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15 March 2013

Virginia Prince: Part II – Second Marriage

Part 1 – Youth and First marriage
Part II – Second Marriage
Part III – Femmiphilic activist
Part IV – Full-time Living
Part V – Transgenderist dowager
Jargon terms and general comments

Charles Leroy Lowman published his seminal work, Abdominal Fascial Transplants, in 1954. He remained Chief of Staff at the Orthopedic Hospital until 1955 when he was 75. His son Arnold had several ideas re cosmetics which he published as his second book, Chemistry in Your Beauty Shop, also 1955. With a partner he set up a business, Cardinal Industries, located on real estate owned by his mother.1

With the encouragement of his mother, Arnold married a second time in 1956 to Doreen Skinner, of English origins, who had been his parents' housekeeper and after initial misgivings, was accepting of his cross-dressing. Arnold initially found Doreen to be unattractive because of her "dowdy attire, old-fashioned hair style and lack of makeup". He instructed her and she became more attractive. She told him that she had discovered photographs of his father cross-dressed. Arnold and Doreen went out socially as two women, and spent weekends in San Francisco like that. Doreen bought him a white satin nightgown as a wedding present. She also helped Arnold run his business selling grooming products for dogs and humans. They designed and built a house in Nichols Canyon. It included a special room with wardrobes, a sewing machine and several mirrors. (Docter: 35-7)

In a club in West Hollywood that same year, Rae Bourbon was billed as ‘not a female impersonator’, and was charged by the LAPD and convicted of impersonating a female. In January 1957 Confidential Magazine outed actor/dancer Dan Dailey as a transvestite: "The Night Dan Dailey was Dolly Dawn", which pretty well ended his film career, although he continued in television.

Arnold began using the male name of Charles (his father's name) Prince. In 1957 C.V.Prince wrote a paper for The American Journal of Psychotherapy where he was introduced by Dr Benjamin: "‘Dr Prince is known to me personally. I have met him in his male as well as his female role. I have had lengthy and stimulating discussions with him. He is highly educated with a fine cultural background". Prince presented three types of ‘males’ who may share ‘the desire to wear feminine attire’ (p82), that is homosexuals, transvestites and transsexuals. He was keen to dissipate the confusion of the three, but in its place propagated an alternate myth that ‘true transvestites ... are exclusively heterosexual ... Frequently they are married and often fathers”.

He was developing the concept of “femmiphilia” and was talking of his feminine self as “a real personality in her own right”. He also proposed “femmepersonator”. As he explained to Harry Benjamin (TSPhenomenon:53) the two words are to counteract the popular confusion with homosexuality, and to to take the sex out of if. He later wrote up these ideas in a pamphlet: An Introduction to the Subject of Transvestism or Femmiphilia (Cross-Dressing). He no longer thought of himself as the same kind as Christine Jorgensen, and started denouncing sex change operations. One of the first to receive this message was the teenage Diane Kearny who naively wrote to him and was told that she was ‘delusional’ in wanting such.

It was in 1958 that a 19-year-old, who had been taking her mother's estrogen pills, was referred to Dr Robert Stoller at the University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center. Stoller took Agnes to be an example of testicular feminization syndrome, and arranged for her to have corrective surgery.

In 1959, Virginia Prince established Chevalier Publications (named for D’Eon), and the next year revived Transvestia, which was now sold by subscription and later in adult book stores. The cover of the first issue contained the statement: "A privately Printed Magazine with three objectives – (1) To Provide expression for those interested in the subjects of exotic and unusual dress and fashion; (2) To provide information to those who, through ignorance, condemn that which they do not understand; (3) To provide education for those who see evil where none exists."

Louise Lawrence and Edith Ferguson with their more tolerant definitions of transvestite were no longer involved. Joan Thornton complained that Prince had stolen the name Transvestia. As in the 1990s with the term 'transgender', Prince took the word 'transvestite' and attempted to restrict its meaning to a narrow group. The first editorial offices of Transvestia were in the premises of Cardinal Industries on Pico Boulevard. (Docter: 74-7) Arnold published a revised and enlarged Chemistry in Your Beauty Shop, and also his new book, A Survey of Chemistry for Cosmetologists.2

While most of the content of Transvestia was submitted by readers, Prince used the forum to construct transvestism as he had presented it in his 1957 paper. Much of Lawrence’s material, such as bondage and petticoat punishment was never allowed in Transvestia, nor was anything that might be deemed fetishistic, such as wearing only female underwear. However the first issue January 1960 contained a letter from William Bessie Beck, a noted advocate of petticoat-punishment, and issue #2 had a letter from his wife, and two photographs of Bessie were in issue #4. (Farrer:14-5) #1 also included an In Memoriam to sexologist David Cauldwell who had died the previous year. From #5 Transvestia featured a cover girl. Potential cover girls were asked to supply several photographs and a personal history, and were requested to pay for their page of photographs. The first such was Annette of Idaho. #6 contained a description of the research questionnaire that Prince was doing with Peter Bentler that was finally published in 1972.

Prince did not want to be associated with queens of Bunker Hill who had organized transvestites in Los Angeles only a generation earlier, nor with the transvestite drinking clubs that Edward D Wood was involved in. In particular, transvestites as imagined were never to be homosexual or to desire a sex change. Prince early picked up the new usage of ‘gender’. “It is not the sex we are imitating, it is the gender—the quality of expression, the kind of living, the kind of personality that we associate with a lady.” In Transvestia, Prince repeatedly claimed that gender is between the ears, not the legs. (Hill:58), and argued that whereas homosexuals were ‘sexual deviates’, transvestites were ‘gender deviates’. Prince discouraged the use of established words such as ‘TV’, ‘drag’, ‘camp’ etc as they were associated with homosexuality: ‘femmiphilia’ (Transvestia, 7, Jan 1961) and ‘femmepersonation’ (Transvestia, 12, Dec 1961) should be used instead, and FP be the abbreviation of both words instead of TV. Also in December 1961, Prince claimed, that having coined ‘TV’, Prince could end its use. The terms ‘femmename’, ‘femmeself’, ‘femmelife’ and ‘femmetalk’ were also proposed.

Around the same time Vern and Bonnie Bullough moved to Los Angeles to teach at California State University, Northridge, and shortly afterwards they met Prince, and also became involved with the homophile organization, ONE, Inc. Vern also became head of the San Fernando Valley chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

1959 was also the year that Jack Doroshow/Flawless Sabrina started his Nationals Pageants, which were drag contests. As local laws almost always prohibited cross-dressing, he would meet with officials and propose a charitable donation, and in return the town would pass a variance to permit the pageant. Usually the town officials did not understand that local people would be performing. In May of that year, at the all-night Cooper's Doughnuts on Main St, Los Angeles, the LAPD started arresting the queens among the customers, and a riot broke out.

Hose and Heels Club, Lavender Los Angeles: 65
Prince founded the Hose and Heels Club in 1960 for an initial 12 members who all arrived en homme at a house attached to a church property and put on their hose and heels simultaneously so that no-one had anything on anyone else. The second meeting, at the home of a member who was a dress designer, was attended by Vern and Bonnie Bullough. Bonnie commented: "There were 12 or 14 cross dressers in attendance who reminded me of a bunch of young girls at a wedding shower, giggling and acting like teenagers". Prince enforced a no alcohol policy. (Docter: 51)

One of the first other columnists in Transvestia was Susanna Valenti of New York, who had a more carefree style. She coined the metaphor the ‘girl within’ which became popular with Prince and the readers of Transvestia.

Hill (60) writes: “Prince recognized that both groups [transvestite and homosexual] shared a common problem with social intolerance and understood that the social gains won by the larger and better organized homophile movement would only benefit her group. In this regard, she called for mutual respect and cooperation while still maintaining that separateness must also prevail in order to build a distinct group identity for heterosexual cross-dressers. My sense is that there was rampant homophobia within the readership and that Prince was quite progressive on the issue of homosexuality, especially given the historical context.“ Prince did in fact work with homophile activists, Harry Hay and others.

Kate Cummings in Australia discovered Transvestia in 1960. "When it arrived I was overwhelmed by the potential wealth of transvestite material available to me by subscribing. There were scientific articles reprinted from learned journals; there was advice on what to wear, how to use makeup, how to act in public; there were letters from transvestites and their wives; there was wish-fulfillment fiction and there were even advertisements for booklets published by Chevalier Publications." Kate was the Cover Girl on Issue #8 as 'Joan from Australia'.3

Although the US supreme Court had ruled in 1958, re an edition of One Magazine, also from Los Angeles, that homosexual content is not obscene simply because it is homosexual, and in 1959 the US publisher of D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover won his case and its appeal against the US Post Office’s censorship, these were not taken to apply to transvestite content. In 1960 Nan Gilbert in New England, a publisher of petticoat-punishment fantasies had had his mail stopped and was fined $500. In 1961 Tito Valenti (Susanna's male persona) was summoned by postal officials. Two of her correspondents had been charged with mailing obscene materials, and Susanna’s name had come up. Tito pleaded respectability and denounced the obscenities. Prince was actually arrested re personal correspondence to another transvestite, who he thought was a woman sympathetic to male cross-dressing, who was already under investigation. Prince pleaded guilty in a plea bargain to sending obscene material through the mail. With a five-year probationary sentence, he was liable to be imprisoned if caught cross-dressed in public. However his lawyer persuaded the court to include educating the public about cross-dressing as part of the probation order. In the next few years Virginia lectured to service clubs in the Los Angeles area and participated in a few medical conferences. Transvestia #6 contained the announcement that "Flash … Important … Read Carefully .. Transvestia has been examined by Postal Inspectors and has not been found to be unmailable".(Docter: 78-80).

José Sarria ran to be a San Francisco Supervisor in 1961: the first openly transvestite person to run for political office.

Charles Lowman co-published Postural Fitness; Significance and Variances in 1960, and Underwater Therapy in 1961. Arnold's previous psychiatrist, Karl Bowman, along with Margaret Mead and Hal Call of the Mattachine Society, appeared in a ground-breaking documentary on San Francisco's KQED television channel, The Rejected, about homosexuality. Bowman argued that homosexuality is not a mental illness and should be legalized.

Mr and Mrs Lowman visited Doreen’s relatives in England, and Virginia used the trip to contact some English transvestites.

1962.  Plate 6 in JJ Allen.  The Man in the Red Dress
In 1962 Virginia attempted to organize Transvestia's readership into a nationwide group. FP (from FemmePersonator) also stood for Full Personality. What was needed was Full Personality Expression (FPE). That was Hellenized into Phi Pi Epsilon in the fashion of university sororities. The Hose and Heel Club became the Alpha Chapter. In Transvestia #15 Prince exhorted: "Haven’t you all read newspaper reports of police in various cities raiding some home or club and finding a bunch of ‘guys as dolls’? What prevents our groups being looked upon the same way? Nothing at all…except Phi Pi Epsilon… when we get organized to the point where we have something to point to with some pride." In subsequent issues its purpose was developed and proposals made on how it would be organized. FPE was for cross-dressers who have gone beyond the novelty of dressing up secretly. Social interaction would be fun, and would foster self-acceptance. "The sorority is here, for those whose development has taken them to the point of FemmePersonation, which differs from simple transvestism in much the same way as being a champion Olympic swimmer differs from the person who simply puts on a bathing suit and gets in the pool." Homosexuals, transsexuals and fetishists were not admitted. Soon afterward there were three other FPE chapters: Beta in Chicago, Delta in Cleveland, and Theta in Madison, Wisconsin.

Prince published the first edition of The Transvestite and his Wife in 1962, and a first version of the results of his survey questionaire, "166 men in dresses" was published in Sexology magazine. In March Darrell Raynor, in Los Angeles on business, having previously corresponded, met first Charles, and then was invited to dinner to meet Virginia and Doreen. He was chauffeured to the Prince home by Robert Stevens/Barbara Ellen who was also a business associate of Prince (Raynor: chp 1-4).

The program of the Alpha Chapter was two meetings a months. One was formal, without any members being dressed, at which Virginia or an invited psychologist would give a lecture, and serious discussion would ensue. The other meeting was a party, a dress-up affair (Raynor:135).

In 1962, Elmer Belt finally discontinued doing sex-change operations at UCLA Medical School. That same year, Prince gave a lecture at the UCLA Medical School, which led to being contacted by a psychiatrist at the School, Robert Stoller. He was interested in Virginia as a research resource. It was Arnold who appeared for the first session, as per the terms of his parole. Stoller was requested to send a letter inviting Virginia Bruce. However by the time of the second interview Arnolds's parole was ended. From then, for the next for 29 years, Virginia and some other Alpha Chapter members met with Stoller. In Virginia's case the meetings were twice a month and continued until Stoller's death in 1991. These sessions were taped, and some have been transcribed. She was emphatic about the distinction between sex and gender, and both Vern Bullough and Richard Green affirm that it was Prince's influence that led to Stoller's first two books being called Sex and Gender, Vol 1: On the Development of Masculinity and Femininity, 1968 and Sex and Gender, Vol 2: The Transsexual Experiment, 1974. (Docter: 62-5) Unlike Harry Benjamin and Vern Bullough, Stoller never named Prince in his books, although sometimes there is mention of an anonymous person who would seem to be her.4

While in her articles in Transvestia, Virginia played down the erotic aspects of cross-dressing, in the conversations with Stoller, she affirmed it. While she denied finding men attractive, she did enjoy being attractive to and flirting with men.5 She had a cross-dresser friend who was willing to play the male role and took her for lunch and drinks. Afterward they did mutual masturbation.6 She found kissing, hugging and affection from a man to be sexually rewarding. (Docter: 66-7)

Virginia was the major guest at the 1962 Halloween meeting at Susanna Valenti's Casa Susanna in upstate New York. The New York Transvestia subscribers had already been socializing with each other meeting in the apartments of Susanna and Gail Wilde. The Halloween meeting was also attended by psychologists Hugo Beigal and Wardell Pomeroy as well as Darrell Raynor, Felicity Chandelle and Katherine Cummings. Katherine Cummings later wrote that Virginia "was argumentative in the extreme. She had very fixed views on transvestism and proclaimed them with great force and no tolerance whatever of opposing views." While previously Susanna had not been in agreement with Virginia's insistence on respectability, they were in agreement in being appalled about one guest who didn't shave and wore a simple nightgown, and even smoked a cigar. Susanna later wrote that such members lacked the cultivation of an 'inner femininity' that distinguished a true transvestite from drag queens and clothing fetishists. (Transvestia #19, 1963).

Prince gave a speech that she did not regard herself or any other femmepersonator as emotionally or psychologically ill. Psychologists were not consistent with their research on gender when it came to labeling deviancy: "Further indication of the falsity of this arbitrary division [between genders] is evident in all the tests and devices which psychologists come up with to measure masculinity and femininity ‘indexes’ in each sex. They therefore give lip service to the presence of masculinity in the female and femininity in the male, but when it comes to practical and actual expression of this (at least on the part of the male) they raise their eyebrows…and start to work ‘helping’ the individual to ‘get back to normal’—to ‘adjust himself to society’ and, if possible, to stop being what he is…. FemmePersonation as we know it and show it is not a perversion, sex deviation, anomaly, obsession, or similar terms denoting that ‘something is wrong’.… It should be made clear that ‘statistically uncommon’ is not synonymous with ‘psychopathological,’ and ‘culturally impermissible’ is not necessarily ‘morally reprehensible.’ All a true TV or FP is doing is to seek to express some of the values and traits which, when they were drawn from the common human supply depot, so to speak, were arbitrarily assigned to the female.” (Also printed in Transvestia #19, February 1963; Hill: 310-1)

In the last Transvestia of the year, Prince urged co-operation with the homophile movement:
"Whatever the more highly organized homophile community does to improve their lot tends to improve ours and vice versa…. The homophile group is much better organized, larger, and has been at it far longer than we have. Thus where we can assist any general programs they have for breaking down prejudice and legal restrictions, we should do so. Where we can take advantage of any organizations or procedures which they have set up which can be of help to us individually or collectively, we should do so. We should establish and maintain contact with the organizational centers that are maintained by the homophile community, getting from them and giving to them such information and assistance as may be mutually helpful." (Transvestia #18, December 1962; Hill: 321)
In early 1963, Virginia fell out with both Barbara Ellen and Evelyn, a best friend for ten years. They started a competing group, and for a while it looked as if the Alpha Chapter would not continue (Raynor: Chp.17-18)

The most famous transvestite in Los Angeles that year was Miss Destiny who was featured in John Rechy's City of Night, and then in One Magazine the next year. FPE was only a small and specialized part of the transvestite scene. There were various kinds of trans women at the gay bars on Main Street, from the obvious to the passing. There was even a group for Pacific Islanders. Rex/Gloria, was an FPE member, but was also paying for younger trans women to fly to Dr Burou's clinic in Casablanca. (Gay LA:114-5) Edward D. Wood extended the lead character of his film Glen or Glenda in an unlikely direction in his first novel, Black Lace Drag (renamed Killer in Drag, 1965): Glen is doing contract killings to pay for a sex-change. The same year saw the publication of the transvestite novel Double Switch, which is attributed to Virginia Prince.

In New York, Siobhan Fredericks, who had quit FPE, started a competing magazine, Turnabout and made fun of the many femme* words that Prince had coined, and attracted cross-dressers who were critical of Prince and her ideas. Fredericks started a support group in her home, to which Harry Benjamin sent some of his patients, including Renée Richards.

Also new that year was the glossy magazine Female Mimics. Performer Kim August was on the cover of the first issue, and Coccinelle on the second. No statistics are available on how many subscribers to Transvestia also read Female Mimics. In San Francisco, The Black Cat bar, where José Sarria had performed, was shut down for permitting cross dressing.

That year Prince delivered her first paper to a professional conference, the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality in New York. She differentiated transvestites, transsexuals and homosexuals, introduced the term feminiphilia, explained that most professionals conflate sex and gender, and presented statistics from a 272-member survey that she had analyzed. She presented her group as the vanguard of men's liberation, and denounced aversion therapy: doctors should advise transvestites to accept themselves as they are. "There is no question but that persons with these types of histories [i.e. troubled] do exist and that they turn up in the offices of psychiatrists. Unfortunately, the psychiatrist only sees a specialized sampling of transvestites and therefore the conclusions drawn are based on a biased population of cases. Generally speaking, the only cases that go to a doctor are those that have been sent there by legal authorities, are forced to come by wives or parents, or are quite disturbed by their desires and seek help. The well adjusted, happily married and out-of-trouble transvestite does not go to the doctor, and he is therefore not studied nor counted in the population of cases from which most conclusions are drawn." (Transvestia #24, December 1963; Hill:309-310)

In 1964 José Sarria, in San Francisco, was part of the founding of the Imperial Court System, an alternate transvestite sub culture, albeit mainly for gays. Unlike FPE, the imperial Court was able to open branches in Canada and Mexico. With only a few exceptions, FPE and its later successor Tri-Ess and the Imperial Courts did not acknowledge each other. José Sarria's later successor as leader of the Imperial Courts was at that time a Los Angeles sex worker under the name Lolita. She was not of course invited to join the Alpha Chapter. In New York the short-lived Lavender & Lace magazine for transvestites came out – it had a much greater racial diversity than Transvestia. The Los Angeles Free Press started, which would provide an alternate voice for hippy, gay, trans and other minority voices. Vern Bullough, working with ONE, Inc was successful in getting the San Fernando Valley chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to adopt a policy of protection of homosexuals, transvestites and transsexuals.

Felicity Chandelle/John Miller was arrested for cross-dressing under an obscure New York law and lost her job: her male persona had been a pilot for Eastern Airlines for 25 years. Prince and Fredericks championed her case, persuaded the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to file a brief and raised over $1,200 to finance an appeal, which however was denied by the New York appeal court and by the US Supreme Court.

Prince started using Carl Jung's7 concepts of ‘anima’ and ‘animus’, but with the twist that each of us has both an anima and animus, and that they should be integrated. This need not necessarily be done by cross-dressing.
“There are, however, quite a number of us who have succeeded in recognizing our Anima sides, giving expression to ‘her’, originally through dressing, and subsequently simply through an integration of our inner selves in our daily lives. Dressing may still remain a very pleasant activity and a source of renewed emotional awareness and may continue with greater or lesser frequency all our lives. The important thing is not necessarily to conquer the dressing but to recognize what it is actually doing FOR us, and recognizing this, to actively attempt a greater degree of integration in our ordinary lives without any guilt feelings. I believe that this is the true goal and virtue of FemmePersonation. (Transvestia, 27, June 1964)”.
1964 was when Transvestia published its first photograph of a black transvestite (Diana, 28, Aug). The next would not be be until 1969.

In Transvestia #31, February 1965, Prince reacted to Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique, not by empathizing with the problems of being a woman, but: “So who is going to write a book on the Masculine Mystique and the frustrations and psychosomatic disturbances that George and Harry have, because they too are trying to live up to an artificial and unsatisfying role forced on them by society? It seems to me that all of you who read Transvestia and myself are collectively, so-to-speak, writing such a book.”

Also that year, Chemistry in Your Beauty Shop was revised again and republished.

Until this point, Prince alone ran the organization out of her home and her work office, collected dues and handled membership applications. There were complaints about autocratic style, and profiting from the dues. Thus Prince appointed Fran Conners, president of the Theta Chapter in Madison, Wisconsin as executive secretary, and Sheila Niles of New Jersey to be field co-ordinator. Niles had a job that involved frequent travel around the US and was able to visit the various chapters. They divided the US, in fact the entire world, into regions, and appointed a regional counselor and deputy for each. The counselors were to encourage the renewal of dues, and also to meet with each new applicant to ensure that they were suitable – however vast distances made face-to-face meetings almost impossible, and some became members without being screened. Like the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis, FPE was a white, middle-class organization with concerns about being respectable. An applicant must purchase fives issues of Transvestia before applying. This was not just to sell more copies, but also to ensure that he was serious, and that, having read the issues, he was acquainted with the philosophy of femmepersonation. The application asked about sexual orientation, marital status, employment status and cross-dressing history. The applicant had to sign his legal name and write his home address, however these would not be passed on the the regional counselor. He also had to pledge to keep secret all information about other members.

Bonnie and Vern Bullough, visiting the Lowmans at home, noted that Virginia would act as the hostess, reducing Doreen to sort of a maid. (Docter: 37-8)

In 1964 Reed Erickson founded his Erickson Educational Foundation (EEF), through which over the next twenty years he donated hundreds of thousands of dollars into gay, lesbian, trans and New Age activities such as acupuncture, homeopathy, dolphin communication and altered states of consciousness. He donated to two friends of Prince, Harry Benjamin and Vern Bullough, and especially to the Los Angeles gay center, One, Inc, but never considered FPE as a suitable recipient.

In May 1965 members of Theta (Wisconsin) joined with members of Beta (Chicago) and Delta (Cleveland) in South Bend, Indiana for a Midwest Conference. However the turn-out was disappointing. Only fourteen FPE members and three wives made it to the event. The Alpha chapter in Los Angeles, although one of the most populous chapters, still had only 18 members.

ONE, Inc split into two competing factions, and Vern Bullough was one of only two people who was able to maintain working relationships with both sides.

In Transvestia #36, December 1965, Virginia reaffirmed the lifestyle of part-time cross-dressing:
"I have had the experience, now that Virginia lives as much as she does and gets about everywhere, of having people who know me as Virginia and see me as a relaxed and comfortable woman often say ‘why don’t you live that way all the time’. They are not thinking of surgery but just of living. Sometimes I am afraid the fascination of this new life gets out of hand and we lose the perspective necessary to enjoy it. When we go too far in the femme-direction we are riding up the other side of the pendulum swing…. So let’s not forget that we are all built in a male way and have been brought up in a masculine framework which has its costs but also its compensations and let us say a word for and give a little credit to the ‘boy without’ as both the source and the support of the ‘girl within’. (quoted Hill:172).
By this time Arnold's son, Brent, had come to live with his father and Doreen. He was having personal problems, probably drugs, and his presence added to the stress among the Lowmans. Virginia had been taking dancing lessons and attending public dances. An out-of-town male friend visited and they went dancing all night. (Docter:69) Doreen was also anxious in that Arnold had developed a friendship with a post-operative transsexual, Sherry, and she was concerned that he would go the same route. Virgina and Sherry went to public dances as two women. Doreen moved out, and in with Arnold's parents. Stoller, who counseled both of them, felt that Doreen was "emotionally exhausted" in her struggle over the possibility that Virginia would go full-time. Stoller reported that Prince said he was hurt that Doreen would "just up and walk out on me" – which perhaps implies a lack of empathy. (Docter: 38-40)

In December that year, Stoller dictated a description of how he saw Virginia, who was then 53:
"It's worth describing Virginia's appearance today which is typical of the way she usually looks: A light brown wig which is not startling but well kept, dangling silver earrings, pancake makeup, sharply red but not extravagant lipstick. On her neck, a necklace made of three strands of large silver balls, pretty garish when taken with all the rest of her appearance, with a V-cut dress out of which peaked the pushed-up bits of breast tissue looking like an old woman's breasts being shown when they shouldn't be with her brassiere showing and the straps showing, the inner side of the two shoulder straps of her dress; the dress, the upper part of it where her bosom is huge and the largeness is increased by a whole bunch of white flowery patterns on on a navy blue background, the lower part is just the navy blue. When she sits with her legs crossed you see up the outside of her thigh quite a long distance, it's not particularly attractive, her knees are bony and her legs although not masculinely muscled are not at all like a woman's; her arms have the muscular contour of a man's, they are very smooth and soft skinned though on her forearms they are darker brown while the upper part is light. I didn't really notice her shoes except that they were high heeled. The overall impression is that if this were in fact a woman, no woman of her age and appearance should show so much of herself and I would think there was something severely wrong in the degree of exhibitionism being revealed." (Stoller#4: 23-4; Docter: 70-1)

  1. Cardinal Industries seems to have disappeared from history. It should not be confused with Cardinal Industries of New York which is a still active and successful company that makes toys. I could not find the name of Arnold's partner in any of the source documents.
  2. I do find it strange, given the number of books that discuss Virginia Prince, that no-one previously – except the editors at WorldCat – had bothered to check if there were any book under the name of Arnold Lowman. Milady Pub. Corp is a real publisher, specializing in books about beauty. It is not a self-publishing like Chevalier Publications.
  3. Kate Cummings also volunteered to be and was the cover of Transvestia #108, 1983, twenty three years later.
  4. For example: Presentations of Gender, 1985:137. "For instance, for about twenty years I have had a friendly, more than therapy-oriented relationship with a transvestite man, In that time we have often talked of his childhood, his parents, his parents' personalities, and the relationships among the family members."
  5. "While she denies finding men attractive, she does enjoy being attractive to and flirting with men." A subtle difference. I wonder how many cisgendered women could be likewise described. Has anybody done research into heterosexuality using this distinction?
  6. Prince: "mutual masturbation … but never once was there any kind of anal or oral sex .. never". Was Prince unaware that a significant minority of gay men have exactly the same preference?
  7. Prince probably related to the fact that Jung, in 1950, had dismissed transsexual surgery as having nothing to do with either medicine or psychology. Carl Gustav Jung, “Zur Frage der arztlichen Intervention” In. Das symbolische Leben: verschiedene Schriften. Olten: Walter-Verlag, 1995: 375-6. Quoted in Sander L.Gilman.Making the Body Beautiful: A Cultural History of Aesthetic Surgery. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999:271.

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