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!

05 August 2020

The W. v W. Anullment Trial, 2000

​W is an anonymising initial issued by the judge, William Charles, in the case, and does not reflect their real names.  We have no other name or pseudonym to refer to the persons.

W was born 1947, in the North of England.  Because she had indeterminate genitals, the parents were asked did they want to raise a boy or a girl.  The father chose ‘boy’.   A year later the child was adopted by a cousin of the mother and her husband. The child was raised male but opted for girl toys and female clothing whenever she could.

At secondary school she refused to shower with the boys and to wear the boys’ uniform.  The school compromised and allowed her to wear a female top.  By age 15 she had noticeable breasts and a female body shape. The adoptive father convinced the family doctor to administer testosterone injections.  W resisted and had to be held down by the adoptive father.  There was no effect and when the adoptive father proposed increased dosage and frequency, and surgery to remove the breasts, W ran away and lived as a girl. However she was found and returned home.

At age 17 W ran away for good.  She lived with a man in Manchester, apparently alternating genders, but he complained that she was too feminine, and the relationship ended.

W was scheduled for correction surgery at age 23, but this was postponed indefinitely because of a cerebrovascular accident. It was not until 1980 that she started on oral oestrogen.  She finally had correction surgery in 1987 with a ‘Dr D’.

She married in 1990, and shortly afterwards had a Trachea Shave to reduce her Adams Apple. However the marriage did not last, and ended after two years. It was annulled on the basis that she was not female -- this was on the persuasion of her then solicitor that that was the cheapest way to end the marriage.

A second marriage in 1993, which gave the husband the right to remain in the UK, lasted three years and they were divorced in 1997.  She had had a breast augmentation in 1996.

The husband further applied in 1998 for an annulment so that he could re-marry in church – although he remarried before his case came to court in October 2000. This time Mrs W defended against such an annulment, which would declare her legally male, and thus would interfere with her application for a revised birth certificate, and her future freedom to marry. Both parties jointly instructed Dr Conway, a consultant endocrinologist. Information was sought and obtained from ‘Dr D’ as to W’s anatomical details prior to surgery.  Justice Charles found that she easily fell into the intersex exception as per the Corbett test: emphasis was placed on the natural lack of congruence of the chromosomes, gonads and genitals. Conway also gave in evidence the opinion that if Mrs W had been born in a later decade, she would have been raised as a female.   Justice Charles copied much of Justice Roger Ormrod had written in 1971 in the Corbett v Corbett case.

Thus the Respondent was declared to be legally female, and her ex-husband’s application to have the marriage declared void was thus refused.




‘Dr D’ ?= James Dalrymple?.

Dr Conway stated that “It is extremely difficult to be conclusive about an original diagnosis of an intersex state after  surgery has been completed", but suggested that W had partial androgen insensitivity which is why the enforced testosterone injections failed to have any effect.

Whether you regard W as intersex or a transkid, she was badly failed by the medical system in the  1970s.  There was a Manchester gender clinic at Witherington Hospital from 1972 and a TV/TS group in the city from 1973.   W should have been offered an early transition, and not have had to wait until almost middle-age.

As W had not had her birth certificate revised before either of her two marriages, she was at risk of being charged that in violation of the Perjury Act, 1911, she had “knowingly and wilfully caused a false statement to be entered in a register of marriage”, as Victor Barker had been so convicted in 1929.  The authorities sensibly did not so charge her.

03 August 2020

Trans men listed in the press in 1902

​In April 1902 various newspapers published an article that was merely a list of trans men who had come to public notice. The headlines varied.

The St Louis Republic newspaper published “Forty Three Women who have Posed as Men”, April 27 1902. Online.

For the Sunday Times of Perth, WA, it was “Strange Mysteries of Wedded Life: Women Who have posed as Husbands”. Online.

The opening paragraph: “Within a year six women have been discovered, in America alone, who have successfully masqueraded as men; have gone through a legal form of marriage and even posed as the fathers of families. Upwards of a score of similar cases have come to public attention recently in different parts of the world. There have been forty-three instances of women posing as husbands within the last ten years. One medical authority claims that one woman in every 3,000 is a victim of this peculiar mania.”

1 in 3,000 is of course much higher than the 1 in 100,000 that would be so uncritically repeated in the late 20th century.

It then goes on to give a list.   When the writer knows the long unused female name he gives it.  In the list below I give the male if I know it.



πŸ‘‰ William Howard of Canandaigua, New York, who died 33 March 1902 after forty years of legal marriage. He left three children.

πŸ‘‰George Green of Petersburg, Virginia, originally from England, died age 74. He lived as male for sixty years, and had been married for thirty-five, blessed by the Roman Catholic Church. He worked as a manual laborer, including in the mines in Pennsylvania.

πŸ‘‰ Murray Hall of New York who had died the previous year and whom we have discussed in detail.  GVWW.

πŸ‘‰ Charles W Hall, originally of Massachusetts, was returning with his wife from Europe for New York, when he died on board ship from complications due to alcoholism. The writer does not give his male name.  GVWW.

πŸ‘‰ The writer claims the Chevalier d’Eon as a woman passing as a man!

πŸ‘‰ Frank Wayne of the US Army killed in battle in 1862.

πŸ‘‰ Franklin Thompson a soldier in the Second Michigan regiment.

πŸ‘‰ Charles D Fuller of the Forty-sixth Pennsylvania during the US Civil War.

πŸ‘‰ A “Mrs L N Blaylock of the Twenty-sixth North Carolina”, also during the Civil War. The writer does not give Blaylock’s male name.

πŸ‘‰ Christian Canenagh with the British Army in the Netherlands. Canenagh fought a duel with a superior officer, and after being outed, remained with the regiment as a cook.

πŸ‘‰ James Barry, military surgeon. GVWW.

πŸ‘‰ John Taylor, said here to be a steward on a trans-Atlantic liner. Actually he was a cabin boy in the French and English navies in turn during the revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. GVWW.

πŸ‘‰ Christian Walsh, in English Army.

πŸ‘‰ Felix Francoine of the Hungarian Army, who despite being outed at death, was buried with full military honours.

πŸ‘‰ Countess Carlotta May of Austria (male name not given) was ‘notorious’ in the 1890s for male clothes and activities, and was engaged to marry a woman. But then dramatically reverted to womanhood, female clothing and married a Count.

πŸ‘‰ Tony Teesa who worked in a hat factory in Yonkers.

πŸ‘‰ A person who had recently died age 103, who had kept a tavern near London for 17 years until one day a pauper was brought in who recognized his long lost wife.

-----

However this does not add up to 43 – only 17 by my count.

02 August 2020

Navigating the GVWW Encyclopedia


The Gender Variant Who’s Who Encyclopedia has been going since 2007.   There are in excess of 1500 entries, and thus some navigation aids are required.


Ways of navigating:

a)     Start with the most current and read each entry in reverse chronological fashion.  No-one is known to have reached the earliest entry this way.

b)      In any search engine:   “whatever” site:https://zagria.blogspot.com.    

c)     There is a site search box at the top-left-hand corner, and another in the sidebar.   This works quite well.

d)    The Indices.  There are three.  By default you are in the “main mode".   See the Horizontal menu close to the top of the page if in a browser, or the drop-down menu if on a phone.  There are 11 other modes.   The first three are Index, Media Index and Place Index.   These three are updated at the end of each quarter.  
The first contains a list of all persons for whom there are entries.  They are sorted by occupation and/or avocation.   There is a section on the different kinds of Changing Back; on traditional third gender roles, and on other groupings (Pansy Craze, Imperial Court, Eurovision, Sexology Magazine, HBIGDA/WPATH, IFGE, Autogynephilia, HBS etc).   A Section on Legal Cases;  A section on Cis persons who are found in our history:  doctors, lawyers, spouses, nemeses, etc.
  1.    The second index is media:  Books, Film and Television, Music, Untruths, Pictures, Lists.
  The third Index is Place:  London, Paris, Casablanca, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Moscow, Dublin, New York, Chicago, Baltimore, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Trinidad in Colorado, Seattle, Portland, Atlanta, Toronto, Sydney, Buenos Aires, etc

e)     Internal Links.   Many of the articles have links to other articles.   This is probably the most fun way to navigate.  Just click on the link and go.

f)      Labels.   Most of the articles have labels at the bottom.   Click on any of the labels to go to other articles with the same label.  In addition, if you scroll to the very bottom, there is an alphabetical list of all labels with a count of the number of associated articles.   Again just click and go.

g)        In the sidebar there is an item, Popular Posts, which shows the most popular posts of the last seven days.

h)        Below that is a Blog Archive.   This allows you to select a month and then the articles published that month.   If you have navigated in by another method, you will notice that this archive is open for the month of the current article.


External Links.

All external links to other sites did work when an article was posted.  However as some articles are as much as 13 years old, some links have become dead and no longer work.   I suggest that readers have the Wayback Machine/Internet Archive extension/add on installed so that the archived version can be accessed. 



16 July 2020

Another calumny against Violet Morris

There is a new book just out on the major Nazi-sponsored criminal gang in Occupied Paris.
  • Christopher Othen. The King of Nazi Paris: Henri Lafont and the Gangsters of the French Gestapo. 2020.
According to Amazon, the back page reads:

Henri Lafont was a petty criminal who became the most powerful crook in Paris thanks to the Nazi occupation of France. A chance encounter in a prison camp led to a life of luxury running a ruthless mob of gangsters who looted the city on behalf of the Nazis, who recognised Lafont's talent for treachery and deceit. Lafont recruited 'the French Gestapo', a motley band of sadistic grotesques that included faded celebrities, ex-footballers, pimps, murderers, burglars and bank robbers. 
They wore the best clothes, ate at the best restaurants and did whatever they pleased. They lived on the exclusive rue Lauriston, where they mixed with celebrities and Nazi officers, while down in the cellar of their building, the rest of the gang tortured resistance prisoners. 
The unbalanced 'Crazy Pete' did it for information. Bisexual athlete Violette Morris, with her short hair and men's clothes and love of frail blondes, just liked to watch people in pain. 
By 1944, the gang ran a paramilitary outfit of Algerians and Moroccan nationalists in the south of France, raping, robbing and murdering the locals under the cover of fighting the resistance. Then the Allies came, and a terrible price had to be paid.

Nowhere in the book does it say that Morris was a trans man.

I wrote about Morris in May 2015. Part 1; Part 2.

Raymond Ruffin is the source of the calumnies against Morris. His attitude to Violette Morris is evident at first glance in his book titles: La diablesse and La hyΓ¨ne de la Gestapo. He got the idea from a novel by famous crime writer Auguste Le Breton (1913 – 1999), Les pègriots, 1973, which has 2 pages on Morris.

However Othen did not even read Ruffin. He merely cites a web page by Yasmine Youssi that summarizes his position. The best book on Morris is
  • Marie-Josèphe Bonnet. Violette Morris: histoire d'une scandaleuse. Perrin, 2011.
Bonnet  went through the archives of the Free France Secret Service, and the BCRA (Central Bureau of Research and Action), which are available at the Office of the Resistance. She also examined trial transcripts of the treason trials which followed the Liberation, the National Archives and local archives in Normandy. She found minor references to Morris, but nothing to support the picture found in Ruffin's books. Likewise Morris was not mentioned in the criminal trials of the Bonny-Lafont gang, nor in the Gestapo's own files on repressing the Resistance. Bonnet points out that Ruffin does not seem to know what Morris was doing for the first three years of the Occupation.

Othen cites my article on Morris, but only Part 1, which goes up to 1930. Not part 2 which – drawing heavily on Bonnet – discusses what Morris did in the war.

Why are prurient myths so often repeated while solid scholarship which refuted them is generally  ignored?

02 July 2020

July

I am taking the month off.   I will be back in August.

23 June 2020

Gay Liberation Front (GLF) - London

The post-Stonewall activist organizations:

While QLF and STAR were run by trans women, trans women also played significant roles in GLF and GAA. 

Queens Liberation Front (QLF)
StreetTransvestite Action Revolutionaries. (also Part III of Sylvia Rivera)
Gay Liberation Front (GLF) - New York
Gay Activists Alliance (GAA)
Gay Liberation Front (GLF) - London

See also The Five Years Following Stonewall - A New York Timeline

GLF London was founded in the basement of the London School of Economics in October 1970 inspired by what Bob Mellors had seen happen in New York. All-London meetings were held at All Saints Hall in Powis Square, Notting Hill. The newspaper put out was Come Together, named for a song on the Beatles’ Abbey Road album.

At first there was no drag, but slowly a significant minority started wearing frocks for the dances. This extended to street theatre, notably the Miss Trial demo outside the Old Bailey in support of the women who were on trial for disrupting the Miss World contest.  Then GLF disrupted the 1971 Christian Festival of Light. Some GLF queens wore drag because it felt right, some for fun and some for political reasons. Some were living in communal squats and in poverty in Brixton and in Notting Hill, and wore drag all day every day – and became known as Radical Feminists.

They aligned themselves with lesbians against the masculine gay men who were dominating the GLF meetings. When the women finally split from GLF in February 1972, the Rad Fems began to dominate at the All-London meetings, which was a bit intimidating for newcomers. However the RadFems also demonstrated against the launch of the feminist magazine Spare Rib, which allowed The Sunday Times to run an article on the irony of feminist men telling women how they should behave. The fledgling Gay News used this to disassociate from what they referred to as 'fascists in frocks'. The initial issues of Gay News were hostile to GLF in general and even more so to the queens.

Separate from the RadFems and political drag was the GLF Transvestite, Transsexual and Drag Queen Group which started meeting in late 1971 run by Rachel Pollack and Roz Kaveney which formed a trans presence at the GLF meetings. They collectively wrote a manifesto which was published in Come Together, 11, the Lesbian Issue.

Separately from that, Bob Mellors befriended the eccentric trans woman Charlotte Bach, who wasn’t a member, and Bobbie MacKenzie, who was.

The official first gay pride march in London was the Carnival Parade on 1 July 1972. However a few days earlier, GLF had been allocated a time-slot with the Boilermakers Union to picket the US Embassy about what they were doing to Vietnam. Only the Radfems turned up, a band was playing, and a few started a waltz. The US school band packed up in a fit of pique. The queens sauntered off and ended up at Piccadilly Circus. The police asked where they, the queens and the rent boys, intended to go, and said they would escort the march which went via Oxford Street to Hyde Park.

As the all-London meetings declined, they were replaced by separate GLFs in different parts of London. Some of these put on dances which became welcoming places for those who wished to explore their gender expression.

By late 1973 the all-London meetings were almost over. Some of the surviving RadFems took over the anarchist Agitprop bookshop/commune at 248 Bethnal Green Road which they renamed Bethnal Rouge. In 1974 two buildings in Railton Road, Brixton were squatted and became the South London Gay Community Centre.


  • Jeffrey Weeks. “The Gay Liberation front, 1970-72” in Coming Out: Homosexual Politics in Britain, from the Nineteenth Century to the Present. Quartet Books, 1977.
  • Aubrey Walter (ed). Come Together: The Years of Gay Liberation, 1970-73. London: Gay Men's Press, 1980.
  • Bob Mellors. We Are All Androgynous Yellow. Another-Orbit Press, 1980.
  • Kris Kirk with photographs by Ed Heath. Men In Frocks. London: Gay Men's Press 1984: 95-107. Review.
  • Lisa Power. No Bath but Plenty of Bubbles: An Oral History of the Gay Liberation Front 1970-73. Cassell, 1995.
  • Stuart Feather. Blowing the Lid: Gay Liberation, Sexual Revolution and Radical Queens. Zero Books, 2015.
-----------

None of this is found at all in Christine Burns' Trans Britain.  Review

21 June 2020

Gay Activists Association (GAA)

​The post-Stonewall activist organizations:

While QLF and STAR were run by trans women, trans women also played significant roles in GLF and GAA. 

Queens Liberation Front (QLF)
StreetTransvestite Action Revolutionaries. (also Part III of Sylvia Rivera)
Gay Liberation Front (GLF) - New York
Gay Activists Alliance (GAA)
Gay Liberation Front (GLF) - London

See also The Five Years Following Stonewall - A New York Timeline

----

The GAA was founded in New York City on December 1969 by dissident members of the Gay Liberation Front  who did not approve of the donation of $500 to the Black Panthers. The GAA were prepared to work within the political system, their meetings adhered to Robert’s Rules of Order and they had a constitution.

Sylvia Rivera and Bebe Scarpi first met at an early GAA meeting, however many of the members were initially uncomfortable with Sylvia.

GAA applied for incorporation to the New York State Division of Corporations and State Records.  However they were rejected on the grounds that the name was not a fit name for a New York corporation because of the connotation in which the word "gay" was being used, and that the corporation was being formed to violate the anti-sodomy laws of New York. It took five years to win the right to incorporate under that name.

Initially GAA met at the Church of the Holy Apostles, 9th Avenue at 28th Street. The GAA preamble included “The Right to Our Own Bodies”:
This is the right to treat and express our bodies as we will, to nurture, display and embellish them solely in the manner we ourselves  determine independent of any external control whatsoever.
In March 1970 the GAA organized protests following the police raid on the Snake Pit gay bar, and this led to the first Christopher Street Liberation Day.

Sylvia, right, collecting signatures.
GAA had started a petition to get the reluctant Carol Greitzer, representing Greenwich Village on the New York City Council, to introduce a bill for gay rights. In April 1970,  Sylvia, liking the idea, started soliciting signatures right on 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues where she did her usual sex hustling – and was arrested on the 15th while doing so. This was GAA’s first arrest. Sylvia recounted her adventures at GAA. This was heard by Arthur Bell, who wrote a story for Gay Power, and made Sylvia a celebrity. When her case came to court the public gallery was filled with activists from GAA and GLF. Gay attorney Hal Weiner volunteered his services, and GAA picked up the other legal fees. After several appearances, Sylvia’s court case was thrown out when the arresting officer failed to show.

Sylvia wrote to Gay Power newspaper:
I want to tell you a little about a new gay group. The Gay Activists  Alliance. I really want to talk to my sister queens. So girls, pay me a little mind.
Well, girls, many of us were waiting for a group like GAA. I knew many of us when we used to talk about the day we could get together with other gays and be heard and ask for our freedom and our rights.
GAA collected over 6,000 signatures, but Greitzer refused to accept the petition.  Sylvia was part of the 35-person delegation that GAA sent to confront Greitzer on the issue - to no avail.

In August-September 1970 GAA/ Christopher Street Liberation Day booked the basement of Weinstein Hall, a New York University residence building, for fundraising dances. On the eve of the third dance, to be held 21 August, the administration attempted to cancel the rest. Although the two remaining dances were held, the situation escalated and the Hall was occupied. Sylvia, Marsha and Bubbles were present – and Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries was born.

In March 1971 there was a Conference of Gay Liberation held at Rutgers University in New Jersey with forums on sadism, masochism, and leather; bisexuality; and transvestism. Speakers from S.T.A.R., Queens Liberation Front and GAA addressed the inaugural event on transvestism.

GAA headquarters was moved to the Firehouse at 99 Wooster St in May 1971. It offered weekly dances, with a sound system as good as in the best nightclubs; film nights curated by film historian Vito Russo; and of course political organizing.

GAA and STAR marched together from the Firehouse to Wards Island State Hospital where Marsha Johnson was then confined.

John Wojtowicz, who had become well-known in gay circles after his marriage to trans woman Liz Eden,  was a GAA member, although mainly for social activities, rarely for political events.

In July just after Mafioso Mike Umbers had evicted the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) from one of his houses, Arthur Bell wrote about his influence in the gay bar scene in The Village Voice, and shortly afterwards GAA organized a protest campaign outside Umbers’ major gay bar, Christopher’s End, at 180 Christopher Street.  Wojtowicz was out of favor as it became known that he was associated with Umbers - he turned up at the demonstration holding a sign supporting Umbers, and apparently had passed on information about GAA's plans.

GAA succeeded, after lobbying and protesting, in getting the New York City Council's General Welfare committee to discuss the problems faced by gays and transvestites in late 1971. GAA equivocated and for a while agreed to the removal of transvestite protections. However it ultimately endorsed them. STAR and QLF also gave evidence.

The GAA Street Theatre Subcommittee included trans activists and supported trans expression.

GAA published the Gay Activist newspaper until 1980.

The Wooster St Firehouse was burned down by arsonists in October 1974 – perhaps by the Mafia to eliminate the competition. The Chief Fire Marshall reported that the fire, soon after 3 am had been set in at least six places on the upper floors.

The GAA was disbanded in 1981.

  • Eric Holm.  "Dog Day Afternoon, Dog day aftertaste".  Jump Cut, 10-11. 1976:3-4.  Online.
  • Martin Duberman. Stonewall. A Plume Book, 1993: 230-4,
  • David Carter. Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution. St Martin’s Griffin, 2004: 233-8, 248-9.
  •  Stephen L Cohen. The Gay Liberation Youth Movement in New York “An Army of Lovers Cannot Fail”. Routledge, 2008: 37-40. 107-111, 136-7
  • Lillian Faderman.  The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle. Simon & Shuster, 2015:.214-7
  • Phillip Crawford Jr.  The Mafia and the Gays.  2015: 34. 37.
     EN.Wikipedia
-----------------

It is now well known that Carter made no mention of Sylvia Rivera in that overall the evidence is that she was not at the Stonewall riots.  But why is there no mention in his book of her arrest re the Carol Greitzer petition, and her subsequent trial attended by both GLF and GAA?  He does otherwise write about the petition.  He is also silent about QLF and STAR, but not about GLF and GAA.

Faderman, who places Sylvia at the riots in a fleeting role, also ignores the arrest and trial.

I follow Cohen who discusses it in detail.

I was going to link to the EN.Wikipedia page for Carol Greitzer.   However all it says about her refusal of the petition and her general stonewalling on gay rights is "Following the nearby Stonewall Riots that had occurred months earlier, Greitzer met twice with members of the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) in May 1970".   I was appalled by this whitewashing and am not linking.