Stephanie Mott has been a regular contributor to lgbtSr almost from its inception two years ago. I first read about her when she was doing an ‘equality tour’ around Kansas, and I thought, here’s someone I’d like to know. Along with her regular columns here and elsewhere, her advocacy and activism, and her unflagging honesty, Stephanie is someone who definitely belongs among these profiles. – Mark/Editor
Stephanie Mott is a transsexual Christian woman from Topeka, Kansas. Born in Lawrence, she grew up on a small farm nearby with her parents, two sisters, and two brothers. Her parents and brothers are gone and never got the opportunity to know her, but her sisters are very supportive of her journey.
Stephanie struggled through all of her life with not being able to be who she was, trying to live as the male she was not. She discovered alcohol about the age of 18. The next thirty years were a downward spiral of alcohol and drug abuse that led her to homelessness at the age of 48.
In November 2005, Stephanie made the decision to transition. Eight months later, she found Metropolitan Community Church of Topeka and began her life as who she truly was. She transitioned on the job in 2007. In February 2009, Stephanie was laid-off from her job and set about looking for a job as a woman who was still legally a male. In May, she went back to college and in August 2009, she began working as the office assistant in the Shawnee County Commission office.
Today, Stephanie has an Associate of Arts degree in Human Services Management, and is 12 months away from her Bachelor of Social Work degree at Washburn University in Topeka. She writes a column for Liberty Press (Kansas’ statewide LGBT magazine) beginning in April 2008 and for lgbtSr beginning in July 2011.
She’s the author of My Long Walk Home, A Transsexual Journey, Trans-Surgery (a journal of her gender affirmation surgery in Bangkok, Thailand), and God Doesn’t Have a Penis (a collection of her writings). She is a contributing author for A Waiting Room of One’s Own (a collection of women’s writings on healthcare for women).
She’s the founder and executive director of Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project (www.k-step.org), an organization that works to eliminate discrimination against transgender people and their families through education. She is state chair of Kansas Equality Coalition, an organization working for LGBT equality through political action.
Stephanie is also a Commissioner on the City of Topeka Human Relations Commission and volunteers for Positive Connections (FKA Topeka AIDS Project), Topeka YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment, Safe Streets Coalition, and the Shawnee County Jail. She is a member of the Topeka chapter of the League of Women Voters and a founding member of the Topeka chapter of the National Organization for Women.
Stephanie has presented more than 200 times about what it’s like to be transgender and the issues faced by transgender people and their families. She has spoken for numerous faith institutions, mental health professionals, health care providers, college classes. She has also presented for supervisors in the Shawnee County Department of Corrections, the Newton (Kansas) Police Department, and the Harvey County (Kansas) Sheriff’s office and for the probation officers in Shawnee County Community Corrections.
Nationally, Stephanie presented at the 2010 International Foundation for Gender Education conference, 2011 First Event (Boston), 2011 National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Creating Change conference, 2011 Colorado Gold Rush, and the 2012 Transgender Leadership Summit.
Stephanie was recently honored with the University of Kansas Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity Pioneer Woman award. Additionally, she has advocated for LGBT equality in the Kansas Legislature and before several local governments across Kansas.
She can be reached at email@example.com.