Trans History for LGBT History Month - Marci Bowers (1958 - Present)


Marci Bowers (1958) is an American trans woman and surgeon.  She is a pioneer of trans lower surgeries, especially for trans women.  In fact, she is the first trans woman to operate regularly on other trans women.  Bowers formerly had a medical practice in Trinidad, Colorado, but has now relocated to San Mateo, California.

Bowers first tried to transition at age 19 but found it too difficult because she lacked adequate financial resources and support from her family.  She graduated from University of Minnesota medical school in 1986, where she was president of her class and the entire student body.

She went on to study under Dr Stanley Biber, who performed over 4,000 trans-related surgeries, who is credited for Trinidad’s name as the ‘sex change capital’. She took over his practice when he retired at the age of 80. 

While still presenting as male, Bowers married her wife and they had 3 children together.  Around age 40, she was able to transition.  She still remains very close to her wife and 3 children. 

Bowers currently performs over 130 surgeries a year. As well operating on trans people, she uses her vaginoplasty expertise to perform surgery on victims of female genital mutilation, which she does free of charge.

She has been a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Tyra Banks Show in America, as well as appearing on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

When discussing her work, Bowers stated, "Transitioning is like walking on lily pads: You have to be careful with each step, or you’re going to sink. It takes a lot of money, courage and a certain amount of planning, I’m just glad I can help." 

Check out more trans history on Gendered Intelligence’s ‘Trans History’ tag.

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