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 right-hand sidebar. There is also a search box at the top left. Enjoy exploring!

05 December 2021

Leticia Carolina Nascimento (1990 - ) university lecturer

Nasciemento was born in Parnaíba, a coastal city in the north-east Brazilian state of Piauí, assigned male and raised by the maternal grandparents. Encouraged by the grandparents, and by the mother, Nasciemento graduated in pedagogy, and did a masters in education. 

Living initially as a gay man, Nasciemento taught for seven years in elementary school in Luís Correia, also on the coast of Piauí. In 2015 Nasciemento taught as a substitute teacher at Universidade Estadual do Piauí. Nasciemento had been increasingly living as female outside work. In 2017 she went public as Leticia with a lecture on queer theory called Corpo Sem Órgãos (Bodies without Organs). As she had already published academic articles under her male baptismal name, she was prevented from changing the name in her documents. 

In 2019 Leticia Nasciemento became a lecturer at the Universidade Federal do Piauí, the first trans woman ('mulher travesti') to do so. She commenced her PhD at the same time.

She describes herself as 

“Decolonial witch of becoming and of Sociopoetics (Feiticeira decolonial de devires e Bruxa da Sociopoética)"  ... "producing decolonial cartographies with black travestis from a mixed perspective of encounters between decolonial, feminist ideas and the philosophy of difference (produzindo cartografias decoloniais com travestis negras a partir de uma perspectiva mestiça de encontros entre ideias decoloniais, feministas e da filosofia da diferença)".

She considers that the greatest violence suffered by travestis in non-vulnerable environments is to be questioned about the fact that they are women. (Ela considera que a maior violência sofrida pelas travestis em ambientes não vulneráveis é a de serem questionadas quanto ao fato de serem mulheres. Cidadeverde, 2019)

In a paper in Research Society and Development, 2020, Nasciemento uses the concept of “heteroterrorismo curtural” in the education system: 

“And this way of thinking makes us question and perceive educational institutions, like schools, as one of the most efficient ones for fixing who we are and who others are, for establishing a division between the normal and the abnormal produced in them. And this split is produced by technologies of normalization - part of a system of know-power in which certain representations are authorized and others are made invisible, prohibited and invalidated, producing every utterance of cultural terrorism - reiterations that produce the genders and heterosexuality marked by incentives or inhibitions of behaviors to every lgbt-phobic joke, for example. (E esse modo de pensar nos faz questionar e perceber as instituições educativas, a exemplo da escola, como uma das mais eficientes para fixar quem nós somos e quem são os outros, estabelecer uma cisão entre os normais e os anormais produzidos nela. E esta cisão é produzida pelas tecnologias de normatização – parte de um sistema de saber-poder em que certas representações são autorizadas e outras invisibilizadas, proibidas e invalidadas, produzindo a cada enunciado eteroterrorismo cultural – reiterações que produzem os gêneros e a heterossexualidade marcadas por incentivos ou inibições de comportamentos a cada piada lgbtfóbica, por exemplo.)"

She is noted for her 2021 book, Transfeminismo: Feminismos Plurais, of which she says:

“It shows how more and more it is necessary for people to be open to different existences that do not necessarily fit into the binary and cisgender organization of the world. A first step in this direction is to know the experiences of those who are part of these groups and this book, written by a trans woman, black and fat, who is present in academic circles and is an inspiration for other transsexual and trans women, presents these experiences, it brings historical concepts and places transfeminism within other existing feminisms. (Mostra como cada vez mais é necessário que as pessoas estejam abertas às diversas existências que não necessariamente se encaixam no organização binária e cisgênera do mundo. Um primeiro passo nesse sentido é conhecer as experiências de quem faz parte desses grupos e esse livro, escrito por uma mulher travesti, negra e gorda, que está presente nos meios acadêmicos e é inspiração para outras mulheres transexuais e travestis, apresenta essas vivências, traz conceituações históricas e situa o transfeminismo dentro dos demais feminismos existentes.)”

  • “ ‘Ainda duvidam quando eu digo que sou professora’, diz 1ª travesti da UFPI”. Cidade Verde, 04/08/19. Online.
  • Ketryn Carvalho. “Letícia Carolina é a primeira travesti professora da UFPI; veja a entrevista”. Observatorio G, 2019. Online.
  • Letícia Carolina Nascimento. “Aprendizagens em educação e as diferenças – resistências ao heteroterrorismo cultural: que só os beijos te tapem a boca”. Research Society and Development, July 2020.
  • Roberto de Martin. “ ‘As mulheres trans e travestis entenderam a potência de movimentos feministas’ Letícia Carolina Nascimento conversa com CartaCapital sobre seu livro Transfeminismo, mais recente lançamento da Coleção Feminismos Plurais”. CartaCapotal, 12 de Junho de 2021. Online.
  • Letícia Carolina Nascimento. Transfeminismo: Feminismos Plurais. Perfect Paperback, 2021.

PT.Wikipedia      Google Academico        ResearchGate

21 November 2021

Gillian Cox(1938-1984) mycologist

Cox was born as Geoffrey Frank Laundon, and earned a BSc in Botany at the University of Sheffield in 1969. This led to being a mycologist at the Commonwealth Mycological Institute at Kew in London. 

Laundon specialized on rust fungi (then known as Urediniomycetes; now as Pucciniales). Rusts are considered among the most harmful pathogens to agriculture, horticulture and forestry. Rust fungi are major concerns and limiting factors for successful cultivation of agricultural and forest crops. White pine blister rust, wheat stem rust, soybean rust, and coffee rust are examples of notoriously damaging threats to crops. Laundon soon became well-known in the field for thorough, careful work on the class, first publishing new taxa in 1963.

In 1965 the Commonwealth Mycological Institute published Laundon’s book, The Generic Names of Uredinales. This was reviewed in the Transactions of the British Mycological Society

“Nomenclature at best is a tedious business for many of us, but until a better system is invented the best we can do is to have a set of names whose basis is firmly established. Mr Laundon has done this service for the generic names of rusts nobly.”

Among Laundon’s most important contributions was a new system of spore terminology published in 1967 - this was controversial at the time but was generally accepted later. 

In 1963 Laundon married Margaret Cox and they had three children. In 1965 they emigrated to New Zealand, where Laundon became mycologist at the Plant Health & Diagnostic Station at Levin, and continued to research the taxonomy and nomenclature of rusts. Laundon was an active member of the International Association for Plant Taxonomy and was on the Special Committee for Fungi and Lichens for a number of years. 

myrtle rust infections in NZ

Laundon was the first to realise there were two species involved when the poplar rusts were first found in New Zealand in 1972, a claim not verified until samples of the spores were examined with an electron microscope.

By 1977 Laundon had transitioned as Gillian. She was supported in this by her wife and children. She was initially involved in Hedesthia, the then major New Zealand trans group, but it was mainly oriented to transvestites. Gillian, using her wife’s surname, in 1976 set up Transformation, which was more focused on transsexual issues. Gillian and Margaret produced several information leaflets and fielded questions from transsexuals, interested public and professionals alike, seeking to aid and educate as many people and groups as they could. 

She placed an announcement in the New and Notes section of the Taxon journal: 

“Mr G. F. Laundon of the Plant Health & Diagnostic Station, Levin, New Zealand has changed sex as from the 22nd Jan. 1977 and is now known as Miss Gillian Laundon. She continues her work in plant pathology, mycology and nomenclature.” 

Actually she had become Gillian Fiona Laundon, which enabled her to take advantage of the practice of Onomastic Occlusion, that is to continue to publish professionally as “G F Laundon”. 

However at work some staff strongly opposed her using female toilets. She was restricted to only one toilet and threatened with disciplinary action if she used another. However she was supported by other colleagues including her controlling officer who wrote to the State Services Commission (SSC) on her behalf in order to suggest that guidelines be set up so that “transexuals be treated consistently in the public service”. She was supported by Leone Neil, also a Hedesthia member and public servant. By 1978 Laundon had won her case and was free to use whatever facility she pleased. 

However, the SSC did not implement any guidelines, and discrimination was still rife in the public service. In 1979 Laundon wrote in support of a trans woman in another department who was to be subjected to a vote by her colleagues over whether she should be able to use the female toilets.

Over her career Laundon collected at least 211 specimens and identified 539 that are in formal herbaria or culture collections. The species Phoma laundoniae is named in her honour.

Professional publications by G F Laundon:

  • “D.B.O. Savile, ,Collection and Care of Botanical Specimens Publication 1113 (1962) Canada Department of Agriculture, Research Branch,Ottawa xii + 124, 13 text-figures. Price: $2.00”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 46, 1, 1963.
  • “Uredopeltis (Uredinales)”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 46,3, 1963.
  • “Angusia (Uredinales)”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 47,3, 1964.
  • The Generic Names of Uredinales, Mycological Papers, No. 99. Commonwealth Mycological Institute, Kew, 1965.
  • “Terminology in the rust fungi”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 50, 2, 1967.
  • Review of “Malgolm Wilson, D.M. Henderson, British Rust Fungi (1966) Cambridge University Press”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 50, 2,1967.
  • “The taxonomy of the imperfect rusts”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 50, 3, 1967.
  • “Rust Names Attributed to Léveillé”. Taxon, 16, 3, 1967.
  • “A cold method for preparing dried reference cultures” Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 51, 3-4, 1968.
  • “The Status of Some of Persoon's Uredo Names”. Taxon, 17,2, 1968
  • “(319) Proposal to Delete the Generic Name Nigredo Persoon ex Roussel (1806) as a nomen rejiciendum of Uromyces (Link) Unger (1833) (Fungi)”. Taxon, 19, 6, 1970.
  • “The Lectotype for Uredo”. Taxon, 19,6, 1970.
  • “Records of fungal plant diseases in New Zealand”. New Zealand Journal of Botany, 8, 1, 1970.
  • “Additions to the rust fungi of New Zealand — 5”. New Zealand Journal of Botany, 8, 3, 1970.
  • “A new reinforcement for sealed fluid microslide mounts”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 56, 2, 1971.
  • “Records of Fungal Plant Diseases in New Zealand — 2”.New Zealand Journal of Botany, 9, 4, 1971.
  • “Delimitation of aecial from uredinial states”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 58, 2, 1972.
  • “Records and taxonomic notes on plant disease fungi in New Zealand”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 60, 2, 1973.
  • “Uromyces fallens and U. trifolii-repentis in New Zealand”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 61, 1, 1973.
  • “Proposals in Regard to the Emendment of Author Citations”. Taxon, 23, 5-6, 1974.
  • “Botryosphaeria obtusa, B. Stevensii, and Otthia spiraeae in New Zealand”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 61, 2, 1976.
  • “A new name for a New Zealand Phragmidium”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 67, 1, 1976.
  • “Peridermium (Fungi)”. Taxon, 25, 1, 1976.
  • “New host records of plant disease fungi in New Zealand”. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, 21, 4, 1978.
  • “New plant disease record in New Zealand Uromycladium simplexon Acacia pycnantha”. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, 21, 4, 1978.
  • Phoma rumicicola nov., a cause of leaf spots on Rumex obtusifolius”. New Zealand Journal of Botany, 18, 4, 1980.

Other publications:

  • D M Henderson. Review of “G F Laundon. The Generic Names of Uredinales Mycological Papers, No. 99”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 48, 4, 1965.
  • Gillian Cox, ‘Friends,’ S-E-L-F,12, November 1976:
  • Gillian Cox, ‘Information service for transexuals,’ The Public Service Journal, 64, 6 July 1977:
  • Gillian Cox, ‘TransFormation Report 1977,’ Trans-Scribe, 1, 17, February 1978:
  • Gllian Cox, , ‘Prejudice against transexuals,’ The Public Service Journal, 66, 11 December 1979:
  • Gillian Cox. ”The Bible Says” and “Telling Your Secret”. Gender Review, 10, February 1981. Online.
  • J R Laundon (brother). “Geoffrey Frank Laundon”. Taxon, 34,1,1985.
  • Geoffrey C Ainsworth edited by John Webster & David Moore. "Laundon (Geoffrey Frank (from 22 Jan 1977 Gillian Fiona)". Brief Biographies of British Mycologists.  British Mycological Society, 1996. Online
  • Will Owen Hansen, “Every Bloody Right To Be Here” Trans Resistance in Aotearoa New Zealand, 1967-1989.MA Thesis, Victoria University of Wellington, 2020: 3, 42, 44, 54, 72-3, 95,
  • Isabel Douglas. “LGBT History Month: Gillian Cox”. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, February 16, 2021. Online.


18 November 2021

Elke Mackenzie (1911 - 1990) lichenologist

Elke Mackenzie was born in London and raised in Scotland, and was given the name Ivan Mackenzie Lamb. Lamb did a B.Sc. in Botany at Edinburgh University and, with a scholarship from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, did further research at the universities of Munich and Würzburg. 

Lamb was employed as an assistant keeper at the British Museum in 1935, and was mentored by the recently retired pioneering lichenologist Annie Lorrain Smith who had worked in the museum’s cryptogamic herbarium 1892-1933, but who had to be paid from a special fund because officially the museum did not employ women. Lamb became especially interested in the lichen flora of the Antarctic, as it was comparatively unknown, and began studying early British, French, and Belgian Antarctic collections in Turku, Finland and Paris. While in Finland Lamb met and married a Finnish woman. Their first child was born in London during the Blitz, and Lamb was granted the degree of Doctor of Science from Edinburgh University in 1942 with a monographic thesis dealing with the hypothesis of the previous movement of the continents of the southern hemisphere based on studies of the Antarctic lichen flora. 

Lamb took a leave of absence from the British Museum in 1943 to join Operation Tabarin, a secret Antarctic expedition organized by the Admiralty on behalf of the Colonial Office to assert British sovereignty in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Falkland Islands Dependencies against Chilean and Argentinian claims, and against possible German naval actions. Lamb served in Antarctica from 1944 to 1946 as a cryptogamic botanist, but he assisted in the construction of bases at Port Lockroy and Hope Bay, which involved person-hauling and dog-sledging 800 miles.

Andrew Taylor in his account of the years in the Antarctic writes: 

“Dr. I. Mackenzie Lamb … in my opinion, possessed the best scientific mind of any of us. Subsequent events probably threw me into closer contact with Lamb than any other individual in our party. A diligent worker as well as a modest and courteous gentleman, he was one of the most unselfish characters I have ever met. It was a privilege to know him so well. Possessing a humour that at times approached elfishness, he was a most sincere and earnest person. Both logical and imaginative, he possessed a realism that did not allow any histrionics or dramatics to warp his steady judgment.” (p24)

Taylor comments on Lamb’s scientific studies, done in addition to the other duties at the base. 

“To most people, for example, the study of the botany of such a region would seem a most uninspiring prospect. To Lamb, a specialist in the study of mosses and lichens, it was an exciting challenge. All can recognize the moss that carpets the forests and climbs up the bases of the trunks of the trees in temperate regions. Perhaps few of us have noticed the lichen—or we pay scant attention to it. Prior to my meeting Lamb, I confess that I never more than casually noticed them, (p113) …Lamb’s diligence and persistence rewarded him with a large collection of lichens gathered from the various localities we visited on Wiencke Island, as well as those collected in the course of his ecological studies of Goudier Islet. Many of the species he collected were new to the Graham Land area, others were new to the Antarctic, and he found a few which were new to science. In addition, he highly prized a few blades of grass that he discovered in a crevice between the rocks of the rookery. His interest also included mosses as well as a variety of marine algae and flora. These specimens were not easily found, but one is amazed at the diversity and luxuriance of some of the growths that the cold rock-faces of the country support. (p114)”

In 1947 Lamb, with wife and child, took a teaching position at the Instituto Miguel Lillo at the Universidad Nacional de Tucumán in northwest Argentina. Lamb built up a collection of lichens, adding Argentinian and Brazilian specimens to those from Antarctica. One field trip ended in disaster when on returning via a mountain pass the wind was so intense that the strings came untied and the new specimens and their annotations were scattered over the mountain. 

In 1950 Lamb was offered a position as cryptogamic botanist at the National Museum in Ottawa. Perhaps because of the cost of moving it from Argentina, Lamb sold the herbarium (3,200 specimens with annotations) to the Museum, and either sold or donated an annotated library on the subject. 

Lamb left Ottawa on short notice in 1953 when  offered the Directorship of the Farlow Library and Herbarium at Harvard University. Unfortunately the Farlow had been inoperative for some time, there was no staff, not even janitorial, and there was a large backlog of unanswered correspondence. However the collection did include 1,400,000 specimens, including approximately 75,000 types, of lichenized and non-lichenized fungi, bryophytes, diatoms and algae. Mrs Lamb helped out with work at the Farlow. Lamb directed the Farlow Library and Herbarium for almost twenty years, extending an interest to algae and marine phycology as well as lichens, and trained in scuba diving for a return to the Antarctic to obtain marine specimens.

In the 1960s the Lambs experienced family and personal crises possibly resulting from feelings of gender incongruence. Mrs Lamb ran up debts in her husband’s name. Lamb started living in the Farlow, and at one point was taken to the University Infirmary with a stay of three weeks. Afterwards Lamb obtained a legal separation from Mrs Lamb. A psychiatrist advised a consultation with “a specialist in New York City in resolving a torment that left him uncomfortable with his gender” (presumably Harry Benjamin).

This was during the final stages of the Antarctic project. Lamb decided on transition, and also dropped her surname, taking her middle name, Mackenzie as her new surname and Elke as her personal name. She applied for a legal name change, new social security number and passport. Publications by Lamb started to acknowledge the technical assistance of Miss Elke Mackenzie. Elke also joined a theatre troupe directed by Laurence Senelick, the historian of theatre and drag performance.

Harvard arranged sabbatical leave in 1971 followed by a total disability retirement (Elke was only 60). Mackenzie turned to translating German botanical text books into English, and for some years lived in Costa Rica, building a house there. She returned to Boston in 1980, living for a while with her daughter. She took up carpentry and started to make furniture. However in 1983 she experienced weaknesses in her legs and was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). She died age 78.

Laurence Senelick’s The Changing Room, sex, drag and theatre has the following dedication: 

“This book is dedicated to Elke Mackenzie, whose transformation taught many who enjoyed transvestism on stage to appreciate transsexualism in life”.

Mackenzie’s original surname was assigned to two genera, Lambia and Lambiella, and several species.

The list of species includes:

Buellia lambii

Neuropogon lambii

Parmelia lambii

Placopsis lambii

Verrucaria mackenzie-lambii

The name was also assigned to Cape Lamb on Vega Island, close to the most northerly point in Antarctica.


Note: Cryptogams are algae, lichens, fungi, mosses, and ferns. They differ from trees and plants in not having flowers or seeds. Their reproductive apparatus is hidden.

Some comments on other accounts:

Turku, Finland is not Turkey. Mrs Lamb was Finnish.

Lamb/Mackenzie could not be “diagnosed” with “gender dysphoria’ before 1971, because Norman Fisk did not propose the term until 1973. She was probably told she was Transsexual.

Surely “Disfonia Syndrome” is a misprint.

While Lamb met and was influenced by Annie Lorrain Smith, she did not direct or supervise him, as she retired in 1932 (age 77) and Lamb did not start at the British Museum until 1935.

There is no Instituto Lilloa in Tucamán or anywhere else. There is there the Instituto Miguel Lillo, and its journal is named Lilloa, to which Lamb frequently contributed.

After transition Mackenzie continued publishing as I M Lamb (for consistency).   Where she is referenced on other lichenologists' work it is as I M Lamb.   WorldCat has changed her name to Elke Mackenzie in its catalogue, but not of course in the actual publications.   Any lichenologist reading up on her work needs to know both names.  

Many trans persons retain the same surname.   The decision to change it is in addition to transitioning.  To refer to her as Mackenzie is ironically to use one of her male first names.


Publications by Lamb/Mackenzie:

  • “Lichenological notes from the British Museum herbarium.-I”. Journal of Botany74, 1936.
  • “Lichenological notes from the British Museum herbarium.-II”. Journal of Botany76, 1938.
  • “A new cephalodiate Lecidea from Japan”. Journal of Japanese Botany14,1938.
  • “Lichenological notes from the British Museum herbarium.--III “.Journal of Botany 77, 1939.
  • “What is Lecidea pringlei Tuckerman?”. The Bryologist, 42, 1939.
  • “A review of the genus Neuropogon (Nees & Flot.) Nyl., with special reference to the antarctic species”. Journal of the Linnaean Society of London, Botany52, 1939.
  • “Lichens from east Greenland collected by the Wager Expedition, 1935-36”. Nyt Magazin for Naturvidenskaberne 1940.
  • “The lichen genus Placopsis in Tristan da Cunha. Results of the Norwegian Scientific Expedition to Tristan da Cunha, 1937-1938”, 3, 1940. Norske videnskaps-akademi, Oslo.
  • “Lichenological notes from the British Museum herbarium.-IV. Rhizocarpon sect. Catocarpon in the British Isles”. Journal of Botany 78, 1940.
  • “Lichenological notes from the British Museum herbarium.--V”. Journal of Botany 79, 1941.
  • “A lichenological excursion to the west of Scotland”. Transactions of the Botanical Society, Edinburgh33, 1942.
  • “A monograph of the lichen genus Placopsis”. Lilloa13:1947.
  • “Further data on the genus Neuropogon”. Lilloa 14, 1948.
  • "New, Rare or Interesting Lichens from the Southern Hemisphere". Lilloa 14,1948.
  • “Antarctic pyrenocarp lichens”. Discovery Reports25, 1948.
  • “La importanciade los liquenes como indicadores fitogeographicos en el hemisferio austral”. Lilloa 20, 1949.
  • “On the morphology, phylogeny, and taxonomy of the lichen genus Stereocaulon”.Canadian Journal of Botany, 29, 1951.
  • “Biochemistry in the taxonomy of lichens”. Nature, 168, 1951.
  • “New, rare or interesting lichens from the southern hemisphere. II.” Lilloa, 26, 1953.
  • “Lichens of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia” Annual Report of the National Museum of Canada, Bulletin, 132, 1954.
  • “Studiesin frutescent Lecideaceae (lichenized discomycetes)”. Rhodora, 56, 1954.
  • “New lichens from northern Patagonia, with notes on some related species”. Farlowia, 4, 1955.
  • “Codex Lichenum”. Taxon, 5, 1956.
  • “Compsocladium, a new genus of lichenized ascomycetes”. Lloydia 19, 1956.
  • “Symbiosis: Part II. The remarkable lichens”. Natural History,47, 1958.
  • “La vegetaci6n liquénica de los Parques Nacionales Patag6nicos”. Anales de Parques Nacionales, 7, 1959.
  • “Lichens”. Scientific American,201(4), 1959
  • “Two new species of Stereocaulon occurring in Scandinavia”. Botaniska Notiser 114, 1961.
  • with Alexander Zahlbruckner. Index nominum lichenum inter annos 1932 et 1960 divulgatorum. Ronald Press Co, 1963.
  • "Antarctic Lichens. I. The Genera Usnea, Ramalina, Himantormia, Alectoria, Cornicularia". British Antarctic Survey Scientific Reports,38, 1964.
  • “The Stereocaulon massartianum assemblage in East Asia”. Journal of Japanese Botany,40, 1965.
  • “Die Gattung Stereocaulon, Lichenes, Stereocaulaceae. (Flechten des Himalaya 3)”. Khumba Himal: Ergebnisse des Forschungsunternehmens Nepal Himalaya 1,
  • Chemotaxonomy in the lichens. International Lichenological Newsletter 1(3), 1967.
  • with A. Henssen. “The Genera Buellia and Rinodina”. Antarctic lichens, 2.; Scientific reports (British Antarctic Survey),61, 1968.
  • “The species of Stereocaulon with protosacculate cephalodia”. Journal of Japanese Botany,43, 1968.
  • Antarctic terrestrial plants and their ecology, pp. 733-751. In M. W. Holdgate (ed.), Antarctic Ecology, 1970.
  • “Stereocaulon arenarium (Sav.) a hitherto overlooked boreal-arctic lichen”. Occasional Papers of the Farlow Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany2, 1972.
  • With W. A. Weber, H. M. Jahns& S. Huneck. “Calathaspis, a new genus of the lichen family Cladoniaceae”. Occasional Papers of the Farlow Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany4: 1972.
  • Stereocaulon Sterile (Sav) and Stereocaulon Groenlandicum (Dahl) Two More Hitherto Overlooked Lichen Species.Harvard, 1973.
  • “Further observations on Verrucaria serpuloides the only known permanently submerged marine lichen”. Occasional Papers of the Farlow Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany6, 1973.
  • “The lichen genus Argopsis”. Fr. Journal of the Hattori Botanical Laboratory, 38, 1974.
  • With A. Ward. “A preliminary conspectus of the species attributed to the imperfect lichen genus Leprocaulon”. Journal of the Hattori Botanical Laboratory, 38, 1974.
  • With S Huneck. “I'-Chloropannarin, a new depsidone from Argopsis friesiana: notes on the structure of pannarinand on the chemistry of the lichen genus Argopsis”. Phytochemistry, 14, 1975.
  • With D J Galloway & G C Bratt. “Two new species of Stereocaulon from New Zealand and Tasmania”. . Lichenologist, 8, 1976.
  • “Structurally unusual types of cephalodia in the lichen genus Stereocaulon (subgen. Holostelidium)”. Journal of Japanese Botany51, 1976.
  • “A conspectus of the lichen genus Stereocaulon (Schreb.) Hoffm”. Journal of the Hattori Botanical Laboratory, 43, 1977.
  • “Keys to the species of the lichen genus Stereocaulon (Schreb.) Hoffin”. Journal of the Hattori Botanical Laboratory44, 1978.
  • edited by S. Haddelsey & R. Lewis-Smith, The Secret South: A Tale of Operation Tabarin, 1943–46. Greenhill Books, 2018.

By Others:

  • David James. That Frozen Land.The Falcon Press, 1949.
  • Andrew Taylor, . “Dr. Ivan Mackenzie Lamb.” Polar Record26, 159, 1990: 343.
  • Geirge A Llano. “I. Mackenzie Lamb, D.Sc. (Elke Mackenzie) (1911-1990)”. The Bryologist,94, 1991.
  • Vernon Ahmadjian. “Obituary: Ivan Mackenzie Lamb (Elke Mackenzie) (1911-1990)” Lichenologist, 23,1,1991.
  • “Lamb, Ivan Mackenzie (1911-1990)”. JSTOR Global Plants. Online.
  • Geoffrey C Ainsworth edited by John Webster & David Moore. "Lamb (ivan Mackenzie (Elke Mackenzie Lamb)" Brief Biographies of British Mycologists.  British Mycological Society, 1996. Online.
  • Laurence Senelick. “Dedication”. The Changing Room: sex drag and theatre. Routledge, 2000.
  • Andrew Taylor edited by Daniel Heidt & Whitney Lackenbauer. Two Years Below the Horn: Operation Tabarin, Field Science and Antarctic Sovereignty, 1944-1946.Universiy of Manitoba Press, 2017.
  • Sabrina Imbler. “The Unsung Heroine of Lichenology”. JSTOR Daily,Sepember 26, 2020. Online.
  • Isabel Douglas. “LGBT History Month: Elke Mackenzie”. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, February 1, 2021. Online.

Wikipedia(Elke Mackenzie)

Wikipedia(Operation Tabarin)

13 November 2021

Torai Masae (1963 - ) activist

Torai Masea was raised in Tokyo.  He completed transition to male with surgery in the United States in 1987 and 1989. 

In 1987 he had appeared as a trans man on television and in magazines, which resulted in hundreds of letters, and replying became too much work. On his trip to the US in 1989 he found Louis Sullivan’s FTM Newsletter. In 1994 he founded FTM Nippon and with it a newsletter. He quit his job in that the job and running FTM Nippon were too much. However it took most of his savings, at a time when he had not paid off his surgery debt. He was also looking after his sick parents. Other trans men sent in material, and it was published in the newsletter and he then created FTM Nippon Press to publish books by them pseudonymously. 

He translated books by Jamison Green and published them with permission. 

In May 2001 he led a group of transsexuals who filed lawsuits in four family courts to have their family register details changed, with success in 2004. 

He is the author of several books on transsexuality.

  • Torai Masae.「男から女になったワタシ」 [I Who Have Become a Man from a Woman]. Seikyu-sha, 1996.
  • Andrew Matzner.“FTM in Japan: Interview with Masae Torai”. TG Tapestry. 91, Fall 2000. Online.
  • Hiroshi Matsubara. “Sex change no cure for torment: Surgery an option but transsexuals still face legal walls”. The Japan Times,Jun 20, 2001. Online.
  • Torai Masae “Japan: A Sexually Unique Country”. In Tracie O’Keefe& Katrina Fox (eds). Finding the Real Me: True Tales of Sex & Gender Diversity. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003:68-75.
  • Torai Masae.「男の戸籍をください」 [Register Me as a Man]. Mainichishinbunsha, 2003.
  • Mark McLelland. Queer Japan from the Pacific War to the Internet Ag Rowman & Littlefield 2005: 207.
  • Mark McLelland. “From the stage to the clinic: changing transgender identities in post-war Japan”. Japan Forum,16,1, 2004: 16.

10 November 2021

1947 police raid resisted

The raid and the fightback at the Stonewall tavern, New York 27-8 June 1969 is now iconic.  Many histories also mention previous police raids on trans/gay/queer venues: Cooper's Doughnuts May 1959, Dewey's Lunch Counter April 1965 and Compton's Cafeteria August 1966.

There were of course a lot more, even in the US. I compiled a list some years back of such raids from 1726 onwards.  But there was an important one that I missed.  The first police raid on a queer venue after WWII.  


Ueno Park had long been a center for the sex trade, given its proximity to Yoshiwara, the traditional pleasure quarters of old Edo.  Ueno was also the main rail terminal for trains serving the north of Japan, and immediately after the war it became a temporary home for people being repatriated from overseas to the provinces or returning to Tokyo from the countryside, where they had fled to avoid the air raids during the closing months of the war. While extreme poverty among this population no doubt drove many women (cis and trans) and some men to prostitution in an effort to survive, it seems that Ueno had long been a site of male prostitution. 

At this time the trans sex workers (Dansho) mainly wore the traditional kimono.

1947 November 22: Police raid on the trans prostitutes in Tokyo’s Ueno Park.  This was motivated not so much by the fact that these were trans prostitutes as by the fact they were seeking customers outside the designated red-light zones. 

Mark McLelland explains what happened:

"At around 7 pm on the previous evening, the superintendent of the Metropolitan Police had gone to inspect the effectiveness of the curfew that had been declared in Ueno Park to deter the lively prostitution scene that had developed there. At the back of the Shimizu-do- (a temple building), he, and his accompanying entourage of journalists, encountered a group of men dressed in women’s attire. When the journalists and camera crew started taking pictures of the men using a flash, the cross-dressers started attacking them in an attempt to take the cameras. The  superintendent and his men fled the scene in fear, but later returned to the  Shimizu-do- with reinforcements, not only to discover that the cross-dressed men were still there but that their number had increased to more than ten. The cross-dressers once again demonstrated their “masculine nature” (dansei no taisei) and began to beat up the camera crew. Then, they started hitting the superintendent who once again fled. Although the cross-dressers were finally subdued and arrested when 15 reinforcement police arrived, all things considered, the police came off looking rather inept if not outright incompetent in their handling of the incident. (p156-7)"

The incident was widely reported in the press, especially the scandal magazines, and was turned into a novel.

  • Sumi Tatsuya. Dansho no mori (男娼の森 / Grove of Male Prostitutes). Hibiya Shuppansha, 1949.  A novel about Ueno Park’s trans prostitutes.
  • “Dansho¯ zadankai: mondai no kokuhaku, (Confessions of a Problem: A Roundtable Discussion with Male Prostitutes)Oke, 2, 5, August 1949. English translation by Wim Lunsing as Chapter 5 of  Queer voices from Japan: first person narratives from Japan’s sexual minorities.     Some of the trans women involved at Ueno Park are interviewed by a journalist.
  • Mark Mclelland. Love, Sex, and Democracy in Japan during the American Occupation. Palgrave MacMillan, 2012.

31 October 2021

Woman in Black

In April 1870 the Wexford Independent, Wexford, Ireland ran the following which was quickly repeated in the Carlow Post.

Women in Black is a name given to a largely US phenomenon from the 1860s through to World War I.

Woodyard writes: 

"The Victorian widow, swathed in her 'habiliments of woe,' was a familiar figure on the streets of the nineteenth century. The dull fabrics, the crape, the veil: all marked the wearer as one touched by Death and entitled to special consideration. Mourning garb both protected the wearer from the public gaze and elevated societal expectations for the widow. This made it all the more shocking when mourning dress was used as a criminal disguise. 

Let us look at the rogues’ gallery of crimes committed in the United States from about 1860 to 1929 under the cover of crape. The list is a long and distressing one: Assault, inducing panic, menacing threats, armed robbery and pickpocketing, burglary, kidnapping, arson, murder, and most heinous of all to a 19th century audience: transvestism."

The different appearances were, of course, different.   The "woman in black" could be or could be taken as:

a) a genuine widow

b) a woman using the guise to commit a crime

c) a transvestite

d) a supernatural apparition

Woodyard points out: 

"A widow’s garb was the perfect cover for a transvestite, who, given the usual domestic organization of a 19th-century working-class household, had little privacy or time for cross-dressing. It allowed him to walk abroad publically, dressed as a woman; hiding in plain sight. The act of wearing widow’s weeds was, for transvestites, both a criminal act and the concealment of that criminal act.

In addition, mourning clothing was readily accessible. A man might borrow the weeds his wife had at home. Mourning goods could be purchased second-hand or through the mail. And security was guaranteed by the fact that few persons would have the courage or the impudence to walk up to a veiled widow in the dark and remove her veil. I found only a single case among hundreds of spectral Women in Black sightings, where a young Connecticut woman pulled the veil from the face of what turned out to be a well-known young man in widow’s weeds. His motive for doing so was elided by the newspaper."

In 1848 Columbus, Ohio became one of  the first US cities to pass a law against transvesting.  40 other cities soon did the same.  So some degree of subterfuge became required.

The Women in Black disappeared during the Great War.  Authorities introduced a ban on deep mourning for considerations of morale, and anyway hemlines began to rise.  Soon the Women in Black were forgotten. 

  • Chris Woodyard.  "The Woman in Black – Victorian Mourning as Criminal Disguise".  Haunted Ohio, March 25, 2017.  Online
  • Beach Combing.  "British and Irish Women in Black Spirits ".  Strange History, October 31, 2021.  Online

27 October 2021

Eleazar ben Jair, sicarius, Masada, CE 74


After the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in CE 70 (Roman Date: AUC DCCCXXIII; Hebrew Year 3831) , the sicarii/zealots maintained a last redoubt in Masada ( מצדה‎ metsada, "fortress") led by Eleazar ben Jair. It was besieged by Roman forces 73-4. Those within chose to die by their own hand rather than submit to the Romans.

However we read in Josephus, The Jewish War (William Whiston Translation, 1737), VII, 9, 1. Online.

“Yet was there an ancient woman, and another who was of kin to Eleazar, and superior to most women in prudence and learning, with five children: who had concealed themselves in caverns under ground; and had carried water thither for their drink; and were hidden there when the rest were intent upon the slaughter of one another.

Those others were nine hundred and sixty in number: the women, and children being withal included in that computation.”

John Allegro (The Chosen People: A Study of Jewish History from the Time of the Exile Until the Revolt of Bar Kocheba. Hodder and Stoughton, 1971: 240-1) comments:

“It might be considered ungracious to speculate on the identity, or even true sex of the ‘old woman’. described as ‘a relative of Eleazar’s’. and as being ‘superior in prudence and training (phronesi kai paideia) to most women’, who hid her female companion and accompanying five children underground during or after the mass slaughter of their fellow-Zealots above. Perhaps, too, we should not enquire too closely how that prudent person could so ‘lucidly report both the speech (of Eleazar) and how the deed was done’, if she were in hiding the whole time.

Nevertheless, one cannot help wondering if Josephus did not come by his remarkably complete knowledge of these last dramatic days and hours of Masada’s resistance through the first-hand report of Eleazar himself. Does Josephus know more about the ‘relative of Eleazar’ and her ‘prudence’ than he cares to divulge? Certainly, if Eleazar had felt no guilt in escaping the suicide pact disguised as an old woman, and was thus enabled to usher perhaps his wife and family from this tomb of Zealot hopes, he would have had some sympathy from Josephus, who had done much the same thing earlier on in the war.”

Certainly an interesting hypothesis. Almost all other writers neither repeat this hypothesis, nor refute it. It is of course a problem that the only evidence either way is the account by Josephus.

Eleazar would of course have worn a beard, and to pass as an old woman would need to have shaved. Shaving technology at this period was rather primitive - it was probably done simply with a sharp knife, and would leave cuts on his face. However the Romans might have respected an old woman enough not to have removed her veil.