This site is the most comprehensive on the web devoted to trans history and biography. Well over 1100 persons worthy of note, both famous and obscure, are discussed in detail, and many more are mentioned in passing - especially in the year-end summaries (see links in right sidebar.)

There is a detailed Index arranged by vocation, doctor, activist group etc.

In addition to this most articles have one or more labels at the bottom. Click one to go to similar persons. There is a full list of labels at the bottom of the page. There is also a search box at the top left. Enjoy exploring!

22 May 2015

Francis Bacon (1909 – 1992) artist

Francis Bacon was born in Dublin to English parents. His father Anthony (1870-1940), a veteran of the Boer War, was a horse trainer; his mother, Winnie Firth (1884-1971) a heiress to a steel business and coal mine. Anthony was a direct descendent of the Nicholas Bacon, the elder brother of the philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626). Anthony's father had been offered a revival of the title of Lord Oxford, but declined for financial reasons. Anthony forced Francis, who was allergic to dogs and horses, to go fox hunting – which brought on his asthma.

With the outbreak of war in 1914, Anthony Bacon was appointed to the War Office in London, which gave Francis experience of black-outs, bombed homes and the fear of Zeppelins. After the Armistice, their estate in Ireland was under fear of siege during the Civil War.

Francis had sex with the Irish stable boys, but on at least one occasion his father had the boy horsewhipped by the same stable boys. At a fancy-dress party Francis came as a flapper in a backless dress with long earrings – his father was disgusted. At age 16 Francis was discovered dressed in his mother's underwear and was banished from the house, and went to London. His mother provided a small allowance, which he supplemented with odd jobs, but more so from being picked up by wealthy men. He read some of the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche and lost the last remnants of religious belief. He articulated that life was futile unless you do something 'extraordinary'.

Anthony Bacon attempted to straighten out his son in 1926 by sending him to Berlin in the care of a distant uncle. However Francis soon bedded his uncle. In Berlin he was delighted to discover the transvestite bars such as the Eldorado and the rent-boy culture. He had no trouble being paid for his charms. He also discovered the Bauhaus Functional Art movement.

The uncle moved on, and Francis, now 17, moved to Paris, discovered Picasso, and learned French. He was impressed by Nicolas Poussin's Massacre of the Innocents (1630-31) and Eisenstein's film The Battleship Potemkin (1925). He started to draw and to do watercolours.

At age 20 Bacon returned to London. He moved in with Roy de Maistre, an Australian artist and convert to Catholicism. They held a joint art exhibit. However, after a failed solo exhibition a few years later, Bacon destroyed most of his works, and painted very little for the next ten years.
He left de Maistre and made a living by petty theft, running a roulette wheel, odd jobs, but also by designing furniture. In 1929 he met Eric Hall who became his new patron/lover.

In 1940 Anthony Bacon died and his widow remarried and moved to South Africa. All the children except Francis, and Edward the youngest son who died in adolescence, moved to southern Africa. This left Francis feeling released.

By John Deakin, 1945
He was photographed in drag, along with other artist friends, by the photographer John Deakin 1945, the year that his first famous work, in Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, was put on display a few weeks before the end of the war in Europe. Despite his atheism, Bacon would become especially known for paintings of the Crucifixion and of the Pope.

In 1952 Bacon met Peter Lacy, a former fighter pilot who had flown in the Battle of Britain. Their relationship was tempestuous. Lacy tore up Bacon's paintings, and beat him in drunken rages, in one case throwing him through a plate-glass window. After a few years Lacy moved to Tangier, becoming a regular at Dean's Bar, and Bacon made long visits. Lacy died of alcohol complications in 1962.

In 1964 30-year-old George Dyer, a petty thief from the East End, burglarised Bacon's flat, but was seduced instead. Bacon kept Dyer, providing him with enough money to stay drunk. Bacon did many paintings of Dyer, but Dyer did not appreciate them. He committed suicide in 1971 while in
self portrait 1971
Paris with Bacon for a retrospective exhibition.

In 1974 Bacon met John Edwards with whom he stayed until he died of cardiac arrest at age 82. Edwards inherited the multi-million estate and refused to let any of Bacons work be used in the 1998 biographical film.
EN.WIKIPEDIA    Francis-Bacon.com

19 May 2015

Terry Gardener (1919 - 2000) female impersonator

Terry’s father had been the stage manager of a drag revue in the Great War. Terry started doing drag as a teenager, and was influenced by a pair of drag queens who went busking in the East End of London with a barrel organ.

At school, Terry played the lead in Mrs Mason’s Homely Kitchen, and it went so well that the teacher asked his mother if he could repeat it at a local pub.

During the Second World War he was a cook in the officers’ mess sailing between England and Gibraltar, and was also a performer both at Chatham Barracks and in concert parties in Gibraltar. In 1944 he was in the army drag show: We Were in the Forces.
Gardener and Chat mid 1960s

He was one of the few to continue working in drag when the forces drag shows came to an end in the mid 1950s. He was a partner with Alan Haynes for a while, and was then a partner of Barri Chat from early 1950s as The Pin-Up Girls of Comedy.

Then and later he played dames roles in Christmas Pantomimes – Terry did it every year for 40 years. He died at age 81.
  • Chris Shaw & Arthur Oates. A Pictorial History of the Art of Female Impersonation. King-Shaw Productions. 1966. http://queermusicheritage.com/fem-pic2.html.
  • Roger Baker. Drag: a history of Female Impersonation on the Stage.  A Triton Book. 1968: 183,193.
  • Desmond Montmorency. The Drag Scene: The Secrets of Female Impersonators. Luxor Press. 1970: 158-9.
  • Kris Kirk & Ed Heath. Men in Frocks. London: GMP, 1984: 18, 19, 20,
  • Alkarim Jivani. It’s Not Unusual: A History of Lesbian and Gay Britain in the Twentieth Century. Indiana University Press. 1997: 14-5,21-2,52,62-4,65,120,210.
BFI   IMDB

16 May 2015

During World War II – part iii

Part 1: UK France & Germany

Part 2: other countries 

Part 3: USA

 

USA

The Doctors & sexologists

Harry Benjamin is working as a family doctor in New York. He has recently realized that Otto Spengler, one of his patients, is a transvestite.

Stanley Biber, the future sex-change doctor, is a civilian employee of the Office of Stategic Services and stationed in Alaska and the Northwest Territories

Thomas Szasz, the future opponent of sex change surgery, earns a degree in physics from the University of Cincinnati in 1941, and a medical degree from the same university in 1944.

Leo Wollman stays in Scotland until 1942, although his wife returned to New York in September 1939.  They have their first child in 1943.

John Brown, the future ‘Worst Doctor in America’, is drafted and sent by the US Army to medical school.

American Home Products (AHP) later known as Wyeth Pharmaceuticals puts Premarin on the market for the first time. It is first marketed in Canada.

Dr Harry Klinefelter at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, describes 47, XXY males in 1942. This condition becomes known as Klinefelter’s Syndrome.

Urologist Hugh Hampton Young does pioneer genital reconstruction surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital 1930-45.

Gynecologist Howard Jones, later surgeon at Johns Hopkins, is a chief surgeon under Generals Patton and Simpson during the invasion of Europe.

Elmer Belt, who will be a pioneer sex-change surgeon in the 1950s, is associate professor of urology and clinical professor of surgery and urology at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine.
Zelda Suplee, who will run Erickson's EEF, is a nudist.

Transgender surgery by 1945

Dr Alan Hart is Tuberculosis Consultant to the Idaho State Department of Public Health, and in 1943 serves with a army induction centre reading chest X-rays. Also in 1943 he publishes These Mysterious Rays, a popular account of X-rays and radiation treatment.

Carla van Crist, who had surgery at Hirschfeld's Institute in 1931, is back in New York coaching and acting.

In 1940, a physician at San Quentin prison, California, discovers that one prisoner, Artie, born male, and living as male, has been surgically altered to female (Meyerowitz p 48).

Pussy Katt, working at Finocchio’s, is taken to Mexico City in 1945 by Howard Hughes for surgery and sex and paid $50,000. She will be a club owner in Acapulco, and later perform at Madam Arthur in Paris.

Lauren Richards plays the role of a devoted wife to Barbara Wilcox, but in 1944, away from media attention, she has a double mastectomy at the Langley Porter Clinic in San Francisco.

Claire Schreckengost of Pennsylvania has surgery to become male in 1934 (Meyerowitz p31)

Future transgender surgery

The future Reed Erickson, philanthropist to the transgender movement, is an engineering student at Louisiana State University. She will be the first woman graduate in the subject in 1946.

The future Hedy Jo Star, who will have surgery in 1952, is drafted in 1942 and is in the press when he makes a fuss about cutting his long hair. He serves as a female impersonator in the US Army shows.

Teenage Sally Barry, who will be Benjamin's  first transsexual patient, has already declared herself as female and is having problems with the school system.

The future Paula Grossman, who will transition in 1971, graduates with an A.B. in 1941 from the University of Newark, and spends the Second World War in the U.S. Army.

The future Tamara Rees  is a paratrooper and is wounded in combat.

Barbara Wilcox has been on female hormones for two years when in 1 July 1941, she petitions the Superior Court of California to change her name and to become legally a woman. The petition is granted in October.

The future Cynthia Conroy is doing a degree in physics and chemistry.

The future  Christine Jorgensen  will join the US Army in 1945 as the war finishes.

The future Charlotte McLeod will be drafted into the US Army as the war finishes.

The future Nancy Hunt  will be drafted at the end of WWII.

The future Susan Faye Cannon is at Princeton University, and then in the US Navy.

The future Barbara Dayton is in the Merchant Navy.

The future Liz Lyons, becomes a raunchy female impersonator.

The future Gloria Hemingway is first discovered in drag by his father Ernest who was also encouraging him at age 10 to get drunk daily on hard liquor, and to learn competition shooting.

No surgery - but already living full time by 1945

Louise Lawrence starts living full-time as female in 1944 after the failure of a second marriage, and moves to San Francisco from Berkeley.

Mildred M.  desiring transgender surgery, is examined and exhibited to medical student in Chicago in 1942.  

Georgia Black, who had transitioned in 1921, is living as a housewife with her second husband in Florida.

Billy Tipton is in transition in 1940 and obtains legal documents as a man. He is working as a saxophonist and pianist in jazz bands.

Wilmer Broadnax, living as male, moves to southern California with his brother and joins gospel groups.

Gladys Bentley has moved to southern California and is frequently harassed for wearing men’s clothing.

Lucy Hicks, madam, is outed as male bodied when one of her girls contracted a venereal disease, and the whole house is medically examined.  She marries Mr Anderson, a soldier, in 1944.  She is charged with perjury, and then fraud.

Rae Bourbon is a big draw on the West Coast headlining at Finocchio’s in San Francisco and runs own club, the Rendezvous in Los Angeles.

Hotcha Hinton is touring in burlesque musicals.

Michael Higgins is in jail.

Schlitze, the pinhead carnie, plays Princess Betsy, the Bird Woman in Meet Boston Blackie, 1941.


Will go full-time later

The future David Warren is at the University of California.

Stormé DeLarverie is a jazz singer as Stormy Dale. Later she will be the sole male impersonator in The Jewel Box Revue, will be at Stonewall, and several times has be an Imperial King.

The future Virginia Prince completes a PhD. in pharmacology, in 1939, and in 1941 marries. He teaches briefly at his alma mater, University of California at San Francisco.

The future Susanna Valenti immigrates to the US. 

Minette is just starting as a female impersonator.

Stella MacGregor lets her beard grow and finds circus sideshow work.  MacGregor will transition to male in late 1960s.

The future Candy Darling wins a ‘Most Beautiful Baby’ contest - but, because of a mistake by  mother, as a girl.

Carol Ann Masters is in the Army where he playes a female role in a few army shows. She will then became a professional female impersonator, and live full-time as female.

Changebacks

Florence Winter, who had wished to become a man, and had travelled to consult Dr Hirschfeld in Berlin, but his descriptions of the operation presuaded her to withdraw.  She continued to live as a man in Berlin, and returns to Chicago at the start of WWII.

Pauli Murray, civil rights activist, feminist, lawyer, Episcopal priest, Episcopal saint, felt that she was a man in a woman's body, and investigates hormonal therapy in the late 1930s, early 1940s.

Ruth Parrin, Chicago had masculinized in 1935, possibly because of an adrenal or ovarian tumor, and returned to femininity after a surgeon removed the tumor  (Meyerowitz p33)


Part-time trans persons

José Sarria, the future transgender activist and founder of the Imperial Court System, enlists in the US Army during World War II, despite his short height, by seducing the major at the recruiting station. He is assigned to the Signals Corps. He is rejected for Intelligence for unstated reasons (probably for being fey), and is trained as a cook. He becomes a major’s orderly, and after the occupation of Berlin manages an officers’ mess hall.

David Petilla, transvestite and mob killer, is in Sing Sing Prison doing 20 years on ‘white slavery’ charges.

James Herndon, hospital orderly and drag queen, is working at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky.

Ed Gein, who identified as female, but does murder and grave robbing instead, works on the family farm. Most of his relatives die 1940-5.

In 1941 Frankie Jaxon, jazz singer and female impersonator, retires and works for the Pentagon in Washington. In 1944 he dies in a veterans hospital.

Dan Dailey is signed by MGM in 1940. He serves in the Signal Corps during the Second World War and is discharged as a Captain.

Jeff Chandler, as a army officer, spends the war in the Aleutian Islands.

The future Felicity Chandelle, is the lead test flyer for the Grumman J2f Duck which is both a plane and a boat.

Neil Cargile builds an airplane on his father's estate.

Barbette had retired as a high wire artist after an accident, but continues as a ariel choreographer and consultant - neither of which provided an excuse for cross-dressing.

Edward D. Wood, Jr is in the Marines 1942-6.

Albert Finnie, the founder of Chicago’s Finnie’s Balls, is killed in a gambling brawl in 1943.

Phil Black performes in New York and Montreal, and starts the Funmaker Balls that eventually evolve into the voguing balls in the 1990s.

Patsy Vidalia is just starting a career in New Orleans as a drag performer.

Harvey Goodwin, recently released from a tuberculosis sanatorium, is working as a clerk on an army base when word gets out about his show-biz experience and he is coaxed to perform, which his drag persona does in 1942 at the Arkansas Ordnance Plant to a capacity crowd of 5000 with two full orchestras. He does three more victory balls.  In 1943 he moves to San Francisco and becomes a performer at Finocchio's night club.
Herbert (Berta) Beeson who had performed as a female slack-wire artist, is now retired, and doing advance advertising before the circus comes to a town.

Bobby Kork is working as a circus 'hermaphrodite' and is also a transvestist in his private life.  

William Stoffler, stockbroker and also performer at Finocchio's

Dancer Tommy Thompson is drafted into the Army in 1943 and assigned to pass himself as a woman, and to perform an act that included a total striptease in bright sunlight.

Sacha Brastoff enlists in the Airforce, and serves in the Special Services Events Division, where he designes costumes and scenery for USO shows. He is known for his impersonation of Carmen Miranda, which he repeats in the play and later film Winged Victory 1944.

T.C. Jones is in the Navy. After demob in 1946 he will become a female impersonator.

Skip Arnold is in the Navy, and will later become a female impersonator.

Carroll Wallace is billed as “The Most Beautiful Boy in the World” in the 1940s.

Lynn Carter is in the Navy, and will became popular as a female impersonator in the 1950s.

Murry Pickford, Boston, deaf-and-dumb, is developing her drag act with pigeons. 

Tony Sinclair is working as a female stripper.

Patsy Valdalia has started on her show-biz career.

Francis-Francine Hodgkiss is earning $500 a week as a half-and-half, and basically supporting the cast.

Julian Eltinge, previously the best paid female impersonator, appears in a mufti cameo in a 1940 Bing Crosby film, and dies, rather mysteriously in May 1941.  

The future Tony Midnite is a teenager working in munitions in San Francisco.  He uses fake ID to see the impersonator show at Finocchio’s, and is sure that he could do better.

Alexander Woollcott, transvestite, theater critic and radio broadcaster, dies during a live radio show in 1943.

Alice Bradley (Sheldon) who felt that she should be a man, but did not transition, but will later become a novelist as James Tiptree, Jr, joins the Army Airforce in 1942, works in photo-intelligence and becomes a major.  She later will work in the CIA.  

Jimmy Donahue, drag queen friend of Cardinal Spellman, hosts a party in 1945 and invites US servicemen found in a gay bar. It is said that one of the guests loses his cock whilst having his pubic hair shaved.

David Wilde has done a literature degree at Yale, has married, and is becoming a writer.

Marcel DuChamp, Parisian Artist, who had become known for his drag persona, Rose Sélavy, in the 1920s, moves to New York in 1942.

New York pickpocket, 1941.

Show-Biz

The Jewel Box Revue of feminine impressionists is founded in Miami in 1939.

The Cabin Inn, Chicago, closes in 1940.

Finocchio's, San Francisco, is specializing in 'ethnic' impersonators.    Military authorities declare Finocchio's "off limits" for selling liquor to WWII military personnel outside of authorized hours. That temporary sanction is lifted New Year's Eve 1943 after Joe Finocchio and other bar owners sign an agreement to limit liquor sales to military personnel to between 5 p.m and midnight. Beer could, however, be sold between 10 a.m. and midnight.

  • Hugh H Young. Genital Abnormalities, Hermaphroditism & Related Adrenal Diseases. Baltimore: The Williams & Wilkins company, 1937.
  • Georges Devereux. "Institutionalized homosexuality of the Mohave indians", Human Biology, n°9, pp.502-27, 1937.
  • Joseph McCabe.  Women Who Became Men: The Development of Unusual Variations, Including Hermaphrodites, Pseudo-Hermaphrodites, and Virgin Birth.  Haldeman-Julius Publications, 1938.
  • Eugen Steinach, Sex and Life. Forty Years of Biological and Medical Experiments, Viking Press, New York. 1940.
  • N.S. Yawger. “Transvestism and Other Cross-Sex Manifestations”, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 92, 41-48. 1940.
  • Harry Klinefelter, Edward Reifenstein Jr.& Fuller Albright,"Syndrome characterized by gynecomastia, aspermatogenesis without a-Leydigism and increased excretion of follicle-stimulating hormone", Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2, pp.615-27. 1942.
  • Jacob Finesinger, Joe Meigs & Hirsch Sulkowitch, "Clinical, psychiatric and psychoanalytic study of a case of male pseudohermaphroditism", American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology n°44, pp.310-7. 1942.
  • Siegmund Heinrich Foulkes, "The idea of a change of sex in women", International Journal of Psychoanalysis n°24, pp.53-6. 1943.
  • Paul De Kruif, The Male Hormone, New York: Harcourt Brace, 1945.
  • Albert Ellis, "The sexual psychology of human hermaphrodites", Psychosomatic Medecine n°7, pp.108-19. 1945.

13 May 2015

During World War II – part ii

Part 1: UK, France & Germany

Part 2: other countries 

Part 3: USA


Poland

The future Holly Ahlberg and family, from Riga, are living in German-occupied Poland.

Lithuania

George Maciunias, future founder of Fluxus art movement and transvestite, flees into Nazi Germany with his family as the Soviet Army advances into Kaunas.
Czechoslovakia

Artist Toni Ebel, having fled Nazi Germany in 1934, survives the German occupation in Brno.

Kurt Freund, who will become associated with Penile Plethysmography and later work at the Clarke Institute in Toronto, is at the Univerzita Karlova.

Zdenek Koubkov, women's record for 800 metre dash in 1934, examined, stripped of award, is  living as male.  

Karl Giese, Hirschfeld’s lover and heir, fled to Brno, where he commits suicide after the German occupation.


Hungary

The future Charlotte Bach is conscripted into the Railway Builders Regiment after Hungary declares war on the Soviet Union, but manages to wrangle a transfer to the army propaganda unit – where he steals cameras and sells them on the black market. He later admits that he cold-bloodedly killed a teenage soldier because he could not show the right papers, and will claim to have been in the German SS.


Italy

The future Maria Starace, then a child, is the nephew of notable fascist, Achille Starace.

Albania

Tonë Bikaj fights with the Albanian partisans against the Italian and German invaders 1939-44. Tonë is a unit commander. However his unit is with Balli Kombëtar, which opposes the Communists because they do not demand that Kosovo be part of Albania, and loses its credibility by allying with Nazi Germany. Tonë's mother is shot for refusing to persuade her sons to join the cease-fire.

Fatime Ejupi is 18 in 1944 when he is recruited by Tito's People's Liberation Army to fight the Axis occupation. Only after two years in the army is he examined by a doctor, who declares that he is a woman, and he is discharged.

Belgium

Willy de Bruijn, champion cyclist, became a man in 1937.  He then married and opened a cafe in Brussels.

Switzerland

Homosexuality is decriminalized in 1942 with an age-of-consent of 20.

Arlette-Irène Leber has a series of operations including vaginoplasty in late 1941 and early 1942. In 1944 a Cantonal Court approves her petition for a change of civic status to female, and explicitly rejectes a caveat from one of Leber’s doctors that she be prohibited from marrying as a woman.

The novelist Bryher, who sees herself as male but does not wear male clothes, provides her home in Switzerland to help Jewish refugees from Germany.

Li Shiu Tong, Hirschfeld's other lover and heir, does a degree in Zurich until 1941, then moves to Boston until 1945.

Sweden

Homosexuality is decriminalized in 1944 with an age-of-consent of 20.

Iceland

Homosexuality is decriminalized in 1940, under British occupation.

Spain

Teresa Pla Meseguer, intersex raised as a girl, works as a shepherdess. At the age of 32 in 1949, the Francoist Guardia Civil take Teresa in for interrogation. On release, Meseguer never dresses as female again. He takes the name Florencio. He joines the Spanish Maquis which was still fighting the Fascist government although it had been abandoned by the Allies who had cut off their supply lines. He will be arrested in 1960, and amnestied in 1977.

Jordi Torremadé says in 1942 that it was an error that he has been raised a girl and became a female athletics champion.  He had surgery.  The Fascist state accepts this, changes his documents and invalidates his sporting records.

Soviet Union

A. P. Frumkin does phalloplasties on injured soldiers comparable to the work done by Harold Gillies in England.

K, from Kazan, is diagnosed as a transvestite in 1937, given permission by the People’s Court to wear female clothing, her identity papers are changed to her female name, and she is removes from the military recruitment rolls.  She survives the war.


Palestine

Karl Baer was allowed to emigrate from Germany with his wife in 1938: there he works as an accountant.

Egypt

Ludwig Levy-Lenz, one of Hirschfeld’s surgeons, fled the Nazis in 1933 and again in 1939. He is deprived of his German citizenship in 1939. He lives and sets up a practice in Cairo, where transgender surgery will later be done.

Morocco

Georges Burou opens a medical practice in Casablanca in 1940. He serves in the Fourth French-Moroccan Mountain Division, and is part of the liberation of Alsace.

Lapsed transvestite Joseph Dean opens Dean's Bar in Tangiers (the real-life version of Rick in the film Casablanca)


South Africa

Christina Jwar continues as a nurse to the black community in Ficksburg.  

Japan

Kitanura Sayo is possessed (Kamigakari) in August 1945 as the war ends by Tensho-Kotai-jin and Amaterasu, that is major male and female deities at the same time. An androgynous experience. She later founds the Tensho-Kotai-Jingu-Kyo cult.

AkihiroMiwa, who later becomes one of Japan's best known drag performers, is a child in Nagasaki when the atomic bomb is dropped.

Ginza Rose is a show dancer for the US occupation forces.

China

Kawashima Yoshiko, plays a major role in persuading the last Chinese emperor, Pu Yi, to become the puppet ruler of Manchuria. He participates in the Japanese occupation of China, and extorts large sums of money from Chinese merchants who are accused of dealing with the Chinese forces. By the end of the war in 1945 Kawashima has gained much weight and has contracted syphilis. He is betrayed, by a spurned lover, to the army of Chiang Kai-shek. They find him guilty of treason and behead him.

With the Japanese invasion in 1937, Méi Lánfāng, the famous player of female parts in Chinese opera, moves to Hong Kong. He later returnes to Shanghai, but grows a beard and moustache and refuses to perform until 1946.

Cheng Yanqiu, player of female roles in the Beijing Opera, refuses to perform during the Japanese occupation and workes as a farmer.


Singapore

Future sex-change doctor Shan Ratnam almost loses his father to execution by the occupying Japanese. His mother and youngest sibling die from lack of medical care.  

Australia

Lea Sonia, Australia’s major female impersonator in the 1930s, is killed in 1942 by a tram in the wartime brownout.

Harry Foy, Sydney’s best-known female impersonator, is flirting in a bar, when a US sailor strikes him in the mouth. He never recoveres consciousness.

Bill Smith is a jockey and horse trainer in North Queensland.

William Edwards is retired.


Neville McQuade (18) and Lewis Stanley Keith (19) - 1942.

Peru

Carlos Alberto Fonesco is writing poems and journalism, despite being bound to a wheelchair.
 
Joséde la Riva-Agüero y Osma, ex-mayor of Lima and ex-Prime Minister, chair of the Peruvian Fascist Brotherhood starts appearing at public functions dressed as female.

New Zealand

John Money, the future advocate of contentious gender and intersex practices, is a psychology student at Victoria University of Wellington.

Canada

Dick Montgomery is a female impersonator in Montreal’s black clubs.

Ross Hamilton is re-engaged to organize drag shows in the Military as he had done in the first war.   However he is caught having sex with subordinates and discharged.

In Toronto John Herbert Brundage, the future distinguished playwright, is already an accomplished cross-dresser, and is able to pass as female at a fashion show.

The future Michelle DuBarry wins first prize at the 1939 Port Hope Music Festival, singing “Cobbler, Cobbler Mend My Shoe”.  He does his first drag on his uncle’s farm at age 9. His high school years are filled with operettas and stage shows. With a friend he attends a school dance in drag.

Bahamas 

Joe Carstairs, power boat racer, continues on his private island.   At Christmas 1939 he gives a banquet for 1200 people in Nassau. In January 1941 he is visited by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.  Later he publishes poetry under the name Hans Jacob Bernstein

Brazil

Joao Francisco dos Santo, is  released from a 10-year prison sentence for murder, wins the Best Costume award at the 1942 Rio Carnival as Madame Satã, and from there becomes a drag star.

10 May 2015

During World War II – part i

The start of World War II in Europe is generally taken to be 1 September 1939.  On this day Germany invaded Poland. We could also argue that the war started in1937 when Germany invaded Czechoslovakia, or 1936, the start of the Spanish Civil War.  In Asia, the War started with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931 or their invasion of China in 1937.

It is an interesting irony that both the USA and the USSR took the attitude that the war started in 1941.

The War ended on both continents in 1945, except in Spain where the anti-Fascist forces struggled on until 1960 even though they had been abandoned by the allies, and in Greece where UK/US allied with the fascists to defeat the Partisans.

The world population in the 1940s was around 2.5 billion. If the 1:500 ratio applied then also, there would have been 5 million potential transsexuals, but only a small few were offered the opportunity. Even the discredited 1:10,000 ratio would give 250,0000. Of course the trans and intersex persons whom we know of add up to a much smaller number.

Transgender surgery and cross-sex hormones were just becoming available at the end of the 1930s, but would remain unavailable to most of those who would want them for several decades more.  Not surprisingly, for many in this generation, drag performance or occasional cross-dressing remained a final stage, rather than a stop on the journey to womanhood or manhood.  

The few who are known to history are listed below.   A significantly shorter version of this was originally published in September 2009, the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Poland.   Days and months have come and gone, and now it is the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.

This list also includes sexologists and doctors who worked with trans and intersex persons.

Part 1: UK,  France & Germany

Part 2: other countries 

Part 3: USA


UK

The doctors  

Sexologist Havelock Ellis dies 8 July 1939.

Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis dies in London, 23 September 1939, the same day as Albert Moll.

Anthony Storr, after only average marks at school, gains a wartime courtesy degree at Cambridge and qualifies as a doctor at Westminster Hospital.  His asthma precludes his having to do military service.

Charles Armstrong is a consultant physician at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. He specialises in intersex patients.

Harold Gillies, the surgeon who will later do two, and only two, pioneering sex changes, organises plastic surgery units and trains other doctors to help injured British soldiers. He has developed ‘flap surgery’ where a flap of skin is moved to another part of the body to help healing.

Lennox Broster, operated on hundreds of intersex patients, especially those with adreno-genital syndrome, at Charing Cross Hospital, in the 1930s and 1940s. On 2 August 1943 he is featured in an article in The News of the World, which attracts the attention of many persons whom we would now call transsexuals.

Norman Haire had been diagnosed as diabetic and nephritic. In 1940, shortly after war broke out, he returns to Australia. He pleads health reasons, but is accused of cowardice. He opens an expensive practice in Sydney, but also lectures for the Workers' Educational Association and the New Education Fellowship, and speaks on the wireless. He takes up acting, and is well reviewed for his performance in Bernard Shaw's The Doctor's Dilemma. Using the name Wykeham Terris, he writes a series of articles for the weekly magazine, Woman, a pioneering series discussing sex-education, pregnancy and childbirth issues, gynaecological disorders and venereal disease. In 1944 he appears in a debate on the Australian Broadcasting Commission's 'Nation's Forum of the Air' arguing that population should be limited. Afterwards he is strongly denounced in the House of Representatives.

John Randell, who later will be the major doctor in the gender clinic at Charing Cross Hospital, qualifies as a doctor at the Welsh National School of Medicine in 1941. From 1942-6 he is a Surgeon Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR). 

Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is first synthesised at Oxford University in 1938 by Leon Golberg. It is not patented as it had been developed using public funds. Because it was not patented, it is cheap to synthesize from coal tar, and is produced by over 300 pharmaceutical companies. It acted in the body like a natural estrogen. It is hailed by leading researchers and gynecologists as a wonder drug with a host of potential uses. Golberg’s boss, Edward Charles Dodds will be knighted for this scientific achievement. Soon after, researchers in the United States begin giving the synthetic hormone to women with problem pregnancies. The massive experiment will eventually involve an estimated 10 million pregnant women worldwide. In the 1970s it will be established that DES can malform a fetus, including feminization of a male fetus, and studies will associate it with increased occurrence of transsexuality.

Transgender surgery by 1945

Mark Weston, champion female shot-putter and javelin thrower, is post-op, legally male and married to a woman.

Harry Weston, Mark's younger sibling, is operated on in September 1939.  He becomes depressed and commits suicide in 1943.

Michael Dillon, now living as male, working as a garage hand, is the first female-born person to take the new experimental testosterone. In 1942 he has a mastectomy and has his birth certificate changed. He will later have a series of experimental operations from Harold Gillies from 1945 to render him physically male.

Bill Allen, after a mysterious stay in hospital in 1935, claimed that he is now a man, and is working as a bus conductor. In 1949 he will murder a neighbour and become the last trans person to be hanged in the UK.

Robert Allen, works in the women’s auxiliary and as an assistant in the movies, successfully petitions the British government to amend his birth certificate in 1944.

Future transgender surgery

The future Ewan Forbes, graduates in medicine from the University of Aberdeen in 1944.

The future Georgina Somerset trains in dentistry. In 1944 he joins the Royal Navy as a dentist, which he is able to do without a physical examination.

The future Betty Cowell, marries in 1941 and becomes a father. He becomes a Spitfire pilot with the Royal Air Force, and flies several times over Germany. He is shot down over the Rhine. 

The future Angela Morley, is in demand as an alto-saxophonist as older musicians have been conscripted. He starts writing arrangements. He is principal saxophonist with the Oscar Rabin Band and the Geraldo Orchestra from 1944.

The future Jan Morris is an intelligence officer with the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers in Palestine and Italy while still in his teens. 

The future Judy Cousins, is a Major in the British Indian Army.

The future Susan Huxford, meets his wife in 1939. He joins the Royal Corps of Signals as soon as he is 18, and spends the war in India as a staff officer.

Poppy Cooper, the future Le Carrousel star, is working as a bus conductor in Preston.


No surgery - but already living full time by 1945

Wynsley Michael Swan, had married a woman in 1927, is in retirement. 

Jane Heap runs a Gurdieff group in London from 1935.

Micky Jacob, novelist, works for the Ministry of Information during the war, and then serves with ENSA in North Africa and catches malaria.

Michael Johnson, baker, is arrested in 1942 when it is noticed that the name on his ID card had been changed from Muriel to Michael.  

Lil, who lives as female, and Maisie, who dresses for the stage, are a gay couple who live in Hackney, London, and perform as a drag duo at various East End venues, particularly the Royal Oak, Hackney, during and after the war.

After a conviction in 1943, Pamela Bird goes full-time and works as a bus conductress, a barmaid and as a cook. She has a good voice and sings as a crooner with more than one band where she attracts male admirers.

Victor Barker, having been in the courts and the papers several times during the 1930s,works as a switchboard operator in a hospital outside London during the war.  


Will go full-time later

Ron Storme tours in popular all-male drag reviews during the war.

The future Roberta Kelly is assigned to GHQ in Whitehall to be a draughtsman, where he sits next to Winston Churchill during an air-raid.

Stella Minge is in the merchant navy.

Part time trans persons

Arthur Corbett, transvestite and future husband of April Ashley, rises to the rank of captain, and is awarded the Croix de Guerre. The future April Ashley is at school in Liverpool.

Lieutenant Colonel Dudley Clarke, a deception officer in MI6, is arrested, en femme, in Madrid in October 1941.   His superiors understood the wearing of disguise, but why was he wearing a brassiere?

Frederick Ashton, ballet choreographer and pantomime dame, is artistic director for the Vic-Wells Ballet, later known as the Royal Ballet.

Toupie Lowther, tennis and fencing champion, model for Stephen Gordon in The Well of Loneliness, has retired to a village in Sussex where she usually dresses in a man's suit but was known as Miss Lowther.

John Radcliffe Hall intended to retire to Florence, but war intervened.  With physical problems, Hall retires with Una Troubridge to Devon  Hall dies in London of stomach cancer in October 1943.  

Delbert Hill comes to England in 1942 as an entertainer in the US Air Force Special Services. He performs as "Dirty Gertie from Bizerti". He keeps performing during air-raids, and with this reputation is invited to a Royal Command Performance, 4 July 1944. In 1945, he is re-assigned as a latrine orderly, and runs away. He disguises as Donna Delbert, "America's Outstanding Lady Magician and the Only Lady Fire Eater in the World". He will be arrested as a deserter in 1949.

The peak years of Bobbie Kimber, female ventriloquist, who  will out himself as a man in 1952.

Arthur Lucan as Old Mother Riley is named as second only to George Formby as Britain's top film star in 1941. Old Mother Riley makes 9 successful films during the war years.

The future Danny La Rue, although Irish, is in the Royal Navy where he does drag shows.

Douglas Byng, having done the first drag show on television in 1938, is billed during the war as ‘Bawdy but British’.

Vesta Tilley, the great Music Hall male impersonator has been retired since 1920. 

Hetty King, also a Music Hall male impersonator keeps working into the 1960s.

Terry Gardner, who had been doing drag since his teens in the 1930s, is a cook in the officers' mess sailing between England and Gibralter. He is also a performer both at Chatham Barracks and in concert parties in Gibraltar. In 1944 he is in the army drag show: We Were in the Forces
The future Yvonne Sinclair, who will organize the TV/TS Group in London, is still a child and  has been cross-dressing since the age of three. 

The future Mrs Shufflewick is called up to the RAF and becomes part of the RAF Gang Show.   He tours North Africa, Italy and Cyprus putting on shows for the forces, usually cast as the leading lady.

Shelley Summers does drag while with HM forces in Burma until 1947 (for which he gets sergeant's stripes)

Jimmy Slater, who did forces drag shows in WWI and was then in Splinters, the ex-soldiers' impersonation revue, is still doing the same as a solo act.

Eric Gilbert Oakley, who will do a drag act as Linda in the 1960s, and write Man Into Woman, a faux-biography, and Sex Change and dress deviation, is in the army.

Gluck finishes one long-term affair and moves to Sussex with another, and is still a male-dresser.

Show Biz

Irving Berlins' This is the Army, plays the London Palladium for four nights in 1944.

Men in FrocksForces Showboat, We were in the Forces evolve from army entertainment units into companies touring the UK.


France

Transgender surgery by 1945

Violette Morris, masculine woman and poly-athlete had top surgery in 1929,  and is assassinated by the Resistance in 1944.

Willy de Bruijn, Belgian champion cyclist, came to Paris in 1937 for surgery. 

Henri Acces had surgery to become male in 1934 (Meyerowitz p31)


Future transgender surgery

The future Ovida Delect  is part of the Communist Résistance to the German invasion until arrested. 

The future Marie Schwidenhammer, working with the Résistance in 1940, helps several hundred prisoners-of-war escape the camp at Luneville. Then from late 1940 to 1943 he organises the production of a scouring powder, which employed a few dozen young people who would otherwise have been conscripted for compulsory labour in Germany. In 1943 he is arrested and sentenced to death by the Gestapo.

Michel-Marie Poulain, is a non-commissioned officer in the Army.


No surgery - but already living full time by 1945

Mathilde de Morny, Monsieur de Marquis, la Marquise de Belboeuf, commits suicide at age 82 in Paris, 1944.

Madeleine Pelletier, doctor and transvestite, arrested on abortion charge, dies neglected in prison, 1939.

Claude Cahun spends the war in Jersey, involved with the Resistance and as a propagandist.  In 1944 arrested and sentenced to death.  Health never recovers from time in jail.  Will die in 1954.

Anton Prinner, Hungarian artist in Paris, hides and is not noticed by the occupying Germans.



Part-time trans persons

Guilda works with the Ballets de Monte Carlo during the war. Afterwards he will become an international drag artist and move to Montréal.

Luis Fernando, Spanish Infante, had squandered the wealth of his wife, Marie Constance Charlotte Say.  She dies in ruin in a small apartment in German-occupied Paris in 1943. Luís Fernando then enters a nursing home, also in Paris, where he dies two years later, aged 56.

Felix Felixovich Yusupov, lapsed transvestite and killer of Rasputin, is living in Paris.

Clementine Delait, bearded café owner, sometimes male dresser, dies in 1939.

Show biz and literature

Marcel Oudjman, future owner of Madame Arthur and Le Carrousel, has arrived in Paris from Algeria, and is working as a bartender.  

Club Le Monocle closed.

Frede Baule's Chez Frede manages to stay open during the German occupation.

Jean Genet, convicted thief, in prison in 1942 writes Notre Dame des Fleurs (Our Lady of the Flowers) about a transgender prostitute, and after release into German-occupied Paris, manages to get it published.
  • Agnès Masson, Le travestissement. Essai de psycho-pathologie sexuelle. Éditions Hippocrate, 1935.
  • J. Fortineau, R. Vercier, C. Durand et L. Vidart, "Idées de transformation sexuelle et travestissement chez deux délirants chroniques", Annales médico-psychologiques 97, n°1, pp.51-3. 1939.
  • Etienne Wolff, Les changements de sexe, Paris: Gallimard, 1946. 

Germany/Austria

The Doctors

Sexologist Albert Moll dies 23 September 1939, the same day as Sigmund Freud.

Endocrinologist Eugen Steinach who had experimented with transplanting sex glands, and pioneered vasectomies, and is Director of the Biological Institute of the Viennese Academy of Sciences, dies in 1944.

Kurt Warnekros, gynaecologist and obstetrician, director of the women’s clinic in Dresden, who had transplanted ovaries and a uterus into pioneer transsexual, Lili Elvenes (Elbe) in 1930, keeps treating Jewish patients until 1944, but also does forced sterilizations. His clinic is destroyed in the February 1945 air raids and firestorm on Dresden.

Testosterone was first isolated from a bull in 1935. Karoly G. David, Ernst Laqueur, and colleagues isolated crystalline testosterone from testicles and published the results. Within a few months, groups led by Johann Butenandt and G. Hanisch (funded by Schering Corp. in Berlin), and Leopold Ruzicka and A. Wettstein of Ciba, independently of each other, developed synthetic methods of preparing testosterone. The production of synthetic testosterone from the success of Butenandt and Ruzicka earns them the 1939 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Concentration Camps & POW Camps

In February 1942 an SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer in full uniform, with silver ribbons and decorations, together with an elegant young lady are arrested in a box at the Hamburg opera, following a denunciation, in that the lady was a young man of 19, a soldier in the Waffen-SS and home on leave in Hamburg. His father owns a major nightclub on the Reeperbahn. They are taken directly to Flossenbürg concentration camp in Bavaria, and locked in separate individual cells. They remain in solitary confinement until the camp is liberated in April 1945.

The future Ovida Delect  is in Neuengamme Concentration Camp.

The future Marie Schwidenhammer,is interned at Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp (in Alsace which had been incorporated into the Reich). There he is subjected to experimental hormonal treatment.

The future Betty Cowell, is in Stalag Luft 1, near Lubeck, from where he is liberated by the Soviet army in 1945.

In Auschwitz Concentration Camp, a 13-year boy is involuntarily surgically changed into a girl. After the war, he will be changed back as much as doctors are able to.

In Buchenwald Concentration Camp, Danish endocrinologist Carl Værnet does involuntary Steinach operations attempting to turn gay men straight, but without success.  At least two contract infections from the insanitary conditions and die. Later Allied authorities turn a blind eye as Værnet escapes to Argentina.

Erwin Gohrbandt, of the Charité Universitätsmedizin in Berlin who did genital surgery on Dörchen Richter, Toni Ebel and Lili Elvened (Elbe), has become a general in the Luftwaffe. He also participates in hypothermia experiments at Dachau Concentration Camp and writes up the results in a major medical journal. In February 1945, he is awarded the Ritterkreuz des Kriegsverdienstkeuzes on Hitler's personal authority.

Many gay and transgender "men" in the Nazi concentration camps are not released when the camps are liberated in 1945. They are transferred to regular prisons to complete their sentences.

Transgender surgery by 1945

All idea of surgery had stopped in 1933 with the destruction of Hirschfeld's Institute.   Those who were post-op did not stay in Germany.   Dörchen Richter and Lili Elvenes (Elbe) were dead.  Carla van Crist had returned to the US, Toni Ebel had fled to Czechoslovakia, and Karl Baer was allowed to emigrate to Palestine. 

However it was later reported that Hinrich B,  of Hannover had all her male parts removed in 1943 with the permission of the Nazis (Meyerowitz p48, p298n110).

Future transgender surgery

The future Jeanette Schmid is drafted into the Wehrmacht at age 17. He is in Italy until invalided home with typhoid fever. Like many Sudeten Germans, he flees from Czechoslovakia in 1945, in his case to Munich, where he starts a career as a female-impersonator.

The future Kerstin Thieme  is conscripted into the German army and becomes a prisoner of war in Italy.

No surgery - but already living full time by 1945

This was dangerous as transvestity was taken as proof of homosexuality.  Gerda von Zobeltitz somehow survived but we don't know how.   We don't know what happened to Josefine Meißauer nor any of the others who obtained a police permit to be their real gender.  Florence Winter (male name unknown) who had been living as a man in Berlin, returned to Chicago (Meyerowitz p29)

Will go full-time later

The future Charlotte von Mahlsdorf is the son of the local Nazi leader, and in 1942 has to join the Hitler Youth. When his parents split in 1944, the father pulls a gun on his son, who then kills him with a rolling pin while he sleeps.  After several weeks in a psychiatric institution, he is sentenced to four years in a juvenile prison, but is released with the fall of the Nazi regime.


Change-backs 

Dora, now Heinrich Ratjen, high-jumper in the 1936 Olympics, is re-registered as a man, and returns to Hamburg.


  • H.F.. Voss. Ein Beitrag zum Problem des Transvestitismus. MD thesis, University of Hamburg. 1938.
  • Hans Bürger-Prinz & H. Weigel, "Über den Transvestismus bei Männern", Monatschrift für Kriminalbiologie, n°31, pp.125-43. 1940.
  • H.H. Huelke.  "Ein Transvestit (Der Fall Hinrich B.)".  Kriminalistik, 3, 1949.

08 May 2015

Willy de Bruijn (1914 - 1989) champion cyclist, café owner

Elvire de Bruijn from Aalst, Belgium was four times Belgian, European and world cycling champion between 1934 and 1937. De Bruijn's average speed was 33 km/hour which was regarded as a male speed.

Having heard about Zdenek Koubkov, de Bruijn investigated and became a man in 1937 with surgery in Paris.

He later married and opened Café Dedenderleeuw in Brussels, where he reminded people that he had been Elvire.
DE.WIKIPEDIA     Radsportseiten
 

06 May 2015

Barbara Dayton (1926 – 2002) Part II: librarian, pilot


Continued from Part I.
On November 24, 1971, Thanksgiving Eve, a man using the name Dan Cooper purchased a walk-on ticket for a 727 flight from Portland, Oregon to Seattle. He handed a note to a stewardess to the effect that he had a bomb. He demanded $200,000 in unmarked twenty-dollar bills and two sets of sports parachutes. These being provided, he allowed the passengers to disembark at Seattle. Cooper demanded that the plane, now refueled, take off for Mexico City via Reno, no faster than 170 knots at 10,000 feet, and that the cabin be left unpressurized. He sent all the crew into the cockpit. He then opened the back door and after a while jumped. Due to a miscommunication with the media, the perpetrator came to be referred to as DB Cooper. The FBI was unable to find the parachute, a body or the money. Until September 2001 this is the only unsolved hijacking of a US aircraft. As a result metal detectors were introduced at commercial airports, and 727 aircraft were altered to ensure that the rear door could not be opened in flight. Bill Dayton, watching the news reports about the hijacking thought that he recognized his brother.
In December 1971, at a follow-up interview, the doctors noted that Barbara had a much more positive attitude to things, and shortly afterwards she was able to get a job at the Suzzallo Library at the University. She came out to her son, Dennis.

In 1973 Barbara bought a surplus airplane. Dennis and his new wife accepted Barbara, but Dennis  died of a drug overdose in May 1975. The funeral led to a reconciliation with daughter Rena whom Barb had not seen for ten years.

In 1977 Pat and Ron Forman met Barb at the Thun Field airstrip. Some months later Barb accepted invitations and became a regular dinner guest at the Furmans on Sunday nights. In February 1978 she told them that she had been a transsexual.

In Summer 1979 a group of pilots were discussing the DB Cooper affair when Barb surprisingly denied that Cooper was a fool and revealed detailed knowledge of the case. Ron joked that Barb must be DB Cooper. Later Barb admitted that she – in reverse drag - really had been DB Cooper, although she subsequently denied it.

On February 10, 1980 an eight-year-old boy found $5,800 of the DB Cooper money on the banks of the Columbia river (while the money was not marked, the serial numbers had been recorded).

In June 1980 Barb lost her pilot's license due to medical problems, but kept flying anyway. In 1988 Barb retired from her library job, and opened an aircraft restoration shop at Thun Field airstrip with Bob Birch who had been flirting with her for some time. She lived in a room at the shop. The business lasted for 4 years.  When they sold it, Barb moved in with Bob in Tacoma, Washington, and as he deteriorated with age, she became his full-time carer despite family antagonism to her presence. Bob died in December 1997 and Barb disappeared within hours.

She settled in a mobile home near Carson City, Nevada living sparsely on social security and gambling whatever she could in nearby casinos. Barbara Dayton died aged 76.

Her friends, Pat and Ron Forman, contacted Barbara's family, were given diaries and letters, and wrote up their experience with her as a book, published in 2008. They contacted the FBI and showed the evidence that Barbara was DB Cooper, but never heard back from the FBI.

The National Geographic cable channel broadcast a special on the DB Cooper case in July 2009. They filmed material re Barb Dayton, interviewed the Formans and hired a female pilot to wear a wig and fly a Cessna 140. However all Dayton material was pulled when sent to senior management: "executives at National Geographic cited three reasons for pulling the Dayton footage: one, Barb Dayton’s sex-change was too controversial; two, the story line was too complex for a one-hour broadcast; and three, the FBI did not consider Dayton to be a credible suspect".
EN.WIKIPEDIA(DBCOOPER)  
____________________________________________________________

Of the several books on DB Cooper, most at least mention Barbara Dayton.    I know of no book on LGBT or trans Seattle that mentions the city's first surgical transsexual. Anne Lawrence, also of Seattle, in Men Trapped in Men's Bodies: Narratives of Autogynephilic Transsexualism discusses several published biographies of those she considers to be autogynephilic but chose not to include Dayton, despite writing five years after the Formans' book.

There are several other candidates for being DB Cooper.  Dayton certainly had an appropriate skill set: flying planes, parachuting, handling dynamite.   It certainly seems that Dayton either did or experienced something in November 1971.  The doctors at the University clinic noted a distinct change.   Her motivation would be resentment about having to pass theory and algebra tests to become a commercial pilot although it was not needed for the actual job.   Certainly there is no evidence that she ever spent the ranson money.  Here is a photograph of Dayton just before transition next to the FBI picture based on witness statements.

04 May 2015

Barbara Dayton (1926 – 2002) Part I: merchant sailor, soldier, mechanic.

Bobby Dayton was the eldest of the three sons of Elmer and Berneice Dayton. After several moves they settled in Long Beach, in Los Angeles. The youngest son, Jimmy, died in a horse riding accident aged 13.

In 1944, aged 17, Bobby joined the US merchant marine. He would secretly cross-dress in obscure parts of the ship where he was never discovered. He was several times fined $100s for missing his ship when it sailed. One time he was lost in the Mindanao jungle in the Philippines, and fought with the local Muslims against the Japanese.

While he was at sea the Dayton family purchased a ranch close to Merced, California. When Bobby returned he helped improve the ranch including using dynamite to reroute a water course.

In 1946 Bobby enlisted in the US Army hoping to train as a pilot, but failed the radar class. At the age of 22 he had a platonic date with 15-year-old Dixie, and her parents insisted that they marry. They agreed to do so and had two children, Dennis and Rena. Dixie soon discovered Bobby's cross-dressing, but felt that she could not tell anyone.

After the army Bobby got by, alternating manual work, such as electrician or plasterer or fixing cars, and stints on merchant vessels. In December 1954 Bobby's brother Bill eloped with and married Dixie's sister, Sharon. A few months later Bobby and Dixie separated. Whenever Bobby had spare cash, he took flying lessons, and by June 1959 he had a private pilot's license. In February 1960 he took the test for a commercial flying license but failed on the theory and algebra.

For a while he was in a Hells Angels Motorcycle gang, but quit in disgust after a rape incident. Another time he survived for eight days in the Yukon wilderness without food. He was an experienced sky-diver but gave it up as boring. In April 1961 Bobby again failed the written part of the test to become a commercial pilot. He alternated working in the shipyards in Seattle, with prospecting in Alaska and the Yukon.

In March 1965, Bobby married again, to Cindy who already had three children. In May 1967 they declared bankruptcy, and in July Bobby was on a ship to Vietnam where he was on double pay because it was a war zone. When he returned Cindy had disappeared.

By now Bobby had heard that the Johns Hopkins hospital in Baltimore was doing sex change operations. Cindy and the children returned, and they went to Baltimore together. He found work in the shipyards there, but otherwise dressed female and applied to the John Hopkins Gender Identity Clinic. After four months they declined the application based on age, appearance and numerous tattoos. Also Bobby could not afford the fee.

Bobby and family returned to Seattle, and shortly afterwards Bobby and Cindy separated and then divorced. Dayton later estimated that he had had 150 jobs up to this point. Cindy remained a friend, and supported Bobby as she applied to the University of Washington Hospital. Dayton changed her name to Barbara, and lived as female for six months, staying with Cindy and her new boyfriend. The University clinic then accepted her.

Surgery was in December 1969, the first done at that clinic. Ten days later Barbara returned to surgery for a colostomy. Her parents arrived, and stayed with Cindy. Follow-up operations continued through 1970 and 1971. Barbara trained in data processing, but was unable to find any work, and was frequently depressed. She had still not told her children.

Continued in Part II