This site is the most comprehensive on the web devoted to trans history and biography. Well over 1200 persons worthy of note, both famous and obscure, are discussed in detail, and many more are mentioned in passing - especially in the year-end summaries (see links in right sidebar.)

There is a detailed Index arranged by vocation, doctor, activist group etc.

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 page. There is also a search box at the top left. Enjoy exploring!

01 September 2012

John (1918 - ?) truck driver.

Frank was raised in a Baltimore orphanage. It was known that he was ‘physically abnormal’, and at age 7 he was diagnosed with hypospadias and undescended testicles, and taken to the Johns Hopkins Hospital. The doctors, including Hugh Hampton Young, found a vagina, uterus, left ovary and Fallopian tubes, and decided that the child was definitely female. What had previously been seen as his penis was now declared to be an enlarged clitoris.

The child’s guardians were informed and Frank became Frances. Two years later Frances returned to Johns Hopkins with the complaint that she felt pressure to keep her clitoris hidden. It was mentioned that she had a “terrible habit” of masturbation. It made sense to the doctors that her clitoris should be removed, and they did so remarking that it was the size of a penis of a boy of the same age.

Frances next returned four years later at age 16, complaining of a mass in her lower abdomen. She had announced that when she turned 18 she would assume male attire and learn a mechanical trade. She was already 5’11” (1.8 m) and 125 lb (57 kg). She had beard growth on her chin and the ‘mammary regions were entirely masculine’, although her pubic hair was female in distribution. This time surgery found testicular tissue. Given that the damage had been done four years earlier, they excised all the testicular tissue and a rudimentary vas deferens.

The patient was last heard of in 1935. He had changed his name to John, and was working as a truck driver. He was reportedly happy.
  • Hugh Hampton Young, Genital Abnormalities, Hermaphroditism & Related Adrenal Diseases. Baltimore: The Williams & Wilkins company, 1937: 84-91.
  • Elizabeth Reis. Bodies in Doubt: An American History of Intersex. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009, Paperback 2012: 93-5.

 Dr Young finishes his account by speculating: 'If implantation of ovaries ever becomes successful in the human should this be done?'  He was still not accepting John's decision to be a man.  I think that we can assume that he knew about the failure to implant ovaries into Lili Elevenes (Elbe) as the English translation of Man into Woman had been available since 1933. 

No comments: