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.

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!

30 July 2011

Edward Kynaston (c1640 - 1712) actor.

The London theatres were all closed by act of Parliament in the early stages of the Civil War in 1642.  They re-opened immediately after the Restoration in 1660, and 20-year-old Edward Kynaston achieved his brief fame as a boy-actor as per the old traditions. However women were now permitted on the stage for the first time: historians disagree whether Margaret Hughes or Anne Marshall was the first to play Desdemona in late 1660. Despite this Kynaston became the standard which they were judged against: it was doubted whether any woman could ever be as good as he in female parts.

He sometimes played a male and a female role in the same play. Samuel Pepys, the diarist, commented on Edward Kynaston in Ben Jonson's Epicoene: he
'had the good turn to appear in three shapes: first as a poor woman in ordinary clothes, ... then in fine clothes, as a gallant, and in them was clearly the prettiest woman in the whole house, and lastly, as a man; and then likewise did appear the handsomest man in the house'.
Colly Cibber a fellow actor said:
'Kynaston was at that time so beautiful a youth, that the Ladies of Quality prided themselves on taking him with them in their coaches to Hyde Park, in His theatrical habit after the play'.
It is said that the new king was watching a play when it suddenly stopped. When he sent to see what the problem was, it was found that Kynaston in the role of the Queen was still shaving.  In any case, Charles II Stuart had decided to listen to those who claimed that boy actors contributed to unnatural vices, and in 1662 he issued a Royal Warrant that female parts should be played by women.

Kynaston's last female role was as as Evadne in Beaumont and Fletcher's The Maid's Tragedy with Thomas Killigrew's King's Company in 1661.

As he matured Kynaston developed a career in male roles, and was noted for his portrayal of Shakespeare’s Henry IV. In the 1670s he was rumoured to be the lover of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham.

Kynaston retired in 1699.

He is the central character in the play Compleat Female Stage Beauty, 1999, by Jeffry Hatcher, which was filmed as Stage Beauty in 2004 with Billy Crudup as Kynaston.
  • Roger Baker. Drag: a history of Female Impersonation on the Stage. A Triton Book. 1968: 35,62,89,100-2.

28 July 2011

Olivia Jensen (1943 - ) earth sciences professor.

Oliver Jensen did his BSc, MSc and PhD at the University of British Columbia. He became professor in the Earth and Planetary Sciences department at the McGill University in Montréal. He also married and had two children.

After five years of careful consideration, Oliver transitioned to Olivia in 1989, through the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry (now CAMH) in Toronto.

She is still teaching at McGill.

*Not the model.

26 July 2011

Famila (1980 - 2004) hijra activist.

Famila, from Bangalore, was a chela to Revathi. She was intelligent and vocal and passed easily. She had surgery at age 19.

She left sex work and became an activist for hijras working for Sangama.

She was featured in the BBC documentary India’s Ladyboys, and in 2004 came second at the Koovagam festival beauty contest, although as a feminist she did believe in beauty contests, but it was a platform to talk about hijra rights.

However the strain of the life got to her, and she committed suicide at age 24.

23 July 2011

John Taylor (1778 - 1808) sailor.

Mary Anne Talbot’s mother died in childbirth. She later claimed that she was the youngest of 16 illegitimate children of William Talbot (1710 - 1782), Lord Steward of the Household.

Mary was nine years in Mrs Tapperly’s boarding schools in London, ‘where she knew no happiness’.

In 1791 an elder sister died and left her an inheritance. A Mr Sucker was her legal guardian. He passed his ward, the 14-year-old Mary, to Captain Essex Brown, who quickly raped her. She felt that having no friends, she had no choice. Brown named her John Taylor and presented her as his footboy for a voyage to Santo Domingo.

They were at the siege of Valenciennes, 1793, part of the invasion of the new French Republic by the European monarchies. John was a drummer-boy and wounded. Brown was killed in the siege. From Brown’s papers, Taylor found that Sucker had squandered her inheritance, and so continued as a sailor.

He was for a while a cabin boy on a French ship, but it was captured by the British. Taylor was wounded severely in the ankle in 1794 at the Glorious First of June/ Third Battle of Ushant/ Combat de Prairial, the largest fleet action in the Wars of the French Revolution, and never had full use of his leg again. Later that year he was captured by the French, and was 18 months in a dungeon in Dunkirk

After his return to London, he was seized by a press-gang, but released when he revealed that he was female-bodied. Although now regarded as a woman, he applied to the Naval pay office at Somerset House for a pension, and was finally granted 12/- per week. His leg wound got worse.

He visited Sucker and drew a sword on him, whereupon he confessed that the inheritance was all gone. He died three days later from the shock.

Taylor used his fame as a man-woman and his claim to be a child of Lord Talbot, to appeal for charitable donations. He found a common-law wife, worked in menial jobs, and even appeared on stage at Drury Lane theatre in both male and female roles. He was arrested for debt, and imprisoned at Newgate.

After release Mary Talbot became a household servant for publisher Robert Kirby who wrote about her in his book Wonderful and Surprising Museum. She died of ill health from complications from her wounds at the age of 30.
  • Mary Anne Talbot,. “The Intrepid Female or Surprising Life and Adventures of Mary Anne Talbot, otherwise John Taylor”. Kirby's Wonderful and Surprising Museum. Vol II, 1804.
  • C.J.S. Thompson The Mysteries of Sex: Women Who Posed as Men and Men Who Impersonated Women London: Hutchinson. 1938. New York: Causeway Books 1974. New York : Dorset Press, 1993 chp X.
  • Julie Wheelwright. Amazons and Military Maids: Women who dressed as men in pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. Pandora 1989: 25,46-47, 57, 88-9,97-8,112,115,141-3,146.

21 July 2011

Marie Caitlin Brennan (1969 - ) musician, filmmaker.

Mike Sortino was born in Phoenix, Arizona, a child of session musician Ron Dobbins, and great grandchild of Ida Mae Bell and Bryan Wald Owen, touring musicians in the 1930s and ‘40s.

He was first known as a child on Phoenix radio KARZ. He directed and starred in several short films during school and college.

Mike was one of the editors of the parody newspaper, The Loon News, 1983-4, which pioneered the fake news and satire that would later be taken up by The Onion.

Sortino acted sporadically in local commercials and art films, had bit parts in Just One of the Guys, 1985 and The Doors, 1991, and was also active in the Arizona music scene in the late 1980s, when starting to transition.

As Marie Brennon she issued several independent cassettes, and for much of her career her work was available only on these cassettes sold at shows, and through cassette subculture zines. Most of these cassettes were customized and virtually no two are identical.

In the 1990s Marie lived and performed in San Francisco and later Seattle and recorded independent CDs. She was a pioneer in the MP3 format, and released songs on the original She also records as Kit Kelley.

In 2000 she directed a film about her great-grandmother, Ida Mae Owen who was then a 99-year old basketball star. She has since won various awards at art film festivals.

* Not Caitlin Brennon the novelist who writes about horses, nor the Irish singer Marie Brennan.
 IMDB      EN.Wikipedia

19 July 2011

Westerly Windina (1950–) surfer, actor, lawyer.

Peter Drouyn grew up in Queensland. His father was a lifeguard and clothing retailer who also played saxophone; his mother a musician. He had a childhood fixation on Marilyn Monroe.

By age 11, he was surfing, and he competed in the Australian Junior Surfing Championship in 1965. Some New South Wales thugs assaulted him the night before and he needed stitches, but he competed and won anyway. Peter pioneered the short. 8’11” (2.7m) rather than the 10’ (3.05m) surfboard, but is not credited for this in the official histories. He was second in the National Surfing Championship in 1967, and in 1969 he had equal points with the former world champion Nat Young. He won convincingly in a surf off, but the title, to great controversy, was given to Young anyway on grounds of more consistency. He won the Australian Open Surfing title in 1970.

Peter can be seen in the 1971 film, Oceans, and a few other surfing films in the next few years including Drouyn, which was shot along the coasts of Mauritius, South Africa, Angola, the Canary Islands, Morocco, Hawaii, Japan, and Indonesia.

In 1971 he was accepted at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney. In 1977 he launched the surfing Stubbies Classic with a judging format known as ‘Man on Man’. He had a part in the first Australian Vietnamese War film, The Odd Angry Shot, 1979, and in plays and commercials. As part of promoting The Odd Angry Shot, he was a Cleo magazine centrefold. He studied Mandarin, and in 1985 he introduced surfing in China.

In 1989 Peter found a wife in South Africa, and they had a son, but divorced shortly afterwards.

The 1990s consisted of false starts and temporary jobs including a modelling school, driving a taxi, selling insurance, designing a wave machine, working as a sander in a cabinet factory, studying engineering and opening a surf resort in the Philippines.

In 2002 he had a surfing accident which left him concussed and with a perforated eardrum. Shortly afterwards he started experimenting with female clothing. By 2007 Peter was broke from caring for his 92-year-old father in a caravan, and was ostracised for denouncing the corruption in the sport.

While studying to be a lawyer, Peter stumbled on a biography of Marilyn Monroe, read it in one evening, and proceeded to identify with her:
“Both suffered panic attacks, both hated to be alone, both experienced paralysing bouts of low self-esteem, both studied method acting, both cited Marlon Brando and Clark Gable as their favourite actors, both spent two weeks in a mental institution, both tried LSD at exactly the same time. ‘About seven times in ten when I’ve looked down to my odometer in the last two years, the number 36 always comes up,’ declares Westerly. ‘Marilyn was 36 when she died!’
She goes on to say that Marilyn never felt she was taken seriously and neither did Peter; that Marilyn suffered gender identity issues; that Marilyn dreamed of being a lawyer, which is precisely Westerly’s vocation. ‘I didn’t even realise that ‘MM’ upside down is ‘WW’!’ ...
‘Yes, there’s no question about it, she’s [Marilyn] in me. And God has put her there.’
‘Well then who exactly is Westerly Windina?’
‘Westerly Windina is a person who has been placed inside of Peter Drouyn. She’s taken over his body. Westerly has left behind Peter’s fears. Westerly... She’s a comedian, she’s a singer. Westerly has a new life. I’ve been resurrected!’
‘You keep speaking of Peter Drouyn in the past tense. Is he gone for good?’ ‘He’s gone. He’s actually...’ She points a finger heavenward. ‘I think he’s up there with Mum and Dad.’ (Brisick)”
In 2008 Drouyn as Westerly Windina (from the joy of surfing the Gold Coast when the westerly wind is offshore) announced on national television that male hormones had drained away over a period of eight years and been replaced by female hormones, but that she had not taken any medications or artificial hormones. She is still in good shape and is able to wear a size-10 skirt.

She has opened a law firm.

16 July 2011

Judy Cousins (1917 - 1993) soldier, sculpter, businessman, activist, golfer.

SHAFT, run by Judy Cousins, sculptor and golfer, was the major UK group for transsexuals during the 1980s.

Revised 30/11/11.

Lewen Tugwell was born in Tallital, Nainital, India, and was later a Major in the British Indian Army. With his wife Joan, he had two daughters and a son.

Lewen was a professional sculptor of life and abstract pieces, based in Farnham and Sunninghill.  He was noted for his concave bust of Shakespeare whose eyes followed you around the room, and for a bust of Denis Thatcher (husband of you know).  He exhibited at the Royal Academy three times.

He experimented with cast polyester resin, and found that with the right temperature and amounts a crazing or internal shattering could be created.  He patented the process and registered Shattaline Ltd.  His wife, Joan, was the business manager.

In 1969 new partners joined, and the firm moved first to Woking and then to the Cromarty Firth area of Scotland.  Manufacture of Shattaline was discontinued a few years later because of the inflated price of polyester resin, and the disappearance of Lewen.

He was reported as 'missing, presumed dead'  in the Farmham Herald in March 1971.  This was to  spare the family the truth that Lewen had become Judy Cousins, but it generated newspaper stories and she was traced. At a time when there was almost no support for families, it took a few years for them to adjust.

From Bodyshock

Judy established SHAFT (Self-Help Association For Transsexuals) in 1980 and ran it for many years. It was the major UK group for transsexuals for the next decade.

Richard Ekins became the SHAFT librarian, and SHAFT made a foundation deposit to the Trans-Gender Archive in 1986.  Rachael Webb was in SHAFT for a short while but she and Judy did not get along.

Judy began teaching sculpture.  Her most prominent student was the German artist Christa Hunter, with whom she shared a studio for several years. 

In 1989 SHAFT was re-organized as The Gender Dysphoria Trust, with Charitable Status.  Judy was Non-Executive President

Both as Lewen and Judy she was an active golfer. Judy was a member of Stoke Poges Club in Buckinghamshire and rose into the higher ranks of women's amateur golf.

She died of Parkinson's disease at age 75

Liz Hodgkinson’s book is dedicated to Judy, but never discusses her in any detail.

* Not Judy Cousins, the lecturer at Cardiff University, nor the judo champion.  Not Lewan Tugwell, archdeacon of the Isle of Wight, Judy's uncle.
  • "Missing Major 'May Be Alive".  Aberdeen Press and Journal, 12 September 1971. 
  • Nora Warner.  "Grandmother Changed Sex".  Tit-Bits, Apr 1981. Online
  • Tracey Kandohle.  "Judy was a man".   Maidenhead Advertiser, August 27, 1982. Online.
  • Tracey Kandohle.  "Change of Life".  Reading Evening Post, January 12, 1984.  
  • "I had the wrong soul in the wrong body".  The Times, February 7, 1985: 2.4.  Online.
  • "The Sex Changlings".  Aberdeen Press and Journal, 9 July 1986.
  • Liz Hodgkinson.  "father, Dear Father: Ex-officer and gentleman Judy Cousins and her daughter Penny Croucher talk to Liz Hodgkinson".   The People, ?, 1987.  Online
  • Liz Hodgkinson. Bodyshock: the truth about changing sex. London: Columbus, 1987: 28, 88, 91.
  • Lewine Mair & Ben Fenton. "Changing sex is a golf handicap". Daily Telegraph. 23 May 1996. Online at: Longer Available.
  • Richard Ekins. Male femaling: a grounded theory approach to cross-dressing and sex-changing. London & New York: Routledge. 1997: 43.
  • Mike Andrew. "Major Lewen Tugwell - the man behind the product". Shattaline: Its History, products and Processes, 2011-05-17.
  • "Shattaline".  Wikipedia, the free Longer Available.
  • Angela (one of Judy's daughters).  Email, Oct 30, 2011.

Apparently Judy was quite insensitive to the other meanings of the word ‘shaft’.

It is amazing how quickly Judy and SHAFT have disappeared from the record.   SHAFT was the major UK group for transsexuals before Press For Change.

Persons who visited both London and Toronto in the 1980s commented how much Judy Cousins and Susan Huxford had in common: they both were in the British Army in India, they had similar conservative attitudes and opinions, and both ran major transsexual groups.

14 July 2011

Malvina Emily Perry (1881 - 1934) bearded lady, strong woman, ships captain, wife

Malvina was born at sea, on board the Oliver Mitchell, her father the captain, and her mother a North American aboriginal. She lived on the ship until age 15 when she eloped with one of the sailors, Edmund Perry. Both fathers found the couple and had their marriage annulled.

For five years Malvina refused to speak to her father, until they met by chance in New York. He appointed her the first mate on the Oliver Mitchell. However she had a falling out with the second mate, her brother George, and ran away again.

By this time she had a luxuriant beard, and was able to find circus work. Although only 5’4” (1.6m) she was able to easily lift 150 pounds (68 kg) above her head. She also did an act wherein the circus strongman broke a four-inch (10 cm) thick block of concrete over her head with a mallet. This was controversial, and in 1909 a court in Trinidad, Colorado issued a ruling that she was not to do it anymore. Instead she broke kitchen chairs over head. She disliked circus work, and only returned to it when she needed money.

She had four husbands in total. With her third, she had three daughters. However after seven years, he left her complaining that he was embarrassed in that she looked too much like a man.

She was reunited with Edmund Perry, married him again, but he was killed in the Great War.

In 1919 Malvina’s father died and left her the Oliver Mitchell. She had earned her captain’s license two years before, and took the ship to sea. She developed a relationship with one of her sailors, Joseph Cheelsman, and they became engaged. However the ship sank off the Yucatan in 1924, and they were separated.

Malvina lived in Detroit for a while, where she was brought to court for non-support of her son Robert. The judge accused her of perjury for claiming to be female, and she punched him and was imprisoned for contempt.

Malvina and Robert ended up in Baltimore. They accepted the hospitality of a Mr. Becker, but the situation ended in court after she refused his advances, and he claimed that she was a man. The police matron at the court examined Malvina, and declared her to be a true woman.

The newspaper story of this enabled Cheelsman to find her again, and they were married and lived with Robert, until he disappeared with all the household goods while she was at the Chicago Fair. Malvina returned to working as a bearded lady and strong woman on the Baltimore Waterfront.

Malvina died at age 53, confessing on her deathbed that she was a 'man', Melvin. This was confirmed by an autopsy.

An unusual tale.  As Malvina always lived as female, I assume that she felt that she was a woman.  The inspection by the police matron can be dismissed as cursory.  The deathbed 'confession' because in 1934 there were no public concepts of transsexual or transgender.   But why the beard?  Most bearded women in the days before electrolysis, who did not work in circuses, shaved.  The beard got her circus work, but she was ambivalent about working in circuses.

Why did her father treat her as a woman from the start?  Why was an autopsy, rather than a simple look under her clothes, required to confirm her sex?  This sounds like she had some kind of intersex condition.

12 July 2011

Ketty Gabriele (1981–) sex worker, Camorristi.

Ugo Gabriele was raised in Naples, and with family connections became part of the Camorra crime family. As Ketty she adhered to the Naples tradition of a Femminiello.

She worked the Piazza Municipio, the station area, Corso Umberto, Corso Vittorio Emanuele or the avenues of Agnano and Fuorigrotta, nominally a sex worker, but she also supplied cocaine to her

After a gang war, and with the arrest and conviction of Camorra boss Paulo Di Lauro in 2005, her brother, Salvatore, became a regional boss, and he turned to Ketty to run things at Scampia, where police reckon that the drug trade grosses €500,000 a day.

She in turn was arrested in February 2009.

10 July 2011

Karūseru Maki カルーセル麻紀 (1942–) performer.

Hirahara Tetsuo 平原 徹男 was born in Kushiro, Hokkaido.  His father, a veteran of the Greater East Asia War, named him Tetsuo=Iron. Nonetheless, Tetsuo developed feminine interests.

He was trained as a ballet dancer, and at age 11 appeared in New York City Ballet Company production of The Nutcracker Suite in Los Angeles.

At 15 he ran away and worked in a gay bar in Sapporo, and then in Carrousel in Osaka. She had castration at age 19 and become a woman Hirahara Maki 平原 麻紀, and performed as Karūseru Maki (Anglicized as Carousel Maki), a name she took from the gay bar in Osaka, which in turn was named in homage to the Le Carrousel tours of Japan in the 1960s.

She had final surgery from Dr Burou in Casablanca in 1973.

She has acted in 11 films since 1969, and is a well-known nightclub performer.

In 2001, she was arrested for possession of drugs, and spent 41 days in a male jail because the family registry still listed her as male.

In 2002 she published her autobiography. Finally in 2004 she was able to be recognized legally as female under the new laws.

In 2006 her home was burgled and ¥8 million-worth of jewellery and ¥3 million in cash was stolen.    JA.Wikipedia      IMDB.

08 July 2011

Harry Leo Crawford (1875 – 1938) manual worker, convicted murderer.

Eugenia Falleni was born in Florence, Italy, the eldest of 22 children, 17 of whom survived, and moved with her parents to New Zealand about 1877.

Eugenia frequently ran away as a teenager and sought employment in brickyards and other places where he dressed as a boy. He worked on a ship, but his original gender was discovered and he was put ashore at Newcastle, NSW with a baby girl, whom he called Josephine. He found adoptive parents for the girl, and continued under the persona of Harry Crawford.

Harry worked at manual jobs in Sydney: in a meat factory, hotels, laundries, a rubber company, and as a servant. In 1910 he was a yardman and driver when he met Annie Birkett, a widow with a nine-year-old son, also Harry. They married in 1913 at a Methodist parsonage.

They quarrelled loudly, to the notice of the neighbours, especially after Crawford’s daughter, Josephine, came to live with them. In 1917 Annie was apparently threatening to reveal his deception. Harry and Annie celebrated the Eight-Hour-Day holiday with a picnic, but Annie did not return home. Crawford claimed that his wife had left him.

Josephine moved out, and Crawford and his stepson moved to inner Sydney. In October the police found a charred female body in bush land, but the inquest ruled that the cracks in the skull were consistent with being drunk and accidentally burnt after sleeping by a camp fire. In 1919, Harry Crawford remarried.

In 1920, Harry Birkett went with his aunt to report his mother’s disappearance to the police, who then identified the charred body they had found in 1917, and arrested Crawford. He asked to be held in the women’s cells. Crawford, indicted as Eugenia Falleni, dressed as a man for the preliminary hearing, but as a woman for the trial.

The senior crown prosecutor accused him of murder to hide ‘her sex fraud', and called 28 witnesses. The government medical officer played down the possibility of the accused being an invert in that she had given birth to a child. The conclusion of the prosecution’s case was the display of Falleni’s dildo. The defence, a junior barrister allocated by the crown, argued that Falleni was innocent, that he cross-dressed in that he was a ‘congenital invert’ and not a’ sex fraud’, but called only one witness. He produced and cited Eugene Talbot, Degeneracy: Its Causes, Signs and Results, 1898, in an attempt to get the medical officer to concede that the accused was a congenital invert. The judge asked the defence if he were ‘setting up insanity, or not?’

In his summing up, the judge reminded the jury of the ‘the imposition that had been practised’, summarized the prosecution case, and hardly mentioned the defence’s contention that the accused was a congenital invert. The jury of twelve men took two hours to reach a verdict of guilty, and Falleni was sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted to detainment at the Governor’s Pleasure. An application for leave to appeal the conviction and sentence was dismissed by the Court of Criminal Appeal.

The press referred to Falleni as a ‘man-woman’ and published only masculine photographs.

Falleni served 11 years and was released in 1931. She lived as a woman, possibly as a condition of parole, using the name Jean Ford. She ran a boarding house in Paddington, Sydney until 1938 when she was fatally struck by a motorcar.

Crawford is the subject of a film, I, Eugenia, 1998 by Gabrielle Finnane, and a play Eugenia, 2007 by Larae Parry.

*Not the footballer nor the Alaska politician.

Ruth Ford: “Although she was on trial for murder, she was also effectively on trial – both in the courtroom and in the press – for her gender-crossing, and for his subsequent marriages and sexual relationships with women. Newspaper headlines focused predominantly on her gender-crossing and her marriages, and depicted the alleged murder almost as a secondary offence. (p159)”

Did Crawford actually kill his wife?  The prosecution’s case was that he did so to prevent being outed.  However Annie seems to have known eight months before her disappearance at the latest, and Josephine, and to a lesser extent the women in the Italian community, had known all along.  The corpse in question had been ruled an accidental death, with a change of mind only when a body was needed for this case.   On the other hand, Annie was never seen again, and Crawford behaved as a widower when he took a second wife.

Crawford/Falleni served his time in a women’s prison.  He did not revert to male on release.   However it is likely that this was a condition of the parole.  Also he was known to the public, and having been imprisoned, he was unwilling to risk it again.

Of course, in 1920 and again in 1931, there was no transgender community to complain about stereotypes in the press and to offer support.

A cis male, tried for a domestic murder in 1920, would likely have been charged with manslaughter.

06 July 2011

Max Doyle Perkins, sex worker.

Max Perkins, who lived in a small town in North Carolina, was known as the 'town transvestite'.

In 1961, she was indicted by a state grand jury. She was considered to be a public nuisance, and had previously been convicted of prostitution. She was charged under an 1837 North Carolina law, copied from the Tudor law of 1533, that reads:
"Any person who shall commit the abominable and detestable crime against nature, not to be mentioned among Christians, with either mankind or beast, shall be adjudged guilty of a felony, and shall suffer death without the benefit of clergy".
In 1869, the penalty had been reduced to a maximum of 60 years.

Miss Perkins, as the Time journalist put it, “wore women's clothes even at his trial”, pleaded not guilty, was tried and sentenced to not less than 20 or more than 30 years in prison. Her co-defendant similarly charged at the same time pleaded nolo contendere, got a five-year sentence from the same judge and was paroled after 17 months.

After three years in a male prison, Max managed to obtain a hearing before a US District Judge by petitioning for a writ of habeas corpus. The judge suggested that the sentence constituted "cruel and unusual punishment". Restricted by precedents, all he could do was order a new trial on the grounds that the court-appointed lawyer had had only a few hours to prepare a defense.

For the new trial, Perkins was persuaded to impersonate a man, and to admit to homosexuality. "By choice?" pressed the prosecutor. "God in heaven knows, no," said Perkins. Said her lawyer to the jury: "There but for the grace of God go you and I. It could happen to any of us." This time the jury found her not guilty.
  • "The Law: Out of the Briar Patch". Time, Dec 25, 1964.,9171,830980,00.html.
  • John R. Cavanagh. Counseling the Invert. Bruce Pub Co, 1966: 194.
  • Martin Duberman. “A Friend at Court”. About Time: Exploring the Gay Past. A Meridian Book, 1986,1991: 246-250.

The Time journalist fails to get Max’s surname right and calls her Doyle throughout.

Why did Max get a much longer sentence than her co-defendant? a) she pleaded not guilty; b) she was considered to be a public nuisance, the court was apparently trying to get rid of Perkins by locking her up for the rest of her life; c) unlike the co-defendant, she was not gender normative.  Duberman, the first historian of Stonewall, fails to mention that Max was trans, he merely alludes to the fact in a footnote added afterwards.

04 July 2011

Maxine Petersen (195?–) psychologist.

Lem Clemmensen, was a lecturer at the University of Toronto and Coordinator at the Clarke Institute (later the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) Gender Identity Clinic, where he often was the one who was more sympathetic to the trans patients.  His 1986 masters thesis was Male gender dysphoria and criminality.

He was married to a woman, and they had two children. In 1991 Lem transitioned as Maxine, while still working at the Gender Identity Clinic where she was her own supervisor. Michael Bailey says that after transition she never saw her children again.

Maxine is quoted in Bailey’s The Man who Would be Queen as saying: “Most gender patients lie” and this one quote has been repeated extensively. She was part of the committee that revised the Standards of Care in 1998.

In 2000, she and Robert Dickey denied Synthia Kavanagh approval for SRS in that, being in prison, she could not do a Real Life Test. In the same year they were quoted in Vivian Namaste’s book defending the requirement that a trans person should do a year’s Real Life Test before starting hormones, and as critical of activists demanding hormones and surgery as a right. In September 2003 Maxine testified at an Ontario Human Rights Tribunal that government funding should be re-instated for SRS.

In November 2003 she resigned from HBIGDA (Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, now WPATH) when her boss Ray Blanchard did because it criticized Bailey’s book, an act which she described as ‘political correctness’.

She now lists her name as Maxine Petersen-Lee and offers private counselling.

*Not the mortgage specialist.
  • Len Clemmensen. Male gender dysphoria and criminality. University of Toronto, MA thesis, 1986.
  •  Maxine Petersen, J. Stephens, Robert Dickey, and W. Lewis. "Transsexuals within the Prison System: An International Survey of Correctional Services Policies". Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 14:219–229, 1996.
  • Maxine Petersen. "Review of FTM: Female-to-Male Transsexuals in Society by Holly Devor". The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality. Summer 1998. 
  • Viviane K. Namaste. Invisible Lives: The Erasure of Transsexual and Transgendered People. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000: 199-201.
  • J. Michael Bailey. The Man Who Would Be Queen: the science of gender-bending and transsexualism. Washington: Joseph Henry; Oxford: Oxford Publicity Partnership, 2003: 205
  • “Ray Blanchard and the Clarke Institute: Patient experiences”. Transsexual Road Map.
  • “Maxine Petersen on transsexualism”. Transsexual Road Map.

I do not normally categorize persons discussed here as HSTS or autogynephilic, but as a loyal associate of Ray Blanchard, Petersen presumably endorses his binary, and as a father and ex-husband, that would make her Autogynephilic. She has not clarified whether she regards herself as such.

Unlike the Vancouver, Stanford, Charing Cross and Monash gender clinics, and unlike the Gender Recognition Panel, and the Free University in Amsterdam, the CAMH actually has a transsexual staff member.

In Vivian Namaste’s book, Petersen is not identified as trans, as per Namaste’s usual practice.  This makes her book an open text in that many of her readers know about Petersen from other sources.

02 July 2011

Rachael Webb (1940 - 2009) lorry driver, housing officer, councillor, activist.

Tim knew from age six that he wanted to be a girl. He had little formal education but was self-educated by reading Marx and the 1950s existentialists. He was a beatnik, and an activist in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), and spent time in the existential and gay scene in Soho. He did drugs to suppress the idea that he might be transsexual.

In 1967 he consulted with the Maudsley Hospital in London and started taking female hormones. However he married a woman, they had two children and he stopped taking the hormones. By 1972 he had broken up with his wife and restarted on hormones. However he then married again, qualified for a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) license, became a long-distance lorry driver, and had two more children.

When this marriage finished in 1978, he was prescribed hormones by his family doctor in King’s Lynn, and saw Dr Randall at Charing Cross Hospital and started transition as Rachael. Female long-distance lorry drivers were not permitted at that date. Rachael became an active feminist, and was a member of the Militant Tendency in the Labour Party. She moved to London and worked as a housing officer with the Borough of Southwark. She was in the Self Help Association for Transsexuals (SHAFT) for a while but did not get on with Judy Cousins who ran it.  Rachael was expelled for being too radical.
From Bodyshock

Rachael became notorious in the press in 1983 when she used a £2,000 loan, available to all council employees, to pay for her operation (others used it as a deposit for a mortgage). The same year she was part of the campaign to elect Peter Tatchell in Bermondsey which encountered homophobia from left, right and centre. Rachael was left with a feeling of ‘personal inauthenticity’ and for a while was a patient of existentialist psychiatrist R.D. Laing. In 1986 she was elected as a Labour member of the London borough council of Lambeth.

Rachael’s personal collection of material was one of the first donations towards Richard Ekins’ Trans-Gender Archives. She was featured in Hodgkinson’s Bodyshock, Jane Jackson’s film and wrote a paper for Ekins and King’s Blending Genders. In the first she is quoted:
“We transsexuals have nothing to gain from our attempts to gain legitimacy and respectability from the medical profession. We confuse ourselves and other people by trying to adopt a false identity, and pretending that we are real women (1987: 108)”.
In the third she emphasises that she is a Radical Feminist, a constructed woman, and endorses the views of Janice Raymond:
“My position is rooted in a basic acceptance of feminist arguments concerning the misogynist nature of society and in the belief that male transsexuals perpetuate misogyny when they indulge in a manipulative game of getting others to collude in their fantasy that they are women. ...
I never cease to wonder at the number of men who express some sort of dissatisfaction with their identities and roles as men. I believe this is always connected with envy of women, particularly an envy of their ability to procreate. I think it is imperative that such feelings are brought out into the open and recognised for what they are, so that we can deal with them in a constructive rather than destructive way. For this reason we must create an environment in which we can admit to our feelings, even if this leads us to reject sex reassignment procedures. ...
Without claiming to be the most convincing transsexual there is, I am able to say that those who do not know my history do assume that I am a woman, born as such. I still believe that there is a problem with this however. To what extent am I, and others like me, causing harm by indulging in my fantasy?”.
After eight years as a councillor, Rachael returned to continental lorry driving, and became an activist in the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU). She was a delegate to the lorry drivers regional trade group, a member of the regional women’s committee, the regional LGBT working party, delegate to the two Labour Party conferences and the union’s delegate conference. She fought for equal wages and conditions for truck drivers across the EU. She was the TGWU delegate to the ITF conference for women transport workers in London in September 2005.

At age 66 she semi-retired and merely worked part-time.

Rachael died at a time of her own choosing at age 69.
  • Liz Hodgkinson. Bodyshock: the truth about changing sex. London: Columbus, 1987:102-8.
  • Jane Jackson (dir). Sex Change - Shock! Horror! Probe. Scr: Kristiene Clarke, with Rachael Webb and others. UK TV Channel 4 50 mins 1989.
  • Terri Webb. “Autobiographical Fragments From a Transsexual Activist”. 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: 45,97.
  • Rachael Webb. “Working life”. Transport International Online, 26 Jan 2007.  Archive
  • Fiona Fox. “Tribute to Rachael Webb...”. Fiona Fox’s Tales, 4 Feb 2009.

The two Ekins references refer to Terri Webb, formerly Rachael.  Presumably she changed her mind and went back to Rachael.

Maggie Fiona Fox published an email from Rachael on her blog, which is valuable.  However Maggie then published a rant in February this year on TS-SI, attempting to posthumously convert Rachael into an HBS/CT activist.  It should be apparent from her life and writings that she was nothing of that sort.