Andrea James

My friend and mentor Lynn Conway

Andrea James

Being so out about my trans history has allowed me to meet so many great people over the years. One of my all-time faves is Lynn Conway, who to me epitomizes what trans women can accomplish. She transitioned around the time I was born, so she is part of the reason it was easier for those of us who came after. She has had tremendous success professionally and personally since she transitioned, including huge amounts of peer recognition of her work in microchip design. She is also a perfect example of the many women in loving, committed marriages.

Lynn has given up some of her privacy in order to stand as an example of the success most trans women have after transition, living quiet, productive lives. By doing so, she has opened herself up to a lot of the nonsense from society, the kind of nonsense most successful trans women try to avoid. She’s undaunted by those who would like to paint us as pathetic figures unable to make contributions to society or engage in happy, lifelong relationships.

It’s a great joy to know Lynn and to have a chance to connect with an earlier generation of our community, as it was when I was recently in Philadelphia and saw so many of the newest generation of activists. It’s truly astonishing how far we have come.

Our recent get-together in Cincinnati reminded me that I needed to spend more time with Lynn and her husband Charlie. She is an absolute sweetheart, and a true heroine of the community and especially of mine.

Andrea James

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