Cary Gabriel Costello

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Cary Gabriel Costello
Cary Gabriel Costello May 2017(1).jpg
Alma materYale College (BA, 1986)
Harvard Law School (JD, 1990)
University of California, Berkeley (MA, 1994; PhD, 1999)[1]
EmployerUniversity of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Known forTransgender and intersex advocacy

Cary Gabriel Costello is an intersex trans male professor and advocate for transgender and intersex rights.[2] His areas of study include identity, sexuality, privilege, and marginalization.[3]

Career and personal life[edit]

Assigned female at birth, Costello first attempted a gender transition in 1991, while working as an attorney in Washington, D.C.[4] Due to the discrimination he experienced, he postponed his transition, and left the legal profession to pursue a degree and career in sociology.[4] He transitioned to male after securing tenure as an associate professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee,[1][4] where he leads the LGBT Studies program.[5]

Costello has advocated for transgender and intersex people on issues including intersex surgery,[6] eugenics,[7] bathroom bills,[5] TSA airline passenger screening,[8] and the sometimes fraught relationships between intersex and transgender communities.[9][10] He has analyzed the controversy over the gender testing of South African athlete Caster Semenya from an intersex perspective.[11] Costello has suggested using the term ipso gender instead of cisgender for intersex people who agree with their medically assigned sex.[12]

Costello is the gestational father of a daughter, and is married to an intersex trans woman.[2][6][13][14]

In February 2017, Costello and his wife lost access to transition-related healthcare when the state of Wisconsin reinstated an exclusion on these services. Additionally, his employer required that he obtain and submit new proof of his gender identity, despite the fact that he had transitioned over a decade earlier. A blog post Costello wrote about the situation went viral.[15][16]

Selected publications[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Cary Costello". University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Cary Gabriel Costello". The New York Times. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  3. ^ "Cary Costello". ResearchGate. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Costello, Cary Gabriel. "Cary Gabriel Costello (1992)". UC Berkeley Sociology Department. University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved August 19, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ a b Crowther, Katie (April 19, 2016). "North Carolina law sparks questions in Wisconsin". TMJ4. Scripps TV Station Group. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Costello, Cary Gabriel (August 10, 2015). "Advice on Being an Ally to Intersex People". Patheos. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  7. ^ Dykerman, Katelyn Dykstra (March 3, 2015). "Eugenics and Intersex: The consequences of defining "normal" bodies". NOTCHES: (re)marks on the history of sexuality. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  8. ^ Cory Doctorow (January 7, 2016). "Flying while trans: still unbelievably horrible". Boing Boing. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  9. ^ Costello, Cary Gabriel (September 14, 2014). "Are Trans Communities Losing Intersex Allies in the TERF Wars?". TransFusion.
  10. ^ Costello, Cary Gabriel (September 2014). "An intersex perspective on the trans, intersex and TERF communities". TransAdvocate. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  11. ^ Costello, Cary (August 23, 2009). "Caster Semenya - An Intersex Perspective". National Sexuality Resource Center. Archived from the original on August 10, 2010. Retrieved August 19, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  12. ^ Sandeen, Autumn (September 18, 2014). "Ipso gender: A third term for intersex people". LGBT Weekly. Archived from the original on 2017-12-19. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  13. ^ "Cary Gabriel Costello, "Intersex and Trans* Communities: Sex and Gender Struggles"". Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Ohio State University. October 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  14. ^ Pate, James (January 21, 2012). "Dr Cary Gabriel Costello: Intersex Fertility". James Pate, MD. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  15. ^ Allen, Samantha (March 9, 2017). "Wisconsin Trans Employee Faces 'Detransition' Catch-22". The Daily Beast. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  16. ^ Costello, Cary Gabriel (March 5, 2017). "A Red State is "Detransitioning" State Employees--Like Me". TransFusion. Retrieved April 3, 2017.

External links[edit]