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International Conference on Transgender Law & Employment Policy

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The International Conference on Transgender Law & Employment Policy, also known as ICTLEP, was a conference hosted between 1992–1997 in Houston, Texas. The conference's goal was to bring together practicing attorneys and other legal professionals, employment, personnel, and other human resources professionals, in addition to members of the transgender community to address progressive change around transgender law and employment policies.[1]


The conference was created by out and then trial attorney, Judge Phyllis Randolph Frye with the involvement of grassroots activists. At the time, many newsletters from gay and lesbian state and national legal organizations were not covering transgender issues. Having played a critical part in many forms of activism, including changing the law surrounding cross dressing in 1981, Frye decided to host an meeting to discuss ways to legally support transgender people.[2]

The first conference was to focus on the following areas of transgender law: housing, insurance, military, probate and civil commitment, employment, health, anti-discrimination, criminal and family. During the planning process, the conference was originally named the Transgender Law Conference, but the GCTC felt that "without employment protection, the rest was only dressing" and so it became the Transgender Law and Employment Policy Conference.[3] Indeed, the transgender community later lobbied Congress to include language around gender for inclusion on the Employment Non-Discrimination bill.[4]

The first conference was hosted on August 28, 1992 at the Hilton, Southwest Freeway in Houston, TX. There were 50 people in attendance and local and appellate court judges spoke at the event. The conference was described as "half law convention, half transgender support group".[5] Phyllis Frye put all of the first conference's expenses on her personal credit card.[6]

In 1993 the ICTLEP became a not-for-profit organization.[7]

The second conference was hosted August 26–29, 1993 again at the Hilton with many guest speakers with the addition of workshops around Documentation Law, Education in Transgender Issues, Intervention Law, Imprisonment Law and the International Bill of Gender Rights. This conference resulted in publishing the International Bill of Gender Rights, Health Law Standards of Care for Transsexualism, and Policy for the Imprisoned, Transgendered.


  1. "Opinion | Milestones in the American Transgender Movement". The New York Times. 2015-05-18. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  2. Beemyn, Genny. Transgender History in the United States (PDF). Oxford. p. 30. Search this book on
  3. Frye, Phyllis Randolph.  "History of the International Conference on Transgender Law and Employmeny Policy, Inc.." Article. 2000. Digital Transgender Archive
  4. Ness, Immanuel (2015). Encyclopedia of American Social Movements. New York, NY: Routledge. p. 1381. ISBN 978-0765680457. Search this book on
  5. Levine, Richard M. “Crossing the Line.” Mother Jones, vol. 19, no. 3, May 1994, p. 43.
  6. Sontag, Deborah (2015-08-29). "Once a Pariah, Now a Judge: The Early Transgender Journey of Phyllis Frye (Published 2015)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-12-07.
  7. Retrieved 2020-12-07. Missing or empty |title= (help)

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