From their website, Superman Becomes Lois Lane tells the story of the gender transition of Bob Sylvester, a former President of the Saint Paul City Council and successful investment banker, to Susan Kimberly, the first transgender woman to become the deputy mayor of a major American city. This is Susan’s story written in her own words with passion and humor that has been a hallmark of this remarkable St. Paul figure.
I love learning more about the brave women from our community who came before us and Ms. Kimberly is a remarkable woman.
Before the play I was lucky to meet Freya Richman who plays Ms. Kimberly. We chatted about the show, our community, representation, and Ms. Richman’s own experiences. The play was written by Ms. Kimberly and tells the story of her career and her marriage. It discussed gender identity in a clear, simple, but effective and powerful way. It was moving and inspiring. The play was set in the early 1980’s and it was fascinating to see how gender was perceived and portrayed back then. In some ways society seemed more progressive and tolerant than it does today.
Another highlight of the play was meeting Ms. Kimberly herself who attended the performance. We talked about the play and her experiences. Meeting such an important and inspirational member of our community and our state’s history (in this case herstory) was truly humbling.
As much as I love eyeliner, shopping, and fashion, I think it is vital for us to know as much about our history as we can. If you would like to know more about Ms. Kimberly and the play, I encourage you to read these articles:
- Susan Kimberly left her life as a businessman and power broker in the 1980s she tells her story on stage
- Watch Making Herstory: Superman Becomes Lois Lane
- Watch Making Herstory: Part II – Superman Becomes Lois Lane
If you can, please catch a performance of this production before it closes on March 1st.
Thank you to the History Theater for putting on such a wonderful play!