About Babs Siperstein

Babs SipersteinRobert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset has named its PROUD Center in memory of transgender activist Barbra “Babs” Casbar Siperstein.

Babs, a native of Jersey City, became the first openly transgender member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) when she was appointed in 2009. She served on the DNC’s executive committee from 2011 to 2017 and was a superdelegate for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in 2016.

Babs’s influence in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ+) community earned her the top ranking in Insider NJ’s OUT 100 Power List in 2018. She was the former vice president of Garden State Equality and former political director for Gender Rights Advocacy Association of New Jersey. In addition, she served as a board member of the New Jersey Stonewall Democrats and deputy vice chair of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. She led efforts to include transgender rights in legislation concerning anti-bullying, bias crimes and employment, housing and public accommodations non-discrimination as well as advocated for a ban on conversion therapy and ending discrimination in health care.

In 2018, shortly before Babs’s death at age 76, New Jersey passed legislation in her name allowing residents to change their gender on their birth certificate without providing proof of gender-confirming surgery.

The PROUD Center will continue Babs’s legacy by providing a safe space where everyone can get the health care they need and is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve – regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset’s Babs Siperstein PROUD Center honors the legacy of a transgender activist who was a tireless advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Hear more about the legacy of Babs Siperstein from those who knew her best.

Patient Stories

  • "I felt right at home the minute I walked through the door,” says Jesiah, recalling a sense of relief when he saw the rainbow flag hanging above the front desk. “The whole staff—from the receptionists to the nurses and doctors—were so welcoming."

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