Lover of life Lauren Foster turns 60 this year and reaches yet another milestone. In the 80s Foster was the first trans model to be featured in VOGUE/Mexico during a time when being trans was kept quiet. This year she is being recognized by Variety Magazine at their annual Women of Empowerment Brunch. She is the first trans woman to ever be recognized with this achievement.
Kinkster MAG caught up with Foster to learn more about her journey and her thoughts about the state of the trans community.
When asked to reflect on the past 60 years and tell us what brings her the most joy Foster says, “Life in general.” Indeed she has had a good life. Having transitioned over 40 years ago, Foster had the support of her family when she went through the process. She has had an exhilarating modeling career, lived in several cities around the world (Paris is her favorite), has pal’d around with some A-list celebrities, had a spot on The Real Housewives of Miami, and is currently in a position that provides guidance and support to those in need as the Director of the LGBTQ Clinic at the University of Miami. As the director, she works with trans patients and travels nationwide as a public speaker, chronicling her journey, educating others on how to live their own self- truth and define and achieve success.
Foster authentically appreciates her life and her experiences and feels pressure at times when it comes to being considered a trans icon. When she was coming of age, Foster didn’t have trans mentors or other trans women to aspire to be so she admired gender benders like Grace Jones (with whom she is friends and shared an endearing story of spontaneously flying off to Paris on a whim) and David Bowie. When it comes to trans activism, Foster enthusiastically mentions and applauds other trans individuals who have been more outspoken, in particular, Laverne Cox. Foster, on the other hand, takes a quieter approach. She hopes to one day lose the trans label and be referred to simply as a woman.
We took some time to ask Foster about the state of the trans community today. She believes that shows like the recent Pose have helped improve awareness. On the other hand she said the current administration in DC is working to erase gender and turn back the tides. She also believes that there is still some work to be done within the gay and lesbian community when it comes to supporting the trans community. We asked Foster what we can do and she said, “Embrace us. Listen to us. Share the love.” She also took a moment to remind us of our history, “We [trans people] threw that first brick at Stonewall.”
Foster’s motto is, “Be beautiful, be bold, be you.” She shared that this came from her wonderful childhood and an incredible mother. When Foster was younger, her mother would welcome Foster’s trans friends into their home and was supportive of them all. Foster shared some fond memories of playing with her friends and her mother being loving and supportive throughout.
As Director of the LGBTQ Clinic Foster sees transformations happening every day in the youth that come to the clinic. During their first visit, they are often lost, confused and their posture is hunched over. As they learn more and get the support and guidance from the clinic staff and others they begin to feel themselves. Their posture improves and they are found socializing and laughing with others. Foster finds that rewarding and incredible to “see the butterfly emerge from the cocoon.” Foster would say she is living the good life and she’s working to ensure that others experience love and support in their lives.