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Phyllis Randolph Frye is an Eagle Scout, a former member of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, a US Army veteran (1LT-RA 1970-72), a licensed engineer, a licensed attorney, a father, a grandmother and a lesbian wife. She is the first, out, transgender judge in the nation. She was appointed by Mayor Annise Parker on November 17, 2010 and sworn in that same day.
Now having lived almost sixty percent of her life as the woman she always felt herself to be, Phyllis remains on the cutting edge of LGBTI and especially transgender legal and political issues. When the "gay" community was still ignoring or marginalizing the transgender community in the early 1990s, Phyllis began the national transgender legal and political movement (thus she is known as being the TG movement's "Grandmother") with the six annual transgender law conferences (ICTLEP) and their grassroots training.
Attorney Frye is one of the Task Force's 1995 "Creator of Change" award winners. In 1999 she was given the International Foundation for Gender Education's "Virginia Prince Lifetime Achievement" award. In 2001 she was given the National LGBT Bar Association's (a.k.a. Lavender Law's) highest honor, the "Dan Bradley Award."
She was honored beginning in 2009 by Texas A&M University with an annual "Advocacy Award" given in her name. In 2013 the Houston Transgender Unity Committee gave her its "Lifetime Achievement Award." In 2010 Phyllis was sworn-in as the first, out, transgender judge in the nation, as a City of Houston Associate Municipal Judge.
She retains her senior
partnership with Frye, Oaks and Benavidez, PLLC, (at www.liberatinglaw.com)
which is an out LGBTI-and-straight-allies law firm. While the members
of the firm practice law in a variety of areas, Phyllis devotes her
practice exclusively to taking transgender clients -- both adults and
minors -- through the Texas courts to change the clients' names and
genders on their legal documents.
Note: sources on google generally site Californian Victoria Kolakowski as the first openly transgender judge in the nation, but we disagree. Kolakowski was elected on 11/2/10, but not sworn in until January. Frye was sworn in 11/17/10.