Essays on trans, intersex, cis and other persons and topics from a trans perspective.......All human life is here.
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 detailedIndexarranged by vocation, doctor, activist group etc. There is also a Place Index arranged by City etc. This is still evolving.
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Jacqueline is the first known Brazilian to have transgender surgery, which she had from Dr Burou in Casablanca in 1969. This was two years before the first surgery in Brazil, that on Waldirene Nogueir by Dr Robero Farina.
She requested the addition of 'Jacqueline' in the margin of her birth registration. The Magistrate authorized both this and the registration of her female sex.
Lessenich, from Remagen, was educated in graphic design in Cologne. After a failed marriage and a period as a prostitute, she completed transition in 1973 with surgery from Dr Burou in Casablanca.
This was at a time when advertising was trendy and sexy and Jean obtained work as art director for advertising agencies in Dusseldorf and Frankfurt, and later as a freelance illustrator for magazines in Hamburg and Munich.
Through friends she was able to make extended trips to Japan and to visit Native Americans. In 1985 she returned to living as a man so that she could marry her Japanese lover and obtain for her permanent residency in West Germany. Her lover died in 1996.
Jean returned to being female. Now in her seventies, she continues to participate in art exhibits.
She does not identify with the idea of a female soul in a male body, or say that she always was a woman, although she did want to be a girl when young. She chose Jean as a name in that it is male in French and female in English.
Jean Lessenich. Nun bin ich die ewig junge Hirschkuh oder der Ajilee Mann. Edition Suhrkamp 1988.
Jean Lessenich. Mit den Zähnen am Zweig. Selbstverlag 200.
Jean Lessenich.Die transzendierte Frau. Eine Autobiografie. Gießen 2012, Psychosozial-Verlag.
Torres was raised in São Paulo. He graduated in Chemical Engineering in 1972 from the Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo. He married twice and had children in both marriages. He lectured at universities and was a consultant to the petrochemical and fertilizer industries.
She made her own study of gender identity and gained a masters degree in sexology from University Gama Filho in Rio de Janeiro. In 1998 she published Meu sexo real using her then name Martha Freitas. A English translation of this book was sent by the publisher to the Frankfurt Book Fair of that year where it was discovered and endorsed by Günter Dörner of Berlin's Humboldt-Universität.
Martha became the leader of Transgender Brazil, which had come together that year, and appeared on several Brazilian television programs, of which the most important was a debate on Ede Viva between Jalma Jurado and Martha Freitas on one hand and representatives of the Catholic Church. However Martha found most television show far too sensational, and declined further invitations.
In 2000 she changed her name to Waleria Torres. She became the only Latin American member of HBIGDA in 2002 and the Organization Intersex International (OII) spokesperson for Lusophonic countries. She edited GID Journal and runs an online gender diagnosis and counselling service for those able and willing to pay. She blogged as Martha Freitas until 2009.
She has proposed the term Neurodiscord for transsexuals. She stresses that
"due to its complexity, the evolution of gender identity for each individual is 'a priori' unpredictable, irrespect of which are the genitals, the chromosomes, and so on. The lack of predictability is for each individual. For the species, for the human colectivity, there are patterns of development, and these patterns may be recognized - through its dynamic signatures."
"the Gender Identity self-perception is something unpredictable 'a priori', even when there is a typical sexual development - when society considers someone 'normal' man or woman - we said also that was a characteristic of a Chaotic System. In chaotic systems, the unpredictability means there are more probable and less probable states for any development inside the system. The lack of previsibility is not related to random noise - external noise - but to inner fractality - a characteristic of the system."
Martha C. Freitas. Meu sexo real: a origem somática, neurobiológica e inata da transexualidade e suas conseqüências na reconceituação da sexualidade humana. Petrópolis: Editora Vozes, 1998. English translation: Sex, the Invisible Reality: Inner Real Sex in Discord with Genital Shape : the Innate, Somatic and Neural Defection Named Transsexuality. Editora Vozes, 1998.
Martha C. Freitas. O Mito Genital. Belaspalavras, 1998.
Astrid Bodstein. "Brazilian Transsexual Odyssey". Transgender Tapestry, 99, Fall 2002. Online at: Online.
Diane Arbus is famous for her photographs of transvestites, although she didn't really take that many such photographs. Her transvestites are rarely given names, and only a few of them look as if they could pass on the street or go shopping without drawing attention.
The major exception is Catherine Bruce, also referred to as Bruce Catherine. Presumably her two first names. Diane photographed Catherine on a park bench, then in her underwear as home, then as a naked man, and then as Bruce on a bench:
Princton was an all-male university in 1916 and for decades afterwards. F. Scott Fitzgerald was in the Triangle Club which put on plays.
He posed for a publicity photo
for a production of The Evil Eye, which he co-wrote, which was printed in The New York Times on January 2, 1916. The newspaper called
him "the most beautiful" show girl in the production. However having failed his exams he was not allowed to perform.
There is a type of are some trans woman who have lots of surgeries as part of their transitions. Some examples are Allanah Star (60+ surgeries), Gia Darling (45+), Fulvia Siguas Sandoval (64+ and in Guinness Book of World Records for most cosmetic surgeries); Nina Arsenault ($150,000+ of surgery); Amanda Lepore. For some of these the surgeries did not include vaginoplasty.
They are hardly typical of trans women, but they do attract press attention, and in so doing can give out the mistaken impression that trans women in general are fakes and freaks.
Are such women autogynephilic? Apart from ‘autogynephilia’ being a badly thought out concept that should be dismissed unless and until some future author is able to do something much better with the idea, several of those I have just mentioned were early transitioners.
The point that I am getting around to is that is that having lots of cosmetic surgeries to achieve an idealized body is not peculiar to trans women. An equally small percentage of cis men and women do it also. Some examples:
Luciana Malgeri, Princess Pignatelli, Mrs Avedon. A classic in this field. She had a nose job as a teenager and married an Italian Prince. After divorce she had silicone facial injections and other cosmetic surgeries. She opened her first book with: “A few times every century, a great beauty is born. I am not one of them. But what nature skipped, I supplied—so much so that sometimes I cannot remember what is real and what is fake.” Camille Paglia’s discussion of transsexuality on p368 ofSexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson segues into a discussion of Luciana (perhaps showing that Paglia has no idea about transsexuality).
One of the psychiatrist’s terms for such surgical makeovers is Body Dysmorphic Disorder. However I think that there is a more neutral, and therefore better term. I have previously discussed Hom(e)ovestity – dressing UP as your birth sex. What we have been discussing here is surgical homeovestity. Nobody seems to have coined a term for this behaviour. On the model transvestity –> transsexuality we would get homosexuality, but that term is well established with a different meaning. I therefore propose Homeogender Surgery.
Lee Cavazos, Jr was born in San Antonio, Texas. As a child Lee was prescribed male hormones in an attempt to 'cure' gender dysphoria.
From the age of 17 Lee was searching for a physician who would help her change into a woman. At age 23 she was accepted by the University of Texas Health Science Center. Supervised by psychiatrist Paul Mohl and surgeon Donald Greer, she legally changed her name to Christie Lee Cavazos in 1977 and started female hormones. Between November 1979 and February 1980 she underwent three sessions of genital and breast surgery. She changed her Texas birth certificate.
Ten years later she travelled to Kentucky for bladder surgery after a car accident, and met Jonathan Littleton (born 1961) in a motel lobby. She told him of her past and they married in Pikeville, Kentucky. They moved back to San Antonio where she opened a beauty salon and he was a high-rise window washer.
After seven years of marriage, her husband died while under medical care after a series of injuries and blood clots. In 1999, in Littleton vs. Prang she sued the doctor who, she contended, negligently allowed her husband to die. The doctors’ defense lawyers argued that she was never married to her late husband since her Texas birth certificate, although amended to read female, originally read male, and thus could not be the widow as Texas law does not allow “same sex marriage”. The issue of medical malpractice was not addressed.
Her appeal to a higher court also failed on the same grounds. She appealed to the US Supreme Court, with attorney Phyllis Frye, but it declined to hear the case. She also lost her right to her husband’s Social Security and retirement benefits.