This site is the most comprehensive on the web devoted to trans history and biography. Almost a thousand 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 are also two search boxes: one at the top left, and one at the right. Enjoy exploring!

27 February 2010

Jane Fae (1957 - ) journalist.

John Ozimek was raised in Birmingham, the child of a Polish-born doctor. He studied at Oxford, and was was Britain’s youngest parliamentary candidate at age 21 in 1979 he stood as the unsuccessful Liberal candidate in Newham South in London. He worked in student journalism and for Liberal News. He was a comedy writer for Noel Edmunds.

He married at 33, and he and his wife had a daughter. The marriage lasted two-and-a-half years.

He became a free-lance journalist, and has specialized in law and computer technology, privacy and censorship. He has been a regular contributor to The Register and The Guardian.

He met Andrea through a newspaper advert, and they have a son. At Christmas 2009 John told Andrea of his gender troubles. In January 2010 Jane changed her name legally, and was diagnosed as gender dysphoric by an NHS psychiatrist and and a specialist. In February she and Andrea were profiled in The Daily Mail, and was also subjected to an ignorant attack by Catherine Dagger who claims that it is merely a mid-life crisis.

25 February 2010

Anderson Bigode Herzer (1962 – 1982) poet.

Sandra Mara Herzer was born in Rolândia, state of Paraná, Brazil. Her father was killed in a bar when she was four. Her mother, a prostitute, handed the child over to the state orphanage, and died shortly after. In the school records, Sandra was a difficult student often in fights, using drugs and alcohol.

However she published a book of poems, A queda para o alto (descending upwards). Sandra went through a period of identifying as a lesbian, but at age 14 adopted the name Anderson Bigode Herzer. (Anderson is common male first name in Brazil; Bigode= mustache).

At age 17 he was mentored by Eduardo Suplicy, a Parliamentary deputado, who was touched by Herzer’s poems, and hired him to work in his office.

However, Herzer was traumatized by his upbringing and jumped from the Viaduto 23 de Maio in downtown São Paulo. He died from his injuries.

His life, based on his writing, was turned into the film Vera, 1987.

23 February 2010

Hélène Hazera (1952 - ) activist, actor, broadcaster, film-maker.

Hélène was active in the Front homosexuel d'action révolutionnaire (FHAR) and the Gazolines in the 1970s.

She acted in the film Les Intrigues de Sylvia Couski, 1975 with Marie-France Garcia, and in theatre in Paris, and has been photographed by Emil Cadoo and Martine Barrat.

She wrote a column on television for the journal, Libération, and then on French song. She broadcasts Saturday midnight to 1 am as Chanson Boum on France Culture. She is also passionate about Arab and Andalusian music. She directed a documentary on the films of Jean Painlevé.

She is an active member of Act-Up Paris on behalf of transgendered persons, and has written for the gay magazine Têtu on Algerian trans prostitutes in France, and gay Iraqi refugees in England.

She is writing a book on the chanteuse Marianne Oswald.
FR.WIKIPEDIA

21 February 2010

Baby Dee (1953 - ) musician.

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Baby Dee started as a street musician in New York while studying Gregorian chant and Renaissance music. On teachers advice Dee learned to play organ and got a job in a church.

However Dee felt a need to stop pretending to be a man, and transitioned to female. However she found this emotionally devastating as she was a constant object of staring and commentary. She left the church work and returned to street performance, and emphasized her appearance to give people something to look at. She worked in side shows on Coney Island as a bilateral hermaphrodite, and in circuses. She also played a harp while riding a tricycle through downtown Manhattan in a catsuit.

She was a founder member of Anthony Hegarty’s Anthony and the Johnsons which featured transgendered themes. She is a member of Current 93, and also a solo artist playing vaudeville style songs. She has also worked with the Sex Pistols, Mark Almond, Andre WK and the Dresden Dolls.
Click here for a list of her albums and a selections from some of her songs.

 

19 February 2010

Dorian Wayne (1936? - ) female impersonator.

Rick Colantino was a drag performer as Dorian Wayne, mainly in the late 1950s/ early 1960s. He worked at 82 Club and elsewhere.

He starred in She Man, 1967, as a drag-dominatrix who blackmailed others into feminization; The Blue Sextet, 1971, and The Doors of Jessica Prine. 1976.

He then became a dresser and worked on Broadway until retirement.
  • Joe E. Jeffreys (dir). Dorian: A Picture, narrated by Rick Colantino, with clips of Rick Colantino/Dorian Wayne. US 6 mins 2008.

17 February 2010

Tamara Rees (1924 - ) stripper, housewife.

From Los Angeles, the father of two children, Rees was wounded and decorated as a paratrooper in WWII.


Tamara transitioned in 1954, with surgery in the Netherlands, a year after the media sensation around Christine Jorgensen. She was mobbed by the press when her ship returned to New York. She played to the press and claimed that her ex-wife’s children had been fathered by someone else. At the end of the year she published a short autobiography.

Back in Los Angeles, she worked as a stripper in burlesque clubs. In 1955 she married James Courtland, a makeup artist, and hairdresser. This was regarded as the first transsexual wedding, but lasted only a short time. She married again and adopted children.

Like Jorgensen, she became a patient of Harry Benjamin who used her as as a counseling resource for other transsexuals, and in the early 1960s she was interviewed by Ralph Greenson, psychiatrist to Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and other stars and a colleague of Robert Stoller, who interpreted her as in flight from homosexuality.
  • Tamara Reese. "Reborn": a factual life story of a transition from male to female. Los Angeles: Irene Lipman. 1955.
  • Ralph R. Greenson. “On Homosexuality and Gender identity”. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. 45, 1964.
  • Joanne Meyerowitz. How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States. Cambridge, Ma, London: Harvard University Press. 363 pp 2002: 84-5, 90, 133,173, 305n98-102.
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The book Lavender Los Angeles, p68, credits the above poster to this blog.   The credit should be instead to Meyerowitz' book.

15 February 2010

Erik Schinegger (1948 - ) skier.

Erika Schinegger was raised in Agsdorf, Austria. She was the world champion women's downhill skier at the Alpine World Ski Championships in 1966. While preparing for the 1968 Olympic Games the International Olympic Committee (IOC) determined that he was chromosomally male.

19-year-old Erika was surprised at this news, but accepted it, and started living as male, with hormones and surgical reconstruction. Erik trained to the point that he defeated male champions, but was simply refused a place on the Austrian National Men's team.

He twice married a woman and also fathered a daughter. He currently owns a children’s ski school and two inns in Agsdorf.

13 February 2010

Rogéria (1943 - ) performer.

Astolfo Barroso Pinto was born in Cantahalo, outside Rio de Janeiro. As a teenager, she watched the grand entrance of the travestis during the Carnaval drag balls. She started as a low-paid makeup artist at a local television station and a few years later she was Rogéria, Queen of Rio’s Carnival, and was invited to join a drag show.

She toured Brazil as part of Les Girls, was featured, singing in her own voice, in nightclubs and gay bars. She went to Luanda, Angola for a year in 1971, and then to Barcelona, where she stayed with Coccinelle, whom she had first met in Rio. Coccinelle recommended her and she performed at Le Carousel in Paris. When she returned to Rio in 1973, she was an international star.

Her mother was convinced that she had a daughter when they took the ferry across the bay and she saw how men looked at Rogéria.

In the 1970s Rogéria spoke up for gay liberation when interviewed by the countercultural magazine  O Pasquim.

In 1992 she was a special host at the Sambadrome, one of the big events of Carnaval. She has been in ten movies, and worked often on television. Her web site proclaims her to be “Maior icone gay de Brasil”.
  • Holly Brubach. Girlfriend: Men, Women, and Drag. New York: Random House, 1999: 9,11.
  • James Naylor Green. Beyond Carnival: Male Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century Brazil. Worlds of desire. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999: 5, 196, 230, 235-8, 252, 263, 264, 334n96,97
  • “Rogéria”. Wikipédia, a enciclopédia livre. pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rog%C3%A9ria.
  • www.estrelarogeria.com.

11 February 2010

Joseph Doucé (1945 – 1990) pastor, facilitator.

Joseph Doucé was raised Catholic in Sint-Truiden, in Flemish Belgium. During his military service he chose to serve in a Francophone regiment.

After a year of pastoral studies at the Catholic Europaseminär at Stenonius College, he converted to the Baptist faith. After studies in Switzerland, he became a pastor and served parishes in Lens, Belgium and Bethune, over the border in France,  from 1970-4. Aware of his own homosexuality he studied pastoral and psychological needs of sexual minorities at the Free University in Amsterdam 1974-6, partially supported by a grant from the World Council of Churches.

In 1976 he moved to Paris and opened the Centre de Christ Libérateur (CCL) at first in a porn cinema. The World Council of Churches would have financed him, but was vetoed by the French Protestants. CCL had support groups for gays and lesbians, trans persons, S&M persons and pedophiles. It published ILIA (Il Libère, Il Aime=He Liberates, He Loves).
 
He became a French citizen in 1982. He was a founding member of the International Gay Association (IGA later ILGA), a member of HBIGDA (now WPATH), active in Forum des Groupes Chrétiens Gais d’Europe and was one of the first in France to educate about the new AIDS disease. In 1986 he self-published La Question transsexuelle with an Introduction by Louis Gooren (soon to be Professor of Transsexology at the Free University in Amsterdam). He also published on pedophilia and sadomasochism and gay couples.

There was a dinner-meeting for transsexuals the first Tuesday of every month, and a helpline every Monday evening. One of the more than 500 transsexuals who came through CCL was Tom Reucher (who later founded l’Association du Syndrome de Benjamin and l’ExisTrans).

In the late 1980s Doucé and his lover, Guy Bondar, opened a bookshop, Autres Cultures, in central Paris. He became a member of the Commission des liberté au Sénat, and in September 1989 he was able to get the European Parliament to pass a Resolution condemning discrimination against transsexuals, and later the same month Recommendation 1117 to the Council of Europe to call on member states to permit legal changes of gender and first names for transsexuals.

On 19 July 1990, two men showed police badges and asked him to go with them. In late October his decomposed body was found in the forest of Rambouillet outside Paris. It is claimed that he was taken by the political police, Renseignements Généraux (RG). RG section leader Jean-Marc Dufourg was questioned about Douce’s death, fired and convicted of misuse of a firearm, but never officially admitted to be Doucé’s murderer.

09 February 2010

Dominot (1930 - ) performer.

Antonio Iacono was born in Tunisia.

He did drag shows from an early age. He studied in Paris at the Comedie Francaise, and paid for his studies by performing at Madame Arthur's, and at Le Carousel. He then lived and performed in Teheran. Then in Rome he was openly gay, worked with Vinicio Diamanti and Gio Stajano.

He was in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita 1960, for which Antonio Jacono and Domino are listed in IMDB and elsewhere as two persons, thus turning the 2 transies into three.

In 1960s he worked in avant-garde theatre. From 1984, he ran a bar in Rome, Il baronato quattro bellezze, where he performs in drag singing the French chanteuses from Edith Piaf to Juliette Greco.
 IT.WIKIPEDIA  

07 February 2010

Laud Humphreys (1930 – 1988) sociologist, psychotherapist.

Robert Allen Humphreys was born in Oklahoma. His father was an employee of Southwestern Bell and later a state representative, who also made trips to New Orleans for secretive gay sex.

Humphreys chose Laud as a baptismal name upon entering the Episcopal Church. He graduated from the Seabury-Western Episcopal Theological Seminary in 1955. He was ordained as a priest, and worked in Oklahoma and Kansas where he was controversial for his political opinions. He married a woman in 1960.

His Ph.D. dissertation in Sociology at Washington University in St Louis was about homosexual activities in public toilets (“cottaging”). His extension of the established practice of participant observation was presented as ‘ethical misconduct’ during attempts to rescind his PhD. The chancellor of the university held that observations of sexual felonies were also felonies. He was later criticized in that he had used car license plates to follow up the men that he observed, and used a disguise so that they would not recognize him when he later interviewed them at home. The work was published as Tearoom Trade, 1970 (and dedicated to his wife and children), and won the C. Wright Mills Award of the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

Two years later he was appointed professor of sociology at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, and he published Out of the closets: the sociology of homosexual liberation which is a classic history of Gay Liberation. On p137-8 using Erving Goffman’s concept of stigma, he discusses transsexuality as a form of capitulation:
“An extreme form of this evasion process may be found in the transsexual conversion. More than 3,000 men in the United states have submitted to treatment ….The devastating power of social stigma is seldom more evident than in the willingness (indeed eagerness ) on the part of thousands of men to endure the long and painful process of surgery and re-orientation necessary to produce a change in sexual identity. For these men, castration is the only conceivable way to escape the stigma of effeminacy. Understandably, transsexuals resent identification with the homosexual world.”
He declared his own homosexuality and co-founded the Sociologists’ Gay Caucus in 1974. He left his wife and two children in 1980, to live with a male graduate student, and earned certification as a psychotherapist.

He resigned from Pitzer College in 1986. He died of lung cancer two years later.

04 February 2010

Bill Smith (1886 – 1975) jockey, brewery worker.

Wilhemena Smith was born in Sydney, NSW, to English immigrants. Her mother died, her father went back to England, and she was raised in an orphanage. Bill transitioned early to male. He worked as a seaman, and jumped ship in Cairns, Queensland. He worked as a miner and almost twenty years at the brewery in Cairns.

He is best known as a jockey in north Queensland horse racing. He held a joint trainer and jockey licence. He was a loner who arrived already wearing his colours under his street clothes. He never showered at the track, and didn’t speak much to the other jockeys. They referred to him as ‘Girlie’ – a mix of a homophobic putdown because of his shyness, and a suspicion that he might be a woman. Bill both trained and rode winners into the 1950s.

When he retired he rented a one-room flat in a tiny hamlet, Innot Hot Springs, 150 km from Cairns. In declining health at age 88, he was taken to hospital at Herberton 80 km away. He was being admitted into the male ward when a doctor who had treated him before, spoke to the nurse and he was put into the female ward instead even though his pension card said male. He never recovered. The nurses tried to find who he was, and it was subsequently recorded that he was ‘female’. No living relatives were ever found. One nurse painted his portrait.

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Bill Condon in his book conflated Bill Smith with another Queensland jockey W.H. Smith (1889 – 1914) who won the St Leger Quest in 1902, the Jockey Club Derby in 1903 and the Victoria Oaks in 1909-10.

In 2000 The Australian Racing Museum held an exhibition of women in racing (which was not officially allowed until 1979) and highlighted Bill’s contribution.

In 2005 Bill was chosen for the Women’s History Month postcards using an image of W.H. Smith. Phil Purser’s work at the same time led to more research and the separation of W.H. Smith and Bill Smith.

After Phil Purser’s articles, almost $3,000 was raised for a gravestone in Herberton in the name of ‘Wilhemena Smith’. Phil Purser won the Queensland Racing 2005 award for the Best Print Story.

*Not the farm worker, William Smith, nor W.H Smith, the other Queensland jockey.
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As with James BarryAlan Hart and Billy Tipton, a trans man is turned into a female hero.  If he were a woman in disguise to be a jockey, he would not have continued as male after retirement.

FTM Australia has an article on Alan Hart, but nothing at all on Bill Smith.

03 February 2010

Esther Lester (1910 - ?) half-and-half.

Eddie Lester was born in Seattle, Washington.

He claimed to have been born with both male and female organs. In the mid 1930s he started working as Esther Lester and worked with a variety of showmen. Audiences were told that Esther had been a girl until puberty when her left side developed as a man, and her right side as a woman.

At first she did a simple scantily clad dance with obvious fake breasts. Later she became a literal half-and-half and lectured the crowd in an exaggerated accent. Half of her face was shaven, and with a feminine hairstyle; the other half was unshaven with a male haircut.

Offstage, she lived in female clothing, and was always known as Esther.

01 February 2010

Minette (1928 – 2001) performer.

Jacques Minette was born in Manhattan to visiting French parents, and raised in Boston. A child performer, her career as a female impersonator dates from the 1940s. As Minette she played all the big drag clubs of the period.

She, and most drag performers, were driven out of Boston in 1948 when Archbishop Cushing banned them. In New York she was a regular at 82 Club. She put out an LP, Come to Me at Tea-Time, 1968, and was a guest singer in the seminal film, The Queen, 1968, hosted by Jack Doroshow (Sabrina). She was a regular in Avery Willard’s Ava-Graph films, and also a member of the Ridiculous Theatre Company. She also worked with the underground film director, Andy Milligan, even to the point of sewing dresses when he opened a dress shop.

She is a connecting link from the drag shows in the days of vaudeville and burlesque, through the avant-garde of the 1960s to the end of the 20th century. However she says that she made more money as a sex worker than as a singer.

She was an activist in the early Gay Liberation movement in New York. Although she was non-op, she normally wore female clothing off-stage as well as on, and preferred female pronouns for herself. She was also a musicologist and gay historian.  She died at age 73.
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IMDB is totally deficient and has hardly anything of her filmography.