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11 September 2009

Brenda Lana Smith, consul, activist.

Brenda Lana Smith has a small but important part in our history. You can read about her in Joanne Meyerowitz. How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States, and Richard F. Docter. Becoming a Woman: A Biography of Christine Jorgensen, and the Cleis Press' 2000 edition of Christine Jorgensen: A Personal Autobiography.

In her male phase she was a long-time resident of Bermuda and was the Honorary Danish Consul. This led to the bestowment of Ridder af Dannebrogorden (R af D). After a divorce after 29 years of marriage with a son and daughter, Brenda completed transition with surgery with Stanley Biber in 1984. Brenda was introduced to Christine Jorgensen by Sister Mary Elizabeth, and became Christine's housemate for the last six months of her life, and arranged her estate at her death. Later Brenda moved back to England. She has remained active for transsexual rights, and especially against the lack of gay and transsexual rights in Bermuda where the Gender Recognition Act and other UK civil rights acts do not apply.

A few days ago Stephen Whittle commented on this blog:
How lovely to hear you are still alive and kicking so to speak. At this age, one tends to presume the worst far too often.
Is your autobiography on the press yet. Or do we really have to wait until you are gone.
love, Stephen (Whittle) .


Brenda has replied:
Greetings, all… especially to Stephen (Whittle OBE—a blast from my

Rest assured that this otherwise reclusive 76-year-old Anglo-Danish
Mancunian born Bermudian exile is particularly alive and kicking when
it comes to sexual orientation and gender identity being individually
separate and distinct entities that need to be regarded and legislated
as such in much needed amendments to Bermuda's present gay and gender-variant omissive Human Rights Law...

That done and dusted…

As most folk will have probably observed I am not given to bantering
online... this is not so much that I dislike confrontational
situations or that I might diplomatically prefer not to unnecessarily
fuel volatile situations with my two cents' worth... but, since my
early pre World War 2 school days, due to what is now termed Attention Deficit Disorder impeding my committing on paper/online what I might readily articulate…

Whether publicly or privately... we gender-variant folk all seem to
hold that our own particular manifestation of dissociative gender
identification is unique... often deep down believing that we
individually hold the proprietary format on all matters gender-
variant... and… divided by semantics idealistically bicker between
ourselves to that end…the end result is that none of us tend to
countenance our peers lightly… no doubt subconsciously looking for
imperfections that we have yet to come to terms with within our own

My own metaphysical belief in that we need search inwardly for the
answer to whatever over attracts or irks us gave rise to the
therapeutic content of not only my partially electronically
transcribed journals, but my still self-searching twenty-two year-old
musing: "a'top a dung-hill..." with its some 200-plus A4 page small
print roots in what is a now politically incorrect 1950s mind-set...
remains "a work in progress" procrastinating on my 2.66GHz Intel iMac,
in much need of my editing, and properly punctuating by a grammarian
before ever being photographically embellished and archived for
posterity, whatever…

One thing for sure… while my failing memory is increasingly in the
habit of relying on extracts to support or illustrate an occasional
argument online… any publisher of "a'top a dung-hill…" whose author
The Gender Genie thinks is male… will certainly have a field day
posthumously endeavouring to commercial address my dyslexic 'stream of consciousness' style musing...

So, I while I need not worry about being unable to claim immunity

"Kindly appreciate that Brenda Lana Smith D. having had no
editorial input whatsoever in the above declines to entertain e-mail
argument on its content..."

A diplomatic fence-sitting rider that I long ago attached on articles
I had gleaned and once widely conduited—that are now posted sans rider on "From brendalana's Archives…" <
My present bloated unresolved concern raised by "Is your autobiography on the press yet, Or do we really have to wait until you are gone…" is to whom I now best leave my archives and memorabilia, etc... to honourably enjoy after I am gone…

Brenda Lana Smith R af D
Cornwall 2009-09-08


  1. Anonymous2/12/09 15:31

    Amazing how people can tell the truth yet the readers find otherwise.

  2. She has a very good news stream going over at twitter and at facebook. Both give you excellent info on -- for instance -- recent research of relevance to transgender issues.

  3. Anonymous22/6/14 10:03

    Bermuda - The Trans Omissive Human Rights Amendment Act 2013 came into effect Thursday 2013-08-08… [2013-08-05 Royal Gazette]

    BLS 2013-08-06 OCR'd .pdf text < >:


    BR 70/2013

    The Minister responsible for human affairs, in exercise of the power conferred by section 13 of the Human Rights Amendment Act 2013, makes the following Notice:

    1 This Notice may be cited as the Human Rights Amendment Act 2013 Commencement Day Notice 2013.

    2 The Human Rights Amendment Act 2013 shall come into operation on 8 August

    Made this 5th day of August 2013

    Minister of Community, Culture and Sports


  4. Anonymous22/6/14 10:38

    While I am delighted that Bermuda's long-awaited Human Rights Amendment Act 2013 now prohibits sexual orientation discrimination… known or unfortunately outed gender-variant folk on Bermuda—be they UK Gender Recognition Act 2004 gender certificated or not—are still subject to discrimination with impunity under Bermuda's blatantly gender-identity/presentation omissive Human Rights Amendment Act 2013…

  5. Anonymous22/8/15 04:10

    BLS 2015-08-20 13.14BST submitted “BLS’ 2015-08-20 submission...” to the inquiry on Transgender Equality< >:

    This 82-year-old 31-year (1984-11-14 Dr S Biber, Trinidad, CO, USA) postoperative male-to-female transsexual Bermudian—contentedly ensconced in Britain since being driven beyond Bermuda’s socio-economic pale with impunity near 26 years ago—found no advantage in jumping through the complicated hoops necessary to become a GRA 2004 gender certificated person… particularly ss:

    °1. My Parkinsonian cis-genndered male partner of nine years died 1979-07-04… and...

    °2. It would afford me no protection or equality should should I return to Bermuda… to wit… United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Overseas Territory Department, confirmed:

    — That the UK Gender Recognition Act 2004 does not extend to British Overseas Territories.

    — That Bermuda has not enacted any legislation to recognise Gender-Variant folk...

    — That it would appear that there is no gender recognition system in place in Bermuda and Bermudian courts or officials will not therefore recognsze United Kingdom gender recognition certificates.

    — That Bermuda is expected to comply with obligations under human rights instruments which have been extended to it. In particular. Bermuda is bound by the European Convention on Human Rights ("ECHR") …

    Accordingly I feel that it incumbent on the United Kingdom government to ensure—by Good Governance mandate if necessary— that UK Equality Legislation extends to all British Overseas Territories and Crown dependencies…

    Respectfully submitted…

    Brenda Lana Smith D.


  6. We regret to announce the death of BRENDA LANA SMITH R af D (Dame), who passed away peacefully at her home in Bodmin, Cornwall recorded on October 14, 2019. She was in her 86th year. Brenda lived a full and active life which took her from England, to Bermuda, California, and back to England, a journey which witnessed dramatic life changes and along which she made wonderful and lasting friendships, the closest being with her special friend Christine Jorgensen. She leaves behind her close friends and a lifelong legacy of determined achievement.

  7. Brenda was a special friend to me and her passing was very sad for me. We became friends many years ago after being drawn together because we were both Biber Girls and her friendship was a constant support for me thru the years. I miss her kind words every day and she will remain in my heart always. ❤️

  8. This is so odd. I went back to see the last date of communication with Brenda and I sent her a message on the day she passed not knowing she passed. I was asking was she alright because I had not heard from her in a month. Gives me chills


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