Oregon Trans Timeline

Currently edited by Gage Rutherford and Shir Bach
With suggested input from George T. Nicola, Danni/y Rosen, Athen O'Shea, others
(Formerly edited by Danni/y Rosen and Ampersand Crates through mid-2017)
The Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN)
Last updated 8/4/2019

Links to:

Oregon LGBTQ Timeline 1806-1969
Oregon LGBTQ Timeline 1970-Present
Oregon LGBTQ Youth Timeline

This article is a chronological listing of some but not all major events that have affected trans Oregonians. This is not meant to be a comprehensive history, but a starting point from which more detailed research can be done. 

The term “trans” can include people who are transgender, transsexual, gender non-conforming, gender queer, cross-dressers, or others whose gender identity or expression differs from their gender assigned at birth. 

Anyone may make recommendations for additions to this article. But any addition must be approved by at least one of the above listed editors, all of whom are trans identified.

Please send suggested edits and questions to

Usually, the URLs provided are the sources of the information. However, parenthetical non-URL wording might also be the source. Parenthetical names that are not part of URL’s are usually the person who provided the item for input.

A report is published about a woman in the Kutenai tribe in Oregon who dresses like a man and has a “wife.” (, Nicola)

Alberta Lucille Hart (born 1890) graduates from the Portland based University of Oregon Medical School (now called Oregon Health and Science University or OHSU). After graduation, Hart undergoes a hysterectomy and lives the rest of his life as a man, Dr. Alan L. Hart, marrying twice.  Hart is among the first female-to-male transsexuals to undergo surgery in transition.  Dr. Alan L. Hart dies in 1962.  (, Nicola)    

Dr. Ira B. Pauly, a psychiatrist with the University of Oregon Medical School (now called Oregon Health and Science University or OHSU), becomes supportive of sex reassignment surgery "after soul-searching deliberation”. Pauly is credited for undertaking the first global review of the published outcome data on transsexualism in 1965. In the mid-1960s, he begins collaborating with endocrinologist Harry Benjamin, who cited Pauly's work in his 1966 book The Transsexual Phenomenon. The two later work to popularize their research in the lay press. Pauly is president of the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, now known as the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, from 1985 to 1987. (, Nicola)

A group of cross-dressers meets regularly in Portland. (Information provided by Nestor (Olivia) Perala, later a cofounder of Northwest Gender Alliance aka NWGA, Rosen)

Trans pioneer Virginia Prince met with people at the University of Oregon Medical School in grand rounds. (Transvestia Magazine, Volume 53, pages 72-86, Rosen). “Grand rounds are an important teaching tool and ritual of medical education and inpatient care, consisting of presenting the medical problems and treatment of a particular patient to an audience consisting of doctors, residents and medical students.” (, Rosen)

The Northwest Gender Alliance (NWGA) is founded. NWGA is a non-profit social, support and educational group for trans individuals, historically for those who identify themselves as transgender (TG), transsexual (TS) or as crossdressers (CD). (, Nicola)

The Northwest Gender Alliance reaches out for new members with an ad in the Portland newspaper Just Out, a Portland newspaper that primarily serves gay men and lesbians. (, Nicola)             

Phoenix Rising receives a $9,000 grant to serve transsexual and transgender young people.  (, Nicola)

Benton County passes an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  This appears to be the first law in Oregon which makes it illegal to discriminate against transgender people., Nicola)        

The Portland City Council votes unanimously to add “gender identity” to the city's 1991 civil rights ordinance which already bans employment, housing, and public accommodation discrimination based on sexual orientation. ("CITY EXPANDS RIGHTS ORDINANCE TO TRANSGENDERS, The Oregonian, 12-14-2000, Nicola) According to the Advocate, New York City does not have an ordinance that explicitly bans discrimination based on gender identity. However, “a 2006 case involving transgender man Eric Buffong determined that transgender individuals are protected from discrimination, citing the law's ban on sex discrimination.” (, Nicola)

Laura Calvo testifies in an Oregon legislative hearing for a bill that would ban discrimination based on both sexual orientation and gender identity.  It is the first time an openly transgender person testifies for an Oregon civil rights bill that covers gender identity.  (From an email by Laura Calvo, Nicola)

TransActive Gender Center is founded by transgender pioneer activist Jenn Burleton. Jenn remains the organization’s Executive Director. TransActive’s stated mission: “TransActive Gender Center provides a holistic range of services and expertise to empower transgender and gender nonconforming children, youth and their families in living healthy lives, free of discrimination.” (,Nicola)

Trans therapist Reid Vanderburgh publishes the first edition of his book Transition and Beyond: Observations on Gender Identity. He began his counseling practice in 2001, retiring from private practice in 2010 to focus on writing and teaching. (From an email sent to me by Reid, Nicola)

The State of Oregon enacts the Oregon Equality Act which bans discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation in employment, housing, public accommodations, and some other areas.  ( and, Nicola). New York State did not adopt gender identity non-discrimination protection until 2015, when Governor Andrew M. Cuomo put special regulations into effect.
 (, Nicola)

Stu Rasmussen is elected Mayor of Silverton.  Stu identifies as transgender.  "He is biologically male and still mainly identifies as a man, but has breast implants and dresses as a woman."  He is re-elected in 2012.  Previous to 2008 he was elected mayor, but was not transgender at that time. (, Nicola) 

Colin Wolf becomes the third openly-trans therapist in Portland, opening his practice Queerapy. The second was Marc LeJuene, who worked at Outside In as a social worker during his transition in the mid-2000s. Colin is in private practice, as is Reid Vanderburgh, so Colin is the second trans therapist in private practice in Portland. (From an email sent to me by Reid Vanderburgh, Nicola)        

The Portland City Council votes unanimously to cover fully inclusive and medically necessary transition related health care for transgender city employees. Trans activist and Basic Rights Oregon Communications Manager Sasha Buchert is the major advocate for the new policy. (, Nicola)

Oregon prohibits heath care providers from discriminating based on actual or perceived gender identity.  This means that health insurance plans sold in Oregon can no longer deny care to transgender policy holder’s procedures which are provided to non-transgender (cisgender) policy holders.  Transgender activist and (at that time) BRO Communications Manager Sasha Buchert provides the major advocacy for this important advance. (, Nicola)     

Latina transgender pioneer Laura Calvo is elected Democratic National Committee Member, Democratic Party of Oregon (DPO). Previous to that, Laura had held a number of other positions in the DPO. (, Nicola)

Sasha Buchert is appointed to the Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board by Governor John Kitzhaber. She is the first transgender Oregonian to hold a public appointed position. In 2013, Sasha leaves Oregon to take a position with the Transgender Law Center in California. (, Nicola)
2012: Simone Neall, who identifies as a transgender woman, is appointed by Governor Kitzhaber as a member of the State Construction Contractors Board.  (, Nicola)           

In early 2013, Governor John Kitzhaber signed House Bill 2093, making Oregon just one of a handful of states to remove the onerous surgery requirement imposed on transgender Oregonians seeking an accurate birth certificate.  As a result, transgender Oregonians are now able to access a legal change of gender without costly, undesired, or unobtainable surgeries.  Basic Rights Oregon’s contract lobbyist played a lead role in lobbying the bill, while BRO Transgender Justice Program Manager (at that time) Tash Shatz and TransActive Executive Director Jenn Burleton advocated for it.  ( with information initially from Tash Shatz, Nicola)               

The Oregon Health Plan announces that beginning October 1, 2014 it will cover the cost of pubertal suppression treatment for transgender adolescents and teens. Oregon becomes one of only 2 states (California is the other) to provide this coverage, which will literally save the lives of many transgender youth who would otherwise be at risk of suicidal ideation and attempts because of the changes happening to their bodies. Pubertal suppression also greatly enhances the quality of life of transgender youth by giving them the option to develop physically in a way that more accurately represents their gender identity.  Prior to initiation of puberty suppression therapy, adolescents must fulfill eligibility and readiness criteria and must have a comprehensive mental health evaluation. The lead in advocating for this was TransActive. BRO provided additional support. ( with information initially from Jenn Burleton, Nicola)

The Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) orders Portland bar owner Chris Penner to pay $400,000 to the T-Girls, a group of transgender and crossdressing people whom Penner asked not to return to his bar the previous year. The penalty is the first imposed under the 2007 Oregon Equality Act which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public places. On August 29, 2013, The Oregonian newspaper reports that “Investigators found no evidence to support Penner's contention that the T-Girls disrupted business. In October [2012], investigators announced that the bureau found substantial evidence of discrimination against the transgender patrons. The bureau then tried to reach a settlement with Penner. When no settlement could be reached, [BOLI Commissioner] Avakian said, and he took the case to a hearing.”  (, Nicola) 

The State of Oregon settles with Alec Esquivel in his case Esquivel v. Oregon, by agreeing to remove the exclusions that denied coverage to transgender people for transition-related health care. This applies to the State of Oregon’s employee health plan. It sets a crucial legal precedent for the other 49 states. (, Nicola) 

Reid Vanderburgh publishes his second book Journeys of Transformation: Stories from Across the Acronym. (From an email sent to me by Reid Vanderburgh, Nicola)

Portland Trans Pride marches had been held in Portland in previous years, but 2014 is the first year a Trans Pride March is an official event during Pride Weekend ( Organized by a planning committee of independent trans community organizers in celebration of the 45th anniversary of Stonewall, the event is supported by Pride Northwest ( and draws 400 trans people and allies to downtown Portland. (From direct experience, Athen O'Shea)

Jayce, a 20-year-old male transgender student files a complaint against George Fox University in April after officials said he couldn’t live with other men on campus during his junior year. Jayce has finished his transition process and is in the eyes of the U.S. government is a male. But George Fox lobbies to obtain a religious exemption allowing the Quaker college to deny Jayce’s housing request. The university is granted that religious exemption by the U.S. Department of Education on May 23. A complaint against the exemption is denied. The school offers Jayce the option to live on campus in a single apartment. But Jayce says he feels he should have the right to live with other men, and needs the support of his friends.  "As a person who is transgender, there is a lot of anxiety, depression that comes along with that and I don’t feel like that would be right for me to live by myself due to those things.”, Nicola)

“TransActive Gender Center founder and executive director Jenn Burleton received the Multnomah County Citizen Involvement Committee's (CIC) seventh annual Sy Award at its annual celebration dinner on June 11. The Sy Award honors Sy Kornbrodt whose passion and voice on behalf of underserved and under-represented citizens in Multnomah County is legendary. The award is presented to one citizen every year for a lifetime commitment to justice, equality and facilitating access to and transparency at all levels of government. Ms. Burleton is being honored for her work on behalf of transgender and gender nonconforming children and youth in Multnomah County and beyond.” (, Nicola)

The Health Evidence Review Commission (HERC) (, which is charged with overseeing the prioritized list of services in Oregon’s Medicaid program (the Oregon Health Plan), votes to approve the coverage of medically necessary healthcare for transgender people. Transgender Oregonians on the Oregon Health Plan should be able to receive hormonal and surgical healthcare prescribed by their physician, starting in 2015. (, Nicola)

The Oregon Health Plan makes good on its commitment and begins transgender health care coverage as of January 1. (, Nicola)

The OHSU (Oregon Health and Science University) Transgender Health Program is established to provide “safe, comprehensive, affirming health care for the transgender and gender nonconforming communities.” Program Supervisor is Amy Penkin. (,  Nicola) See also, Nicola)

With the support of GLAPN, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) does an extensive interview with pioneering trans advocate Ira Pauly, who had once been on the university’s staff. The transcription of the interview is at (, Nicola)

For the second year in a row, the Portland Trans Pride March is organized as an official event during Pride Weekend (, this year featuring a community open mic. The trans march planning committee quadruples in size, and so does attendance from the previous year, drawing as many as 2000 trans, nonbinary, and intersex people to downtown Portland. The organizing committee later names itself Greater Portland Trans Unity, with the mission of "organizing community events to build awareness, share resources, and foster solidarity among transgender, intersex, non-binary, and two spirit people and our allies" ( (Athen O'Shea)

A November 20 Transgender Day of Remembrance event is held at the Portland Community College (PCC) Cascade Campus. It was is sponsored by the Northwest Gender Alliance, PCC Cascade Queer Resource Center, and PFLAG Portland Black Chapter. The event drew a huge crowd. Keynotes were given by Alyssa Pagan, Devon Rose Davis, and Nghia Nguyen. (From a Facebook Message Debra Porta send me and from, Nicola)

Portland Q Center is restructured to make it more responsive to the community. Staff member Stacey Rice, a transwoman, is appointed Co-Director, a position she shares with Justin Pabalate, a cisgender queer person of color. Trans people on the board at this point are Gee Lewis, a trans woman of color; Trystan Angel Reese, who is also a gay male; and Athen O’Shea who serves as board Chair. (, Nicola) Veteran trans activist Danni/y Rosen, an editor of this article, is appointed to the board of Basic Rights Oregon (BRO). Andrea Zekis, co-founder of the ArTEC, Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition, is hired as BRO Policy Director. Trans activist Mikki Gillette is hired at Donor Outreach Coordinator (, Nicola)

Trans activist Mia Macy is the recipient of Pride Northwest's first annual Spirit of Pride Award. Her lawsuit, Macy v. Holder, led to the EEOC ruling that transgender discrimination is sex discrimination. (From Debra Porta of Pride Northwest and from, Nicola)

Transgender, including gender queer people who were selected as GLAPN’s Queer Heroes NW include Stacey Rice, Neola Young, Jackie Stone, Geeta Lewis, Joe LeBlanc, and Jaycen Marcus (, Nicola)

Kate Kauffman, who identifies as a cisgender non-conforming female, opens Brave Space, LLC. Brave space is a "social services community", whose activities include counseling and more.  Kate was formerly with TransActive. TransActive no longer does counselling directly but makes referrals to other services, including Brave Space. (, Nicola)

The Third Annual Portland Trans Pride March is organized by Greater Portland Trans Unity during Pride Weekend (, O’Shea). This year's event features a rally highlighting disparities in housing, healthcare, and employment for trans people, particularly people of color, youth, seniors, and people with disabilities. The keynote is by Alyssa Pagan of Portland Jobs with Justice and the march is led by the Portland Two Spirit Society. An estimated 2,500 trans, intersex, nonbinary people and allies march through downtown Portland in support of trans rights this year (, Athen O’Shea)

Transgender counselling center Brave Space, LLC is given the Mental Health Heroes Award by Trillium Family Services. (, Nicola)

A transgender day of remembrance event is held at Portland’s Q Center. (From past recall, Nicola)

Transgender, two spirit, and nonbinary people who are selected as GLAPN’s Queer Heroes NW include Gisella Contreras, Tessa James Scheller, Jeralyn Dee O’Brien, adem m cardona, Emily Newberry, Gene de Haan, tash shatz, Kaig Lightner, Tashia Harris, Lorne James, and Dr. Angela Carter. (, Nicola)

In May, a video of current year Queer Hero Kaig Lightner coming out as transgender to the kids he coaches goes viral on the Internet. (, Nicola)

The 4th Annual Trans Pride March is held on June 17th (, Nicola). Under the new political administration, the march has a theme of "Keeping our Flame Alive" and asks "How do we keep our hearts whole and our communities safe and healthy, even in the face of relentless oppression?" This year's keynote speaker is Neola Young, speaking on the history of trans liberation and the need for collective justice, not "just us." (From direct experience, Athen O'Shea)

Basic Rights Oregon helps pass the first standalone transgender equity law, creating an administrative option for Oregonians to update their birth certificates.  BRO also helps usher in a third gender marker on state IDs through the Department of Motor Vehicles.  NBC explains “Oregon became the first state in U.S. history on Thursday to offer more than two gender options on identity documents, including driver's licenses, making it the first to legally recognize non-binary, intersex and agender people on ID cards.”:  Basic Rights Oregon helps pass an Equal Benefits law requiring Oregon state contractors from discriminating against their women, people of color, and transgender employees. (All but the NBC quote is from email correspondence I had with Diane Goodwin of Basic Rights Oregon, Nicola)

The Equi Institute begins to provide health services, including mental health counselling, to LGBTQ clients, primarily transgender people. It operates at Q Center, 4115 N. Mississippi, Portland. (, Nicola)

There is a considerable pushback to President Donald Trump’s decision to exclude transgender people from the U.S. military. Some of it is local. Portland transgender activist Shannon Scott, herself a combat veteran, gives an eloquent response on YouTube. Shannon has served nearly twelve years in the U.S. military and had been deployed all over the world. She is also a member of the Board of Governors of the Human Rights Campaign. (, Nicola)

Trystan Angel Reese, a Portland trans man who identifies as a gay male, gives birth to a baby with his husband (and partner of seven years), Biff Chaplow. The couple were already parents, having adopted Biff’s niece and nephew. Reese tells Fox 40 news “I’m OK with my body being a trans body. I’m OK being a man who has a uterus and has the capacity and capability of carrying a baby. . . The reason why you have a kid is because you want to see more love in the world, and remembering how difficult that’s going to be, it’s hard.” Reese also tells Fox 40 that since baby Leo was born, the couple has received an outpouring of support on Facebook and media attention from around the world. (, Nicola)




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