An early marriage left him "mind-numbingly bored". After a divorce, he developed the female within. He did a "full transformation" at age 20 for a fancy dress disco at the local youth club, which went down well and a special prize was created. As Phaedra, she attended drag balls (and later wrote an article on Porchester Hall that was reprinted in Blending Genders) and corresponded with transvestites and transsexuals via contact advertisements. She wrote to the Beaumont Society in 1983 asking to meet 80s-minded transvestites or transsexuals, and the answer came back that there were no such persons. She rejected the Beaumont Society for its lack of interest in the varieties of trans cultures.
|Phaedra & Vanda, p160 Ekins 1997.|
Phaedra built up the International Gender Transient Affinity corresponding with others in many countries and issuing reports on transgender human rights. This was done by mail in the days before the Internet. In Ekins' 1997 book, Bruce is a house-husband and Vanda a successful business woman.
Several books quote her as saying:
"It's about a discipline of duality with an open mind, without changing sex with hormones, with pills, with injections or surgery, living one's dualism as much as possible. If I am Phaedra, I allow elements of Bruce through, and there is no self-hating or loathing going on. If I am Bruce I allow elements of Phaedra – it's horses for courses, but like the transvestite, and to some degree the trans person living full time, I live with a separate identity. I have accepted my separate identity as well."Phaedra later performed with the poetry band Ecurbrekal.
++ Phaedra died in 2019 at age 63 after a period of illness.
- Phaedra Kelly. (ed.), (1987–90) Chrysalis International, Gender Transient Affinity Magazine, Freshwater, Isle of Wight.
- Phaedra Kelly. "London Grandeur: The Porchester Ball". In Richard Ekins & Dave King (eds). Blending Genders: Social Aspects of Cross-Dressing and Sex-Changing. London & New York: Routledge 1996.
- Richard Ekins. Male femaling : a grounded theory approach to cross-dressing and sex-changing. London & New York: Routledge. 1997: 154-62.
- Richard Ekins & Dave King. "Towards a sociology of transgendered bodies". The Sociological Review, 47:580–602, 1999: 598.
- Surya Monro. Gender Politics: Citizenship, Activism and Sexual Diversity. Pluto Press, 2005: 13.
- Richard Ekins & Dave King. The Transgender Phenomenon. London: Thousand Oaks; California: Sage. 2006: 11.
- Colin Clarke. "Poetry Band Shows Nothing is Bland". The Isle of Wight Gazette, Aug 31, 2010. http://iwgazette.co.uk/index.php/2010/08/poetry-band-shows-nothing-is-bland/8015.
- IGTA. www.reocities.com/westhollywood/6456/igta.html.
I was shocked and saddened to hear - only just now - about the death of Phaedra on your site.ReplyDelete
Thank you for updating.
Although I left most transgender worlds some years ago I did occasionally hear from Phaedra
updating me on her various activities.
Soon after I established The Trans-Gender Archive at the University of Ulster in 1986, Phaedra/Bruce became its most active supporter and contributor for many years.
She felt she had anticipated the 1990s move to gender 'transcending' and never received due credit for that.
She was also extraordinarily welcoming and generous to me whenever I visited her at her home on the Isle of Wight.
I will miss her and remember her with great respect.
Professsor Richard Ekins
A very nice article about my late father/mother .but if I may can I please mention two facts without being rude..dad was born on panarama Road in sandbanks Poole Dorset. And he was 65.when he passedDelete
Thanks for the kind words of my late father Bruce laker .but may I please add that he died at 65and 6months after retirement. And that he was born in panorama Road sandbanks poole Dorset. My father thought very highly of you Prof.Ekins.and again thank you for you kind words.jespah.a.laker.goode.ReplyDelete