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.

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24 March 2023

Lucy Salani (1924-2023) upholsterer, concentration camp survivor

Salani was born in Fassano in Piedmont, and raised in Bologna with the name Luciano. As a teenager Salani was unsure of what she was, information about Hirschfeld’s clinic and what it achieved being unavailable in Mussolini’s Italy. Salani adopted the self description of homosexual, even though it did not properly fit. Homosexuality as a crime had been removed from the 1889 Italian criminal code, although the Fascisti often acted as if it were still illegal. This self description led to estrangement from her family. 

In August 1943 the 19-year-old Salani was called to be conscripted into the army. As homosexuals were prohibited from the army Salani admitted being such, but this was ignored as many claimed the same to avoid being drafted. Salani was assigned to an artillery unit. A month later Italy surrendered to the Allies – the Armistice of Cassible. Germany quickly occupied most of Italy and set up a puppet state, Repubblica Sociale Italiana, also known as Repubblica di Salò. Salani, not wanting to fight for Germany, changed to civilian clothes and walked home to Bologna. The family was fearful of reprisals and Salani hid with another deserter. However they were found and beaten and Salani was inducted into the Wehrmacht, and was assigned to an anti-aircraft unit in a suburb of Bologna. After a bout of bronchitis, Salani was hospitalised and deserted again, and survived in Bologna as a sex worker with even German officers as clients. However she was recognised. Salani was sentenced to a forced labour camp over the border in Bernau am Chiemsee, working on parts for the V-1 rockets. With another inmate, Salani escaped. However they got on the wrong train and ended up in Berlin rather than Italy. When they were recaptured the friend ran and was shot dead: Salani was this time, October 1944, deported to the Dachau concentration camp, and had to wear a Pink Triangle. Salani had the task of marking corpses with number plates and transporting them to the crematorium or mass grave on carts. The camp was liberated by US troops 29 April 1945. While many inmates were compelled into death marches away from the camp as US troops approached, Salani was in a group that was lined up and machine-gunned. Salani was hit in the leg but was found alive under some dead inmates. 

The Salani family was amazed at her return and actually threw a party in celebration, but the estrangement over her gender continued. She left Bologna, worked for a while in a drag show, and worked as a prostitute. In Turin she managed to find work in an upholstery shop that employed women – unusual at that time. Lucy made trips to Paris and met trans women there. In the 1980s she accompanied two trans friends to London where they had transgender surgery, and later she also had the operation. However she was left with no sensation in the genital area.

At the end of the 1980s, Lucy returned to Bologna to look after her elderly parents. By the 2010s she was living alone, until discovered by LGBT groups, Movimento Identità Trans and Arcigay. She became an advocate for concentration camp survivors criticising how they were ignored and forgotten. She did receive 5 million lira (less than €3000) compensation. She applied to enter retirement homes but was rejected in that she did not have a male body to use male toilets, and could not use the female ones in that it said ‘male’ on her identity papers.

In 2009 Gabriella Romano published Lucy’s biography in book form, and two years later as a documentary film. Lucy was featured in two other films: Felice chi è diverso and C'è un soffio di vita soltanto, and appeared on various television programs.

On 2020 Lucy was awarded the Turrita di Bronzo from the city of Bologna.

She died in 2023, at the age of 98.

  • Gabriella Romano. Il mio nome è Lucy: L’Italia del XX secolo nei ricordi di una transessuale. Donzelli Editore, 2009 .
  • Gabriella Romano (dir) Essere Lucy with Lucy Salani, Italy 2011.
  • Gianna Amelio (dir). Felice chi è diverso, with Lucy Salani. Italy 93 mins 2014. IMDB 

  • Matteo Botrugno & Daniele Coluccini (dir). C'è un soffio di vita soltanto, with Lucy Salani. Italy 95 mins 2021. IMDB.
  • Noemi di Leonardo. “Addio a Lucy Salani, unica transessuale sopravvissuta al lager di Dachau”. Bologna Today, 22 Marzo 2023. Online.

IT.Wikipedia           DE.Wikipedia

08 March 2023

Oli London (1990 - ) influencer, temporary trans person

London was born and raised in London. In 2013 he went to Seoul, Korea to teach English. He took to the South Korean culture and their music, and especially became obsessed with Jimin of the boy band BTS. 

London underwent 18 cosmetic surgeries in S Korea, China, Poland and Armenia costing over $150,000 to resemble Jimin. In November 2019 he appeared on the US reality show Botched, and discussed his operations. He was warned that after five rhinoplasties another risked necrosis and the loss of his nose, and they declined to operate on him. By this time London was a famous ‘influencer’ with ‘millions’ of followers on Tiktok and Instagram, and released several KPop style records.

By 2021 London publicly identified as a non-binary Korean – to backlash in Korea where they was criticised as merely using Korea for fame and attention. In August 2022, by which time they had had 32 surgeries, they apologised to Jimin and other Asians that such obsessive emulation was wrong. 

By that time London had announced that she was a genderfluid trans woman, and had married porn-actor Danny Richardson. She intended to get surgeries to look like the female Korean singer Rosé. She talked about going to Bangkok for genital surgery and breast implants- but she never started on female hormones. 

However by October London had changed his mind, reverted to being male and using male pronouns and divorced his husband. Around the same time he visited a church and started reading the Bible. He has been embraced by conservatives and Christians, has adopted their negative attitude to trans persons, and has a book coming out about his life and his new opinions. He has jumped on the bandwagon of condemming the Scottish self-id law despite similar laws working just fine in Argentina, Ireland and many other countries.


Of course one cannot detransition if one has not transitioned. A few months of claiming to be trans on social media is not in itself transition. London could have called his book A Change of Mind or even Changeback (a wider term than Detransition) – but he never stuck with it long enough to call it Detransition

We should note that while London had extensive homeogender surgery, he had no transgender surgery. 

Why is it that so many of those who start on the transgender journey and find that it is not for them, then want to prohibit it for other persons?   For other examples click, .

  • “BTS Jimin Superfan Oli London appears on U.S. TV Show E! Botched”. All K Pop, November 13, 2019. Online.
  • Peter Conte. “BTS fan Oli London's shocking transformation to look like K-Pop idol”., Nov 19, 2019. Online.
  • “Oli London identifies as a Non-Binary Korean and netizens angered as they believe he doesn't really like South Korea or Jimin but he's just using them for attention” Allkpop, June 25, 2021. Online.
  • Angie Hernandez. “Influencer Oli London Apologizes for Getting Surgery to Look Like BTS’ Jimin”. E! Online, Sep 01, 2022. Online.
  • Angie Hernandez. “Influencer Oli London Shares He’s Detransitioning Back to Male“. E! Online, Oct 14, 2022. Online.
  • Oli London. “Oli London: I’ve rejected my trans identity to follow Jesus. Now I want to be baptised”. Premier Christianity, 1 November 2022. Online.
  • Edie Heipel. “De-transitioner Oli London shares conversion to Christianity”. Catholic News Agency, Nov 4, 2022. Online.
  • “British Influencer Oli London Files For Divorce After Just 7 Months Of Marriage After Admitting Resemblance to Kpop Star Was An Attraction”. Towleroad, January 16, 2023. Online.
  • John James. “I spent £250,000 to look like a Korean woman... but I've gone back to being a MAN: 'De-transitioner's journey to the opposite gender and back again”. Daily Mail, 26 February 2023. Online.
  • Oli London. Detransition: a memoir. Skyhorse Publishing, 2023.

EN.Wikipedia    IMDB     Spotify

05 March 2023

Georgina Beyer (1957 - 2023) actress, sex worker, politician.

++Original version posted January 2013.

George Bertrand was a Maori of Te Ati Awa, Ngati Mutunga, Ngati Raukawa, and Ngati Porou descent.  A second child was adopted out.  The father quickly disappeared, and the elder was at first raised on the mother's parents farm. He became George Beyer when his mother Noeline remarried in 1962 to Colin Beyer, a lawyer who later became a Securities Commissioner, and they moved to Wellington.

From 1969-71 George attended the all-boys Wellesley College where he was a few years behind Claudia McKay who was an activist with the trans group Agender (archive).

Noeline and Colin separated in 1971. Young Beyer began acting while at school, and left at 16 intending to be an actor.

A year later Georgina started living as female. She worked as a drag queen, stripper and prostitute in Wellington and in Sydney, Australia. At one point she was beaten and gang-raped. However she persevered and completed transition in 1984.

She acted on stage and in several television productions, and was nominated for best actress in the New Zealand Gofta Awards for her part in Jewel's Darl, 1985.

She moved to rural Carterton (map) and found work as a radio host and social worker. She was quite open about her gender history:
"Children would say to me, 'Are you that queer that's moved into town?' I would say 'Yes, I'm a transsexual. I used to be a man, but I'm a woman now.'"
Georgina was elected to a local school board, and lost in an attempt for the town council by only 14 votes. She was elected mayor in 1995, and then in 1999 ran as the Wairarapa Labour candidate for Parliament. As a left-wing Maori trans woman it was not expected that she would win in such a traditionally conservative district. However, her opponent's negative campaign strategy backfired, and Beyer won the seat. In her maiden speech she said:
"Mr. Speaker, I can't help but mention the number of firsts that are in this Parliament. Our first Rastafarian [Nándor Tánczos]… our first Polynesian woman… and yes, I have to say it, I guess, I am the first transsexual in New Zealand to be standing in this House of Parliament. This is a first not only in New Zealand, ladies and gentlemen, but also in the world. This is an historic moment. We need to acknowledge that this country of ours leads the way in so many aspects. We have led the way for women getting the vote. We have led the way in the past, and I hope we will do so again in the future in social policy and certainly in human rights."
In 2003 she helped to pass the Prostitution Reform Act, which made New Zealand laws on prostitution a liberal model. She opened her speech:

"Madam Speaker, I shall take the liberty of assuming that I am the only member of this House with first-hand knowledge of the sex industry".
In 2004 she was a proponent of the Civil Union Bill, which gave the rights of marriage to same-sex couples. She also attempted to introduce a private members Bill to add 'Gender Identity' to the Human Rights Act of 1993, but found herself alone when the acting Solicitor General opined that trans people were already covered by the Act, and the amendment was unnecessary. However she did persuade both the Solicitor General and the Attorney General to sign a statement to that effect, thereby putting that interpretation into law.

She has been a Justice of the Peace since 1997. She was also named Supreme Queer of the Year in 2000. In 2005, she stepped down as a representative for Wairarapa because of a conflict with her identity as a Maori with respect to the Seabed and foreshore legislation. She became a list Labour MP until 2007.

There had been a series of murders in Wairarapa in the early 2000s, and and she worked as a member of Violence-Free Wairarapa. Unlike other ex-MPs she was unable to get a position on any government boards despite Labour still being in power. She considered returning to show business, but without success.
Beyer was a Keynote speaker at the First International Conference on LGBT Human Rights in Montreal, 2006, the Asia Pacific Outgames Human Rights Conference in Melbourne, 2008, and at the Second International in Copenhagen, 2009, and at Egale Canada's Human Rights Trust in Toronto, 2010. A film based on her life, Girl, was made in 2008.

In 2010 there was talk of her running for mayor of Masterton, which lost her her job at a local jewellors. In 2011 she was living on unemployment benefits, and had been obliged to sell her house.


In 2013 Georgina was diagnosed with end stage renal failure, required dialysis four times a day, seven days a week.  Despite this she ran, albeit unsuccessfully, in the 2014 general election for the Mana Party in the Te Tai Tonga constituency.  However she was critical of Mana’s alliance with the Internet Party which was dominated by Kim Dotcom.

In 2017 She received a kidney transplant, and, no longer needing dialysis, was able to resume public appearances.

In 2020 Georgina was  appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to LGBTIQA+ rights.

Georgina Beyer died in a Hospice in Wellington in March 2023.

  • Georgina Beyer with Cathy Casey. Change for the better: the story of Georgina Beyer. Auckland: Random House New Zealand, 163 pp 1999.
  • Peter Wells & Annie Goldson (dir) Georgie Girl. With Georgina Beyer. NZ 2001.
  • Matt & Andrej Koymasky. "Georgina Beyer". The Living Room, March 12th 2004. Online.
  • Ryan Brown-Haysom. “Beyer Beware”. Critic Magazine. 2005
  • Matt Akersten. "She'll be right - Georgina Beyer keeps it Kiwi". GayNZ, 23rd November 2008. Online.
  • Jack Barlow. "Former MP Georgina Beyer unemployed". Stuff, 17/12/2011. Online.
  • Joseph Romanos."Georgina Beyer : From drag queen to Member of Parliament". New Zealand's Top 100 History-Makers. Wellington: Trio Books, 2012.
  • “Georgina Beyer: First transsexual in the world to be elected deputy”. Trans.Ilga. Online.
  • Danya Levy. "Boys' school with two 'old girls' ". Stuff, 22/03/2012. Online.
  •   “New Zealand: World’s first trans MP suffering kidney failure”.  Pink News, May 05 2013.  Online
  • David Herkt.  “Georgina Beyer: From boy to woman to warrior”.  NZ Herald, 12 Oct, 2018.  Online.
  • Bess Manson. “Georgina Beyer is back and ready for some fighting talk”. Stuff, Oct 13 2018.  Online.
  • Trailblazing MP Georgina Beyer dies aged 65”. 1News, 6 Mar 2023.  Online.
  •  World’s first openly transgender MP, Georgina Beyer, dies in New Zealand aged 65”,  Australian Associated Press, 6 Mar 2023.  Online.


The pinkwashing of Hershey's chocolate

There have been various articles about Hershey's using a trans model in an advertisement.

Personally when buying chocolate I always avoid Hershey's.  When I can get Ritter or Waterbridge, why would I even consider Hershey's?

However more seriously...

From Wikipedia:   

In 2019, Hershey announced that they could not guarantee that their chocolate products were free from child slave labor, as they could trace only about 50% of their purchasing back to the farm level. According to The Washington Post noted that the commitment taken in 2001 to eradicate such practices within four years had not been kept, neither at the due deadline of 2005, nor within the revised deadlines of 2008 and 2010, and that the result was not likely to be achieved for 2020.

In 2021, Hershey was named in a class action lawsuit filed by eight former child slaves from Mali who alleged that the company aided and abetted their enslavement on cocoa plantations in Ivory Coast. The suit accused Hershey (along with NestléCargillMars, IncorporatedOlam InternationalBarry Callebaut, and Mondelez International) of knowingly engaging in forced labor, and the plaintiffs sought damages for unjust enrichment, negligent supervision, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

In December 2022, Hersheys was subjected to a lawsuit over the amount of lead and cadmium in the company's products, especially the Special Dark bar, the 70% Lily Bar, and the 85% Lily Bar. The lawsuit alleges that the company failed to warn consumers about the amount of metal in the bars and is based on findings published by the Consumer Reports magazine in the United States.


The fact that Hershey's used a trans model is not something to be celebrated.  It is an embarrassment.

18 February 2023

Toni Simon (1887 - 1979) cafe owner, high voltage tester, pornography smuggler

Simon was raised in Thuringia with the name of Anton. Father was a blacksmith. Even as a child Simon wore girls’ clothes whenever possible, and was pleased to do housework for mother. At age 17 Simon volunteered for the cavalry to avoid service in the infantry where his ‘girlish’ gait would be mocked, but was mocked anyway. After three years of service, Simon became a machinist in a bicycle factory. A marriage to a woman in 1908 resulted in five children. Simon worked in breweries and tanneries, went to sea as a stoker and herring fisherman, and worked as a bridge builder in northern cities such as Kiel, Wilhelmshaven and Bremen. When the war started in August 1914 Simon was running a business selling newspapers and maps – which was taken over by his wife when he was conscripted. After 1918 Simon opened a restaurant in the Ruhr area, and in 1923 opened Café 4711 in Essen's Segerothstraße, which also acted as a “neuer Damenklub” for Essen’s transvestites. Herr and Frau Simon separated in 1927 and their divorce was finalised in 1932. 

Simon was arrested several times for illegal beer sales from the secret bottle cellar of Café 4711. In August 1929, Simon was summoned to appear before the Essen district court, and appeared in women's clothes. The judge found this "improper", and imposed an administrative fine of 100 marks. Simon's appearance caused a stir not only in the Ruhr press, but also in the Berlin transvestite scene. Simon wrote an account which appeared in the magazine Die Freundin (The Girlfriend – a lesbian magazine with trans content) asking whether he should appear again "als Dame (as a lady)" at the next trial. A reader from Upper Bavaria, who would also "rather be a woman", expressed indignation at the judgement of the Essen district court and recommended that Simon obtain official permission to wear female clothing, a Transvestitenschein.

Toni Simon in the 1930s

In June 1930 Simon had written to the Friedrich Radszuweit (1876-1932) publishing house advising against a new magazine especially for transvestites in that "A transvestite doesn't read a transvestite magazine, because he'd rather spend his money on nice stockings". 

By then Simon was undergoing a deep personal crisis, and turned to Elsbeth Ebertin (more) (1880-1944) the most prominent of the first female astrologers and a prolific author who had achieved fame after she drew up a horoscope on an unnamed person who was later revealed to be Adolf Hitler, and who had published a book on homosexuality in 1909 (Auf Irrwegen der Liebe) where she counted transvestites among a sixth group of homosexuals: those who are "all too in need of love", and who only stray into "sexual aberrations" out of the "exuberance of their feelings" or out of "sexual need".

Simon told Ebertin how she had wanted to be a girl since early childhood, had often had thoughts of suicide, transvested on the street, and how having been in love only three times, always with a woman, but often fantasized about love with men. Simon claimed to have been the editor of a transvestite magazine (but which one was not specified). The actual editors of Die Freundin had been incensed by the letter to Radszuweit, but otherwise supported Simon who was open about transvesting, freely used her name and provided photographs. 

By 1932 Simon was completely impoverished and had had to close Café 4711. At the Essen criminal court 19 January 1932 Simon als Dame presented a Transvestitenschein. The charges of serving alcohol without permission, organising public dances and "insulting public officials in a way that was dangerous to the public" were upheld, but the charge of “groben Unfugs (gross mischief)” was dropped given that the accused had a Transvestitenschein. Simon was fined 25 marks. 

Based on the letters and newspaper articles that Simon had provided, Elsbeth Ebertin wrote a pamphlet Mann oder Frau! Das Schicksal einer Abenteurer-Natur (Man or Woman:The Fate of an Adventurer's Nature) which told of Simon and included two photographs and was published in Hamburg.

After the Nazi takeover in 1933, Simon’s Transvestitenschein was cancelled. After a short prison sentence, Simon emigrated to Spain, but returned after the outbreak of the Civil War in 1936, and obtained work as a fitter.

23 October 1937 Anton Simon was charged by the Special Court of Stuttgart with “Heimtücke (insidiousness - political insult according to § 2 paras. 1 and 2 of the Nazi law of 20 December 1934)” having been denounced for criticizing the then government as idiots and rascals. Simon was sentenced to one year in prison – this was served in the Rottenburg am Neckar prison. 11 May 1938 Simon was granted amnesty on the basis of the "Law on Obtaining Immunity from Punishment" of 30 April 1938 and the remaining sentence was commuted to three years' probation. After release, Simon worked in a metal processing company.

Simon was convicted again and imprisoned for six months in the Welzheim police prison/concentration camp at the end of 1939.

Toni Simon in the 1950s
In 1949 Simon was living in a caravan in Swabia and applied for reparations under the 1949 compensation law for the time in the Rottenburg prison and in the Welzheim police prison as well as for the three years spent in Spanish exile. The proceedings dragged on into 1952, with repeated appeals against the court decisions. Simon’s lawyer repeatedly obtained freeze periods during which the proceedings were suspended, while Simon was to produce new evidence, but was unable to do so. The previous convictions, especially the pre-1933 ones counted against her application.

Simon worked as a tester of high-voltage pylons. In this, and in the applications for reparations, she was referred to as Anton and Herr Simon. At the same time she was considered as a survivor of the pre-war queer scene in Stuttgart, and worked with the gay group Kameradschaft die runde which met in Stuttgart pubs. She arranged meetings and dances, and ‘Toni Simon’ was mentioned in advertisements in the local press. Her Transvestitenschein had been restored in 1951.

She supplemented her pension in the 1950s by smuggling in queer pornography from Denmark which at that time had a more liberal attitude to such publications.

Toni Simon died age 92.

  • Toni Simon. „Angeklagter in Frauenkleidern. Die Welt der Transvestiten“. Die Freundin, 5,13, 1929.
  • Elsbeth Ebertin. Mann oder Frau! Das Schicksal einer Abenteurer-Natur. Dreizack-Verlag, 1933.
  • Rainer Herrn. Schnittmuster des Geschlechts: Transvestitismus und Transsexualität in der frühen Sexualwissenschaft. Psychosozial-Verlag, 2005: 140, 144.
  • Raimund Wolfert: „Zu schön, um wahr zu sein: Toni Simon als ‚schwule Schmugglerin‘ im dänisch-deutschen Grenzverkehr“ Lambda Nachrichten 32, 133, 2010: 36–39. Online.
  • Katie Sutton. “ ‘We Too Deserve a Place in the Sun’: The Politics of Transvestite Identity in Weimar Germany”. German Studies Review, 35,2, 2012.
  • Julia Noah Munier & Karl-Heinz Steinle. “Wiedergutmachung von Transvestiten und Damenimitatoren nach 1945”. LSBTTIQ in Baden und Württemberg: Lebenswelten, Repression und Verfolgung im Nationalsozialismus und in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 21. Dezember 2017. Online.
  • Karl-Heinz Steinle. “Toni Simon, geb. als Anton Simon”. Sie machen Geschichte: Lesbische, Schwule, Bisexuelle, Transsexuelle, Transgender, Intersexuelle, Queere, Menschen in Baden Württemberg.:22-3. Online.

12 February 2023

Did Hirschfeld coin the word and concept ‘transsexual’?

It is often claimed that Magnus Hirschfeld in 1923 anticipated David Cauldwell (1949) and Harry Benjamin (1953) in coining the term ‘transsex*’ by using the expression ‘seelischer transsexualismus’ or ‘seelischen transsexualismus’, either of which can be rendered in English as psychic, psychological or mental transsexuality,

However this is not really the case.

First some of the claims that he did:

Transgender Tapestry, 79 Summer 1997 p9.

“In this paper, ‘The Intersexual Constitution’, published in the Yearbook for Sexual Intermediate Stages 1923, he became the first researcher to distinguish what he called “transsexualism” from transvestism. He described transsexualism as the adoption of the gender role opposite to their sex by men or women who held an unswerving conviction they were assigned to an incorrect sex. That was a pretty good effort at the time and in the pertaining social environment.”
  • Pamela L. Caughie and Sabine Meyer. “Introduction”. Lili Elbe: Man into Woman: A Comparative Scholarly Edition.2020:15. 
"Hirschfeld first used the term “transsexualism” (Transsexualismus), a subcategory of the term “transvestitism,” in his 1923 essay “The Intersexual Constitution” published in The Yearbook for Sexual Intermediaries. In this paper, he defines transsexualism as the adoption of the gender role opposite to their sex by men or women who held an unswerving conviction they were assigned to the wrong sex. The new term (seelischer Transsexualismus, or mental transsexualism) served to distinguish those who see themselves as the other sex (“neurological gynandromorphs”), no matter what their primary or secondary sex characteristics may be, from physiological hermaphrodites.”
  • Katie Sutton. Sex between Body and Mind: Psychoanalysis and Sexology in the German-speaking World, 1890s–1930s. University of Michigan Press, 2019: 177.
“Nonetheless, Hirschfeld did acknowledge at least the theoretical possibility that male-to-female transvestite tendencies could also coincide with homosexual desires, as in a 1923 article he defined the five chief varieties of transvestism as heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual, narcissistic, and asexual, and also introduced the term ‘psychological transsexualism’ (seelischer Transsexualismus), paving the way for later, more surgically oriented discourses.”
  • Aaron Devor & Aedel Haefele-Thomas. Transgender: A Reference Handbook. ABC-Clio, 2019: 47. 
“The pioneering German Jewish sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld published what was probably the first scientific article using a German variant term (seelischer transsexualismus)”.
  • Andreas Krass „Queer Fictions of Berlin”. In Janin Afken & Benedikt Wolf. Sexual Culture in Germany in the 1970s, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019: 81. 
"And in 1923, Hirschfeld coined the term ‘mental transsexualism’ (seelischer Transsexualismus) thus for the first time separating transsexuality from transvestism and homosexuality.”
  • Franziska Hofmann in her Transsexualität. Wenn Körper und Seele nicht zusammenpassen, 2008: 
"In his sexual science résumé Geschlechtskunde, Hirschfeld describes the desire for a sex change as an extreme form of transvestitism. He coined the term "seelischer Transsexualismus" for it and used it to describe people who try to adapt to the other sex not only through clothing but also physically. However, he used the terms transvestitism and transsexualism synonymously.”
  • Rainer Hernn. Schnittmuster des Geschlechts: Transvestitismus und Transsexualität in der frühen Sexualwissenschaft. Psychosozial-verlag, 2005: 219-200. 
“The fact that Benjamin knew Hirschfeld's work very well and was aware of the sex changes carried out at the Institute as well as the use of the term "seelischer Transsexualismus" (Hirschfeld 1923, p. 14), must have been a sign of such intensive contact. … It is very surprising that he nevertheless does not pay due tribute to Hirschfeld as the originator of the term "transsexual" and does not refer to the Institute's practice of gender reassignment with a single syllable

Let us see what Hirschfeld actually wrote. 

He gave a lecture, Die intersexuelle Konstitution at the Hygienic Institute of the University of Berlin on 16 March 1923, which was then printed in the Jahrbuch fur sexuelle Zwischenstufen:

“Verfolgen wir die Intersexualität von der Homosexualität aus über die gynandromorphe Körperlichkeit und den seelischen Transsexualismus nach beiden Seiten weiter, so gelangen wir in lückenhafter Konstitutionsreihe auf der einen Reihe zu den Vorstufen des Hermaphroditismus, auf der anderen zu der metatropischen Gefühlseinstellung gegenüber dem andern Geschlecht, der Agressionsinversion.“

Which is rendered into English by DeepL translation software as:

“If we follow intersexuality from homosexuality via gynandromorphic corporeality and psychological transsexualism to both sides, we arrive at the preliminary stages of hermaphroditism, on the one hand, and the metatropic emotional attitude towards the opposite sex, the inversion of aggression, on the other.”

Hirschfeld does not define “seelischen Transsexualismus”, here or anywhere else. It would seem to mean intersex conditions without physical causation and therefore would include homosexuality, transvestism and transsexuality. He is certainly not using the term as Cauldwell and Benjamin did 30 years later to distinguish trans persons wishing surgical and hormonal changes from oscillating cross-dressers.

Apparently Hirschfeld never used the term a second time.

In my opinion Benjamin did not pay due tribute to Hirschfeld as the originator of the term "transsexual", as Herrn says that he should have, in that Benjamin did not regard Hirschfeld’s odd usage in Die intersexuelle Konstitution as using the word in the same way.

The Coining of Words

To coin a term you have to a) be one of the first to use the term b) use it almost in the same way as it is later used by other writers or speakers.

(As we have discussed elsewhere Virginia Prince did not coin ‘transgender’ in that a) she was not the first to use it, b) on the very few times she did use it, she used it in a very idiosyncratic way c) she remained very antagonistic to its inclusive usage.)

(Hirschfeld did not coin any ‘transv*’ words in that such had been in use in Italian, French and English since the 17th century and even earlier. Hirschfeld’s first transv* word, i.e. Transvestitenschein, was copied from the French term and practice of Permission de Travestissement which the French police had been issuing since 1800.)

Some writers who read Die intersexuelle Konstitution as I do.

“It seems useful to clarify that, when Cauldwell used the words ‘psychopathia transexualis’, he described the condition known today as transsexualism. But when Hirschfeld used the words seelischer Transsexualismus he did not define the meaning of these words and did not describe the condition known today as transsexualism; in this paper he studied ‘die intersexuelle Konstitution’, and in his works in general he spoke of Transvestiten. It took about ten years after 1953 for the distinction between transvestism and transsexualism to be clearly adopted.”
  • Joanne Meyerowitz. How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States. Harvard University Press, 2002: 19. 
“He [Hirschfeld] considered transvestism “a harmless inclination,” and he included in the transvestite group those with crossgender identification as well as those who crossdressed. (In an article published in 1923, Hirschfeld used the term seelischen Transsexualismus, or spiritual transsexualism, which he associated with a form of “inversion,” but he did not use the word transsexual the way we use it today. For people who hoped to change their sex, he used the word transvestite.)”
  • Susan Faludi. In the Dark Room. Henry Holt and Company, 2016 : 156. 
“In a journal article in 1923, Hirschfeld remarked that some of his transvestite patients were expressing feelings that might be described as “seelischer Transsexualismus,” or spiritual transsexualism, but he wasn’t referring to the condition the word denotes today. He never separated out transsexuality as a category or regarded it as an identity.”

Uses of the word Transsexual* before 1950 that do not anticipate the modern usage.

1923 Magnus Hirschfeld – as discussed above.

1928 Viennese mental hygienist Erwin Stransky. Subordination, Autorität, Psychotherapie: Eine Studie vom Standpunkt des klinischen Empirikers. Vienna: Julius Springer, 1928 used the twinned terms Transsexualität/Asexualität, the former being a variation on Freud’s Pansexualismus.

1948 Alfred Kinsey, Wardel Pomeroy & Clyde Martin. Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. W B Saunders Company, 1948: 612. 

“The term homosexual has had an endless list of synonyms in the technical vocabularies and a still greater list in the vernaculars. The terms homogenic love, contrasexuality, homo-erotism, similisexualism, uranism and others have been used in English. The terms sexual inversion, intersexuality, transsexuality, the third sex, psychosexual hermaphroditism, and others have been applied not merely to designate the nature of the partner involved in the sexual relation, but to emphasize the general opinion that individuals engaging in homosexual activity are neither male nor female, but persons of mixed sex. These latter terms are, however, most unfortunate, for they provide an interpretation in anticipation of any sufficient demonstration of the fact; and consequently they prejudice investigations of the nature and origin of homosexual activity.”

03 February 2023

Countries where trans persons may self-id (no psychiatric or other medial assessment or treatment required)

2010 Council of Europe resolution calling for self-id

2012 Argentina

2014 Denmark

Slightly out of date: add Spain & Finland

Amnesty appealed for "quick, accessible and transparent procedures and in accordance with their own perceptions of gender identity"

2015 Colombia




2016 Bolivia (a psychological examination attesting that the petitioner consents is required)


2017 Belgium


         Newfoundland & Labrador

         France (application to a court is required)

2018 Brazil

         Costa Rica (after a ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights)


States and provinces not shown


2019 Uruguay





          Nova Scotia

2022 Switzerland



         British Columbia

         Scotland (vetoed by UK Govt)

2023 New Zealand/Aotearoa

Note re Mexico:  No national law as such, but 20 states/cities have introduced self-id.

2014 Mexico City

2017 Michoacan


2018 Coahuila

2019 Hidalgo

         San Luis Potosi





2020 Sonora


        Quintana Roo

2021 Puebla

         Baja California Sur

         Mexico State/Edomex


2022 Baja California