Prestigious award goes to transgender woman

Prestigious award goes to transgender woman

A Topeka resident known for her activism and advocacy to eliminate discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals was honored Tuesday at The University of Kansas.

Stephanie Mott, executive director and founder of the Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project and state chairwoman for the Kansas Equality Coalition, received this year's Pioneer Woman Award from the Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity at its annual Women's Recognition Banquet.

The award recognizes Kansas women who have made historic contributions of local and statewide significance.

Mott , who underwent gender affirmation surgery last May in Bangkok, said it is significant that a transgender individual received the award.

"It's a statement of how KU feels about LGBT equality," she said. "The importance is basically that people who are LGBT are just people. Even in Kansas, the idea (they aren't) is fading away."

Mott joins 27 other women who have received the Pioneer Woman Award, including aviatrix Amelia Earhart; former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, the current U.S. Department of Health and Human Services secretary; and the late Kansan Georgia Neese Clark Gray, the first woman to be named treasurer of the United States.

"I don't know if I belong on a list with those women, but I do belong on a list of women," Mott said.

Kathy Rose-Mockry, program director for the Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity, said Mott's efforts will have a lasting effect on Kansas.

"Stephanie's pioneering work in advocacy and education to advance the rights for members of the LGBT community will make a significant difference in our state, and for this we were thrilled to select her this year as the Pioneer Woman Award recipient," Rose-Mockry said.

As executive director of K-Step, Mott works to eliminate discrimination against transgender individuals and their families through education. Working with the Kansas Equality Coalition, she helped bring about protections for LGBT students and staff members in Topeka Unified School District 501 and the addition of gender identity to Lawrence’s anti-discrimination policy.

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Last modified onTuesday, 22 October 2013 09:45
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