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19 January 2016

Joy Shaffer (195?–) doctor.

Shaffer did a BS in biology at the California Institute of Technology. She was a college room-mate of Kay Brown. In 1979 Joy had transgender surgery.

In 1980 Mary Elizabeth Clark, Jude Patton, Joy Shaffer, Carol Katz, Dianne Saunders and Kay Brown founded the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California Transsexual Rights committee, building on what Vern Bullough had done with the ACLU in the area on the 1960s.
Jay and Kay mid 1980s

In 1981 Joy started medical school, and had an MD from Stanford University in 1985. In 1995 Dr Shaffer founded Seahorse Medical Clinic in San Jose, California. She worked with Anne Lawrence, and introduced Lawrence to Kay Brown.

That same year she was quoted in an article in the New York Times on the brain research of Dutch researcher Dick Swaab which had made claims of a brain difference in MTF transsexuals. She said that Swaab's results corresponded to what she and her colleagues were finding using magnetic resonance imaging technology to scan brains.

Joy wrote the foreword for Transgender Care, 1997. Dr Shaffer was a member of HBIGDA/WPATH, the American College of Physicians, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association.

The clinic in San Jose continued until 2005, and was a major resource for transsexuals in that area.

Some accounts say that Joy was the 1st known trans person in medical school in 1981. There is equivocation around the word 'known' but James Barry graduated MD from Edinburgh in 1812; Mary Walker from Syracuse in 1855; Eugene Perkins in the 1890s; Madeleine Pelletier in 1903; Alan Hart from Oregon in 1917; Ewan Forbes from Aberdeen in 1944; Gloria Hemingway from Miami in 1964; Camille Cabral from Recife in the 1970s; Anne Lawrence from Minnesota in 1974; Robertina Manganaro in the early 1980s. However despite this list, Joy was still a pioneer.

Kay Brown in 1999 wrote: “Shaffer, in an as yet unpublished study, used MRI data from a large pool of controls, MTF and FTM transsexuals to demonstrate that the corpus callosum showed sexually dimorphic structures that, on a statistical basis, correlated with gender identity”. I presume that it was never published, in that I cannot find it in Google Scholar or WorldCat.


Gina said...

I remember Dr. Shaffer. She eventually moved to New Zealand and took a job at a rural medical clinic which primarily served the Maori population.

Access News Service said...

Have any contact info? I am past patient at Seahorse.