Was saddened to hear from Marisa Richmond that one of our trans elders and pioneer leaders in Barbra Casbar ‘Babs’ Siperstein passed away last night in New Brunswick, New Jersey at age 76 just days after the Babs Siperstein Law went into effect on Friday.
The Babs Siperstein Law allows trans New Jersey residents to change the gender marker on their birth certificates without needing to have genital surgery to do so. It also adds the option to have an ‘X’ marker for gender non conforming people.
And yes, this one is personal because I knew her. When she joined the transcestors, she was surrounded by family, friends, and her longtime partner Dorothy
She was an Army vet who transitioned in 2000, and I last saw Babs in person at the 2016 LGBT Pride Reception at the White House . During that time we spent together she thanked me for doing my part to lead this community. |I thanked her for being a role model and leader for my generation of trans people, her work in the Democratic Party, and helping to pass the trans inclusive laws they enjoy in New Jersey.
She was a leader and trailblazer in our community for nearly 20 years. She founded the Gender Rights Advocacy Association of New Jersey in 2000. She was one of the founding members of Garden State Equality in 2004
She had been involved in Democratic Party politics in New Jersey for a long time. In addition to being a delegate at the last four Democratic national conventions, she became the first out transperson to serve on the Democratic National Committee from 2009 to 2017 She was part of the DNC’s Executive Committee from 2011-2017, and was a Hillary Clinton superdelegate in the 2016 presidential election cycle,
She was a supporter of Sen. Cory Booker, who called her before she died. During out DC conversation she also dropped some insider knowledge on me concerning one of his votes he’s getting excoriated about by the far left.
Sen. Booker wrote this comment about her last year.
“Babs is a leader, a trailblazer, and a role model for an entire generation of New Jerseyans. If you don’t know her, you probably know someone touched in some way by her tireless activism. It’s an honor to know her, to work with her, and to call her my friend. Here’s to many more years of activism to come and to a legacy that has changed the lives of so many.”
Rest in power and peace, Babs. You’ve earned it.