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!

30 April 2015

Andrei Ivanovich (192? - ?)

Andrei Ivanovich was living in Karaganda, Soviet Kazakhstan, in 1965 when he was included in a study by psychiatrist Elizaveta Derevinskaia. She referred to him as ‘O.A.’. Andrei had male identity papers, and was officially married to his wife and had adopted her children.

* not the classical pianist
  • Elizaveta Derevinskaia. Materially k klinike, patogenezu, terapii zhenskogo gomoseksualizma. Doctoral thesis. Karaganda State Medical Institute. 1965.
  • Dan Healey. Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia: The Regulation of Sexual and Gender Dissent. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press xvi, 392 pp 2001: 242, fig 25.

27 April 2015

Anton Prinner (1902 – 1983) artist, sculptor

Anna Prinner was the only daughter of four children of an accountant father and a pianist mother. She studied at the University of Fine Arts School in Budapest. In 1926 two of Prinner's paintings were by error hung in the Fine Arts Museum and were a great success.

Prinner moved to Paris in 1927, taking a male name and from then wearing male clothes, a beret and smoking a pipe. Picasso would greet him as "Monsieur Madame". Anton had a constructivist period from 1932, and a figurative period from 1937. He did his first wooden sculpture in 1940, a medium that he so made his own that Picasso called him the "petit pivert" (little woodpecker). Himself only 1.5 metres, he carved statues up to five metres high.

Anton spent most of the German occupation in hiding. In 1950 He settled in Vallauris, close to Antibes and to Italy, as had Picasso. He made ceramics and sculptures, including esoteric statues and protective deities. After 1954 Prinner discovered a passion for ancient Egypt and esotericism. He did an androgynous female Pharaoh, and a female Buddha.

However, exploited by the owner of the studio and robbed by others, he abandoned sculpture. He wrote in an autobiography: "Je veux faire des choses qui ne plaisent à personne pour éviter qu'on ne me vole" (I want to do things that please nobody, so that I will not be robbed).

He returned to Paris, and to painting, in 1964, and was exhibited. However he died in poverty at age 81. Prinner never returned to Hungary except for a quick visit in 1930, and never discussed his gender change.
  • Anton Prinner. Le livre des morts des anciens Egyptiens.. 1948.
  • Anton Prinner. La femme tondue. Paris: APR, 1946.
  • Anton Prinner & Lionel Le Barzic. Le Tarot ésotérique et poétique de Prinner: et le développement scientifique, poétique, anecdotique de la cartomancie. [S.l.]: Édition Aujourd'hui, 1976. Anton Prinner,. Anton Prinner, 1902-1983. Paris: Binoche et Godeau, 1985.
  • Anton Prinner & Philippe Rollet. Anton Prinner: (1902 - 1983); [cet ouvrage est édité à l'occasion de l'Exposition Anton Prinner, présentée au Musée de l'Abbaye Sainte-Croix des Sables d'Olonne du 1er juillet au 1er octobre 2006 et à l'Institut hongrois de Paris en 2007]. Paris: Editions du Panama, 2006.
  • Anton Prinner & Benoît Decron. Anton Prinner: [exposition présentée au Musée de l'abbaye Sainte-Croix des Sables d'Olonne du 1er juillet au 1er octobre 2006 et à l'Institut hongrois de Paris en 2007. Paris: Panama, 2006.
  • Cserba Júlia. "Anton Prinner különös világa". Artmagazin, 2007/2:78-80.
  • Florence La Bruyere. "Anton Prinner, entre mystère et ésotérisme: Le musée Ernst de Budapest rend hommage à l'enfant du pays, qui se choisit un prénom masculin". Libération Culture, 7 mai 2007.
  • "Déplacements à l’abbaye Sainte-Croix". Animula vagula, 25.01.2008.
  • Gál-Szende Gabriella. "Egy nő, akinek elhitték, hogy férfi". Folium Verde, február 15, 2015.
FR.WIKIPEDIA     L'AgoradesArts     CriticalLapok

25 April 2015

Lucy Lawson (Hicks) (Anderson) (1886 - 1954) cook, madam

Tobias Lawson was born in Waddy, Kentucky. By the time she started school, she was insisting on wearing dresses, and called herself Lucy. Her mother took her to a physician and was advised to raise the child as a girl.

Lucy Lawson left school at fifteen, and worked as a domestic servant. In her twenties, Lucy moved to Pecos, Texas and worked in a hotel for a decade. In 1920 Lucy married Clarence Hicks in Silver City, New Mexico, and then moved to Oxnard, California.

Mrs Hicks worked as a cook and nanny, in particular for the Donlon family. She won prizes in cooking competitions. She saved her money and purchased a downtown property. In 1929 she divorced Mr Hicks. There was less work available during the Depression years, and by the Second World War, Lucy was running a bordello, and was frequently arrested for being a madam.

One of her girls contracted a venereal disease, and the entire house was medically examined, which led to the discovery that Lucy was male-bodied. In 1944 Lucy married Reuben Anderson, a soldier stationed in New York.

In 1945 Mrs Anderson was convicted of perjury in that in applying for a marriage license she had sworn that there were “no legal objections to the marriage". She was sentenced to ten years probation. Challenging the doctors who had proclaimed that she was male, She insisted: “I defy any doctor in the world to prove that I am not a woman. I have lived, dressed, acted just what I am, a woman".

In 1946 both Lucy and Reuben were convicted and imprisoned for fraud in that Lucy had received payments as the wife of a soldier. After release Lucy attempted to return to Oxnard, but the local police chief warned her to stay away.

Lucy Anderson spent the remainder of her life in Los Angeles until her death in 1954, at age 68.

* not the parliamentarian

It is very noteworthy that a doctor in the 1890s suggested that a trans girl actually be raised as a girl.

Lucy was quite a woman. She was 58 when Reuben married her.

There is no mention of whether Lucy was allowed to sell her house in downtown Oxnard, or was otherwise compensated for its loss.

Was she sent to a women's prison?
p89 of Oxnard: 1941-2004.

23 April 2015

Tommy Vasu (191? - 1965) bar owner

Tommy Vasu was the first known lesbian to legally own a bar in San Francisco, possibly using the money she made managing the sex work of a number of her girlfriends.

She ran Tommy's Joint at 299 Broadway from 1948 to 1951. Tommy usually dressed in men's double-breasted suits, ties and a fedora hat. She kept her hair short and went with hookers. She also ran the parking lot across the street, ran around with gangsters and drove a Cadillac convertible. Prostitutes and lesbians, artists, bohemians and queers mixed in the bar. In June 1949 the police raided and eight women were charged with vagrancy.

Later she ran Tommy's Place at 529 Broadway from 1952 to 1954, across from the then new City Lights Bookstore. In 1954 the bar was closed by the vice Squad. Two of the bartenders were charged with serving minors, and then some heroin, probably planted, was found in the ladies' toilets. Tommy lost her license and one of the bartenders was convicted.

She still ran the parking concession. In the late 1960s she had a expensive blond girlfriend who was on heroin. And Tommy became a dealer to supply her needs. She was busted in 1969 and served five years in the California Correctional Institution at Tehachapi.

She was murdered shortly afterward.

21 April 2015

Harry Benjamin's Other Books

The NO.WIKIPEDIA (Norwegian) page on Harry Benjamin gives his published works as:

The second item, Better sight without glasses, has also been claimed by Gallus MagAndrea James, gave the same bibliography, but has now removed it:

I have already explained that there was another Harry Benjamin, a British naturopath and Gurdjieffian.

The sexologist Harry Benjamin (1885-1986) wrote four and only four books:
  • Harry Benjamin. In Time--We Must Accept. Los Angeles: Mattachine Review, 1957.
  • Harry Benjamin & Robert E.L. Masters. Prostitution and morality: a definitive report on the prostitute in contemporary society and an analysis of the causes and effects of the suppression of prostitution. Julian Press, 1964.
  • Harry Benjamin. Nature and Management of Transsexualism: With a Report on Thirty-One Operated Cases. Seattle, Wash.?: s.n, 1964.
  • Harry Benjamin. The Transsexual Phenomenon. Julian Press, 1966. Warner Books Edition 1977.
The first and third books are almost impossible to find, as difficult to find as the books by Angela Douglas. However the second is easily available on the second-hand market.

For some reason both Andrea James and NO.WIKIPEDIA did not mention any of Benjamin’s actual books other than the 1966 one.

Let us have a look at the second book, Prostitution and morality, by Harry Benjamin & Robert E.L. Masters.

It is not usually mentioned that Benjamin had an ongoing interest in prostitution. However as the back flap says:

Harry Benjamin, M.D., sexologist, endocrinologist, and geriatrician has been for decades an internationally recognized authority on sexual problems. His first article dealing with prostitution appeared more than 30 years ago [ie in the 1930s]. Since that time he has published many additional articles on the subject. His thinking about prostitution has been enriched by personal discussions of the problem with such men as Havelock Ellis, Magnus Hirschfeld, and Alfred Kinsey; and by a correspondence with René Guyon.

The second author Robert E L Masters (not to be confused with William Masters who investigated sexual responses) wrote a number of books on sex and the mind (Amazon).

The back flap concludes: “Another Benjamin-Masters collaboration, on the subject of transsexualism and ‘change of sex,’ is presently in progress". As we know it did not come out as a collaboration.

In his Preface, Benjamin explains that he was incensed by the February 1931 murder of New York prostitute Vivian Gordon, whose murderer was never convicted. This started his involvement with and his being an advocate for the decriminalization of prostitution.

Some prostitutes are, of course, trans women. This comes up three times in the book.

In chapter 5: Varieties of Prostitution and Prostitutes, includes a section "A new kind of prostitute". Benjamin explains that he has had "extensive first-hand clinical experience with such cases for many years, and employed the term 'Transsexualism' now widely used". He explains the basics, and that "many of the products of sex conversion emerge as extremely attractive 'females' " [note the quotations marks]. He cites Coccinelle, April Ashley and Hedy Jo Star as examples who were attractive. Of his 108 mtf cases at that date, 15 were earning their living as prostitutes, and another 15 were doing it part-time. Benjamin thinks that reassurance that one is actually a female is sought in coitus, and that once this reassurance is acquired, she may settle down to a more normal existence. An even better proof of femininity is being married, "and this factor tends to limit the duration of period of harlotry". He also considers non-operated transsexuals who are saving for the operation. These "will not allow coitus". (page 165-8)

Chapter 10: Homosexual Prostitution, quickly mentions transvestite prostitutes in the Middle and Far East, and cites Kraft-Ebing on urnings who use female coquetry. "The imitation of feminine peculiarities is spontaneous and unconscious in congenital and in some acquired cases of antipathic sexual instinct". (page 288)

Later in the same chapter there is a section "Female impersonators". Benjamin notes that transsexual prostitutes are very considerably outnumbered by homosexual transvestite prostitutes, some of whom work in nightclubs as female impersonators where they make contacts with the patrons of the club. He estimates that 10% of the impersonators were transsexuals, 30% bi- or heterosexual, and 60% homosexual. He also regards the customers of trans prostitutes as homosexual or bisexual – "some are probably latent homosexuals who are able more or less to pretend that the impersonator is genuinely female". Benjamin makes a contrast: "There is a large psychological gulf separating the homosexual transvestite from the transsexual – a gulf utterly ignored by some 'scientific' writers on the subject … and members of the two groups often share an intense dislike for one another'. (page 305-9)
Benjamin would seem have adjusted his opinion somewhat between this 1964 book and The Transsexual Phenomenon in 1966. There 'fetishistic transvestite' and 'true transvestite' are described as Kinsey 0-2 only. Thus the 'homosexual transvestite', who is acknowledged here, disappears. There are several references in The Transsexual Phenomenon to Virginia Prince, and it would seem that was the period when she influenced him. The non-performing, non-prostitute gay transvestite is quite invisible in both books.

One of Benjamin's patients was Patricia Morgan who started as a male prostitute, became a transvestite prostitute, had surgery from Elmer Belt in 1961, and continued as a female prostitute. Perhaps Benjamin should have listened more attentively to what Morgan had to say. In her very being she refutes his simple distinction between the homosexual transvestite and the transsexual.

Male homosexuals are attracted by masculine persons and masculinity. Recent studies have shown that men attracted to trans women are a type of heterosexual man. Benjamin, despite his insight elsewhere, fails to comprehend this.

There is no mention of trans men (ftm) prostitutes. They do exist.

Benjamin seems to be too focused on attractive trans women. Many trans women are not attractive enough to work in nightclubs and/or do not pass. Many of these are unable to obtain other kinds of work, and are compelled to turn to prostitution to survive. They may also be compelled by the state refusing to re-issue personal documents which are required when obtaining work. There is no mention of this.

The EN.WIKIPEDIA bibliography for Harry Benjamin, which fails to note which are books and which are articles, claims that Benjamin wrote only the Introduction to Prostitution and Morality. Actually the Introduction was written by Walter C. Alverez.

18 April 2015

Léo Kret (1983 - ) musician, councillor.

Kret of Pernambués, Salvador, Bahia, was talented even as a child, and came to the attention of television personality, Clodovil Hernandes, who arranged years of training. Kret became a dancer and funk singer in the band Saiddy Bamba.

During transition she ran for Salvador council in 2008 for the Party of the Republic, and despite being the most harassed candidate by the press she came fourth highest in the vote. She was still legally male under Brazilian law, and was expected to wear a suit and tie and use the men’s toilets.

However in November 2009 Léo won a ruling in the Civil Registration Court recognizing her identity. During her three years in office, councillor Kret worked on the committees for citizens' rights, repairs and economic development and tourism. Despite this, in 2012 she was not re-elected.

She has now returned to singing and formed the group Léo Kret & As Novinhas.
PT.WIKIPEDIA    Desciclopedia    Camara Municipal de Salvador

15 April 2015

Helen Wong ( 1973 - ) actress

Wong was born in Guizhou, China, grew up in Hong Kong, emigrated to the United States at age 17, and lives in Los Angeles.

While doing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Southern California and working as a female impersonator, Wong was persuaded by a friend, Annabel Chong, to do porn acting.

Chong set a world record in 1995 for the number of men she had sex with on camera. She was never paid for the role, and the resulting video ran into legal problems. A documentary about the making of that film was made in 1999: Sex: The Annabel Chong Story. Wong appeared in his male persona as Chong's friend (Walter L. Williams also appeared in his professional role as an anthropologist).

Using the professional name, Allenina, Wong has worked as a model, actress, dancer and film director. In addition to porn she has appeared on television dating shows as an out transsexual.

She was also in National Lampoon Presents Lost Reality, 2004.


12 April 2015

Aase Schibsted Knudsen (1954 - ) media academic

Knudsen was born in Fumes, Norway, and did a BSc Electronics Engineering at Gjøvik University College, 1979 and a PhD in media production at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm with a BSc.

Since 2007, when she was in the middle of transition, Knudsen has been a professor at The Norwegian Film and Television School, Lillehammer University College. In 2009 Aase came out in the press and on television to educate the Norwegian public about transsexuality.

Since 2010 she has been on the Trans Policy Committee of Landsforeningen for lesbiske, homofile, bifile og transpersoner (LLH). She is also a guitar and bass player.


09 April 2015

Alessandra di Sanzo (1969 - ) actress.

Alessandro di Sanzo was born in Gattico, Piermont, but later the family moved to Rome.

di Sanzo was an apprentice hairdresser when recruited by an agency to audition to play a trans teenager in reform school in Mery per sempre (Forever Mary), 1989. di Sanzo was chosen, and again played the same part in the sequel, Ragazzi fuori, 1990, and then played variations on similar characters even after she herself transitioned.

Alessandra also acted on the stage, and recorded songs.

In 1994 she was hired by the fashion designer Egon von Furstenberg and had to walk the catwalk in a bridal dress. The Church took umbrage as she is a known transsexual, however the event provided publicity.

More recently Alessandra has been living in Bologna with her brother doing voice dubbing on cartoons. She still does acting, and was most recently in Ragazzi della notte, 2011.


    07 April 2015

    Liu Shi Han 刘诗涵 (1989 - ) model

    Liu was raised in Changsha 長沙; Hunan.

    After graduating from Hunan Mass Media Vocational Technical College, Liu performed as a professional pole dancer and with a boa constrictor for three years, saving madly for surgery.

    Afterwards Shi Han moved to Beijing and obtained modelling gigs for magazine, websites and online games. In late 2010 Shi Han confirmed, on her blog, that she had had transgender surgery.
    我确实做过变性手术。我只想隐姓埋名做一个普通人。可匿名者就是不肯放过我。要公开我的隐私曝光我不能生BB的事实在媒体大众面前。现在,我承认了。不用逼我,我会自己慢慢说出真相。与其让别人一而再中伤我,不如自己坦诚面对一切。(“I did have transsexual surgery. I just wanted to hide my identity and be an ordinary individual. But an anonymous person just wouldn’t let me go, making my privacy public and exposing to the media and public the fact that I can’t give birth to babies. Now, I admit it. No need to push me. I will slowly reveal the truth. I’d rather honestly face all this than allowing others to slander me.)”
    A few television channels picked up on the story and Shi Han was interviewed and small
    documentaries made about her. While before her confirmatory posting she had been bothered by text messages from rich men and directors, asking her to be the man's mistress, such messages quickly stopped.

    Liu Shi Han is recognised and respected as China's first transsexual model.
    Top 10 transsexual entertainers in Asia      Red Flava

    05 April 2015

    Micheline Anne Montreuil (1952–) lawyer

    Montreuil was born in Québec City where the family has lived since 1627. After studying law in industry, administration and education, Montreuil competed to be federal Liberal Party candidate in 1984 in Langelier riding, Québec City.

    Montreuil transitioned as Micheline in 1986.

    She was a candidate for Québec City council in 1993. From 1997-2002 she fought a legal challenge to the Registrar of Civil Status of Québec which wouldn’t change her legal name, although she had already changed her passport and other federal documentation. Her request to change her name was finally accepted in 2002.

    In 1998 she failed to get a job at the National Bank and claimed that this was because of her gender history. The Bank argued that she was ‘overqualified, condescending and self-centered’ but was ruled against by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

    In 2003, as a big media event at the Quebec City Palais des Arts, she was married to lawyer and author Michèle Morgan.

    In 2007, after many years on New Democrat Party committees she was acclaimed as the NDP candidate for Québec (Langelier, which had been renamed), with the approval of party leader Jack Layton. However she was later dropped, with the reason given that her language in interviews was 'too strong'.

    In 2007 she also won a grievance against the Canadian Forces which turned her down as a grievance officer on the grounds that there wasn’t enough work in French. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal awarded her $40,000.

    She has since worked as a lawyer at the Conseil de la justice administrative and teacher of ethics and law at the Université du Québec à Rimouski. She is also a lawyer in private practice.    EN.WIKIPEDIA