New Era of Tolerance as 2nd Transgender Judge Takes to Bench This Week

It appears that a new era of tolerance may be dawning as far as diversity on the bench is concerned:

Days after a San Francisco-area county claimed to have elected the first transgender trial judge in the country, another transgender judge has been appointed to sit on the municipal court bench. And this time it wasn’t in liberal California but relatively conservative Texas.

Phyllis Frye, a criminal defense lawyer in Houston, will soon be hearing traffic tickets and other misdemeanor cases, after being appointed yesterday by Mayor Annise Parker along with seven other new associate municipal judges, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Frye believes she is the first transgender judge in Texas, but says she knows of at least two more elsewhere.

Recalling how, 31 years ago, lesbians could be arrested for wearing fly-front jeans under a so-called cross-dressing ordinance, Frye tells the newspaper “Things have changed, and it’s pretty wonderful.”

She will also continue to practice, Frye notes in a letter to friends and neighbors included in a Dallas Voice post.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “News Reports: Calif. County Sets Record as Home of First Transgender Judge in Country”

Fox News: “Judge Appointment Angers Pastors”

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.