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28 February 2015

Georgina Turtle's typology of transvestists and transsexualists

Part I: dentist and surgeon-lieutenant
Part II: wife and author
Part III:  Turtle’s typology

In Chapter 5 "Basic Types of Cases" in Over the Sex Border, the following typology is proposed. Remember that the author was writing in 1962. In each of the eight cases a sketch of a corresponding person is offered. With one exception, they are referred to by a letter incrementing from A to G, with the honorific that seems appropriate to Turtle:, Mr, Miss etc. Turtle says that each sketch is of one person with identification details removed.

Note: 'homosexual' = a trans woman interested in men, or a trans man interested in women. This was the almost universal usage in 1962, and has been retained by a few reactionaries and contrarians such as Ray Blanchard and Kay Brown.

A. The Immature type
Mr A, 25 and in catering, subject all his life to over-doting parents, no associates of his own age and sheltered from the outside world. No sexual experience and no opportunities to cross dress.

B. The Aesthetic type
A sensitivity of feeling, a desire of everything that is fine and clean, a love of music and the arts. A disassociation of all fine things from masculinity. A feeling that one cannot express finer emotions and remain masculine. A man's life is shallow and superficial while femininity represents purity, cleanliness, finesse, charm and gracefulness, gentleness and beauty. These transsexualists are intelligent and well-educated, and are successful in passing as male. They can be talked out of transition if the illogicality of associating aesthetic characteristics with womanhood is forcefully brought home. Mr B, 34, engineer, an only child raised by his father to avoid aesthetic and beautiful things. He spent good money so that his female clothes were just right. After a period on female hormones, he reverted to male after realizing that his female state would be less than perfect.

C. The Oedipus type
Identify with their mother, and are antagonistic to their father. Mr C, 44, chemical processing executive. His desire to cross-dress is repressed by his fear of ridicule, and when he does, he quickly burns the items afterwards.

D. The Homosexual type
Unlike the above, this type has friends, and does not feel guilty about cross-dressing, and often will reach a stage of being a man only for work. Many work as female impersonators, and transition earlier. Mr D, 42, engineer, served in the forces, taken for a girl as a child and overcompensated by being good at rugby and cricket. Attracted to men but rejects homosexuality. Has been to many doctors, and has started living as female, though unable to obtain surgery.

E. The Anti-Social type
Turtle sees this as a variation on the Homosexual type. They are selfish and cowardly, and desire to be female in that things must be easier for females. They want to be pampered and looked after without having to work hard. They enjoy the pleasure of fooling people by their appearance, and are exhibitionists. Often they will abandon wife and children to live full-time as female, and have fantasies about becoming prostitutes. Mr E, 56, married with several children, has lived on and off as a woman for much of his life, and has obtained a female National Insurance card. Has made no effort to seek treatment. Has been arrested for theft.

no letter The Glandular type
Glandular, that is endocrinal imbalances, result in a man in his twenties who does not shave, or a woman with a muscular physique and hirsutism. Of those so affected, only few become transsexualists. However for those few, the adoption of a cross-sex role comes easily. Those born boys often take up work as a female impersonator, but move on to a sex change, and afterwards desire marriage. Those who manage to obtain female hormones early avoid the male secondary sexual characteristics, and have less past to leave behind them. Turtle, however, cautions: "Nevertheless, it must be remembered that however much justification these individuals might appear to have they are no less biologically of the sex they were born, and can still only be called transsexualists. We are not therefore speaking here of someone who is intersexual."

F. The Basic Female transsexualist
Turtle admits that there should be a corresponding typology for female-born transsexualists, "Nevertheless, all cases known to the writer had intimate female partners, suggesting that most were probably homosexually oriented." There was no significant loneliness or need for secrecy. Miss F, 25, an only child, wanted to be a boy from childhood. Since the age of 18 has sought help from doctors, but with no success. Has had a female companion for many years.

G. The Intersexual group
In true intersexuality "sexual ambiguity is caused by a conflict of the biological factors affecting development, and, in contrast to transsexualists who often prove the normality of their sexual function, intersexes are often both physically and sexually immature and may indeed be sterile". However "intersexes may continue through life quite happy in their sex of rearing, regardless of their 'true' sex". Miss G, 37, realised from early years that her interests and feelings were those of a girl. "In spite of her inner feelings there was never any question of wanting to dress up or resort to transvestism, and it was only when she was eventually obliged to see a sexologist that her physical intersexual state was revealed."

  • A is not a type, but rather a stage or phase. One wants to know where the person is 10 or 20 years later. Obviously he needs to build his own life away from his parents.
  • B's reasons of aesthetics and purity are a type of fantasy, but remember that the time is 1962, and for most people it was still impossible to talk about transsexuality. I suspect a displacement of narrative, but until he can talk about what he really wants and feels, perhaps he should not transition. Probably some conversations with women about what being a woman is really like may be useful.
  • It is not said that C is married, or even that he is heterosexual, but he certainly does not seem to be gay. Is this the entry for heterosexual transvestites? It seems to be less that it should be. Surely the 'heterosexual' type should be more definite?
  • Homosexual transvestists are described as early transitioners, guilt-free and often female impersonators. But the description of D is of a man who has rejected homosexuality. Surely he is in the wrong section.
  • E, the anti-social 'homosexual' is the only example here to have a wife and children, and the only suggestion of 'homosexuality' is 'his desire to meet up with a man friend'. This is too vague. The exhibitionism and lack of consideration may match Turtle's stereotype of a gay man, but in actuality are as likely to be found among heterosexuals.
  • So we do not have a fleshed-out example of a gynephilic transvestite/transsexual, and the two examples nominated as 'homosexual' are neither in contact with the gay scene nor have a male lover/husband. Perhaps Turtle had not really thought through what 'homosexual' and 'heterosexual' really mean.
  • The 'glandular type' is based on an assumption. Turtle says that when they are still men, they are termed 'pretty boy' or 'baby face'. These persons are sometimes known as 'natural beauties'. Turtle gives no example for this type, but of course one was in the news a lot in the early 1960s, and had a church wedding two years before Turtle/Somerset did. That person is Coccinelle.
  • Elsewhere Turtle/Somerset has said: "Less than a few percent of transsexuals are true or primary transsexuals. These are generally the lonely, sensitive, asexual types of transsexual". Are we to assume that this group is the same as the 'glandular type'? If not, where are they in this typology?
  • Turtle's insistence that glandular imbalance is not a type of intersex is not shared by OII and ISNA. She is painting herself into a corner by not having 'true transsexualists' other than the glandular type.
  • The one group that is definitely 'homosexual' in the inverted way that Turtle used the term is the one she calls the 'basic female transsexualist' – what we would refer to as trans men. They have experience of the lesbian scene, and most have female lovers. As to her assumption that almost all "female transsexualists" are such, she should have paid more attention to the first surgical trans man who was outed in the press in 1958: Michael Dillon.
  • Turtle regarded herself as intersex and as not a transsexualist, even though she knew that most intersex persons stay with the sex of rearing. The positioning of 'basic female transsexualist' in between the 'glandular type' and the 'intersexual group' is odd until you realise that Turtle is putting the maximum distance between herself and any type of male-born transsexualist. She also claims that she has actually "changed sex", but that this would be impossible for a transsexualist.
  • Miss G is the only one example in the chapter who is referred to by the pronoun and the honorific of their gender identity. She is the only post-op person considered.
  • Is Miss G a sketch of Georgina Turtle? The not having a letter associated with the 'glandular type', and then putting the 'basic female transsexualist' in between the 'glandular type' and the 'intersexual group' result in the letter for the 'intersexual group' being G. Also Miss G has Georgina's age, and the description certainly seems to fit.
Primary and Secondary Transsexuals
Turtle/Somerset uses the term 'true or primary transsexuals'. In 1963 she was ahead of the game, but the boundaries between primary and secondary slid back and forth over the next few decades.

Harry Benjamin had two kinds of 'true transsexual', moderate and high intensity, the former being 4-6 on the Kinsey scale, and the latter 6 only. Thus they are both androphilic.

Robert Stoller also regarded the ‘homosexual early transitioner’ as Primary.

On the other hand, Ethel Person & Lionel Ovesey, writing in 1974, agreed with Turtle. They designated a Primary Transsexual as one who is functionally asexual and who progresses resolutely toward a surgical resolution without significant deviation toward either homosexuality or heterosexuality. They defined two types of Secondary Transsexual: 1) one who is a homosexual and effeminate from early childhood into adulthood. 2) transvestitic transsexualism.

In 1978 the Archives of Sexual Behavior published a paper by Virginia Prince in which she proposed that the only true transsexuals are asexual, socially-inadequate men who would function better as women, as "less is expected of women". She presumed that bisexuals (2,3,4 on the Kinsey scale) of their nature do not become transsexuals. She also proposed two kinds of 'pseudotranssexual' based on sexual orientation: 1) The preoperative homosexual group (Kinsey 5,6) gave much higher scores on all questions dealing with sex and lower scores on those questions dealing with gender, 2) those in the heterosexual group (Kinsey 1,2) gave high scores to gender type questions and much lower scores on the sex type questions.

A decade later Ray Blanchard redistributed the types; he conflated the 'homosexual' transsexual and the early transitioner as Primary, while putting the asexuals with the 'heterosexuals' and bisexuals as autogynephilic. In fact he came up with a neologism: analloerotic which means sex but not with other people because he wanted to regard these people as autogynephilic.


It was of course prejudice that Turtle's book was cold-shouldered because she was a dentist and because she had changed sex herself. However Benjamin's book of three years later is a better book and has a more coherent typology. Not that there are not problems with Benjamin's typology, but it is a better starting point for later discussions.

It is annoying in Georgina's autobiography that she thinks that she is a real sex change and that the rest of us are not. In a typology chapter in a book with pretensions of science it is more than annoying. It is quite objectional.

Apart from her personal ego trip, her typology is incoherent in that heterosexual transvestites, the largest group by numbers, are merely suggested under the heading 'Oedipal', and the only example cited is such a beginner.

It is weird that the only male-born examples with a wife and children is designated 'homosexual', and that the other 'homosexual' is so homophobic. There were androphilic trans women in the 1950s. It was a difficult time to be so, but several in the UK are recorded in Kris Kirk's Men in Frocks.

  • Georgina Turtle. "Basic Types of Cases" in Over the Sex Border. Victor London: Gollancz, 1963: Chp 5.
  • Harry Benjamin. The Transsexual Phenomenon. New York: Julian Press, 1966. New York: Warner Books Edition 1977: 36-7.
  • Robert Stoller. Sex and Gender. London: Hogarth, 1968. ‘Homosexual early transitioner’ came to be the more accepted usage for Primary.
  • Ethel Person & Lionel Ovesey. "The transsexual syndrome in males. I. Primary transsexualism". American Journal of Psychotherapy, 28, 1974; 174-193.
  • Ethel Person & Lionel Ovesey. "The transsexual syndrome in males. II. Secondary transsexualism". American Journal of Psychotherapy, 28, 1974; 4-20.
  • Virginia Prince. "Transsexuals and Pseudotranssexuals", Archives of Sexual Behavior, 7, 4, 1978: 263-272.
  • Robert Stoller. "Gender identity disorders". In H I Kaplan, A M Freedman & B J Sadock (eds). Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 3rd ed., Vol. 2. Williams & Wilkins, 1980.
  • Ray Blanchard. "The classification and labeling of nonhomosexual gender dysphorias" . Archives of Sexual Behavior, 18, 1989: 315-334.
  • Anne Vitale. “Primary and Secondary Transsexualism--Myths and Facts”., 2000.

25 February 2015

Georgina Somerset (1923–2013) Part II: wife and author.

Part I: dentist and surgeon-lieutenant
Part II: wife and author
Part III:  Turtle’s typology

Several of the medical men in London had suggested to Georgina that she write her autobiography, but what she did produce was a study based on those transsexuals who had contacted her. This involved a detailed knowledge of 30 of the transsexuals (one of whom was the future Jan Morris) and lesser knowledge of 100 others. The book was published in 1963, under her maiden name, as Over the Sex Border, with a Foreword by Kenneth Walker.

This was three years before Harry Benjamin's book, and thus is the first ever on the topic. It is summarized as the last 30 pages of her 1991 autobiography.  She says that she is not a transsexual, and that surgery should be only for intersex persons and those transsexuals under 25 who have never married or had children.
"Less than a few percent of transsexuals are true or primary transsexuals. These are generally the lonely, sensitive, asexual types of transsexual" (p82).
She refers to trans women as male transsexuals.
"The sad part is that, however permissive society becomes, these cases will always have to accept that biologically and organically they are really no more than feminised males or masculinised females, and will forever remain, regardless of their altered anatomy, of the male or female sex to which they were born. (72)".
However she does balance this with:
"There are still some to-day known to me of that era who were repeatedly turned away, heartbroken and suicidal, and yet who have managed to struggle on trying to do 'the right thing' and maintain the respect of society. For them the magical dream of being a young girl has gone for ever – they never wanted to be old women! They banged at the door and it creaked a little, making it easier for the next, but they themselves never 'made it' through. It is these less fortunate unknowns, not just the well known cases, that transsexuals have to thank to-day for the recognition given to the syndrome. (p97)"
While Over the Sex Border is included in Richard Green's bibliography to Harry Benjamin's The Transsexual Phenomena, Benjamin himself, in the main text, completely ignores it. Similarly, John Randell's Sexual Variations, 1973 lists the book but never refers to it.

Mrs Somerset wrote a letter to the British Medical Journal in 1966, to note that a leading article on transsexuality failed to mention her book, and concluded: "It is interesting that most if not all medical studies [on transsexualism] have been made by men. (p67)"

Attention drawn to this letter led to her being invited to appear in a BBC Horizon program on "Sex Change" prompted by the withdrawal of the Press sisters from international athletics. This was the first appearance of a "sex changeling" person on a medical program on British television. She gave up a day in her surgery, cancelling a full appointment book, to go to Television Centre, and gave a forty-minute filmed interview. However only a minute of her interview was broadcast, and she was afterwards informed that she had said more than the BBC was prepared to screen.

In January 1969, a medical article in the doctors' weekly newspaper, Pulse International, compared her to Christine Jorgensen as being transsexual,
"implying that I was homosexual, would have had breast implants, electrolysis and was probably not legally married, I had no choice but to instigate libel proceedings for, indeed, all these premises were totally false" (p44).
The proceedings continued for two years, during which Justice Roger Ormrod ruled in Corbett v. Corbett against the femaleness of April Ashley. However Georgina was not deterred, and even sent a copy of her book to Justice Ormrod, and he wrote back:
"you and I have arrived independently at the same conclusions as to the legal position".
She submitted medical reports and underwent blood tests and other medical examinations. For the first time she discovered her chromosomal constitution: mosaic XO/XY. If she had lost she would have been forced into bankruptcy. However two days before the scheduled hearing, the defendants offered an apology based on Georgina's medical records, and a statement was read in the High Court by her barrister, Leon Brittan (later a controversial minister in Thatcher's cabinet and posthumously famous for losing a detailed dossier on child abuse by prominent men).

Shortly after that Georgina ceased taking artificial oestrogens.

In 1983, at age 60 she applied for a state pension, only to find that the National Insurance database still had her down as a man. However she was able to point out that she had been legally female since 1960, and was granted the pension.

In 1989 Mrs Somerset wrote to the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, in reply to an article by the recently deceased Charles Armstrong, and made the point:
"If male transsexualists are BORN with a female brain, one would not expect their average age to be 35 years and many to have married and fathered children. … Moreover, they lack the vital formative years in their desired role and have a past from which there is no escape, even in dreams."
She cited Charles Socarides with approval:
"You don't change the body to conform to anything and, after the operation, the patient remains what he or she was born and the psychic problems are the same or worse",
and continued:
"By 1962 I had studied nearly 300 cases, and it became apparent that most were psychologically disturbed in more than the sexual plane. Not only do they convince themselves that their 'sex-change' is real but will lie, cheat and even falsify documents to gain their ends. However sympathetic, we cannot ignore the moral and social issues. Wives commit suicide, children are left fatherless, and all responsibilities are disregarded in their quest. … If we are to allow some form of modified birth certificate on compassionate grounds it should be granted only to those under 25 years who have never married or had children."
The next year she wrote, again to the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine,
"These true transsexuals are rare, often asexual and although popular, usually lonely sensitive souls, and its is these who primarily deserve our pity and time-consuming help. However, large numbers of homosexuals, antisocials, exhibitionists and perverts have for some time been jumping onto the transsexual bandwagon, bringing the subject and the medical profession into disrepute. These are more aptly trans-homo-sexuals, often having their partners at their side when having surgery, many afterwards becoming prostitutes." (quoted p74).
Georgina, 1990
In 1991 she did publish her autobiography, (from which most of the above is taken) under her married name. The book contains a Forward by Grant Williams, the urological surgeon who resigned from Charing Cross Hospital in 1988 in protest against wasting hospital resources on transsexuals: he iterates that sex cannot be changed, and that the vast majority of transsexuals are totally unsuitable for surgery. The book also includes a reprint of Over the Sex Border (changing the spelling from 'transexual' to 'transsexual').

In response to a review of her autobiography in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine Georgina wrote to clarify that she is not transsexual:
"Dr Pryor is wrong to suggest that I am one such case who has been able to adapt and lead a happy and useful life in my chosen gender. As my autobiography relates, my own circumstances are unique. I did not change my name: As a physical and genetic hermaphrodite this was done officially when my birth certificate was corrected from 'Boy' to 'Girl' as a result of affidavits from my father, a surgeon, and a sexologist."
In 1995 a profile of Georgina was broadcast on ITV.

In December 2003 she wrote to the Daily Telegraph to oppose the Gender Recognition Bill, then before Parliament, and re-iterated that
"trans-sexuals do not change their sex but only become simulacra of the opposite sex".
This was quoted with approval by Norman Tebbit in the House of Lords.

Georgina's wedding headdress has been preserved and is on display in the Museum of Croydon. Georgina died at age 90, survived by her husband of fifty-one years.

*Not the equestrian. There were also several Georginas in the family tree of the Dukes of Beaufort (family name: Somerset).

One could argue that as Hirschfeld's Die Transvestiten and Havelock Ellis' Eonism contain accounts of persons who are from our perspective obviously transsexuals, then Turtle's book was not the first on the subject. However it was the first book to use the term. It was rude of Benjamin and the author of the BMJ leading article to not even mention her book, probably because she was a dentist and not a medical doctor, and probably more so because she was herself a transsexual, which I am sure is how they they perceived her despite her protests to the contrary.

Note that Turtle uses 'transsexualist' without any reference to Benjamin, and it would seem that the word was in use in England independently of the use of 'transsexual" via Cauldwell-Lawrence-Wood-Benjamin in California.

It is, of course, contentious to insist that chromosomes = sex as Somerset and various others have done.   Benjamin named the first chapter in his 1966 The Transsexual Phenomenon "The Symphony of Sexes" and while admitting that chromosomal sex is fundamental, 'sex' also has genetic, anatomical, legal, gonadal, germinal, endrocrinal, psychological and social aspects. Chromosomes are the one aspect that cannot be changed. By making chromosomes the same as 'sex' Somerset thinks that she is able to differentiate herself from transsexuals as a class.

Much as I identify with Georgina as she attempts to get her book noticed, I must admit that I was appalled by her suing because she was compared to Christine Jorgensen. Let us repeat her words: "implying that I was homosexual, would have had breast implants, electrolysis and was probably not legally married, I had no choice but to instigate libel proceedings for, indeed, all these premises were totally false". Two years after homosexuality had been partially decriminalised, Mrs Somerset still treats an assumption of homosexuality as a libel. Furthermore, when she denies being homosexual, she is not denying being lesbian, she is denying being androphilic – an odd thing for a woman married for seven years to say. Jorgensen, an openly heterosexual woman, had admitted an interest in men. Nor was there any reason to assume that Jorgensen had had breast implants. Jorgensen's UK publishers should have counter-sued for the defamation of androphilia.

In her various missives to journals and newspapers, Georgina never writes in support of any transsexual. In fact after the initial surge of respondents after the publicity of her change and then marriage, it seems that she avoided all transsexuals. Certainly she avoided the English transsexual groups: GLF TV/TS group, Beaumont Society, the TV-TS Support Group, SHAFT, Press for Change, although she has good words for the Beaumont Trust and lists gender identity clinics and a few groups at the end of her autobiography. However her opinion of such groups is: "most of these appear to be mutual admiration societies run by transsexuals themselves" "they fail to help the lonely transsexual who does not feel, or wish to feel, part of an abnormal group. These would be distressed by the sight of other types … even the thought of having to attend a Gender identity Clinic or sit in a private waiting room with other transsexuals is off-putting."(p87)

There is passing mention in A Girl Called Georgina of Christine Jorgensen and April Ashley, but not a word about Betty Cowell (1918 – 2011) only five years older than Georgina, who also served in the Second World War, who also claimed to be intersex, and who also dismissed other transsexuals: "I had female chromosome make-up, XX. The people who have followed me have often been those with male chromosomes, XY. So they’ve been normal people who’ve turned themselves into freaks by means of the operation", and avoided meeting them.

Practically all the points that are raised by transphobes are found in Georgina's books and letters: still have a prostate, not raised as female, need to dilate, no female reproductive organs, sex cannot be changed, no periods, cannot become pregnant, deep voices, etc.

On page 69 of her biography, Somerset writes: "The fact that those with Klinefelter's syndrome [XXY] are almost certainly sterile and may present with some female physical characteristics does not, in itself, predispose to transsexualism. Much as one must sympathise with their predicament, those with such a constitution hoping that it gives some justification for their desire for a 'change' can only be disappointed, since this chromosomal aberration is not a mixed-sex, mosaic aberration, occurs in 1 in 700 males, and only very few of these are transsexuals – evidence enough that the aetiology of the problem is much more complex than genetic considerations alone." If one removes "is not a mixed-sex, mosaic aberration" one can replace 'Klinefelter's syndrome' with mosaic XO/XY. Somerset asserts that the latter alone is a justification for a desire for a change, but does not demonstrate it.

On p92-3 Georgina lists in details the contents of her private archive. I have found no mention of what happened to it.

There is no mention of Turtle's book in Janice Raymond's The Transsexual Empire, although it would have been very useful to her. Norman Tebbit quoted Georgina Somerset; Sheila Jeffries quoted Norman Tebbit on the subject, but does not mention Somerset at all.

23 February 2015

Georgina Somerset (1923 - 2013) Part I: dentist and surgeon-lieutenant.

(Original May 2008; expanded February 2015 – all pages references to A Girl Called Georgina unless otherwise noted)

Part I: dentist and surgeon-lieutenant
Part II: wife and author
Part III:  Turtle’s typology

George Turtle, the youngest child of three of a self-made man and dentist, and a musician mother, was born in Purley, south of London. Somerset would later claim that she had an underdeveloped penis and some female organs, and this is why the parents were late in registering the birth – however the parents never referred to any possible confusion.

George went to Croydon High School for Boys. He did not go through puberty, and grew neither breasts nor facial hair. In 1938, anticipating the coming war, the family relocated to Lower Kingswood, Surrey, and he completed his education at Reigate Grammar School for Boys (which was until 1944 a fee-paying school).

Turtle passed the pre-medical exams in 1940 and trained in dentistry at King's College Hospital. After qualifying in 1944 he joined the Royal Navy as a dentist, which due to the exigencies of war he was able to do without a physical examination.

In 1945 the pipe-smoking surgeon-lieutenant and his elder brother were initiated by their father into the Freemasons. Turtle saw service in Ceylon as well as in England. In 1948 Turtle left the Navy and established a dental practice in Croydon. His mother died in 1952. In his 30s Turtle resigned from his Lodge even after being advanced to the rank of Worshipful Master.

Turtle sought professional help, and had mixed feelings when the Christine Jorgensen story broke:
"it immensely distressed me as I felt no one would believe that my own case had not been influenced by hers and that I might be different"(p33).
He was prescribed male hormones for a while, but all they did was make him more irritable. Turtle was introduced to the urologist and Gurdjieffian Kenneth Walker. A psychiatrist proposed that Turtle enter a mental hospital and be treated with electro-convulsive therapy. Turtle Senior strenuously objected, and an appointment was arranged with the Greek-born Professor Alexander Panagioti Cawadias, the prominent sexologist who is credited with coining the word 'intersex' (Hermaphoditus the Human Intersex, Heinemann Medical Books, 1943) who conducted a proper examination and declared Turtle to be a hermaphrodite, prescribed oestrogen and advised a change of sexual role.
Kenneth Walker arranged an appointment with eminent surgeon Harold Gillies, but it went badly as Turtle came directly from dental work clad in a black morning coat and pinstripe trousers. Gillies, who was already on the carpet with the General Medical Council for having operated on Michael Dillon and Betty Cowell, was dismissive: “I do not really think you look or could be made to look like a woman".

A 'corrective procedure' was performed by Mr Patrick Clarkson, a New-Zealand-born Harley-Street consultant plastic surgeon and colleague of Harold Gillies, in January 1957.
"It was not the so-called 'sex change operation' of common knowledge to-day, and I even had to to go out a week before and buy my very first outfit of female clothes in which to leave the clinic. Indeed, I knew little of what a woman wore under her dress or skirt" (p35).
Georgina now moved to Bognor Regis and began living alone as a woman. Late one freezing November night Georgina was assaulted, dragged into a field and raped. This resulted in being bedridden for weeks with pneumonia and thoughts of suicide. What it did lead to was the cutting short of her hair and a return to the male role, regretted immediately, and locum dental work while she waited for her hair to regrow. She found a cottage in Plumpton, near Brighton, and slowly regained the female role.

In June 1959, Georgina's father died, and as 'an act of love, duty and loyalty' (p40) Turtle again cut his hair and donned a suit to appear at the funeral as expected, and stayed in the male role for nine months working at his old practice in Croydon and sorting out his father's affairs and selling up.

This done Georgina moved to Hove, Sussex in April 1960. She finally obtained a revised birth certificate in July that year, but had to supply medical reports along with affidavits from Kenneth Walker, A.P. Cawadias and her father (the last having been signed before his death). Mr Clarkson was also obliged to provide a report of her anatomy and Georgina had to provide written assurances that she had never been married or been capable of functioning as a male.

The press discovered Georgina, her home was besieged and the phone never stopped ringing. She agreed to an 'exclusive' with The News of the World, and was paid £100. A local paper gave the name of her road and stated that she intended to start a practice. This led to difficulties with the General Dental Council, which in those days was very strict against advertising. Turtle threatened to sue the newspapers, apologised to the Council, and was given a reprimand.

Letters started to come from all over the world, from transsexuals and those who might be. Georgina sat up long hours answering them, and at weekends received the writers personally. However
"It was not long before I realised that, as far as I could make out, all were, within a reasonable scale of variation, really physically normal people, and not like me at all. … It must, nevertheless, be said that most of all those I saw and heard from were basically sincere, nice people, who were so very happy for me and so very grateful that I was even prepared to listen to and understand their own troubles.(p50)"
Turtle knew most of the London consultants, especially John Randell and Kenneth Walker, and they referred patients to each other.

At Christmas 1961, Georgina was struck down with pulmonary tuberculosis and had to spend seven months in a sanatorium.

By then she had met Christopher Somerset, a design engineer and a distant kinsman of the Dukes of Beaufort. He cared for her while she regained her health. Their engagement was announced in the Court and Social Page of the Daily Telegraph, and they were married in a church wedding in Westminster in 1962. Photographs of their wedding appeared on the front page of all editions of the Evening Standard. They were also featured in most of the Sunday newspapers and when they arrived in Paris for their honeymoon, they found that they were on the front page of Le Journal du Dimanche.

Many of the early transsexuals, Lili Elvenes (Elbe), Betty Cowell, Dawn Langley Simmons, maintained that they were intersex. In all cases the only 'proof' is the claim in the autobiography. Understandably doctors and clinics maintain client confidentiality and so do not naysay the claim with the exception of Dawn who claimed to have given birth when she was 49 years old. Milton Edgerton explained to Dawn's biographer, Edward Ball, that it could not be possible. Georgina claims to be mosaic XO/XY (see Part II) and therefore not transsexual. Unless somebody examines the papers of Alexander Panagioti Cawadias and Patrick Clarkson, we will not have confirmation nor refutation of the claim that she was XO/XY. The link that I have provided is the best that I could find, but it does not discuss the likelihood of transsexuality in male phenotype XO/XY persons. I cannot find any clear statement that such persons are generally inclined to change gender. In the comments to Part II we will see Georgina pooh-poohing the idea that XXY chromosomes give justification for a desire to change sex. If anyone can point me to a medical article that shows male phenotype XO/XY persons changing gender in significant numbers, please let us know.

Alexander Panagioti Cawadias was a prominent sexologist, with a seminal book to his name, but is now largely forgotten.

Georgina says of the trans persons who contacted her that they were 'sincere, nice people' but 'not like me at all'. Her 340-page book is an expansion of this dialectic.

Georgina carefully says that she was "the first woman who had officially changed her sex ever to be married in a church under English law" (p52). For some reason the Wikipedia article drops the last three words thereby invalidating the claim in that Coccinelle (Jacqueline Dufesnoy) had married in church under French law two years earlier (1960). There were also several marriages in the US that had taken place earlier – of particular note is Georgia Black who married twice. There were also trans men who had married under English law: Wynsley Swan in 1927 and Mark Weston, in 1936.

Wikipedia also claims that Georgina was the first openly intersex person in the UK. Again one says, what about Mark Weston? Or Betty Cowell?

21 February 2015

Grant Williams (194? - ) urologist

Grant Williams, urologist, was, early in his career, from 1968 to 1988, Consultant Urological & Transplant Surgeon, Charing Cross Hospital (Fulham). He was not an advocate of the transgender surgery being done at the hospital.

In November 1987 he wrote to the British Medical Journal:
"This week seven patients have been admitted for urological surgery and been sent home because there were no beds for operating lists, but the 26 bed urological ward has two gender reassignment patients in it, despite undertakings from the management that the urological bed complement would not be reduced. One gender reassignment operation takes the whole of one afternoon in the operating theatre. During that time, I could perform 10 cystoscopies or resect four prostates or do three vasovasostomies.
Most people would feel that to pursue gender reassignment surgery in the current climate must be bottom of the list of medical importance. The hospital continues with this, although it is totally against the wishes of the division of surgery."
The next year, 1988, he resigned from Charing Cross citing his objection to gender reassignment surgery.

In 1992 he wrote a Forward for Georgina Somerset's change of sex autobiography:
"It is sad though, that many feel that they can only be fully satisfied when they have a 'sex change'. Sex cannot be changed. ... I have met some delightful young women walking around in a man's body, and I was pleased to help them, but I have to confess that they are a rarity and the vast majority of transsexuals are totally unsuitable for surgery."
In December 2000 when the NHS announced that transgender surgery in England would be tripled, Williams was quoted again in the press:
"It is sad when a patient who can't pass urine is sent home with a catheter because there are not enough beds, while other beds are allocated for transsexual surgery".
Williams' speciality was vasovasostomy, the reversal of vasostomy.

19 February 2015

Patrick Clarkson (1911 – 1969) surgeon

Clarkson was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, the son of a sheep farmer and meat exporter. He was educated at Christ's College and then emigrated to study medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He won a scholarship to continue at Guy's Hospital in London.

He was also a notable boxer and squash player. He won the Treasurer's Gold Medal in both medicine and surgery and qualified with the Conjoint Diploma in 1935, becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons the following year and completing his MB, BS London in 1940.

He joined the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1940, and in 1942 was attached to Rooksdown House, Basingstoke for training in plastic surgery under his compatriot Harold Gillies. He was Officer Commanding of a maxillo-facial unit in North Africa and Italy from 1942 to 1945. In 1945 he was appointed to the British Army Staff, Washington for liaison with US Army and Navy Plastic Surgery Units. He was awarded the MBE for his war service.

After the war he was appointed to Guy's as surgeon in charge of accident services, and re-joined Gillies at Rooksdown House which was to become a regional plastic surgery centre in the National Health Service. His most notable contributions were probably in hand surgery and in the treatment of burns. He was a founding member of the Hand Club in 1952. He wrote a major book on the topic.

He performed one 'corrective procedure', changing the sex of the XO/XY mosaic dentist Georgina Somerset, in January 1957, no doubt drawing on the experience of his colleague Harold Gillies who had pioneered surgery on Michael Dillon, and Roberta Cowell, eleven and six years previously.

Illness led to premature retirement, and he died at Guy's Hospital at the age of 58.
  • Patrick Clarkson & J. Schorstein. Treatment of Denuded External Table of the Skull. 1945.
  • Patrick Clarkson & Anthony Pelly. The General and Plastic Surgery of the Hand. Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1962.
  • Patrick Clarkson & Peter Gorer. Development in a burnt child of antibodies following skin homografts. nd.
  • Patrick Clarkson. Clinical material concerning burns relevant to nuclear warfare. nd
Plarr's Lives of the Fellows

16 February 2015

Ralf Dose's biography of Magnus Hirschfeld – some observations.

  •  Ralf Dose. Magnus Hirschfeld: Deutscher, Jude, Weltbürger. Teetz: Hentrich & Hentrich, 2005. English translation by Edward H. Willis. Magnus Hirschfeld: The Origins of the Gay Liberation Movement. Monthly Review Press, 2014. $20 144 pages.
Ralf Dose is co-founder and director of the Magnus-Hirschfeld-Gesellschaft in Berlin. His rather useful short biography, part of the Jüdische Miniaturen series, is now available in English. Willis' translation is more than just that, for example the bibliography lists Hirschfeld's books available in English separately from those available in German only. Incidentally it lists Sexual Anomalies and Perversions, 1936, as by Arthur Koestler and Norman Haire, and designates it as 'apocryphal'. The German title translates as Magnus Hirschfeld: German, Jew, World Citizen – I presume that the title change is a marketing decision, but it is not explained.

The other options for English language readers are:
  • Charlotte Wolff,. Magnus Hirschfeld: A Portrait of a Pioneer in Sexology. London: Quartet Books, 1986. Out of print 496 pages.
  • Rosa von Praunheim (dir). The Einstein of Sex, with Kai Schumann & Friedel von Wangenheim as Magnus Hirschfeld, and Tima die Göttliche as Dorchen. Germany/Netherlands 100 mins 1999. Does take some poetic licence with the facts.
  • Elena Mancini,. Magnus Hirschfeld and the Quest for Sexual Freedom: A History of the First International Sexual Freedom Movement. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. $95 224 pages. A good intellectual biography but seriously overpriced.
The new book is concise, affordable and up to date, and, while it in no way replaces Wolff's magnum opus, it will meet most readers' requirements.

It is however written from a gay perspective. We are still waiting for somebody to do an account of Hirschfeld from a trans perspective with details of all his trans acquaintances and patients. (Why are you looking at me?)

According to the index there is trans content on pages 9,11,46, 72, 97-9. This barely covers the publishing of Die Transvestiten, 1910, the distinction from homosexuality, and the fact that the term 'transvestite' includes what today we would call 'transsexual'.

Much more interesting is page 55, which is not flagged in the index, which contains:
"The domestic staff was sometimes complemented by people staying temporarily at the institute and too poor to pay for their rent or treatment. Rudolf R. (b. 1892), called Dorchen, is perhaps the best-known example .42 Likewise Arno/Toni Ebel (1881 – 1961), who attained modest honors as a painter in the 1950s in East Germany, lived for one year in the basement of the institute."
I immediately recognised Dörchen Richter of course, although I still wonder why some authors write Dörchen R. when we do know her surname. It took a short while for it to sink in that I now had the full name of the second patient discussed in Felix Abraham's 1931 paper, Genitalumwandlungen an zwei männlichen Transvestiten, (full text translation) whom previously I had known only as "Arno (Toni) E." This enabled me to research and write my article on Toni Ebel.

What about the end note 42? It gives details of Dörchen's operations, and continues:
"Since she could not afford to pay the expenses of her operations, she worked in the household of the institute. The figure of "Dorchen" in Rosa von Praunheim's film The Einstein of Sex is complete fiction".
The word "complete" is of course elastic. It is a historical fact that Dörchen worked in the institute, and is not known to have survived the Nazi assault on the institute. The scriptwriters of the film needed to dramatise her role beyond the known facts, and the climax of the film when she goes back into the Nazi ransacked institute to confront them has no confirmation in fact, but is perfectly legitimate poetic licence and an amazing tribute to a brave woman.

Far less legitimate is the Wikipedia page on Magnus Hirschfeld which in the section on his institute contains the following:
"Although inspired by Hirschfeld's life, the film is a work of fiction containing invented characters and incidents and attributing motives and sentiments to Hirschfeld and others on the basis of little or no historical evidence. Hirschfeld biographer Ralf Dose notes, for instance, that "the figure of 'Dorchen' in Rosa von Praunheim's film The Einstein of Sex is complete fiction."
Which reads as if Dörchen never existed, and is a calumny against both Dose and Dörchen.

"Ebel, Arno/Toni" is in the index, but "R, Rudolf/Dorchen" is not.

14 February 2015

Gay Berlin – a review

  • Robert Beachy. Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity. Knopf, 2014.

As Wayne Dynes says in his Amazon review, there is little that is new in this book compared to the books on the topic published in the 1970s and 1980s, other than it being written assuming a social constructionist view. However now it is more than a generation later, and the older books are rather hard to find. This book is easy to read and covers the evolution of gay and trans Germans from Karl Ulrichs (the first to use the expression anima muliebris virili corpore inclusa - a female psyche confined in a male body) in the 1860s to the Nazi destruction in 1933.

Beachy studied German history at the University of Chicago, and is now an associate professor in South Korea. Unlike the writers in the 1970s he does not care to tell us whether or not he is gay, although one presumes that he is from his expressed sympathies.

Of the retold material there are two themes that I would like to emphasize. While paragraph 175 of the Prussian legal code which prohibited sodomy was imposed on all of Germany after unification in 1871, at least in Berlin the police regarded blackmail as a more serious crime, and in some cases prosecuted the blackmailer while letting the gay man go free. In this respect it was easier at that time to be gay in Berlin than in London. Secondly, the social construction of bisexuality was radically different from that of today. It was regarded as normal for a heterosexually married man to have a male lover on the side, as opposed to modern opinions like this article in Xtra that concludes that both gays and bisexuals are rather rare.

So far, so good. What does Beachy have to say about trans persons? He does discuss quite a few and I have already used some of his material in this blog.

Following a long tradition, Beachy claims that Magnus Hirschfeld coined the term 'transvestite': "Hirschfeld coined the term based on his experience of Berlin Cross-dressers" (88); "his own neologism" (p170). How many times does this misinformation have to be refuted before writers cease to repeat it? I went through the evidence back in January 2010 and showed the term in use back to the 16th century. If Beachy is not willing to condescend to read my blog, he should at least ask himself why the Paris police were issuing permissions de travestissementa full century before Hirschfeld arranged for the Berlin police to do the same. Failing that a quick perusal of the word in the longer Oxford English Dictionary should settle the issue (which is where I started).

Here is an image on the fourth page of the illustrations of Berthold Buttgereit. Beachy refers to him only as "Berthe Buttgereit".

I have already featured Gerda von Zobeltitz, whom I did not know about before reading Beachy. Beachy (p172) refers to her only as Georg van Zobeltitz, although I was able to find her real name online within minutes.

Incidentally there is no entry in the book's index for either Buttgereit or Zobeltitz. I have come across this in a few other books: patients are not real people like doctors and are left out of the index. That is just plain rude.

On the other hand the account of Richard  Mühsam's experimental transgender surgeries is probably the best in English so far - it is more detailed that the account in Meyerowitz' How Sex Changed. But there is no mention at all of the major transgender patients in Berlin during this period: Charlotte Charlaque, Toni Ebel, Dörchen Richter, and Lili Elvenes (Elbe). The 1931 article by Felix Abraham that discusses the operations of Dörchen and Toni is in the bibliography but is used only as a citation for a minor point.

12 February 2015

Ophelia De’Lonta (1963 - ) inmate

Michael Stokes of Virginia had a feeling from an early age of being in the wrong body, resulting in a first self-cutting at 12, and bank robberies at 17 hoping to get enough money to pay for a sex change. In 1983 Stokes was sentenced to 73 years for robbery, drugs and weapons charges.

In prison she changed her name to Ophelia De’Lonta from the Shakespeare character and the last name of a slain friend.

In 1999 De'Lonta first filed a lawsuit petitioning for hormone treatment, but without success. In 2003 she, with the aid of the Virginia branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, again sued the Virginia Department of Corrections and was allowed hormone treatment and to live partially as female, to the extent possible in a male prison.

Occasionally she attempted self-castration, but the VDOC refused to even allow her to be evaluated for transgender surgery. By 2011 De'Lonta was eligible for parole, but failed to get it because of a wide range of prison infractions.

That year she sued again, claiming that the denial of treatment violated the Eighth Amendment. The judge dismissed the case, and she appealed. On January 6, 2012, the ACLUVa filed an amicus brief in support of her appeal, and oral argument took place on October 24, 2012. On January 28, 2013, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Ophelia De’Lonta stated a “plausible” claim that the Virginia Department of Corrections violated her constitutional rights when it refused to have her evaluated for sex reassignment surgery. The case was remanded to the lower court.

In December 2013 it was announced that De'Lonta had been granted parole. She had served 34 years of her sentence. The board chairman of Buckingham Correction Center, where De'Lonta was held, was quoted as saying that the possibility of a court forcing the state to pay for an inmate’s sex-change operation was not a factor in the parole decision.

08 February 2015

French and Belgian (auto)biographies and Histories


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

See also 27 trans persons in France/French Belgium/French Africa who changed things by example and/or achievement.

Many French and Belgian trans persons have written autobiographies, and many of them differ from the English language stereotypes.   It is a shame that so few have been translated.

Histories & studies

  • Georges Aubert. Trois cas de désir de changer de sexe.  PhD thesis Lausanne University.  Tavannes: Burkhalter, 1947.  Is this the first ever thesis on transsexuals?
  • Colette Piat, Elles... les travestis: la vérité sur les transsexuels. Presses de la Cité, 1978.
  • Jacques Breton, Charles Frohwirth & Serge Pottiez. Le transsexualisme: étude nosographique et médico-légale : rapport de médecine légale. Masson, 1985.
  • Joseph Doucé. La Question transsexuelle. Luminière et justice. 1986.
  • Louis Edmond Pettiti.   Les transsexuels.  Presses universitaires de France, 1992.
  • Henry Frignet. Le transsexualisme. Desclée de Brouwer, 2000.
  • Leduc Guyonne & Christine Bard. Travestissement féminin et libertés.  Harmettan, 2006.
  • Sylvie Steinberg.  La Confusion des Sexes: Le Travestissment de la Renaissance  a la Revolution.   Fayard, 2001.
  • Pierre-Henri Castel. La métamorphose impensable: essai sur le transsexualisme et l'identité personnelle. Gallimard, 2003.
  • Fernande Gontier.  Homme ou femme? La confusion des sexes.  Perrin, 2006.
  • Stéphanie Nicot & Alexandra August Marelle. Changer de sexe - Identités transsexuelles.  Cavalier bleu, 2006.
  • Laure Murat, La Loi du genre, une histoire culturelle du troisième sexe. Arthème Fayard, 2006 
  • Maxime Foerster. Histoire des transsexuels en France. H&O, 2006.  Revied edition: Elle ou lui ?: une histoire des transsexuels en France. Paris: la Musardine, 2012. 
  • Christine Bard.  Une histoire politique du pantalon.  Seuil, 2010.
  • Karine Espineira, Maud-Yeuse Thomas & Arnaud Alessandrin. LA TRANSYCLOPEDIE : Tout Savoir Sur Les Transidentites.  Lulu, 2012.

  • Brassaï translated into English by Richard Miller. "Le Monocle". In The Secret Paris of the 30s. London: Thames & Hudson, 2001.
  • Christer Strömholm. Les Amies De Place Blanche. Stockport: Dewi Lewis, 2011.
For some reason the books in this section have been translated into English, while none those above in History & Studies have been translated.
  • Colette Chiland. Le transsexualisme. Presses universitaires de France, 2003. English translation by David Alcorn.  Exploring Transsexualism.  Karnac, 2005.
  • Colette Chiland. Changer de sexe: illusion et réalité. O. Jacob, 2011. English translation by Philip Slotkin.  Transsexualism: illusion and reality. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2003.
  • Catherine Millot. Horsexe: essai sur le transsexualisme. Point hors ligne, 1983. English translation by Kenneth Hylton.  Horsexe: Essay on Transsexuality.  Autonomedia, 1990.


Camille Barbin.   GVWWWikipedia.  School teacher, railway clerk.
  • Abel Barbin. Mes souvenirs. 1863-8. Published Paris: Editions du Boucher, 2002.
  • Auguste Ambroise Tardieu. Question médico-légale de l'identité dans ses rapport avec les vices de conformation des organes sexuels, contenant les souvenirs et impressions d'un individu dont le sexe avait été méconnu,. Paris: J.B. Baillière et Fils,1872. Contains selection from Barbin’s Souvenirs.
  • Armand Ernest Dubarry. L'hermaphrodite. Paris: Chamuel, 1898.
  • Michel Foucault (ed) Herculine Barbin dite Alexina B. Paris: Gallimard, 1978. Translated by Richard McDougall as Herculine Barbin: being the recently discovered memoirs of a nineteenth-century French hermaphrodite. New York: Pantheon Books; Brighton: Harvester Press, 1980.
  • René Féret (dir & scr). Mystere Alexina. Scr: Jean Gruault, based on the book by Herculine Barbin & Michel Foucault, with (Philippe) Vuillemin as Alexina Barbin. France 86 mins 1985.
Rosa Bonheur. Wikipedia    cross-dressing artist
  • Dore Ashton & Denise Browne Hare. Rosa Bonheur: a Life and a Legend. The Viking Press 1981.
  • Anna Klumpke. Rosa Bonheur: The Artist's (Auto)Biography. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997.
Barbara Buick
  • Barbara Buick.  L’Eiquette.   La Jeune Parque, 1971.
Claire Carthonnet
  • Claire Carthonnet.  J'ai des choses a vous dire. Une prostituée témoigne, Editions Robert Laffont, 2003.
Claude Cahun  Wikipedia   gender variant artist and writer.
  • Claude Cahun. Claude Cahun. Paris: Nathan, 1999.
  • François Leperlier & Claude Cahun. Claude Cahun: l'exotisme intérieur. Paris: Fayard, 2006.
  • Gen Doy. Claude Cahun A Sensual Politics of Photography. I.B. Tauris, 2007.
  • Gavin James Bower. Claude Cahun: The Soldier with No Name. Zero Books, 2013.
Alexandra Cerdan.
  • Alexandra Cerdan.  Transsexuelle et convertie à l'Islam. Alphée, 2010.
François Timoléon de Choisy.  Wikipedia.  Diplomat, priest.
  • L’Abbe de Choisy. Mémoires de l'abbé de Choisy: Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire de Louis XIV. Mémoires de l'abbe de Choisy habillé en femme. [Paris]: Mercure de France, 1966. Translated into English by R.H.F. Scott.  The Transvestite memoirs. Peter Owen, 1973.
  • Dirk van der Cruysse.  L’Abbe de Choisy: Androgyne et Mandarin.  Fayard, 1995.
  • Marc LeBlanc. Étude des pratiques du masque et de la dissimulation dans deux Mémoires de l'abbé de Choisy (1644-1724). Thèse (M.A.)--Université Laval, 2002.
  • Benn Sowerby.   Four Imposters.  Grosvenor House, 2012.
Andrea Colliaux. Air stewardess.
  • Andrea Colliaux.  Carnet de bord d'un steward devenu hôtesse de l'air.  Michel Lafon, 2001.
Kathy Dee
  • Kathy Dee. Traveling, un itinéraire transsexuel. Éditions Belfond, 1974
Ovida DelectGVWW  poet, political activist.
  • Ovida Delect. La prise de robe. Itinéraire d'une transsexualité vécue. Edité à compte d'auteur, 1982.
  • Françoise Romand (dir). Appelez-moi Madame. France 52 mins 1986.
  • Ovida Delect.  La vocation d'être femme. Itinéraire d'une transsexuelle, L'Harmattan, 1996. (includes La prise de robe).
  • Diane. Diane, Acropole, 1987.
Jane Dieulafoy.   GVWW Wikipedia.  Photographer, archaeologist, writer.
  • Jane Dieulafoy. Une amazone en Orient : du Caucase à Ispahan, 1881-1882. Paris: Phébus 404 pp1989.
  • Jane Dieulafoy. En mission chez les immortels: journal des fouilles de Suse, 1884-1886. Paris: Phébus, 1990.
  • Jane Dieulafoy. L'Orient sous le voile : de Chiraz à Bagdad. Paris: Phébus, 1990.
  • Eve Gran-Aymeric & J.M. Jean Gran Aymerich. Jane Dieulafoy : une vie d'homme. Paris: Perrin 1991.
  • Eve Gran Aymerich translated by Alexandra L. Lesk Blomerus & Paul M. Blomerus. “Jane Dieulafoy (1851 - 1916)”. In Getzel M. Cohen & Martha Joukowsky (eds). Breaking Ground: Pioneering Women Archaeologists. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2004: 34-67.
  • Amanda Adams. Ladies of the Field: Early Women Archaeologists and Their Search for Adventure. Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2010: 3,11,41-64,186.  
Sandra Dual
  • Sandra Dual, Rencontre du troisième sexe, Gérard Blanc, 1999
Jacueline Charlotte Dufresnoy/CoccinelleGVWW  Wikipedia.  Performer.
  • Mario A. Costa. Coccinelle est lui. Pocket- Mail, 1963. English translation by Jules J Block: Reverse Sex. The Life of Jacqueline Charlotte Dufresnoy. London: Challenge Publications 1961.
  • Carlson Wade. She-male: the amazing true-life story of Coccinelle. New York: Epic, 1963.
  • Coccinelle. Coccinelle par Coccinelle. Paris: Filipacchi, 1987.
Sylviane Dullak
  • Sylviane Dullak. Je serai elle, mon odyssée transsexuelle, Presses de la Cité, 1983 et France Loisirs, 1984.
Isabelle Eberhardt/Si Mahmoud Essadi  Wikipedia   Travelled in Algeria as Si Mahmoud Essadi and became a Sufi.
  • Cecily Mackworth. The Destiny of Isabelle Eberhardt.  Ecco Press, 1975.
  • Isabelle Eberhardt & Rana Kabbani. The Passionate Nomad: The Diary of Isabelle Eberhardt. Beacon Press, 1988.
  • Isabelle Eberhardt & Eglal Errera. Isabelle Eberhardt: eine Biographie mit Briefen, Tagebuchblättern, Prosa. Basel: Lenos-Verl, 1989.
  • Annette Kobak.  Isabelle: The Life of Isabelle Eberhardt.  Alfred A. Knopf, 1988; Virago Classic, 1998.
  • Isabelle Eberhardt & Liz Kershaw. The Nomad: The Diaries of Isabelle Eberhardt.  Interlink Books, 2003.
  • Lynda Chouiten. Isabelle Eberhardt and North Africa: A Carnivalesque Mirage. Lexington Books, 2015.
Marie-Josée Enard 
  • Marie-Josée Enard, Vouloir être… Transsexuelle, Femme et Mère. Persona,1982.
Delphine De Froissac
  • Delphine De Froissac, La solitude du désir, Éditions LAU, 2004. 
Marie-France Garcia.  GVWW  Wikipedia     
  • Marie-France, Elle était une fois, Éditions Denoël, 2003.
A.H.S. FulcanelliWikipedia.   Mysterious alchemist, author of Le Mystère des Cathédrales.   By 1953 Fulcanelli was living as female in a Spanish castle.
  • Kenneth Rayner Johnson. The Fulcanelli Phenomenon: the Story of a Twentieth-Century Alchemist in the light of a new examination of the Hermetic Tradition. Neville Spearman. 1980.
Paul GrappGVWW   deserter
  • Fabrice Virgili and Danièle Voldman. La garçonne et l'assassin. Histoire de Louise et de Paul, déserteur travesti, dans le Paris des années folles. Paris: Payot & Rivages, 2011.
Jocelyne    trade unionist
  • Jocelyne (avec la contribution de Florence Haguenauer), Jean/Jocelyne, éditions Stock, 2001.
Bernadette Lacoste   
  • Bernadette Lacoste, Journal d’un(e) transsexuel(le), Société des écrivains, 2003 (ISBN 9782748006490).
Amanda Lear.   GVWW Wikipedia.  Performer.
  • Amanda Lear. Wer Hat Angst Vor Amanda Lear? Berengaria Editions Germany/France. 1979.
  • Duncan Fallowell & April Ashley. April Ashley's Odyssey. London: Jonathan Cape viii, 287 pp 16 plates 1982: 69,70,120,178-180,196, 241,268. London: Arrow 1983. Also online at
  • Amanda Lear. My Life with Dali. London: Virgin Books Ltd, 1985.
  • Amanda Lear. Persistence of Memory: A Personal Biography of Salvador Dali. Bethesda, Md: National Press, 1987.
  • Amanda Lear. L'amant-Dalí. Paris: M. Lafon, 1994.
  • Ian Gibson. The Shameful Life of Salvador Dali. Faber and Faber. 1997: 527-536.
Vernon Lee.   Wikipedia.   cross-dressing writer.
  • Peter Gunn. Vernon Lee: Violet Paget, 1856-1935 (1964)
  • Vineta Colby. Vernon Lee: A Literary Biography (2003).
Axel Leotard      a prostitute becomes a man
  • Axel Leotard.   Mauvais genre, Hugo & Compagnie, 2009.
Maud MarinGVWW  Wikipedia.  postal inspector, sex worker, lawyer. 
  • Maud Marin & Marie-Thérèse Cuny. Le Saut de l'ange. Paris: Fixot, 1987.  réédition J'ai Lu, 1998. 
  • Maud Marin & Marie-Thérèse Cuny. Tristes plaisirs. Paris: Fixot, 1989.
  • Maud Marin & Marie-Thérèse Cuny. Le quartier des maudites. Paris: Fixot, 1991.
  • Maud Marin & Philippe Delannoy. Pitié pour les victimes. Paris: Fixot, 1996.
Marie Mayrand
  • Marie Mayrand, Le combat de la mère d'un transsexuel, Cercle International des Gagnants, 1986.
Pierre MolinierGVWW Wikipedia.  Artist.
  • Pierre Molinier. Le chaman et ses créatures, Bordeaux : William Blake & Co., 1995.
  • Pierre Petit. Molinier, une vie d'enfer. Paris: Editions Ramsay/Jean-Jacques Pauvert 267 pp 86 ill 1992.
Mathilde de Morney. GVWW Wikipedia.  Painter, aristocrat.
  • Colette. Ces plaisirs. Paris: J. Ferenczi & fils 1932, reissued as Le pur et l’impur. Paris: Aux Armes de France 1941. English translation by Herma Briffault. The Pure and the Impure. London: Martin Secker & Warburg 1968. London: Penguin
  • Claude Francis & Fernande Gontier.  Mathilde de Morny: 1862 – 1944, La scandaleuse marquise.  Perrin, 2000.
  • Colette, Lettres à Missy. Édition établie et annotée par Samia Bordji et Frédéric Maget, Paris, Flammarion, 2009.
Violette Morris. GVWW  Wikipedia.   Olympic athlete, rejected from French Olympic team for being too masculine, especially after her mastectomy, assassinated by the Resistance. 
  • Raymond Ruffin, La diablesse. La véritable histoire de Violette Morris, éd. Pygmalion, 1989
  • Jean-Emile Neaumet, Violette Morris, la Gestapiste.  Fleuve Noir, 1994.
  • Christian Gury, L'Honneur ratatiné d'une athlète lesbienne en 1930. Kimé, 1999.
  • Raymond Ruffin, Violette Morris, la hyène de la Gestapo, Le Cherche Midi, 2004.
  • Marie-Jo Bonnet, Violette Morris, histoire d'une scandaleuse. Perrin, 2011.
Georgine Noël   doctor
  • Georgine Noël, Appelez-moi Gina, Éditions Jean-Claude Lattès, 1994.
Jeanne Nolais
  • Catherine Rihoit et Jeanne Nolais, Histoire de Jeanne, transsexuelle, Mazarine, 1980.
Marie Claude Paquette
  • Marie Claude Paquette, Autobiographie 17. Pseudo hermaphrodite neurologique, Les Éditions Médialib 2002.
Claire Pascal
  • Claire Pascal.   Le mensonge d'une vie, Thélès, 2008.
Madeleine PelletierWikipedia.  Psychiatrist, activist - dressed like a man to distance herself from femininity.
  • Felicia Gordon. The Integral Feminist--Madeleine Pelletier, 1874-1939: Feminism, Socialism, and Medicine. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1990.
Michel-Marie PoulainGVWW  Wikipedia
  • Claude Marais. J'ai choisi mon sexe. Confidences du peintre Michel-Marie Poulain. les éditions de Fontvieille, 1954.
Marie-Pierre Pruvot/ BambiGVWW  Wikipedia.  Performer, teacher, novelist.
  • Marie-Pierre Ysser. J'Inventais Ma Vie. Paris: Osmondes. 2003..
  • Marie-Pierre Pruvot. Marie parce que c'est joli. Villettes: Ed. Bonobo, 2007.
  • Marie-Pierre Pruvot. Madame Arthur (Tome 2 de J’inventais ma vie).  Ex-Aequo, 2013.
  • Marie-Pierre Pruvot. Le Carrousel (Tome 3 de J’inventais ma vie).  Ex-Aequo, 2013.
  • Michiel van Erp (dir). I Am a Woman Now,with April Ashley, Marie-Pierre Pruvot, Colette Berends, Jean Lessenich, Corinne van Tongerloo. Netherlands 80 mins 2011.
  • Clara Vuillermoz (dir & scr). Le sexe de mon identité, with Marie-Pierre Pruvot, Maxime Foerster.  France 52 mins 2012.
  • Sébastien Lifshitz (dir & scr).  Bambi, with Marie-Pierre Pruvot.  France 58 mins 2013.
  • Marie-Pierre Pruvot. La Chanson de Bac (Tome 4 de J’inventais ma vie). Ex-Aequo, 2014.
  • Marie-Pierre Pruvot. Le Gai Cimetière (Tome 5 de J’inventais ma vie). Ex-Aequo, 2014
Jenny De Savalette De Lange.  GVWW 
  • Hérail. Sur l'homme-femme connu sous le nom de Mademoiselle Savalette de Lange. Versailles: Cerf 1859. Reprinted with a preface by Frederick Prot Paris: Dilecta 2006.
  • Georges Moussoir. L'homme femme Mlle. Savalette de Lange 1786-1858 avec portrait. Paris: Garnet 1902.
Sophie Simon
  • Sophie Simon, Un sujet de conversation, éditions Stock, 2004
  • Simone (avec la contribution de Jean-Paul Feuillebois et Mireille Dumas), Simone par Simone, éditions du Rocher, 1997.
Claudia Tavares
  • Claudia Tavares, La Femme inachevée, éditions Régine Deforges, 1987. 
  • Claudia Tavares, Circonstances atténuantes, Le Manuscrit, 2002.
Ludwig Trovato  GVWW  filmmaker
  • Ludwig Trovato, Mon corps en procès, éditions Flammarion, 2003.