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03 November 2009

Steve Dain (1940 – 2007) gym teacher, FTM pioneer.

Doris Richards attempted marriage as a woman, but it did not work.

Later, while working as a girls’ gym teacher in Union City, California, he transitioned to male at age 35, with surgery from Dr Donald Laub at Stanford Gender identity Clinic.

Steve lost his job and went to court. He was briefly a media topic, but the very next day the Renée Richards story pushed him off the front page.

Eventually he won a court ruling that he could teach again, but was not able to find a school that would hire him.

He worked setting ceramic tiles. He became a focal point for trans men in the San Francisco area, and helped other to follow him including Lou Sullivan, Jamison Green and Max Valerio.

He did eventually teach again in a community college.

He died of cancer at age 67.


  1. Anonymous14/3/10 11:50

    I remember this teacher at Emeryville High School, Emeryville, CA. I didn't know he taught in Union City, CA

  2. Anonymous17/1/11 09:12

    Steve(aka Doris Richards)Dain was a gym teacher at Emery High School in Emeryville, CA, when he transitioned to male.

  3. Doris Richards was my favorite teacher at Arroyo High School(San Lorenzo). I remember one day, as we were all dressing out for P.E. she played David Rose's music "The Stripper." Everyone laughed about it for weeks! She was so funny and playful.
    I can only hope Steve was able to find the joy in life as Doris did

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I remember Doris Richards well! She was my Physical Education Teacher at Arroyo High School in San Lorenzo for quite a few years. Don't know how all these other cities are popping-up except to say, perhaps that was when she/he was searching for another job. I remember that day when she played the song..."The Stripper" really loud while we were changing our clothes! LOL! Too funny. My condolences for your loss dear Steve Dain at such a young age. R.I.P.

  6. He was a chiropractor and died while he was still on staff at LCCW. GOOD MAN

  7. Doris Richards taught PE at Mission San Jose High School in Fremont around 1965. She was amazing and had the best spirit. We all loved her. I hope Steve had some of that joy and wonderful energy. If anyone knew him as Steve please let us know that he was happy! He was incredibaly brave and I hope he had a huge support group at the time.

  8. Steve was working at Emery High School when he took a sabbatical and obtained his surgery. When he came back, they didn't want him working as a girls p.e. teacher anymore. His last teaching job was Emery High School

  9. I remembered Steve Dain. He was my Biology teacher at Ohlone College in 1993. I took this class with my sister and I can still remember. He was a cool teacher. I really enjoyed his class and teaching style. RIP Dr. Dain.

  10. I met Steve in 1984 while a student at LCCW (Life Chiropractic College West). It was over a year before I knew about his change, not because he hid it but he was so confident in his masculinity that I would never have known had he not told me. So I am sure that his change was the right decision for him though I also know that he mourned the loss of some of the things he had before his change, most especially his relationships in teaching. He was very open about his change and I am sure that this and his innate empathy, helped many around him who were dealing with similar issues, not just about sexuality, but mental health, addictions, and abuse, open up and face those issues and find the support and help they needed with his example.

    His sense of humor was fun and encouraging. While making fun of the human condition he never found humor in another's pain. He treated all around him with kindness, respect, and honesty. He was serious, courageous, well informed, and always willing to engage in informed conversation on a wide range of topics, especially if it was an opportunity for him to learn something new. He was one of the rare people who made his conversations about you and not himself. I envied him that ability.

    As a future doctor he was driven to excellence and already displayed a professionalism that was far greater than most of his fellow students.His students and peers were fortunate to have him as both a personal and a professional role model.

    The world was a better place with him in it and would only have benefitted from many more years of his presence.


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