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!

13 February 2012

Passing women, 1800-1950 – a partial list

In the decades and centuries before cross sex hormones became available we know of many more trans men than of trans women.  Female-bodied persons seem to do a better job as passing as male without hormonal therapy than male-bodied persons do as female.  This is partially because  the default assumption in patriarchal society that someone is male until there is evidence to the contrary.

Anyway, here are several known trans women who were able to pass in the period 1800-1950 (not counting the pioneer surgical transsexuals, intersex persons nor two-spirit persons, and not counting those who were out in one way or another).  This is only a small fraction of passing women, but these few pioneers are known.

Lavinia Edwards (1809  – 1833) actress, London.
Sophia Gibons (181? – 1865) house work, Cambridge, Ohio.
Mrs Noonan (? – 1878) laundress, Fort Meade, Dakota Territory.
Eliza Scott (1838- ?) traditional healer, London.
Peggy Yule (1860-1965) circus worker.
Elizabeth Berger (1874 – ?) pastry cook, maid.
Frances Anderson (187? – 1928 ) billiards champion.
Malvina Perry (1881-1934) circus strong women, bearded lady, Baltimore.
Martha Toth (1883-1933) factory worker, Buda Pest.
Lucy Hicks Anderson (1886 – 1954) brothel madam, Oxnard, California.
Frances Carrick (1891 – ?) housewife, Crowne Point, Indiana.
a railwayman’s wife (? – ?) maid, Wales.
Georgia Black (1906 – 1951) housewife, Sanford. Florida.
Pamela Bird (1927 – ) barmaid, domestic work, London.
Mrs Cox (193? – ?) housewife,
Désirée (194? – 196?) housewife, New York.


  1. When you say, "the default assumption in patriarchal society [is] that someone is male until there is evidence to the contrary."

    I have to agree and ask, "Why is it so hard to imagine a person who thinks he/she is the opposite of what they were born as?"

    Thank you for the list.

  2. Where is the list for Passing Men?


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