Juang, S. Minter, 2006, Transgender Rights A. Lev, 2004, Transgender Emergence. J. Roughgarden, 2004, Evolutions Rainbow. P. Sherman and J. Alcock, 1998, Exploring Animal Behavior: Readings from American Scientist, 2 nd ed.
Presentation Description Understanding the Needs of Transgender Clients Renee Baker, Ph.D. WWW. GENDERPOWER. COM Most male-to-female transgender individuals undergoing gender reassignment surgery will undergo partial or complete facial hair removal. As transgenderism is an area not always widely understood, many individuals are unsure of how to approach and work with transgender individuals. In this talk, Dr. Renee Baker will present an overview of transgenderism as pertinent to those in the professional hair removal industry. In Part 1, Dr. Baker will share her life experiences as a post-operative transgender woman. She will share her journey in life so others can gain a more heart-felt understanding of some of the challenges one faces in transitioning from male to female. In Part 2, Dr. Baker will present a slide presentation covering issues and etiquette that an electrologist could be made aware of when working with transgender clients. Dr. Baker enjoys interaction and encourages questions even if they are of a personal nature.
Renee Baker Biography Dr. Renee Baker was originally from New England, but grew up mainly on the Great Plains of South Dakota. Her father was a Spanish teacher and her mother taught ESL, so her home was that of international diversity. Her brother is a childrens educator and teaches the value of character. Though Renee grew up in a generally happy family, she struggled for years with her own sense of gender. While in her early forties, Renee was finally able to come to terms with being a transgendered woman and made the decision to surgically and hormonally transition from male to female. Renee now feels strongly that we have a long way to go in society to reach gender equality. She speaks whenever she can to help others understand our gender inequality is rooted in fear. Renee holds a doctorate in engineering and spent over 20 years in industry and academia. Renee currently owns her own massage practice providing mind-body-spirit therapy. She also owns her own transgender outreach practice providing diversity training, professional speaking and mentoring. Renee is a volunteer and past board member at Youth First Texas, a nonprofit organization supporting LGBT youth. She also writes stories of human interest for EDGE Publications. Renee has one son Alex and currently lives in Dallas with her partner Wendi and their furry, four- legged animal friends. Renee Baker, Ph.D. WWW. GENDERPOWER. COM 3530 Forest Lane, #306 Dallas, TX