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 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!

27 April 2010

Susan Stryker: Transgender History – a review

Susan Stryker took a doctorate in US History at University of California at Berkeley in 1992 with a dissertation on the origins of Mormonism as a case study in the formation of identity-based communities. She completed transition to female the same year. She was a co-founder of Transgender Nation. She is the author of Queer Pulp: Perverse Passion in the Golden Age of the Paperback and Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area, and edited the transgender studies special issue of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. She is the executive Director of the GLBT Historical Society, and has a fellowship in Sexuality Studies in the History Department at Stanford University. She wrote the introduction to the Cleis Press reprint of Christine Jorgensen's autobiography. She appeared in Monika Treut’s film, Gendernauts, 1999, and wrote and narrated the short film Shotgun, 1997 about a female couple, one of whom is intersex, and co-wrote, co-directed and narrated the film Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria, 2005. She has taught at Harvard, UC-Santa Cruz , Indiana and Simon Frazer universities, is currently Associate Professor of Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Arizona.
  • Susan Stryker. Transgender History. Berkeley: Seal Press. 2008.

The first observation is that the title needs two caveats. This is a not a history of transgender persons and their achievements in show biz, music, sex work, computing, health work, literature, the law, religion, the military, police work, teaching, sports etc etc. It is a history of almost only trans activism.

Secondly it is restricted to one country.

The first chapter is an introduction for a general reader explaining the basics of concepts like gender, intersex, gender identity disorder.

Chapter 2, A Hundred Years of Transgender History, tells of the US prior to the 1960s. It lists many of the cities that passed their own laws to prevent cross-dressing. I would have appreciated more explanation of this unique US custom; why it happened in the US but not elsewhere. Stryker draws on the theory of John D’Emilio that gay and lesbian communities first evolved in the mid 19th century in the US as industrial cities grew in size and people migrated to them.

Stryker’s tale of activism starts with Magnus Hirschfeld and goes via Elmer Belt, Harry BenjaminLouise Lawrence,Virginia Prince, Christine Jorgensen. Benjamin’s first transsexual patient is mentioned in passing, but her name, Sally Barry, is not given. The threat of surgeons being prosecuted for mayhem is mentioned, but Belt’s way of getting around it, by leaving the testicles inside, is not mentioned. She says that Jorgensen had a ‘successful genital transformation surgery in Copenhagen’ when in fact she did not have vaginoplasty until many years later and in the US. The US trans women who had gender surgery before Jorgensen,Pussy Katt and Hedy Jo Star, are not mentioned. Stryker briefly mentioned the largely black drags balls in Chicago and New York that gave trans women somewhere to go, but she fails to mention Alfred Finnie and Phil Black who did so much of the work of getting them going.

Chapter 3, Transgender Liberation, tells of the gay-transy riots at Cooper’s in Los Angeles, 1959; at Dewey’s in Philadelphia, 1965; at Compton’s in San Francisco, 1966; and of course The Stonewall Inn in New York in 1969. This history of riots, like the municipal anti-crossdressing laws is peculiar to the US, similar riots not having happened in the UK, France or Germany. Stryker spends a lot of time on San Francisco, but then she is also the co-author of Gay By the Bay, 1996. She also covers Reed Erickson, Susan Cooke and Angela Douglas. There is a typo on p88: Douglas’ organization was Transsexual Action Organization, not Transsexual Activist Organization.

Chapter 4, The Difficult Decades, opens with the show-biz androgyny and transsexuality that was popular in the early 1970s, the Cockettes, Jayne County, Divine, Candy Darling etc, but quickly moves into the backlash of the 1970s and 1980s. She sees the period 1964-1973 as a step forward in association with the mainstream androgyny of the hippies and the war protesters. However there has been no parallel androgyny with the Bush-Obama wars. This same period was that of the university gender identity clinics. In and after 1973, the gay clone look came in, homosexuality was removed from the DSM, abortion rights were achieved in Roe v. Wade but thise who were transgender were left behind. Further some lesbians objected to trans women in the San Francisco and New York gay pride marches, Beth Elliott was protested at the West Coast Lesbian Conference, Sandy Stone was protested for being the engineer at the feminist Olivia Records, Mary Daly published Gyn/Ecology and Janice Raymond published The Transsexual Empire. In and after 1980, Gender identity Disorder was added to the DSM, The Johns Hopkins Gender Identity Clinic was closed down, and AIDS appeared.

The chapter closes with a section on trans men, mainly Steve Dain and Lou Sullivan.

Chapter 5, The Current Wave, tells of Fantasia Fair and IFGE, of the use of the new word ‘transgender’ and of queer theory (e.g. Judith Butler), of Sandy stone, of sex-positive feminism, of the destructiveness of Aids, of gay groups adding T to their names, of Cheryl Chase and ISNA, of exclusion from the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, of the Southern Comfort conferences and the International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy, of Trangender Menace and Gender PAC and Remembering Our Dead, transgender study conferences, Kate Bornstein, The Crying Game, Anthony and the Johnsons, and the never-ending saga of ENDA.

The book consists of 153 pages. Obviously things had to be cut to keep the book short. However I am going to mention a few things that are missing because they change the overall picture.

Despite the detailed account of transgender activism in San Francisco, the early activism of José Sarria in the 1950s is ignored completely, as is the Imperial Court system that he co-founded. I wish that Susan had explained why. Is she, as are some others, of the opinion that drag performers are not transgender in that they are supposed to be more performative than identitarian? One would not think so from Chp 1, p19 where she says that transgender "most generally refers to any and all kinds of variation from gender norms and expectation" and a few sentences later:
"Recently some people have begun to use the term 'transgender' to refer only to those who identify with a gender other than the one they were assigned to at birth ... This Book uses 'transgender' to refer to the widest imaginable range of gender-variant practices and identities".
Then why is Sarria missing? David Carter removed Sylvia Rivera from the history of Stonewall without saying that he was doing so, and Susan Stryker has removed José Sarria from the history of transgender in San Francisco, again without saying that she was doing so, or why. That is very Orwellian.

Incidentally, neither the Carter nor the Duberman books on Stonewall are in the further reading section.

Connected with this removal of Sarria is an over-valuation of the contribution of Virginia Prince. In 1970, Vaughn Bodé, a heterosexual transvestite had still not heard of Virginia Prince. There were other transvestite organizers – including José Sarria. Susan confusingly uses the word ‘transgender’ with reference to Prince (probably because she once used it with a different meaning) but Prince adamantly refused persons whom we would call ‘transgender’ and limited her groups to male heterosexual transvestites only. The point of transgender is that it includes all kinds of different gender positions. If what Prince advocated is referred to as 'transgender', then modern transgender would simply mean transsexual plus the Princian groups. I don’t think that Susan intends this, but it is a possible reading.

The distinction between transsexual and intersex has changed over time. The only mention of intersex in this book is an account of Cheryl Chase that could have been taken from one of her own press releases. There is no mention of her alternate persona of Bo Laurent, nor of the fact that she alienated many intersex persons by being almost the only intersex activist to endorse the DSD terminology. At the very least, the account of Chase should have been balanced by an account, however short, of Curtis Hinkle and the creation of OII.

There is no mention at all of the Blanchard binary and the upsets that it has caused among transsexuals over the last 25 years. However Bailey’s book on the topic is quietly found in the book’s further reading section.

I am sure that many of my readers will find much to appreciate in Susan’s book. However do bear in mind the caveats that I have mentioned, and after reading return to this site to find several hundred trans persons not mentioned in the book at all.

26 April 2010

Aleksandr Pavlovich (189? - ?) market trader.

Aleksandra was a market trader in Saratov, Russia (map), on the Volga and the capital of the Saratov Oblast. She had been trained and raised like a son by her father. The father died in 1919, and the elder sister compelled her to marry a ‘weak-willed groom’.

After three weeks, she ran away to Astrakhan (map), adopted male dress and became Aleksandr Pavlovich. He was a successful trader, and popular with the female traders. The next year he returned to his family in Saratov and resumed trade in small silver goods. He demanded that his family address him as a man. He had several girlfriends, one of whom stayed with him for over two years, even though once he beat her so badly that she was in hospital for two weeks. His family accepted this because of the money he brought in from trading, and also from gaming at cards.

The gaming lead to administrative fines, brawls and finally he was arrested in 1924, and later transferred to the Bureau of Criminal Anthropology for compulsory therapy. The psychiatrist A.P. Shtess claimed that he used a combination of Freudian analysis, hypnotism and persuasion, and was able to ‘cure’ the patient of both masculinity and of smoking. She adopted female clothing, became much more reserved and started talking about having a baby. She was returned to a branch of the family that would not be tempted by her potential market earnings.

*Not the cosmonaut.
  • A.P. Shtess. “Sluchai zhenskogo gomoseksualizma pri nalichii situs viscerum inversus, ego psikhanaliz I gipnoterapiia”. Saratovskii vestnik zdravookhraneniia. 3-4 1935: 1-19.
  • Dan Healey. Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia: The Regulation of Sexual and Gender Dissent. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press xvi, 392 pp 2001: 66-8, 289n69, fig 10-12.

25 April 2010

Hasan El Belbeissi (182? - ?) belly-dancer.

Gustave Flaubert, travelling in Egypt in December 1849, met Hasan el Belbeissi, a male belly-dancer, and then later met him again as part of a wedding procession when he was en femme,
'his hair braided on each side, embroidered jacket, eyebrows painted black, very ugly, gold piastres hanging down his back; around his body, as a belt, a chain of large gold amulets; he clicks castanets; splendid writhings of belly and hips; he makes his belly undulate like waves; grandfinal bow with his trousers ballooning'.

23 April 2010

Petric J. Smith (1940 – 1998) window dresser, real-estate agent, Methodist minister.

Elizabeth Cobbs was raised in Birmingham, Alabama. Her mother’s sister’s husband, Robert Chamliss was active in the Ku Klux Klan, and sometimes took his relatives to Klan activities.

At age 15, having been told that she was to be a housewife and could not go to college, Elizabeth eloped with her boyfriend and returned home pregnant. Her marriage broke up after four years. She worked in the window-display department for a department store.

On 4 September 1963 a bomb exploded at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and four young girls died in the explosion. Elizabeth heard Chambliss say in response to a television report on the bombing: "It wasn't supposed to hurt anybody. It didn't go off when it was supposed to". Elizabeth was one of many interviewed by the FBI, but the case was closed by J. Edgar Hoover in 1968.

In 1970 Elizabeth married again, and started selling real estate. In 1975 she began to study to be a United Methodist minister, and was their first female minister in Alabama.

When the Alabama Attorney General Bill Baxley reopened the bombing case in 1976, she became a star witness at her uncle’s trial in 1977. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

She was divorced for the second time in 1978, and after many death threats and telephone harassment, she left Birmingham and took another name. In Texas, Cobbs  underwent counseling and was referred to a Gender Clinic.  As Petric Smith, he completed legal and surgical transition in 1981, and then returned to Birmingham and became a gay and lesbian, anti-racist and women’s rights activist.

Chambliss died in prison in 1985.

Petric published his autobiography in 1994, mentioning his gender change only in a very short epilogue. He named other people who were probably involved in the bombing.

He died of lung cancer at age 57.

In 2001 and 2002, based partly on Smith’s book, two other perpetrators were convicted.
  • Elizabeth H. Cobbs/Petric J. Smith. Long Time Coming. Crane Hill Publishers. 1994.
  • Leslie Feinberg. Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Rupaul. Beacon Press, 1996: 140.
Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender History Month UK     TSsuccesses.

20 April 2010

Janice Raymond (1943 - ) feminist professor.

++ Name of Raymond's 1980 paper corrected.

Raymond did a BA in English Literature at Salve Regina College, 1965, and an MA in Religious Studies at Andover Newton Theological School, 1971. She was then for a short time a member of the Sisters of Mercy, but left and did a PhD in Ethics and Society at Boston College, 1977. Raymond’s PhD thesis supervisor was Mary Daly of Boston College. Daly was writing Gyn/Ecology at the same time. Raymond’s dissertation became The Transsexual Empire, 1979, and it and Gyn/Ecology cite each other, and both were published by Beacon Press which is associated with the Unitarian Church. In 1978, Raymond became Professor of Women’s Studies and Medical Ethics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Raymond’s position is that transsexual women are not women, and she uses male pronouns for trans women throughout. The Transsexual Empire enthusiastically draws on Thomas Kando’s Sex Change; The Achievement of Gender Identity Among Feminized Transsexuals, 1972, and on Jan MorrisConundrum, 1974. Kando restricted his sample to recently-transitioned transsexuals, and Morris wrote within two years of surgery, and so Raymond was easily able to find examples of the gender enthusiasm of new women which she insisted was typical of transsexual women of whatever duration. Raymond says that she supplemented these with 13 direct interviews and found highly stereotypical notions of gender roles, and without the “role strain of normal women”. However Angela Douglas claimed that all the quotes from these 13 are in fact from a letter that Douglas wrote to Raymond. Raymond retells several of the transsexual tales that were in the US press in the 1970s: Angela Douglas’ notorious polemical letter that was a reaction to lesbian separatism; the fuss that some lesbians made about Sandy Stone being the sound engineer at the feminist Olivia Records; Paula Grossman being fired.

She takes the position that sex is determined by the chromosomes and that if XY one is always male, and if XX always female, and secondly that the historical experience of being raised as a girl and menstruating determines a woman. A constructed-woman has only a history of wishing to be a woman. The primary cause of transsexualism is the sex stereotyping of patriarchal society (no biological, psychological or existential causation is considered), and the secondary cause is the professionals, the surgeons, psychiatrists, counselors, electrologists etc who provide services and persuade foolish persons to change (the opposition of the vast majority of male doctors to the first transsexuals is not considered). She never considers that transsexuals themselves regarded the gender-stereotyped requirements of the gender clinics as a problem. Transsexual men are “the tokens that save face for the transsexual empire”, and are barely considered. The patriarchy has introduced sex changes as a means of controlling gender stereotypes, which act in the interests of men. Once extra-natal conception is introduced, biological women will become redundant.
“All transsexuals rape women’s bodies by reducing the real female form to an artefact, and appropriating this body for themselves. [...] Transsexuals merely cut off the most obvious means of invading women, so that they seem non-invasive”.
In various places she compares gender surgery to foot-binding, clitoridectomy and infibulation, corset mutilation, unnecessary hysterectomies and radical mastectomies. Several times she suggests but just stops short of saying that transsexuality was associated with the Nazis, and the death camps.

Whilst Raymond maintains that male-to-constructed-females are more gender stereotyped than biological woman, worse still are those who attempt to be lesbian-feminists:
"Transsexually constructed lesbian-feminists show yet another face of patriarchy. As the male-to-constructed-female transsexual exhibits the attempt to possess women in a bodily sense while acting out the images into which men have molded women, the male-to-constructed-female who claims to be a lesbian-feminist attempts to possess women at a deeper level, this time under the guise of challenging rather than conforming to the role and behavior of stereotyped femininity”.
Raymond’s call to action:
“I contend that the problem with transsexualism would best be served by morally mandating it out of existence” .
The book was endorsed in a review by Thomas Szasz which is quoted on both its front and back covers (“Raymond’s development and documentation is flawless”).

Raymond also wrote a paper, Social and Ethical Aspects of Transsexual Surgery, for the US Government. This paper, which is less contentious and inflammatory in its language and thus more superficially plausible, resulted in the removal of US federal and some state aid for indigent and imprisoned transsexuals, and provided an example for insurance companies who were pleased to have a feminist telling them that transsexuality should not be covered. This non-coverage included breast or genital cancer where it could be deemed to be a consequence of transsexual activity.

Carol Riddell wrote the first detailed and critical review of Raymond’s book, and it has been frequently reprinted, which I have drawn upon above.

Through the 1980s gay academics endorsed Raymond’s book. It was admired by Wayne Dynes (“Impassioned radical-feminist critique”) and Jonathan Katz (“The most profound, extended critique of the medical concept of ‘transsexualism’ ”).   Liz Hodgkinson’s Bodyshock: The Truth About Changing Sex, 1987, while being pro-transsexuals, repeatedly returns to Raymond’s book for explanation.

Along with Peter Ackroyd’s Dressing Up, also 1979, Raymond’s book became a de rigueur entry in the bibliography of any 1980s book on trans topics, even though many authors did not actually seem to understand what she was saying.

In 1988, Sandy Stone wrote a manifesto defiantly responding to Raymond.

Unlike the concept of autogynephilia, very few actual transsexuals identified with Raymond’s position, the one exception being Rachael Webb, a lorry driver cum London Councillor who regarded herself as a radical feminist and as a constructed woman.

Raymond’s books in the early 1990s attacked sexual liberalism, contraception in the form of RU486, and the new reproductive technologies.

In 1996, The Transsexual Empire was reissued by Teacher College Press, without any changes although by that time the excessive gender conformity required by gender clinics that she had initially criticized was largely a thing of the past. She expands her criticism in the new Introduction using the new word, ‘transgenderism’, she dismisses gender transgression as a new type of gender conformity, and has specific criticisms of RuPaul, Leslie Feinberg and k.d. lang. So non-surgical gender solutions are not acceptable either as some might have assumed from her book.

In the late 1990s and 2000s there have been a number of trans writers who have used Raymond’s book as if it referred to other transsexuals whom they don’t seem to like, often referred to as ‘autogynephiles’ or ‘transgender’ or ‘men’, although there is no basis for this in Raymond’s writings: she is as critical of the lesbian-feminist constructed female as she is of the gender-stereotyped constructed female. Notable examples are by Margaret O’Hartigan and Cathryn Platine.

From 1994-2007 Raymond was the Co-Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) and is still on the Board. She retired as a professor in 2002, and is Professor Emerita. In CATW she is strongly against decriminalization of prostitution which has led several sex worker activists to take issue with her. She talks about prostitution as if trans women and men are never sex workers.

*Not Janice Raymond, Playmate of the Month for December 1974.

Raymond has kept her personal life quiet.   Her Wikipedia page has a ‘personal life’ section which says that she is a former Catholic and an open lesbian.  There is no mention of her having a wife.  There are two rumours relating to her private life.  I did not include them above because I could not confirm them, but they are very germane to her writings:  that she had a passion for a trans woman but was rebuffed (Denny, 2002);  and that she and Daly were lovers.  Both suggestions partially explain the intensity of her transphobia.

My husband was raised a Catholic and is a graduate of the Jesuit Boston College.  On reading this, his major comment was to explain that many ex-Catholics and lapsed Catholics emphasize the one issue that affects them personally – with Raymond it is the non-ordination of women ( Johnson, 1973) – but continue to agree with the Church on other issues.  Raymond’s position is remarkably congruent with the Church of Rome:  trans woman are not women; abortion is wrong; the new reproductive technologies are wrong.

For all her concern with the “role strain of normal women”, Raymond is indifferent to the role strain of those born male.  Other than feminist  consciousness raising, she rules out – this is made clear in the introduction to the 1994 reprint - any solution that such male-born persons may wish to try: in addition to her proscription of surgical gender change, she also condemns androgynous gender mixing for both men and women.  She denies that women wearing trousers is transvestity  and at the same time denies men any clothing freedom at all.    Like Virginia Prince and some of the HBS people she is insistent that other persons should follow her prescription only and is not interested in what they might think, or in allowing them to be themselves.

I am a woman, therefore I am a feminist.  This is so obvious to  me.  The great expansion of opportunities and freedoms for all women, trans and cis, over the last 50 years is one of the great achievements of the 20th century.  Raymond attempts to present her flavour of feminism as Feminism, as if there were no others.  But of course there are many feminisms.  One of the best statements of how Raymond is an embarrassment to feminism is found in Califia’s book.   As a feminist I also find Raymond embarrassing.  But there are also trans women who say things that I do not like.

18 April 2010

Charles Hamilton (171? - ?) quack doctor.

Charles Hamilton was arrested in 1746 in Somerset for having married 14 different women. On Monday, 22 September 1746, Boddely's Bath Journal (of the town of Bath in Somerset) carried the following article:
'Tuesday last a Woman, dress'd in Man's Apparel, was committed to Shepton-Mallet Bridewell. She was detected at Glastonbury; and has for some Time follow'd the Profession of a Quack Doctor, up and down the Country. There are great Numbers of People flock to see her in Bridewell, to whom she sells a great Deal of her Quackery; and appears very bold and impudent. She seems very gay, with Perriwig, Ruffles, and Breeches; and it is publickly talk'd, that she has deceived several of the Fair Sex, by marrying them.'
And on 3 November:
'We hear from Taunton, that at a general Quarter Sessions of the Peace, for the County of Somerset, held there lately, Mary Hamilton, otherwise George, otherwise Charles Hamilton, was try'd ofr a very singular and notorious Offense: Mr. Gold, Council for the King, open'd to the court, That the said Mary, &c. prtending herself a Man, had married fourteen Wives, the last of whch Number was one Mary Price, who appeared in Court, and deposed, that she was married to the Prisoner, some little Time since, at the Parish Church of St. Cuthbert's in Wells, and lived as such for about a Quarter of a Year, during which Time she, the said Price, thought the Prisoner a Man, owing to the Prisoner's using certain vile and deceitful Practices, not fit to be mentioned.
'There was a great Debate for some Time in Court about the Nature of her Crime, and what to call it, but at last it was agreed, that she was an uncommon notorious Cheat, and as such was sentenced to be publickly whipp'd in the four following Towns, Taunton, Glastonbury, Wells and Shipton-Mallet: to be imprisoned for six Months, and to find Sureties for her good Behaviour, for as long a Time as the Justices at the next Quarter-Sessions shall think fit.'
On 13 September 1746, the day of her arrest, Mary Hamilton, 'daughter of Wm Hamilton & Mary his wife', made the following deposition before John Masters, Mayor and Thomas White, Justices of the Peace for the Town and Corporation of Glaston:
'This Examinant saith that she was Born in the County of Somerset aforesd but doe not know in what parish but went from whence to the shire of Angus in Scotland and there continued till I was about fourteen years of age, and then put on my Brothers Cloaths and travelled for England, and in Northumberland entered into the service of Doctor Edward Green, a Mountebank and Continued with him between two and three years, & then entered into the service of Doctor Finly Green & Continued with him near a twelve month and then set up for a Quack doctor myselfe, and travelled through several Counties of England, and at length came to the County of Devonshire, and from thence into Somersetshire aforesd in the Month of May Last Past where I have followed my aforesd business of a Quack doctor, Continuing to wear mans apparell ever since I came out of Scotland.
'This Examinant further saith that in the Course of her travels in mans apparel she came to the City of Wells in ye County aforesd and went by the Name of Charles Hamilton, and quartered in the house of Mary Creed, where lived her Neice Mary Price, to whome I proposed Marraige and the sd Mary Price Consented, and then I put in the Banes or Marrige to Mr Kinston Curate of St Cuthberts in the City of Wells aforesd and was by ye sd Mr Kingstone Married to the sd Mary Price, in ye parish Church aforesd, on the sixteenth day of July last past and have since travelld as a husband with her in severall parts of ye County to the day of the date above mentioned and further this Examinant saith not. 'ye mark of Mary Hamilton'
Mary Price, the complainant, made a statement on 7 October, the date of the trial:
'Who on her Oath saith that in the Month of May last past a Person who called himself by the name of Charles Hamilton introduced himself into the Company of the Examinant and made his Addresses to her, and prevailed on this Examinant to be married to him, which she accordingly was on the Sixteenth day of July last by the Revd. Mr. Kingstone Curate of the Parish of St. Cuthbert in Wells in the said County - And this Examinant Further saith that after their Marriage they lay together several Nights, and that the said pretended Charles Hamilton who had married her as aforesaid entered her Body several times, which made this Examint beleive, at first, that the said Hamilton was a real Man, but soon had reason to Judge that the said Hamilton was not a Man but a Woman, and which the said Hamilton acknowledged and confessed afterwards (on the Complaint of this Examint. to the Justices) when brought before them that she was such to the Great Prejudice of this Examinant. 'The Mark of Mary Price'.
Later Hamilton fled England for the American colonies, and was reported living in Philadelphia.

Henry Fielding fictionalized Hamilton’s story in his novella The Female Husband.  He also used it as a vehicle for his anti-Methodist prejudice, and recycled material from Jonathan Wild and Tom Jones, and anecdotes about Charlotte Charke.
  • Henry Fielding. “The Female Husband: or, the Surprising History of Mrs. Mary, alias George Hamilton, Who was convicted of having married a Young Woman of Wells and lived with her as her Husband. Taken from Her own Mouth since her Confinement”. In The Female Husband and Other Writings. English Reprints Series, Liverpool University Press. 1960 (orig 1746). Also in Castle, Terry. The Literature of Lesbianism: A Historical Anthology from Ariosto to Stonewall. Columbia University Press. 1110pp, 2005.
  • Sheridan Baker. “Henry Fielding's 'The Female Husband': Fact and Fiction”. Publications of the Modern Language Association of America. 74,1959. Compares Fielding's novella to newspaper accounts and court records of the real event
  • Terry Castle. “Matters Not Fit to be Mentioned: Fielding's The Female Husband”. English Literary History 49,1982. A later commentary.
  • Clare A. Lyons. ”Mapping an Atlantic Sexual Culture: Homoeroticism in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia”. The William and Mary Quarterly January 2003, 60.1. Charles Hamilton fled England after her conviction and lived out his days in Philadelphia.
  • “Mary Hamilton A Woman who was imprisoned and whipped for marrying Fourteen Women, 1746” The Newgate Calendar - or
  • Sheila Hannon. The Female Husband. First broadcast 20060221. With Sandy Toksvig as Mary Hamilton, and Adam Kotz as Henry Fielding. Broadcast on BBC Radio Four.

Shepton Mallet is where the Glastonbury Rock Festival is held each year.  I attended the first one in 1970.

    16 April 2010

    João Francisco dos Santo (1900 - 1976) performer, convict.

    João and 16 brothers were born to a family of recently freed-slaves in the Nordeste region. João sold by his parents at age 7.

    He moved to Lapa, Rio de Janeiro’s bohemian district, where he lived with a prostitute, an effeminate gay man and seven children. He started a show-biz career doing one-man drag shows at the Blue Danube basing his act on Josephine Baker, the black entertainer from St Louis who found success in Paris.

    One night an abusive patron accosted him and the man ended up dead shot in the back. João Francisco was convicted of murder and served 10 years in prison.

    On release he won the Best Costume award at the 1942 Carnaval as Madame Satã, based on the character in Cecil DeMille’s Madam Satan, 1930 about a woman who wins back her husband by dressing as Satan as a woman for a party in a dirigible. From there he became a drag star using several personae including “The Negress of the Bulacoche”; “Saint Rita of the Coconut Tree”; “Jamacy, the Queen of the Forest”; “the Shark”; and “the Wild Pussycat”.

    Offstage he was a butch gay man, a hustler, and known for his violent temper. In total he served 27 years in prison.

    He died of lung cancer at age 76.

    In 2002 his life was made into a film.
    • Rogério Durst. Madame Satã: [com o diabo no corpo]. São Paulo: Ed. Brasiliense, 1985.
    • Karim Ainouz (dir & scr). Madame Satã. Scr: Marcelo Gomes & Sérgio Machado, with Lázaro Ramos as Joao Francisco dos Santos/Madame Satã.  Brazil & France 105 mins 2002.
    • Bacalhau. “Apresento João Francisco dos Santos o Madame Satã”. Centro Cultrural de Capoeira Ventre Livre. Agosto 12, 2009.

    12 April 2010

    Luana Ricci (1963 - ) musicista.

    Marco Della Gatta did a diploma in piano at the Conservatory of Lecce and in jazz at that of Bari. He worked with the Notte della Taranta and l’Orchestra della Pro­vincia di Lecce.

    In 1989 he married a woman, and they had a son and a daughter. From 1991 he was the organist at the Lecce Cathedral, but without a contract.

    After the death of his father, he could not die without being himself. In 2008 Della Gatte decided to transition to Luana Ricci. Luana was dismissed as the organist at Lecce Cathedral.

    in 2010, she helped trans woman Emily De Salvo in her audition for the Bari Tito Schipa Conservatory by providing piano accompaniment, and was the organist for the ordination of female priest Maria Vittoria Longhitano.

    11 April 2010

    Alexis Reich (1964 - ) school teacher.

    John Mark Karr was raised in US Georgia and Alabama. His mother claimed he was possessed by demons and attempted to burn him alive. She was incarcerated in a mental hospital.

    When he was 20, Karr married a 13-year-old and abused her. The marriage was annulled a year later. When he was 24, he married a pregnant 16-year-old. The twin daughters died hours after birth. They then had three sons.

    In 1996, Karr registered and claimed to be a support organization for children. He also operated a day-care centre in Alabama. Karr then worked as a substitute teacher 2000-1 in Petaluma, California, until his arrest for possession of child pornography. His second wife then divorced him. He failed to appear to his probation officer in December 2001, and went on the run.

    In 2006, University of Colorado journalism professor Michael Tracey received emails about the JonBenet Ramsey murder. The emails were traced to Thailand, and a letter to him enabled the Thai police to identify Karr. He claimed that he was in Thailand working as a teacher and seeking a sex-change, and that he had started taking female hormones, although he maintained a male presentation. He was arrested and his visa revoked. He admitted being with Ramsey when she died. He returned to the US on a business class flight and not under arrest. He was arrested at Los Angeles airport, and extradited to Colorado. However his DNA did not match the DNA found at the crime scene.

    He was released, but then re-arrested on the outstanding charges in California of possessing child pornography. These charges were dropped after the investigators admitted that they had lost the computer in question. He was a media sensation for a short while.

    In 2007 Karr was arrested after a domestic argument at his father’s house in Atlanta. He stopped hormones because his then fiancée did not approve, but restarted after they broke up. As Alexis Reich, she changed her name in 2008 and restarted the hormones. She reportedly completed transition in 2010.

    The JonBenet Ramsey murder remains unsolved.

    The Wikipedia editors still have not changed the name on their article on Alexis Reich as per their standard policy, nor is she in any Wiki trans category yet.

    08 April 2010

    Romy Haag (1951 - ) actor, singer, nightclub owner.

    Edouard Frans Verbaarsschott was born in Scheveningen, in the Netherlands. He was an intersex child and was bullied at school for his effeminate looks.

    At 13 he left school and worked with Circus Strassburger as a clown.

    At 16 Romy was working as a female impersonator at the Club Alcazar and Le Carrousel in Paris.

    After a friend set their apartment on fire, she stowed away on a merchant ship to the US, and found work performing at Fire Island and Atlantic City, where she met and loved a Berlin street singer and they moved to West Berlin together.

    At the age of 23, they opened a nightclub, Chez Romy Haag featuring Disco and mainly transgender artists – one of whom was Peki d’Oslo (Amanda Lear) whom Haag had met in Paris. The club became the place for celebrities to go. David Bowie and Mick Jagger had affairs with Romy. She released her first single, “Liege-Samba”, in 1977, and her first album, So Bin Ich, in 1981.

    In 1983 she sold her nightclub and spent a year touring the world. On return she had sex-change surgery in Switzerland.

    She then toured with her stage act. She has been in 26 films, mainly German, including Mascara, 1987, with Charlotte Rampling and Eva Robin’s. She has released 17 albums.

    In the mid-1980s she was the lead figure of Queen Zero, a performance-art video intallation at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. In 1997 she received the Jackie O. Music Award in New York for her interpretations of Berthold Brecht’s music. Also the same year she was awarded the Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival for lifetime achievements in GLBT film. In 1999 she published her autobiography.
    • Romy Haag with Martin Schacht. Eine frau und mehr. Berlin: Quadriga 319 pp 1999. Autobiography.    EN.Wikipedia.

    06 April 2010

    Eliza Scott (1838 - ? ) healer.

    Scott was raised as a slave in the US, and ran away to the West Indies. She was a practitioner in an African spiritual tradition; Upchurch suggests the Jim Banndaa, in which male-bodied persons living as female had spiritual powers. Eliza made a living by cleaning and by attending the ill, especially those afflicted by rheumatism, whom she could cure by friction and with herbs.

    In 1858 she was engaged by a sea-captain with such ailments, but he abandoned her in London and sailed without her. She took to walking about in the Fenchurch Street area, probably with the intention of earning some money.

    Constables of the newly founded Metropolitan Police noticed her, and assumed that she was a woman. She was arrested on the complaint of a ‘respectable man’ who asked a constable to take her in charge. She resisted strongly, but was taken to the station house and charged with having ‘annoyed gentlemen in Fenchurch Street’. The case was weak in that she had made no advance or overt proposition. In the end she was convicted solely of having resisted the constable’s attempt to put her in charge.
    • Charles Upchurch. Before Wilde: Sex Between Man in Britain’s Age of Reform. University of California Press. 2009: 168-171.

    04 April 2010

    Sarah Parry (1945 – ) ship’s captain.

    Brian Parry served with the Australian forces in Vietnam. He qualified as a ship’s captain.

    He had two marriages, and two children from the first marriage. He then met a new female partner who stayed with him during and after transition.

    Brian was recognized as Hobart’s Citizen of the year in 1998 for his work building square riggers and involving local disadvantaged youth, but by then had transitioned to Sarah.

    In 2002 Sarah captained the ship she had built to re-enact the Matthew Flinders 1802 Round Australia voyage, which produced the first detailed maps of Australia, and was featured on the Australian Story television show. The trip became controversial as crew jumped ship complaining about the facilities.
    Sarah: "I tend to see myself as a third gender. I live as a woman. I'm known as a woman, legally I am. However I'm able to use all those things that I learned as a male & put them to good use in my life now. I don't reject my previous life”.
    Sarah was still captaining the ship in November 2007 when it was in the news for rescuing a crayboat.

    *Not the sociology lecturer.

    02 April 2010

    Bruce Ivins (1946 – 2008) military virologist.

    Bruce Ivins was born and raised in Lebanon, Ohio. He was raised Presbyterian, but later became Catholic. He did a BS in 1968, an MS in 1971, and PhD in 1976, all at the University of Cincinnati. His dissertation was in the toxicity of disease-causing bacteria.

    He was a scientist for 36 years, and a senior biodefense researcher at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Maryland for 18 years. He initially worked on legionella and cholera, and in 1979 turned to anthrax after the anthrax outbreak in Sverdlovsk (now Yaketerinburg). He published over 44 scientific papers, many of them on anthrax. He was the co-inventor on two US patents for anthrax vaccine technology.

    He played keyboard instruments at his church and in a Celtic band, and was a keen juggler. He and his wife had two children and were staunch Catholics active in the anti-gay, anti-abortion American Family Association.

    At the same time he was allegedly a secretive cross-dresser who dressed in his basement, and corresponded to get photographs of women bound and blindfolded. It was also alleged that he was obsessed with the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority since being rebuffed by one of its members while a student, and broke into their sorority houses to steal ritual material.

    Following the aircraft attacks on New York and Washington in September 2001, there were mailings of anthrax-contaminated letters to two pro-choice Catholic US senators and several news agencies. The letters proclaimed “Death to America .. Death to Israel … Allah is Great”.  Ivins was on the team that analyzed the letters to determine which did contain real anthrax. Results were announced on ABC News that a chemical found in the anthrax indicated that it came from Iraq. This was later confirmed to be untrue.

    In 2003, Ivins and two colleagues received the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service for their work in developing an anthrax vaccine.

    The FBI investigations into the anthrax mailings focused on Steven Hatfil, also at USAMRIID, but exonerated him in 2008 and settled the lawsuit for $5.8 million that he had launched to defend his reputation.

    The leadership of the FBI investigation was changed in 2006, and Ivins became the main focus. They raided his home twice; he lost his security clearance; he became depressed and attempted suicide; the Los Angeles Times reported that he stood to gain from the attacks because of his patents for the vaccine (however his employer, the US Army, owned the patents). Ivins committed suicide in July 2008 by drug overdose and died in hospital.

    The FBI closed the case in 2010, and released documents pertaining to the case which contain the allegations of Ivins’ cross-dressing and bondage activities, and his KKG obsession.

    This account is the official version.   A quick search of the net will find many postings to the effect that Ivins was a patsy rather than a perpetrator, and maybe was murdered, and perhaps more so that he was murdered to cover up that he was acting on orders.  As the evidence of his cross-dressing comes only from the FBI, it could be invented assuming that it besmirched his character.