Published April 14, 2016
Marci Bowers, a transgender woman and renowned pelvic and gynecologic surgeon, will speak about “Culture Wars on Two Fronts: Transgender Medicine and Surgical Correction of Female Genital Mutilation” at 7:30 p.m. April 18 in the Student Union Theatre, North Campus.
The talk, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Frank H. Hamilton Surgical Society, OUTpatient and Medical Student Polity — all student groups at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB — as well as the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sub-Board Inc. and UB’s Gender Institute.
Bowers has conducted thousands of gender-reassignment surgeries at her practice in San Mateo, California; she also was the first American and is one of the few surgeons worldwide to be trained to perform restorative surgery for victims of female genital mutilation (FGM).
She has traveled to Africa to establish clinics and train surgeons, offering her services free of charge. Last fall, she led a march on Washington, D.C., to end FGM and was keynote speaker at the event.
Bowers is a member of the World Association for Transgender Health and serves on the board of directors for both GLAAD (formerly the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) and the Transgender Law Center. An international authority on clitoral reconstruction for women who have suffered FGM, she has been the subject of numerous documentaries, articles and national and international media appearances. She recently was honored as one of the 100 most influential LGBT people on the Guardian’s World Pride Power List, in addition to being recognized as one of Huffington Post’s 50 Transgender Icons.
Bowers was invited to UB by UB medical students Joseph Kuhn, Camille Gutierrez, Remon Bebawee and Dan Kuhr. They had seen the documentary “Trinidad” about Bowers and Trinidad, Colorado, where she first practiced and which has been called the sex change capital of the U.S.
“We wanted to capitalize on the excitement and media attention the transgender community has gotten recently, and to expose UB to a truly iconic figure in transgender medicine,” Kuhn says.
While in Buffalo, Bowers will meet with students, tour the campus and meet with local clinicians who serve the transgender community, including Tom Mazur, clinical associate professor in the departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He sees patients at the Center for Psychosexual Health.
“Organizing this event has brought us closer to the network of clinicians and community outreach groups that serve the LGBTQ community of Western New York,” Kuhn says. “It is our hope that this event will continue the discussion on how we can improve physician education on these topics at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.”