Trish Mifflin is a pen name for a male-bodied crossdresser living in the Pittsburgh area. She works in public relations and marketing for a large Pittsburgh organization. She lives most of her life presenting as male.

She knew from a young age that she didn’t feel like a “boy” but never heard the word “transgendered” until much later.

A recovering Catholic, she tried for years to “pray away the trans” only to find her feelings of being “out of place” getting stronger and stronger. She joined a support group in 2006 and came out to her family as transgendered about two years later. (And she joined the Episcopal Church, too.)

Walking both sides of the gender line makes her very aware of male privilege, and she’s become kind of a militant feminist (which, in her male life, sometimes surprises colleagues who don’t know about Trish).

She is happily married to a wonderful woman who has known about “Trish” since their third date. Trish’s wife enjoys having a spouse who shares her interests—and her taste in clothes!

Trish says “transgender” terms are a minefield, even for people who are active in the gay and lesbian community. So she happily recommends several books — “My Husband Betty” by Helen Boyd, “She’s Not There” by Jennifer Finney Boylan, and “Whipping Girl” by Julia Serano.

Also, Trish would like to assure you that transwomen and crossdressers aren’t going to the ladies’ room to spy on people … but like everyone else, they do need to pee!

Cox: Documentary shows ‘amazing … courageous’ trans youth

Being a feminist and being a supporter of transgender rights aren’t mutually exclusive conditions, says actress and activist Laverne Cox. In fact, she says, both groups have a vested interest in dismantling patriarchy. Cox, one of the stars of Netflix’s hit drama “Orange is the New Black,” says the wider LGBTQ movement also needs to […]

NWLC, here’s how you tell transgender jokes

I saw two examples this week of satirists using transgender themes to address important issues. One failed miserably — and I, and many other people, were disappointed, since it came from the National Women’s Law Center, traditionally an ally of LGBT causes. The other satire was a funny and — surprisingly — nuanced take from […]

Tipping point? Eddie Izzard makes me think

British comedian Eddie Izzard brought his “Force Majeure” tour to Pittsburgh’s Byham Theater this weekend. “Force majeure” is a French term, often inserted into legal documents, that refers to an “irresistible power,” and Izzard is that — in fact, he’s amazing. It’s hard to believe anyone has Izzard’s level of energy. He is in constant […]


RuPaul said something else offensive about trans women? What?! Un-possible! Give me a minute! Let me lie down! RuPaul is, and always has been, about causing a scene and creating controversy. People are upset because of something he said? Fan-freaking-tastic! I’m sure he’s eating it up. He loves the attention. I mean, you don’t become […]

Mock: Define yourself before other people do it for you

Define yourself, Janet Mock said Tuesday night, because if you don’t, other people will define you—and they will “chew you up and spit you out.” In a wide-ranging discussion with about 200 students, faculty and community members at Carnegie Mellon University, Mock said her strong sense of self has helped her endure her time in […]

Pittsburgh: Gay-friendly, or “anti gay” friendly?

I am very amused by all of the national (and international) media attention that has tabbed Pittsburgh as a hip, happening city. If we’re so hip and happening, why do we seem to breed crusaders against the “homosexual menace”? There are calls for the CEO of the Mozilla Foundation (developers of the Firefox web browser) […]

Stryker: Trans issues at ‘a historical moment’

We’re at a “historical moment in the media” for trans people, says Susan Stryker, historian, author, filmmaker, activist and director of the Institute for LGBT Studies at the University of Arizona. Stryker delivered the annual Margaret Morrison Lecture at Carnegie Mellon University on Monday. Part of CMU’s celebration of Women’s History Month, the lecture is […]

Inside the ‘frozen closet’

Pretty much everyone knows about the Russian government’s persecution of LGBTQ people—and the protests, both small and large, planned for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi. But did you know that some gay people are facing discrimination from their own U.S. sanctioning bodies? Newsweek has a fascinating story about how U.S. Figure Skating officials and […]

The journalist and the inventor

If you haven’t heard, the “Dr. V” case is burning up the Internet tubes, especially LGBTQ blogs and journalism websites. A writer for Grantland—a sports and pop-culture website owned by ESPN, which is in turn owned by The Walt Disney Co.—was assigned to investigate a miraculous new golf club and its inventor, Dr. Essay Anne […]

Nobody here but us chickens

(I’ve been trying to write this for a week. If it seems disjointed, that’s why.) Last Monday, the Episcopal bishop of Pittsburgh authorized same-sex blessing ceremonies, and made clear that being gay or lesbian, and in a committed relationship, is no barrier to becoming a priest or deacon in the church. I’ve written about my […]