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!

09 December 2018

Valentina Sampaio (1996 - ) model

Sampaio, from Aquiraz in the province of Ceará, in the north-east of Brazil, was using the name Valentina by age 10. She was accepted as a girl by her parents, a fisherman and a schoolteacher, and by the local community.

At college in the nearby provincial capital of Fortaleza, she studied architecture, at the same time as she was doing modelling work. She was fired from at least one gig specifically for being trans.

However, barely 19 years old, Valentina went from doing local shows and photo shoots to being in São Paulo Fashion Week, and being on the cover of Elle Brasil and L’Officiel Brasil. She had to file a lawsuit to rectify the name and gender on her identity documents, but had a favourable ruling.

International recognition came when she was on the cover of Vogue Paris, March 2017, with the by-line: ‘Transgender beauty: How it’s shaking up the world’ and with an editorial inside.

She acted in the film, Berenice Procura, 2017, and is a spokeswoman for L’Oreal Paris.
  • Neto Lucon. “’Nenhuma cirurgia vai me fazer mais ou menos mulher’, diz a modelo trans Valentina Sampaio”., Novembro 14, 2016. Online.
  • Paul McQueen. “Everything You Need to Know About Transgender Model Valentina Sampaio”. Culture Trip, 3 March 2017. Online.
  • Anna Jean Kaiser. “Meet The Transgender Model Who Broke Fashion's Highest Barrier”. Buzzfeed, June 05, 2017. Online.
  • Julirta Vartabedian. Brazilian Travesti Migrations: Gender, Sexualities and Embodiment Experiences. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018: 226-7.
PT.Wikipedia    IMDB


Only one week before the issue of Vogue Paris with Valentina on the cover, another trans woman in Forteleza, Dandara dos Santos, 42, was brutally murdered; the crime was recorded on a phone and uploaded to the internet. In this case at least, the killers were convicted and sentenced to 16+ years each.

07 December 2018

Books on Gender Variance in 2018

The two biggest publishers on trans topics continue to be Routledge and Jessica Kingsley. Routledge books are almost invariably priced so high that you would not buy them, although your library may do so. Jessica Kingsley books are reasonable priced. The odd thing though is that when you go to the Jessica Kingsley web site you find a list of ‘Subject Areas’ but the list does not include Transgender.

$£¥ €=Excessively overpriced books. 
  • $£¥ € Aren Z Aizura. Mobile Subjects: Transnational Imaginaries of Gender Reassignment. Duke University Press, 2018.
  • $£¥ € Michael J Boucher. Transgender Representation and the Politics of the Real in the United States. Routledge, 2019.
  • $£¥ € B Caminga. Transgender Refugees and the Imagined South Africa: Bodies Over Borders and Borders Over Bodies. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
  • Andre Cavalcante. Struggling for Ordinary: Media and Transgender Belonging in Everyday Life. New York University Press, 2018.
  • Edward Burlton Davies. Third Wave Feminism and Transgender: Strength through Diversity. Routledge, 2018.
  • Heath Foff Davis. Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter. NYU Press, 2017.
  • Evelyn Deshane (ed). #Trans: an anthology about transgender and nonbinary identity online. CreateSpace, 2017.
  • Oren Goslan. Current Critical Debates in the Field of Transsexual Studies: InTransition. Routledge, 2018.
  • Az Hakeem. Trans: Exploring Gender Identity and Gender Dysphoria. Trigger Press, 2018.
  • Jack Halberstam. Trans: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability. University of California Press, 2018.
  • Sally Hines. Is Gender Fluid?: Primers for the 21st Century. Thames and Hudson, 2018.
  • $£¥ € Nina Kane (ed). Reflections on Female and Trans* Masculinities and Other Queer Crossings. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017.
  • C. N. Lester. Trans Like Me: Conversations for All of Us. Seal Press, 2018.
  • Yolanda Martinez-San Miguel & Sarah Tobias (eds). Trans Studies: The Challenge to Hetero/Homo Normativities. Rutgers University Press, 2016.
  • $£¥ € Candace Moore. Marginal Production Cultures: Infrastructures of Sexual Minority and Transgender Media. Routledge, 2018.
  • $£¥ € Z Nicolazzo. What’s Transgressive about Trans* Studies in Education Now? Routledge, 2018.
  • $£¥ € Larry Nuttbrock (ed). Transgender Sex Work and Society. Harrington Park Press, 2018.
  • $£¥ € Erich N Pitcher. Being and Becoming Professionally Other: Identities, Voices, and Experiences of U.S. Trans* Academics. Peter Lang Inc, 2018.
  • $£¥ € Christina Richards, Walter Pierre Bouman & Meg-John Barker (eds). Genderqueer and Non-Binary Genders (Critical and Applied Approaches in Sexuality, Gender and Identity). Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.
  • Juno Roche. Queer sex: A Trans and Non-Binary Guide to Intimacy, Pleasure and Relationships. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2018.
  • $£¥ € Gayle Salamon. ‘The Life and Death of Latisha King: A Critical Phenomenology of Transphobia’. NYU Press, 2018.
  • Dean Spade et al. Written on the Body: Letters from Trans and Non-Binary Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. Jessica Kingsley, 2018.
  • Brynn Tannehill. Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Trans*. Jessica Kingsley, 2018.
  • Jemma Tosh. Psychology and Gender Dysphoria: Feminist and Transgender Perspectives. Routledge, 2018.
  • Clair Ruth Winter. Understanding Transgender Diversity: A Sensible Explanation of Sexual and Gender Identities. CreateSpace, 2018.
  • Chantal Zabus & David Coad. Transgender Experience: Place, Ethnicity, and Visibility. Routladge, 2018.

Christian and Jewish

  • Austen Hartke. Transforming: The Bible & the Lives of Transgender Christians. WJK Books, 2018.
  • Abegail Hester. Transgender Christian 101: A Biblical Case For The Acceptance Of Transgender People In The Church. Kindle, 2018.
  • Joy Ladin. The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective. Brandeis, 2018.
  • Laurie Scott. God Doesn't Make Mistakes: Confessions of a Transgender Christian. Tek-Chic Systems, 2018.
  • Andrew T Walker. God and the Transgender Debate. The Good Book Company, 2018.
  • Jonathan Williams. She’s My Dad. Westminster John Knox, 2018. By the son of Paula Williams.

Legal & Imprisonment

  • Stephen Dillon. Fugitive Life: The Queer Politics of the Prison State. Duke University Press 2018.
  • Alison Ash Fogarty & Lily Zheng. Gender Ambiguity in the Workplace: Transgender and Gender-Diverse Discrimination. Praeger, 2018.
  • Marty Gitlin. Transgender Rights. Greenhaven Press, 2018.
  • $£¥ € Pater Goodrich. Schreber's Law: Jurisprudence and Judgment in Transition. Edinburgh University Press, 2018. An interpretation of the legal writings of of Daniel Paul Schreber.
  • $£¥ € Heather Panter. Transgender Cops: The Intersection of Gender and Sexuality Expectations in Police Cultures. Routledge, 2018.
  • Jens M Scherpe, Anatol Dutta & Tobias Helms (eds). The Legal Status of Intersex Persons. Intersentia, 2018.
  • Alex Sharpe. Sexual Intimacy and Gender Identity 'Fraud': Reframing the Legal and Ethical Debate. Routledge, 2018.

Health and Medical

  • $£¥ € Sarah Boslaugh. Transgender Health Issues. Greenwood, 2018.
  • $£¥ € Sand C Chang & Annaliese A Singh. A Clinician's Guide to Gender-Affirming Care: Working with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Clients. Context Press, 208.
  • $£¥ € Cecelia Hardacker. Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Health and Aging. Springer, 2018.
  • $£¥ € Ruth Pearce. Understanding Trans Health: Discourse, Power and Possibility. Policy Press, 2018
  • Eric Plemons. The Look of a Woman: Facial Feminization Surgery and the Aims of Trans- Medicine. Duke University Press, 2018.
  • Miguel Rosello-Penaloza. NO BODY: Clinical Constructions of Gender and Transsexuality - Pathologisation, Violence and Deconstruction. Routledge, 2018.
  • $£¥ € Loren S Schechter & Bauback Safa. Gender Confirmation Surgery. Elsevier, 2018.
  • Benjamin Vincent. Transgender Health: A Practitioner's Guide to Binary and Non-Binary Trans Patient Care. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2018.
  • Eric Yarbrough. Transgender Mental Health. American Psychiatric Association, 2018.


  • Cael M Keegan. Lana and Lilly Wachowski. University of Illinois Press, 2018.  An analysis of the films.
  • $£¥ € Rachel Carroll. Transgender and The Literary Imagination: Changing Gender in Twentieth-Century Writing. Edinbugh University Press, 2018.


  • Kike Arnal. Revealing Selves: Transgender Portraits from Argentina. The New Press, 2018.
  • $£¥ € Jess T. Dugan & Vanessa Fabbre. To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults. Kehrer, 2018.
  • Pilar Vergara. Female. Daylight Books, 2018.


  • $£¥ € Vikki Krane. Sex, Gender, and Sexuality in Sport: Queer Inquiries. Routledge, 2018.


  • $£¥ € Richard K Adler, Sandy Hirsch & Jack Pickering. Voice and Communication Therapy for the Transgender/Gender Diverse Client: A Comprehensive Clinical Guide, Third Edition. Plural Publishing, 2018.
  • $£¥ € Walter Pierre Bouman, Annelou LC de Vries & Guy T’Sjoen (eds). Gender Dysphoria and Gender Incongruence. Routledge, 2018.
  • Hannah Brooks-Lane. Transgender Voice Workbook. Independent, 2018.
  • $£¥ € Chester Alexis C Buama. Sexual Orientation and Transgender Issues in Organizations: Towards an Inclusive Human Resource Practice. Society, 2018.
  • $£¥ € Alfred F Carlozzi & Kurt T Choate (eds). Transgender and Gender Diverse Persons: A Handbook for Service Providers, Educators, and Families. Routledge, 2018.
  • Sarah Gibson & J Fernandez. Gender Diversity and Non-Binary Inclusion in the Workplace: The Essential Guide for Employers. Jessica Kingsley, 2018.
  • $£¥ € Abbie Olszewski, Selah Sullivan & Adriano Cabral. Here's How to Teach Voice and Communication Skills to Transgender Women. Plural Publishing, 2018.
  • Dana Pizzuti. Transitioning in the Workplace: A Guidebook. Jessica Kingsley, 2018.
  • Juno Roche. Queer Sex: A Trans and Non-Binary Guide to Intimacy, Pleasure and Relationships. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2018.
  • Vanessa Sheridan & Mike Quigley. Transgender in the Workplace: The Complete Guide to the New Authenticity for Employers and Gender-Diverse Professionals. Praeger, 2018.
  • Matthew Waites. Supporting Young Transgender Men: A Guide for Professionals. Jessica Kingsley, 2018.
  • Jamie Winters. TransForm: Answers to the Trans Questions You Have No Idea How to Ask (Questions from Trans Everything Book 1). Kindle, 2018.
  • Vera Wylde. Skirting Gender: Life and Lessons of a Cross Dresser. Nathaniel Wayne, 2018.

Trans Children

  • Fox Fisher & Owl Fisher. Trans Teen Survival Guide. Jessica Kingsley, 2018.
  • Julian Gill-Peterson. Histories of the Transgender Child. University of Minnesota Press, 2018.
  • $£¥ € Colt Keo-Meier & Diane Ehrensaft (eds). The Gender Affirmative Model: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Supporting Transgender and Gender Expansive Children. Americam Psychological Association, 2018.
  • $£¥ € Aron Janssen & Scott Leibowitz (eds), Affirmative Mental Health Care for Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth: A Clinical Guide. Springer, 2018.
  • Irwin Krieger. Helping Your Transgender Teen, 2nd Edition: A Guide for Parents. Jessica Kingsley, 2018.
  • Tey Meadow. Trans Kids: Being Gendered in the Twenty-First Century. University of California Press, 2018.
  • Denise O’Doherty. Thriving Through Transition: Self-Care for Parents of Transgender Children. Sojourn Publishing, 2018.
  • Kelly Storck & Noah Grigni. The Gender Identity Workbook for Kids: A Guide to Exploring Who You Are. Instant Help, 2018.
  • Ann Travers. The Trans Generation: How Trans Kids (and Their Parents) Are Creating a Gender Revolution. New York University Press, 2018.

Couples & Family

  • Anne M Reid. She Said She Said: Love, Loss, Living My New Normal. Christopher Griffith, 2018.



  • Caspar Baldwin. Not Just a Tomboy: A Trans Masculine Memoir. Jessica Kingsley, 2018.
  • Ben Barres & Nancy Hopkins. The Autobiography of a Transgender Scientist. The MIT Press, 2018.
  • Brian Belovitch. Trans Figured: My Journey from Boy to Girl to Woman to Man. Skyhorse Publishing, 2018.
  • Eve Burchert. Reflections: Transgender at 7, Out at 84. Kindle, 2018.
  • Tess deCarlo. The T Words. Lulu, 2018.
  • Michael Dillon/Lobzang Jivaka. Out of the Ordinary: A Life of Gender and Spiritual Transitions. Fordham University Press, 2019. Finally Dillon’s own autobiography – 60 years after he dies.
  • Carla Anne Ernst. Life Without Pockets: My Long Journey Into Womanhood. Henschel Haus, 2018.
  • Allyson Hamblett. A Life Lived Twice. Allyson Hamblett, 2018/
  • Kenna Henderson. I’m not the Man I Used to Be. Independent, 2018.
  • Rene Jax. Don't get on the plane: Why a sex change will ruin your life. CreateSpace, 2017.
  • Julia Kaye. Super Late Bloomer: My Early Days in Transition. Andrew McMeel Publishing, 2018.
  • Diana Kelly. The Sky Turned Green & The Grass Turned Blue: Diane's Story: My Personal Journey as the Significant Other to an M2F Transsexual. Green Sky Publishing, 2018.
  • Janet Mock. Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me. Atria Books, 2018.
  • $£¥ € Julie Elizabeth Peters. A Feminist Post-transsexual Autoethnography: Challenging Normative Gender Coercion. Routledge, 2018.
  • Sarah Krasnostein. The Trauma Cleaner: One woman’s extraordinary life in death, decay & disaster. The Text Publishing Company, 2017.
  • Joanna Santos. Different. Lulu, 2018.
  • Chloe Schwenke.. SELF-ish: A Transgender Awakening. Red Hen Press, 2018.
  • Daia Singleton. Kissing Boys and Running: A Transgender Memoir. Kindle, 2018.
  • Rhyannon Styles. The New Girl: A Trans Girl Tells It Like It Is. Headline, 2018.
  • Mia Violet. Yes, You Are Trans Enough: My Transition from Self-Loathing to Self-Love. Jessica Kingsley, 2018.

Doctor Autobiography

  • Richard Green. GAY RIGHTS,TRANS RIGHTS: A psychiatrist/lawyer's 50-year battle. Agenda Book, 2018.


  • Jeremy Dronefield & Michael Du Preez. Dr James Barry: A Woman Ahead of her Time. Oneworld Publications, 2017.  Warning: presents Barry as a woman, not as a trans man.
  • Jane Fae. Transition Denied: Confronting the Crisis in Trans Healthcare. (the life and death of a young trans woman, Synestra de Courcy) Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2018.
  • $£¥ €= Ann Heilman. Neo-_Victorian Biographilia and James Miranda Barry: A Study in Transgender and Transgenre. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
  • Dick Kirby. The Wrong Man: The Shooting of Stephen Waldorf and the Hunt for David Martin. The History Press, 2016.  A transvestite burglar in 1960s London. 
  • Lisa Ohliger. The Narrative of Lucy Ann Lobdell: A Woman's Case for Equality. Westholme Publishing, 2018.
  • Daphne C Reiley. Love, Then Listen: Sharing My Son's Journey Toward His True Gender. Nururing Faith Inc, 2018.
  • Lanei M Ridemeyer. Lou Sullivan Diaries (1970-1980) and Theories of Sexual Embodiment. Springer, 2018.
  • Angela Steidele , translated from German by Katy Derbyshire. Gentleman Jack: A biography of Anne Lister, Regency Landowner, Seducer and Secret Diarist. Profile Bokks, 2018.

Race and Gender

  • Rogers Brubaker. Trans: Gender and Race in an Age of Unsettled Identities. Princeton University Press, 2018.

Trans/GLBT history

  • $£¥ € Thomas A Abercrombie. Passing to América: Antonio (Née María) Yta's Transgressive, Transatlantic Life in the Twilight of the Spanish Empire. Penn State University Press, 2018.
  • Christine Burns (ed). Trans Britain: Our Journey from the Shadows. Unbound, 2018. Review.
  • Martin Dammann. Soldier Studies: Cross-Dressing in der Wehrmacht. Hatje/Cantz, 2018.
  • Jim Elledge. The Boys of Fairy Town: Sodomites, Female Impersonators, Third-Sexers, Pansies, Queers, and Sex Morons in Chicago's First Century. Chicago Review Press, 2018.
  • Julian Gill-Peterson. Genealogies of the Transgender Child: Sex, Race, and Plasticity University of Minnesota Press, 2018.
  • $£¥ € William T Hoston. Toxic Silence: Race, Black Gender Identity, and Addressing the Violence against Black Transgender Women in Houston. Peter Lang Inc, 2018.
  • Norena Shopland. Forbidden Lives: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Stories from Wales. Seren, 2017.
  • Howard Philips Smith. Unveiling the Muse: The Lost History of Gay Carnival in New Orleans. University Press of Mississippi, 2018.
  • $£¥ € Jami Kathleen Taylor, Donald P Haider-Markel. The Remarkable Rise of Transgender Rights. University of Michigan Press, 2018.

Other Cultures

  • T Jackie Cuevas. Post-Borderlandia: Chicana Literature and Gender Variant Critique. Rutgers University Press, 2018.
  • Nandini Krishnan. Invisible Men: Inside India's Transmasculine Network. Penguin Viking, 2018.
  • Slobodan Randjelovic. Lives in Transition: LGBTQ Serbia. The New Press, 2018.
  • $£¥ € Julieta Vartabedian. Brazilian 'Travesti' Migrations: Gender, Sexualities and Embodiment Experiences. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.


  • Wren Hanks. The Rise of Genderqueer: Poems. Brain Mill, 2018.
  • Roz Kaveney. Catullus. Sad Press, 2018. 
  • Jamie Winters. TransVerse: Poetry About Being Transgender. Independent, 2018.


  • Dallas Denny.  Chance Down the Mountain.  CreateSpace, 2018.
  • Samantha Kane. Mohammed and Susan. Diversity Book, 2018.  Yes, that Samantha Kane.
  • Roz Kaveney. Realities - Rhapsody of Blood. Plus One Press, 2018.


  • Ryan T Anderson. When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment. Encounter Books, 2018.
  • Ruth Barrett (ed). Female Erasure: What You Need To Know About Gender Politics' War on Women, the Female Sex and Human Rights. Tidal Time Publishing, 2016. With chapters by Germaine Greer, Sheila Jeffreys, Gallus Mag, Cathy Brennan etc.
  • Ashley McGuire. Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female. Regnery Publishing, 2017.
  • Lisa Nolland et al. The New Normal: The Transgender Agenda. Wilberforce Publications, 2018.
  • Andrew T Walker. God and the Transgender Debate: What Does the Bible Actually Say about Gender Identity? The Good Book Company, 2017.

Announced for 2019

  • Donald R Laub. Second Lives, Second Chances: A Surgeon's Stories of Transformation. ECW Press, 2019.
  • Hugh Ryan. When Brooklyn Was Queer: A History. St Martin’s Press. 2019.
  • Kristen Worley & Johanna Schneller. Woman Enough: How a Boy Became a Woman and Changed the World of Sport. Random House, 2019.

28 November 2018

Dante Gill (1930 - 2003) sex entrepreneur, mobster

Lois Jean Gill was raised in Pittsburgh, and was first arrested at age 18. By the late 1950s Gill was an accomplished horse-rider, was working as a blacksmith.

From 1963 Gill worked as a prostitute, and was arrested for it the next year. Otherwise Gill was a retailer, running a baby furniture shop and a frozen foods store. By 1968 Gill was giving his name as Dante, and explained that he was a man.

He became involved with George Lee, the Pittsburgh mobster involved with pornography and prostitution. Gill’s mother Agnes died in 1973 after a struggle with cancer. Afterwards Gill became manager of one of Lee’s massage parlors (where sexual services were available). Here Gill learned the sex business: how to deal with johns and vice cops, how to run a legitimate cover business.

George Lee was gunned down in 1977, which set off a battle for his assets. Nick DeLucia, a former fireman, took several of the parlors, and for a while Gill was his business partner. However not without a struggle: one employee was murdered at home; a parlor was destroyed by a package bomb received at Christmas and one sex worker was killed. Amidst this, Dante found the time to marry Cynthia from Texas on a vacation in Hawai’i. They lived together in Pittsburgh, although the marriage did not last.

In November, the gay bar in Tampa, Florida run by an associate, Frank Cocchiara, burned down. Gill gave him a job running one of the parlors in Pittsburgh. Cocchiara became a regular at Pittsburgh’s drag balls, befriended local gay activist Herb Beatty and was one of the first to become HIV+.

In 1980 an arson attack destroyed one of Gill’s parlors, killing three men who were sleeping on the top floor. The partnership between DeLucia and Gill had degenerated to antagonism. DeLucia and some associates were even charged with an alleged plot to kill Gill (although due to a key witness’ attempt to extort money from the defense, nothing was ever proven in court).

Dante was tough enough to hold on. He got both his adversaries and the police to refer to him as Mr Gill. He expanded into gay bars, and into supplying anabolic steroids. He dressed expensively, traveled the world and collected rare animals. He was known for reciting Irish poetry.
Dante & Cynthia 1984

DeLucia was jailed for tax evasion in 1981. Then Gill attempted to re-introduce Lee’s old monopoly by chasing the competition out of town. However he claimed to earn only $60,000 for income tax purposes, but the tax authorities were able to demonstrate that he was spending much more than that. They also found that each of his parlors brought in more than $500,000 each year.

In 1984 he was arrested, convicted and jailed for tax evasion. He was sentenced to 7 years, but paroled in 1987. The tax authorities filed a $12.5 million claim against him. However he no longer had much money.

Also he required dialysis. He died in hospital aged 72.
  • Torsten Ove. “Obituary: Dante ‘Tex’ Gill / Sexually ambivalent rub parlor owner”. Pittsburgh Post-Gazett, January 09, 2003. Online.
  • “The complex and tough Dante ‘Tex’ Gill. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 17, 2014. Online.
  • “Revealed: The incredible life of transgender gangster Mr Gill who controlled a criminal empire of brothels in 1970s Pittsburgh and will controversially be portrayed by Scarlett Johansson in her latest movie”. The Daily Mail, 6 July 2018. Online.
  • Furio_from_naples. “Dante ‘Tex’ Gill vs Pittsburgh Mafia”., 07/23/18. Online.
  • Richard Gazarik. Wicked Pittsburgh. The History Press, 2018: 123-5.


27 November 2018

Regina Adams (1952 - ) widow, performer

Prior to the June 2016 shootings at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the deadliest attack on gay people was the 24 June 1973 arson attack at the Up Stairs Lounge, 141 Chartres Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The prime suspect is a gay man who had been ejected from the bar earlier in the day. He was never charged and killed himself 17 months later.

On 24 June, the Metropolitan Community Church was having a social after its religious service on the final day of Pride Weekend. Just before 8PM the door buzzer from downstairs rang, and the door was opened revealing the stairs to be on fire, along with the smell of lighter fluid. The bartender led some 20 patrons out through the back entrance and to safety. However others were accidently locked in. 29 died, and another 18 were injured, of whom three later died.

Among the dead was Reginald Adams, an Afro-American from Dallas who had been studying at Loyola University in New Orleans, initially with the aim of becoming a Jesuit priest. At the Up Stairs lounge he had met the still young Ricky Soleto, who did drag acts, and was trying out some feminine personae. They became a couple, one of the few inter-racial gay couples in New Orleans at that time. The ambition to become a priest was being abandoned.

It was Reginald who suggested that Ricky become Regina, not so much from his name, but because she was his queen, which is what ‘Regina’ means. He started to wear Ricky’s high-school ring, and they shared an apartment in the French Quarter.

Regina and Reginald were both at the Up Stairs social on the fatal night. They realized that they did not have enough money for a dinner arrangement afterwards, and, having finished her drink, it was Regina who went home to get some, and also a borrowed hat to be returned. As she returned she saw the flames and fire engines were arriving. She could not find Reginald, and searched at Charity Hospital, where the victims were taken, but without success.

She was in shock. She continued to lay out Reginald’s clothes each day, even after her mother moved in to take care of her. Reginald was one of the last to be identified, being burnt beyond recognition. He was finally identified by dental records and by the high-school ring on his finger.

After her recovery, Regina became well known performer in New Orleans, first as a drag performer, and then as a woman. In 1980 Regina legally changed her name to Regina Adams, honoring the man who should have been her husband.

Because of Hurricane Katrina, there was no Southern Decadence in 2005. Therefore joint Grand Marshalls Lisa Beaumann and Regina Adams reigned in both 2005 and 2006.
  • Johnny Townsend. Let the Faggots Burn: The Upstairs Lounge Fire. BookLocker, 2011: 302-4.
  • Clayton Delery-Edwards. The Up Stairs Lounge Arson: Thirty-Two Deaths in a New Orleans Gay Bar, June 24, 1973. McFarland & Company, 2014: 29, 36, 38, 45, 49-50, 52, 73, 88, 108, 121.
  • Diana Anderson-Minshall. “Book of the year: Biography Documenting Worst Mass Killing of Gays in U.S. History”. Advocate, March 03 2015. Online.
  • “Transgender Mormon Survives Mass Murder“. Main Street Plaza, October 6, 2015. Online.
  • Robert L Camina (dir & scr). Upstairs Inferno, with Regina Adams. US 96 mins 2015.
  • Jim Downs. Stand by Me The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation. Basic Books, 2016: 28.
  • “Deadly 1973 hate crime recalled in new documentary”. Washington Blade, February 9, 2017. Online.
  • Robert W. Fieseler. Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation. Liveright, 2018: 36 -7, 59-60, 68-9, 87, 123, 150, 225, 235, 267n62.
Celebrazzi 2006