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25 May 2007

Ella Zoyara (1840 - 1879) equestrian.

Born in St Louis, Omar Kingsley ran away to the circus when he was eight years old. He was trained in the dangerous trick-riding, and presented as a young woman. Ella toured Europe with the circus.

In Moscow, a Count, believing himself to be in love, offered a large sum of money to be introduced to her. In Italy the king, Victorio Emanuele II requested that she visit him. Ella did so but always accompanied by a female companion.

Back in America, Omar married Sallie Stickney, a fellow circus rider. In Manila, several military officers accused Ella of not being a woman after she had refused one of them. This resulted in a brawl and Ella and the circus director were thrown into jail. Ella's 'true' sex was then discovered.

Omar gave up his life as Ella to become a partner in the circus, but continued to give benefit performances. He died of smallpox in Bombay where he was giving such a performance.
  • Hirschfeld, Magnus. Die Transvestiten; ein Untersuchung uber den erotischen Verkleidungstrieb: mit umfangreichem casuistischen und historischen Material. Berlin: Pulvermacher, 562, vi pp1910. English translation by Michael A Lombardi-Nash. Tranvestites: The Erotic urge to Crossdress. Buffalo: Prometheus Books. 424 pp 1991:344-5.

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