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20 February 2012

Kathryn Leigh McGuire (1942 – 2011) executive.

Charles McGuire Jr. Was born near Corpus Christi, Texas, the son of a construction business man. From age 9 he worked for his dad’s business. He played football as a teenager, went hunting at weekends and dressed as a girl in his spare time.

He married at 20 and he and his wife moved to Houston and raised two children. He built up a construction materials company, M&C Consolidated Inc as the major seller of stabilized sand in the city.

His wife, a born-again Christian, who had known of his dressing from early on, divorced him in in 1981. McGuire then developed his life as Kathryn, started taking female hormones, had electrolysis and had her nose restructured.

For four years M&C Consolidated Inc was investigated by a federal grand jury for price fixing, and the investigators found out about Kathryn. This became a frequent source of jokes among county officials, and witnesses interviewed by the investigators were all asked questions about McGuire’s lifestyle. McGuire went to the press in 1988 and a color photograph of Kathryn was on the front page of the Houston Chronicle with her claim that she was being persecuted because of her lifestyle.

Following this Kathryn frequently appeared on the Stevens and Pruett show on radio station KLOL where she was noted for her grace in responding to audience comments. She was featured in all the Houston papers. In 1989 she ran for Houston City Council - the first open transvestite to do so - and came second out of three. She gave considerable donations to Houston AIDS organizations, and was on a board to find a cure.

The price fixing investigation was closed in March 1991, with no indictments. Shortly afterwards Kathryn flew to London. Her stay in a hospital to be operated on was filmed by documentary maker Brian Huberman.

Afterwards she lived in in Prague with the idea of opening a restaurant. Then she lived in Amsterdam, then Philadelphia, Atlantic City and California.

Her gay son, James, wrote his first play, Daddy Kathryn, about their relationship. Kathryn turned up for the opening night, and was the center of attention. In 1999 she said of her male persona:
"That wasn't me. That was just a shell I was in, or an image I was projecting to make everybody happy."
In 2002 Kathryn published a novel about a female Jesus with a transsexual mother.

She died at age 68.

*Not the film actress.

Daddy Kathryn

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