Essays on trans, intersex, cis and other persons and topics from a trans perspective.......All human life is here.
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 detailedIndexarranged 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!
Kia Sladeski from Pine Bush, New York was arrested in Pine Bush in 1977 for offering sexual services to a police officer for $10. She was charged under her birth name of Paul Sladeski.
In 1984 Kia was declared 'Rookie Cowgirl of the Year' by the American Rodeo Association for her performance in barrel racing, the only rodeo event expressly for women. Unfortunately the folks in her home town remembered Paul. The ARA announced that if Kia had completed a sex-change operation, there would be no problem. Either way she would be allowed to keep her rodeo earnings.
An example of how the press gives the beginning of a story but not the conclusion. The link above is the only web item about Kia. Was she post-operative? Did she get to keep the award? What has she done since?
The ARA attitude was quite progressive compared to other sporting associations in the 1980s.
Kia's achievement is one that is usually left off lists of wins by transgender sportspersons.
Greg Lankton was the third child of a Presbyterian minister in Flint, Michigan. As a child, Greg made dolls, played dress-up and was like other girls. He was also raped by his grandfather.
His family preferred a daughter to a gay son, and proposed a sex change. Greer was rejected by several sex-change doctors, but his mother found a surgeon who would do it. It was paid for with financial help from the father’s church congregation. However within a year Greer regretted the surgery and attempted suicide, although after recovery she did continue as female.
In 1987 she married her long-time boyfriend, Paul Monroe, also an artist, with her father as the minister, and Teri Toye as the bridesmaid. She and Paul experimented with drugs. She was a successful New York artist making dolls, sculptures and drawings. She worked with Jim Henson of Sesame Street. She was featured in the Whitney Biennial and the Venice Biennial of 1995.
James Lawrence Slattery, Jr. was raised in Massapequa Park, Long Island, New York by his divorced mother, who worked as a bookkeeper at Manhattan’s Jockey Club, and later at the local telephone company.
He won a ‘Most Beautiful Baby’ contest - but, because of a mistake by his mother, as a girl. For a while he ran a Kim Novak Fan Club. When he was 17, his mother confronted him with the rumors that he had been seen in a local gay bar in drag. He left the room and returned en femme.
Her first drag name was Hope Slattery, and then Hope Dahl, Candy Dahl, Candy Cane. By the age of twenty, James had become Candy Darling and moved to Greenwich Village. Through Jackie Curtis, (then 15) who wrote a part for her in Glamour, Glory and Gold, she was introduced to Andy Warhol, and she and Jackie had a small roles in Flesh, 1968, babbling on about glamour advertisements and other such topics while Joe Dallesandro is being blown by an old girl friend.
With Jackie and Holly Woodlawn, she also appeared in Paul Morrissey/Andy Warhol’s Women in Revolt, 1972 – sometimes referred to as Blonde on a Bum Trip, in reference to Candy’s character.
She was immortalized by the Rolling Stones in “Citadel” on Their Satanic Majesties Request: “Candy and Taffy, hope we both are well/Please come see me in the citadel”, and in two Lou Reed songs, Candy Says: “Candy says I've come to hate my body/ and all that it requires in this world”; and Walk on the Wild Side: “Candy came from out on the Island/ In the backroom she was everybody's darlin'”.
She also appeared in Jackie Curtis plays: Heaven Grand in Amber Orbit, 1969, and Vain Victory: The Vicissitudes of the Damned, 1971. She was in Tennessee William's play Small Craft Warnings after impressing Tennessee at his birthday party.
She played minor parts in major films with Jane Fonda (Klute, 1971) and Sophia Loren (La Mortadella, 1972) . Her best role was as Karen in Some of My Best Friends Are ..., 1971 which features a group of sad people in a mafia-run gay bar, on Christmas Eve. She (and other transy actors) campaigned without success to play the lead in Myra Breckinridge, 1970. She was also in the films: Brand X, 1970, Der Tod der Maria Malibran, 1972, Silent Night, Bloody Night, 1974.
Mary Harron (dir & scr). I Shot Andy Warhol. Scr: Danile Minahan & Jeremiah Newton, Lili Taylor as Valerie Solanas, Jared Harris as Andy Warhol, Stephen Dorff as Candy Darling. US 103 mins 1996.
Candy Darling, edited by Francesca Passalacqua & D.E. Hardy. My Face for the World to See: The Diaries, Letters, and Drawings of Candy Darling, Andy Warhol Superstar. Honolulu: Hardy Marks Publications 127 pp 1997.
Ricardo was a Cuban émigré, who migrated to the US on the Mariel boat lift in 1980.
He became a transy prostitute in New York, using the name Sara, living with other, mainly Hispanic, transy prostitutes in the city salt-storage site.
She regretted her move to the US and longed to return to Cuba. Sara and others spent their nights trolling in Manhattan’s meat district near West 14th Street, and spent much of their earnings on crack cocaine.
In the early 1990s, already HIV+, Sara was contacted by a born-again Christian organization, and Ricardo went to live in Dallas, Texas, as a man, with a heterosexual wife and a job.
He repeatedly appeared as a witness in evangelical gatherings discussing and showing photographs of what he was before. Later Ricardo returned to New York to attempt to convert his old companions, but with no success.
Dying from AIDS-related illnesses, he reflected that if he were to live his life over, he would still want to be a woman.
Susana Aikin & Carlos Aparico (dir) The Salt Mines US 47 mins 1990.
Susana Aikin & Carlos Aparico (dir) The Transformation. US 58 mins 1995.
Robert McRuer & Michael Berube. Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability. New York: NYU Press 283 pp 2006: 117-131.
The DVD and VHS of the two documentaries are priced high to discourage individual purchase. Worse than that, despite their short length, they are separate DVDs when they could easily be combined on one disc.
Denis Bird was raised in south London. He was first convicted at the age of 16.
At this time he decided to become Pamela. She worked as a bus conductress, a barmaid and as a cook. She had a good voice and sang as a crooner with more than one band where she attracted male admirers. She dressed in the height of fashion, in furs and in the New Look of the late 1940s.
She also did domestic work through an agency. While doing such work in 1949, she stole clothes from Mr Roberts, and three nights later broke into the house dressed in Robert’s clothes while it was unoccupied. She discarded the male clothing, and changed into Mrs Robert’s clothes, including her best underwear, and also took other property worth £800.
One evening she was read by a police sergeant on the street and escorted to the police station. She was charged under her male name and when tried was sentenced to 18 months in Wandsworth Gaol.
“Barmaid Crooner was a Man: Wearing the New Look and Nylons on Night of Arrest”. News of the World. 3 July 1949. Reprinted in Richard Ekins. Male femaling: a grounded theory approach to cross-dressing and sex-changing. London & New York: Routledge. 1997: 13-4.
Connable was born in Chicago and educated at Albion College in Michigan. He moved to Toronto in 1915 to be Chairman of the Canadian division of the F.W. Woolworth retailing chain. He expanded the number of stores in Canada from 10 to 100.
He was also ‘father’ of the Sigma Chi fraternity at Canadian universities – Connable had facilitated the first chapter at Toronto University in 1922.
He employed Ernest Hemingway as a companion for his lame son, and gave Hemingway his start as a writer by introducing him to the Toronto Star.
Ralph was something of a joker: 'His favorite escapade was to dress like a woman and walk into the men's locker room of the staid Lambton Golf Club. While men shouted and tried to hide behind doors, Connable would whisper, "I'm looking for my gentleman friend." '
Donald Jones. “Built by a wealthy practical joker, house once was Hemingway’s home”. Toronto Star June 11, 1977.
Ernst-Johann Reinhardt was born in Celle, Lower Saxony.
He became involved with gay theatre at Breman University. He was one of the founders of the famous Schmidt-Theater in Hamburg in 1988. There he developed the persona of Lilo Wanders.
Lilo had a successful program on VOX television from 1994-2004, Wa(h)re Liebe(an equivocation between true love/commercial love) where she hosted segments on all aspects of sex. She has appeared in theatre and in 10 cinema films.
She proclaims herself as gay, but has a wife, two children and a foster child, although for a while she and her wife lived in a threesome with a man.
Lilo Wanders. Tja, meine Lieben (Yes, my loves). Econ 1997.
Lilo Wanders. Wa(h)re Liebe – A-Z (True love for sale – A-Z). Heel 2001.
Lilo Wanders. Erotische Scharfmacher (Erotic Agitator). Europa Verlag Hamburg.
Steve was the second son of Irish immigrants in Wangaratta, Victoria State, Australia.
He was a jockey and declared the winner of The Benella Handicap after a protest was upheld. It is said that he was the only person to jump a horse over the Wangaratta railway gates.
He was also known for riding side-saddle dressed as female.
In 1877 he was convicted of horse theft and sentenced to 12 months. After release he took up with the Kelly brothers panning for gold. This led to an altercation with a police party camped nearby, and to the Kelly party shooting two of the policemen. They were declared outlaws and took up robbery.
Steve would dress as female to scout banks, and was mistaken by the police for Ned Kelly’s sister, Kate.
Hart died, with several of the Kellys at the famous siege of Glenrowan in 1880.
The artist Sidney Nolan in his famous series of Kelly Gang paintings included two of Steve in a dress on a horse.
A Billy Meade who lived in the town of Murgon in Queensland from the 1880s claimed on his deathbed in 1938 that he was really Steve Hart. However this has never been confirmed.
Danielle van Oosterwijck was raised in Brussels. From 1963 she worked at the Secretariat of the Commission of the European Communities.
In 1966 he socially transitioned to Daniel. In 1969 a neurologist and an endocrinologist took the advice of a Belgian psychiatrist and Dr John Randell in the UK and prescribed male hormones. In 1970, two surgeons, Mr. Fardeau and Mr. Longrée, successfully performed a mastectomy and ovariectomy. Subsequently, he received a phalloplasty carried out in ten stages, from October 1971 to October 1973, by Professor Evans, a surgeon at Queen Mary’s Hospital in London.
He then applied that his birth certificate and identity card be reissued with a male designation and forenames. This was disallowed by the ministère public, in that the initial record had not been in error, and there was no provision in Belgian law to deal with a transsexual change. This disallowance was confirmed by the Brussels Court and then the Court of Appeal. He then appealed to the European Court, which in 1980 rejected his appeal on the grounds that he had not exhausted domestic remedies.
Daniel qualified as a lawyer in 1979 at the Free University of Brussels.
*Not the Belgian cyclist.
The Van Oosterwijck case (ECHR, 1980): Judgment of the ECHR. October, 1980. Online at: www.pfc.org.uk/node/335. No Longer Available
Daniel van Oosterwijck. Affaire van Oosterwijck: 1. décision du 27
février 1980, 2. arrêt du 6 novembre 1980 = Van Oosterwijck case : 1.
decision of 27 February 1980, 2. judgment of 6 November 1980. Strasbourg: Greffe de la Cour, Conseil de l'Europe, 1981.
Marie-Bénédicte Dembour. "Why should biological sex be decisive? Transsexualism before the European Court of Human Rights". In Alison Shaw & Shirley Ardener. Changing Sex and Bending Gender. New York: Berghahn Books, 2005: 44.
He was the Conservative Member of Parliament for Eastleigh in Hampshire from 1992, and had been appointed a parliamentary private secretary to the Minister of State for Defence. He was also a parliamentary advisor re the then proposed privatization of British Rail.
Stephen Milligan was found dead in February 1994 dressed in stockings and suspender belt with a plastic bag around his head and an electric cord around his neck. A case of transvestic auto-erotic asphyxiation.
The resulting by-election saw the Conservatives lose the seat to the Liberal Democrats. Eastleigh had previously been regarded as a safe Conservative seat, but the Liberal Democrats have held it in subsequent elections. The event also contributed to the derailing of Prime Minister John Major’s “Back to Basics” policy.
Stephen Milligan. The New Barons: Union Power in the 1970s. London: Temple Smith. 1976.
Mac Mathúna, Heathcote and Harris suggest that Sado-masochistic sex was more typical of Milligan's boss, Jonathan Aitken, the then Minister of State for Defence, and that there was no indication that Milligan had previously been interested in such activities. There is also a suggestion of a political assassination. If that were so, then he does not belong on these pages, but their theory is also unproved.
Bev Francis was born in Geelong, Victoria, and did a degree at the University of Melbourne in physical education. In 1977 she broke the Australian shot-put record.
She became a world champion power lifter each year from 1980-5, breaking more than 40 records. She retired undefeated.
She then became a body builder, and has taken body building much farther than other female body builders do. In doing this she has demolished many of the assumptions about what defines a woman. Her strength and her body size are such that she looks much like a man and is often accused of being either a man or a transsexual.
She was featured in the 1985 film Pumping Iron II: The Women where she was persuaded to enter a female body building contest in Las Vegas specially created and paid for by the film makers. She came in eighth despite obviously having the best developed muscles, because she was scored low on the criterion of 'femininity'.
A similar situation happened at her final competition: Ms Olympia, 1991 where she was declared to be second.
She met her husband on the set of Pumping Iron II, and they now have two daughters and run a gym in Long Island, New York.
She was inducted into the body-building Hall of Fame in 2000.
Charles Gaines & George Butler. Pumping Iron II: The Unprecedented Woman. Simon & Schuster. 1984.
George Butler (dir & scr). Pumping Iron II: The Women. Scr: Charles Gaines from the book: Pumping Iron II: The Unprecedented Woman, with Bev Francis. US 107 mins 1985.
Laurie Schulze. “On the Muscle”. In Jane Gaines & Charlotte Herzog (eds). Fabrications: Costume and the Female Body. Routledge. 1990
There is no suggestion that Bev is male, transgender, intersex, nor that she took male hormones. Given her achievements in developing her body and lifting weights, I see no reason to be suspicious of Tamara Press a generation earlier.
Arthur Towle(1885 – 1954) was raised in Sibsey and then Boston in Lincolnshire.
After starting in Music Hall as a comedian, he met the thirteen-year-old Kitty McShane (1897 – 1964) while playing Granny in the pantomime, Little Red Riding Hood, in Dublin in 1910. He married her when she turned 16 in 1913, and became a Catholic to do so. They had one child in 1915.
He took the dame act that he had already done and developed it into a mother-and-daughter act: 'Old Mother Riley and her daughter Kitty'. At the same time he changed his professional name to Arthur Lucan.
Daphne Snowdrop Bluebell Riley, was an Irishwoman from Liverpool, willing to use her fists when necessary, who always wins out against the crooks and German spies she is pitted against.
Lucan always stayed in character and did not remove his wig at the end. Off-stage he was rarely recognized and it was Kitty in the limelight. After twenty years of playing the act they appeared in the Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium in 1934, and performed the sketch 'Bridget's Night Out' which became a classic.
Between 1936 and 1952 they made more than a dozen films, the last one of which, Old Mother Riley Meets the Vampire, co-starred Bela Lugosi. All were cheaply made, and until 1949 none were played in the West End of London. By 1941 Arthur Lucan was named as second only to George Formby as Britain's top film star.
Kitty’s extravagance led to bankruptcy, and because of her affair with a younger actor, they separated in 1951 and toured in separate ‘Old Mother Riley’ productions. In Kitty's last film, Old Mother Riley's Jungle Treasure, her scenes were filmed on separate days.
Arthur collapsed and died in 1954 while waiting to go on stage at the Tivoli in Hull, and his understudy, Roy Rolland, had to step in. As he left taxes owing, Kitty continued the act with Rolland, until she herself died in 1964.
In 1983, Alan Plater wrote a play, On Your Way, Riley, about the life of Arthur Lucan, with songs by Alex Glasgow.
Stars on Parade (1936) Kathleen Mavourneen (1937) Old Mother Riley (1937) Old Mother Riley in Paris (1938) Old Mother Riley MP (1939) Old Mother Riley Joins Up (1940) Old Mother Riley in Society (1940) Old Mother Riley in Business (1941) Old Mother Riley's Circus (1941) Old Mother Riley's Ghost (1941) Old Mother Riley Overseas (1943) Old Mother Riley Detective (1943) Old Mother Riley at Home (1945) Old Mother Riley's New Venture (1949) Old Mother Riley Headmistress (1950) Old Mother Riley's Jungle Treasure (1951) Old Mother Riley Meets the Vampire (1952)
Anthony Slide. Great pretenders: a history of female and male impersonation in the performing arts. Lombard, Ill.: Wallace-Homestead Book Co., 160 pp. 1986; chp 8.
Katherine Vosbaugh was born in France to a well-off father who gave her an excellent business education. He died when she was twenty, but by that point she was an expert accountant and spoke four languages.
She assumed male guise when she moved to the United States with the ostensible reason of securing employment - although he stayed in the male role for the rest of his life.
After working in various cities, Frenchy settled in Joplin, Missouri where he worked for fifteen years as a bank clerk. He took a wife at this time. At least part of the reason was to save her good name for she was pregnant. However the child died after a few months.
After the child died, the couple moved to Trinidad, Colorado where they opened a restaurant.
The wife drifted off and Frenchy took a job as cook on a big sheep ranch, sleeping the same room as the other men.
At the age of 78 he contracted pneumonia and was hospitalized. The medical treatment led to the discovery that he was a woman. However he was allowed to remain in the hospital, working as a man, for what turned out to be the last two years of his life.
“Woman Who Posed as Man 60 Years, Dead/Born in France/Only Reason Was to Secure man’s Work”. The Trinidad Advestiser. Nov 11, 1907. In Jonathan Ned Katz. Gay/Lesbian Almanac: A New Documentary, Harper & Row Publishers, Inc. 1983, Carrol & Graf Publishers, Inc. 1994: 323-4
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: 10.
Ivan Southgate was raised in Ipswich. He worked as a supporting act in Music Hall in the 1950s, and was a highly proficient ventriloquist.
He transitioned to Terri Rogers with surgery on the National Health Service in the early 1960s ++at Charing Cross Hospital.
She was a highly respected designer of magical tricks for, among others, David Copperfield, Paul Daniels, and continued to perform as a ventriloquist. She was in the 1968 review, Boys Will be Girls at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, and worked the UK cabaret circuit. Her career eventually took her to Las Vegas and US television.
The one reflection that she had once been a man was that she gave her dummy, Shorty Harris, a deep male voice.
Her husband was Val Andrews.
She died after a series of strokes.
*Not the artist.
Terri Rogers and Martin Breese. Secrets: The Original Magic of Terri Rogers. London: Martin Breese Publishing, 1986.
Terri Rogers. More Secrets by Terri Rogers. London: Martin Breese, 1988.
She also appeared on radio and television. The Times commented in a review: 'Miss Bobbie Kimber is at once the triumph and surprise of the evening'. Other reviewers were also parviscient. Roger Baker quotes Mr Kimberley: 'I decided to keep my sex a secret. And I did, very successfully, although I was a married man and a father'.
Apparently few were aware that she was a man, although Bobbie Kimber appeared in Pantomime as early as 1945 when she was one of the Ugly Sisters in Cinderella at the Adelphi Theatre - that is, she was playing a Dame part and therefore was implicitly a man.
Mr Kimberley clarified his sex in 1952. He reports that Hannen Swaffer, a critic who had written him up as a woman, snubbed him after that.
Although successful in his female impersonation, Bobbie was also read. When he appeared on television, the switchboard would be flooded with calls enquiring: is it a man or isn't it?
*Augustus Peabody was not the US Congressman Augustus Peabody Gardner.
Roger Baker. Drag: a history of Female Impersonation on the Stage. A Triton Book. 1968: 189.
Anthony Slide. Great pretenders: a history of female and male impersonation in the performing arts. Lombard, Ill.: Wallace-Homestead Book Co., 160 pp. 1986: 50.
Ellen Tremaye arrived in Melbourne, Australia from Waterford, Ireland in 1856, where she had borne a child, possibly illegitimately. Her birth name may have been Ellen Lacey. She travelled with a trunk full of men’s clothing, and only minimal female clothing. She made passes at women, and some thought that she was a man travelling as a woman.
After a year as a maidservant, Evans began living as male.
Edward de Lacy Evens soon married Mary Delahunty who had come on the same ship. Delahunty left him after a few years, and when she remarried in 1862 she explained that it was not bigamy in that her first husband had been a woman.
Evans also remarried in 1862 to a young Irishwoman, Sarah Moore. They stayed together until her death of pulmonary tuberculosis in 1867.
The next year, Evans married again, to a 25-year-old dressmaker assistant, Julia Marquand. Evans worked as a carter, miner, blacksmith and ploughman. In 1877 they had a daughter, following visits to Julia by her sister’s husband.
In 1879 Evans had a breakdown and in Kew Lunatic Asylum (later the Willsmere Hospital) was discovered to have a female body. His wife told the press that she was unaware that he was not a man, but he had never undressed in front of her. Julia stayed in the same town as a single mother. Her paternity suite against her brother-in-law failed. She did not remarry and lived to the age of 71.
Evans made a meagre living as a ‘man-woman’ exhibit in side shows for a few months, and then appealed for readmission to the asylum. He was taken as an inmate at the Immigrants Home in Melbourne but was compelled to dress as a woman. He lived as Mrs de Lacy Evans in the home for 21 years, refusing to speak of his former life.
He died of influenza at the age of 61.
Lucy Chesser. “ ‘A Woman Who Married Three Wives’: Management of Disruptive Knowledge in the 1879 Australian Case of Edward De Lacy Evans” Journal of Women's History, Vol. 9, 1998.
Wally Stott was born in Leeds, Yorkshire. He started in bands at age 15 as an alto-saxophonist, and with other musicians being conscripted with the start of the war, he was in demand. He also started writing arrangements. He was principal saxophonist with the Oscar Rabin Band and the Geraldo Orchestra from 1944, where he wrote swing, symphonic and choral arrangements for it.
He studied with the Hungarian composer, Matyas Seiber, who lived in London, and took a conducting course given by the German-born Walter Goehr. He was mentored by the Canadian composer, Robert Farnon, and became a light music composer best known for Rotten Row and A Canadian in Mayfair. An early LP by Wally was London Pride, 1958.
++Stott, by 1970 was a widower, met a female singer and they married in May that year. The second wife was a major support as Wally became Angela Morley with surgery from Dr Burou a few weeks after the marriage.