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!

29 October 2013

9 trans persons in the Netherlands/Flanders who changed things by example and/or achievement.

  1. Machiel Van Antwerpen (1719 – 1781) from Breda, soldier. GVWW     EN.WIKIPEDIA
  2. Colette Berends (1934 – 2012) from Zwolle, performer, beautician, fabric artist. GVWW

  3. Daniel van Oosterwijck (1944 - ) Brussels. Lawyer, appealed to European Court of Human Rights to change his ID. GVWW.
  4. Vanessa van Durme (1948 - ) From Ghent, actress. GVWW     FR.WIKIPEDIA.

  5. Max Drenth (1963 ) novelist, philosopher, lecturer at Tilburg and Radboud Universities. GVWW

  6. Veronique Renard (1965 - ) from Utrecht, writer, Buddhist, activist. GVWW    EN.WIKIPEDIA

  7. Femka Olyslager (1966 – 2009) Antwerp. Professor of Electrical Engineering. GVWW

  8. Kelly van der Veer (1980 - ) from Hilversun. Singer NL.WIKIPEDIA

  9. Valentijn Hingh (1990 - ) Amsterdam model. Vogue.IT

26 October 2013

Femke Olyslager (1966 - 2009) professor of engineering.

Frank Olyslager was born near Antwerp, and became a shy boy who escaped into science. After a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering 1993 at Ghent University, Olyslager became a Full Professor in Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics also at Ghent and wrote outstanding books in the field of electrical engineering. By this time he was married to a woman and they had two children. At age 28 Olyslager became a laureate of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Literature and Fine Arts of Belgium, and at age 38 a laureate of the Royal Flemish Academy.

Olyslager discovered Lynn Conway’s web site and was directed to the Ghent University hospital, where as Femke she was able to transition.

Femke worked with Lynn Conway on a report on the prevalence of transsexuality that argues rigourously that the 1 in 30,000 occurrence  for trans women so frequently cited cannot possibly be correct, and that the real world occurrence is probably 1-2 per 1,000.

Femke died at the age of 43 from a long-standing illness.

Olyslager has authored over 150 publications in electrical engineering.

Microsoft Academic Search(Frank)    Microsoft Academic Search(Femke)   WORLDCAT (Frank)   WORLDCAT(Femke)    Google Scholar(Frank)   Google Scholar(Femke)


It is rather shabby that Microsoft Academic, Worldcat and Google Scholar return significantly different lists for Olyslager's life work depending on whether one puts her boy name or her real name.  Do these databases do as poorly when an academic changes her name for marriage or religious reasons?

23 October 2013

(auto)biographies that are almost unobtainable


Canadian (auto)biographies
Hoax biographies
(auto)biographies that are almost unobtainable
French and Belgian (auto) biographies and Histories
Biographies with the pre-transition name in the title 
Advice Manuals I: 1957-1979
Advice Manuals II: 1980-2000
Advice Manuals III: 2001-2017
Non-Fiction Books on other topics by trans authors

There are of course hundreds, probably thousands, of trans autobiographies that have never been published.   This article is limited to those that appear to have been published, at least once, but then disappeared.

  • Angela Douglas.   Triple Jeopardy: The Autobiography of Angela Lynn Douglas.  Sneeds, Floria: Angela Lynn Douglas, 1983.
Joanne Meyerowitz claims to have a copy, and Susan Stryker says that she has seen it.   However the book is not in WorldCat, nor in Amazon nor Abe Books, unlike Angela's second book, Hollywood Obsession.  Apparently it was self-published in the true sense and sold by Angela herself by mail.  There don't seem to be copies available any more.
  • Candace Watkins writing as Carnal Candy. In the Closet with Eddie Murphy. 1997. eBook.
Lots of gossip about Eddie Murphy tricking with trans women.  Published online 1997, removed shortly after, and never seen again.
 Jamie Lee Hamilton.
  • Barbara Daniel. She’s No Lady: The Story of Jamie Lee Hamilton. Toronto: Cormorant Books Inc 300 pp 2005.
Not in Worldcat, Amazon or Abe Books - but this site says that it exists.

Eleanor wrote a second autobiography after her surgery, and a general book on sex-change surgery (she contended then that gender reversal occurs in the fetus, but in 1996 would contend that the reason was that her mother had taken fertility drugs), but they were never published.

Vicky's 900-page autobiography which ‘named names’ went missing.   MI5 was not displeased.   This was 3 years before she was murdered by being injected with a large amount of heroin.
Pamela Helen Bonert
  • Pamela Helen Bonert. Der kalifornische Alptraum oder wie ich glücklich wurde: autobiographische Geschichte mit Leitfaden für Betroffene und transidentische Menschen. Pahebo, 2001.
Not in;  not in  

19 October 2013

Garrett Oppenheim (1911 - 1995) writer, hypnotist, counselor, sexologist

Garrett or James Jr was the son of James Oppenheim more (1882 – 1932) poet, novelist and Jungian.

Garrett, a polio survivor, was a poet associated with the surrealist school in the 1930s and a short-story writer from the 1930s-50s. He married in 1947 and became a journalist for the New York Herald-Tribune, which led to him becoming acquainted with Dr Leo Wollman.

The Herald-Tribune ceased publication in 1966. Oppenheim became a hypnotist and sex counselor, operating from his home in Tappan, New York. For a while he was the associate editor of Venture, a slick travel magazine. He was then employed by Medical Economics Magazine in New Jersey to help develop a cassette tape program for medical professionals on such subjects as malpractice and office management.

Oppenheim and his second wife Fae Robin founded an organization called “Confide Consulting Service” - later "Confide Personal Counseling Services, Inc". Clients would phone their recording machine to recite their problems for up to 20 minutes, or send in a cassette tape, and get back a six or seven page reply suggesting a solution. The price was $25 ($119 in today's money). Confide became known as specializing in transvestites and put out a 54-minute cassette on the subject giving advice on hormones, make up and much else ($12=$57 in today's money). They had sold 100 by August 1974 "half of them have been to doctors and therapists". The tape concludes: "Our most valuable piece of advice for transvestites is enjoy!" Confide also published a newsletter, Transition, specifically for transvestites and transsexuals.

In 1974 Garrett told the Village Voice:
"My father was a psychoanalyst, and I've spent most of my life writing about doctor-patient relationships. In the course of my research, wandering around hospitals and talking with people in the profession, I discovered that I have a knack for counseling. Maybe it's because I had polio, but people always tended to open up to me. … There's one index to our effectiveness. We've advised more than 500 cases, and only one person asked for his fee to be returned. As it turned out, he sent back our check a week later. … Fifteen to 20 per cent of our cases were transvestites. And what they told us didn't match what the textbooks told us. We subsequently found that many TVs simply don't go to doctors."
Charles Ihlenfeld arranged for Oppenheim to have an interview with then 89-year old Harry Benjamin, who took a shine to Oppenheim and agreed (as he did for many transsexual and transvestite groups) to be listed on it’s board of directors. Oppenheim was then able to get Richard Green, John Money and Charles Ihlenfield to likewise agree.

Lynda Frank, a devout Princian ("In 2002, I escorted her [Virginia Prince] for three days at the IFGE Convention in Philadelphia and was overwhelmed with her enthusiasm, intelligence and willingness to help anyone who sought her out"), discovered Lee Brewster's Mardi Gras Emporium via an advertisement in the Village Voice, and purchased Prince's The Transvestite and His Wife. Frank's wife, who worked at a crisis hotline discovered Leo Wollman. Later Frank visited Wollman, was diagnosed as a transvestite and referred to Oppenheim's group. Eventually Frank joined the group which consisted of "transsexuals, male-to-females and female-to-males, and a few transvestites, one was Roger Peo … We were with this group about two years. For the first six months I attended by myself, during which time Garrett's wife, Fay, took me into New York City to Muriel Olive's Boutique to buy a padded girdle and a bra".

Around 1980 Oppenheim declared himself to be a psychotherapist with a PhD from the then new Columbia Pacific University, an unaccredited distance learning school in California (which was closed by court order in 2000 and it is misdemeanor in some US States to cite its degrees on a resume.) He opened an office in Hartsdale, NY. Dr Oppenheim referred trans persons to Leo Wollman, Diane Miller, MD, and endocrinologist Walter Futterweit, MD, both working on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

In 1985, Dick Teresi & Kathleen McAuliffe wrote an article for Omni magazine on the topic of male pregnancy:
"Garrett Oppenheim, a psychotherapist in Tappan, New York, says male pregnancy 'would be the most magnificent breakthrough since the sex-change program came into effect'. As director of Confide-personal Counseling Services, Inc., Oppenheim evaluates and counsels those who apply for a sex change, to help them decide whether they should undergo the necessary hormonal treatment and surgery. There are approximately 20,000 transsexuals in the world today. 'And most transsexuals want to experience womanhood in all its facets', Oppenheim says." (Teresi p181).
In 1986 Oppenheim published a paper, "The snowball effect of the 'real-life test' for sex reassignment" in which he argued against the assumption that a real-life test gives an opportunity for reversal. Rather it confirms the patient on her way.

Oppenheim was also active in past life regressions, and his prime case, mentioned in many books, is that in 1986, a woman known by the pseudonym "Monica" was regressed by Oppenheim. Monica discovered a previous existence as a man named John Ralph Wainwright who lived in the southwestern U.S. She knew that John grew up in Wisconsin, Arizona and had vague memories of brothers and sisters. As a young man he became a deputy sheriff and married the daughter of a bank president. According the Monica's "memory," John was killed in the line of duty - shot by three men he had once sent to jail - and died on July 7, 1907.

Oppenheim also used his hypnosis abilities in working with polio patients.

Garrett Oppenheim died in New Jersey at age 83.

*Not the Seattle lawyer

Oppenheim's publications not including his poetry or his journalism:
  • Image and Dust. New York: Priv. printed by the International Press, 1932.
  • "Queen for a Night". All-Story Love Stories, May 16 1936.
  • "The Goodly Portion". The Educational Portion, 2,1, 1937. "If we were once convinced of that truth, we might acquire more respect for the writers and thinkers of the past and less tendency to ridicule them shamefully for occupying a small place in our curriculum alongside of modern textbook makers who depend upon those same writers and thinkers ... "
  • "Old Style" All-Story Love Stories, Sep 5 1936.
  • "Reunion" All-Story Love Stories, Sep 12 1936.
  • "The Message" All-Story Love Stories, Jun 26 1937.
  • "The Punishing of Eddie Jungle-Spit" Liberty, May 1950, reprinted in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, August 1951.
  • "How to Make a Decision" Bluebook, Oct 1955.
  • "What Youth Can Do When Grownups Help," Parents Magazine 34, March 1959: 88-89, 125;
  • "Teen-age Drinking Can Spell Disaster". Parents' Magazine, 1961.
  • With Fae Robin. The Male Transvestite-a Confide Cassette. N.Y.,Personal Counseling Services, 1974.
  • (ed) Transition. Tappan NY: Confide – Personal Counseling Services, 1978.
  • "The snowball effect of the 'real-life test' for sex reassignment". Journal of Sex Education & Therapy, 12,2, 1986:12-14.
  • "Foreword" to Sister Mary Elizabeth. Legal Aspects of Transsexualism. J2CP Information Service, 1988. Online at: And at:
  • "Memorial for Harry Benjamin". Archives of Sexual Behavior, 17,1,1988: 6-9.
  • "For whom regression therapy is not suitable". Tasso International.
  • Who Were You Before You Were You?: The Casebook of a Past-Life Therapist. New York: Carlton Press, 1990.
  • "What do I do now?" Journal of Hypnotism, 9,1, 1994.
  • With Gwen Oppenheim. The Golden Handicap: A Spiritual Quest : a Polio Victim Asks, "Why?" and Turns His Life Around. Virginia Beach, Va: A.R.E. Press, 1993.
Other sources:

17 October 2013

Le Monocle, Paris 1932

Le Monocle was one of the first Parisian nightclubs for lesbians, located on Edgar-Quinet Boulevard in Montparnasse. The club was open from the 1920s and closed during the German occupation. Especially in its early days it attracted women who preferred male hairstyles and male clothing, some in suits and some in tuxedos. The initial owner who used the name Lulu, had the same taste.

The male photographer, Brassaï, came in 1932 and was permitted to take photographs.  Without his work we would not know about the club.

The name of the club came from the fact that a monocle had become a signifier of lesbianism in the preceding years.

Lulu on the left

It is apparent that many of the habitués of the club were what later generations would think of as trans men. Remember that they were doing this without male hormones which would not become available for another generation.
  • Marjorie Garber. "Le Monocle de me Tante" in Vested Interests: Cross-Dressing & Cultural Anxiety. New York: Routledge, 1992: 152-5.
  • Brassaï translated into English by Richard Miller. "Le Monocle". In The Secret Paris of the 30s. London: Thames & Hudson, 2001.
  • Florence Tamagne. A History of Homosexuality in Europe: Berlin, London, Paris, 1919-1939. New York: Algora, 2006:50.
  • "Le Monocle". Lost Womyn's Space, July 12, 2011.
  • "Le Monocle". The Puritan Influence, 6.06.2010.

14 October 2013

Melanie Anne Phillips (1956 - ) film-maker, story-software designer.

After a degree at the School of Cinema and Television at the University of Southern California,  directing two feature films before the age of 30: Brothers of the Wilderness, 1984, and The Strangeness, 1985, recording many hours of music, marrying as a man and fathering two children,  Melanie became involved with the International Foundation for Gender Education and worked with them to produce a VHS Tape on developing a female voice which focuses on voice resonance rather than pitch.

In 1991, Melanie took a break from film-making and, with her long-time writing partner Chris Huntley, developed the Dramatica Theory of Story, for which they had first laid the foundations while still at college together.

She also began her three-year transition that concluded with surgery with Dr Biber in Trinidad, Colorado. She kept a daily journal during transition which is available online. In 1994 she set up the first online transgender support site, and became one of the most cited advisors on developing a female voice.

After three years of full-time effort, the first version of Dramatica (Amazon reviews, WIKIPEDIA) was released. It is one of the most sophisticated software packages for fiction writers, which included a long manual, and supporting videos. Melanie also teaches courses in Dramatica theory through UCLA.

In October 2006 in an essay on her Heartcorps site, and reprinted on Gender Life Forum, she wrote:
"I've unintentionally perpetrated a great disservice.  I've given the impression the anyone can learn to sound completely female in voice as I have.  That's why I created the voice video I've been selling for about ten years.  Now, I'm not so sure. And in my diary, without ever considering an alternative, I've presented myself as just another transsexual and documented my story in the hope it might smooth the way for others.  But now I wonder if it doesn't really foster false hope. … out of all those who have sex reassignment surgery, only a very few have female minds.  All the rest, no matter how feminine they have become, have male minds - they don't just think like men, then think as men. ... After all, those who speak in a female voice are as rare as those with female minds, in my experience.  Sure, anyone can learn to be more feminine in their speaking, but to actually alter the timber of the voice so it is rich and full but female in resonance, that may be beyond the ability of the rank and file transsexual."
However she does insist:
"Now, granted, a woman born into a male body is no more entitled to sex change surgery than any man who wanted it.  And the standards that they use to determine if you can receive surgery are ignorant, outdated, and laughable, if they weren't so cruel. Honestly, SRS should be available to anyone who wants it, as long as they are certified sane.  No RLT should be required.  I don't know of a single individual (though there must be some) who determined to have the surgery and then changed their mind because of problems with RLT.  And I don't know of anyone who had the grit to go through with the surgery who didn't have what it needs to get through RLT. … Again, there is nothing better or worse about having SRS if you are of male or female mind.  And the achievements of anyone from that community who has a female mind and a collection of female physical traits may not be as heroic or laudable as it first appears.  They simply may have had more to start with and an easier path because there was less to alter. Ultimately, I think of female minded post-ops as intersexed women rather than transsexual.  In some, they are close enough to the range of normal male physical form with fully functioning testicles and no ovaries that no medical professional would class them as hermaphrodites.  And yet, possessing many of the traits above, they are truly intersexed in all ways except the reproductive organs."
On her web site Melanie describes herself as "parent of two, still married to my spouse of thirty years but living with another woman, my soul mate, for the last eight years".

Andrea James' TS Roadmap is dedicated to Melanie for her inspiration.

*Not Melanie Phillips the Daily Mail journalist who was nominated bigot of the year.
*There is no connection between Dramatica and the rude and satirical Encyclopedia Dramatica.


WorldCat dates the IFGE tape to 1980 which cannot be right as IFGE was not founded until some years later.

Melanie in 2006 seems to be proposing 2 types of transsexuals like either HSTS/Autogynephilia or HBS. However I could not find any discussion of her proposal compared to HSTS/Autogynephilia or HBS.

12 October 2013

IOS Pink List 2013

The Independent on Sunday Pink List of 101 LGBT persons who made a difference is just published.

Trans persons included:

1.  Paris Lees, Editor META magazine.

8.  Jackie Green who entered the Miss England 2012 competition, and has since become an activist.

13. Jennie Kermode and Helen Belcher of Trans Media Watch.

23.  Luke Anderson, Big Brother 2012 winner, chef.    WIKIPEDIA  

27. Sarah Brown, Cambridge Councillor and  the only out transgender politician in Britain.   WIKIPEDIA  

40. Jane Fae, journalist.  GVWW

41. CN Lester, musician, writer, activist.

43.  Tara Hewitt, chair of Wirral Conservative Future and deputy chair of Conservative Future North West.

60. Juliet Jacques, columnist and blogger,  blog longlisted for the 2011 Orwell prize.  WIKIPEDIA

61. Roz Kaveney, writer and activist. GVWW   WIKIPEDIA 

69. Natacha Kennedy, Lecturer, Goldsmiths College, co-chair of Camden LGBT Forum, sits on LGBT Labour’s national committee and is a founder member of London Trans Diversity and the Trans Teachers’ Association.

79. Lewis Hancox & Raphael Fox, after appearing in Channel 4’s My Transsexual Summer in 2011, Hancox and Fox formed My Genderation Films to make documentaries about the trans community.

96. Jay Stewart, past chair of FTM London, Co-founder, Gendered Intelligence,working on a PhD entitled “Trans on Telly: Popular Documentary and the Production of Transgender Knowledge”.

Supplementary lists.
National Treasures

April Ashley         GVWW        WIKIPEDIA

Lauren Harries   GVWW       WIKIPEDIA

Stephen Whittle                       WIKIPEDIA

Paul O'Grady/Lily Savage     GVWW       WIKIPEDIA

George O'Dowd     GVWW      WIKIPEDIA

Alice Purnell, Beaumont Society

Ones to Watch

Sophie Green, artist & illustrator  

Nicole Gibson, model   

Jo Clifford, playwright     GVWW

10 October 2013

Jo Clifford (1949–) playwright

John Clifford was born in Stoke-on-Trent. His mum died when he was young, and he was sent to a boarding school in Bristol that was sports orientated and he never fitted in, except for the school plays, where he was usually put in a girl's part. Clifford remembers getting into costume and make-up for the first time:
"It was... wow! But the second time I got terrified. I thought I must be a sick person. I was so frightened."
He read modern languages at St Andrews University (founded 1410) in Fife, where he met his life partner, Sue Innes, also an immigrant from England, who became a feminist historian and columnist for Scotland on Sunday. They lived in a commune in Fife and had two daughters.

Sue was the first person with whom Clifford discussed being transgender. While Sue was a very fierce feminist, who believed that the end of capitalism was nigh, that the nuclear family was wrong, and that it was important to live differently, she said that she was heterosexual and loved Clifford as John.

Clifford worked as bus conductor, a nurse and a yoga instructor before turning to theatre at the age of 30. In 1985 Clifford's play Losing Venice was a major hit at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre, and was invited to 21 festivals, but made it to only two. There have been many plays since, but not until 1999 did Clifford's first play about being transgender, The Night Journey, open.

Respecting Sue's feelings, Clifford expressed transgender by dressing androgynously and in writing plays, and came out to his friends at his 50th birthday. In 2002 he wrote God's New Frock, which was largely autobiographical.

Sue died in 2005 at age 56 of a brain tumour. Grief-stricken as he was, Clifford was now able to make the decision that she had put off:
“… I realised I couldn't go on living as a man. I couldn't bear people taking me for a man. I didn't want to be called Sir. I started taking hormones and a whole new life began. … I'm done and really happy. I'm not a woman but I have to pass as one because if I make it too obvious that I'm biologically male every time I walk the street I'm at risk of being insulted and abused. You wouldn't believe how appalling some people are."
Jo has also adapted Anna Karenina, Goethe's Faust and Great Expectations for the stage. Much of her work these days deals with gender identity. In 2009 her play Jesus, Queen of Heaven was staged at Glasgay! It portrayed Jesus as a trans women, with Jo playing the role herself. It was strongly condemned by various churches, which resulted in the sale of all remaining seats.  2012 saw the first production of Sex, Chips and the Holy Ghost, which features a transsexual nun and a gay priest.

Jo Clifford is the author of over 70 works in every Dramatic medium. Her work has been translated into many languages and has been performed all over the world.

She lives in Edinburgh.
"Yes, yes, I'm so lucky. The common way to look at being transgendered is to see it as a great misfortune. There is a lot of suffering and I wouldn't wish it on my own worst enemy. But there's a fantastic richness and it's enabled me to live. Since coming out, it's such fun, I can't tell you."

08 October 2013

Lee Si-yeon 이시연 (1979 - ) model, actress.

Lee dae-hak was educated at the Daejeon University Fashion Design Department, and first made a name as a male model. He was known for a feminine appearance and wearing women's clothing on the catwalk – the first model to do so in South Korea.

Lee appeared in the films My Boss, My Hero (2001) and Sex Is Zero (2002), providing comic relief in effeminate male roles. However he felt pressured into cutting his hair and building up muscle.

This led to several suicide attempts, and then Lee resolved the issue by deciding to become a woman. She took the given name Si-yeon, and had genital surgery in 2007.

She returned to acting later that year in the sequel Sex Is Zero 2, with her character from the original film now also a transsexual. Lee publicly announced her change prior to the release of the film, was apprehensive about the reaction from audiences, but it went well.


05 October 2013

Leo Wollman (1914 – 1998) gynecologist, hypnotist, sexologist.

Original March 2007; revised October 2013; 1st paragraph revised December 2019 with information from Wollman's step-granddaughter.

Leo Wollman lived almost his entire life on Mermaid Avenue, Coney Island, Brooklyn, except for his medical education in Edinburgh. He married in 1936, and he and his wife, Eleanor, frequently travelled back and forth to Scotland for a few years. Eleanor sailed home in September 1939 as war broke out, but Leo stayed in Scotland until 1942. ++They had two sons Arthur (1943 - 2019) who became a urologist in San Diego, and Bryant who became a mailman.  Arthur in turn has a son who also became a doctor. In the mid-1950s Eleanor died, and Leo remarried and adopted his new wife's daughter.

Leo became a gynecologist at the Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn. He was also a hypnotist and interested in psychosomatic dentistry. In some newspaper accounts he is described as a psychiatrist.

Wollman (right) at a Hypnosis Conference in Mainz, 1970.
On July 31, 1961 Wollman, in his role as a hypnotist, appeared in a television discussion re the use of the then new pacemaker. He was head of the New York Society of Clinical and Experimental Hypnotism.

In the mid-1960s Wollman became an associate of Harry Benjamin, and they shared a practice. Wollman started running a group session where transsexuals could meet and exchange ideas and experiences. He also used hypnosis to determine whether a transsexual was authentic.

In Benjamin's 1966 book, The Transsexual Phenomenon, Wollman is described as a "noted gynecologist and student of hypnosis". He is quoted and what he said is found at the bottom of this article.

In December 1966 Dr Carl Coppolino, anesthesiologist and hypnotist, was on trial for the murder of his lover's husband. The now jilted lover claimed that Coppolino hypnotized her into injecting her husband with succinylcholine which caused a heart attack. Leo Wollman testified that under hypnosis:
"It's impossible to have a subject do something they feel they are morally unable to do". 
Coppolino was acquitted, but four months later he was convicted of murdering his own wife by an injection of succinylcholine. He served 12½ years.

WBI Boston 1968 with Dr Leo Wollman.  Presenter Bob Kennedy
In 1968 Wollman was phoned from Toronto by Dianna Boileau, and arranged for a local doctor to prescribe female hormones for her. Also that year he was in the WBI Boston television channel with Virginia Prince. On September 19, 1969 he was on the Phil Donahue television show to discuss transsexual operations.

Wollman contributed a paper on post-operative care of the neo-vagina to Richard Green & John Money's 1969 book, Transsexualism and Sex-Reassignment.

In 1970 he flew up to Toronto for the release of Dianna Boileau's autobiography. He rather dominated the event and predicted that transsexual women would be able to become pregnant within 10 years. At this time he claimed 110 sex change patients with only one case of regret. He estimated 5 male-to-females for each female-to-male.

In the early 1970s he was President of The American Society of Psychosomatic Dentistry and Medicine.

Lyn Raskin's 1971 autobiography, Diary of a Transsexual uses the pseudonym "Dr Len Williams" for Dr Wollman. He sent her to Dr Burou in Casablanca for surgery. A few years later Wollman's patients were having surgery in the New York area, at Yonkers Hospital, by plastic surgeons Benito Rish and David Wesser. Eventually both Rish and Wesser had their licenses lifted by the state medical board, although their work with transsexuals was not cited as the reason.

Another associate of Wollman was Garrett Oppenheim, a cis-heterosexual who had previously been a journalist on the New York Herald-Tribune. He then became a hypnotist and sex counselor. He and his wife sold counseling cassette-tapes, ran an organization for transsexuals called Confide, and published an associated newsletter called Transition.

In 1971 the Erickson Educational Foundation sponsored the production of a 28-minute documentary, I am Not This Body, which featured a discussion in the EEF office between Zelda Suplee, Leo Wollman, two trans women and actress Pamela Lincoln (who was purportedly seeking information about transsexuals). Suplee and Wollman had previously known each other through their mutual interest in hypnosis.  Around this time Suplee introduced Wollman to the exploitation film director, Doris Wishman, who was interested in making a film about transsexuals.

In 1973 Wollman published an article advocating female circumcision as a cure for frigidity.

Wollman was an associate of Michael Salem, the cis-heterosexual who ran a boutique in New York and a mail-order service for transvestites. Wollman advised re colors and lingerie styles. He also helped Salem write his 1973 book How to Impersonate a Woman. He then sent copies to what he called "the clown-transvestites": Milton Berle, Tony Curtis, Johnny Carson, Flip Wilson, George Burns, Jack Benny.

In 1977 Renee Richards was obliged to go to court to establish her right to play in women's tennis. Both her surgeon Dr Roberto Granato and Dr Wollman testified on her behalf. Wollman stated that he had treated over 1,700 transsexual patients and that
"It is his view that Dr. Richards should be considered a female... despite the fact that the chromosomes may appear to be that of a man, if she has the external genital appearance, the internal organ appearance, gonadal identity, endocrinological makeup and psychological and social development of a female, she would be considered a female by any reasonable test of sexuality."

From 1971 Wollman had been working with Doris Wishman (1912 – 2001) one of the very few female exploitation film directors of her generation. Their joint project/film first came out as Adam or Eve, 1971, but was later recut with additional footage and released in 1978 under the title Born A Man... Let Me Die A Woman. Cinematography was done by Casa Susanna regular Andrea Susan Malick.  It was advertised, misleadingly, as: 'All true! All real! See a man become a woman before your eyes'. In a cross between a documentary and pornography, Dr Wollman, who reminds us of his MD, his PhD and his DD, shows us scenes where a transsexual explains that she will get a womb transplant and have a baby; dramatized scenes where trans women pick up men for sex; gory close-ups of vaginoplasty; dramatized suicides and self-castrations. Incorrect biological explanations are given, e.g. that homosexuality and transsexuality are both the result of incorrect development of glands. The film contains footage from Wishman's previous films, and has continuity errors. The credits are misleading: only some of the real trans women are listed; porn star Harry Reems (who did not know that he was in the film) is listed as Tim Long; porn star Vanessa del Rio is not listed at all. It was banned in the UK. Kleinhans argues that the reels are in the wrong order, and that Wishman "constantly undermines the doctor's discourse of tolerance with footage that presents transsexuals as freaks and staged episodes that exploit transsexualism for sensationalistic effect". However there is no record of Wollman disassociating himself from the film or complaining about Wishman's final cut. Wishman was quoted in Psychotronic Video 26.:
Wollman in Let me Die a Woman
“I found the transsexuals to be very sad and lonely people. Because of that, I paid them more than anyone else, to ease my conscience, I guess. I didn’t want to think that I was exploiting them, although I really wasn’t. They were all very happy to be in the film.” 
There is a paperback tie-in to the film by MJ Lucas (who may be either Wishman or Wollman).

In 1979 Rosalyne Blumenstein, then 15 but claiming to be 16, took the bus and train out to Mermaid Avenue to see who she describes as "a sweet little old doctor" who gave her a bottle of Provera. However she never went back.

Along with Paul A. Walker, Ph.D., Jack C. Berger, MD., Richard Green, MD., Donald R. Laub, M.D., Charles L. Reynolds, Jr., M.D., Wollman was a co-author of the first Harry Benjamin Standards of Care which was approved at the Sixth International Gender Dysphoria Symposium, San Diego,California, February 1979.

Dr Leo Wollman died in 1998, aged 84. His widow donated his papers and other material to Transy House which established the Wollman Archives of Transgender History and Culture.

The 1999 article by Teresi & McAuliffe claims that Wollman treated 2,800 transsexuals, and that he hormonally primed one of his patients to breastfeed his own child. The patient was still with her wife and they took turns feeding the child.

*Not the economist

Wollman's publications:
  • "Hypnosis in Weight Control". American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 4,3,1962: 177-180. DOI:10.1080/00029157.1962.10401892.
  • "How Prenancy Tests Work". Sexology: Modern Guide to Sex Knowledge, 31, March 1964.
  • "Hypnosis for the Surgical Patient". American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 7,1,1964: 83-5. DOI: 10.1080/00029157.1964.10402397.
  • "A Brief Note on the Origin of the Psychoprophylactic Method (PPM) in Obstetrics." American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 7.1,1964: 85-86.
  • Quoted in Harry Benjamin. The Transsexual Phenomenon. New York: Julian Press, 1966. New York: Warner Books Edition 1977: 161-2 Online at: and at
  • "Brief statistics on female adolescents." Journal of Sex Research 2.1,1966: 25-26.
  • "In contrast to the schizoid, the normal individual maintains his unity and identity through the strength of his impulses and feelings. The difference in the two conditions can be contrasted diagrammatically in terms of impulse formation and muscular activity. Collapse of schizoid rigidity plunges the individual into a schizophrenic." Fertility and Sterility 17.2,1966: 273-277.
  • "Transsexualism: Gynecological Aspects".  Transactions of the New York Academy of Sciences, 29: 463, 1967. doi: 10.1111/j.2164-0947.1967.tb02280.x
  • "Surgery for the Transsexual." Journal of Sex Research 3.2,1967: 145-147.
  • "Abstracts of Current Literature." American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 11.2, 1968: 132-134.
  • "Office Management of the Postoperative Male Transsexual". In Richard Green & John Money (ed). Transsexualism and Sex-Reassignment. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1969.
  • "Hooded Clitoris: Preliminary Report". Journal of American Psychosomatic Dentistry and Medicine,20, 1973: 3-4.
  • "Female Circumcision". Journal of American Psychosomatic Dentistry and Medicine, 20, 1974: 130-1.
  • "The Effect of Deviate Behavior on a Marriage". Osteopathic Physician, 41,5, 1974: 111.
  • "Nonverbal communication for prevention of mental illness." Journal of the American Society of Psychosomatic Dentistry & Medicine, 22,2,1975: 51.
  • With Paul A. Walker, Ph.D., Jack C. Berger, MD., Richard Green, MD., Donald R. Laub, M.D. & Charles L. Reynolds, Jr., M.D. Standards of Care: The hormonal and surgical sex reassignment of gender dysphoric persons. The Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, Inc. 1979. Online at:
  • With Erwin DiCyan, George Goldberg & Arthur Hastings. "Holistic approaches to oral health and dentistry". Health for the whole person: the complete guide to holistic medicine (1980): 333.
  • With Laurence Lotner. Eating Your Way to a Better Sex Life: The Complete Guide to Sexual Nutrition. Pinnacle Books, 1983.
Other sources:
  • "Coppolino May Take Stand: The Defense Rests". The Norwalk Hour, Dec 14, 1966. Online at:,3405220.
  • Kathleen Rex. "Canada's first sex-swapper asks for understanding: Doctor sees day coming when transplants will enable fathers to become mothers". The Globe and Mail. Sept 16, 1970.
  • Lyn Raskin. Diary of a Transsexual, Olympia Press, 1971.
  • Dianna as told to Felicity Cochrane, with an Introduction by Leo Wollman. Behold, I Am a Woman. New York: Pyramid Books, 1972.
  • Michael Salem. How to Impersonate a Woman; A Handbook for the Male Transvestite. NY: M. Salem Enterprises, 1973.
  • Jack O'Brien.  Schenectady Gazette, 2 Nov 1973
  • "Richards v. US Tennis Assn". Leagle, August 16, 1977.
  • Doris Wishman (dir). Born A Man... Let Me Die A Woman. Hosted by Leo Wollman, with trans persons Leslie, Lisa Carmelle, Deborah Harte, Ann Zordi, and porn stars Harry Reem, Angel Spirit and Vanessa del Rio. Scientific and medical advisor: Dr Leo Wollman. US 78 mins 1978.
  • M.J. Lucas. Let Me Die A Woman: The Why and How of Sex-Change Operations. New York: Rearguard Productions. 1978. The book that goes with the film. Leo Wollman consulted.
  • Thomas Waugh. "Medical Thrills: Born A Man... Let Me Die A Woman". The Body Politic, 49, Dec 1978-Jan 1979: 41-2. Reprinted in The Fruit Machine: Twenty Years of Writings on Queer Cinema. Durham (N.C.): Duke university press, 2000.: 72-3.
  • Dick Teresi & Kathleen McAuliffe. ""Male Pregnancy"Omni, 8, 1985. Reprinted in Patrick D Hopkins (ed), Sex/Machine: Readings in Culture, Gender, and Technology. Indiana University Press, 1999. 
  • F. Hodges. "A Short History of the Institutionalization of Involuntary Sexual Mutilation in the United States" in George C. Denniston & Marilyn Fayre Milos (eds). Sexual Mutilations; A Human Tragedy. Springer, 1997: 32.
  • Joanne Meyerowitz. How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States. Cambridge, Ma, London: Harvard University Press, 2002: 214, 216, 222, 227, 252.
  • Rosalyne Blumenstein,. Branded T. 1st Books Library, 2003: 70. 
  • Michael J. Bowen.  " 'StrangerHer': The Peculiar Saga of Let Me Die a Woman".  Booklet included in Synapse DVD release of Let Me Die a Woman, 2005. 
  • Tania Modleski "Women's Cinema as Counterphobic Cinema: Doris Wishman as the Last Auteur"; Chuck Kleinhans "Pornography and Documentary: Narrating the Alibi" in Jeffrey Sconce. Sleaze Artists: Cinema at the Margins of Taste. Duke University Press, 2007:60-2, 112-4, 119.
  • SJ Parker. Emails to Zagria, 22,28 September 2013.
Apparently 'Wishman' is Doris' birth name, and there is no implication from it of her being transgender.

What should we make of Dr Leo Wollman?  Was he a second Harry Benjamin who helped almost 3,000 transsexuals on their way, or was he a hypnotist conman who associated with dubious practioners and took the patients whom Benjamin was unsure about.   Or was he a mixture of the two.  His involvement with Doris Wishman in producing a film that is best regarded as camp has not helped his reputation.  Either way there were no eulogies after his death as there were for Benjamin.   His publications are mainly short, and there is no biography of him.

The Carl Cappolino trial was in December 1966.   18 months later Robert Kennedy was assassinated, purportedly by  Sirhan Sirhan.   This assassination is frequently cited as a hypnotic subject being compelled to kill.  Philip H. Melanson's. The Robert F. Kennedy Assassination: New Revelations on the Conspiracy and Cover-Up, 1968-1991.  S.P.I. Books, 1994 actually quotes Leo Wollman on the topic as ironic background while arguing for the opposite.

Female circumcision is, among other reasons, condemned in that it, far from curing frigidity, removes the clitoris and thus any possibility of sexual pleasure.

The Wollman quote in Benjamin's The Transsexual Phenomenon is:
"Before irrevocable surgery makes the transition from male to female physically permanent, it is essential that a psychiatric evaluation and a psychological examination be done. This is indicated for the protection of the physician as well as the patient. Also a period of observation under estrogen therapy to reduce libido and tension is recommended.
It is suggested, as an avant garde technique, that hypnotic progression might be an important asset in the true evaluation of the transsexual's needs and aspirations. This projection into the future may, in some cases, dispel certain faulty attitudes and provide the faltering future female with second thoughts before definitive surgery.
Following the preparatory estrogen hormone therapy to provide breast tissue and decrease the male libidinous feelings, the transsexual embarks upon a new life immediately after the surgical removal of the external male sexual apparatus and the creation of a functional vaginal sheath. Many varying surgical procedures have been divised and are being carried out with equivocal results. However, in those cases where medicine and surgery have successfully created a phenotypic female, the "gynecological" problems of the male-to-female individual merit special attention.
For this patient, patient understanding and gentle treatment are necessary. The most frequent complaint after the operation, excluding the painful convalescence, is urinary frequency usually due to a urethro-cystitis. Antibiotic treatment will effect a rapid surcease from the disquieting urinary signs and symptoms.
A rather unusual urinary complaint is the control of the direction of the urine stream flowing from the urethra. If the urethral opening remains high, the flow will run over the rim of the toilet seat. This messy condition may be prevented by adjusting the tilt of the pelvis to permit the urine to flow into the bowl.
Another common complaint is the inability of the transsexual (now a female) to consummate sexual intercourse. This may be due to many factors. Notable among these are 1) an artistic vagina, 2) a narrow introits, 3) a thin vaginorectal septum, 4) an insufficiently lubricated vaginal canal, 5) vaginal bleeding from the apex of the freshly scarred vaginal pouch after vigorous coitus.
Treatment for these aforementioned dyspareunic states will vary with the condition found. Simple hygienic measures, proper lubrication methods, new coital techniques, dilatation by means of a Kelly aluminum dilator or a bakelite Young's dilator or a solid plastic mold worn with a flattened superior surface to protect the urethral passage, and sensible advice usually meted out to newly-weds are some of the physical and psychophysiological treatments found effective.
Above all, it is imperative for the gynecologist to regard his patient as a "female" - as "she" so rightly deserves to be considered after the lengthy and costly efforts to become a physical female. A great deal of research is indicated by the medical and psychological investigators before more consistent help can be offered to these male transsexuals, now ostensibly functioning females. The Harry Benjamin Foundation is now actively engaged in a research program of this type."

03 October 2013

Geraldine Portica (189? - ?) chamber maid.

“Geraldine Portica — This is not a girl, but a boy, who was reared by his mother as a girl and has always dressed as a girl and went to school as a girl and has never associated with any one else but girls and was employed as a chamber maid on 6th St. when arrested, he is a native of Mexico and speaks several languages, his English with the Spanish accent, he is now waiting to be deported to Mexico by the U.S. Gov. Dec. 27th, 1917.
From the files of the San Francisco Police Department

01 October 2013

Tadhg MacCrossan (1958 - ) druid.

Cross was raised in Calgary, New Orleans and then Dallas. Cross grew up to become a woman, Teresa Cross.

In her 20s Teresa was introduced to the "Irish Literary Renaissance" of the early twentieth century, and to Irish music. She was one of the members of the founding board of the Southwest Celtic Music Association in the early 1980s.

Cross became associated with Dianic Wiccans in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but, disappointed with Wicca, she was curious to learn about the beliefs of her Celtic ancestors. While studying English at the University of Texas in Dallas, she took courses in Linguistics, Mythology and Indo-European comparative mythology. She corresponded with Emmon Bodfish in the 1980s. She started using the Gaelic form of her name: Teresa NicanChrosain.

She was persuaded to write The Sacred Cauldron:Secrets of the Druidusing the pen name of Tadhg MacCrossan (which was taken by several reviewers to be a male name). This was the first Celtic Reconstructionist book. It explained the Indo-European origins of Celtic pre-Christian religion. It was criticized for not conforming to the standard feminist pagan lines, and condemned as right wing without any consideration of Cross' actual politics.

She has exchanged ideas with Hindus and Germanicists. Teresa now lives in Fort Worth and is a student of the Vedic and Vedantic literature.

The biography in Amazon (quite likely submitted by MacCrossan herself) is evasive as to when she transitioned.  I assume that it must be before she joined Zsuzsanna Budapest’s Diana Wicca which rejects both men and known trans women.  (See also Ruth Barrett).

However several reviews and comments on Tadhg’s books are written as if the reviewer takes her to be male.