Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) in Somerset, New Jersey is renaming its PROUD Family Center in memory of transgender activist Barbra “Babs” Casbar Siperstein.
PROUD was the first center in the state to offer specialized medical care to the LGBTQ+ community. Siperstein fought for legislation that allowed New Jersey residents to change their gender on birth certificates without proof of gender-affirming surgery, which passed in 2018, shortly before her death at age 76. In 2009, Siperstein was appointed to the Democratic National Committee, making her the first out trans member. From 2011-17 she served as a superdelegate for Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in 2016.
Over the course of her political career, she championed legislation surrounding anti-bullying, bias crimes and employment, housing and public accommodation nondiscrimination, a conversion therapy ban and ending discrimination in health care.
On Oct. 30 at 6 p.m., New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy joined RWJUH in celebration of the center’s name change. Speakers and notable guests included Barry H. Ostrowsky, Trina Parks, Loretta Weinburg and LGBTQ+ patients from PROUD.