Josephine Tittsworth oral history interview and transcript
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This recording and transcript form part of a collection of oral history interviews conducted by Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Rice University. This collection includes video recordings and transcripts of interviews with Houstonians who have made contributions to the LGBT community.
Josephine Tittsworth was born in Pasadena, Texas and was assigned and raised as a male. She struggled with gender issues and dressed secretly as a woman for most of her life. In 1981 life changed when she contacted an editor of Playboy magazine who put her in touch with Carol Beecroft in California. Beecroft shared the names of some cross-dressers in Houston; Josephine invited them to meet at the La Quinta Inn at I-10 and Wirt Rd. Melanie and Peggy Rudd came and the first Texas chapter of TRI-ESS, the Society for the Second Self was born. (She was known as Judy Daniels at the time.) In 2009 she founded and became the Executive Director of the Texas Transgender Non-discrimination Summit (TXTNS.) It formed a grassroots effort to look at strategic approaches to the issues of social justice and policy implementation in regards to the concepts of gender identity and gender expression, working to end discrimination in those areas. In 2009 there were only three universities in Texas with inclusive policies - Rice University, the University of Texas, and South Texas College of Law. In the spring of 2016 there were 38 university systems and five Texas independent school districts.