Becky Allison was born in the little Mississippi Delta town of Greenwood in December of 1946. She completed high school in Greenwood and attended the University of Mississippi, receiving her undergraduate degree from Ole Miss and the M.D. from the Medical Center in Jackson. Becky completed residency training in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Cardiology at the Medical Center and practiced cardiology in Jackson until the events occurred which changed her life.
Becky's early life was shaped by two quite different influences: her church and her gender feelings. She was not athletic and never was accepted as "one of the boys," but was able to compensate with her schoolwork. From a very young age she felt she should have been a girl, but she knew better than to make those feelings public in Mississippi in the 1950s. Much of her life outside of school centered on the Baptist church, where she was taught that it was an especially terrible sin to have sexual or gender feelings outside the norm. Of course, she was also taught that these feelings could be taken away like any other sin, if she would confess them and pray for forgiveness and deliverance.
Under such circumstances, and wanting to fit in and be "normal," Becky prayed and prayed. Some prayers were answered! Intolerance, selfishness, and apathy became less influential in her life - but the gender conflict never changed. She maintained the appearance of a normal male and, believing she would be healed, married and became a parent. As a Sunday School teacher, choir member, and deacon, she seemed to be an exemplary spiritual leader. Still the conflict remained, never responding to prayer or action. As years passed, it became more and more intense.
Eventually, as she prayed for a "way out" (I Cor. 10:13), she experienced an answer, but not the one she expected. It was the realization: there is no need for deliverance from that which is not a sin. This radical realization brought Becky peace and a resolution of her conflict, but the disclosure was not received well at all by her church, family, friends, and medical practice. She found herself alone and unemployed at the start of her public transition. By God's grace, she met a friend in Jackson, Lee Frances Heller, who was an invaluable help on the spiritual aspect of her journey. Lee Frances published a little newsletter called "Grace and Lace," which was widely circulated among transgender Christians, assuring them that God loves us as we are. Becky became a contributor to the newsletter, with essays twice a year beginning in 1992.
Becky moved to Atlanta to continue her transition, and ultimately found a permanent cardiology position in Phoenix, Arizona. Soon after completing her surgery in 1994, she began her practice which has continued to the present day. She considered the traditional pattern of disappearing into society after finishing transition, but ultimately decided to continue an outreach to other transgender persons, in hopes of making future transitions less stressful. In 1996 she began publishing her work on the newly available Internet, and in 1998 she moved all her essays to her new web site, "drbecky.com," along with the diary of her transition year and other valuable resources. Many transgender persons have written to tell of the help they received from Becky's writings. After Lee Frances passed away in 2000, Becky continued to publish her spiritual essays online. The "Grace Letters" detail her spiritual journey from her Baptist background to her present progressive Christianity in the United Church of Christ.
In the world of medicine, Becky has been fortunate to be chosen by her peers as one of Phoenix Magazine's "Top Doctors" for several consecutive years. She has been a Board member and past President of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She also served as chair of the American Medical Association's Advisory Committee on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues, and serves on the Board of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.
(This biographical statement provided by Becky Allison.)
Biography Date: September, 2008
Baptist | Author/editor | Transgender activism
Know Rebecca Anne Allison, M.D.? Tell us your experience.
(All entries are reviewed by the LGBT-RAN office before posting.)