Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-05-18
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Transgender pioneer reflects on sports past
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2013-09-18

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Lynn Conway is a transgender pioneer whose longtime passion has been sports, particularly adventure sports. She's overcome two similar life obstacles (transitioning and a fear of heights) en route to her current state: a 75-year-old Michigan resident—reflective and respected, passionate and accomplished, innovative and intelligent.

"In a strange way, while rock-climbing years ago I was learning exactly what I needed to transition, learning how to overcome fear," Conway said. "Although scared of heights, I worked up to some modest climbing in Yosemite Valley—and passionately enjoyed it."

Conway, who lives west of Ann Arbor, has been married to Charlie since 2002; they have been together since 1988. The two were in Washington D.C., this past June for the President's White House Reception in celebration of LGBT Pride Month. Joy, hope and optimism carried throughout the event, filled with other activists, advocates and allies.

Conway has been out and a trans-rights advocate for 15 years, although her involvement with the LGBT community began decades earlier.

"When I went away to college in 1955, I was finally free to begin exploring—but it was very difficult," Conway said. "I thought I was gay [early on because] society was telling me I was. So I sort of randomly tried to find my way into the gay world, but that didn't work."

Enjoying sailing while in college, Conway was also drawn to rock climbing, finding joy in conquering her fear of heights a step at a time.

After earning her degrees at Columbia University in the early 1960s, Conway went west into a computer research career and into climbing in Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada. By then she knew what she had to do. She completed her transition in 1968 while living in San Francisco.

"Most of my transition mentors were trans-girls who were either sex workers or entertainers at places like Finnochio's," she said, reflecting on an era long past. "No way could I have been out back then and found a regular job. I didn't have the talent to be an entertainer, so I'd have ended up in sex work."

All along, sports were Conway's crutch, her supporting shoulder. The adventure sports were dangerous and difficult, but transitioning was as well. However, the sports were also exciting. "It's the learning that's fun, the exploring that's fun," she said.

Conway became a widely known computer pioneer while living in stealth after her transition. She also took up whitewater slalom racing and went on to motocross racing, sports that, no doubt, brought her back to summer camp, at age 10, in Maine.

"[Camp] was a transformative experience in my life because all at once I learned about things like making fires, hiking, camping, fishing, swimming, horseback riding, rifle shooting and more," Conway said. "It's what set off my tomboyish adventure-seeking."


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

VIEWS North Carolina governor's ignorance of trans identity 2016-05-25
Report: Bathroom bills further criminalize trans lives 2016-05-23
Trans United Fund issues questionnaires to prez candidates 2016-05-23
Demi Lovato Wears Support For Trans Community During Billboard Awards 2016-05-22
23 civil-rights groups back Title IX moves trans students 2016-05-22
UN blocks orgs that rep trans people from AIDS meeting 2016-05-22
ACLU: Chelsea Manning Prosecution Was Unconstitutional 2016-05-22
Chicago mayor, LGBT Caucus introduce measure to protect trans residents from bias 2016-05-18
Latest 'RuPaul's Drag Race' winner crowned 2016-05-17
National roundup: Trans appointment, GLSEN honors, Whole Foods hoax 2016-05-17
Trans actress Shakina Nayfack, out in the open 2016-05-17
Statement by Obama on the Int. Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia 2016-05-17
EqualityCon panel addresses trans issues, budget impasse 2016-05-17
Chicagoans react to transgender guidelines 2016-05-15
Groups laud Education Dept. ruling on trans bathroom access 2016-05-15
Friends of the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame hosts bowling benefit 2016-05-14
Trans author Chase Joynt discusses his latest work 2016-05-14
Palm Center Questions Pentagon Claim that Transgender Service "Complicated" 2016-05-13
Trump's 'States' Rights' Policy Assertion on Trans Students Dangerous, Reckless 2016-05-12
Obama's Education Dept. Affirms the Rights of Transgender Students 2016-05-12
Massachusetts has no trans-accommodation bill, either 2016-05-11
World news: HIV organ transplant, LGBT politicians elected, trans birth 2016-05-10
Force drops thriller against DC Divas 2016-05-10
Trans author makes appearance in Chicago 2016-05-10
A Sister's Hope Takes a Swing at Breast Cancer 2016-05-10
U.S. DOJ sets lawsuit against North Carolina Gov. McCrory 2016-05-09
Groups Respond to Gov. McCrory's Lawsuit 2016-05-09
Gov. McCrory forces HB2 in 9 hrs, wants more time from DOJ 2016-05-08
Video shows parents of trans kids speaking out 2016-05-04
Conservative groups file suit against District 211 and feds in school bathroom case 2016-05-04
BREAKING: U.S. Justice Dept. Says HB2 Violates Federal Law, Gives Gov. McCrory Monday Deadline 2016-05-04
BREAKING: Oxford Ala. Council Retreats, Votes to Repeal Shameful Anti-Trans Ord. 2016-05-04
ACLU responds to filing of lawsuit regarding transgender student locker room access 2016-05-04
Chicago Fed looks at 'TRANSitioning in the Workplace' 2016-05-04
Suburb to institute gender-neutral restrooms 2016-05-04
Gender-identity options added to college applications 2016-05-04
NUNN ON ONE: TELEVISION Reality show features football, gender fluidity 2016-05-04
IKEA, AIG Join 200+ Business Leaders Against HB 2 2016-05-03
Chicago Public Schools Guidelines Support Trans Students, Employees, Adults 2016-05-03
Chicago Force wins home opener in dominant, record-setting fashion 2016-05-02
 



Copyright © 2016 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.