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23 December 2009

Evgenii Fedorovich M. (1898 - ?) Soviet agent.

Evgeniia Fedorovna M. was expelled from school for refusing to wear a skirt. Her father accommodated her by educating her at home and she wrote the external gymnasium examinations. She was orphaned in 1915 and from then presented as male.

Evgenii worked for the Cheka during the Revolution as a political instructor, took part in searches of monasteries, and in operations against bandits in the southern provinces. During this time he also got his identity papers changed to male.

In 1922, the Gosudarstvennoye Politicheskoye Upravlenie (GPU, the successor of the Cheka) posted him to a provincial town, and he courted and officially married “S”, a female postal worker. Initially “S” did not doubt that Evgenii was a man, but rumours reached her and Evgenii admitted as much to her. Local authorities charged him with a ‘crime against nature’. However the Commissariat for Justice recognized the marriage as legal because it was ‘concluded by mutual consent’.

“S” had an affair and a child with a co-worker, which Evgenii legally adopted. However in 1925 the GPU regiment was transferred to Moscow. Evgenii abandoned his wife and child to follow, but was fired after arrival.

He didn’t adapt to civilian life. He started drinking, was promiscuous with woman, and took a second wife. In 1926 he was arrested for impersonating bureaucrats and party members for profit, and for disorderly conduct.

This led to his being examined by Dr Edelshtein of the Moscow Health Department’s Bureau for the Study of the Personality of the Criminal and Criminality. Throughout all this, Evgenii maintained his presentation as male. Edelshtein did not attempt a “cure”, but did get him to write a short autobiography that was included in the author’s article in Prestupnik i prestupnost.
  • Evgeniia Fedorovna M. “History of my Illness” presented in Edelshtein.
  • A.O. Edelshtein. “K klinike transvestitizma”. Prestupnik i prestupnost: Sbornik 2 1927: 273-82.
  • Dan Healey. "Evgeniia/Evgenii: Queer Case Histories in the First Years of Soviet Power," Gender & History 1 1997: 83-106.
  • Dan Healey. Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia: The Regulation of Sexual and Gender Dissent.  The University of Chicago Press xvi, 392 pp 2001: 50, 57-8,68-72, 130,308n14.


At almost the same time, 1923, Frances Carrick in the US had her marriage recognized in that her husband was not allowed to testify.

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