30 September 2011

TG, word and concepts: Part 6: Conclusion

Part 1: Introduction: the meanings of Transgender
Part 2: The early years: up to 1990.
Part 3: The full-blown usage after 1990
Part 4: The Myth that Transgender is a Princian Concept
Part 5: The Backlash    Part 6: Conclusions.
  1. Like transvestite, transgender is a word that was never coined by any one individual.
  2. I identified five distinct meanings of transgender in Part 1. On the one hand, this gives the term much depth and richness, and it is a valuable addition to the language. On the other it behoves a writer to clarify which usage she is using, and not to equivocate.
  3. Those who are uncomfortable with the genderqueer or with those who do not pass, and then attempt to justify this attitude with a hatred of Virginia Prince, are of course equivocating. They are expressing an attitude that Prince shared, and this surely puts them and her on the same side.
  4.   Meaning 1: non surgical. This is an ancient practice that has had many names across the centuries. If we are to pick one person who applied ‘transgender’ to this practice, that one is Leslie Feinberg.
  5. Meaning 1: subtype ‘transgenderist’. This was an attempted narrowing or hijacking of ‘transgender’ to meaning a heterosexual transvestite who goes full time. The first person to apply ‘transgenderist’ to this meaning seems to have been Ariadne Kane. Prince picked it up briefly and then forgot about it, and then it was revived by Yvonne Cook-Riley and Kimberleigh Richards who chose to falsely credit Prince with the term.
  6. Meaning 2: TS=TG. Kim Stuart and Christine Jorgensen were among the first to use ‘transgender’ in this way, but the expression ‘transgender surgery’ was in use even earlier.
  7. The sentence ‘a transsexual strives for and often achieves transgender surgery’ is historically and logically coherent.
  8. Meaning 4: TG as an umbrella. Magnus Hirschfeld and Harry Benjamin constructed early versions of the TG umbrella. The pioneers in applying ‘transgender’ as an umbrella term are Richard Ekins and Leslie Feinberg.
  9. It is ironical that it is in the use of the term ‘transgender’ that the separation from homosexuality reached its apotheosis. And yet it is those most unwilling to be associated with gays who are also those antagonistic to the term.
  10. It seem obvious to many that all transsexuals are initially transgendered in that their gender that does not match their gender identity. It is the essence of transgender to change one’s gender and to keep one’s gender identity.
  11. Those who dislike the term ‘transgender’ have put a lot of work into fudging the distinction between gender and gender identity.
  12. I encounter persons who reject ‘transgender’ but are quite happy to use ‘gender dysphoria’. ‘Gender dysphoria syndrome’ was introduced by Norman Fisk in 1973 because ‘transsexualism’ had lost its medical connotations. It was initially intended as an umbrella term for all gender disorders, but over time has been reduced to the disorder of wanting a sex change. Hence ‘gender dysphoria’ = pathologized transgender.
  13. Tracie O’Keefe dislikes the term ‘transgender’ as an Americanism, but it seem that it took off in the UK in the 1980s before becoming common in the US. See especially Ekins’ Trans-Gender Archives, 1986.
  14. O’Keefe would replace ‘transgender’ with ‘sex and gender diverse’. I am seeing this term more in Australian sources. I have no problem with it. It brings together gay, lesbian, trans and intersex. It is a wider umbrella than ‘transgender’.
  15.   In fact ‘sex and gender diverse’ gets us back to the original meaning of ‘gay’, before it was fractured.


  • ‘transgenderal’, despite being a malformation, was used again, mainly in David F. Greenberg. The Construction of Homosexuality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988. In Greenberg's usage it is a relationship between two persons of the same sex but different genders, the most discussed being one including the third gender aboriginals of North America. Obviously this usage has no connection to Virginia Prince. Greenberg contrasts transgenderal homosexuality to others types such as transgenerational.
  • I should have said more about Phaedra Kelly and Gender Transients.
  • I should have said something about Judith Halberstam and Female masculinity.
I started this paper some months ago, and then put it aside finding it rather difficult. The series of posting by Cristan Williams in June and July this year re-encouraged me, gave me more material and gave me the jolt to finish the project.

Inevitably this account, which I believe is the most detailed at this point in time, becomes a first draft for future discussion. There must be other books and articles that I have not found. Please bring them to my attention. Will any of these unmentioned book and articles change the narrative that I have constructed here? That is a challenge for others to bring up. I look forward to the discussion.

28 September 2011

Dina Alma de Paradea (1871 – 1906) Countess.

The step-son of a physician in Berlin, whose mother died in 1905 in an asylum, where the other son was still confined, took the identity of Countess Dina Alma de Paradea. She had an allowance of 12 guineas a month and lived in various European capitals.

She was in Paris in early 1906. There she met a school teacher from Breslau, and led him to believe that she was the daughter of the French Consul in Rio de Janeiro. She was charming and wore many jewels.

After their engagement, the two returned to Breslau. However the teacher's relatives became sceptical about Dina’s sex, and made enquiries with the stepfather, who admitted to no stepdaughter.

Alma became more jealous of the teacher, and the police were called when she attempted to force herself into his apartment. She announced that she was ill, and the next day a doctor came to examine her. She retired to another room, drank a poison that she had in a pocket of her dress and fell dead.
  • "Madman's Career as 'Countess': Remarkable Masquerade: Suicide on Point of Discovery". Daily Mail, 10 Dec 1905. Reprinted in George Ives (ed Paul Sieveking). Man Bites Man: The Scrapbook of an Edwardian Eccentric. Penguin Books, 1981: 128.
  • “Meneer de gravin ...” Het Nieuws van den Dag, 9 Januari 1907, 7. http://resources2.kb.nl/010130000/pdf/DDD_010134737.pdf
  • "Madman poses as Woman: Accused of Being a Man in Disguise He Takes Poison and Dies. Phildelphia North American. Reprinted in Arthur I. Street (ed). The Pandex of the Press, Series II, V,2 1907: 256-8. www.archive.org/stream/pandexofpress05strerich/pandexofpress05strerich_djvu.txt.
  • Magnus Hirschfeld. Die Transvestiten; ein Untersuchung uber den erotischen Verkleidungstrieb: mit umfangreichem casuistischen und historischen Material. Berlin: Pulvermacher, 562, vi pp1910. English translation by Michael A Lombardi-Nash. Tranvestites: The Erotic urge to Crossdress. Buffalo: Prometheus Books. 424 pp 1991: 149-150.

26 September 2011

TG, word and concepts: Part 5: The Backlash

Part 1: Introduction: the meanings of Transgender
Part 2: The early years: up to 1990.
Part 3:
The full-blown usage after 1990
Part 4: The Myth that Transgender is a Princian Concept
Part 5: The Backlash    Part 6: Conclusions.

Antagonism between transvestites and transsexuals dates at least back to the 1960s. Harry Benjamin commented with regret: “Too many individuals are that way; what they do not like must be forbidden and punished. Then they are satisfied. I have even met transvestites who dislike (or pretend to dislike) transsexualism so much that they are against estrogen treatment and operation (for reasons of self protection?). There are also transsexuals who dislike transvestites as well as homosexuals. Intolerance can be found in strange quarters. (1966:114-5)”.


Whilst Virginia Prince and Kymberleigh Richards attempted to seize the word ‘transgender’ and narrow it down to match their own agenda, the other separatist camp, a small subset of transsexuals, has come to reject vehemently the term ‘transgender’.

Transsexual separatists who do not associate transgender with Prince:

The earliest such rejection that I have found is by Margaret O’Hartigan: 1993 “Every application of the term transgender to me is an attempt to mask what I’ve done and as such co-opts my life , denies my experience, violates my very soul. ('Changing sex is not changing gender', Sound Out, May 1993:20.)”. O’Hartigan is also the first writer that I have found who uses the term ‘transgender borg’. However in the quotations from her paper in both Califia and Namaste ( I have not been able to obtain the original) there is no mention of Prince.

Karen Gurney’s seminal “Harry Benjamin Syndrome is a neurobiological condition”, 2007, while being very emphatic that HBS is not transgender has no mention of Prince.

Joanne Proctor on her site http://trans-friedfluff.blogspot.com, 2011, argues that transgender and gender identity is a new way of being human and did not exist before John Money’s work. She has no mention of Prince.

The HBS Wikipedia page, 2009, has has been removed but one version has been archived here, has no mention of Prince

Charlotte Goiar’s Knol, 2009, on ‘Harry Benjamin Syndrome’ has no mention of Prince.

Those who do:

Diane Kearny “I have no idea why it is that the FTM transsexuals continually link themselves with transgender. Transgender is a term coined by and for a male transvestite, Charles “Virginia” Prince, who made it quite clear that he was not a transsexual and actually thought those of us who opted for surgery were delusional.” Here, 2006

Suzan Cooke. “Good-Bye to Transgender and All That”. TS-SI. 07 May 2007. http://ts-si.org/content/view/2347/995. “The coiner of the term transgender was Virginia Prince, a heterosexual crossdresser who held those of us who had sex reassignment surgery in contempt. Virginia was particularly vicious in her opinion regarding WBTs who were lesbian after sex reassignment surgery. She called us freaks and mistakes.” This was a seminal paper for separatists.  Suzan, like Margaret uses ‘transgender borg’ to group together an extremely disparate group of people.

Lisa Jain Thompson. TS-SI, 30 December 2007. http://ts-si.org/global-warning/2832-sex-gender-and-bathrooms-a-discussion-of-transgender-part-1 “Virginia Prince, a male crossdresser and a staunch promoter of heterosexual transvestism since the late 1950s, invented the term "transgender" in the 1990s to distinguish male crossdressers from men and women born with HBS.”

JustJennifer, July 22,2011. “the term "transgender," or more specifically, "transgenderist" originated with Arnold Lowman, better known as Charles "Virginia" Prince.  Yes, Prince came up with the term to describe those who crossdress full time.”

Purple Speaks, May 8, 2011. [Prince]”invented the term “transgender” out of elitism and hate.”

Tracie O'Keefe. “Transgender: Another Ghettoised Label and the Lost Sex and Gender Diverse Community”. World Association for Sexual Health, 2007. “The term 'transgender' was first made popular by Virginia Prince (1978), who used it to describe people whom she said were like her.” www.tracieokeefe.com/transgender%20ghettoised.htm. "Don't call me transgender".The Scavenger. 21 Nov 2010. www.thescavenger.net/glbsgdq/dont-call-me-transgender.html. O’Keefe gets her citation wrong: she claims that Prince used ‘transgenderist’ in ‘Transsexuals and Pseudotranssexuals’, 1978. O’Keefe’s preferred term is ‘sex and gender diverse people’ which would be fine with me if it were to catch on, except for its cumbersomeness (would it become SGD?), but I suspect that most separatists would not like it, because it regroups gays and trans together, undoing the separation that ‘transgender’ enabled. Of course O’Keefe is not a separatist. Her books are quite inclusive, but she talks at times like a separatist.

RadicalBitch. Riding the Second Wave, Aug 18, 2011. “Prince went on to organized Tri Ess, or the Society for the Second Self. These people became today’s transgenders. Women born transsexed mostly avoided these people although, sometimes early in dealing with their transsexuality, they crossed paths.”

Dana Lane Taylor. TS/IS Liberation. May 21, 2011. “First of all, the term transgender was coined by a transsexual-hating crossdressing male  named Charles Prince who wanted to separate himself from transsexuals. That fact alone sends shivers up our spines.”.

Things to note:
  • With the exception of O’Keefe (who is pursuing a different goal) all the Prince-coined-tg rants are in the US. Prince is just not that important in other countries. Note than in the UK, prominent transvestites Charlotte Bach, Yvonne Sinclair, Vernon Coleman write as if she never existed.
  • The earliest Prince-coined-tg claim that I found from a separatist is Kearny’s in 2006. I am actually surprised that the date is this late. If you do know of any earlier ones please tell us. 
  • Kearny and Cooke seem to be the major promoters of the separatist Prince-coined-tg claim, the others following their example.
  • Kearny and Cooke end up in de-facto collusion with Prince, Kimberleigh and Cook-Riley in giving Prince credit where she has no real claim.

The Parallelism of the Two Separatisms

I have previously posted Did Virginia Prince have Harry Benjamin Syndrome? Here I would like to simply iterate that both separatisms, Tri-Ess and HBS/CT/not-TG have the following in common:
  1. They dislike the gender non-conforming, and especially those who are blatant about it, and thus they are reasonably described as transgenderphobic
  2. Many, although not all, in both camps are uncomfortable with open homosexuality, and choose to ignore where gays, lesbians and trans have worked together, e.g for the Gender Recognition Acts.
  3. Both camps have a standard solution, and are critical of those who make different decisions. ‘Do it may way or not at all!’.
  4. Both camps credit Prince with coining ‘transgender’ when she did no such thing. 
  5. Prince maintained that transvestite and transsexual are two separate conditions, and are not on a continuum.  Many not-TG persons strongly agree with her. 
  6. Ekins, TG Prenomenon: 20 writes:  " too firmly rooted in an acceptance of the binary gender divide, and, in particular, often a very stereotypical and dated view of that divide".  He is writing of Prince, but could all too easily be writing of the not-TGs.
Certainly some of the not-TG people come across as continuing the work of Virginia Prince with only the very slight twist of being pro-surgery instead of anti-surgery.

What if the word ‘transgender’ is abolished?

Let us concentrate on meaning 1, which Benjamin called ‘non-surgical transsexual’. Plenty of trans persons do not mention whether they have in fact had surgery. Unless you see them naked, or are their doctor, you don’t know. What is the term for a trans person who may or may not have had surgery? If we are not to call them ‘transgender’ the word ‘transsexual’ will spread back to Benjamin’s usage, and surgery will be optional for transsexuals. Some people already use the word in this fashion.

24 September 2011

JoAnna Erin McNamara (1950 – 1998) engineer, lawyer.

A Lakota Sioux who was a student of aerospace engineering at Kent State University, Ohio, where he witnessed the shootings of students by the national guard May 4, 1970.

He became an engineer and married, but then he and his wife divorced and Joanna started to transition. While she was waiting for surgery, her father on his deathbed made her promise to stop transition. Attempting to keep this promise, she remarried her wife, and had a mastectomy.

This did not work, and she and her wife divorced a second time. As JoAnna she studied law in Salem, Oregon. On graduation in 1996, she acted pro bono for Lori Buckwater who had been fired from Consolidated Freightways for starting transition. McNamara won her argument that transgender persons were covered by Oregon disability law. This led to a conflict with transactivist Margaret O’Hartigan who felt that she deserved the credit as she had been campaigning on the same case.  In either case, Oregon became the second US State (after Minnesota) to protect trans persons in its employment law.

JoAnna became active in the Oregon Gay/Lesbian Law Association, the US National Lesbian and Gay Law Association and the US Transgender Law Conference: the latter two where she worked with Phyllis Frye and they were allowed to put the case to the US Federal Government that trans persons should be covered under Title VII, Sex  Discrimination Protection.

JoAnna was also active in the Metropolitan Community Church.

However as a known transsexual she was unable to find employment, and committed suicide at age 48.

*Not the Chief of Staff in the Canadian Government, nor the professor of dance.

I have no more to add than Kay Brown wrote about JoAnna on her Transhistory site, but that site with its valuable content was taken down some years back.

22 September 2011

TG, word and concepts: Part 4: The Myth that Transgender is a Princian Concept

Part 1: Introduction: the meanings of Transgender
Part 2: The early years: up to 1990.
Part 3:
The full-blown usage after 1990

Part 4: The Myth that Transgender is a Princian Concept
Part 5: The Backlash Part 6: Conclusions.

Virginia Prince’s one-off 1969 usage of ‘trangenderal’, a malformation, was not copied by anyone, and she herself never used the term again.

By 1978, ‘transgender’ and ‘transgenderist’ were being used by a variety of people with different meanings. The Hose and Heel journal, closely associated with Prince, explicitly rejected the term. Ariadne Kane, who worked with Prince apparently used the term ‘transgenderist’ several times, most notably in an interview with Boston’s Gay Community News. Prince does not say so, but the assumption that makes most sense is that she copied the term from Kane. Certainly this is the opinion of Robert Hill who has written the only book-length thesis on the Princian movement. We should note that Prince did not use the term in her paper "Transsexuals and Pseudotranssexuals" of that year for the Archives of Sexual Behavior, even though her topic was the contrast between the sexual orientation of gay pre-ops and the supposed gender orientation of heterosexual pre-ops. She did use the term in “The Transcendents or Trans People”, a paper read to the Western Regional Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex in Santa Barbara, June 1978, reprinted in Transvestia 95. Then a couple of times in Transvestia magazine, and then once and once only in a paper for Vern Bullough’s The Frontiers of Sex Research, 1979. One or two of those who claim that she coined the term ‘transgenderist’ do cite either FSR or TTP, but the vast majority of such claims do not do so.

I have not found any claims between 1978 and 1987 that Prince coined the word. Please point out what I have missed.

In 1988, Richard F. Docter in his Transvestites and Transsexuals: Toward a Theory of Cross-Gender Behavior credits Prince with coining the term in her Understanding Cross Dressing, 1977. He gives no page reference and Google Books Search is unable to find it.

IFGE (International Foundation for Gender Education) had been founded by Merrisa Sherrill Lynn in 1987. Although proclaimed as a group for both transsexuals and transvestites, they put off persons like myself by endorsing the most famous anti-transsexual and homophobic divisive person. I remember at the time taking them to be a group that privileged heterosexual transvestites. As if to prove me right, they created a Virginia Prince Award, and, apparently with no sense of irony, actually awarded the first one to Virginia Prince. The next two went to Merrisa Sherrill Lynn and Ariadne Kane. Certainly no-one like Sylvia Rivera, Holly Woodlawn, Angie Xtravaganza, José Sarria, Reed Erickson, was ever given an award by them.  That did not send a message to outsiders that trans persons in general were welcome. There is little documentation about IFGE in the early days, but it did seem to play a major role in inflating the Prince legacy.

Holly Boswell’s 1991 essay, “The Transgender Alternative”, which advocates non-surgical lifestyle, does not feel any need to mention Prince. It was just a bit too early for Prince to be associated with the term ‘transgender’.

By 1992, Yvonne Cook-Riley (who was awarded the Virginia Prince Award in 1995) was lobbying for the use of ‘transgender’ within IFGE, and would later, with wilful ignorance, claim that she and Prince created the ‘transgender community’.

Vern Bullough was a personal friend of Virginia Prince and has been rightfully criticized for devoting too much space to her in his books, and exaggerating her achievements. It is therefore quite significant that in his 1993 book, Cross Dressing, Sex, and Gender, he does not claim the she coined 'transgender', or even associate her with the word at all.  He does use the word when referring to Ariadne Kane.

Kymberleigh Richards, who self-described as a ‘transgenderist’ and was the editor of Cross-Talk, a magazine for heterosexual cross dressers, was the only person to go into alt.transgendered to claim that ‘transgender’ was a Princian legacy. In 1996 she published “Gender Fundamentalists” by Prince, in which Prince was as divisive and transgenderphobic as she had always been, and apparently had not grown into the inclusive image that IFGE had constructed for her.

Leslie Feinberg does not mention Prince at all in Transgender Liberation: A Movement Whose Time Has Come, 1992, or Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue, 1998, but in hir second book, Transgender Warriors, 1996, ze says, after using the term in its umbrella sense, “But the word transgender is increasingly being used in a more specific way as well. The term transgenderist was first introduced into the English language by trans warrior Virginia Prince. Virginia told me, ‘I coined the noun transgenderist in 1987 or ’88. There had to be some name for people like myself who trans the gender barrier’ “. This is her only appearance in the book: ze does not care to demonstrate Prince as a ‘trans warrior’. Note that the quote says 1987/8, not 1978/9 when Prince is actually documented as using the term. This conversation, nor any similar claim, is not even mentioned in Robert Hill’s thesis, in Richard Ekins’ books nor in Richard Docter’s biography. This is late for such a claim to be made and, without confirmation and with the wrong years, one is quite entitled to suspect poetic license.

The next year, 1997,  Prince and Richards had papers included in Bulloughs’ Gender Blending, gruffly rejecting the inclusiveness of the volume. Richards insisted that the majority of transgendered are not transgenderists, and Prince claimed, as she had done to Feinberg, that she had coined the word, but doesn’t say where or when. She also mulled abandoning the term and embracing ‘transposeur’, a term that she did not follow up on, any more than she had followed up on ‘transgender’ after using it very briefly back in 1978.

Two years later Vanessa Foster met Prince. Foster later recalled: "She was bemused by my use (and the community's) of the word transgender, and how the story affixed its authorship to her, even though she'd referred to it as transgenderist as a self-descriptor once she'd moved from occasional crossdressing to living as female, though not transsexual (she was quick to correct that!)". This is not at all the same claim that Feinberg makes, and that Prince had made in Gender Blending.

Thus we can date the idea that Prince invented ‘transgender’ to the period 1992-6. At the beginning, Bullough was writing his book that was to published the next year, and had not yet been informed that Prince invented the word, although he knew her personally. Cook-Riley started her disinformation campaign soon afterwards, and she was so successful that by 1996 Feinberg felt that ze had to include the claim in in hir book, and Prince had started to claim that she had invented the term.

Therefore, I think that we can see that the idea of Prince being falsely nominated as the creator of ‘Transgender’ comes from an attribution error in Docter, a political inflation of her achievements by IFGE, a disinformation campaign by Cook-Riley and an injudicious and unsupported sentence in Feinberg. By this time Prince had started claiming to have coined the term when she felt that the audience wanted her to, but at other times made fun of the claim when that seemed appropriate. The misinformation was propagated by lazy academics who repeated the sentence in Feinberg and never bothered to fact check and search for the actual citations as they should have done.

Thus we have a myth.

20 September 2011

singer (1976 -) אַדֶּרֶת Aderet

Aderet grew up in a religious home in Jerusalem.

She had surgery right after service in the Israeli Defense Forces.

She released two Hebrew-language albums, Tenth Floor, 2001, and Without the Evil Eye, 2005, and an English-language album, Jewish Girl, 2008.

In 2008, she found by chance that she was top of the playlist in Lebanon on Beirutnights.com.

18 September 2011

TG, word and concepts: Part 3: The full-blown usage after 1990

Part 3: The full-blown usage after 1990
Part 5: The Backlash    Part 6: Conclusions.

While there was not much of a pattern to the usage of ‘transgender’ before 1991, all of a sudden the term took off: essays by Boswell and Stone, a short book by Feinberg, and then almost immediately there was an activist group and a web forum. Feinberg’s usage, the late so-called umbrella usage took dominance, but the other four usages remained intertwined in the texts.

Anne Bolin (1994) proposes that the takeoff of 'transgender' resulted from 1) the closing of university gender clinics 2) grass-roots organizing 3)  "social alternatives to embodiments of femininity as somatic frailty".   One problem is that (1) applies only in the US.

While the new term was embraced by the transgender rights movement, it also proved popular amongst academics which allowed its opponents to later pretend that it was an elitist conception. The more conservative got left behind, and did not identify with the term.

The mainstream press was, as before, intermittently using the term, but usually still as it had been used before 1991, and failed to notice the birth of something new.

The new umbrella groups such as IFGE, which had stronger roots in the TV rather than in the TS side, were quick to follow the new style, and incorporated 'transgender' in their names or literature from 1992 onwards.

From 2004, the UK, Spain, Portugal and soon Argentina pass gender recognition laws that are primarily for transsexuals, but do not exclude the non-surgical transgender persons.

Holly Boswell, “The Transgender Alternative”, Chrysalis Quarterly, 1 (2): 29-31. http://www.ifge.org/node/58  "When a transsexual sister of mine observed "So many of us simply stall out and fail to achieve our goal of sex reassignment surgery", my response seemed to be triggered instinctively: Maybe a lot of these people who apparently stall out have found a more comfortable and appropriate middle ground. Maybe there aren't so many transsexual people after all."  

Sandy Stone, “The Empire Strikes Back: A Post-transsexual Manifesto”, in K. Straub and J. Epstein, (eds), Body Guards: The Cultural Politics of Gender Ambiguity, New York: Routledge, 1991. http://sandystone.com/empire-strikes-back. While not using the term, it articulates the coming movement.

Nexis, Chicago Tribune, 14 Nov, C2. “What’s being tagged ‘transgenderism’, ... a seeming increase in transvestites and crossdressers”. (OED)

Chrysalis Quarterly., Summer 31. “The transgenderist, whether crossing over part-time or full-time - even while masking their genital incongruity - gives honest expression to a reality that defies cultural norms”. (OED)

Leslie Feinberg. Transgender Liberation: A Movement Whose Time Has Come. World View Forum, The first book with transgender in the title. The major call for transgender as an umbrella term.  No mention at all of Prince.

Transgender Nation was founded by Anne Ogborn, Susan Stryker and others in San Francisco modelled on Queer Nation. It made the local queer community very aware of transgender concerns. It organized a media-reported protest at the 1993 American Psychiatric Association, but failed to last beyond 1994.

alt.transgendered launched. Message 1: “for the discussion of transgenderism  (Gender Dysphoria) and the issues associated with it”.  Of over 28,000 messages in the group up to 2011, only 77 mention Prince.

Nexis, New York Times, 13 Feb, A18/1. “In the spirit of embracing diversity, gender is defined broadly to include ‘transgendered individuals’ ”. (OED)

Washington Times, 13 Jan, A8/2. “The bill has broadened the language pertaining to sexual orientation to bar specific discrimination against ‘transgendered’, or those who have had sex-change operations”. (OED)

Press for Change founded by Stephen Whittle, Mark Rees and others.  While not using the word 'transgender', the major result of their work, the Gender Recognition Act, 2004, would also permit recognition of non-surgical gender change.

Yvonne Cook-Riley responded to increasingly hearing the word ‘transgender’ by advocating for its use within IFGE, and with gay organizations. She would in 2011 claim that she and Prince had thereby created the ‘transgender movement’.

Phil Donahue used ‘transgender’ on his television show.

HRC refused to add ‘transgender’ to the name of the march in Washington, DC. Television host Phil Donahue on the stage shouted out the word. (Angela Brightfeather here & here)

International Bill of Gender Rights adopted by the Second International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy.

Vern L. Bullough and Bonnie Bullough. Cross Dressing, Sex, and Gender. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Although this book spends a lot of time (some would say too much) on Virginia Prince, it does not claim the she coined 'transgender', or even associate her with the word.   They do use the word  when referring to Ariadne Kane.

JoAnn Roberts. Who's Who in the Transgendered Community: And, International Resource Guide. King of Prussia, PA: Creative Design Services. A pamphlet that has since completely disappeared.

Janice Raymond. “The Politics of Transgenderism”, the Introduction to the Second Edition of The Transsexual Empire. Teachers College Press.  Her examples of trangender persons are RuPaul, Leslie Feinberg and k.d. lang.

IFGE’s The TV-TS Tapestry was renamed to Transgender Tapestry with issue 074, at the initiative of Yvonne Cook-Riley.

Gordene MacKenzie. Transgender Nation. Bowling Green State University Popular Press.

KateBornstein. Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us. New York: Routledge.  "I know I'm not a man ... and I've come to the conclusion that I'm probably not a woman, either".

Anne Bolin . “Transcending and Transgendering: Male-to-Female Transsexuals, Dichotomy and Diversity.” In Gilbert Herdt (ed). Third Sex/Third Gender. New York: Zone Publishing. 447-485. “Transgenderist is a community term denoting kinship among those with gender-variant identities. It supplants the the dichotomy of transsexual and transvestite with a concept of continuity. Additionally, it highlights a growing acceptance over the past decade of nonsurgical options for physical males wishing to live as women.”(p461).

The formal foundation by Dallas Denny of the US National Transgender Library and Archives, although it had been active since the previous year.

The first mention of Virginia Prince in alt.transgendered by Kymberleigh Richards, editor of Cross-Talk who claims: "do remember that if she hadn't pioneered a lot of what we now take for granted, this newsgroup would probably not exist.  Nor would the transgender support networks we all take for granted. "

Leslie Feinberg. Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Rupaul. Beacon Press. After using the term in its umbrella sense, Feinberg continues “But the word transgender is increasingly being used in a more specific way as well. The term transgenderist was first introduced into the English language by trans warrior Virginia Prince. Virginia told me, ‘I coined the noun transgenderist in 1987 or ’88. There had to be some name for people like myself who trans the gender barrier’ (p x) “. This is her only appearance in the book: Feinberg does not care to demonstrate Prince as a ‘trans warrior’.   This seems to be the major source from which people claim that Prince coined the word.  However there is no record of Prince using the word in 1987/8.

Z.I. Nataf., Lesbians Talk Transgender, London: Scarlet Press.

Virginia Prince.  "Gender Fundamentalists"Cross-Talk, October.  "It is strange but true that the ones who are most vocal, most in print and most publicly active are the transsexuals.  Their main point of attack is Tri-Ess because of the policy (which in their anointed wisdom they like to term "exclusionary") of selecting heterosexuals only, which conflicts with what they proclaim to be the only right way for a group to be ... open to all comers."  Prince is complaining that transsexuals are trying to include her and her group in an umbrella.

Dallas Denny (ed). Current Concepts in Transgender Identity. NY: Garland.

Pat Califia. Sex changes : the politics of transgenderism. San Francisco: Cleis Press.

Gianna Israel and Donald Tarver II, MD.  Recommended Guidelines, Practical Information, and Personal Accounts.  Temple University Press.

First issue of the International Journal of Transgenderism. The title was chosen ‘as more neutral on etiology’. (Ekins & King, 2006:19).

David Valentine, doing research in New York for his 2000 thesis and 2007 book, at what is billed as a transgender support group encounters “I’ve been gay all my life, been a woman all my life”. (Valentine 2007: 3-6).

Virginia Prince.  "Seventy Years in the Trenches of the Gender Wars".  P469-479 in  Bonnie Bullough, Vern L. Bullough, and James Elias. Gender Blending. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books.  "As a matter of fact, I coined the words 'transgenderism' and 'transgenderist' as nouns describing people like myself who have breasts and live full time as a woman, but have no intention of having genital surgery.  Others soon took the term and it is now used, erroneously I think, as a collective term for all the various degress and kinds of cross-dressing.  This leaves no simple term for describing those who have changed gender without a change of sex.  In trying to come up with a new term to fill this vacuum, I am proposing 'transposeur', meaning one who sets over or rearranges the order of things or takes a position across from or opposite to his original position.  This adequately describes what a real transgenderist does - he sets himself up as 'herself' and thus rearranges all aspects of his former masculine life."  She does not say where or when she coined 'transgenderist'.

Kymberleigh Richards.  "What Is a Transgenderist?".  P503-4 in  Bonnie Bullough, Vern L. Bullough, and James Elias. Gender Blending. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books. [The umbrella term]"does not negate the term 'transgenderist,' and I am still proud to call myself one.  Just remember that not everyone who is transgendered is a transgenderist."

Vanessa Edwards-Foster. "Hierarchy and Fragmentation: The Dismantling of the Transgender Community." www.thecrystalclub.org/chron/9712.html.

Kay Brown. Transsexual, Transgender, and Intersex History. Online, no longer available.  The contents pane contains an entry for Prince, but it remains a stub and was never added.  Prince is nowhere mentioned, and especially not in the timeline.

Susan Stryker (ed). The Transgender Issue. Special issue of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 4.2 .

Richard Ekins & Dave King. "Towards a sociology of transgendered bodies". The Sociological Review, 47:580–602’

Evelyn Blackwood and Saskia Wieringa (eds). Female Desires: Same-Sex Relations and Transgender Practices Across Cultures. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.

Vanessa Foster met Virginia Prince. Foster later reported: "She was bemused by my use (and the community's) of the word transgender, and how the story affixed its authorship to her, even though she'd referred to it as transgenderist as a self-descriptor once she'd moved from occasional crossdressing to living as female, though not transsexual (she was quick to correct that!)"

Suzanne Kessler and Wendy McKenna, Who put the "Trans" in Transgender? Gender Theory and Everyday Life, International Journal of Transgenderism, 4: 3. www.iiav.nl/ezines/web/IJT/97-03/numbers/symposion/kessler.htm

Phyllis Randolph Frye, Esq. “Facing Discrimination, Organizing for Freedom: The Transgender Community”. In John D’Emilio, William B Turner & Urvashi Vaid. Creating Change: Sexuality, Public Policy, and Civil Rights. Stonewall Inn Edition, 2002.

Viviane K. Namaste. Invisible Lives: The Erasure of Transsexual and Transgendered People. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. “ ... individuals who live, work, and identify themselves as drag queens, transsexuals, or transgenderists”. ‘Transgenderist’ used 25 times without any connotation at all of Princianism.

Susan Stryker. “Transgender”. GLBTG: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Transgender & Queer Culure. www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/transgender.html. “The term is often thought to represent a post-modern epistemological framework that posits a break between the "signifier" of gender and the "sign" or "referent" of bodily sex, and it is rejected or embraced on that basis.”

David Valentine. "'I know what I am': The Category 'Transgender' in the Construction of Contemporary U. S. American Conceptions of Gender and Sexuality." Ph. D. Dissertation, Anthropology Department, New York University.

Susan Stryker. "Transgender Studies: Queer Theory's Evil Twin." GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 10.2: 212-15.

Richard F. Docter.  From Man to Woman: The Transgender Journey of Virginia Prince. Northridge, Calif: Docter Press, 2004.  While referring to 'transgenderist' as Prince's word, Docter does not discuss where or when it was coined, or document anyone copying her usage.

UK Gender Recognition Act.  Provides legal recognition of acquired gender, and surgery is not a necessity.

Spain's PSOE formed the government after the election, quickly implemented an equal marriage law, but kept delaying the promised Ley de Identidad de Género until Carla Antonelli threatened a hunger strike.

Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association (HBIGDA) renamed to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).

Richard Ekins & Dave King. The Transgender Phenomenon. London: Thousand Oaks; California: Sage.

Stephen Whittle & Susan Stryker (eds). The Transgender Studies Reader. Routledge.
J, Ari Kane-Demaios and Vern L. Bullough (eds) Crossing Sexual Boundaries: Transgender Journeys, Uncharted Paths Prometheus Books. The first book associated with the Princian tradition to have ‘transgender’ in its title.

David Valentine. Imagining Transgender: an ethnography of a category. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. “In the context of activism and social service settings, ‘transgender’ was seen as a way of wresting control over the meanings and definitions of gender variance from medical and mental health professionals to replace an assumption of individual pathology with a series of claims about citizenship, self determination, and freedom from violence and discrimination. Just as importantly, it was seen as a way of organizing a politics of gender variance that differentiated it from homosexuality.(p33)”

Spain's Ley de Identidad de Género, similar to the UK Gender Recognition Act.

Susan Stryker. Transgender History. Seal Press.

Portugal's Ley de identidad de género.  Similar to Spain's 2007 law.

16 September 2011

Madeleine Blaustein (1960 -2008) comics artist, writer & editor, voice actor.

Adam Blaustein was born in Long Island, New York. Adam started work at Marvel Comics and for a while was married to a Haitian-American.

She transitioned to Madeleine on the job, taking inspiration from an episode of Pokémon.

Madeleine was also an artist, writer and editor for DC Comics and Milestone Comics. She wrote the short-lived Deathwish comic series 1994 which had a pre-op protagonist.

She performed in the early Tranny Roadshow.

She was also a voice actress in anime and the English-language version of Pokémon. Under the name Kendra Bancroft, she was an accomplished 3D content creator for the virtual reality Second Life.

She died in her sleep in December 2008 at age 48.

13 September 2011

TG, concepts and usages. Part 2: The early years: up to 1990.

Part 1: Introduction: the meanings of Transgende
Part 2: The early years: up to 1990. 
I am including my source bibliography at the end of this part, rather than at the end of part 5, for it is here that it is most referred to.

(OED)=given as a citation in the online Oxford English Dictionary

The desire for a word such as ‘transgender’ is shown by the various groups and writers who use ‘TV-TS’ and similar phrases. The increasing use of both ‘gender’ and ‘transsexual’ inspire different people - who are not copying each other - to come up with variations on ‘transgender’. However the alternate term ‘Crossgender’ remains in use through the 1970s.

Ekins and King, 2006:16, say of Prince:  "It was she who popularized the abbreviations TS (transsexual) and TV (transvestite) and it was these categorizations that comprised the initial usage of transgenderist in its umbrella sense".  However, as with almost all the claims re the term 'transgender', no citations or quotes are given.  As with 'transgender' the two abbreviations are the most obvious for the two words, and it is extremely likely that different people coined them independently.

At the time of Gay Liberation in the late 1960s/early 1970s ‘gay’ was an umbrella term covering both male and female gays, transsexuals and transvestites. In the later 1970s and the 1980s, the component communities formed their own groups and relabelled themselves. Lesbians, bisexuals and trans insisted that they were not gays. Then one spoke of ‘gay and lesbian’ or ‘lesbian and gay’ according to preference and influence. Then the bisexuals, still not being gay, insisted on being added to the list which became the acronym GLB or LGB, and finally, it being apparent that the trans had, as usual, been left out, the T was added to the acronym. However not everyone participated in the groups that were playing musical names, and some lesbians, some bisexuals and some trans persons stuck with calling themselves ‘gay’ even into the 21st century.

The frequently repeated mis-information about Prince and ‘transgender’ has diverted attention from the decline of ‘cross gender’ and its replacement by ‘transgender’. I have never seen a discussion of why this happened.

Note the early use of ‘transgender surgery’, which is usually taken to be a 21st-century innovation.

Late 1940s
Louise Lawrence worked with Bowman, Kinsey, Cauldwell and Benjamin. She is referred to as Doris in Schaefer & Wheeler's account of Benjamin's first 10 cases, and is certainly the outstanding non-surgical trans woman in Benjamin’s circle.

Harry Benjamin. The Transsexual Phenomenon. New York: Julian Press, 1966. Type IV: Nonsurgical Transsexual. “It could be interpreted as an intermediate stage between transvestism and transsexualism. These patients may waver in their emotions between the two. They need more than merely ‘dressing’ to appease their psychological sex with its commanding and demanding female component. (p32)” Benjamin articulated the concept three years before Prince did, because he had already met Lawrence and others living the lifestyle that Prince decided on for herself only some years later.

Virginia "Charles" Prince. The Transvestite and His Wife. Sandy Thomas Publications. No transgender** word used in this book.

Virginia Prince. Tranvestia, December 1969. Prince follows where Lawrence went 20 years earlier. While she is influenced by Benjamin type IV, she restricts the concept to one who has already been a heterosexual transvestite. She searches for a better term, and tries out ‘transgenderal’. She did this only once, so she did not really like it. She did not use any similar word again until 1978. The fact that Prince’s word is an idiosyncratic malformation enables us to know that the usages by other people in the 1970s are not influenced by her, as no-one else used this malformation.

Gore Vidal’s Myra Breckinridge described as ‘transgendered’ in TV Guide.

Los Angeles Times, June 25. “But with other, when temperamental vulnerability is immersed in a potentially detrimental setting, cross-gender identification ensues during the years when gender identity develops.”

American family physician/GP, V,1: “Effeminate Behavior in Boys In a study of effeminate behavior in boys, Zugar and Taylor investigated the prevalence of certain activities in a group of boys who demonstrated a cross-gender type of behavior.” (p94).

Virginia Prince. How To Be A Woman Though Male. Sandy Thomas Publications. No transgender** word used in this book.

Cynthia Platt, Transexual Action Organization, “The TAO is one of many organizations helping all transexuals and transvestites, and if all of us can join together their goals will be accomplished sooner”.

New York Times, “500 in the U.S. Change Sex In Six Years With Surgery”, Nov 20. “Such persons are said to have a crossgender identity.”

The United Transvestite and Transsexual Society: “This is to announce the formation of a new organization dedicated to promoting the interests of transvestites and transexuals”.

Raleigh Register. “Stanford Sex Change Program Screens Applicants Carefully”, Nov 19. “With great trepidation,’ Fisk said, the team decided to grant his request for surgery — after keeping him on ‘hold’ for a year and a half after he had successfully completed 10 years of cross-gender living with no problem.”

Accent. “Proper evaluation”, Dec 9. “Cross gender experience for a considerable period is strongly advised before surgery is undertaken. In this way, the transsexual will ‘see it like it is’ in living the life of the opposite sex.”

D. Cordell. Report of the The First National TV.TS Conference, at Leeds University. “There is a tendency among trans-gender people to encourage each other. This precludes the very careful self-analysis which must take place in everyone who is proposing to undergo this therapy.” (Ekins & King, 2006:3; OED).

Joseph R. Novello. A Practical Handbook of Psychiatry. Springfield, Ill: C.C. Thomas. “Factors which rule against transgender surgery for otherwise bona fide transsexual individual include a) Sociopathy, especially criminal behavior, b) Psychosis ... (p179).

Yvonne Sinclair and others found the London TV/TS Support Group.

Houston Trans-People group for “transvestites, transgenderists, transsexuals and for spouses or lovers, family, friends, neighbors”.

Drag Magazine, 1975: “Its about time the gays, TVs and TSs break down the barriers between us and work together. United we stand; derived we stand still wishing something would happen.”.

Florence Morning News. “Transsexuals’ Journey Found Long and Lonely”, Sept 5. “In some cases, an affected child develops cross-gender characteristics. Steve Dain, an Emeryville, Calif. high school teacher who became a man through reassignment – and is the center of controversy over his attempt to retain a teaching job – is an illustration.”

Joyce Brothers. “Surgery can help”. Grand Prairie Daily News, Dec 8. “Such persons with the seemingly normal physical makeup of one sex report that for as long as they can remember, they felt the psyche of the other sex. They are said to have a cross-gender identity.”

Virginia Charles Prince. Understanding Cross Dressing. Capistrano Beach, CA: Sandy Thomas Advertising, 1976, Chevalier, 1981. Both Docter (1988:21) and Ekins & King (“Towards a Sociology of Transgendered Bodies”: 581) cite this book in claiming that Prince originated the term ‘transgenderist’. However a) neither give a valid page reference b) a Google Books search fails to find the word within the book.

The editors of Hose and Heel (later The Journal of Male Feminism) reject ‘transgenderism’ as it supports the gender binary and ignores the lessons of feminism. (Valentine: 262)

Ariadne Kane uses ‘transgenderist’ in an interview with Boston’s Gay Community News. (Hill:177)

The Age, 14 April. “Dr. Bower said there had been a number of male cross-gender operations in Melbourne and Sydney in recent years.”

Virginia Prince: "Transsexuals and Pseudotranssexuals", Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 7, No. 4. She proposed two kinds of 'pseudotranssexual' based on sexual orientation.  "The preoperative homosexual group (Kinsey 5,6) gave much higher scores on all questions dealing with sex and lower scores on those questions dealing with gender, while those in the heterosexual group (Kinsey 1,2) gave high scores to gender type questions and much lower scores on the sex type questions".  But does not use any transgender** word.

Virginia Prince. “The Transcendents or Trans People”. A paper read to the Western Regional Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex in Santa Barbara, June 1978, reprinted in Transvestia 95. She describes ‘three classes of such trans-people, generally called “transvestites, transgenderists and transsexuals”’ and adds: ‘The second class is a group of which I am a member and about which most of you haven’t heard …These are people who have adopted the exterior manifestations of the opposite sex but without any surgical interventions. Thus they are what may be rightly termed ‘male women’ (p86). Robert Hill, in his thesis on the Princian movement, concludes that she was copying the word from Adriadne Kane. Prince used the word again in the next issue of Tranvestia, in Bullough’s 1979 book, once more in 1981, and then stopped. (Valentine:262)

“Transgender ’ used on BBC Radio, 2 June. Clair Rayner interviewed John Randall: “That was Dr John Randall . . . He couldn't tell me how many people there are who are transgenderists - the rather clumsy label that's been devised to cover both transvestites and transsexuals." Radio Times (6 June: 5): ‘It is estimated that about one person in 2,000 is a transgenderist; someone who feels an overwhelming need either to dress in the clothes of the opposite gender, or … to “change sex” completely.’ (Ekins & King, 2006:14), (OED).

Virginia Prince. “Charles to Virginia: Sex Research as a Personal Experiencein Vern Bullough (ed), The Frontiers of Sex Research, Prometheus Books, New York. “I am therefore to be classified as a ‘transgenderist’ now” (p172). (OED). There is no record before Richard Docter’s 1988 book of anyone specifically referring to these few and obscure works by Prince, and saying that they are using the term as she did.

Steve Shiflett, Gay Political Caucus, Houston, 11 June “’Transperson’ is a collective term I use to include the spectrum of people who for one reason or another cross-dress to what society has ordained as the ‘gender uniform’: transsexuals ... transgenderists... transvestites... drag society...female impersonators”.

Christine Jorgensen. Winnipeg Free Press, Oct 18. “If you understand trans-genders,” she says, (the word she prefers to transsexuals), “then you understand that gender doesn’t have to do with bed partners, it has to do with identity.

Ariadne Kane’s Human Outreach and Achievement Institute defined ‘transgenderist’ as a term that had been used in the 1970s but was by then superseded by ‘androgyne’. (Valentine:262)

Kim Stuart. The Uninvited Dilemma: A Question of Gender. Lake Oswego, OR: Metamorphous Press. “The word transsexual is somewhat misleading, because the word sexual is incorporated into the term. Perhaps, the word ‘transgender’ would have been a more suitable term. (p25)”. (OED)

Nicholas J. Bradford. "Transgenderism and the Cult of Yellamma: Heat, Sex, and Sickness in South Indian Ritual." Journal of Anthropological Research 39:307-322.

Jason Cromwell first heard ‘transgender’ being used in its collective sense (Valentine: 262).

News (Portsmouth), 6 Aug, 1,4. “Transgender model Bruce Laker’s [Phaedra Kelly] plans for a white wedding have been dashed”. (OED)

Roger E. Peo. “The ‘Origins’ and ‘Cures’ for Transgender Behavior”. TV-TS Tapestry, 42.

Christine Jorgensen: “She gave spark to sexual revolution”. Leader-Post Regina, Dec 18. “I am a transgender because gender refers to who you are as a human”.

Suzanne J. Kessler and Wendy McKenna. Gender: An Ethnomethodological Approach. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985.  Although the term 'transgender' is not used, this book is seminal to the later academic transgender studies.  Ekins & King, 2006: 16: " Only in retrospect did it become possible to return to this text and see it as germinal in the formation of sociological foundations for a coherent discipline of transgender studies, and germinal to a fourth conceptualization of transgender – a sociological approach to transgender".  Kessler & McKenna, 2000, revisit their 1985 book: "By the mid-1970s most people, in and out of academia, were beginning to accept that roles, appearances, and characteristics (what they called ‘gender’) were socially defined and culturally varied. However, biological features (what they called ‘sex’) were considered to be given in nature. We argued that the biological is as much a construction as the social is. Although hormones, chromosomes, gonads, and genitals, are real parts of the body, seeing them as dichotomous and essential to being female or male is a social construction. That is why we believed (and continue to believe) that in discussions of this topic it is critical to only use ‘gender’ and never use sex (in the conventional meanings).  If anything is primary, it is not some biological sign, but what we call ‘gender attribution’ – the decision one makes in every concrete case that someone is either a male or a female. Virtually all of the time, gender attribution is made with no direct knowledge of the genitals or any other biological ‘sex marker’."

Richard Ekins establishes the Trans-Gender Archive at the University of Ulster at Coleraine. “He used the term in the umbrella sense to include the widest possible range of ‘transgender’ phenomena. Unlike the orthodoxy of the time, it was apparent to him that transgender was not a rather minority and unimportant matter. It was important to include transgender phenomena that had avoided the medical gaze. He took the view that ‘transvestite’ and ‘transsexual’ are medicalized categories of knowledge. (2006:15)”

DSM-III=R introduces, in addition to GID and Transvestic Fetishism, Gender Identity Disorder of Adolescence or Adulthood, Nontranssexual Type (GIDAANT). That is, transgender is pathologized, but a name is needed. GIDAANT never caught on as a term.

Anne Bolin. In Search of Eve: Transsexual Rites of Passage. Bergin & Garvey, 1987: 100. “Transsexuals utilize the concepts of their own culture to construe their own transgender experience”.

Renaissance News, Vol 1,1, Aug. Says that it provides information about ‘transgendered behavior’. Vol 1,5, December talks about the ‘transgender community’.

Chrysalis, 1, 53. “People often think that trans-gender is a rather minority and unimportant matter”. (OED)

The Tiffany Club of greater Boston, under the influence mainly of Merrisa Sherrill Lynn, gave birth to the International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE), and took over TV-TS Tapestry magazine. At its first conference it awarded its Virginia Prince Award to Virginia Prince.

Richard F. Docter. Transvestites and Transsexuals: Toward a Theory of Cross-Gender Behavior. New York: Plenum Press, 1988: 21-4. Docter notes that his ‘transgenderism’ category corresponds to Benjamin Type IV. According to the diagram in p25, it is an heterosexual variation as in Prince, but Docter discusses only one example, 22-year-old Everett/Angela who is androphilic, sexually active and will probably shortly be transsexual.

Stage, 4 Feb, 12,1. “Theatrical transgenders now have their own magazine which, it is hoped ... will ... be a means through which drag artists can find jobs in the theatre”. (OED)

Rouge, Winter 17,1. “ ‘Gender Dysphoria’ ... is a blanket term covering the range of transgender phenomena”. (OED)

Sources Used

  • Susan Stryker. “Transgender”. GLBTG: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Transgender & Queer Culure, 2003. www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/transgender.html.
  • Richard Ekins and Dave King. The Transgender Phenomenon. London: SAGE, 2006: 13-23.
  • Richard Ekins & Dave King. Rethinking 'Who put the "Trans" in Transgender?' GENDYS 2004, The Eighth International Gender Dysphoria Conference, Manchester England. www.gender.org.uk/conf/2004/04ekins.htm.
  • Robert S. Hill. ‘As a man I exist; as a woman I live’: Heterosexual Transvestism and the Contours of Gender and Sexuality in Postwar America. PhD Dissertation. University of Michigan 2007: 176-8. http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/57615.
  • David Valentine. Imagining Transgender: An Ethnography of a Category. Durham: Duke University Press, 2007: 32-7, 262-3.
  • Cristan Williams. Ehipassiko, 2011 June 2, 28, 30, July, 5, 6, 9, 11,12,14,21.
  • ‘transgender’, ‘transgendered’, ‘transgenderism’, ‘transgenderist’. Oxford English Dictionary (OED), Third edition, March 2003, online June 2011. www.oed.com/view

The IFGE site does not contain a history of itself, and its Wikipedia page is only a basic stub.  While its current mission statement features ‘transgender people’ up front, I cannot find when this wording was adopted.   I suspect that it happened around 1992-3 when TV-TS Tapestry was renamed to Transgender Tapestry.

Likewise the US National Transgender Archives was founded by Dallas Denny sometime in the 1980s.  However I am unable to find out exactly when.  Was it before or after the Archives in Ulster founded by Richard Ekins?  More importantly, did it have ‘transgender’ in its name at the beginning, or was it changed later?

12 September 2011

Cross-Gender, Transgender, concepts and usages: part 1

Part 1: Introduction: the meanings of Transgender 

Part 1: Introduction: the meanings of Transgender

There have been a variety of disputes about the word ‘transgender’, when it was first used, by whom etc. I have gathered here various quotes and usages from different sources, and arranged them as well as possible by chronology. The first problem is that there is no single usage of the word. I identify five major usages, and there are others (see Ekins and King: The Transgender Phenomenon). A second problem is that while the word ‘transgender’ was often used before 1990, the five concepts that it signifies were being expressed by other terms. So we must track the concepts as well as the word. The third problem is the much repeated misinformation about Virginia Prince and the word.

It is unfortunate that so many writers have repeated the canard that that one person coined the term. Almost nobody who repeats the canard actually cites or quotes what Prince is supposed to have said, and no-one demonstrates any influence before Docter’s 1988 book and the concurrent founding of IFGE. Very few of the quoted usages can be traced to the influence of that one person, and almost none of the claims that she coined the word cite where she is supposed to have done so, and - this is especially bad - none of them consider the usages by earlier writers. There has been a strange alliance, between her followers, lazy academics and the trans separatists who abhor her, to act as if Prince owns the word. If she had followed up her one-off usage of ‘trangenderal’ in 1969, there might be a case for her. But she did not. By 1978, the words ‘transgender’ and ‘transgenderist’ had been used by several people who had no interaction with her or with each other, and certainly were not using it in her sense. It seems very likely that her 1978 usage was copied from Ariadne Kane. Again she used it only three times, each quite minor, and then dropped it again. She never used it in her books.

We will return to this myth in Part 4.

The five meanings of ‘transgender:

There are at least five meanings of ‘transgender’ in common use. Once the concept of gender evolved and the word ‘gender’ returned to the English language, at first with the existentialism of Simone de Beauvoir in the fifties, then in the restricted usage of John Money in the 1960s, and then in the more powerful usage of the Feminist movement, it was probably inevitable that many people quite independently, would coin ‘transgender’, ‘transgendered’, ‘transgenderist’ - but only one person ever used ‘transgenderal’.

As there is no one source for the word, and, unlike French and German, we have no language academy to guide the growth of our language, it is not surprising that ‘transgender’ has several quite distinct meanings.

  1. To change gender full time, but without surgery. Unlike transsexuality which cannot exist without modern technology, there have been non-surgical trans persons for thousands of years. Cis society has tried to contain trans persons either by repression or by containing them into either religious cults (e.g. the galli) or third gender roles (e.g. hijra, kathoey, two-spirit) but there have always been other trans persons, some of whom were outed at death, and others that we know about when they were arrested. These people are referred to in modern books as female husbands, passing women, travesties etc. More often than not they referred to themselves as a man-woman ( or woman-man), androgyne ( which is man-woman in Greek) or some such. The 20th century social constructions were of course not available to them. In the 20th century these people were often referred to as ‘transvestites’ for lack of a better word. Harry Benjamin defined a type IV which he called ‘non-surgical transsexual’. He had probably met many such persons, but the one who stands out is Louise Lawrence. In France at the same time, Marie André Schwidenhammer was an early activist for trans rights. Later examples of non-surgical trans persons are Leslie Feinberg, Max Wolf Valerio, Sylvia Rivera, Jayne County, Charlotte Bach, Vladimir Luxuria. The majority who proceed today without surgery are trans men, because of the higher cost and less satisfactory results of surgery.
  2. As a synonym of transsexual, e.g. in the expression ‘transgender surgery’ (which turns out to be an early usage). Many transsexuals feel that transsexuality is not a sexual orientation; it is not a third option to heterosexuality and homosexuality, that it is more a matter of gender. Kim Stuart and Christine Jorgensen were among the first to use ‘transgender’ in this way.
  3. Rejection of the gender binary has a definite history back to 1969, and was articulated by Gay Lib, the Gazoline movement, Transsexual Menace, etc, and a less articulate history back to at least the Mollies in the 18th century. The term ‘transgender’ was proposed for this aesthetic by Holly Boswell in 1991, and it encompasses the gender queer, the street queens etc. Prominent examples of persons with this attitude are Sylvia Rivera, Angie Xtravaganza, Chloe Dzubilo, Julian Hows. These people were generally rejected both by gays concerned to be gender normative and by such as Virginia Prince and Susan Huxford with their false-consciousness concepts of respectability.
  4. At least as far back as Magnus Hirschfeld there has been a need for an umbrella term for all who do not conform to the expectations of their birth gender, whether permanently or temporarily. Harry Benjamin designed a scale that acts as an umbrella. Other people used terms such as ‘cross-gender’ and ‘TV-TS’. Leslie Feinberg proposed the term ‘transgender’ as an umbrella term in 1992, and it has been generally accepted since.
  5. As a rejection of the medical pathologization implicit in ‘transsexualism’ and ‘gender dysphoria’. As an articulated usage, this is associated with queer theory, but the implicit attitude goes back to the early days of Gay Lib when the philosophy was that it is not the individual was is sick but homophobic/transphobic society that is sick. And of course that was almost the title of a 1971 film by Rosa von Praunheim. Some of the anti-transgender people, especially those who identity with HBS, actually affirm themselves as having a medical condition.
Those who maintain that Prince somehow owns the word ‘transgender’ ignore the fact that in almost all its meanings she cannot be cited, and she almost never used the word in its rich range of meanings. As the word has at least five meanings, and the strongest claim is for a weak form of only one of them, obviously she did not coin it, and does not own it.

Furthermore she insisted that most transgender persons not be permitted in the groups that she organized. Thus she was transgenderphobic. She was explicitly transgenderphobic in meanings 2, 3 and 4, and even in meaning 1 she was transgenderphobic, especially where the person was a trans man or an androphilic trans woman, but also in not identifying with the millennia-old, cross-cultural phenomena of trans person. Phaedra Kelly specifically rejected the Prince-inspired Beaumont Society for the same lack of interest. Vern Bullough, who spent much time with Prince and her ilk, proposed that heterosexual crossdressers are a late 19th century social construction and by implication have little connection with the ancient condition of being transgender.

10 September 2011

Carmen de Mairena (1933 – ) singer, performer.

Miguel Brau Gou was born in Barcelona. At age 12, while working as an errand boy, he would entertain with song and dance. At 16 he was an extra in several movies.

From 1956, as Miguel de Mairena, he became well-known in the Barcelona area as a singer and entertainer.  His lover was Pedrito Rica, before the latter began his tour of the Americas. Both were arrested under the Ley de Vagos y Maleantes (Vagrancy Law) which was amended by the Franco dictatorship in 1954 to include homosexuals. Miguel was badly treated in prison, and because of this was unable to work for a year as an entertainer after his release.

However by the late 1960s he was performing with other popular singers in Barcelona.

In the 1970s, as Carmen de Mairena, she had black-market silicone injections and sought work as a transformista doing impersonations of Sara Montiel and Marujita Diaz. This was not well received and she resorted to sex work.

In the 1990s she was discovered by the television presenter Javier Cardenes and developed a career as a television comedian, as part of the friki scene. She also had parts in a few films, including two porno movies.

In November 2006 and October 2008 Carmen was arrested as part of a crackdown against the prostitution of Rumanian women, in that she had rented rooms used by the ring.

However this has not affected her television career and in 2010 was a candidate in the Catalan elections.

08 September 2011

Max Wolf Valerio (1957 - ) poet.

Anita Valerio was born in New Mexico to a father of Spanish descent and a Kainai (Blackfoot) mother from Alberta. She was active in the American Indian Movement as an adolescent, and visited the Pine Ridge Reservation when it was under siege by the FBI after the Wounded Knee occupation.

She was a punk rocker and a poet, was an out lesbian for 14 years, and contributed a chapter to the influential feminist anthology, This Bridge Called My Back.

At age 32, the transition to Max began: he identified with a quote from Carl Jung: “Free will is the ability to do gladly that which I must do”.   On the effect of testosterone:
"I came into transition feeling very strongly that I was not going to 'buy' into what I thought were 'masculine' or male behaviors, many of which I found repugnant . I had that feminist background you know! I also just thought that so many of these feelings or behaviors were caused only by socialization. The revelation of the testosterone for me, was that the truth was so much more complex. Ultimately, this gradual change in perception was very humbling. I had to find that I was wrong, and that many of these feelings are fed by testosterone and not simply by socialization as I had thought."
During transition and after, Max was friends with Viviane Namaste, Mirha-Soleil Ross, Margaret O’Hartigan, Anne Ogborn and Gianna Israel.

Max lives in San Francisco and after doing genealogical research found that he is also part Sephardic Jewish and part northern European. He is a poet, essayist and actor, with a taste for the transgressive. He has worked with beats and punk bands.

Max's autobiographical book, The Testosterone Files, was a Lambda Finalist in 2006.

Max is featured in the documentaries Female Misbehavior, 1992, You Don’t Know Dick, 1996, and Gendernauts, 1999, Unhung Heroes, 2002.
“Certainly, in the beginning, I missed being identifiably queer, although I also hung out a lot at first with gay men, and often, people mistook me for gay. It was a long process of adjustment though, to accept being seen as just another straight guy. Although, I think I still give off something of the bohemian and the punk, it never really goes away. And, in the transworld, my views are often iconoclastic and quite contrary to the accepted ‘line’...
 My gender freakiness is now more stealth, and as such, I think it actually has even more power to upset people and open them to new possibilities. When people find out I am a transman, they find it to be extremely shocking and yes, it ruptures their view of the strict binary. In some ways, being just an ordinary appearing man is even more disruptive of their perspective. They expect me to look androgynous and since I do not, their minds are completely blown. So, there is provocative power in my seeming ’normalcy’. Believe me, I love that! I still do love being provocative. (Boyd)”
His day job is software sales.

Trans men differ in how they react to testosterone.  However if the effects are as Max says, does this mean that hormonally changed trans men are a different gender variation from those who transitioned in earlier decades and centuries when hormones were not available?