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!

26 February 2012

Matene (190? - ?) trapeze artist.

Matene, a Maori, joined a circus at age nine. He worked as a an acrobat and trapeze artist. He was called by a girl’s name, encouraged to dress as a girl even when not performing and generally brought up as a girl.

In June 1933 she was arrested in Auckland after a shopping trip. She was charged with having obtained credit by fraud by representing herself as a woman in a drapery shop. The solicitor for her defence pointed out that she was of a good family and had a substantial income.

The magistrate dismissed the charge as there was no evidence of fraud.
  • London Life, July 29th, 1933: 53. Reprinted in Peter Farrer. Cross Dressing between the Wars: Selections from London Life, 1923-1933. Garston: Karn, 2000: 190.

Old newspaper stories can be annoying in their lack of detail.  Which circus did Matene work for?  It is improbable that Matene was her professional name or the name that she used when shopping for it is a man’s name.  Henare Matene Te Whiwhi is an outstanding Maori of the 19th century.  Nor obviously is it a complete name.

However we are pleased to see that common sense sense prevailed at the trial.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments that constitute non-relevant advertisements will be declined, as will those attempting to be rude. Comments from 'unknown' and anonymous will also be declined. Repeat: Comments from "unknown" will be declined, as will anonymous comments. If you don't have a Google id, I suggest that you type in a name or a pseudonym.