Legendary transgender writer, activist, spiritual leader, and transgender symbol creator Holly Boswell passed away this weekend at the age of 67.
(Photo: Mariette Pathy Allen)

Legendary transgender writer, activist, spiritual leader, and transgender symbol creator Holly Boswell passed away this weekend at the age of 66.

“We need to recognize that each of us, in our own small way, are makers of our culture.We can exercise that function best by expressing our true selves, not by simply fulfilling our culture’s expectations. We are all in transition..” – Holly Boswell

She was born in November 1950 and was raised in the suburbs of Washington D.C. Boswell studied English literature and music composition at Oberln College in Ohio. Graduating as a senior scholar in 1972, she would go on to write groundbreaking essays such as “The Transgender Alternative (1990)”, “The Transgender Paradigm Shift toward Free Expression (1997)”, and “The Spirit of Transgender (2000)”

Boswell was a student of world religions, mysticism and philosophies. It was her belief that human evolution must transcend binary gender. She worked as a transgender peer counselor, a community builder and developer of educational curriculums. She founded the Phoenix Transgender Support group in Asheville, North Carolina in 1986 and was well known for her innovative seminars performed at transgender conferences since 1991. Boswell founded the “Kindred Spirits” trans spiritual network in 1993. In the year 2000, she built a year-round retreat facility for gender and spirituality called the Tree House.

Legendary transgender writer, activist, spiritual leader, and transgender symbol creator Holly Boswell passed away this weekend at the age of 67.

It was in 1993 that she created the transgender symbol that is universally known and recognized today in a drawing that she gave to Wendy Parker, who in turn drew it for Nancy R. Nangeroni, who would later digitize the image.

The cause of Boswell’s death is unknown at this time. Her symbol and spirit will go on for generations to come. Rest in power Holly Boswell.

  • Lee Anne

    In the 1990’s I spent an all to brief weekend at her B&B in Asheville, NC. She will be missed.

  • jennifermbarge

    Holly was the most amazing person. I am her partner of 10 years and she was the great true love of my life. She was actually 66, and it happened so fast this past Saturday night, she was the best!!!

    • I am so sorry for your loss. She seemed like an amazing soul. Her legacy will live on through all of us.💞(We updated her age, thank you) Peace and love always.

    • Mila Madison

      I am so sorry for your loss. She seemed like an amazing soul. Her legacy will live on through all of us.💞(We updated her age, thank you) Peace and love always.

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