In his youth he had a feminine appearance and using the names Signora Sangumeta and Mademoiselle Corinna he was popular as a woman school-rider and a circus rider. It is also said that he lived for a time in a convent. Only a few people knew Signora Sangumeta's secret.
He settled down when he fell in love with an Italian officer, and concentrated on his writings, producing numerous historical novels and short stories. Some of his works pioneer the gay novel, especially König Phantasus based on the life of Ludwig II of Bavaria.
- Magnus Hirschfeld,. Die Transvestiten; ein Untersuchung uber den erotischen Verkleidungstrieb: mit umfangreichem casuistischen und historischen Material. Berlin: Pulvermacher, vi, 562 pp1910. English translation by Michael A Lombardi-Nash. Transvestites: The Erotic urge to Crossdress. Buffalo: Prometheus Books. 424 pp 1991: 345.
- Bernd-Ulrich Hergemöller. Mann für Mann : biographisches Lexikon zur Geschichte von Freundesliebe und mannmännlicher Sexualität im deutschen Sprachraum. Hamburg: MännerschwarmSkript, 1998: under Vacano, Emil Mario.
- “Emile Mario Vacano”. Wikipedia: Die Freie Enzyklopädie. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emile_Mario_Vacano.
There is no mention at all of Emil Vacano in either The Gay and Lesbian Literary Heritage edited by Claude J. Summers, or Who's Who in Lesbian & Gay Writing by Gabriele Griffin. Apart from the happenstance that Hirschfeld was finally translated after 80 years, there seems to be nothing on him at all in English.