Sex Change Hospital, debuting tonight on the Women's Entertainment network (click here for details), cuts mighty close to home for Colorado, and for Westword. The six-episode series follows Trinidad doctor Dr. Marci Bowers and assorted patients who've chosen to undergo sex-reassignment surgery in Trinidad, the planetary capital for such procedures.
That's hardly news at Westword. Our first articles about Trinidad's specialty predate our web archives -- but there's plenty of fascinating material accessible after the jump, including arguably the most extensive profile ever written about the father of sex-change surgery in southern Colorado, Dr. Stanley Biber.
August 1998's "Sex Machine," by former staffer Harrison Fletcher, details Biber's medical journey; at the time, he'd turned 3,500 men into women and 300 women into men. Fletcher followed up with "Sex Change," a November 2003 article in which Biber, then eighty years old, revealed that he'd been forced to retire because he could no longer obtain malpractice insurance. When Biber died in 2006, at least he knew his legacy was in good hands. "The Doctor Is Out," an Alan Prendergast piece published in July 2004, revealed that Bowers, a Biber protégé who "transitioned" from male to female in 1997, had taken over her mentor's practice and was then performing an average of three sex-reassignment surgeries each week.
Now, WE is offering a half-dozen slices of Bowers' life -- and other things, too. -- Michael Roberts