Jane Fee Award will honor the memory of Barbara “Babs” Siperstein

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NJ trans activist Barbra “Babs” Casbar Siperstein. 2010 file photo
NJ trans activist Barbra “Babs” Casbar Siperstein. 2010 file photo

Trans delegation to the 2020 DNC presented the award

The late Barbara “Babs” Siperstein, a groundbreaking LGBTQ activist, veteran and small business owner, was presented with the Jane Fee award during the DNC LGBTQ Caucus meeting at the Democratic National Convention. The award from the Trans Delegation to the 2020 DNC Convention was accepted on her behalf by South Orange Maplewood Board of Education Member, Shannon Cuttle, who is also a member of the state’s Democratic National Convention delegation.

Siperstein was the first openly transgender member of the DNC

“I can think of no person more deserving of this award than our very own Babs Siperstein,” said NJDSC Chairman John Currie. “Babs was a trailblazer on issues relating to LGBTQ rights and continued to fight for equality until her last breath. It is up to us to continue her legacy by fighting every day against discrimination and for a more equal and just society for all.”

The Jane Fee award was given to Siperstein in recognition of her longtime advocacy and leadership for transgender rights in the state of New Jersey and the Democratic Party. Siperstein was the first openly transgender member of the DNC, where she served from 2009-2017. Additionally, she was the only transgender member of the DNC Executive Committee.

(left to right) Babs Siperstein, Jennifer Long, Gov. Phil Murphy, & Brenda Fulton at the Transgender bill signing
(left to right) Babs Siperstein, Jennifer Long, NJ Gov. Phil Murphy, & Brenda Fulton at the NJ Transgender bill signing

“Babs Siperstein is representative of the kinds of values that our Democratic Party continues to fight for on a daily basis,” said Essex County Democratic Chairman LeRoy Jones. “For decades she was a fearless advocate for marriage and gender equality, amending our discrimination laws and making our state and country more equal for all. Her bravery has helped pave the way for other LGBTQ leaders to run for office and assume positions of power in politics to help continue her legacy.”

“To numerous members of the LGBTQ community around the country including myself, Babs was an inspiration for what was possible,” said LGBTQ activist, Shannon Cuttle. “Her courage and determination for a more equal society and her tireless work for gender equity and LGBTQ equality has opened doors for future generations of leaders in all walks of life and created a more equitable New Jersey. It was a tremendous honor to receive this award on her behalf and I plan to continue her legacy of fighting for equality.”

Siperstein served many roles throughout her illustrious career including President and board member of the New Jersey Stonewall Democrats, Vice President of Garden State Equality, Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee Eastern Caucus, Deputy Vice Chair of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee and Political Director of the Gender Rights Advocacy Association of New Jersey.

“Babs was our own personal hero; a Jersey girl through-and-through and die hard Democrat who nearly single handedly changed the conversation on trans visibility and representation in New Jersey politics,” said the NJLGBT Caucus. “We’re proud that Babs represented us on the national stage, and it’s fitting that she receive the Jane Fee award this year. We know, as Babs knew, that the fight for trans equality will be won through pro-trans policy change and a commitment to visibility and representation at every table where decisions are made. We are honored to carry on even a small part of her legacy and we miss her every day.”