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.

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!

17 March 2018

Daniela Vega Hernández (1989–) singer, actress

Vega was born in Santiago, Chile, with a father who owned a printing business. At age 8, teachers discovered that Vega had an aptitude for opera singing, which led to singing and acting in local productions. This was a safer space away from the all-boys school where Vega was bullied for being ‘effeminate’.

Performing at a Santiago nightclub allowed experimentation with glam and goth. At first androgynous, but increasingly feminine, by age 15 she identified herself as trans, and her family was immediately supportive. Her father later appeared with her on television talk shows.

In 2011 Daniela debuted in La mujer Mariposa, a one-woman stage show based on her own experiences of transitioning. This piece included her singing, and ran for eight years in Santiago. Her first movie role was in La visita, 2015 where she played a trans woman at her father’s wake.

She was approached by film director Sebastián Lelio who was developing a film about a trans woman, but actually did not know any such in Chile (Lelio lives in Berlin). At first she was a consultant to the film, but then it became obvious that she was ideal to play the lead role. The film became Una mujer fantástica (A Fantastic Woman), 2017. The protagonist must struggle against rejection and suspicion after her boyfriend dies.
Vega at Berlinale 2017

The film won much international acceptance including a Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, Best Actress at the Havana Film Festival, and Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. Daniela was also a presenter at the Academy Awards – the first openly trans person to do so.

Later in 2017 Daniela played a cis woman in Un domingo de julio en Santiago (A Sunday in July in Santiago).

“As far as her own identity goes, she has stated that if she were born again, she’d choose to be trans, not cisgender – and that she enjoys unsettling the kind of people who can’t cope with who she is. ‘It actually gives me a physical pleasure to annoy conservatives,’ she smiles. ‘I don’t have to be violent, I don’t have to insult anyone – my mere existence shakes those people up.’ " …" ’In Chile, you can’t legally change your gender identity in a straightforward way. If you want to change the name on your documents, you have to go to court.’ She could easily do that, but refuses to – that would mean recognising political oppression.” (Guardian interview)

IMDB    ES.Wikipedia   EN.Wikipedia   


The Spanish word 'mariposa' means 'butterfly' but it is also used to mean 'queer'.  So La mujer Mariposa can mean either A Butterfly Woman or A Queer Woman.

ES.Wikipedia has a very short account of Daniela's transition: "At age 15, Vega identified herself as a trans woman to her family, who immediately supported her."   While EN.Wikipedia is otherwise almost the same as ES.Wikipedia, even this little has disappeared. 

15 March 2018

Ayta Sözeri (1976 - ) actress.

Sözeri was born in Nuremberg, Germany. In 1982 the family moved back to İzmir (Smyrna).

Ayta had confirmation surgery in her early 20s. She did a business degree at Ege University and then studied Turkish music at Dokuz Eylül University, both in İzmir.

After working as a support vocalist, Ayta started getting acting roles in television and then in films. She has been in 13 television programs and in 5 films.

In March 2018 she was awarded as Best Female Actress In A Supporting Role at the 50 SIYAD (Film Critics Association) Awards Ceremony, for her role in Aile Arasında (Within the Family).

TR.Wikipedia     IMDB

08 March 2018

How did pink become a girly colour?

Things not mentioned in the video below:

In Dutch pinck means little  (cf pinkie finger).  A variety of the flower genus Dianthus  was called pinck-ooghen (little flower).  This was taken into English in the 1570s as a name for the Dianthus.

From this time pink or pinke was used for being at one's zenith, be it health or accomplishment.  'In the pink' meant strong and healthy, and by the sexist conventions of the time was applied mainly to boys and men.  This was reinforced by Thomas Pink, an 18th-century London tailor who specialised in the scarlet jackets used in fox hunting.  Here is an article from FoxHunting World on whether their jackets are pink, red or scarlet.

 "It is the very pink of hideousness and squalid misery"  wrote Charles Dickens in 1845, of an Italian town that he disliked.

"Pure white is used for all babies. Blue is for girls and pink is for boys, when a color is wished."(Ladies’ Home Journal, 1890)

"If you like the color note on the little one’s garments, use pink for the boy and blue for the girl, if you are a follower of convention." (The Sunday Sentinel, March 29, 1914)

"Pink or blue? Which is intended for boys and which for girls? This question comes from one of our readers this month, and the discussion may be of interest to others. There has been a great diversity of opinion on this subject, but the generally accepted rule is pink for the boy and blue for the girl. The reason is that pink being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy; while blue, which is more delicate and dainty is prettier for the girl. In later years the shade of pink has been much improved. Perhaps if we had had the delicate flesh tints when baby layettes were first sold, the rule might have been reversed. The nursery rhyme of‘‘ Little Boy Blue’’ is responsible for the thought that blue is for boys.  Stationers, too, reverse the colors, but as they sell only announcement cards and baby books, they cannot be considered authorities. If a customer is too fussy on this subject, suggest that she blends the two colors, an effective and pretty custom which originated on the other side, and which after all is the only way of getting the laugh on the stork." (The Infants’ Department, June, 1918, p. 161)

In 1922, Thomas Gainsborough's painting Blue Boy was acquired by the US magnate Henry Edwards Huntington for his art gallery in California.  He paid £182,200 (over £6 million today).  This created a huge outcry in Britain where it was a popular favourite in print reproductions.   Huntington hung the portrait in juxtaposition to Thomas Lawrence's Pinkie, and the two paintings were repeatedly associated.  The paintings were used as set decorations for many episodes of the American television show, Leave It to Beaver, (1957-63) which furthered the association.  This brought the association to those who don't read art criticism. 

Smocked pink Polly Flinders baby dresses were popular for girls in the 1940s, as little boy blue sailor suits were for boys. 

Mid-1980s:  pre-natal testing became available and parents, family and friends bought baby clothes specifically for a boy or a girl, rather than just for a baby.

Futher reading:

  • "PINK: A shockingly butch cultural history of the world's prissiest colour".  Toronto Star, Jan 09 2010'. 
  • Jeanne Maglaty.  "When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink? Every generation brings a new definition of masculinity and femininity that manifests itself in children’s dress".   Smithsonian, April 08, 2011.
  • J. B. Paoletti.   Pink and blue: Telling the boys from the girls in America.  Indiana University Press, 2012.   The major book on the topic.   She proposes that gender coding was inconsistent before the 1950s, but the current pink=girl/blue=boy took off after that. 
  • Marco Del Giudice.  "The Twentieth Century Reversal of Pink-Blue Gender Coding: A Scientific Urban Legend?"  Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41, 2012: 1321-3.   Argues against the reversal, and concludes: "Of course, the [Pink-Blue Reversal] PBR is a big stumbling block for biological explanations of gender-color associations; but far from being an established fact, the PBR shows many warning signs of a scientific urban legend. Uncritical acceptance of the PBR may have hindered theoretical and empirical progress in this fascinating area of research."
  • Lucy Waterlow.   "Too much in the pink! How toys have become alarmingly gender stereotyped since the Seventies... at the cost of little girls' self-esteem".  Daily Mail, 10 June 2013.  

ETYMONLINE      EN.Wikipedia   


The Wikipedia article concludes: "The reality is that 'pink for girls, blue for boys' has existed continuously since at least the 1820s, while 'blue for girls, pink for boys' is only recorded between 1889 and 1941." 

Marco Del Giudice attempts a case that attraction to blue or pink is somehow biological.   He is what John Money called biological devout.

Even if there was not actually a blue-pink reversal in the 1950s, it being the case that the two systems were in conflict earlier, we are still dealing with a social construction in that the pink for girls was unknown before the 1820s, and that it did not rule unchallenged 1889 to 1941.

The US is the dominant country associated with the colour reversal.  It is also in the US that the red-blue political colours have been reversed.  Red has been associated with socialism and communism since the French Revolution, and now (only in the US) it is the colour of the plutocratic party.  British viewers find it nicely ironic that Trump frequently wears what looks very much like a Labour Party tie.

02 March 2018

Lotte Hahm (1890 - 1967) activist, bar owner, ball organizer

Charlotte Hahm was born in Dresden. As Lotte – sometimes as Lothar - Hahm was a transvestite and lesbian activist in 1920s Berlin.

From 1926 she ran the DamenKlub Violetta which had 400 members. She often performed her own
cabaret act at the club. She hosted a New Year’s ball at the end of 1926, and her balls became part of the lesbian scene.

She sought to organize lesbians together with transvestites of both sexes. Newly arrived male-to-female transvestites were advised see Hahm for advice on where to buy female clothing.

From 1928, Hahm was head of the women’s group in the Bund für Menschenrecht (BfM; Union for Human rights – founded by gay publisher Friedrich Radszuweit (1876-1932) in 1923).

E.K., like Hahm, an out transvestite, wrote against the 1920s fashion of a skirt topped by a man’s jacket and tie. He wrote in Die Freundin (The Girlfriend – a women’s publication that contained material for both male and female transvestites):
“What good are tuxedos to me when they are not accompanied by trousers? I will do without the tuxedo, but not the trousers.”
In 1929 Hahm founded the Monbijou Association, which later in the same year was merged with Violetta after the members so voted. She founded the Transvestitenvereinigung D`Eon (Transvestite Association) for both male and female transvestites, and led it for a year. This was so successful that a few weeks later they had to find a larger meeting place. Later the Association had its own dance events at Violetta. Its events were reported in Die Freundin.

Radszuweit and Hahm launched a new association, Bund für ideale Freundschaft (“Union for ideal friendship”), whose statutes were published in Die Freundin, 22, 28 May 1930. Balls and parties were fun, and fine, but they must also think about fighting for their rights.

That was the same year that Hahm started organizing annual steamboat trips on the Spree river.

Later the same year, the sexologist Franz Scheda linked lesbianism and prostitution, and claimed that “50% of Berlin’s prostitutes are lesbians”. Hahm organized a rebuttal lecture.

Hahm left the BfM in 1931, and in 1932 opened the Manuela Bar, where she performed as a comic with an accordion.

That same year, Hansi (not Hansi Sturn, the Miss Eldorado of 1926) took a very different position to that of E.K. and Lotte. She wrote in Die Freundin:
“I declare that we are not transvestites, with only a few exceptions, we masculine women do not wear suits or shirts and ties in order to wear men’s clothing. We want to remain women, which is why we also wear skirts. It is only the masculine touch that we emphasize. Female transvestites are as rare to find as homosexual male transvestites.”
However change was coming. In late 1932, police licences were to be denied to bars where only homosexuals danced, and in 1933, all same-sex dancing was banned. The last issue of Die Freundin was 8 March 1933. By then the Nazi Party had become the government.

In 1935 a stranger approached Hahm in Alexanderplatz, and asked her to watch his baggage. She was then inspected by the Gestapo, who found communist flyers in the man's baggage. It is said that she had been denounced by the father of a lover, who may have been under age. Hahm was sent to the concentration camp for women at Moringen. Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler visited the camp in May 1937, and a few months later decided to close the camp and relocate its prisoners.

Hahm was one of the few who was released, albeit half-paralyzed, probably in 1938. She returned to Berlin and again organized social evenings for lesbians, but it did not last long.

In 1945, under the occupation she again led a women’s club. In 1958 she was part of a group that attempted to re-establish the BfM.

She died aged 77.
  • E.K. “Meinungsaustausch der Transvestiten”. Die Freundin, 13, 11 July 1927: 6.
  • Lotte Hahm. “Mondscheinfahrt fur unsere Frauen!”. Die Freundin, 25 June 1930: 6 .
  • Lotte Hahm. “Mondschein-Dampferpartie von ‘Violetta’” Die Freundin, 2 July 1930:5.
  • Hansi “Die Welt der Transvestiten”. Die Freundin, 23, 8 June 1932: 6.
  • Florence Tamagne. A history of homosexuality in Europe : Berlin, London, Paris, 1919-1939, volume I & II. Algora Publishing, 2006: 79, 364.
  • Katie Sutton. The Masculine Woman in Weimar Germany. Berghahn, 2011: 118-9.
  • Julie Nero. Hannah Höch, Til Brugman, Lesbianism, and Weimar Sexual Subculture. PhD Thesis Case Western Reserve University, 2013: 102n334, 155, 374.
  • Marti M. Lybeck. Desiring Emancipation: New Women and Homosexuality in Germany, 1890–1933. SUNY Press, 2014: 151-2, 163, 165-7, 181, 187, 195-6, 231 n2,3.
  • Laurie Marhoeffer. Sex and the Weimar Republic: German Homosexual Emancipation and the Rise of the Nazis. University of Toronto Press, 2015: 56-8, 62-5, 200.



Pronouns.   There is no mention that Lotte asked to be addressed by male pronouns.   So in German Hahm was sie not er.   Being also active in feminist organizing, it would have been difficult to take the extra steps into masculinity.   While Virginia Prince combined transvestity with men's rights, Prince was never involved with the men's rights organizations of the period, and is not at all mentioned in the men's liberation books of the 1970s and 1980s.

Hansi's dress style combining a skirt and stockings with men's jackets and ties was common in the 1920s.  So it was more a fashion statement than identity expression.    Almost all of the photographs of Radclyffe Hall show her in a skirt.

There is no mention at all of Lotte Hahm in Halberstam's Female Masculinity.