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Friday, November 19, 2004

Transgender struggles for respect
Published in the Home News Tribune

At first blush there is no reason not to believe Barbra Casbar of Edison is who she says she is, a 61-year-old politically savvy businesswoman with two sons, a daughter and two grandchildren.

However, Casbar, recently at a Metuchen diner drinking late-afternoon tea with lemon, was something else earlier in the day. Then she was, she explained, "My male self."Casbar had been a businessman in the morning, working for a national franchise that knows Casbar only as a man, using a name other than Barbra.

In midday Casbar changed, getting dressed in a pants suit, putting on a wig, lipstick and earrings for a evening dinner engagement.

As a woman, Casbar was one of five members of the transgender caucus at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, whose presence there illustrated their quest for political power.

"Politically, we're where gays and lesbians were about 10 years ago," said Casbar.


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