1981 Transgender News

Standard Disclaimer: This page is a listing and links to news items regarding transgender persons from 1981. It is ordered by date of appearance in the news, not the date of the event. Note that the text summaries are not transcripts.

January 2, 1981. Cleveland Plain Dealer

The television page has a quick note of a talk show appearance of “transsexual Joni Christian.”.

January 17, 1981. Seattle Daily Times, page A5

A healthy baby boy was born to the sister of Bobbie Lea Bennett, a transsexual woman. Ms. Bennett’s husband was the sperm donor for the artificial insemination procedure which led to the pregnancy.

February 19, 1981. Dallas Morning News

The 5th United States Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a pre-operative transsexual woman must follow her employer’s dress code and continue dressing male until her surgery is complete. However, the plaintiff was placed in a Catch-22 situation, as their physician directed them to have “real life experience” dressing female prior to surgery. Sadly, this form of passive gatekeeping was all-too common before the 2000’s.

August 6, 1981. Dallas Morning News

Karen Frances Ulane, a decorated Vietnam War veteran who flew Boeing 727 jets for Eastern Airlines for 12 years,is seeking her job back and $4 million in damages for her summary firing after her sexual reassignment surgery. Eastern Airlines has responded that the primary problem is that her own fellow pilots refuse to fly with her.

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