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!

18 February 2019

Lance (1959 - ) UCLA GIRC’s first trans child

Lance had, almost since his first year, loved to parade in the shoes and clothes of his mother and sister. He also loved jewelry and makeup. The mother regarded this as just childhood play, but then a neighbor complained, and a teacher at school reported that he involved his friends in games of cross-dressing. At age five, Lance was taken by his mother to the University of California Los Angeles Gender Identity Research Clinic (UCLA GIRC).

Richard Green saw him twice weekly for six months, until called away, and then psychoanalyst Ralph Greenson continued the treatment. Robert Stoller, psychoanalyst and head of the GIRC analyzed the mother.

Greenson was a celebrity psychoanalyst in Los Angeles and had analyzed several film stars, such as Frank Sinatra and Tony Curtis, and most famously had been Marilyn Monroe’s analyst at the time of her death in 1962. Lance was his first time treating a child.

He quickly noticed the child’s intelligence and athletic ability. He treated Lance mainly at the swimming pool at his own home, where he even taught Lance to swim. Most of the sessions were comprised of games in the water. This helped Lance to overcome his fears about being alone with a male adult. One day, while out for a walk, they encountered a group of girls playing with a Barbie doll, and Lance, becoming excited, asked to watch. At first he was mocked by the girls, but then became the center of their game. Later he begged Greenson to buy him a Barbie doll. Greenson did so, but on the condition that Lance could play with it only when with Greenson. After this point Lance largely stopped wearing female clothing. Lance did a drawing of the happiest day of his life, which was of himself in the pool, with a man outside watching. Lance avoided touching Greenson until the fifth month when they were playing together in the pool. Greenson was replacing Lance playing with the doll by playing with an adult male. According to Greenson, Lance had had difficulty differentiating loving an object from wanting to be the object. Initially he had referred to the doll as ‘me’.

Stoller analyzed the mother. She was in her forties, and had also an 11-year-old daughter. Her grandparents had been prize-winning lace-makers, and her father was noted for his needlework and weaving. She had been a creative dress designer before marriage, and still made all her own clothes. She permitted her children to see her nude and engaged in much body contact with them. Stoller describes her as looking ‘boyish’, and with shortish hair, although usually in a skirt. She took pride in her teenage photographs where she appeared to be a boy. She had passed as male whenever convenient; competed with boys in athletics and games; and played both male and female parts in theatricals. This was quite accepted by her family. She said:
"When you take off your own clothes and put on different clothes, you can be anyone".
Her own mother was emotionally distant, but her father comforted her, bought her clothes and took her, but not her brothers, to sports events. That is, until her younger sister was born. However at puberty she accepted her anatomical destiny, and developed her femininity. A brother 13 years younger was also a cross-dresser. She left home at 16. She married a man who was frequently away at work. They had a daughter and then Lance. Stoller describes both her mother and her husband as ‘empty’. He also diagnoses the mother as having ‘penis envy’. He summarizes:
“Let us review what has happened in this particular case. A strongly bisexual woman, with severe penis envy derived from her father and older brothers, in its turn the result of a sense of emptiness produced by her mother, married an empty man and had a son. On the one hand, the boy was (the phallus) of her flesh; on the other, he was clearly a male and no longer of her flesh. He was therefore both to be kept as a part of herself, by identification, and treated as an object whom she would feminize. He was his mother's feminized phallus.”
After many months of analysis, it came out that it was she, rather than her mother, who had brought up the brother, 13 years younger, who was also a cross-dresser. And he had the same name that she gave to her own son.

After Lance’s sessions with Greenson, he was deemed to be cured. Stoller, in a different essay (1968: 254) says:
“The first successfully treated case of childhood transsexualism is that of Greenson; a report written after the treatment was ended gives a vivid and warm account of this boy's rescue.”
A few years later when Agnes confessed to Stoller that she had taken external estrogens before first seeing him, she agreed for him to meet her mother, and he was able to analyze her. He found a pattern similar to that of Lance’s mother. He found a few more such, and proposed his intergenerational model of transsexual etiology, for which he became famous.
  • Robert Stoller. “ Mother’s Contribution to Infantile Transvestic Behavior”. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 47, 1966: 384-395.
  • Ralph R. Greenson. “A transvestite boy and a hypothesis”. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 47, 1966: 396–403.
  • Robert Stoller. Sex and Gender: On the Development of Masculinity and Femininity, Science House, 1968.
  • Ralph R Greenson. Explorations in Psychoanalysis. International Universities Press, 1978.
  • Pierre-Henri Castel. La métamorphose impensable: essai sur le transsexualisme et l'identité personnelle. Gallimard, 2003: 88-9, 432n17.
  • Riccardo Galiani. “Un cas, deux écritures, une catégorie “. Topique, 3, 108, 2009 : 143-156. Online.
  • Richard Green. “Robert Stoller’s Sex and Gender: 40 Years on”. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39, 2010: 1460-1.

When Stoller reprinted his article in his 1968 collection of papers, he renamed it “Mother’s Contribution to Transsexualism”; likewise when Greenson reprinted his in his 1978 collection, he renamed it “A transsexual boy and a hypothesis”.   Stoller (1968: 131) explains how he distinguishes the words: "I found myself, on calling the child an "infantile transvestite," continuously having to explain that although he cross-dressed, he did not have essential qualities of the adolescent or adult male transvestite (e.g., love of and anxious regard for his penis)." 

As is often the case with psychoanalytical studies, we have no follow-up. Lance became an adult at the end of the 1970s, and will now be turning 60. Did Lance later return to being a woman? Did he, like the presumed pre-transsexuals in the UCLA/Richard Green Feminine Boy Project of the 1970s,  become a gay man instead? Does the claim that he was ‘cured’ by Greenson mean that he was not really trans to begin with? We know of apparent trans kids who desist. A major example from the 1960s would be Kim Christy who grew up to be cis heterosexual, father and grandfather. No adult, cis man or trans woman has come forward to identify with Lance. Unlike Freud’s published case studies where the corresponding real-life persons have been identified.

If Stoller and Greenson were right about what they were doing, then it was wrong in that it was conversion therapy, which today would be illegal. However if the only result of Greenson’s therapy was to teach Lance to swim, and to make him comfortable in the presence of an adult male, then no real harm was done.  However to the extent that an attempt was made to induce an Oedipal complex through the transferential interventions of a male therapist, than that is something else.

Stoller is critical of Lance’s mother’s lifestyle: nudity in front of the kids, body touching, interest in clothes, freedom to wear whatever clothing. A few years later this kind of lifestyle was dubbed ‘hippie’. Surely there was much in it that is positive.   Stoller implies that the mother's passing as a teenage male was somehow perverse.   This would have been the early 1930s.   Her accepting her body changes at puberty, and switching to being a woman, could equally well imply a healthy attitude to reality.

Stoller regards it as important that she admitted that it was she, rather than her own mother, who had raised the brother who cross-dressed.  However he was 13 years younger, and she left home at 16.   So she raised him only for the first three years. Yet Stoller implies that she repeatedly turned boys into cross-dressers.

Stoller calls the mother 'bisexual'.   He is not using the term as we do today.  There is no suggestion of a female lover.   It would be better if he used 'bigender'.

Did the UCLA GIRC provide the therapy sessions pro bono (as it was research) or was the family sent a bill? As usual, we are not told.

Castel (p88) describes Lance as the archetype of a child transsexual. Really! This, of course was long before the recent expansion of numbers of trans kids, but there are serious candidates for the term from the 1950s/1960s: Sally Barry, Jill Monroe, Hedy Jo Star and of course Agnes.

Stoller writes of “a mother's unconscious wishes on the infant who is later to become perverse.*" and immediately adds a footnote: “After studying transexuals , I am much less certain what the word "perverse" means”.

To my mind the most perverse thing in the article is Stoller’s designation of the mother’s mother and of her husband as “empty”. However that is just a word. Stoller does not explain how he is using the word, and more importantly he does so on the word of a single analysand.

Stoller adds a footnote that after three years Lance’s father was persuaded to come in once a week and to see a different team member, but we are told nothing further.

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.