1985 Transgender News

Standard Disclaimer: This page is a listing and links to news items regarding transgender persons from 1985. 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 25, 1985. Portland Oregonian, page E4

Dear Abby again deals with the subject of transsexuality, in this case a question regarding a woman who wishes to marry a transman.

January 27, 1985. Mobile Register, pages 19F and 20F; New Orleans Times-Picayune, page B2E4

Two separate articles on the same subject are printed, with differences between the two which are significant enough that I’ve included both. Both articles are extensive reports on Dr. Stanley Biber and his care of transsexuals at his Trinidad, Colorado clinic. The Mobile Register article is here (page one and page two), and the New Orleans Times-Picayune article is here.

January 28, 1985. Boston Herald, page 22

A question to a sexual health advice column named “The Kinsey Report” answers a question about whether a penis can be transplanted onto a transgender man. The answer, of course, is no – for now.

February 7, 1985. Baton Rouge Advocate, page 16B

A former deputy sheriff of the East Baton Rouge Parish has entered a plea deal regarding his having oral sex with Roy Metrejean Jr., a transsexual and male prostitute.

March 27, 1985. Marietta Journal, page 7A

Hawaii Mitchell, a 20-year-old transsexual woman, has been convicted of murder and given two consecutive life sentences in prison. Mitchell, who claimed her gun accidentally discharged when she drew it from her purse during an armed robbery, said she wishes to complete her gender transition whilst in prison.

March 31, 1985. Augusta Georgia Chronicle, page E2

An editorial piece mocks the desire for convicted murderer Hawaii Mitchell to complete her gender transition whilst in prison.

April 4, 1985. Marietta Journal, page 2B

Dear Abby yet again has a transsexual topic – in this case, from a transsexual woman who writes in that she is proof that there is a bias for paying women less, because after her transition, she was paid less for the same job.

April 6, 1985. New Orleans Times-Picayune, page C3

A Hollywood update has two trans-related articles. First, it’s announced that Vanessa Redgrave is likely to portray transsexual tennis player Renee Richards in an upcoming biographical film. Second, it is noted that two transvestites showed up for the audition for Miss Hollywood 1985. Both were rejected for the part.

April 16, 1985. Rockford Illinois Register Star, page 2A

Eastern Airlines pilot Karen Ulane, who won lower court victories against her former employer after she was fired for being a transsexual, has not only lost her appeal in the Federal Court level, but the US Supreme Court has upheld her discriminatory firing. This decision will set back the progress of transgender employment rights for nearly 30 years.

April 18, 1985. Aberdeen South Dakota Daily News, pages 1A and 11A; Baton Rouge State Times Advocate, page 13C

Page 1A of the Aberdeen South Dakota Daily News has a brief interview with Christine Jorgensen, in connection with the premier of the new HBO Undercover America documentary, “What Sex Am I?” On page 11A, there is an article about the documentary. The Baton Rouge State-Times Advocate has another article regarding the HBO special, with slightly different quotes from it.

April 21, 1985. Springfield Massachusetts Union, page TV8

The New York Times has a positive review of HBO’s Undercover America documentary, “What Sex Am I?”

May 15, 1985. Boston Herald, page 26

A question to a sexual health advice column named “The Kinsey Report” answers a question from a transgender woman regarding what the process is for transition.

May 19, 1985. Portland Oregonian, page 23 and 27

Producer Linda Ellen, who is working on the film version of Renee Richards’ autobiography Second Serve, emphasizes that her film will be respectful, and will not have any transgender persons portrayed as “freaks.” This is a two-page article, and page two is at this link.

May 22, 1985. Baton Rouge Advocate, page 3A; Mobile Register, page 11A; New Orleans Times-Picayune, page A6; Portland Oregonian, page A12; Stamford Connecticut Daily Advocate, page B7

May 22 is a busy news day, as two transgender stories are printed. The first one garners the lion’s share of the news on this day, and due to differences in reporting, the inclusion of different photographs, and different facts which are available, I have four separate articles to share on the news that decorated Air Force veteran Bridgette Poi, a transsexual woman, is running for the position of Commander of her American Legion post in New London, Connecticut. The four articles provide several anecdotes of discrimination, even outright hatred which she has faced. From her brothers in arms, no less.
 
The second story of the day is more minor, but important. I have copied it inline below.
Police harassment suit dismissed.

May 24, 1985. Springfield Massachusetts Union, page 3

Another article is run on Bridgette Poi, the decorated Air Force veteran who happens to be a transsexual woman who is running for the position of Commander of her American Legion post.

June 12, 1985. Springfield Massachusetts Union, page 10B

Despite predictions from her opponents that she would never even be nominated for the position, transsexual Air Force veteran Bridgette Poi has been nominated to lead her American Legion post.

June 25, 1985. Portland Oregonian, page C7

The television page has a tantalizing blurb, shown below, regarding “transsexual economics consultant Susan Kimberly.
Susan Kimberly

June 30, 1985. New Orleans Times-Picayune, page E4

An article which was intended to be mostly about Martina Navratilova contains a couple of anecdotes regarding Renee Richards, focused on essentially how the 5-foot 11-inch Richards never “passed” nearly as well as she related in her autobiography. Why this is news…I am not qualified to state.

July 8, 1985. Marietta Journal, page 12A

More words fly just before the election battle of transsexual Air Force veteran Bridgette Poi to lead her American Legion post.

July 89 1985. Baton Rouge Advocate, page 2A; Cleveland Plain Dealer, page 6A; Springfield Massachusetts Union, page 29

The election is over, and transsexual Air Force veteran Bridgette Poi has lost her election bid to lead her American Legion post. The Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Springfield Massachusetts Union have similar but different stories.

July 10, 1985. Cleveland Plain Dealer, page 4D

Now that the election battle to lead the New London, Connecticut American Legion is over, the Cleveland Plain Dealer has published an extensive and positive interview with transsexual Air Force veteran Bridgette Poi.

August 14, 1985. Boston Herald, page 24

A question to a sexual health advice column named “The Kinsey Report” answers a question from a transgender woman regarding what the process is for transition. This is very similar to the answer given by the column on May 15 of this year (q.v.).

August 29, 1985. Boston Herald, page 39

An article reviewing the life of Martina Navratilova has some mention of transsexual tennis player Renee Richards. However, it’s somewhat incidental.

September 13, 1985. Springfield Massachusetts Union, page 30

Tennis star Boris Becker may be slated to portray Renee Richards in her upcoming autobiographical film.

October 11, 1985. Trenton New Jersey Evening Times, page A1 and A12

Two Brooklyn men have been arrested for the murder of a man, a 7-year-old girl, and a transsexual woman. The cause of the murder appears to have been a “lover’s quarrel” involving the transsexual woman, Gerardo Castillo.

October 12, 1985. Trenton New Jersey Evening Times, page A1 and A12

The two Brooklyn men arrested on October 11 for the murder of a man, a 7-year-old girl, and a transsexual woman, may face the death penalty if they are indicted. It’s further noted that not only were the three murdered, but the bodies of the adults were doused with gasoline and burned.

November 15, 1985. Trenton New Jersey Evening Times, page A1 and A7

The two Brooklyn men arrested on October 11 for the murder of a man, a 7-year-old girl, and a transsexual woman, have been indicted for the murders. Page two of the story is here.

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