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.

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28 June 2009

1969 – a year of much activity

++ = added later.

1969 was the year of the Woodstock and Altamont Music Festivals, of the first US men on the moon and a Soviet probe on Venus, of Richard Nixon as US president, Golda Meir as Israeli PM, Yasser Arafat leader of the PLO, Georges Pompidou as President of France, Gaddafi as president of Libya, Olaf Palme as PM of Sweden and Willy Brandt as Chancellor of West Germany, of escalating troubles in Northern Ireland, of the US forces expanding the Vietnam War into Cambodia, withdrawing the first troops, starting secret negotiations with the North Vietnamese in Paris and the My Lai massacre, of the last Beatles performance and John & Yoko’s bed-in in Montreal, of the FLQ bombings and martial law in Montreal, of the first Concorde test flights, of the Football War between Honduras & El Salvador, of the Manson murders, of the first ATM machine, of the Beijing Metro, of the first Monty Python and Sesame Street series, of the first ARPANET (precursor of the Internet) link.

Stonewall was not the only trans event of interest in 1969. Corbett v Corbett was a legal disaster for trans and intersex persons. The biggest soap-opera of the year was Dawn Langley Hall’s marriage.

Legislation, court rulings & protests

Canada (albeit with an age of consent for anal sex of 21) and West Germany (partially) decriminalize homosexuality,. Similar decriminalizations had been passed in Iceland (1940), Switzerland (1942) Sweden (1944), Surinam (1944), Portugal (1945), Poland (1948), Greece (1951), Thailand (1956), Czechoslovakia (1961), Hungary (1961), Israel (1963), Chad (1967), England & Wales (1967), East Germany (1968), Bulgaria (1968). In the US, only Illinois (1962) has decriminalized homosexuality. It will not achieve nation-wide decriminalization until Lawrence v. Texas which went to the Supreme Court in 2003.

Arthur Corbett applies for an annulment of his marriage to April Ashley and is granted his prayer. The judge, Lord Justice Ormrod, also rules that a person born male is legally male in perpetuity. Corbett v Corbett becomes case law in the UK and in Australia. The correcting of birth certificates for intersex and transgender persons ceases, and such persons lose the legal right to be treated as their new gender – in particular to marry a person of the now opposite gender. This situation will continue in the UK until the Gender Recognition Act of 2004.

The Stonewall Riots.

Persons having already completed transition

British celebrity biographer Dawn Langley Hall, now resident in Charleston, South Carolina, follows up her transition with marriage to a black artist, John-Paul Simmons. Two years later they would have a baby girl. This did not go well with other residents of Charleston.

Reed Erickson sells his family business for $5 million and goes on to amass over $40 million, mainly from investments in oil-rich real estate. Some of this was used to finance the Erickson Educational Foundation (EEF) which placed some its money in transsexual research.

Jeanette Schmid, has moved to Vienna, and is now a professional whistler.

Billy Tipton is living with his last wife and three adopted sons. As his arthritis worsened, he quit playing piano a few years later.

Amanda Lear is in London.

Marie-Pierre Pruvot, previously a star at La Carrousel, is studying at Sorbonne University.

Mario Martino, the author of the first FTM autobiography has organized the Labyrinth Foundation Counseling Service in New York.

Terry Rogers is well employed as a ventriloquist and designer of magical tricks.

Terry Noel, previously a performer with The Jewel Box Revue and at the 82 Club, working as a typist, moves to Virginia Beach, Virginia, where she would find her husband.

Christine Jorgensen had published her autobiography two years earlier. It is now being turned into a film.

Aleshia Brevard is in her first Hollywood film, The Love God.

---------- and the non-ops -------------

Perry Desmond is running a beauty salon and working as an astrologer in New Orleans.

Charlotte von Mahlsdorf is curator of her Gründerzeit Museum.

Persons starting transition or living full time

Angela Douglas, who would shortly found the Transsexual Action Organization, starts to transition.

Della Aleksander is transitioning. She will go to Dr Burou the next year.

Previously a female impersonator, Liz Lyons was in transition. She would later put out x-rated LPs.

Erik Schinegger the champion female skier, having been told by the International Olympic Committee that he was chromosomally male, starts to transition.

Daniel van Oosterwijck, who will appeal to the European Court in 1980, starts transition.

---------------- and the non-ops ----------------------

Virginia Prince, after a second divorce, has had electrolysis and is taking female hormones again. She starts to live full time as female.

Charlotte Bach is starting to live fulltime as female.

Persons who will transition later

The soon-to-be Paula Grossman is still a music teacher in New Jersey.

The future Joanna Clark is still a Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy.

Susanna Valenti is writing for Transvestia, and hosting social events at Casa Susanna.

The future Renée Richards is a New York ophthalmologist and is playing men’s tennis.

The future Leslie Elaine Perez is in prison in Texas, but no longer on death row. After being released she will transition.

The future Carol Riddell is at Lancaster University. She will be in Dr Burou’s clinic at the same time as Jan Morris.

The future Michelle Duff, who had won the Belgian Grand Prix in 1964 at a record average speed, returns to motorcycle racing and wins the Eastern Canadian Championship.

The future Sandy Stone is a recording engineer. She will transition in the mid 1970s.

The soon-to-be Jan Morris has completed her Pax Britannica, the first part of three on the history of the British Empire.

The future Maria Starace is working as an agony aunt.

Persons who never do transition

Bunny Breckinridge opens his San Francisco home as a hippy drop-in.

Vaughn Bodé starts his Deadbone comic strip in Galaxy Magazine, and wins a Hugo as best fanzine artist.

Herman Slater, drag queen and future publisher of the Necronomicon, is crippled with tuberculosis and in convalescence.


Ottis Toole, a sometimes transvestite, has left his child bride and is living by prostitution.

Transvestite Jerry Brudos murders four young women. He will die in prison.

Gerard Schaefer avoids the draft because he was a transvestite. He will later become a cop and a murderer. He will be killed by a cellmate.

Female impersonators

Rae Bourbon, aged 75, is convicted in Texas of being an accomplice to murder and sentenced to 99 years. He dies in prison.

The Cockettes are founded.

Minette is working with Avery Willard’s Ava Graph films.

Chris Shaw had moved to Southern Rhodesia, but as the Zimbabwean independence struggle intensifies, he moves to South Africa, and then to Australia.

Michelle DuBarry, adopts that name, and does a first Canadian National Tour.

David Raven and James Court found the Trollettes.

José Sarria is working as a restaurateur at the World Fairs.

Frederick Ashton, the artistic director of the Royal Ballet, does his dame performance in the film Cinderella.

Tommy Dorsey, the future Zen priest, has stopped doing drag shows and is exploring Buddhism at the San Francisco Zen Center.

Danny La Rue appears in a film version of Charley’s Aunt, and did a Royal Command Performance.

Pudgy Roberts, publishes his second novel, Seafood, and appears in Avery Willard’s 6 minute film, Camp Burlesque. He is still editor of the monthly The great female mimics.

Jean Fredericks and Ron Storme organize the first drag balls at the Porchester Hall, which would become a major part of London’s drag scene.

David Alba, at 21, first comes to US national attention for his impersonations, his hairdressing and his cosmetics.

Writers on transsexual issues

Mary Daly acquires tenure at Boston College after demonstrations by the then all-male students. She would later mentor Janice Raymond, and ban male students from her classes.

H Taylor Buckner presents a paper to the American Sociological Association that concludes that heterosexual transvestism is a pathology.

Surgeons and sexologists

Harry Benjamin had published The Transsexual Phenomenon three years earlier, and is considered the world expert on the subject.

John Randell, of the Charing Cross Hospital, is mentioned several times in press reports about the First International Symposium on Gender Identity, and he testifies at the Corbett vs Corbett trial that he ‘considered that the respondent (ie April Ashley) is properly classified as a male homosexual transsexualist'.

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Gender Identity Clinic is active at this time. David Reimer had been surgically reassigned two years earlier, and Dawn Langly Hall had her surgery there in 1968. Surgery is done by Howard Jones, endocrinology by Milton Edgerton, and John Money is the director.

The Gender Identity Clinic at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto opens for the first time.  ++Betty Steiner, psychiatrist, was appointed as its first head.  ++The first patient to have surgery is Dianna Boileau.

Kurt Freund, the phallometricist, has fled Czechoslovakia after the failed uprising in 1968, and will find employment at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto.

Georges Burou had been doing genital surgery, using his own technique, for 10 years.

In Trinidad, Colorado, Dr Stanley Biber has performed his first male-to-female operation the previous year. He would do thousands of operations before he retires in 2003.

John Brown, the future ‘Butcher Brown’, after twenty years of general practice, is taking a program in plastic surgery. He fails the oral.

Milton Diamond is a new professor of anatomy and reproductive biology at the University of Hawai’i.

++ Richard Green,  with encouragement from Robert Stoller, Green arranged the first transsexual operation at UCLA, only a year after Stoller had retracted his conclusions in the Agnes case.

++ At the First International Symposium on Gender Identity in London arguments arose between the team from Chelsea Women's who regarded transsexuals as a form of intersex, and the team from Charing Cross Hospital who regarded them as having a psychological disorder.

Theatre & Cinema

Rachel Harlow is still riding on her fame from being in The Queen the previous year. She would transition shortly after.

Jack Doroshaw, who made The Queen, is a special advisor on John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy.

The 1969 film, Dinah East, tells of a female film star (Jeremy Stockwell in his first role) who is found to be male-bodied after she dies.

Candy Darling and Jackie Curtis, who had been in the Andy Warhol film, Flesh, the year before, and Holly Woodlawn who would be in Warhol’s Trash in 1970, appear in Curtis’off-Broadway play, Heaven Grand in Amber Orbit.

Edward Wood writes and acts in The Photographer/The Love Feast, a tale of forced femininity.

Francis Francine played the transvestite sheriff in the Andy Warhol western, Lonesome Cowboys.

Divine is in The Diane Linkletter Story and Mondo Trasho.

Luchino Visconti’s La caduta degli dei (The Damned) about Germany in the early 1930s features Helmut Berger doing a Marlene Dietrich impersonation on the night of the Reichstag fire and miscellaneous SA queens in drag on the Night of the Long Knives.

The Japanese drag star, Peter, is in Bara no soretsu (Funeral Parade of Roses), a gender-reversed Oedipus Rex set in a Tokyo drag bar.

Another Japanese drag star, Akihiro Miwa, is in Kuro bara no yakata(Black Rose).

The Magic Christian, written by Terry Southern, has Peter Sellers briefly in nun-drag, but is most memorable for the uncredited Yul Brynner drag scene.

Federico Fellini’s Satyricon, based on the ancient novel by Petronius, has Tanya Lopert as the male Nero and an albino intersex,

The films Myra Breckenridge, The Christine Jorgensen Story are in pre-production.


Lou Reed records ‘Candy Says’, about Candy Darling.


  • Richard Green & John Money (ed). Transsexualism and Sex-Reassignment. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press,. 1969.
  • E. C Crowder, with a forward by Alfredo Rathermann. The Transsexuals. Libertyville, Ill.: Oligarch 192 pp 1969.
A new science fiction writer, James Tiptree Jr, almost wins the coveted Nebula prize. It will not be revealed for another eight years that he is a woman, Alice Sheldon.

Penelope Ashe’s Naked Came the Stranger becomes a runaway best seller. Shortly afterwards it is revealed that Penelope was not a woman, but a team of 19 men and 5 women.

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