This site is the most comprehensive on the web devoted to trans history and biography. Well over 1400 persons worthy of note, both famous and obscure, are discussed in detail, and many more are mentioned in passing.

There is a detailed Index arranged by vocation, doctor, activist group etc. There is also a Place Index arranged by City etc. This is still evolving.

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!

10 February 2019

Herman Karl Hedwig, a early German pioneer

A person, previously known as Sophia, successfully applied to a German court in 1883 for a revised birth certificate changing his forenames to Herman Karl. The doctor’s letter to the court specified that he had an hypospadic condition, thus he was what we would now call intersex.
  • Hans Haustein. “Transvestitismus und Staat am Ende des 18. und im I9. Jahrhundert”. Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft 15, S, 1928-9:116-126.
  • Vern L.,Bullough & Bonnie Bullough. Cross Dressing, Sex, and Gender. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993: 255.
  • Jay Prosser. Second Skin: the body narratives of transsexuality. Columbia University Press, 1998: 250n14.
  • Rainer Herrn. Schnittmuster des Gesch-lechts. Transvestitismus und Trans-sexualität in der frühen Sexual-wissenschaft. Giessen: Psychosozial-Verlag 2005: 201.
Vidensbanken om kønsidentitet

Bullough & Bullough, referring to Haustein, present this case in their “Transsexualism” chapter as “the earliest known case of modern surgical intervention’. However, as Herrn points out, Haustein gives it only as a case of a legal change, not surgical. Nor was it unusual in the 19th century for hypostadic and other intersex persons to be allowed to change their legal gender. Unfortunately many more recent writers, such as Prosser, have uncritically repeated what the Bulloughs said.

Also the Bulloughs spell the writer’s name ‘Houstein”, and write as if the Herman’s surname became Karl.

09 February 2019

More non-fiction books by trans writers

Trans authors write about all kinds of things.  I have already published such a list.

Here are some that I missed previously.

Trans (auto)Biographies and books about trans topics are not included here. This is about other topics.  (In some cases you will need the writer's pre-transition name to find the book.)

Willow Arune

  • The Musician's Handbook: A Practical Guide to the Law and Business of Music. International Self-Counsel Press, 1985.
  • Commuting by Bike. Rocky Mountain Books, 1995.

Raewyn Connell

  • with Florence Gould.  Politics of the Extreme Right. Sydney University Press,1966
  • Ruling Class, Ruling Culture: Studies of Conflict, Power and Hegemony in Australian Life. Cambridge University Press, 1977.
  • with Terry Irving. Class Structure in Australian History 
    Longman Cheshire, 1980.
  • Making the Difference: Schools, Families and Social Division. Allen & Unwin, 1982.
  • Which Way Is Up?: Essays on Sex, Class and Culture. G Allen & Unwin, 1983.
  • Gender and Power: Society, the Person and Sexual Politics
    Allen & Unwin,1987.
  • with G. W. Dowsett. Rethinking Sex: Social Theory and Sexuality Research.  Melbourne Univ. Press, 1992.
  • Masculinities. Allen & Unwin, 1995.
  • Male Roles, Masculinities and Violence: A Culture of Peace Perspective. UNESCO Publishing, 2000.
  • The Men and the Boys. Allen & Unwin, 2000.
  • Education, Change and Society. Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • Southern theory: the global dynamics of knowledge in social science.  Polity, 2007.
  • Gender: in world perspective.  Polity, 2009.

Jane Fae

  • ALTU Discrimination Handbook. Association of Liberal Trades Unionists, 1983.
  • Targeting for Succes: a Guide to New Techniques for Measurement and Analysis in Database and Direct Response Marketing.  McGraw-Hill, 1993.
  • Taming the Beast: An Analysis of Legislative and Regulatory Responses to Concerns Over Online Pornography and Sexualisation. 2015.

Donna Gee

  • With Wade Dooley. The Tower and the Glory: The Wade Dooley Story. Mainstream, 1992.

Julia Ann Johnson

  • A Century of Chicago Streetcars, 1858-1958. Traction Orange Co, 1964.
  • Aurora 'n' Elgin: Being a Compendium of Word and Picture Recalling the Everyday Operations of the Chicago Aurora and Elgin Railroad.  Traction Orange, 1965

Roberta Perkins

  • With Garry Bennett. Being a Prostitute: Prostitute Women and Prostitute Men. Allen & Unwin, 1985.
  • A History, Manifesto, and a Report on the Proposed Welfare Services of the Australian Prostitutes' Collective. The Collective, 1985.
  • Female Prostitutes in Visible Prostitution in Inner-City Sydney. The author, 1985.
  • Female Prostitution in Sydney an Overview: An Information Document on Female Prostitution and Prostitute Women of Sydney. Australian Prostitutes Collective (N.S.W.), 1985.
  • "Working Girls": Normality and Diversity Among Female Prostitutes in Sydney. Macquarie University MA Hons Thesis, 1988.
  • Working Girls: Prostitutes, Their Life and Social Control. Australian Inst. of Criminology, 1991.
  • With G. Prestage, R. Sharp & Frances Lovejoy. Sex Work, Sex Workers in Australia. University of New South Wales Press, 1994.
  • With Frances Lovejoy. Call Girls: Private Sex Workers in Australia. University of Western Australia Press, 2007.

Jay Prosser

  • Light in the Dark Room: Photography and Loss. University of Minnesota Press, 2004.
  • American Fiction of the 1990s: Reflections of History and Culture.  Routledge, 2008.

Carol Riddell.

  • Social Self-Government: Theory and Practice in Yugoslavia. Our Generation, 1970.
  • with Margaret A Coulson. Approaching Sociology. Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1972. 
  • The Findhorn Community: Creating a Human Identity for the 21st Century.  Findhorn Press, 1990.
  • The Path to Love Is the Practice of Love: An Introduction to Spirituality with Self-Help Exercises for Small Groups. Findhorn Press, 1995.
  • Tireragan: A Township on the Ross of Mull : a Study in Local History. Highland Renewal, 1996.
  • Introducing ESOL Skills for Life Provision in a Further Education College: The Quest for Materials. University of Manchester, 2005.
  • A Way Forward for Humanity: The Spiritual Basis of the Findhorn Community. 2013.

Martine Rothblatt

  • Radiodetermination Satellite Services and Standards.  Artech House, 1987.
  • Your Life or Mine: How Geoethics Can Resolve the Conflict between Public and Private Interests in Xenotransplantation. Ashgate, 2004.
  • Two Stars for Peace: The Case for Using U.S. Statehood to Achieve Lasting Peace in the Middle East. iUniverse, 2003.
  • Virtually Human The Promise - and the Peril - of Digital Immortality.  St. Martin's Press, 2014.

Eleanor Schuler

  • High Temperature Inorganic Coatings. Reinhold, 1963.
  • Double Agent.  New American Library, 1967.

31 January 2019

Rachel Humphreys (1952 - ?199?) hairdresser, muse to Lou Reed

Humphreys was raised in Bridgeton, New Jersey and San Antonio, Texas. It was said that the family were of part Mexican Native descent. An apparent trans child who played with dolls, and wore girls’ clothes, Humphreys wanted to do people’s hair. As Rachel she graduated in hair-dressing at a cosmetology school in Bayonne, New Jersey (north of Staten Island, across the river from Manhattan).

She was a regular at Max's, Kansas City, the hip and glam rock nightclub on Park Avenue South. She also frequented the 82 Club on E 4th St which was in transition from a transvestite performance club to a glam rock and then punk club. The New York Dolls did their first show there on April 17, 1974, when they performed in drag, except for Johnny Thunders who refused. They were followed by Wayne County (not yet using the name Jayne) and short-lived glitter bands like Teenage Lust and Harlots of 42nd Street. 

It was there at this time that Rachel met Lou Reed, the musician. Lou described Rachel in an interview with Bambi magazine:
"It was in a late night club in Greenwich Village. I’d been up for days as usual and everything was at that super-real, glowing stage. I walked in there and there was this amazing person, this incredible head, kind of vibrating out of it all. Rachel was wearing this amazing make-up and dress and was obviously in a different world to anyone else in the place. Eventually I spoke and she came home with me. I rapped for hours and hours, while Rachel just sat there looking at me saying nothing. At the time I was living with a girl, a crazy blonde lady and I kind of wanted us all three to live together but somehow it was too heavy for her. Rachel just stayed on and the girl moved out. Rachel was completely disinterested in who I was and what I did. Nothing could impress her. He’d hardly heard my music and didn’t like it all that much when he did. Rachel knows how to do it for me. No one else ever did before. Rachel’s something else.”
She moved in with him right away. He was then living in a modest one-bedroom apartment at 405 East 63rd street. Lou had already written a few songs about trans women, and with the single “Walk on the Wild Side” (which referred to the Andy Warhol-sponsored trans stars, Candy Darling, Holly Woodlawn and Jackie Curtis) had his biggest hit. Rachel was at this time oscillating. Some days she was Ricky, and others he was Rachel. People who knew Lou and Rachel used either pronoun. One journalist referred to Lou’s ‘boyfriend named Rachel’. Both Lou and Rachel enjoyed the confusion and further muddied the water by wearing each other’s clothes. She was street-wise and spunky in a way that Lou only pretended to be. She was said to always carry a knife, and was good in a fight – which proved useful when a concert at the Pallazzo dello Sport in Rome turned into a riot 15 February 1975.

Lou had been working on his fourth solo album, Sally Can’t Dance – the title track and spin-off single assumed to refer to trans woman, Sally Maggio, who was manager at the 220 Club, another trans bar where Lou went drinking. Sally would in the 1980s open Sally’s Hideaway, and then Sally’s II, again a bar for trans persons and with trans performers. However it was Rachel whose image was on the obverse of the Sally Can’t Dance LP sleeve, drawn as if reflected in Lou’s shades.

She supported him on some of his tours. In New York, they lived for a while in the Gramercy Park Hotel, and then an upscale apartment on East 52nd St at FDR Drive where Henry Kissinger, Greta Garbo and John Lennon had lived. In 1975 they began to frequent the rather grimey but seminal punk club, CBGBs. Lou was recording Coney Island Baby, released January 1976 and several tracks refer to Rachel. At the end of the follow-up tour, Rachel was mugged and assaulted. A doctor was called, who inevitably referred to Rachel as ‘she’, even though Lou was saying ‘he’. As Aidan Levy says:
“Rachel had been contemplating gender reassignment surgery, but the transgender rights movement had not yet solidified, and not fully understanding the nature of the decision, Lou was adamantly opposed to any operations, a growing source of conflict in their relationship”.
Despite this, a friend commented: ““I think that Rachel was the glue holding Lou together, or at least keeping him in the public view in many respects … I know that he doted on her. If there was a light shining, it was the two of them together. It doesn’t mean it was the healthiest relationship in the world.” The cover of Walk on the Wild Side: The Best of Lou Reed, 1977 is of photographs of the two of them.

Rachel acted as road-manager on the next tour, managed the money, and watched over the road-crew. They were in London for their third anniversary and ordered a three-tier cake to celebrate, and Lou gave her two diamond rings. He said:
"Rachel knows how to do it for me, no one else before ever did”.
However by the end of 1977, Lou and Rachel were fighting more and more, and frequently it was about the issue of transgender surgery. She had a date for surgery but backed off as Lou said:
“Well why are you doing that? I love you because of the way you are”.
The title track of Street Hassle, 1978 is about her, and an article in Rolling Stone referred to Rachel as the raison d’etre of the album, although in fact it marked the end of their relationship. Lou moved on, having met Sylvia Morales, who became his third wife in 1980.

Reed completely refused to talk about Rachel after 1978. He desisted and decided to go straight. Both his later marriages were with cis women.

There is a rumor that Rachel died in the early 1990s, possibly from HIV complications.
Lou died in 2013, aged 71, from liver failure.
  • LegsMcNeil & Gillian McCain. Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk. Penguin books, 1997: 154-5, 206.
  • Marc Campbell.  "Rachel: Lou Reed’s transsexual muse".  Dangerous Minds, 02.06.2013.  Online.
  • Howard Sounes. Notes from the Velvet Underground: The Life of Lou Reed. Doubleday, 2015: 182-4, 187, 189, 191, 192, 194, 195, 202, 203, 205, 208, 212, 213, 214, 215-6, 221-2, 226, 229, 235, 248, 269.
  • Simon Reynolds. Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and Its legacy, from the Seventies to the Twenty-First Century. William Morrow Publishers, 2016: 271-2.
  • Aidan Levy. Dirty Blvd.: The Life and Music of Lou Reed. Chicago Review Press, 2016: 221-2, 227, 233, 244, 251-3, 264, 285.



Many books and articles say that Lou Reed married three times, but of course he and Rachel were prohibited by the regressive laws in force at the time.    If they had been married legally, Lou would have had to pay alimony.   While separation from Lou left her free to pursue transgender surgery, the rumors are that she descended into poverty and homelessness.

It is of course the case that most of the New York music and movies trans women of this period opted against surgery:  Candy, Holly, Jackie, Chrysis, Kim Christie, Jayne County.

25 January 2019

The Harry Benjamin Foundation in the mid 1960s

In 1963 Benjamin was invited by Dr Robert Hotchkiss, the urologist, to read a paper at New York's Bellevue Hospital. He also read a paper at the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex (of which he was a charter member). That year Reed Erickson became a Benjamin patient and almost completed transition. He then founded the Erickson Educational Foundation (EEF), financed entirely by himself.

Through his foundation Erickson agreed to finance the newly created Harry Benjamin Foundation (HBF) for three years at a minimum of $1,500 a month. The money from Erickson enabled a move to a larger office at 86th St and Park Avenue. The foundation sought to enhance Benjamin’s professional status. Robert Stoller at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) had disparaged Benjamin in that he was not psychiatrically trained, and did not publish in the most reputable journals. Stoller politely declined to serve on the Foundation’s advisory board. Nevertheless Benjamin was able to use the Foundation to enhance his working relationship with other doctors and researchers in the field.

Meetings of the foundation were held in the office, mainly on Saturday evenings. The members conducted psychological, endocrinological and neurological tests on transsexual patients, and interviewed them before and after surgery, looking to prove or disprove any genetic, hormonal or neurological basis for the condition.

Those in regular attendance

Harry Benjamin

Of course. GVWW

John Money

Money had become head of the Psychohormonal Research Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in 1962, and was keen on opening a Gender Identity Clinic.

Richard Green

In addition to attending meetings of the Foundation, Green also spent time in Benjamin’s office writing approval letters for his clients, and writing what became two appendices to Benjamin’s 1966 book. GVWW

Leo Wollman

Gynecologist and hypnotist, Wollman claimed to have seen more transsexual patients than Benjamin had. At this time they shared the practice, and worked from the same office. Wollman also ran a group session, the first Sunday of every month, near his other office at Coney Island. GVWW.

Henry Guze

Guze was a professor at the American Academy of Psychotherapies which he co-founded. He was also a co-founder of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex, where he was president 1964-6. He specialized in psychosomatic illness, schizophrenia and disorders of sexual behaviour, and was a hypnotist. He proposed a 4-part typology of transsexuals: 1) effeminate in structural appearance 2) trained early to adopt a cross-gender role, as among some Native American tribes 3) problems of self-identification, perhaps as a result of a psychotic process 4) latent or expressed homosexuals. He found fantasies of sex change and cross-dressing common among ‘so-called normal’ people but regarded the expression of such desires as markedly fetishistic. Guze died in 1970, age 51, of cardiac arrest. Obituary.

Ruth Rae Doorbar

Doorbar had published on sex offenders and sex within marriage in the 1950s. Her major work with the HBF was “Psychological Testing of Transsexuals” (Online), which found more trans woman than expected with high IQs. At a time when inter-racial couples were still illegal in some US states, her boyfriend was Jamaican, and she moved to Jamaica with him and became a pioneer in Jamaican psychotherapy.

Robert Veit Sherwin

Sherwin was a lawyer and co-founder of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex. He was the author of Sex and the Statutory Law, 1949. He advised Benjamin and others on mayhem and other legal aspects of what they were doing. He published “The Legal Problem in Transvestism” in 1954, and a revised version “Legal Aspects of Male Transsexualism” was included in Green and Money, 1969. He died in 1979.

Herbert Kupperman

Kupperman authored Human Endocrinology, 3 volumes, 1963, and was known for his work on hormones in women. He was a pioneer in identifying the chromosomal sex of intersex infants.

Wardell Pomeroy

Trained as clinical psychologist, Pomeroy had been a major colleague of Alfred Kinsey, and they and Clyde Martin were co-authors of the landmark books Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953). He moved to New York in 1963 and went into private practice as a sex therapist. He was known for his prodigious sexual appetite; while primarily gynephilic, he also went with men for balance. Later he wrote popular books on adolescent sexuality, that those who would ban books kept putting on their lists. He died in 2001 at age 87. EN.Wikipedia. Obituary.

And when they were in New York

Christian Hamburger

The Danish endocrinologist who had overseen Christine Jorgensen’s transition. EN.Wikipedia.

Walter Alverez

Alverez (1884-1978) was a prominent physician at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. After retiring in 1951 he began writing a medical column which soon became syndicated across North America. He was noted for his enlightened attitude to homosexuality. EN.Wikipedia.


Benjamin met monthly with John Money and Richard Green and the idea was raised of applying the kind of surgery being done on intersex patients to transsexuals as well. Money took three post-operative patients of Harry Benjamin to meet his colleagues at Johns Hopkins. As the Gender Identity Clinic there began to coalesce, it was integrated into the work of the Foundation, which provided them with patient referrals. Reed Erickson’s EEF donated $85,000 to the Gender Identity Clinic over a few years, and Reed became quite friendly with John Money. He went to Johns Hopkins for a double mastectomy repair in 1965.

The Harry Benjamin Foundation similarly endorsed the gender clinic at Stanford University. The Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis was considering opening a Gender Identity Clinic led by Donald Hastings. Two members went to New York, met with the HBF and were able to examine patients of Benjamin and Wollman who had had surgery abroad. Their surgeon, John Blum, went to Johns Hopkins to observe transgender surgery.

Harry Benjamin's The Transsexual Phenomenon came out in 1966. Guze gave it a very positive review in The Journal of Sex Research. Also in 1966, Benjamin referred Phyllis Wilson who was the subject of the first sex-change operation by Howard Jones at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He also witnessed an operation performed by Jones. By now Stoller had come round, and after meeting with Benjamin described him to Green as “not only a good heart but plenty of good clinical data’.

The Harry Benjamin Foundation presented eight separate papers at a meeting at the prestigious New York Academy of Sciences on January 16, 1967, mainly considering etiology based on pre and post examinations of Benjamin's patients. Stoller flew in from Los Angeles and presented the first paper. Green returned from London. Stoller and Green presented papers based on research at UCLA. Kupperman, Pomeroy, Money, Doorbar, Wollman and Guze also presented papers, based on their work with the HBF.

Benjamin and Erickson had been having disputes, sometimes quite petty, about how the money was spent. In the spring of 1967 the EEF grant was reduced to $1,200, and in the fall – after the promised three years expired-- stopped entirely. Shortly afterwards, the Erickson Educational Foundation asked Benjamin to vacate the office that it was subsidizing.

There had been discussion that a book should emerge to embody the findings of the Foundation, but this was felt to be too narrow. In particular that would exclude the important work being done in Europe. The book, financed again by the EEF, eventually came out in 1969 as Transsexualism and Sex Reassignment edited by Richard Green and John Money.

Publications by members of the Foundation

  • Harry Benjamin. The Transsexual Phenomenon. Julian Press, 1966. With a bibliography and appendix by Richard Green.  A close reading.
  • Transactions of the New York Academy of Sciences, 29,4II, January 16, 1967.
Robert Stoller. “Etiological Factors in Male Transsexualism”. p431-3.
Herbert S Kupperman, “The Endocrine Status of the Transsexual Patient”. p434-9.
Richard Green. “Physician Emotionalism in the Treatment of the Transsexual”. p440-3.
Wardell B Pomeroy. “A report on the Sexual Histories of Twenty-Five Transsexuals”.p444-7..
John Money & Ralph Epstein. “Verbal Aptitude in Eonism and Prepubertal Effeminacy – A Feminine Trait”. p448-54.
Ruth Rae Doorbar. “Psychological Testing of Transsexuals: A Brief Report of Results from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, the Thematic Apperception Test and the House-Tree-Person Test”. p455-62.
Leo Wollman. “Transsexualism: Gynecological Aspects. p463.
Henry Guze. “The Transsexual Patient: A problem in Self Perception”. p464-7.
  • Henry Guze. “Review of The Transsexual Phenomenon by Harry Benjamin”. The Journal of Sex Research, 3,2, May 1967: 183-5.
  • Richard Green & John Money. Transsexualism and Sex Reassignment. The Johns Hopkins Press, 1969. With contribution by Benjamin, Erickson, Money, Green, Stoller, Guze, Pomeroy, Doorbar, Hamburger, Wollman, Sherwin.


  • Joanne Meyerowitz. How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States. Harvard University Press, 2002: 214-5, 219, 222, 223.
  • Richard Green. Gay Rights, Trans Rights: A psychiatrist/lawyer’s 50-year battle. 2018: chp 16.
  • Julian Gill-Peterson. Histories of the Transgender Child. University of Minnesota Press, 2018: 139-140.