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.

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30 June 2011

Fatine Bahari (1973 - ) make-up artist

Mohammed Fazdil Min Bahari of Kuala Lumpur became Fatine at the age of 17. She made a living as a make-up artist.

Ian Young (1979 - ) of Derby, UK, worked a contract as a security guard in Kuala Lumpur in 2006 where he met and fell in love with Fatine. She followed him to the UK on a six-month tourist visa. They were joined in civil union in 2009, and settled in Ian’s home town of Derby.

This became a media scandal in Malaysia, where it is claimed that she has shamed Malaysia. She faces jail for homosexuality if she returns, especially if she returns as a woman. As Mrs Young she applied to the UK Border Agency to stay in the UK but was rejected due to an incorrect photograph, then because her visa had expired, and then because she was supposed to apply from her own country. To support her visa applications, she included the death threats against her on a Malaysian web site.

Ian, who worked as a school caretaker, was hounded out of jobs at three Derby schools by intolerant
parents. He spent £12,000, more than his annual income, on his wife’s visa applications and legal fees. The struggle made him depressed, and while on anti-depressants, he attempted suicide. Fatine was granted her visa in April 2011.

Two weeks later Fatine, after a row, left and tried to get work in Blackpool as a showgirl. They are now separated.

27 June 2011

The Stonewall Inn

See also

Three Centuries of Police Raids
Other Trans Person in New York 1969-72
Recurring Untruths: Masha P Johnson's Birthday
Where was Sylvia the night of 27/28 June 1969?
New York in the 1960s
East New Jersey in the 1960s
1969 – a Year of Much Activity
The four years leading to Stonewall
The five years following Stonewall
The trans geography of New York 1966-74

The post-Stonewall activist organizations:

Queens Liberation Front (QLF)
StreetTransvestite Action Revolutionaries. (also Part III of Sylvia Rivera)
Gay Liberation Front (GLF) - New York
Gay Activists Alliance (GAA)
Gay Liberation Front (GLF) - London

(The names of trans persons have been bolded for clarity.  Some of course are both bolded and a link.)

The building at 51 and 53 Christopher Street in New York's Greenwich Village was originally constructed 1843-6 as stables. The all-black horses that delivered goods for Saks Fifth Avenue were housed there until motorized vehicles came in at the turn of the century.

In 1930, during the alcohol prohibition, the two buildings were converted into one, and were opened as a tea room, Bonnie's Stone Wall, named after the autobiography The Stone Wall by Mary Casal, one of the first US books to be open about lesbian love. The tea room was later expanded into a restaurant. By 1940 it was renamed Bonnie's Stonewall Inn, and by the 1960s, The Stonewall Inn Restaurant. The park opposite the Stonewall Inn contains a statue of General Sheridan, and by a process of conflation, it is sometimes mistakenly assumed that both the statue and the Inn are a reference to General Stonewall Jackson, the Confederate commander who died after being hit by friendly fire.

Mobster Vito Genovese bought up gay bars in the 1930s, including the 82 Club. The FBI targeted him in the 1950s, and convicted him in 1959 of trafficking heroin, and he died in prison in February 1969. His right-hand man who ran the gay bar rackets was Anthony Strollo. He disappeared in April 1962, and according to police sources was crushed to death in the seat of his car as it was run through a scrap metal compressor.

The Stonewall Inn Restaurant was gutted by fire in the mid-1960s and, after a few years of being empty, was reopened as a gay bar in March 1967 by Tony Lauria, the son of an old-fashioned Mafioso who did not approve of 'fag bars', and three partners, assisted by Chuck Shaheen. There was also an extra partner who did not put up any money: Matthew Ianniello, known as Matty the Horse, because of the strength of his punch, was the co-ordinator for the gay bars for the Genovese, Gambino and Colombo crime families.

The Stonewall Inn became the largest gay business at the time in the US. It was the only bar in New York for gay men that permitted dancing, which was its main draw. The New York State Liquor Authority refused liquor licenses to any bar that catered to openly homosexual patrons. This created a monopoly for organized crime which was pleased to run bars without licenses and to pay off the police. The Stonewall Inn pretended to be a private bottle club, and used a charter that had been issued to the Red Swan Social Club in 1929. They also watered the drinks, and used liquor obtained from truck hijackings. The upstairs room was reached by a back entrance from West 10th Street, and from there boy prostitutes and heroin were distributed, but the gay crowd downstairs knew nothing of this. There was no running water behind the bar: glasses were washed in a bowl of water before being reused. There were no fire exits and the toilets often overran. The New York City Health Department had traced several cases of hepatitis back the the Stonewall, and was considering closing it. As with other gay bars, the Inn was frequently raided: on average once a month. The management usually knew about the raids in advance.

Only a favored few male-bodied customers were permitted in if dressed as female, although some customers wore makeup and did their hair in a feminine style – at that time they were referred to as flame queens. Joe Tish, female impersonator, who had a long-running show at the Crazy Horse was one of those refused entry when in costume, although he was so admitted at some uptown straight clubs. Tammy Novak, who had lived with Tony and Chuck, was admitted in female clothing. Désirée, a natural beauty who easily passed as female, spent time at the Stonewall, and took up there with Petey, a free-lance gangster. They moved to the suburbs to live as a heterosexual couple, until Petey, in a fit of jealousy, shot and killed her. Other trans women mentioned at the Stonewall were Tiffany and Spanola Jerry. Barbara Eden, who worked in the coat check, would turn up in full drag every now and then.  Street queens who could not afford the entry fee in the Stonewall Inn were often found in the parkette across the street, which turned out to be an ideal place to join in the riot.

Both male-bodied persons in female dress and female-bodied persons in male dress were liable to arrest if caught in a police raid.  The police used a rule that you must be wearing at least three items appropriate to your 'real sex'. 

Enid Gerling was the bar's house attorney, and she often represented those who were arrested when it was raided.

The police raid on Friday June 27 1969, (actually in the early hours of Saturday) only a few hours after the Judy Garland funeral, was co-ordinated by Deputy Inspector Seymour Pine, who used the excuse that the bar was unlicensed. The raid was carried out without the knowledge of the local precinct which was suspected of being on the take. Interpol had recovered negotiated bonds from Wall Street which were turning up in Europe. The bonds were being stolen by Wall St. employees who were victims of a blackmail operation run by Ed Murphy, sometimes called the Skull from his time as a wrestler. Murphy sometimes worked the door, where one task was to hand envelopes to a representative of the Sixth Precinct, rumored to be $1,200 a month. Other times he behaved as if he were the manager of the Stonewall Inn. Murphy had served time for stealing gold from dental offices, and had been arrested previously on blackmail charges, but he also had incriminating photographs of J. Edgar Hoover, and the charges had not been pursued. The NYPD figured out that the theft of bonds was tied to blackmail at the Stonewall Inn, and the order went out to shut down the club.

Carter's Stonewall. 3rd from left is Michelle

One of the first reported actions that started the riot on the 27th, was that a cop hit a butch female/trans man and that he hit back. It has been debated whether this was Stormé DeLarverie, who was previously the sole male impersonator in the Jewel Box Revue. Deputy Inspector Pine has testified that the first significant resistance that he encountered in the bar was from the transvestites. Allyson Allante, then 14, was arrested, as was Maria Ritter who was there with her friend Kiki to celebrate Maria being 18 and legally able to drink for the first time. Street queen, Birdy Rivera was also there. Diane Kearney was in the area and for a time joined the crowd that was observing events. (Duberman says that Tammy Novak had persuaded Sylvia Rae Rivera, then only 17, to come down to the Stonewall Inn for the first time  - however other historians have failed to any confirmation of this). Tammy Novak was arrested and put in the paddy wagon for drag queens, but escaped in the confusion and ran to Joe Tish's apartment where she holed up for the weekend. A police officer putting Maria Ritter into the paddy wagon had commented that he couldn't believe that she was a boy. She said that she wasn't. As some more trans women were directed in, Maria stepped around them and walked away. The same policeman went to intercept her, but as she broke into tears, waved her to go away. Marsha P. Johnson and Zazu Nova were also active in the riots, and Michelle, Dario Modon and Christine Hayworth were present. Marsha was observed dropping a heavy weight onto a police car. Wayne County (who would later become Jayne) met Miss Peaches and Marsha P Johnson on arrival and realized what was going on.  He joined an impromptu march up and down Christopher Street shouting "Gay Power!".  Ruth Brown was in there somewhere.

Alan Ginsburg lived on Christopher Street and inevitably joined the crowd. Ed Murphy was handcuffed to another man, but they managed to escape into the crowd and took a taxi to an S&M friend who knew how to remove handcuffs. Perhaps the Sixth Precinct cops, already peeved in not knowing about the raid in advance, recognized the man who paid them off.

A few months after the riots, the Inn closed in late 1969. The space was occupied in turn by a bagel sandwich shop, a Chinese restaurant, and a shoe store.

In 1970 the New York State Government issued an order that all employees in the financial industry be fingerprinted. This resulted in a fair number of matches with the police records of old arrests for homosexual activities, and many old and trusted employees were fired because bonding companies would not insure known homosexuals.

After the riots, the mafia attempted to appease the gay community by setting up gay businessmen as fronts, and by hiring gay bartenders and managers. They even joined in the gay pride celebrations, and accused the police of homophobia if a bar was raided. In 1972 Ed Murphy founded the Christopher Street Festival committee, and by 1974 succeeded in reversing the direction of the march so that it ended in the Village so that the crowds would go on to drink in Mafia bars. Not that this was an easy union. Robert Wood was the gay owner of the nightclub Salvation in Sheridan Square who was murdered in February 1970 because he was not happy to hand over his profits to the mob. In 1986 Matthew Ianniello was convicted of racketeering and went to prison until 1995. Ed Murphy died of AIDS in 1989. On release Ianniello became the acting boss of the Genovese family until 2005 when he was convicted again. 

In the early 1990s, The Stonewall Inn was reopened as a new gay bar called simply: Stonewall. The block of Christopher Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues was given the honorary name of "Stonewall Place" by the Borough of Manhattan.

In 1993 Martin Duberman published the first history of Stonewall, and wrote Sylvia Rivera as a major participant. In 1995 the BBC film Stonewall, loosely based on Duberman's book was released. In 1997 Charles Kaiser's The Gay Metropolis recounts Stonewall without naming any trans women at all. In June 1999, the Stonewall Inn and the area outside was listed on the US National Register of Historic Places, and in February it was declared a US National Historic Landmark. The building was renovated in the late 1990s and became a nightclub until it closed again in 2006, due to bad management and noise complaints. It was reopened in 2007.

In 2004 David Carter published his history of Stonewall. He has a lot more on the mafia angle, he tells of transies and drags who are not in Duberman's book, and he tells us further details of Marsha P. Johnson not in Duberman's book. But Sylvia Rivera has disappeared. There is not even a footnote explaining why he has removed her.

*Not Eddie Murphy the comedian and actor.
  • "Homo Nest Raided, Queen Bees Are Stinging Mad". New York Daily News, July 6, 1969. Online at:
  • Martin B Duberman. Stonewall. Dutton, 1993.  Plume, 1994.
  • Jayne County with Rupert Smith. Man Enough to be a Woman. Serpent's Tail, 1995: 47-9. 
  • David Carter. Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked The Gay Revolution. St. Martin’s Press. 2004.
  • Leslie Feinberg. Lavender & Red, parts 65-71. Workers World, 2006.
  • Lucian K. Truscott IV. "The Real Mob at Stonewall". The New York Times, June 25, 2009.
  • "Stonewall Riots: A Gay Protest Against Mafia Bars". Friends of Ours, June 07, 2010. Archive
  • "Stonewall Inn". Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
  • "Stonewall riots". Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
  • David Carter. "Exploding the Myths of Stonewall: We know a lot about what happened in June 1969 and should honor that".  Gay City News, June 27, 2019. Online
The Wikipedia article on the Stonewall Inn does not mention the mafia, and the Wikipedia articles on each Mafioso do not mention gay bays.  BitterQueen was the best website on the interaction between the two, but is now taken down and replaced by Philip Crawford's book The Mafia and the Gays.

As a raid to break a blackmailing ring the raid was a spectacular failure.  Priority was diverted to arresting the trans men and women.  That was really important: and Ed Murphy was able to slip away even though he had been handcuffed.   I found no mention that the upstairs was even raided.

An enlightened government would of course have issued liquor licenses to gay bars to get the Mafia out.  The Stonewall should of course have been closed down on health grounds until running water and proper sinks were installed.  However the way to do this was with the Department of Health.

For both reasons, health and against the blackmail ring, a daytime raid made a lot more sense.  It was completely perverse to raid at 2am when most customers were present.  That implies that, despite what Deputy Inspector Pine said, the NYPD really was obsessed with what clothing people were wearing.

The requirement by New York State the next year that all finance industry employees be fingerprinted without working with the insurance industry to permit gay men was a very strong strong message to gay men being blackmailed that they should co-operate with the blackmailer, not the authorities.  Deputy Inspector Pine’s attempt to break the blackmail rings was a waste of time while the insurance industry had this attitude.

Here Suzan Cooke published photos of Stonewall, presumably to make the point that there were no trans women at Stonewall.  Note that she does not include the photograph above with Michelle.  a) there were  so many trans women that the cops had a separate paddy wagon just for them.  b) The trans women were mainly active on the first night, Friday/Saturday, while most of the photographs were taken on the second night, Saturday/Sunday.

25 June 2011

Christina Hayworth (194? - 2021) activist.

Updated January 2013.

A Puerto-Rican, Hayworth was a Colonel in the US Army and was part of the US occupation of Vietnam.

Christina was present at the Stonewall Tavern when the riots happened in 1969.

She was a major organizer for the first Parada Gay in Puerto Rico in 2003. She continued as an activist and journalist in Puerto Rico. She frequently returns to New York, and she is the Stonewall Veterans Association ambassador to Latin America.  

In 2011 she ran for Senator on behalf of the New Progressive Party.

In 2013 Christina was found destitute, living in a condemned building, and taken to a shelter by Rev. Jorge Raschke, previously known for his anti-gay positions.

She passed in February 2021.

23 June 2011

Dario Modon (1943 - 2020) fashion designer.

Dario graduated from the New York School of Visual Arts in 1965, and started doing drag at Halloween. He advanced to the drag balls and private parties. He was 6’2” (1.88m) and specialized in a simple black dress.

He normally went to the Stonewall Tavern on Saturdays in the late 1960s, but happened to be there on Friday June 27, 1969 when a police raid developed into a riot. He went to hospital and had six stitches.

He worked in fashion, designing lingerie and evening wear, and was one of those behind the brief paper dress of the late 1960s.

He finds that there is no longer anyone to do drag with, and has not done it since 1996. Since retirement he has become a tenants rights activist.

21 June 2011

Amadee Chatelle (187? - 1895) convicted of murder.

Amadee "had been a slave to an impulse to steal women's linen" since he was 13. For a period, he was incarcerated in a mental institution.

In 1894 he murdered a little girl in Stratford, Ontario. When arrested he was in women's clothes. This was taken to be an example of the new notion of sadism where lust and cruelty occurred together.

He refused all legal counsel, appeared to be delusional and only mumbles "Of such is the kingdom of heaven".

He was convicted of murder. Several prominent medical men swore affidavits that he was insane, that he suffered from Parathesia Sexualis. However this was rejected by the trial judge and later by the Dominion Cabinet, and Chatelle was hanged on 31 May 1895.
  • Martin Friedland. The Case of Valentine Shortis: A True Story of Crime and Politics in Canada. University of Toronto Press, 1986: 149-50.
  • Patrick Brode. Death in the Queen City: Clara Ford on Trial, 1895. Natural Heritage, 2005:60.

18 June 2011

Amanda Lepore (1967 - ) model, performer.

Armand Lepore was raised in Cedar Grove, New Jersey to an Italian-descended chemical engineer and a German-descended mother. Armand articulated a desire for a sex change at age 11 after seeing a television program on the topic.

After being rejected at school after dressing as female, Lepore was tutored at home. By age 15 she was designing costumes for dancers at a strip club, and was able to barter costumes for female hormones with another underage transsexual. After she grew breasts, she was sent to a psychiatrist and diagnosed as transsexual. Her parents were informed and she was put on legal hormones.

The same year, Amanda had a plastic surgeon boyfriend and he did her first operation, rhinoplasty, for free. Her next lover was a bookstore owner. His parents took her in, and took her to an SRS surgeon. However as she was a minor, her parents’ consent was required. She had genital surgery at age 17. She married the bookstore owner and moved in with his family. From jealousy and fear of others finding out that she was transsexual, they treated her as as a prisoner in the house. She finally escaped and filed a restraining order against her husband.

Amanda first worked as domatrix, and then in nightclubs. She has had three breasts augmentations, her eyes slanted twice, her forehead lifted, her hairline pulled down and her brow been reduced. She has had forehead, buttocks, hips and lips enlarged with liquid silicone, and had her lower ribs broken and pushed in.

She has worked extensively with photographer David LaChapelle advertising Armani and MTV. Swatch have released a ‘Time tranny’ watch with her features.

In 2001 she and Sophia Lamar were hired to perform at the Twilo nightclub in New York, but later fired and replaced by ‘real girls’ at the last minute. They sued, and settled out of court.

Amanda has issued several singles and her first album in 2005. She does modeling and partying. She is on the cover of Lords of Acid's 1999 album Expand Your Head. She has had cameos in many music videos, especially with gay rapper Cazwell, and in several gay films.

In the comments under the Gay & Lesbian Times article, somebody using the moniker Liz denies that Amanda is transsexual and insists that she is autogynephilic.  This is double nonsense:  if ‘autogynephilia’ were a meaningful term, such a person would still be transsexual.  And it is quite clear that Blanchard and Bailey would categorize Amanda as a strong example of their other group, the badly named HSTS.  Liz of course is of the school where autogynephile = transsexual whom I do not relate to. 

14 June 2011

David van Rippey (1924 - ?) retailer, minister, bigamist.

Dorothy van Rippey was raised in Waynesboro, Tennessee.

Van Rippey became David in 1950. He owned a service station and a women’s shoe store in Arkansas. In 1953 he was ordained a minister in the conservative Church of Christ, and married for the first time. He and his wife adopted two young boys.

prison mug shot, Thompson p47
He later married Glenda, who, when she found out about his first wife, complained to the county sheriff in August 1961. Van Rippey plead guilty to bigamy, and, after four months in the Monroe County jail, was transferred to Cummins Prison Farm, near Pine Bluff. He refused to remove his clothes for the standard medical exam, and guards had to be called to undress him.

He was then designated a woman, removed from the brutal farm work that male prisoners were expected to do, and assigned to work in the laundry and prison. He was assigned a cot outside the Superintendent’s office.

The story appeared on the front page of the Arkansas Gazette, and then in other papers across the southern States. A man who had been at school with Dorothy wrote to the Superintendent to identify her. Van Rippey confessed his past.

Both his marriages were deemed to be void. The Arkansas parole board granted parole, and van Rippey was released to the custody of relatives and returned to Tennessee. He stayed out of the press after that: Thompson was unable to find out what he did later.

  • Brock Thompson. The Un-Natural State: Arkansas and the Queer South.  Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2010: 45-50.

12 June 2011

Katielly Lanzini (1961–) sculptor, journalist, political candidate.

Nedson Antonio Lanzini Pereira was born in Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul. He married a woman and they had five children. He was a sculptor and also worked as journalist.

He started transition in 1988. In 1991 already feminine, Katielly switched to working at the newspaper in Chapecó, Santa Catarina. She also wrote for Jornal de Brazil, Globo, Mix Brasil and G Magazine.

Katielly has run for political office three times: in 2000 she ran for council in Chapecó; in 2004 and 2006 she ran for State Deputy in Santa Catarina for the Liberal Front Party (PFL). In 2004 she caused a controversy when on Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão (SBT) she declared that she prefers women, not men.

In 2006 one of her public sculptures, 7.25m tall, in Chapecó was vandalized right after Brazil failed to win the Football World Cup.

In an interview with the magazine Época, she admitted that she used her position as a journalist to remove Nedson’s image and his byline in the archives of the newspapers in Chapecó.

In 1995 she wrote an article urging the football club Chapecoense, which uses an image of an Iguazu aboriginal, to change to something less melancholy.

Understandably, the tribe took umbrage and in 2007 Lanzini was denounced by the Ministério Público Federal and fined 50,000 Reals compensation.

09 June 2011

Leslie Feinberg (1949 - 2014) author, activist.

Leslie’s preferred pronouns are ze and hir.

++=added later 

See also: A re-reading of Leslie Feinberg's Transgender Warriors.  

Diane Leslie Feinberg was raised by Jewish working class parents first in Kansas City, Missouri, then in Arizona and Buffalo, New York. She left home as a teenager. Her parents debated signing papers to have her incarcerated, and even speculated that Leslie was possessed by an evil spirit.

Leslie Feinberg, 1973, Transgender Warriors, p19
Leslie originally did factory work, and explored the butch scene in New York State, Pennsylvania and Ontario. In the early 1970s she tried to femme her appearance in applying for a job, and was taken for a man in drag.

Therefore he tried to pass as a man, and got a job as a art-gallery guard. He started taking male hormones, grew a beard and had breast reduction. After a demonstration of the US class system when Nelson Rockefeller visited the art gallery, he quit and got a job as a dishwasher. Here he met fellow workers who were in the Workers World Party.

Leslie found a home in the party and, although passing as male, felt able to come out as trans. Ze felt alienated by the feminist and gay/lesbian orthodoxies of the early 1970s which condemned butch and femme lesbians, and drag queens. In 1980 World View, the publishing arm of the Workers World Party, ze published Journal of a Transsexual about hir non continuance as a transsexual.

Ze caught a tick bite in the 1970s and has suffered from untreated Lyme Disease and other problems ever since.

Feinberg became a high-ranking member of the Workers World Party, and managing editor of Workers World newspaper. Hir wife since 1992 is the lesbian poet-activist Minnie Bruce Pratt. Feinberg took out legal papers defining certain biologically-related persons as not part of hir family following their hostility.

Ze put out a Marxist analysis of transgender liberation in 1992, Transgender Liberation: A Movement Whose Time Has Come. This was the first publication with 'transgender' in the title (although Richard Ekins had established his Trans-Gender Archive six years earlier), and foreshadowed the dialectic to come by using the word as an umbrella term, as a term of choice for one who declined surgical completion and as a rejection of the gender binary. Ze also addresses society’s negative reaction to non-standard gender expression in transgender and other persons. Ze used the pamphlet as the basis for hir slide show which ze showed all over the US.

Ze followed it with hir first novel, Stone Butch Blues, 1993, about a transgender person growing up in Buffalo's butch-femme culture in the 1960s, which while not actually autobiographical draws on much of the author's life in that the protagonist starts a transition to male, and then withdraws and identifies as transgender. Stone Butch Blues won the Stonewall Book Award for Literature.

With the success of this novel, Leslie, along with Riki Anne Wilchins and Kate Bornstein, became the major media example of transgender. Stryker describes Feinberg as 'one of the chief architects of the new transgender sensibility'.

In 1994, in the introduction to the second edition of her The Transsexual Empire, Janice Raymond discussed Feinberg along with k.d. lang and RuPaul as part of finding non-surgical transgenderism also non-acceptable. In particular she finds Stone Butch Blues deficient in its political analysis of gender.

That same year Feinberg, along with fellow trans activist Jamison Green, challenged the womyn-born-womyn policy of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival by asking to enter.

Leslie almost died in 1996 while suffering from endocarditis, when ze was refused medical care after the doctor noticed hir non-standard gender and ejected ze from the hospital.  When ze was finally accepted in another hospital, they insisted on putting hir in the women's ward, to some furor.

Ze published two non-fiction works on transgender: Transgender Warriors, 1996, a survey of trans persons in history, which also contains autobiography, and ++ controversially a few short sentences on Virginia Prince: “But the word transgender is increasingly being used in a more specific way as well. The term transgenderist was first introduced into the English language by trans warrior Virginia Prince. Virginia told me, ‘I coined the noun transgenderist in 1987 or ’88. There had to be some name for people like myself who trans the gender barrier’ “.  Outside Tri-Ess and IFGE this seems to be source of the misinformation that Prince coined the term. ++
Trans Liberation, 1998, was based on talks that ze gave in 1997 as hir health was slowly recovering.  Both books are interspersed with first person account by a variety of trans activists including Cheryl Chase and Sylvia Rivera.  Both books were published by Beacon Press, which is somewhat notorious among trans activists as it was the publisher of both Janice Raymond and Mary Daly.

Ze published a further novel, Drag King Dreams, 2006, about an aging trans man and a mixed group of trans person reacting to the killing of one of them, and to police harassment.  Ze also published a book in support of Cuba in 2008. Ze has been writing a column ‘Lavender & Red’ in the Workers World newspaper since 1995, which ze describes as a book in progress. It focuses on trans, gay and lesbian rights in the USSR, the USA and Cuba.

Ze regards hirself as polygendered and prefers non-gendered pronouns. While masculine in appearance, ze does not try to be fully male. Ze lobbied gay organizations to add ‘Bisexual’ and ‘Transgender’ to their names (GLBT rather than GL), and appeared at Camp Trans in 1999.

Ze has been acutely ill since 2007, and has been taking photographs rather than writing. Feinberg's younger sister, the author Catherine Ryan Hyde, had reconciled somewhat with ze, but then published a novel with a transgender character that has re-opened the gap between them. While her trans man character cannot be read as a portrait of Leslie, it does show how little she understands ze.

Leslie died November 2014, succumbing to complications from multiple tick-borne co-infections, including Lyme disease, babeisiosis, and protomyxzoa rheumatica, after decades of illness.  Hir last words were: “Remember me as a revolutionary communist.”
  • Diane Leslie Feinberg. Journal of a Transsexual. World View 21 pp 1980.
  • Leslie Feinberg. Transgender Liberation: A Movement Whose Time Has Come. World View Forum, 1992.
  • Leslie Feinberg. Stone Butch Blues. Ithaca, NY: Firebrand Books 1993. Los Angeles: Alyson Books 320 pp 2003.
  • Janice Raymond. “The Politics of Transgenderism”, the Introduction to the Second Edition of The Transsexual Empire. Teachers College Press. 1994. Also in Richard Ekins & Dave King (eds). Blending Genders: Social Aspects of Cross-Dressing and Sex-Changing. London & New York: Routledge 1996: 218-221.
  • Leslie Feinberg. Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Rupaul. Beacon Press 218 pp 1996. Paperback: Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman. Beacon Press 218 pp 1997.
  • Leslie Feinberg. Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue. Beacon Press 160 pp 1998.
  • Interview by Mark Gabrish Conlon. ""Leslie Feinberg: 'Poly-Gendered' Author, Activist Speaks Out". Indymedia, 19.06.2003.
  • Leslie Feinberg. Drag King Dreams. Carroll & Graf 280 pp 2006.
  • Leslie Feinberg. Rainbow solidarity: in defense of Cuba. World View Forum, 2008.
  • Susan Stryker. Transgender History. Seal Press. 190 pp 2008: 123.
  • Diane Torr. Sex, Drag, and Male Roles: Investigating Gender as Performance. University of Michigan Press, 2010: 91-2
  • Leslie Feinberg. "While a hostile relative re-writes my life: ‘Who is, and is not, my family’". Questioning Transphobia, Jan 14, 2011.
  • Catherine Ryan Hyde. "In response to a recent issue".
  • Leslie Feinberg. Lavender & Red. Workers World, 1995-2011.
  • Leslie Feinberg. Transgender Warrior.
  • Minnie Bruce Pratt. “Leslie Feinberg”.
  • Minnie Bruce Pratt. "Transgender Pioneer and Stone Butch Blues Author Leslie Feinberg Has Died", Advocate, November 17 2014.


When writers such as Suzan Cooke, Cathryn Platine and Ashley Love rant about Transgender, Inc and the transgender conspiracy, I cannot but wonder what they have against Leslie Feinberg.

As some trans voices advocate abandoning support for gender expression, it is useful to go back and read Feinberg with hir repeated support for the concept.

Transgender Warriors is a light book.  However it does serve well the purpose for which it was intended: to explain transgender to the wider world.  Feinberg’s master work is Lavender & Red which is available online.   I recommend that for the more advanced reader.

Raymond, in finding Stone Butch Blues deficient in its political analysis of gender, is really saying that she and Feinberg have different political analyses.

Click here for a cartoon included in Transgender Warriors.

07 June 2011

Davide Tolu (1969 - ) writer, translator, activist.

Tulu was ejected from the women's toilets at age 14, and started using the men's. He spent time in feminist and lesbian organizations.

As David he published his autobiographically inspired novel Il viaggio di Arnold in 2000.

The next year, he founded Coordinamento Nazionale FtM, the first such group in Italy.

He has translated Leslie Feinberg and others into Italian. In 2004 he organized Feinberg's Italian tour, and was the author and director of One New Man Show, performed by Matteo Manetti. Until 2005 he was on the national council of Crisalide AzioneTrans. In 2008 he was co-editor with Buci Sopelsa of Tr@nscritti, a collection by trans persons, their spouses, family and friends.

He has also appeared in TransAzioni, 2004, by Mary Nicotra, Crisalidi, 2005, by Federico Tinelli and O sei donna o sei uomo, chiaro?, 2008, by Enrico Vanni.
  • Davide Tolu, with a preface by Iole Verde. Il viaggio di Arnold: storia di un uomo nato donna(The Journey of Arnold: Story of a Man born as a Woman). Roma: Edizioni Univ. Romane 292 pp 2000.
  • Mirella Izzo with Davide Tolu interviewed by Romina Tufts. “Tra uomini e donne non ci sono confine”. Gufetto.

03 June 2011

J'Noel Gardiner (1958 - ) finance professor.

Jay Noel Ball was raised in Wisconsin. After a variety of schools he graduated with a Ph.D. in business from the University of Georgia in 1987, and an MBA from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1988. In 1988 Jay married his classmate and girlfriend of eight years, and obtained a job teaching at Northeastern University in Boston.

He was denied tenure in 1993, as it had come out that he was a transvestite, despite the support of the finance faculty. Jay made the transition to female, and both partners turned up for the 1994 divorce hearing in female clothing. J’Noel had surgery from Dr Eugene Schrang.

She was hired in 1997 to teach finance at Park University, Kansas. She was a popular teacher, and no-one knew much about her past.

In May 1998, at a Founder's Day event she met the 85-year-old Marshall Gardiner, a two-term state-representative who was a donor to the university. After some months of dating, and after J'Noel explained her past during a game of scrabble, they were married in September by a Kansas supreme court judge. A year later Marshall suffered a heart attack on a flight to Baltimore, and J'Noel laid him on the floor of the plane.

He had died intestate, which meant that half of his $2.4 million estate went to his wife. His estranged son Joe Gardiner hired a private detective to investigate J'Noel. He challenged the probate of the will first on the grounds that J’Noel had signed a pre-nuptial agreement, but then on the grounds that Kansas does not recognize marriage between persons born the same sex. The Texas precedent of Christine Littleton was cited. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that as the current law is silent on transsexuals, they were as at birth, and that the Kansas prohibition on marriage between persons of the same sex applies.

01 June 2011

Chris Dale (1962 – 2011) mountaineer.

Chris Dale was born in Penrith in Cumbria, the son of a policeman. He ran truant at age 16 and solo climbed without a rope the Old Man of Stoer, a 197ft (60 m) sandstone tower off the coast of Sutherland. A few years later, on a trip to Australia, he made a bold first ascent up a 180 m sandstone face in the Blue Mountains.

In the 1980s he was part of a group of British climbers based in Chamonix, beneath Mont Blanc, who pioneered new routes despite despite police harassment. They also established rules of method, regarded by some as purist, that climbers should not hammer in pitons or worse still use a drill to
place bolts.

He had a short marriage from 1987.

Chris, who was 6'6'' (1.98 m) subsequently trained as a mountain guide, but had problems with the required skiing requirement.

He was an enthusiastic cross-dresser. On one occasion his female persona was introduced to a Frenchman who misheard his name as 'Crystal', and Chris took that as his femme name. While shopping in the women's department of a branch of Asda (Walmart) in Scotland, Dale was thrown out for acting suspiciously. He complained in writing citing the the Sexual Discrimination Act, and received an apology and a substantial voucher. He relished his return to the same store, trying on clothes and getting the help of the manager who had evicted him. 

He was disciplined by the mountain guides association when, being in drag at their annual dinner, he felt obliged to deck a fellow member who was groping under his skirt without an invitation.

In 2003 he ascended Dun Dubh on the Quiraing mountains on the Isle of Coll – what was believed to be Britain's last unclimbed mountain. On his major holiday, he went to Nepal to do an extra long bungee jump.

In recent years injury prevented Chris from guiding, and he worked in a climbing shop, and introducing disadvantaged children to the outdoors. In the tradition of climbers' modesty, his Facebook listed his interests as "fluff, pink things, sparkly stuff ... mountains". He was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, and died a year later.