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!

28 November 2009

Ray Blanchard (1945 - ) psychologist.

Ray Blanchard’s father, an aviation metal smith died in the Japanese attack on the USS Franklin, just before his namesake son was born. The son was raised a Catholic in Hammonton, New Jersey.

He did an A.B. in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, 1967, and PhD in psychology at Urbana University, Illinois, 1973, the year that the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of diseases. He had a draft classification of 4-A, the sole surviving son of a service member killed in action, and so was exempt unless war was officially declared, which the US never did against Vietnam.

He emigrated to Canada anyway. He did post-doctoral research at Dalhousie University investigating learning processes in animals (mainly rats) until 1976 when he became a clinical psychologist at the Ontario Correctional Institute in Brampton (now the Brampton Adult Training Centre). There he met Kurt Freund while working with sex offenders. They made plans to collaborate, and in 1980, Blanchard started working at the Clarke Institute in Toronto (now the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health).

He did work on male birth order and sexuality and claims that the number of older brothers increases the chance of homosexuality in right-handed men, but not in left-handed men or in women at all. He claims that pedophiles have lower than expected IQs and higher rates of non-right-handedness. He hypothesizes that “these and other correlates of pedophilia reflect some perturbation of prenatal neurodevelopment in subsequently pedophilic males”.

A lot of his work utilizes phallometric diagnosis. He is best known for his re-presentation of Kurt Freund’s ideas on fetishistic transsexualism which he re-labelled as ‘autogynephylia’. He insisted for many years that there are no gay trans men, and consistently ignored Lou Sullivan’s letters in the 1980s explaining that Lou and many others are indeed gay trans men. Further to this he does not acknowledge autoandrophilia, which is the term that his theoretical system should apply to such trans men. However he now claims to have published two of the earliest reports of gay trans men (but without using that terminology).  He also insists and persists in referring to heterosexual trans women as homosexual, and refuses to use the word ‘androphilic’.

Blanchard is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto (despite being a psychologist not a psychiatrist), and in 1995, after Kurt Freund’s retirement, he became Head of Clinical Sexology Services in the Law and Mental Health Programme of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). He served on the gender dysphoria sub-working group for the DSM-IV, 1994, and is serving as Chair of the paraphilia sub-working group for the new DSM-V. He is an Associate Editor of Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment and a member of the Editorial Board of the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

He supported Michelle Josef’s lawsuit in 1999 to get gender surgery relisted under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. He supplied material to Lisanne Anderson for her Autogynephilia Site.

He gave a paper at the Third International Body Integrity Disorder Meeting in 2003 comparing BIID (apotemnophilia=desire to have a limb removed) to Gender identity disorder, as did Anne Lawrence. This has fed the usage on the religious right of referring to sex changes as sexual-amputation fetishism.

Michael Bailey’s The Man Who Would Be Queen, 2003, recycles many of Blanchard’s ideas. Blanchard's favourable review of the book is the only review that he ever wrote for Amazon, and he resigned from HBIGDA (Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, now WPATH) when it criticized the book, an act which he called 'appalling'.

In 2002 the CAMH GIC was awarded a Presidential Citation from Div 44 of the American Psychological Association.  Ray Blanchard accepted the award on behalf of CAMH.

The population of Ontario being over 13 million, there should be around 200 trans persons completing transition each year.   Before the suspension of Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) funding for gender surgery in 1998 Blanchard's management had kept the number approved to around 10 per year, and it looks as if the numbers approved since the re-instatement in 2008 will be approximately the same.

As Blanchard manages a clinic that rejects most of its applicants, and proclaims a universal theory based on the minority that it accepts, it is a reasonable assumption that the majority are rejected precisely because they do not fit the theory.  For this crime of contradicting the theory, they are denied OHIP funding.

In 2004 he wrote: “This is not waving a magic wand and a man becomes a woman and vice versa.  It's something that has to be taken very seriously. A man without a penis has certain disadvantages in this world, and this is in reality what you're creating" (Jane Armstrong. “The Body within, the body without”. The Globe and Mail June 12, 2004 here).

I am not discussing the concept of autogynephilia in any detail here as I have already done so here.

As his insistence on calling heterosexual trans women ‘homosexual’ shows, Blanchard regards trans women as men, and trans men as women.  This was shown again in the 2004 article in The Globe and Mail.  Blanchard has tried to claim that he is not transphobic, but until he changes in his regard of which gender we are, it is inevitable that many, probably most, of us do regard him as transphobic.  This attitude will probably not change until the next generation take over the gender clinics.   It does appear that Blanchard and Zucker are attempting to solidify their position in the DSM-V, so that it will last for another generation.

Of course Blanchard supported Michelle Josef’s lawsuit in 1999 to get gender surgery relisted.  The CAMH GIC is a stronger institution when it can offer the carrot of paid-for gender surgery on the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.

Blanchard claims that pedophiles suffered “perturbation of prenatal neurodevelopment”.  The HBS people claim that the same thing happened to them, but don’t phrase it so well.

Unlike Kurt Freund who was married to a woman and had had children, and unlike James Cantor who is openly gay, Blanchard has been very coy about his private life.  Andrea James’ article of November 2009 is by far the best on this particular topic, but I would maintain that his closetry denies him the right to claim to be gay.

Being a right-handed eldest child with a heterosexual younger brother, I am not sold on the birth-order effect.

Blanchard, Zucker and Cantor are all by upbringing American.  That is a bit too many to be all in one Canadian clinic, especially the dominant Canadian clinic on transsexuality.

26 November 2009

Jean Fredericks (193? – 197?) singer, drag performer, ball organizer.

Jean sang counter tenor in his local church, and was cast as Juliet in a school play.

He studied singing and trombone at the University of Toronto, and was cast in a comic role in the All-Varsity Revue in a sketch based on Carmen. This led to a satirical concert with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

He played drag shows across North America, and in 1960 moved to England.

After a straight role in a West-End musical and at the Edinburgh Festival he concentrated on his drag act doing mock-opera. In 1964 he released an LP Recitals are a Drag. In 1965 he was featured in the first issue of London Life magazine.

In 1969 he and Ron Storme started to organize five or more drag balls a year in London, mainly at the Porchester Hall.

He had a small part in the Barry Humphries film, The Adventures of Barry McKenzie, 1972.

The Porchester Hall tradition was continued by Ron Storme after Jean’s death.

*Not the Hopi photographer.
  • Chris Shaw & Arthur Oates. A Pictorial History of the Art of Female Impersonation. London: King-Shaw Productions. 1966: 29.
  • “The Fabulous Mr Jean Fredericks”. Follow-Up: the monthly magazine for the gay scene. 1973.
  • J.D. Doyle. “Jean Fredericks”. Queer Music Heritage.

24 November 2009

Jane Heap (1883 – 1964) editor, Gurdjieffian.

Jane was born and raised in Topeka, Kansas. After high school she moved to Chicago.

In 1912 she helped found Chicago’s Little Theatre which put on influential avant-garde plays.

She wore her hair short in the male style, and preferred male clothing, especially suits and a bow ties, although she never used a male name.

In 1916 she met Margaret Anderson, and the two became lovers and joint editors of the Little Review, a seminal magazine of literary modernism which published works by most of the new influential writers in English, many courtesy of their foreign editor in London, Ezra Pound.

In 1920 the US Post Office seized and burned four issues that contained excerpts from James Joyce’s Ulysses. The next year, they were tried and found guilty of obscenity, fined $100 and forced to discontinue serializing the book.

Heap then became the major editor. In 1924 she met G.I. Gurdjieff, and established a Gurdjieff study group. She moved to Paris, to study at his institute. Margaret Anderson had also moved to Paris with her new lover, and they continued to issue the Little Review until 1929.

In 1927 she established an all-women Gurdjieff study group. In 1935 Gurdjieff sent her to London to set up a new study group, and she stayed there the rest of her life.

She died of diabetes at age 81.
  • Andrea Barnet. “Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap: Life for Art’s Sake”. In All-Night Party: The Women of Bohemian Greenwich Village and Harlem, 1913-1930. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2004: 66-88.
  • Linda Lappin. “Jane Heap and Her Circle”. Prairie Schooner. 78, 4. Winter 2004: 5-25.
  • “Jane Heap”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

21 November 2009

Christian Schenk (1952 - ) physicist, politician.

Christina Schenk studied physics at Humboldt University in East Berlin, and became a research fellow at the German Democratic Republic Academy of Sciences.

From 1974-81 she was a member of the ruling Socialist Unity Party.

She was then active in the opposition movement sponsored by the Protestant Church, and was a lesbian and feminist activist.

From 1990 she was a member of the Bundestag of the united Germany for the Independent Women’s Association (UFV), and then from 1994 for the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) until 2002. She was the head of the Feminist working group for the PDS 1994-8, and also active in queer and lesbian politics. She was the first Bundestag member to declare as a lesbian.

From 2004 Schenk attended Leipzig Hospital where she was prescribed male hormones, and in 2006 transitioned legally and surgically to male. His wife supported his change.  As they had previously registered as a partnership, they cannot marry without a year of separation .  The district court has consented to their marrying, and the case has gone to the Berlin Senate Administration Board.

*Not the athlete, nor the computer technologist.

19 November 2009

Eric Barreto (1962 – 1996) Carmen Miranda impersonator.

Eric Barreto from Rio is Considered to be the best Carmen Miranda impersonator. He was selected to play Miranda in the re-enactments for Solberg’s documentary of her life.

When he died, he was interred in tomb close to that of Carmen Miranda herself.

*Not the football player.
  • Helena Solberg (dir & scr & narration). Carmen Miranda: Bananas Is My Business. With Eric Barreto as Carmen Miranda. Brazil/UK 92 mins 1994.

17 November 2009

H. Taylor Buckner (1936 - ) sociologist.

Buckner was born in Kentucky. He did a BSc in Sociology at Louisville in 1959. ++His Masters thesis at the University of California at Berkeley was based on a questionnaire sent to 262 subscribers to Transvestia magazine.

However he did his PhD, 1967, by joining the Oakland Police Department and doing a participant observation study.

He was appointed Associate Professor at Sir George Williams University, Montréal (now part of Concordia University) and later became Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. He retired Emeritus in 1996.

He made a study of transvestites in the late 1960s. He admits that, unlike his work on the Oakland Police, there was no participant observation. He re-used the survey of 262 transvestites from Transvestia magazine, supplemented by interviews with seven transvestites (four anglophone and three francophone – all, except one student, with good professional jobs) who responded to letters that he put in the Montréal Star and Montréal-Matin. He read a paper on this research at the American Sociological Association annual meeting in San Francisco, September, 1969. This was the same meeting of the ASA that issued a public declaration endorsing the rights of gays and other sexual minorities.

Buckner’s academic portrait of heterosexual transvestism was of a pathology.
“The heterosexual transvestite provides an interesting example of a socially induced "pathology" because he seems to have internalized part of a social relationship, and acts toward himself in a way that a normal person acts toward a socio-sexually significant other.”
“The transvestite is blocked from achieving either the cultural goal of normal heterosexual masculine functioning, a goal which he shares, or the common variant, homosexuality. His response to this double blockage is to create a miniature society within himself in which he can achieve a cultural goal without following the cultural pattern of achieving it through interpersonal relationships.”
His position is that there is no biologic etiology. He proposes a five-step model:
1. “In most cases, although not absolutely all, the first step in becoming a transvestite comes between the ages of about five and fourteen from the association of some item of feminine wearing apparel with sexual gratification, usually through masturbation.”
2. “The second step in becoming a transvestite comes when the youth perceives some heterosexual difficulties...”
3. “The third step in becoming a transvestite is the blockage of the homosexual outlet. ”
4. “The fourth step in becoming a transvestite involves this elaboration of masturbation fantasies into the development of a feminine self. ”
5. “The fifth step in becoming a transvestite involves fixing the gratification pattern in the identity of the transvestite. Until this fifth step occurs one cannot speak of a person as being a true transvestite; he may have branched off into some other form of deviant sexual behaviour, or he may be functioning in a normal heterosexual pattern.”
The only published transvestite biography that he refers to, and the only person he directly quotes, is the highly untypical one of Leonard Wheeler, a fetishist,  bondage misogynist:
“Keeping her lovely is a full-time job. It literally takes several hours a day - but when I look into the mirror and see what we have made, it's worth every bit of the hard work and discomfort involved. When we walk down the street, our feet flying in their tight patent leather pumps because Connie's skirts are so narrow at the knees, our heels clicking in precise feminine rhythm, it's a great feeling to know that heads are turning. The women look, and they envy Connie her wardrobe; the men look and they envy whoever she belongs to, and maybe they think she doesn't belong to anybody, but they're wrong. She belongs to me. I'm the man whose hands run over her body, the man who touches her where only a lover is allowed to touch. Yes, quite frankly, I get great pleasure from her body. It's more than just sex, I know that now. It takes the place of sex. It's a tingle that I feel through me. It's how I suppose sex feels to a woman.” [emphasis added by Bruckner].
Apparently he then lost interest in the subject and did no further work on it.

*Not the football player.
  • ++Harry Benjamin.The Transsexual Phenomenon. New York: Julian Press, 1966. New York: Warner Books Edition 1977: 49, 52, 59, 62, 105, 108.
  • H. Taylor Buckner. “The Transvestic Career Path”. Read at the American Sociological Association annual meeting. San Francisco, September, 1969. Psychiatry. Vol.: 33, No. 3. August,1970: 381-389. Online at:
  • Vern L. Bullough & Bonnie Bullough. Cross Dressing, Sex, and Gender. University of Pennsylvania Press 1993: 331-2.
  • Caroline Devilliers. “The Five Steps”. A Cross-Dresser’s Compendium.

This is a good example of what you can do with a sample that is obviously far too small to be valid, and which has produced a class/professional bias that a first-year student should be able to spot as lopsided.  Here is Buckner’s description of his sample:  “Their masculine roles are largely involved with symbolic manipulation: a medical doctor engaged in research, a professor, a Ph.D. in research, an architect with two professional degrees, a university student, an executive, and a minister. It may very well be that transvestites live a somewhat more complicated fantasy life than most people”.

And then to quote one and only one biography that admits that the person is untypical of transvestites.

How did he get this paper peer-reviewed?

Vern Bullough comments on Buckner’s paper:  “Two decades of research have added significantly to the data base, but the outlines of this pattern after the first cross-dressing episode seem valid at least for some male transvestites”.  I have already given my opinion of Bullough.  Devilliers discussion is much more insightful than Bullough's is.

Viviane Namaste is also at Concordia.  However she completed her PhD the year that Buckner retired.  She is a later generation.

Leonard Wheeler (? - ) a transvestite into bondage and misogyny.

In 1964 Leonard Wheeler published Sex Life of a Transvestite. He revealed Connie, his female self as an erotic transvestite who was also into bondage, with cruel sadistic fantasies about women. He does state that his bondages and his attitudes to women are separate from his crossdressing, and that he is hardly typical of transvestites.

His thoughts were written up by Jack Jardine (1931 - 2009), a lesser science fiction writer using one of his aliases. Using the same alias he had published Girls on Sin Street, about prostitution, the year before.

The book contained an introduction by Albert Ellis (1913 – 2007), an associate of Alfred Kinsey, who had published Sex Without Guilt in 1958, and was then writing Homosexuality, Its Causes and Cures which would be published in 1965. He later became the father of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and was known for his liberal use of swear words.

Wheeler’ book was the only biography cited, and Wheeler the only person quoted,  in H. Taylor Buckner’s convention paper on transvestites that was read to the American Sociological Association in 1969, which found the practice to be a pathology.

Nothing else is known about Leonard Wheeler.

*Not the football player.
  • Leonard Wheeler, as told to Jack Jardine writing as Larry Maddock, with an introduction by Albert Ellis. Sex life of a Transvestite. K. D. S. Publ. Co 1964.  Online 
  • H. Taylor Buckner. “The Transvestic Career Path”. Read at the American Sociological Association annual meeting. San Francisco, September, 1969. Psychiatry. Vol.: 33, No. 3. August,1970: 381-389. Online at:

15 November 2009

Sylvester James (1947 – 1988) singer.

Sylvester was raised in Los Angeles. He was encouraged to sing by his grand-mother, the 1920s-1930s jazz singer, Julia Morgan, and he became a child gospel star singing in churches all over southern California and beyond.

However he fell out with his parents and ran away at 16. He lived on the streets in Los Angeles, and moved on to San Francisco in 1967. He performed in drag as Ruby Blue, singing Billie Holliday and the other women blues singers.

He became part of the San Francisco radical drag troupe The Cockettes and is in two of their films, Luminous Procuress and Tricia’s Wedding, both 1971. He also taught them to sing. He also played a female impersonator in the Bette Midler retelling of the life of Janis Joplin, The Rose, 1979.

As a rock singer he had limited success, even though the albums were dance oriented. He found fame as a disco and Hi-NRG singer. He is best known for singing the disco classic "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)". Sylvester appeared on the Joan Rivers show in 1986 and talked about his husband Rick, and showed off his wedding ring.

He reacted to pressure from the record label to butch-up his image by attending meetings in drag. He went public when he was diagnosed with AIDS. And attended Pride events in a wheelchair. He died from complications from AIDS at the age of 41. A drag photo-shoot, which he staged as a gag provided the cover for his posthumous album, Immortal, 1989.
  • Paul Oremland (dir). The Rhythm Divine: The Story of Disco. US 55 mins 1991.
  • David Weissman & Bill Weber (dir). The Cockettes. US 100 mins 2001.
  • Tim Smyth (dir). Sylvester: Mighty Real. US 11 mins 2002.
  • Joshua Gamson. The Fabulous Sylvester: The Legend, the Music, the 70s in San Francisco. New York: Henry Holt and Co. 2005.
  • Kevin E. Taylor. “Sylvester: A revolution recorded, televised & never compromised”. Gay Men of African Descent.
  • “Sylvester James”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

12 November 2009

Stella MacGregor (192? - ?) bearded lady, accountant.

Betty MacGregor was raised in Battle Creek, Michigan. Even as a young woman she had to shave up to six times a day. She did a master’s degree at the University of Michigan to work with gifted children. While working at the hospital, she she would slip away for a quick shave to avoid funny looks from patients and doctors.

During World War Two she let her beard grow and started working in circus sideshows. She married twice. Her first husband died in the war, and the second died in a road accident. However the demand for bearded ladies had passed, and in the mid-1960s she made only $50 a week.

According to her last manager, she quit the sideshow business, became a man, and he worked as an accountant.
    • Mark Hartzman. “Stella Macgregor” American Sideshow: An Encyclopedia of History’s Most Wondrous and Curiously Strange Performers. Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin. 2006: 184-5.

This is the only case that I have heard of where a bearded lady later becomes a man.

Unfortunately, the manager did not tell Hartzman whether MacGregor's change was aided by hormones and surgery or not.

10 November 2009

Carola Kretschmer (1948 - ) musician.

Thomas Kretschmer was born in Fulda, Hesse, West Germany. He became a rock guitarist and worked often with Udo Lindenberg.

Kretschmer transitioned to Carola in 1999. She is still with the Udo Lindenberg band.

09 November 2009

Waltraud Schiffels (1944 - ) academic.

Walter Schiffels was born in Saarbrücken, Germany. He did a PhD in German in 1975, and became an instructor at Saarland University, and then Director of Culture Department at Saarbrücken Volkshochschule.

After a divorce from his wife, he became an alcoholic and even worked as a transvestite in a brothel.

She transitioned to Waltraud in 1988. She is also a fiction writer, and has also written an autobiography and advice for transsexuals.
  • Barbara Kamprad and Waltrauf Schiffels (ed). Im falschen Körper: Alles über Transsexualität. Zürich: Kreuz Verlag. 1991
  • Waltraud Schiffels. Frau werden: Von Walter zu Waltraud. Zürich: eFeF-Verlag. 1992.
  • Waltraud Schiffels. Ich bin zwei. Ein Gespräch über Literatur und das Leben zwischen den Geschlechtern. Bamberg: Palette-Verlag. 1993.
  • Andrea Bronstering. “Eine Dame alter Schule”.
  • “Waltraud Schiffels”. Wikipedia: Die freie Enzyklopädie.

06 November 2009

Synthia Kavanagh (1962 - ) sex worker, inmate.

Richard Chaperon was born in British Columbia. From ages 2 to 9 he was in the care of the Children's Aid Society; from age 11 to a week before his 16th birthday, he was in a juvenile detention centre, and first started dressing as female.

Synthia legally changed her name at age 19. As an adult she calculated that she had spent only six years of her life not in some kind of institution.

She says that she always felt that she was female. She has twice been assessed by the Gender Identity Clinics in British Columbia and Ontario, for approval for a sex-change, and has twice been refused.

In 1985, she was working as a prostitute when she murdered a fellow transsexual, her roommate Lisa Black, with a hammer and a knife.

The judge suggested 'simple humanity' requires that Synthia serve her sentence in a woman's prison, however the correctional services rejected this and put her in Millhaven Penitentiary, the maximum-security prison for men in Bath, Ontario. The correctional services would not put her in a women's prison because she still had male genitals, and substantially reduced her dosage of estrogens despite the fact that she has been taking them for many years.

The Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, Ontario's Gender Identity Clinic, refused to approve her for a sex-change because she was unable to complete a two-year Real-Life Test. She filed a human rights complaint and the Human Rights Tribunal agreed that the policy of Corrections Canada placing trans women among the male population was discriminatory and that the absolute ban on sex changes was unwarranted. This decision was upheld in Federal Court.

Kavanagh had the operation in 2000, and in 2001 was transferred to Joliette, a medium-security women’s prison north of Montréal.

In 2005 she trashed a room at Edmonton’s women’s prison and fought off guards. She was then transferred to the maximum-security Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ontario.

The 2005 trashing incident provoked some ‘she is still a man’ newspaper articles.

Synthia Kavanagh was not the first Canadian inmate to have gender surgery, although she is the best known.   She was preceded by Shelley Ball in 1980.

03 November 2009

Steve Dain (1940 – 2007) gym teacher, FTM pioneer.

Doris Richards attempted marriage as a woman, but it did not work.

Later, while working as a girls’ gym teacher in Union City, California, he transitioned to male at age 35, with surgery from Dr Donald Laub at Stanford Gender identity Clinic.

Steve lost his job and went to court. He was briefly a media topic, but the very next day the Renée Richards story pushed him off the front page.

Eventually he won a court ruling that he could teach again, but was not able to find a school that would hire him.

He worked setting ceramic tiles. He became a focal point for trans men in the San Francisco area, and helped other to follow him including Lou Sullivan, Jamison Green and Max Valerio.

He did eventually teach again in a community college.

He died of cancer at age 67.

01 November 2009

Eva Robin’s (1958 - ) performer.

Roberto Maurizio Coatti was born in Bologna. He was intersex, who looked like a normal boy, but developed as a woman after puberty.

She took her name from Eva Kent in the Diabolik comics, and Harold Robbins, and thought it to be more cute with an apostrophe.

She is also model and a singer. In 1977, using the name Cassandra, she recorded the disco classic, Disco Panther (see below).

It remains unclear just which intersex condition applies, and there are rumours that she did have genital surgery, perhaps in 1998 or even 1991, although Eva denies this.

She did reveal her penis in the films Evaman, 1980, and Mascara, 1989 (as did Romy Haag), where she played a drag performer, but never since.

In two Hercules films, Ercole, 1983 and Avventure dell'incredibile Ercole, 1984, she played Dedalos as a female, although in Greek myth the character is a man.

She played a transsexual in Belle al Bar, 1994.

She has been in 19 films, and also on Italian television program Il bello delle donne (The Beautiful Women) 2002.

Her legal name is still Roberto Coatti.