This site is the most comprehensive on the web devoted to trans history and biography. Well over 1700 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!

30 July 2008

Brian Belovitch (1956 -) housewife, performer.

Brian was raised in Rhode Island. When still a teenager she decided that she was a woman, and became Tish Gervais.

Still in Rhode Island, Tish married her boyfriend, Denny, and for five years lived as his wife on a US Army base in Germany, where she was the Tupperware representative.

When the marriage broke up, Tish was a model, a lounge, and then a disco singer. And finally a prostitute. She appears in Split: William to Chrysis: Portrait of a Drag Queen,1991, the documentary about International Chrysis, and in Silent Prey, 1997, a thriller set in a convent school, as the Mother Superior.

She had never gone through with genital surgery, and in middle age decided to return to being a man. Brian turned his life into performance art in an Off-Broadway production in 2000, called Boys Don’t Wear Lipstick.

He is one of the contributors to Daylle Schwartz’s book, Straight Talk with Gay Guys: What Girlfriends Can't Tell You and Straight Men Won't, 2007.
  • Keith Greer (dir). Boys Don't Wear Lipstick. Scr: Brian Belovitch, with Brian Belovitch. Play. Players Theatre. New York. 90 mins Oct-Nov 2000
  • D.J.R Bruckner. “The Man That Almost Got Away”. New York Times. Oct 31, 2000.

28 July 2008

Aubrey Levin (1940 - ) army doctor.

Updated  31/01/13.

The Levins were the first Jewish family in the South African National Party. An uncle was the first Jewish NP member of Parliament.

In 1968, as a GP studying psychiatry, but not yet then qualified, Aubrey wrote to Parliament asking to be invited to speak on possible changes to the laws on homosexuality. He claimed to have treated homosexuals and lesbians successfully by using electric-shock aversion therapy.

After qualifying as a psychiatrist he joined the South African Defence Force (SADF) as a colonel, an act that many thought must be political favouritism. 

At a secret camp, Greefsveld, near the Zimbabwe border and at Voortrekkerhoogte military hospital (now renamed Thaba Tshwane) near Pretoria he conducted experiments on white gay, lesbian, drug using and pacifist conscripts. Involuntary sex changes, sometimes deliberately botched, were allegedly imposed on gays and lesbians. The process included chemical castration and electric shocks. Army surgeons have estimated that as many as 900 forced sex changes may have been done between 1971 and 1989.

In 1997 South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission named Levin for possible "gross human rights abuses" (although no mention was then made of the 'sex-change' program).

In the mid 1990s, Dr Levin emigrated to Canada, where he became Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry (Forensic Division) at the University of Calgary's Medical School. He is now a Canadian citizen.  He has given professional evidence in Calgary court cases.

He denies that involuntary operations were ever imposed.

In March 2010 he was arrested by police and suspended by the Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons after a complaint from a 36-year-old male patient that he had been sexually assaulted over a period of time.

In January 2013 he was sentenced to five years.

25 July 2008

Mario Montez (1935 - 2013) underground film actor

++updated March 2014

René Rivera was a Puerto Rican New Yorker, born 1935, a drag performer, with a day job as a postal worker or maybe as shipping clerk, who appeared in many New York under-ground films and avant-garde plays in the period 1963-6, working with the seminal directors of the genre: Jack Smith, Ron Rice, Bill Vehr, Charles Ludlam, Avery Willard and Andy Warhol. He designed and sewed most of his costumes, and often those of his co-actors.

He was cast-listed as Dolores Flores in Flaming Creatures, 1963, his debut, an underground film of an extended party on the roof of the Windsor cinema in New York's Lower East Side with lots of drag and nudity, and where Flores dances a fandango. The film became famous when New York City police seized the print at the premier.

He then became Mario Montez in homage to the 1940s film star, Maria Montez. Mario's characters were all much alike: flamboyant and narcissistic, and as the milieu was one where acting per se was suspect, Mario mainly played Mario - no matter the character's name. The distinction observed between cross-acting and androgynous characters loses its meaning in these films.

The only film where Mario is actually stated to be a 'man' is in Warhol's Screen Test Number 2, 1965, with Salvador Dalí and Lou Reed, where he is confronted about his gender and must admit that he is male, but he does so, he says, only because he is a woman. This was redone the next year on stage by the Ridiculous Theatre Company, again with Montez.

Mario was a guest performer singing "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" in the seminal film The Queen, 1968, hosted by Jack Doroshow (Sabrina).

In  1977, René moved to Orlando, Florida where he worked in clerical jobs.   In 2006 he was featured in a documentary about filmmaker Jack Smith.  In the last few years of his life he again appeared in avant-garde films, and was honored:  March 2010, Montez was honored by Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race; February 2012, Montez was honored with the Special Teddy Award 2012 at the Berlinale for her outstanding role in underground film history.

He died of a stroke in 2013, aged 78. 

23 July 2008

Amanda Lear (?1939 - ) performer.

Revised 4 Dec 2009, 31 Jan 2010.

Amanda has given out different years (1941, 1945 and even 1948) and places (Hong Kong, Saigon) for her birth.

The most likely story is that she was born Alain Tapp in 1939. He was raised bilingual in French and English, and became fluent also in Italian, Spanish and German as a teenager.

By 1958 Alain was a performer at Le Carrousel in Paris under the name Peki d’Oslo. Peki was a room mate of April Ashley for a Le Carrousel tour of Italy. Alain as Peki is also remembered by Romy Haag from when she performed at Haag’s nightclub and at Chez Nous in Berlin in the early 1960s. Record producer Simon Napier-Bell also met Peki when she was first in London, and then years later made a record with Amanda.

She became a long-time friend of Salvador Dalí, who may have paid for her operation with Dr Burou in 1963. Some say that her name = ‘a man’ + ‘dali’ or ‘L’amant Dali” (this latter the title of one of her books).

In 1965 after working with Ricky Renee in Berlin and at Raymond's Revue Bar in London, Peki became Amanda and studied at St Martin’s College of Art in London, and became acquainted with Marianne Faithfull and Keith Moon.

Desiring a UK passport she and April went to a pub in Notting Hill and found a Mr Lear, an Scottish architecture student, who was willing to wed Amanda for ₤50. Mr Lear was dumped right after the ceremony, but Amanda has kept his name to this day.

She became a disco star in the 70s. At this time there were rumours that she was transsexual, but she consistently denied them. She has claimed that the sex-change was merely a publicity stunt thought up by Salvador Dali. In her disco song, ‘Fabulous Lover, Love Me”, she sings: “the surgeon made me so well that you could not tell that I was not somebody else".

She is the model with the black panther on the cover of the Roxy Music album, For Your Pleasure. She dated Brian Jones, Bryan Ferry and David Bowie. She modelled nude for Playboy in 1977.

In 1979 she married Alain-Philippe Malagnac d'Argens de Villèle, the former beloved for two decades of French writer Roger Peyrefitte, and himself the owner of Le Bronx, one of Paris’ first openly gay nightclubs. He and Amanda were together for 21 years until he died in a fire at their farmhouse near Avignon.

She has released 13 albums and over 50 singles, with sales in the millions. She has written three books about her life with Salvador Dalí. She has hosted long-running television shows in Germany and Italy. She has exhibited her own paintings and gives lectures on Dalí.

In 2006 she was made a Chevalière in the l'Ordre National des Arts et des Lettres.

In 2007 she created a kerfuffle when she refused to perform or appear on stage in Milan because she would be next to a group of transsexuals. She was reported to say ‘Tenete lontani i trans’ (keep the transies far away).

In 2008-9 her Wikipedia page was revised to remove all suggestions that she is transsexual, and in 2009 she published an autobiography with the the tantalizing title of Je ne suis pas celle que vous croyez..

22 July 2008

Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856 - 1915) efficiency engineer.

Taylor is best remembered for his career as an efficiency engineer. Copley's biography calls him the 'father of scientific management'. He organized the management of Bethlehem Steel, Cramp's Shipbuilding and Midvale Steel. He patented one hundred inventions, and devised the Taylor-White process for treating high-speed tools.

He was also a star in the amateur theatricals put on by his cricket club. He was most celebrated for his impersonations of young ladies. He is said to have done this with such fidelity that even his wife was deceived.

He was also a tennis player of note , and won the first doubles tournament in the 1881 US National Championships.
  • Frederick Winslow Taylor. The principles of scientific management. New York : Harper & Row, 1911. 30 other editions up to 1998.
  • Frank Barkley Copley. Frederick W. Taylor: Father of Scientific Management. Harper & Brothers, Publishers 1923:88-9.

Annie Hindle (1847 - 19?) male impersonator

She was named Annie after her adoptive mother. She was first on stage at the age of five in the pottery district of Hertfordshire.

Later, in London, she adopted male costume as her specialty, and performed as Charles Ryan. Other women had earlier included a male persona in their acts, but had not specialized. She was also the first to present as a nattily-dressed swell.

In 1867, she was brought to New York as the first ‘out-and-out male impersonator New York’s stage had ever seen’. She was paid very well, as much as $150 per week.

The next year she had a six-week marriage with Charles Vivian, an English comic singer and co-founder of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. She accused him of violence. They never filed for divorce.

Afterwards Hindle went for more realism in her act, including shaving until she developed a moustache. She appeared in New York on the same bill as the notorious female impersonator, Ernest Boulton (now calling himself Byne). In the 1870s she managed the Grand Central Variety Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio. However it suffered from low attendance and she went back to acting.

In 1886, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in male clothes and using the name ‘Charles’, she married her dresser Anna Ryan. The best man was female impersonator, Gilbert Saroney, in mufti. The press got the story, and many insisted that Charles Ryan was a man who had been passing himself as a woman for 20 years. This claim ended her career, and the two women, both dressed as women lived in Jersey City until Ryan died five years later.

Annie attempted to return to the stage, but found only small-time bookings.

Emma Donaghue has turned Annie’s life into a play, Ladies and Gentlemen, first performed in 1996.
  • "Man or Woman?" Grand Rapids Evening Leader June 7, 1886: 4.
  • "Married Her Maid: The Strange Story of Charles and Annie Hindle, a Man Masquerading as a Woman." Grand Rapids Telegram-Herald June 7, 1886: 4.
  • "Married as a Man." Grand Rapids Daily Democrat June 8, 1886: 5.
  • "Stranger than Fiction: The True Story of Annie Hindle's Two Marriages." New York Sun December 27, 1891: 13.
  • Laurence Senelick. The Changing Room: Sex, Drag and Theatre. Gender in performance. London, New York: Routledge, xvi, 540pp. 2000: 329-331.
  • Gillian Rodger. “Hindle, Annie (ca 1847-19??)”. glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture. 2002.

20 July 2008

Ernest Boulton (1849 - ? ) and Frederick William Park (1848 - 1881) performers.

Ernest Boulton was the scion of a family of Stockbrokers in the London suburb of Peckham.

He had shown an extraordinary aptitude for playing female characters - even from his sixth year. He often performed in private theatricals; the parts he assumed were always female, and his performances were always popular and successful. He also played the piano and sang excellently. He always had photographs taken.

When in his late teens, Ernest was introduced to Frederick William Park, who had similar interests, and they toured theatres as a double act using the female names: Stella Clinton, sometimes Mrs Graham, and Fanny Winifred Park. The reviews in the local papers were favourable. At one performance Stella received as many as fourteen bouquets. Both Stella and Fanny were frequently invited to supper at country houses after the show, and if requested went in their stage clothes. Local photographers pictured them for postcards which were in great demand. Stella was a pioneer of the new glamour drag.

When not touring they were frequently seen, dressed en femme, at such places as the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race, the Surrey Theatre in Blackfriars Road (where the Royal Ophthalmic Hospital now stands), the Alhambra Theatre in Leicester Square, and the Burlington Arcade where higher-priced prostitutes were known to ply their trade.

A Hugh Mundell met both Boulton and Park, in male attire, at the Surrey and was convinced that they were women dressed as men. He gave them advice on how to be more convincing: they should swing their arms more. He met them again at the same theatre when they were dressed as women. He gave them a rose each. Stella passed him a note saying that they were men dressed as women. Hugh thought this a capital joke, and he and another man took the two women for a meal at the Globe, near the Haymarket.

Charles Reeves, superintendent of the Alhambra Theatre, where they frequently went over a period of three years, objected to their appearance and to the attention they attracted. He had them turned out more than once.

Stella and Fanny, with Martin Luther Cumming, C.F. Thomas, and Amos Gibbings, rented a room at 13 Wakefield Street which they used as a changing room, and for storing clothes. The landlady, Mrs Stacey, her daughter and some of the other lodgers were quite aware of what was going on as the two impersonators were quite open about what they doing. A Mr Cox flirted with Stella but when he later encountered Mr Boulton in Covent Garden he cursed him.

William Chamberlain of the detective police force encountered Stella and Fanny on several occasions. On 28 April 1870 Chamberlain arrested them as they left the Haxell's Strand Hotel, where they had attended a ball organized by Amos Gibbings. They were taken to the Bow Street police station where the police surgeon examined their anuses for evidence of 'pedication'. They appeared the next day in magistrates' court dressed as they had been at the time of arrest. They were charged with 'conspiring and inciting persons to commit an unnatural offence'. The case came to trial in May of the next year.

In the interim, Lord Arthur Clinton, the third son of the fifth Duke of Newcastle, who was charged as an accessory, died at the age of thirty of scarlet fever aggravated by anxiety over the charge. The case was regarded as important. Both the Attorney General and the Solicitor General appeared for the prosecution. The 'unnatural offence', that is homosexuality, was not proved. Other than this, the prosecution was stuck for a crime. Dressing as a woman was not in itself a crime, and public mischief - a common charge against cross-dressers - would be no more than a misdemeanour. The jury returned after fifty-three minutes to declare the accused not guilty.

Both Boulton and Park left the country and continued their lifestyle in New York. Boulton appeared as Ernest Byne on the same bill in New York as the famed male-impersonator Annie Hindle and is regarded as a pioneer of glamour drag.  Park appeared as Fred Frinton, however without success, and he died at the young 5age of 33.

Stella and Fanny were featured in a survey of homosexuality published in 1881, The Sins of the Cities of the Plain.
  • Roger Baker. Drag: a history of Female Impersonation on the Stage. A Triton Book. 1968: 122-6.
  • Ronald Pearsall. The Worm in the Bud: the World of Victorian Sexuality. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. 1969: 461-6.
  • Peter Farrer (ed). Men in Petticoats: a Selection of Letters from Victorian Newspapers. Karn Publications 1987: 4-9.
  • Leslie Feinberg. Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Rupaul. Beacon Press, 1996: 88-9.
  • Laurence Senelick. The Changing Room: Sex, Drag and Theatre. Gender in performance. London, New York: Routledge, xvi, 540pp. 2000: 302-6, 321n37,n44.
  • Rictor Norton. "Fanny and Stella," extract from My Dear Boy: Gay Love Letters through the Centuries. 2000. Online at:
  • Lee Jackson. “Men Posing as Women”. The Victorian Dictionary.

Dee Palmer (1937 - ) keyboardist and arranger.

David Palmer was born intersex and had corrective surgery to make him definitely male.

He graduated from the Royal Military School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. He was clarinettist with the Royal Horseguards calvary regiment.

++Palmer's first production of an LP was Nicola by Bert Jansch.   This was followed by an introduction to the band Jethro Tull and Palmer played French horn and did orchestral arrangements for their 1968 album This Was.

After scoring arrangement for  Jethro Tull for several years, Palmer was a full member as keyboardist and arranger 1976-80.

He has recorded several orchestral arrangements of music by Queen, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, etc. He was married, and presented as a bearded, pipe-smoking man. He was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 1994.

However she really preferred to be female, but did not transition to female until 2004, at the age of 67, after the deaths of her mother and her wife.


Nicola by Bert Jansch (producer)

With Jethro Tull[edit]

Providing orchestral arrangements
As a full-time member

Symphonic arrangements[edit]

  • A Classic Case, also known as Classic Jethro Tull (1986)
  • We Know What We Like (Genesis) (1987)
  • Orchestral Maneuvers: The Music Of Pink Floyd (1991)
  • Objects of Fantasy (1991)
  • Symphonic Music of Yes (1993)
  • Orchestral Sgt. Pepper's (1995)
  • Passing Open Windows: A Symphonic Tribute to Queen (1996)

  • Through Darkened Glass (2018)

  • “David/Dee Palmer”. The Official Jethro Tull Website. Archive.
EN.Wikipedia      Allmusic.

17 July 2008

Gottfried Alexander Leopold Graf von Bismarck-Schonhausen (1962 – 2007 )

Gottfried von Bismarck was the second son of Ferdinand, the 4th Prince Bismarck.

Born in Belgium, he was raised on the family estate near Hamburg. He had a brief internship on the New York Stock Exchange, and then he attended Christ Church, Oxford University where he took a third in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

He was a member of the Piers Gaveston Society which was noted for its rubber wear and whips. Bismarck also wore drag and makeup. He was noted for his charm and company whether in lederhosen or in female clothing. He did lots of alcohol and amphetamines.

At the end of final exams in 1986, Olivia Channon, the daughter of Paul Channon, a minister in Thatcher’s cabinet, was found dead from a heroin and alcohol overdose in Bismarck’s room. He was fined £80 for possessing amphetamines and his father recalled him to Germany. A family servant remained to settle his bills.

He did a Ph.D. on the East German telephone system, and oversaw the selling off of East German companies to private owners. Later he worked in Los Angeles raising money for Telemonde prior to its collapse. He returned to London and promoted holidays in Uzbekistan.

In August 2006 a man fell to his death from Bismarck’s £5m Chelsea flat after cocaine and an all-male orgy.

In 2007, at age 44, he died in his flat of a cocaine overdose. The pathologist said that he had never seen such a high level of cocaine in a body. Bismarck also had liver damage, hepatitis B & C, and was HIV +.

Marguerite Malaure (1665 - ?) lady's maid.

Marguerite was born in Pourdiac, near Toulouse, France. She was orphaned early, and raised under the supervision of the local priest.

She was placed as a lady's maid. In 1686 she fell ill, and had to be admitted to the Hotel-Dieu in Toulouse. The physician who examined her made a big deal of the irregularity of her genitals. She had both male and female organs. He insisted that maleness dominated in her organs, and that she was therefore obviously a man, despite her feminine appearance and the fact that she had menses. The authorities insisted that 'he' must henceforth dress as male, and only as male, and behave likewise.

This Marguerite found to be impossible. In addition she was faced with public harassment. The men clamoured for public exhibition of the subject of contention. She was frequently accosted and humiliated on the streets. Even the priest admonished her to reveal her unique features against the strong contemporary demand for modesty.

As a woman she ran away to Bordeaux, and was able to obtain work, and live undisturbed. However in 1691, a visitor to the city from her home town recognized her and denounced her to the authorities. She was arrested, tried and it was decreed that: 'her legal name shall be Arnaud de Malaure; she shall use men's clothes; and shall be forbidden, on pain of the whip, to dress like a woman'. This of course made her unemployable in that her only training was as a maid.

Harassed and desperate, she went to Paris, in male dress, sword at her side, and succeeded in being seen by a famous physician, Doctor Helvétius, who also brought in a surgeon, Doctor Saviard. After careful consideration, they concluded that she was a woman, but with a prolapsis of the uterus. They corrected this with surgery. They then put her on public exhibition. But they had no power to reverse the decision of a court.

She did manage to address a supplication to the king who appointed a commission to look into the issue. This is no little achievement. She had no money, was socially ostracized, and had to fight an archaic and difficult bureaucracy. The commission did decide in the end that she was a woman, and restored her sex and her name.
  • F. Gonzalez-Crussi. Three Forms Of Sudden Death, And Other Reflections On The Grandeur And Misery Of The Body. London: Picador. New York : Harper & Row vii, 207 pp 1986: 43-6.
  • “Marguerite Malaure : Prétendu Hermaphrodite”.

Careful with your French translation here. 'Prétendu' should be rendered 'alleged', not 'pretending'.

I admit that I do not fully understand the diagnosis of Uterine Prolapsis. An article here (with pictures) describes it. Most descriptions stress that it is something that may happen after childbirth and especially menopause. Malaure was too young for menopause. None of the accounts suggest that she had given birth, but maybe she had hidden the fact. I have given her birth year as 1665 in accordance with, but Gonzalez-Crussi gives it as 1655, which means that she would have been 31 when she went to the Hotel-Dieu, which leaves many adult years unaccounted.

You have to admire her feistiness. Her only experience that of a maid in a provincial town, she goes to Paris, seeks out one of the best doctors in France, and then after that goes to the king and gets a commission of enquiry.

The Helvétius family, originally named Schweitzer, was a dynasty of doctors, of whom the most famous was Claude Adrien Helvétius (1715 - 1771).

14 July 2008

Amaranta Gómez Regalado (1977 - ) activist.

Jorge Gómez Regalado was a Zapotec from Juchitán de Zaragoza, Oaxaca, Mexico.

A Muxhe or Two-Spirit, she took the name, Amaranta, during adolescence inspired by the character in Gabriel Márquez’s novel 100 years of Solitude.

She studied language and theatre at Veracruz University. She speaks Zapotec and Spanish. She then toured southern Mexico as a travésti performer.

She is an HIV/AIDS activist who has won international grants to further her work with the Muxhe community and with migrant women.

She lost an arm in a bus crash in 2002. She is a co-founder of Mexico Possible party, and was its candidate for Federal Deputy in 2003, that is, she was the first transgender Mexican to run for office.

11 July 2008

Louis Gradon Sullivan (1951-1991) pioneer ftm activist.

Sheila Jean Sullivan was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In her early 20s she worked as a secretary for the Slavic Languages Department at the University of Wisconsin, where she was noted for her speed and accuracy in typing even in Cyrillic, although she not understand the language.

Sullivan had begun to wear men’s clothing even to work, and helped with the typesetting and layout for the local gay magazine. Sullivan moved to San Francisco with boyfriend. Sullivan's parents and siblings were supportive of his identity as a man, and the going-away present was a man’s suit.

In San Francisco Sullivan eventually found a supportive psychiatrist and started taking male hormones in 1978. He changed his name to Louis and was able to grow a beard. He found a job at a sporting goods firm where the manager knew of his past but was not bothered. He had chest reconstruction in 1980, which ended the relationship with the boyfriend.

Louis was a pioneering organizer for female-to-male persons. He was the organizer of San Francisco’s Gay & Lesbian Historical Society.

He identified as an gay trans man, at a time when the medical establishment maintained that no such person could exist, and was rejected by gender clinics on these grounds three times. He had obtained hormones and surgery from doctors not associated with gender clinics. He lobbied the American Psychiatric Association and the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association (now known as WPATH), to recognize his existence.

He wrote the first guidebook for FTM persons, and also a biography of the early 20th century San Francisco trans man, Jack Bee Garland. He did peer counseling at San Francisco’s Janus Information Facility, a clearinghouse for information on transgender issues; he was also active in the Golden Gate Girls/Guys (later the Gateway Gender Alliance). He was a frequent contributor to Rupert Raj’s FTM newsletter out of Toronto, Metamorphosis.

In 1986 he finally had genital surgery, but suffered complication afterwards. Also later that year he was diagnosed as HIV+. Aids-phobia cost him his job.

He spent the rest of his life developing support for FTM transsexuals and crossdressers. He founded FTM the first exclusively FTM organization. He is largely responsible for the modern acknowledgment that sexual orientation and gender identity are different things. He was also one of the first to talk about the eroticism of male clothing.

He died of AIDS. “I took a certain pleasure in informing the gender clinic that even though their program told me that I could not live like a gay man, it looks like I’m going to die like one”.

*Not the architect, nor the US Secretary of Health.
  • Louis Sullivan. Information for the female to male cross dresser and transsexual. Seattle: Ingersoll Gender Center. 1st Ed Janus Information Facility. 20 pp1980.2nd ed 48 pp 1985. 3rd ed.. iii, 123 pp1990.
  • Eli Coleman & Walter O. Bockting. “’Heterosexual’ prior to Sex Reassignment – ‘Homosexual’ Afterwards: A case Study of a Female-to-Male Transsexual”. Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality. Vol 1(2). 1988 pp69-82
  • Louis Sullivan. Male to Female: the Life of Jack Bee Garland. Alyson Publications, Inc. 1990.
  • Leslie Feinberg. Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Rupaul. Beacon Press, 1996: 144.
  • Pat Califia. Sex changes : the politics of transgenderism. San Francisco: Cleis Press 1997. Second edition by Patrick Califia 2003: 186-7.
  • Susan Stryker. “Lou Sullivan”. Third International Congress on Sex and Gender. 1998.
  • Susan Stryker. "Portrait of a Transfag Drag Hag as a Young Man: The Activist Career of Louis G. Sullivan," in Kate More and Stephen Whittle (eds). Reclaiming Gender: Transsexual Grammars at the Fin de Siecle. London: Cassells, 1999:62-82.
  • “Guide to the Louis Graydon Sullivan Papers, 1755-1991 (bulk 1961-1991)”. Online Archive of California. Contains full bibliography.;jsessionid=NcggwsRWO1_ivoF_?docId=tf9199n9v3&
  • FTMi Newsletter: the Lou Sullivan memorial Issue. Issue 58: Spring 2005.
  • FTM Newsletter: Special Issue Summer 2007.

Although Lou Sullivan wrote to Ray Blanchard 20 years ago explaining that gay trans men existed, Blanchard is still denying their existence.

Vern & Bonnie Bullough's Cross Dressing, Sex, and Gender, 1993, the same book that totally fails to mention Reed Erickson, mentions Sullivan only in the 'transvestism' chapter, page 306, asserts that he was a 'cross dresser' and totally ignores his work for ftm transsexuals, and totally ignores that he was a gay trans man. They know of his death but not of his work.

Fernanda Farias de Albuquerque (1963 – 1999) and Ingrid de Souza (1976 - )

Fernandinho Farias de Albuquerque was a travesti from the Brazilian Nordeste who grew up to become Fernanda and to use the professional name Princesa. She emigrated to Italy in 1988 to earn money as a prostitute and buy a sex-change operation.

In 1990 Fernanda was convicted of the attempted murder of a woman who had stolen her money, and in Rome’s Rebibbia prison she met Maurizio Jannelli of the revolutionary Brigate Rosse who worked with her to write her autobiography, which was published in 1994 in Italy, and in Brazil in 1995.

Princesa became the most celebrated transsexual in Italian song when Fabrizio De André (1940-1999) sang about her on the album Anime Salve, 1995. Listen to part of it here.

The autobiography was picked up by film director Henrique Goldman. She worked with him on pre-production, but committed suicide before filming started.

Ingrid de Souza was born in Belem Do Para in the Brazilian Amazon, and like Fernanda emigrated to Italy. She was found by Goldman while praying in Milan’s Duomo cathedral, where he was scouting locations. She became one of very few transsexual actors to play a transsexual lead role when she starred in the film Princesa, 2001.

However the film ignores the time in prison and the suicide, and adds a plot about a john, Gianna, a lawyer, who at first is freaked out by her extra equipment, but falls for her, and leaves his wife to live with her.

Ingrid never played in any other film.
  • Fernanda Farias de Albuquerque with Maurizio Jannelli. Princesa. Roma: Sensibili alle foglie, 125 pp1994. A Princesa: depoimento de um travesti a um líder das Brigadas Vermelha. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Nova Fronteira, 1995.
  • Henrique Goldman (dir & scr). Princesa. Scr: Ellis Freeman, based on the book by Fernanda Farias de Albuquerque and Maurizio Jannelli, with Ingrid de Souza as Fernando/Fernanda. France/Germany 96 mins 2001.

08 July 2008

Marci L. Bowers. (1958 - ) gynecologist, surgeon.

Revised: 3 Nov 2009

Mark Bowers first attempted to transition at age 19, but with no support nor funds, was not able to.

He trained as a gynecologist at the University of Minnesota Medical school, and had a successful practice in Seattle where he delivered over 2000 babies. Mark has also served as Obstetrics and Gynecology Department Chairperson at the Swedish (Providence) Medical Center, and was named the only physician member of the Washington State midwifery Board.

He married a wife in 1986, and they had three children.

Bowers transitioned to female in 1997. She is still married to her wife.

Marci was named as one of "America's Best Physicians" for the 2002 to 2003 awards.

She took over Stanley Biber’s practice in Trinidad, Colorado, in 2003 including his genital reassignments, when he retired. She is the first post-op person to lead a sex-change clinic. She is doing around 130 genital operations per year. Two television documentaries have been made about her work, and she appeared in and consulted for an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

She has observed Dr Pierre Foldes in France who pioneered clitoroplastal reversal surgery to undo female genital mutilation. Marci is doing similar operations pro-bono.

John Pilley (1952 - ) kidnapper.

John Pilley kidnapped a woman taxi-driver, and in 1981 was sentenced to life in jail.

In the 1990s, while at HMP Gartree in Leicestershire, he took the name Jane Anne and reached an agreement with the prison authorities that he could dress female in his cell between lock-up and unlock in the morning, but not otherwise. He was also permitted hormone therapy.

After eight years of semi-transition he sued the Prison Service for leaving him in the limbo of being part-man/part-woman. In 1999 he was given an orchidectomy. In 2001 she was given vaginoplasty, paid for by the National Health Service not the Prison Service, and Jane Anne was transferred to HMP Holloway, a women’s prison. Thus Jane Anne was the first person to transition in a British prison.

In 2006 Jane decided that she wanted to be a man again. She grew a beard while still in Holloway, and has applied for genital surgery to become a man.

Compare to the case of prisoner Madison Hall in Australia, again the first person through the system spoils it for those who follow.

07 July 2008

J. Michael Bailey (1957 - ) professor of psychology.

From Lubbock, Texas, Bailey did a BA in mathematics at Washington University in St Louis in 1979, and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Texas in Austin in 1989. His thesis was on the biological causes of homosexuality.

He became a professor at Northwestern University, Illinois, the same year. While he is a professor of psychology, he is not a licensed psychologist in the State of Illinois. He was married until a divorce in 1996, and has two children. Also apparently he has a sexual interest in beautiful transsexuals, and spends a lot of time in gay bars.

He worked on studies of twins and sexual orientation, although his studies were criticized for using a self-selected sample. He found that 52% of the identical twins of homosexual men are also gay, compared to 22% of fraternal twins and 9% of other brothers. He has described homosexuality as an evolutionary mistake, a developmental error.

He was a thesis advisor for Anne Lawrence’s PhD at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality at San Francisco, which she received in 2001. She is self-professed autogynephile whose writing style and opinions are similar to those in Bailey's book. Curtis Hinkle proposes that maybe Lawrence was a ghost-writer for the transsexual part of Bailey's book.

The Bailey book is The Man Who Would Be Queen, 2003, in which he argues that male homosexuality is innate (=hereditary + prenatal environment), and presents transsexuality in the two forms argued for by Ray Blanchard, and endorsed by Lawrence, that is: (a) extreme homosexuality, with early transition and frequently living by prostitution (b) autogynephilia, a fetishistic obsession with the self as female, late transition and heterosexual marriage prior to transition. He kept the disparagements in Blanchard’s terminology, and reinforced them with the title of and the image on the front cover of his book. Like Blanchard he ignores trans men.

His sample was of only six transsexuals, all found in the same gay bar. Although he is not a licensed psychologist he wrote approval letters so that they could get gender surgery. Two of them have accused him of having sex with them without making it clear that they were research subjects. Anjelica Kieltyka is presented in the book as a typical autogynephile, a description that she rejects. She filed a formal complaint that he ignored her reactions to an early draft of what he wrote about her.

His book was initially proposed as a finalist for a transgender Lambda Literary prize, but this created such an outcry, including thousands of petition signatures in just a few days, that the nomination was withdrawn. He has been strongly criticized by such transsexual academics as Lynn Conway, Joan Roughgarden, Ben Barres, Barbara Nash and Dierdre McCloskey who sent a joint letter to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health(WPATH) (previously HBIGDA=Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association) and got a supportive answer. This led to Ray Blanchard’s resignation from WPATH. Lynn Conway and Andrea James have devoted parts of their websites to a refutation of the Blanchard-Bailey position. A formal investigation by Northwestern University cleared him, but he also stepped down as Chair of the Psychology Department.

In 2005 he was the senior author of a study, based on penile plethysmograph testing, that denied the existence of bisexuality in males except as a subjective experience. At the same time he regards all females as potentially bisexual. His response to actual male bisexuals is the same one that he has to transsexuals who feel that they do not fit into his two categories: he accuses them of lying.

In 2006 he suggested that aborting a fetus after fetal screening for sexual orientation is morally acceptable as it furthers the parents’ freedom.

In 2007 his colleague at Northwestern, Alice Dreger, wrote a 60-page history of the controversy, that has itself become controversial in that she found Bailey to be “basically blameless”.

In 2012 there was a media fracas after he included a live sex demonstration in his class.

*Not the UK actor, nor the jazz critic.

Does this binary categorization have to be inevitably disparaging in its terminology and attitude. Here is an essay by a transgender person who has attempted to rewrite it in more friendly terms: Alice Novic.

Curtis Hinkle's proposal that Lawrence (co)wrote the third section of the book is intriguing. More likely however is that Bailey just took from her thesis. He would not be the first professor to use the work of his graduate students.

Basically Bailey went looking for a fight, and he found one.

Lets see: we have a soi-disant heterosexual who hangs out in gay bars, and who denies the existence of male bisexuals. Indeed.

When someone rejects those giving counter evidence as 'liars', then that someone is probably wrong.

04 July 2008

Dörchen Richter (1891 - 1933) waiter, cook, maid.

Rudolph Richter was born in the Erzgebirge region of Germany.

Dörchen or Dora attempted to tourniquet her penis at age 6. She expressed a strong dislike of male clothing, and was permitted to live as female.

She worked as a waiter or a cook in the fancy hotels in Berlin in the summer, and lived as a woman in the off-season. The police arrested her several times for cross-dressing, and she was sent to a male prison. Eventually a judge took pity on her and referred her to Magnus Hirschfeld who helped her obtain an official permit to dress in women’s clothes.

She was medically castrated in 1922 by Dr Erwin Gohrbandt at the Charité Universitätsmedizin in Berlin. She was offered vaginoplasty 1931, and so was one of the first persons to have a sex-change operation. The surgeons were Hirschfeld’s colleagues, Ludwig Levy-Lenz and Erwin Gohrbandt. 

Afterwards Dörchen worked as a maid at Hirschfeld's Institut fuer Sexualwissenschaft until it was destroyed by the Nazis in 1933. She is not known to have survived this attack.

She was played by Tima die Goettliche in Rosa Von Praunheim’s movie about Hirschfeld.

Click for other Hirschfeld patients.
  • Felix Abraham. “Genitalumwandlungen an zwei männlichen Transvestiten”. Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft und Sexualpolitik, 18: 223-226. 1931. English translation as “Genital Reassignment on Two Male Transvestites”. The International Journal of Trangenderism. 2, 1. Jan-Mar 1998. Case 1.   Archive.
  • Rosa Von Praunheim (dir & scr). Der Einstein des Sex - Leben und Werk des Dr. M. Hirschfeld (The Einstein of Sex: Life and Work of Dr. M. Hirschfeld). Scr: Chris Kraus, Valentin Passoni, Friedl von Wangenheim, with Tima die Goettliche as Dörchen. Germany/Netherland 100 mins 1999.  IMDB 
  • Joanne Meyerowitz. How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States. Cambridge, Ma, London: Harvard University Press. 363 pp 2002: 19-20, 292n13.
  • "Rudolph R./Dorchen". Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (1919-1933).

Delisa Newton (1934 - ) nurse, jazz singer.

Born in New Orleans of a Haitian mother and Baptist minister father who left when the child was three.

She transitioned to female in 1965, and was billed as ‘The First Negro Sex Change’.

She worked as a nurse and was also a jazz vocalist.
  • Delisa Newton. “My lover beat me”. National Insider, June 20, 1965: 4-5.
  • Delisa Newton. “Why I could never marry a white man!”. National Insider July 18, 1965: 17.
  • Delisa Newton. “From Man to Woman”. Sepia. 1966.

Schlitze (1901 – 1971) carnie, film actor.

Simon Metz was born in the Yucatan, Mexico (although alternate accounts say that she was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1882, or in the Bronx, New York in 1901). Both she and her sister, Athelia, were microcephalic, or ‘pinheads’.

As an adult she had no more than two ounces of brain. She was exhibited by P.T. Barnum as Maggie, the last of the Aztecs, based on a supposed Mayan tradition of binding the heads of their elite to achieve a cone shape. She was named Schlitze during a carnival in St Louis based on the beer company. After Athelia died, she was managed by showman George Surtees. The name on her California Death Certificate says Schiltze Surtees.

For most of her career Schiltze dressed and was exhibited as a girl supposedly because she was not toilet trained. She was the best known of the pinhead performers, and Norma Shearer and other Hollywood stars made a fuss of her. She did a few magic tricks, and danced a little.

She appeared as a female pinhead in the movie Freaks, 1931, where the clown compliments her on her new dress. She played an animal hybrid in Island of Lost Souls, 1932, a vasectomy patient in Tomorrow’s Children, 1934, and Princess Betsy, the Bird Woman in Meet Boston Blackie, 1941.

When Surtees died in the late 1950s, his daughter placed Schlitze in a home, but she was rescued by the Canadian promoter, Sam Alexander, who took her back on the road.

She was the inspiration for Bill Griffith’s cartoon, Zippy the Pinhead.
She died of pneumonia at age 70.

03 July 2008

Bill Allen (1906 -1949) mill worker, labourer, bus conductor, murderer.

Margaret Allen was born in Bolton, Lancashire, the twentieth of twenty-two children, and raised in Bacup.

He dressed as a man, even in childhood. Other people referred to him as Bill, but usually shunned him except when he was buying drinks in the pub. He worked in the mills, and loaded coal.

In 1935 he had a mysterious stay in hospital, and afterwards claimed that he was now a man.

From 1942 to 1946 he worked as a bus conductor, a ‘clippie’ on the Rawtenstall buses, but was dismissed for pushing the passengers, and even cuffing them on the back of the head when they moved too slowly. He then moved to live in Bacup Rd, Rawtenstall in what had earlier been a police station.

In August 1948, Bill murdered Nancy Chadwick, an elderly eccentric neighbour who was believed to be a rich miser. He made himself obvious to the Lancashire C.I.D. and Scotland Yard officers, got under their feet and pointed out Chadwick’s missing handbag in the River Irwell behind his house. They searched his house and found bloodstains in the coal cellar. The defence counsel argued that Margaret passing herself off as Bill was a form of insanity.

He was hanged January 1949 at HMP Strangeways, the last trans person to be hanged in the UK.
  • Colin Wilson & Patricia Pitman. Encyclopedia Of Murder Pan Books 1961, under Allen, Margaret
  • Jay Robert Nash. Look For The Woman. Harrap 1981, under Allen, Margaret.
  • "Maggie Allen". Bacup Times.