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03 June 2010

Anne Ogborn (1959- ) activist.

*** Updated 20/7/10 to reflect feedback from Anne.

Anne, from Salina, Kansas, qualified as an engineer. She founded KCGS, Gender Dysphoria Support.

In 1991 she was one of the first to respond when Nancy Burkholder was ejected from the Michigan Womyns Music Festival.

She was the initial editor of Rites of Passage which later became Transsexual News Telegraph.

She co-founded Transgender Nation in San Francisco in reaction to transphobia in Queer Nation, and as such was part of the 1993 demonstation at the American Psychiatric Association.

Anne was initiated as an hijra in India in 1993, the first westerner to do so. She wrote up her experiences in India in the Transsexual News Telegraph. In 1998 she attempted to arrange for three hijra of the house of Najafgarh to visit California, and Yale University. She also attempted to start a school for hijras in India.
  • Anne Ogborn, “Saheli!” Transsexual News Telegraph 3 (1994): 20.
  • Anne Ogborn. “Going Home”. “Hijras and Intersexuals” Hermaphrodites with Attitudes, 1,1 Winter 1994.
  • Patrick Califia.  Sex Changes: Transgender Politics.  Cleis Press.  1997, Second edition 2003: 226-7, 265.
  • Evan B. Towle & Lynn Marie Morgan. “Romancing the Transgender Native: Rethinking the Use of the ‘Third Gender’ Concept”. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 8,4, 2002: 480-1, 484, 487-8,
  • Susan Stryker. Transgender History. Seal Press. 190 pp 2008: 135.
  • “Anne Ogborn”. Care2.


  1. It's nice of you to include me in your who's who.
    A tiny correction or two. I was born in 1959, and my home town is Salina, not Kalina.
    Additionally, I'm afraid my trying to do something doesn't mean I'll succeed.
    "In 1998 she arranged for three hijra of the house of Najafgarh to visit California, and Yale University. She started a school for hijras in India."
    nope and nope. The visit never happened, a result of some cross cultural confusion mixed with the difficulties of passports as a trans person. The school never happened either, the result of my own failings and the crazy politics of trans organizing.

    Anne Ogborn

  2. Anne,
    You have achieved more than most ever do. You certainly deserve more than the passing comments in Stryker's and Califia's books.

  3. Anonymous22/9/10 11:49

    Anne Ogborn is an amazing woman. She is a real crusader for transsexual rights. I hope you do a feature on Anne's friend Rachel Pollack. Rachel is a transwoman and tarot expert/writer. She has won numerous awards. Cheers.

  4. One other comment - "She co-founded Transgender Nation in San Francisco in reaction to transphobia in Queer Nation"

    Queer Nation is and was a confederation of independent groups. Transgender nation San Francisco was a "focus group", a part, of Queer Nation San Francisco.

    QNSF had been dormant a while following a leadership dispute. When the organization restarted I and Carol Klinemeyer decided to ensure that the group would have some trans representation, more as a part of a campaign to fight transphobia in the 'gay and lesbian' movement than in any expectation that we'd actually have a supporting ally.
    At the first meeting a dozen or so trans people showed up. When we asked QN to include us as a focus group I saw a moment of opportunity, and asked for 3 conditions.
    1. QN wouldn't support anything that wasn't inclusive of trans people
    2. GLB members of QN would educate themselves about trans issues, rather than assuming our issues were theirs.
    3. A 'fair share' of the energy of the larger QN organization would be devoted to issues of relevance to trans people.

    In practice, the first proved the most effective. GLB organizations coming to QN for routine endorsements were turned away, and there was a soul searching among thoughtful queer people that lead to transgender inclusion (aided considerably by Kate Bornsteins writing and stage productions).

    For QN, their first shock came with the very next agenda item. A representative from the march on washington asked them to endorse the march, and there was to be a discussion of sending a contingent. I raised my hand and pointed out that they were in violation of the agreement they'd just made - the march wasn't an inclusive event.
    After some stunned looks, the plan to send a contingent to the march quickly became a plan to disrupt the march planning meeting. In fact, that became QNSF's first action in it's new incarnation, and QN remained steadfastly pro-trans and pro-drag.

    As time went on QNSF's membership dropped. TN dropped to a small group (4 core members and another 4 or so occasional participants). The core members started and kept up a furious pace of actions, often doing 2 or 3 a week. By the time we had stopped, it was impossible for a 'GLB' organization to be exclusive, and most politcally active GLB people in San Francisco were gender literate.

    But, far from being a split from QN in protest, TN was nurtured and given birth by gay men and lesbians. They had promised to give us our 'fair share' of their energy. In practice, QN often became an added arm for TN.

  5. Hello! My name is Denisa Morariu and I am a Romanian journalist who will be travelling to India in March 2012 to film a documentary about hijras. I would very much like to get in touch with Anne and speak to her. It would be lovely if you could help me with this. Please, would you be so kind as to reply on my email address Thank you so much! I am very looking forward to hearing from you.


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