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!

23 March 2008

Genesis P-Orridge (1950 - 2020) musician and magickian.

++ revised 7 May 2011, April 2020

Neil Andrew Megson was born in Manchester, and raised in Solihull (map). He changed his name to Genesis P-Orridge whilst at Hull University, and made it a legal change in 1971. He was tutored in magick by Brion Gysin and worked with William Burroughs.

In 1976 he was condemned by the then Arts Minister Harold Lever as a ‘wrecker of civilization’ following the show ‘Prostitution’ at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA).

From 1975-81 he was with Throbbing Gristle, the pioneering industrial music band. From 1981 he was in Psychic TV playing psychedelic, punk, electronic and experimental music. They were also pioneers in Acid House.

Genesis had 2 daughters with his first wife Paula P-Orridge (born Alaura O’Dell) whom he married in Tijuana in 1981. Together they were into Body Modification as well as magick and religious movements.

In 1992 their home was raided by the police looking for evidence of Satanism, and they found a 10-year-old videotape which they took to be of a ritual murder. On lawyers’ advice, the P-Orridges relocated to California, and shortly afterwards, their marriage broke up.

Genesis further relocated to New York City with his second wife, Lady Jaye (Jacqueline Breyer). Partly inspired by the Mandy persona of comedian Dick Emery, Genesis and Lady Jaye started to modify their bodies into one ‘pandrogynous’ being, which involved resembling each other. Genesis had breast implants and referred to himself as ‘s/he’. A book of writings called Ooh, You Are Awful... But I Like You! (= Mandy’s catch phrase - see video) was published in Nepal.

In 1995 s/he won $1.5 million from producer Rick Rubin and his company for injuries sustained while escaping a fire, which left P-Orridge unable to play guitar or keyboards.

Lady Jaye died in 2007 from a heart attack connected with stomach cancer.   She died in Genesis' arms

Genesis has issued over 200 records.

In 2015 Genesis spoke out against Caitlin Jenner's pretense to be a spokesperson for trans people: “clueless” and “lives in her own bubble”.

S/he was diagnosed with chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia in October 2017,[140] and died in New York City on 14 March 2020, aged 70.

Throbbing Gristle 2009

  • Genesis P-Orridge, Douglas Rushkoff (foreword), and Carl Abrahamsson (introduction). Painful but Fabulous: The Life and Art of Genesis P-Orridge. Soft Skull Press, 2002.
  • Marie Losier (dir). The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye.  With Genesis P. Orridge and Lady Jaye.   US 72 mins 2011.
  • "Genesis P-Orridge: Caitlyn Jenner should 'stop being a spokesperson' ".  The Guardian, 27 Aug 2015.  Online.
  • Adam Sweeting.  "Genesis P-Orridge 0bituary".   The Guardian, 15 March 2020.   Online.

22 March 2008

Kurt Freund (1914 - 1996) Penile Plethysmographer.

A German-speaking Czech, Freund earned an MD and a D.Sc. at Prague’s Univerzita Karlova (Charles University), and then did research in its sexological institute.

He is mainly associated with the Penile Plethysmograph which measures sexual arousal. He did not invent it, but refined and popularized its usage. It was used to detect men attempting to avoid military service by claiming to be homosexual. He showed that men presumed to have gone straight were still aroused by images of men. He, and others, argued for the decriminalization of homosexuality (which was achieved in Czechoslovakia in 1961) and for the end of sexual conversion therapy.

After the failure of the Czechoslovak uprising in 1968, he fled to Canada and was employed at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry where he founded a Phallometric Laboratory using the Penile Plethysmograph, which evaluated prospective transsexuals.

His work is the basis of Michael Bailey’s claim that there are no bisexuals in that men did appear so in Freund’s laboratory. He met Ray Blanchard while working with sex offenders at the Ontario Correctional Institute. They made plans to collaborate, and in 1980, Blanchard started working at the Clarke Institute. In 1982 Freund published “Two Types of Cross-Gender Identity”, in which he defines ‘transvestism’ as fantasizing oneself as the ‘opposite sex only when sexually aroused’, and he proposed the term ‘cross-gender fetishism’ (otherwise known as Fetishic Transvestism) for other such fantasizing, which Ray Blanchard identifies as the idea that he later renamed ‘autogynephilia’.

He committed suicide aged 82 while suffering from lung cancer. Ray Blanchard was his replacement.

Alan Finch (1967 - ) changeback.

Alan Finch was born in Lancaster, England. He was bullied for his delicate appearance. His mother divorced his distant and violent father when Alan was 15. At 17, when Alan was working in a gay-run hairdressing salon, he read Tula’s first autobiography, and his mother took him to a psychiatrist, who found that Alan has a missing male chromosome. He started female hormones at age 18.

On migration to Australia at age 19 with his mother and sister, he changed to female with hormones and surgery at the Monash Medical Centre’s gender clinic. He failed the psychiatric evaluation the first time, but had learned the proper answers for a second evaluation. He transitioned to being Helen Finch.

She worked in tele-sales. Helen married (illegally by Australian law) an Israeli who was looking for residence in Australia, and was later in a relationship with a man which fell apart because the husband could not cope with her having been born a boy.

She took up transcendental meditation. She had an affair with a woman who encouraged her to revert to being a man, which he did in 1997.

His current psychiatrist is also a transcendental meditationer who ran for Parliament for the Natural Law Party. As Alan, he is now suing the Monash Medical Centre’s gender clinic.  This went to the Supreme Court in 2009.  This case caused a temporary moratorium on approving persons for surgery at the Monash. 

He was featured on Australian Story. He has set up an advocacy group: Gender Identity Awareness Association from which he voices his support for the Australian ban on same-sex marriage and the like.
    Finch's case started in 2003.   What has happened since?

    The only mention of work is that Helen was in tele-sales at the time of the first transition. Did Helen and later Alan stay in that line of work?

    20 March 2008

    Rhonda Mae (1947 - ) machinist, pilot, manager, drag performer, Aids activist.

    Ron Cox moved to Fort Worth, Texas, with his family when he was 11. At 20 he joined the US Navy in anticipation of the draft, and was a machinist in destroyers. While being trained to operate and maintain nuclear submarines, he met his wife.

    After his military service, they moved to Fort Worth and he worked in management at General Dynamics. He also earned a pilot’s license and became involved with The Confederate Air Force which preserves vintage planes. He and his wife had a son and daughter.

    He did not tell her of his femme side for six years. She thought that it was just a phase, but helped him with shopping for clothes. At first he dressed only at home, but then he started doing a country-and-western drag act as Evelyn. They divorced, amicably, in 1994.

    Evelyn disengaged from General Dynamics, and took a job bartending en femme. She changed her name to Rhonda Mae at a customer’s suggestion. She moved on to management and performing in various bars around the city, getting closer to living full-time as a woman.

    As Aids developed she became the organizer for raising money and distributing food to Aids patients. Then she came down with Aids herself. For two years she was on AZT and not able to leave her apartment, but then refused the drug and got better. She lives on disability benefit, but still does shows and helps to raise money for Aids patients.

    19 March 2008

    Wilhelmina Tiemersma (1950 - ) Organist.

    This is a revision of the post that I put up in January. I have been in contact with Wilhelmina Tiemersma and a number of errors and distortions have been cleaned up. In addition she has informed me what she has done more recently.

    William Tiemersma
    graduated from Montréal's Conservatory of Music in 1976 as an organist, after studies with Bernard Bernard Lagacé, and after winning the John Robb Memorial Organ Comeptition, 1974. Tiemersma was hired by the downtown Unitarian Church of the Messiah in Montréal (at rue Sherbrooke and rue Simpson -- map), performed summer concerts at St Joseph's Oratory and made a number of broadcast recordings for radio, mainly for Radio-Canada.

    Tiemersma transitioned and became Wilhelmina in 1984: surgeon Dr Hugo Ciaburro. She had been attempting suicide as far back as 1971. In May 1987, she was suffering hormonal mood swings compounded by anti-depressants. After an argument over beers with a friend she went to the Church of the Messiah and set it alight.

    She wandered the streets of Montréal for six hours and then surrendered to the police. Two firefighters died in the blaze. Wilhelmina served three years and two months in a women's prison for criminal negligence causing death. She was allowed to practice the piano while in custody.

    Since her release, Wilhelmina has performed major organ recitals in Québec and Ontario, usually in churches, often with media coverage. From 1995-2005 she was organist/choir director St. Barnabas’ Anglican Church in Pierrefonds in west Montréal's West Island. Since 2007 she has been with Saint Ansgar's Lutheran Church.   She has been heard on both CBC and the BBC.

    Wilhelmina is mentioned in the Canadian Encyclopedia as one of the outstanding students of Bernard Lagacé.

    CanadianEncyclopedia(Bernard Lagacé)

    "OUR LADY GATE OF DAWN" Lithuanian Parish Choir, Montreal, Organist : Wilhelmina Tiemersma

    Janine Roberts (1942 - 2016) journalist.

    Raised in England by a Northern Irish family. At age 17 joined a Catholic order to prepare for the priest-hood. During the eight years of training, acquired degrees in theology and philosophy, and was ordained in 1967. Then did a B.Sc. in sociology at the London School of Economics.

    Afterwards resigned from the priesthood, married a woman, and they moved to Australia. They had two daughters. Started working with Australian Aboriginals.

    In 1975, she became Janine, although it took her another eight years to be accepted for surgery as she was still living with her wife and raising her daughters.

    In 1976 her first book (editor and co-author), The Mapoon Books, on aboriginal culture and institutional racism was published. She works with aboriginal groups in resisting mining on their territory, and researched Granada TV’s World in Action program on the issue. In the 1980s she worked as a freelance journalist and documentary maker.

    In the late 1980s she was working on a documentary on the diamond industry for Australian, US and UK television. She produced a program for BBC’s Panorama on the CIA, MI6 and KGB under Gorbachov, and The Sun outed her to attack her credibility. In 1992, when The Diamond Empire was two-thirds shot, her home was invaded and she was seriously beaten and was in hospital for two months. While she was on the critical list, the BBC took control of the project away from her. However in 1994 the program was shown on the BBC and in the US with her name on it. Pressure from the diamond monopoly, De Beers, resulted in its showing on Australian Broadcasting Company being cancelled, and in the BBC not selling it abroad, especially to South Africa.

    She continued to research the diamond industry, especially in South Africa and Namibia where she was a guest of the miners’ union. This resulted in the book Glitter and Greed, 2003.

    In 2002 she published The Seven days of My Creation on her own gender transition, and on the status of women through the Christian centuries. She has also published on the causes of AIDS and on problems with the polio vaccine. She was also a Wicca priestess.

    Janine suffered a massive stroke in 2010, and died six years later at age 74. 

    *Not the family therapist.
    • Janine Roberts . The Seven days of My Creation: tales of magic, sex and gender. San Jose: Writers Club Press 628 pp 2002. Liskeard, Cornwall: Exposure Publishing 384 pp 2006.
    • J. P. Roberts. Glitter & Greed: The Secret World of the Diamond Cartel. New York: Disinformation, 2007.  
    • "Jan Roberts: Commemorating a true warrior".  MAC: Mines and Communities, 2016-03-02.
    WorldCat    IMDB    AIDSWiki  

    What an amazing woman. I came across one of her web sites while googling for something on religion.

    Nobody has done a Wikipedia page on her. She is not in any of those lists of outstanding transpersons that we find on the web.

    Here is an excerpt from her documentary on the Diamond Empire.

    16 March 2008

    Gareth Farr (1968 - ) musician and performer

    Gareth was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and is an orchestral composer, percussionist, and drag performer.

    He studied music at Auckland University and performed as a member of the Auckland Philarmonia. He studied further at Victoria University, Wellington, and then at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York State. He is an enthusiast of the Indonesian gamelan.

    As Lilith Lacroix he was Miss Sweetheart 1995, first runner- up Miss Gay Upstate New York 1995 and second runner-up Miss Gay Rochester 1995. On returning to New Zealand Lilith developed a unique stage show, 'Drumdrag'. Ms Lacroix has also done commercials, and released pop singles.

    Gareth works with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and has released five CDs of his music. He appears in the New Zealand documentary, The Truth About Kiwi Men, 2001, and was the subject of Gareth - Farr From Heaven, 2005 on TVNZ. He also played a drag queen in Stickmen, 2001, and has composed the music for Dead Letters, 2006 and some television programs. He was made an officer of New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2006 Queen's Birthday Honours List.

    15 March 2008

    Anna Salunke (189? - ?) pioneer in cross-acting.

    When Dhundiraj Govind Phalke made the first Indian films, acting had become such a degraded profession in that country that no women, not even prostitutes would perform.

    He found a young man, A. Salunke, who had appropriate slender features and could pass as a woman. The man was currently working as a cook for 10 rupees a month, and was pleased to become an actress for 15 rupees a month.

    Billed as Anna Salunke, he played female roles in Raja Harishchandra, 1913 (the first ever film made in India), Satyavadi Raja Harishchandra, 1917, and in Lanka Dahan, 1917 he played both Seeta and her husband Rama (the first double role in Indian cinema).

    He later worked as a cinematographer.

    • Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (dir & scr). Raja Harishchandra. Anna Alunke as Taramati, D.D. Dabke as Raja Harishchandra. India 1913 BW Silent.
    • Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (dir & scr). Satyavadi Raja Harishchandra. Anna Alunke as Taramati, D.D. Dabke as Raja Harishchandra. India 1917 BW Silent.
    • Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (dir & scr). Lanka Dahan. Anna Alunke as Rama, Anna Alunke as Seeta, Ganpat Shinda as Hanuman. India 1917 BW Silent.

    Whatever happened to ... Elizabeth Carmichael (1937 - 2004?).

    In 1974 Elizabeth Carmichael, 6"1' (1.85 m) and 225 lb (102 kg), a feisty widow with five children, and a small staff in Los Angeles, announced to the world that they were selling an economical three-wheeled car called the Dale. She got booked on nationwide talk shows. Money rolled in: for dealerships, for shares, as downpayments on the cars.

    However there was not really a Dale. There was a wooden mockup with the same kind of engine that runs portable electric generators, and a lawn-mower carburetor. The district attorney from Los Angeles explains: 'The car would break after driving a few yards. I don't mean that it would quit running. I mean that it would break. Major stuff'.

    After a few months the California authorities investigated, and Carmichael disappeared. She resurfaced several months later in Dallas, Texas, and announced an expanded and improved market plan. The California authorities issued warrants. She disappeared again.

    With all this attention, it took a further two months before it was realized that Ms Carmichael was also Jerry Dean Michael who had five children, and a wife, or at least no-one made the accusation publicly. A year later Ms Carmichael was found in Miami. Tried in Dallas, she was found guilty of grand theft. She explained her gender in that she had been undergoing sex-change operations for eight years.

    She spent three years appealing the sentence in that she would not fit into either a men's or a women's prison. The appeals ran out in 1980. Carmichael never showed for sentencing. In 1989 she was identified after being featured on television. She was living near the town of Dale (same as the car) in Texas. Note that Carmichael is Michael (her real name) with 'car' added.

    She was sent to a men's prison in California. Other aliases: Jerry Barrett, Mike Moran, Mike Morgan, William Tracy Parker, William Richard Raines, Katherine Elizabeth Johnson.


    She will be out of prison now. Could it be her who has been altering her Wikipedia articles?

    Albena Mikhailova, thief

    Sredko Ichkov in Bulgaria was arrested for theft in 2004 after being caught red-handed, and sentenced to three years in gaol, but released on bail for 12 months.

    Sredko used this time to transition into Albena. On return she told the judge that she had been trying all her life to escape the uncouth man who had committed the crimes. It was his criminal nature that made her commit the theft, but since the operation she had found peace.

    The judge ruled that Albena was not responsible for Sredko’s crimes, and released her.

    13 March 2008

    'Ann Marrow' Late 18th century. Convicted Female Husband

    In July 1777, the month that, to settle many large bets, a British court ruled that the Chevalier d'Eon was indeed a woman, a trans man known to us only as Ann Marrow was convicted at Guildhall for wearing men's clothes and marrying three women. He was ordered to stand pillory and serve six month's in jail. He did not go down well with the crowd and from the objects that they threw, he was blinded.

    12 March 2008

    Mrs Noonan (? - 1878) army wife.

    Image from New York`s National Police Gazette, 15 Feb 1879.
    Mrs Noonan was the company laundress with the American Seventh Cavalry (the one that became famous because of General Custer and Little Big Horn). She had joined the company in Kentucky and followed it north to Fort Lincoln (map). She was always heavily veiled, and from 1868 to 1873 was married first to a man named Clifford, and then to James Nash. She always stayed on when her husbands were discharged. She did not get on too well with the other women who regarded her as 'something' between a man and a woman.

    In 1873 she had married Corporal John Noonan, a Mexican, and was living with him at Fort Meade, Dakota Territory. While the corporal was away on a campaign, Mrs Noonan died, and on being laid out by the other garrison women it was discovered that she was a 'man'. Noonan's comrades ridiculed him. He deserted, and two days later he committed suicide with his revolver. These events became national headlines.
    • Brigadier General Edward S. Godfrey. General Sully's Expedition Against the Southern Plains Indians, 1868.
    • Don Rickey, Jr. Forty Miles a Day on Beans and Hay; the enlisted soldier fighting the Indian wars. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press 1963: 170-1.
    • Jonathan Katz. " 'Mrs. Nash' of Custer's Seventh Cavalry". Gay American History: Lesbians And Gay Men In The U.S.A. New York: Crowell 1976. New York: A Discus Book.1978: 766,993.
    • "Mrs. Corporal Noonan". State Historical Society of North Dakota. December 30, 2004.

    There is a coda that appeared in the Bismarck Tribune Dec 10, 1878 (Bismark, North Dakota was the closest town of any size). A trance medium came to town, and a reporter from the newspaper asked for a private sitting. He had no particular person that he wished to contact, but the spirit of Mrs Noonan appeared, two months after her death. She explained that she was Joseph Drummond who had become a woman to hide a terrible crime committed in Washington, DC, 15 years before.

    09 March 2008

    Diane Delia (1957 - 1981) Performer

    John Delia was the son of a builder, John was Rh-negative and required a transfusion within hours of birth. His mother doted on him and, preschool, dressed him as a girl. He attended Manhattan’s High School of Art & Design and specialized in music.

    He graduated to become a drag artist: doing lip-synch impersonations of Diana Ross. He would perform without underwear so that the audience could see his penis under his skirt. At age 21, after several gay affairs including one with Robert Ferrara, he started seeing a psychiatrist with a view to transition, took estrogens, and had facial surgery.

    Then he met Robyn (originally Roberta) Arnold, the rich daughter of an ear, nose and throat surgeon. They became lovers and John stopped his hormone shots and started lifting weights to discourage his breasts. His father was delighted. John was starting to perform at the major Manhattan discos. John announced that they would marry.

    Diane's one and only modelling gig.
    However his urge to be a woman had returned. After discussion, Robyn agreed to support him in this. In November of that year he flew to Dr Biber in Colorado and returned as Diane (from his favorite impersonation subject). Diane worked for a while as a nightclub hostess in Montréal, and as a model for Avon cosmetics.

    After a run of unsatisfactory promiscuity she persuaded her old flame, Robert Ferrara to marry her, which he did, in his home town of Berwick, Pennsylvania. His parents tried to talk them out of it, and a neighbor objected to the sheriff that they were two men, but Dr Biber's affidavit and a reissued birth-certificate carried the day. Robyn paid $1400 for the wedding ring. Although Robert had had affairs with women, he did not relate to having sex with Diane. They also argued and fought, physically. So she moved out, and in with Robyn.

    The move expanded into a two-day party. After the party Diane agreed to meet Robert to talk over their difficulties. She was never seen again until her body washed up in the Hudson River. Robert and Robyn lived together in the latter's apartment after the murder. They were charged together that they had both shot her. Robyn, with her expensive lawyer, was acquitted. Robert, with his inexperienced lawyer, went to prison. The bar where Diane used to do her Diana Ross impersonations commemorated her passing by having several people imitate her impersonation.

    • "Transsexual Murder: Tangled Relationships Described in Trial of Former Lover, Husband".  New York Herald Journal, Sep 27 1982.  Online  
    • Carol Vecchione. "The jury in the slaying of a transsexual fashion.." UPI, Oct 9, 1982.   Online 
    • Linda Wolfe. "The Transsexual, the Bartender and the Jewish American Princess".  New York Magazine, 17 Jan 1983.   Online.   Reprinted in  The Professor and the Prostitute, and Other True Tales of Murder and Madness. Ballantine Books. 1987: chp 6. 
    Find a Grave     

    08 March 2008

    Two female transvestites in Elizabethan England

    Sometimes all we can see is a snapshot recorded in the proceedings of a court. The motivation and the context are unknown. Here are two such:

    Margaret Wakely
    In 1601, Margaret Wakely, the mother of a 'bastard' child was convicted by the Bridewell Court in London of going about in 'man's apparell'.

    Dorothy Clayton
    On 3 July 1575, Dorothy Clayton, spinster, was convicted by the Alderman's Court in London: she 'contrary to all honesty and womanhood commonly goes about the City apparelled in man's attire. She has abused her body with sundry persons and lived an incontinent life. On Friday she is to stand on the pillory for two hours in men's apparell and then to be sent to Bridewell until further order'.
    • Jean E Howard. “Crossdressing, The Theatre & Gender Struggle In Early Modern England”. Shakespeare Quarterly. 39,4 1988: 420

    Marie-Pierre Pruvot (1935 - ) High-school teacher.

    Jean-Pierre Pruvot was born in Ysser, a suburb of Algiers. At 16 Jean-Pierre attended a touring version of La Carrousel in Algiers. At 18 (the minimum legal age) he became Bambi and appeared at Chez Madame Arthur in Paris, and a year later at La Carrousel. She shared a home with Coccinelle. She became a star when Coccinelle went on tour.

    She transitioned 1960 with the same surgeon, Georges Burou in Casablanca, that Cocinelle had gone to two years previously. She had to return to Algiers during the troubles to get her birth certificate re-issued, but the Algerian certificate was recognised in France without problems.

    She played minor roles in a couple of long-forgotten films.
    In her 30s, she returned to school, while still performing at La Carrousel, and qualified to attend Sorbonne University. She earned an arts degree, a masters with a thesis on the novels of Marcel Proust, and a teaching certificate. She then became a high-school teacher of literature in Cherbourg, and later near Paris. She stayed in teaching for 25 years, and was awarded the Palmes Academiques. Her past as a performer never came out during her teaching career.

    In 2003 she wrote and published her first autobiographical novel set in the Algerian War of Independence using the name Marie-Pierre Ysser, and her second in 2007 about her show-biz career.

    Here is a photograph of a reunion of Bambi, Coccinelle and April Ashley in 2005. The man is Thierry Wilson, Coccinelle's third husband.

    06 March 2008

    John Randell (1918 – 1982) Psychiatrist.

    See also Richard Green, John Randell and ... 

    John Randell was born in Penarth, Glamorgan, Wales, and qualified as a doctor at the Welsh National School of Medicine in 1941. From 1942-6 he was a Surgeon Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR), and then worked at Guy's, St George's and St Thomas's, all in London.

    In 1950 he was appointed Physician for Psychological Medicine at Charing Cross Hospital. There he worked with Lennox Broster who had been treating intersexuals, since the 1930s, but not transsexuals as such. At the end of the 1950s he wrote a paper on 50 transvestites and transsexuals that he had worked with. In his 1960 MD thesis (Prifysgol Cymru/University of Wales) he discussed 61 mtf and 16 ftm cases. This was one of the first higher degree theses on transsexuality.

    B'ham Post 21 Nov 1964 p9
    During the 1960s he was seeing 50 cases a year, which rose to nearly 200 in the 1970s. By his own figures, he saw 2438 patients (1768 mtf, 670 ftm). He also spent half his time with general psychiatric patients. In 1969, his name was mentioned several times in press reports about the First International Symposium on Gender Identity, and he testified at the Corbett vs Corbett trial that he ‘considered that the respondent (ie April Ashley) is properly classified as a male homosexual transsexualist', (which contributed to the legal problems of transsexuals and intersex persons in the UK for the next 35 years).

    From this time on he was the ‘expert’ sought out by the media and appearing on the occasional radio programs. In 1980 the News of the World claimed that he and his surgeon, Peter Phillip, had made London the ‘sex-change capital of the world’. However Randell had not been in favour of surgery until his patients who had had surgery abroad returned with positive evaluations. Even in the 1960s less than 10% of his patients managed to achieve surgery and only a third of the mtfs of those had vaginoplasty. Even in the 1970s when numbers increased, still only 15% of patients achieved surgery.

    However by then he was arguing that surgery could be appropriate and that psychotherapy did not work. Even then he restricted surgery to sane, intelligent, single and passable individuals. Passable implied conforming to Randell’s old-fashioned ideas of being ‘ladylike’, that many women had abandoned by the 1970s. Until the end he continued to refer to patients, including post-operatives, by the pronouns of their birth gender, and would tell an mtf accepted for surgery that ‘you’ll always be a man’.

    Most patients describe him as brusque, rude and cold. However Tula found him to be ‘absolutely charming’ (perhaps because she passed so well).  He is the unnamed doctor in the Julia Grant television documentaries who shocked most reviewers by his attitude.

    Randall is the doctor who told Christopher Wilson, the author of Dancing With The Devil: The Windsors and Jimmy Donahue, that Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, had Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS) = a woman with XY chromosomes.

    Other patients include Mark Rees the town councillor, Rachael Padman the physicist, Alice Purnell the activist.

    He died of a heart attack.

    *Not the physicist nor the Conservative MP.
    • John B. Randell. "The Early Recognition of Psychiatric Disorders in Adults". Medicine Illustrated, vol IV, 215-220, 1950.
    • John B. Randell. "Euphoriant Effects Of "Preludin". The British Medical Journal. 2, 5043, 1957: 508-509.
    • John B. Randell. "Transvestitism And Trans-Sexualism: A Study Of 50 Cases". The British Medical Journal. 2, 5164, 1959: 1448-1452.
    • John B. Randell. Cross Dressing and the Desire to change Sex, MD Thesis, University of Wales, 1960.
    • John B. Randell. "Preoperative and Postoperative Status of Male and Female Transsexuals" in Richard Green & John Money (eds), Transsexualism and Sex Reassignment, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1969.
    • John B. Randell. "Indications for Sex Reassignment Surgery" Archives of Sexual Behavior, 1:2, 153-161, 1971.
    • John B. Randell. Sexual Variations. London: Priory Press. 1973.
    • John B. Randell. Transsexualism and its management, Nursing Mirror, 45-47, 1977.
    • David Pearson (dir). A Change of Sex. With Julia Grant. BBC TV. 1980.
    • Alice Purnell. "Dr John Randell", Beaumont Bulletin, 14:2, 1982.
    • "Dr J.B. Randell",  S.H.A.F.T. Newsletter, 15, 1982.
    • Dave King. “Pioneers of Transgendering: John Randell, 1918-1982”. University of Ulster: Gendys Conference, 2002.

    04 March 2008

    John Cabell Breckinridge(1903 – 1996).

    Bunny Breckinridge was descended from a US Attorney General, a Confederate general and the founder of Wells Fargo Bank. He was heir to the Comstock load fortune. He was born in Paris, educated at Eton, and at Oxford University.

    He was openly gay at a time when it was dangerous for the lower classes to be so, and was known for his flamboyance, and his use of perfumes and jewelry. He performed in local and amateur theatre, including Shakespearean plays. He also did drag shows. In France he used the name Jacques Solange. In 1927 while working as a drag performer in Paris, he married a woman and while they divorced after two years, they had one daughter, Solange.

    As sex-change operations became better known he would announce his intention of having one, that he would go to Denmark, and later Mexico. However he never went through with it, nor did he ever start living fulltime as female.

    In 1954 he taken to court for failing to support his aged, blind mother in England. In 1955 he was arrested for cruising and charged with vagrancy, but his family connections resulted in the charges being dropped.

    By 1958 he had met fellow transvestite, Ed Wood, and was cast as the alien leader in Plan 9 From Outer Space, 1958. In 1959 he was arrested for taking under-aged boys to Las Vegas, and committed to a state hospital for the criminally insane, but released the next year. In the late 1960s he opened his San Francisco home as a hippie drop-in.

    He was the inspiration for Bunny Wigglesworth in Zorro, the Gay Blade, 1981, and was amused to be portrayed in the Ed Wood film, 1994.

    • Rudolph Grey. Nightmare of Ecstasy: the Life and Art of Edward D. Wood, Jr. Feral House 380 pp1992: 81-2, 113-4.
    • Tim Burton (dir). Ed Wood. Scr: Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski, based on Nightmare of Ecstacy by Rudolph Grey, with Johnny Depp as Edward D. Wood Jr, Bill Murray as Bunny Breckinridge, Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi. US 124 mins 1994.
    • Joanne Meyerowitz. How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States. Cambridge, Ma, London: Harvard University Press. 363 pp 2002: 84, 305n97.
    •  “Bunny Breckinridge”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    Brigitte Martel (1949 – 2006) chanteuse

    Jacques Bélanger was famous throughout Québec at the age of 11 with the song ‘Maman, tu es la plus belle du monde’.

    At age 20 he sang in a transvestite review and found out about sex changes. Jacques transitioned in 1972 and became Jacqueline Bélanger.

    She restarted her career as a chanteuse under the name Brigitte Martel. She married a man in 1981 and published her autobiography the same year. In 1987 her mother died and she had a period of depression. As the Montréal cabarets closed she found it hard to work.

    She was one of the founders of l’Association des Transsexuelles du Québec (ATQ) and performed for their fundraiser each year.

    She died at home of a cardiac arrest.

    Here is a video clip about her made by Mirha-Soleil Ross:

    • Brigitte Martel. Né homme, comment je suis devenu femme. Éditions Québecor 155 pp 1981.
    • Richard Thérrien. “Autrefois Jacques Bélanger, Brigitte Martel. Le chanteur devenu femme” Dernière Heure April 1997 Online at

      Angelo Heddington (1973 – 2003), farm worker.

      He was Angela until he left school at 14. Passing as male, he built up his muscles doing farm work around Thedford, Ontario. He had both male and female lovers, and was controlling and abusive with both. He starved a male lover until the latter lost 45 kg.

      He met Elizabeth Rudavsky in 2002. He was working on a farm, and she was travelling to farms to sell dogs. She left a common-law husband of five years to move in with Angelo. He followed her everywhere and she lost her job. He locked the fridge and beat her often. Her weight fell from 91 to 59 kg. After five months she finally killed him with a knife. It then came out that Angelo was female-bodied. A judge, Crown prosecutors and the police investigators agreed that Rudavsky had acted in self-defence and dropped the second-degree murder charge.

      • Colin Freeze. “Woman kills abusive lover, finds 'he's' female”. The Globe and Mail. Apr 5, 2003.

      With lots of good reason, we are suspicious when the killer of a trans person is let go, but on the evidence here this is probably an exception.