Pauli Murray, Pioneer for Women and Civil Rights, was Likely Transgender. A new book sheds light

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New biography on the civil rights and women’s rights pioneer sheds light on her work and gender identity.

Pauli Murray, born 1910, was of mixed race, and a self-professed “boy-girl” who believed in her bones that she was really a man. She endured segregation, sexism, racism and stringent class constructs to become a journalist, an activist, a professor, a priest, and a lawyer who made monumental contributions to civil rights and women’s rights.

So why do we know so little about Murray, who, for example, laid out the seminal legal argument that Ruth Bader Ginsburg pursued to extend the Equal Protection Clause beyond the protection of white men? In 1971, Ginsburg, building on an influential law article Murray co-wrote, successfully persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court that the Fourteenth Amendment should apply to protecting both women and other minority groups from discrimination.

Read my article at Slate.

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