Sex Machine

Dr. Stanley Biber has made 3,500 women--and 300 men.

"His legacy will be as one of the absolute outstanding pioneers, both on the technical side and educational side," Botzer says. "We live in a society that has a much different understanding of gender and identity issues. He's firmly in place as one of the stars. I respect him. When he can no longer provide top-quality service, he'll make the call."

Back in Trinidad, Biber addresses his critics this way: "I realize I'm going to retire. Eventually. I'd like to train someone to keep the practice in Trinidad, and I've trained a few, but I'm still looking for the right person. I told my nurses, 'Keep an eye on me. When I lose it up here and my hands start shaking, you tell me.' When that day comes, I'll quit."

That said, Biber shuffles another stack of papers, checks a message and grins. Out in the waiting room, a big-boned blonde woman rises from her chair, smooths her skirt and enters his office.

In the dim, dusty back room of the Trinidad Historical Museum, director Paula Manini frowns slightly and ponders the question.

She has just completed a whirlwind tour of the museum, rattling off the contributions of prominent figures. Kit Carson: "He didn't have a lot to do with Trinidad itself but knew people here." Felipe de Jesús Baca: "Some call him the founding father, but there were really five men who started building houses here in the summer of 1861." Uncle Dick Wooton: "He set up a toll road over Raton Pass and charged people to use it." Black Jack Ketchum: "He was robbing a train south of here when he was shot."

Where's Stanley Biber?
"Biber's on the list," she says. "He's certainly one of the things we're known for. People who have heard of Trinidad know it for one of three things: coal mining, the Santa Fe Trail and the 'Sex-Change Capital of the World.' During the years when Trinidad's economy was pretty bad, he's the person that gave the city recognition. I mean, Dr. Biber has been on Geraldo and in GQ and dozens of other publications. Geraldo was actually here."

Manini has been thinking about an exhibit on contemporary figures in Trinidad, sort of a revolving display of modern movers and shakers. She could post various photos of Biber, a stethoscope or two, maybe a few snapshots of his patients. She already has a drawing of him, one done for the First National Bank the year its annual calendar featured twentieth-century figures in Trinidad. "I wrote a little article," she says. "He was just a regular old, pot-bellied, balding guy with glasses."

Still, Biber has made important contributions to Trinidad, and he's earned his spot in the museum. "It would have to be approved, but I personally think it would be interesting," Manini says. "Maybe we could get Geraldo to come for the grand opening."

A few Decembers ago, Biber received a Christmas card from Ann, who'd moved to Washington, D.C., and been hired by the federal government. She passed the interviews, the background checks and the physical exam. She was doing fine and her life was going well. She wanted him to know that.

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