Saturday, March 05, 2011

Rest In Peace, Kathryn!

Back during the 80's the most famous Kathryn in Houston was our first female mayor in Kathy Whitmire.   But there was also another one who was getting headlines in that time period.

She was Kathryn L. McGuire and she's a trailblazing part of the history of our trans community in H-town.  I was saddened to learn that she recently passed away in Palm Springs, CA at age 68.

She was a millionaire business owner whose company, M&C Consolidated, Inc. was the number one seller of stabilized sand in Houston.  McGuire's stabilized sand is part of Interstate 10, Interstate 45, Westheimer Road, Loop 610 and the Hardy Toll Road.

While her company helped expand the city through road construction,  McGuire also helped expand knowledge and understanding of our lives.  She had a very public transition starting in 1988, gave generously to many causes in the community, sat on the first board dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS, did a radio show with the Stevens and Pruett duo on then rock station KLOL-FM in which they discussed trans issues, ran for Houston City Council in 1989 and attended the presidential inauguration of George H.W. Bush.

She was the subject of a 1995 PBS documentary entitled 'The Last Days of Charles/Kathryn McGuire' that followed her to the Juneteenth date she had her SRS, then she left Houston.

She led an interesting and colorful life, and her son James told the story in a 1999 off Broadway play called Daddy Kathryn

Rest in peace, Kathryn    You were an inspiration to more than a few people here in the Houston trans community and were missed when you departed town.   You also helped blaze a trail that other Houstonians have and are continuing to follow.     

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