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23 March 2012

Ferdinand Haisch (185? - ?)

In 1895 residents of the Hayes Valley area of San Francisco called the police about a ‘strange appearing woman’ whom they saw each evening. The police staked out the area for several weeks, and then arrested Haisch, who was dressed in the latest fashion, under San Francisco Revised Orders of 1863.

After a brief imprisonment she was released by the police court judge on the condition that she not wear female clothing in public.

However the neighbors were not satisfied and demanded her re-arrest for wearing female clothing at home. The police had to inform them that the law permitted them to dress as they pleased at home.
  • “Masqueraded as a Woman”. San Francisco Examiner. April 16, 1895, 4.
  • “Crazy on Female Attire”. The Call. July 3, 1895, 8.
  • Clare Sears. “Electric Brilliancy: Cross-Dressing Law And Freak Show Displays In Nineteenth-Century San Francisco” Women's Studies Quarterly; Fall 2008; 36, ¾: 172-3.

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