This site is the most comprehensive on the web devoted to trans history and biography. Well over 1400 persons worthy of note, both famous and obscure, are discussed in detail, and many more are mentioned in passing.

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28 September 2015

Jayne County (1947 - ) Part III: London and Berlin

Part I: Atlanta
Part II: New York City
Part III:  London and Berlin

Wayne debuted at London's Roxy in March 1977, and renamed the band to The Electric Chairs. New Musical Express journalist Julie Burchill (who in later years would express anti-trans opinions) was very supportive of the band. They were the only punk act at the Reading Festival that year and played to an antagonistic audience.

After a gig with Adam and the Ants, Wayne was introduced to Derek Jarman who cast her as a transvestite rock star in his film Jubilee.

Safari Records signed the group who put out their first album, although the more controversial tracks were kept apart for a special EP, Blatantly Offenzive. Wayne's transition can be seen on the album covers of the first three albums. On The Electric Chairs, 1978, Wayne has a masculine appearance; on Man Enough to be a Woman, 1978, the two personae are juxtaposed; on Things Your Mother Never Told You, 1979, there is only a feminine version.

The second album, which was also issued under the name Storm the Gates of Heaven, contains "Man enough to be a Woman" but also songs against organized religion as well as a statement about County's belief in a god.
"When we recorded the second album, I was beginning to feel very strongly that I wanted to take the transsexual thing a lot further; I'd stopped doing hormones for a while and really toned down my appearance, but I wasn't happy with that. I'd got a lot of attention with the Electric Chairs, and I decided it was time to come out and be the first up-front transsexual in a rock band. The music press was really interested and supportive for a while; they'd never had this before, and they could see me changing right before their very eyes."(p126)
After a European tour for the second album, County stopped in West Berlin for a fortnight before returning to London for a nose job. However she ran into the wrong immigration official, was detained overnight and returned to West Berlin.

There, she was introduced to Romy Haag and her club. She had her nose done by a doctor on the Kurfürstendamm, who had worked on several trans women. When County returned to England at the end of Summer 1978, press reports suggested that she had had the full sex change, but she tired of explaining and let people assume as they liked.
"It bothered people. There was a distinct cooling of attitude, even among the fans; underneath that liberal attitude exterior, a lot of punk fans were really straight-down-the-line conservatives, and they hated the fact that I was actually living out the implications of my songs. Some of them even said 'You've betrayed your sex'." (p131)
Late in the year the band went to a farm in Wales to write the third album. Things Your Mother Never Told You came out to good reviews and was followed by a gruelling tour of Europe.

In Late summer 1979, Wayne fled to New York and decided that it was time to change her name to Jayne. She founded a new band, played CBGBs and toured. She also toned down her appearance.

Early 1980 Jayne returned to West Berlin to be in a play with Romy Haag. The play was a success, but Jayne and Romy fell out and remained so for many years. Jayne lived with PJ from San Francisco who had been in the Angels of Light before moving to West Berlin. However PJ decided not to continue as a woman and after being sacked by Romy returned to living as a male, and then her Turkish boyfriend did not want her any more.
"It was during my time in Berlin that I came closest to the idea of having a full sex change; it certainly would have been easy enough to arrange, and it's what everyone expected me to do. … The only reason that I can see for having the full change is so that you can move to a different town and marry a man and live completely as a woman, without anyone ever knowing what you are. But I don't think I could do that. Let's face it, if people know you're a sex change you'll never be accepted as a woman. … I'm happy in between the sexes; I'm comfortable and I actually like the idea. … I certainly wouldn't be happy with idea of being a man, and I don't consider myself a man, but I'm not going to try and convince myself that I'm really a woman." (p138-9)
Jayne was friends with Zazie de Paris (Solange Dymenzstein). She starred in Rock & Roll Peepshow. She also did a St Patricks Day concert at a US Army Base.

Jayne was introduced to the Latvian-born director Rosa von Praunheim and was cast in the film Stadt der Verlorenen Seele (City of Lost Souls) 1982 with Angie Stardust and Tara O'Hara.

In 1983, Leee arranged a gig in New York, and Jayne put on Rock & Roll Peepshow at the Pyramid, which led to the show Les Girls with Holly Woodlawn and Alexis del Lago, and International Chrysis.

Then Jayne returned to Germany for the City of Lost Souls tour, which was followed bt time in London where she was booked at the Fridge in Brixton, and she encountered Alan/Lanah Pelley during his transsexual phase.

She stayed in England until 1987. She recorded a couple of albums but they were not promoted.

On return to New York, Jayne took up with drag performer Constance Cooper, who introduced her to Sally's Hideaway off Times Square.

Jayne had not been home for 20 years. She phoned her mother and proposed a visit. She got a gig at Atlanta's Club Rio and attempted to find those she knew from the 1960s, but could find only Diamond Lil. She was introduced to the rising stars RuPaul and Deandra Peak.

To visit her parents she really dressed down. She ended up staying the summer.
"However much I may be Jayne County, my old personality, Wayne, is still there; it never goes away. … Jayne County is the one who's out there hustling and trying to do something with her career. But when I get home alone I can't wait to get the wig and make-up off, to put on an old t-shirt and my reading glasses and read my religious books or my history books or a horror novel, to eat cookies and drink tea." (p164-5)
Afterwards Jayne did a gig in Tel Aviv, and then returned to London for another four years. She became a regular at the Apollo Club in Wardour Street, where she met met old-time transvestites such as Francis Bacon, the painter.

She returned to New York at the end of 1992, and was in the Wigstock film, 1995. Her autobiography Man Enough to be a Woman came out the same year.

In 2014 Jayne was banned from Facebook for using the word 'tranny' a word that she has been using for 40 years. She spoke back in an article in Queerty:
"Tranny is not a slur word and I resent anyone trying to make it one. It’s the intent behind the word, rather than the word itself, that can be sometimes offensive. It may be a silly word, but it’s certainly not worthy enough to be banned. That is censorship, pure and simple and no better than right-wing Christian extremists or any other tyrants, who want to force their narrow-minded, conservative opinions on others."

Jayne has also been posting controversial opinions on FaceBook and on her blog,   rockandrollantirepublikkkanleague.    An article in Haaretz interprets them as simple support for Israel, but they are also anti-Republican.    EN.Wikipedia    QMH   ArtofExmouth    IMDB      rockandrollantirepublikkkanleague      FaceBook     

German television, Rockpalast 19/12/1978

25 September 2015

Jayne County (1947 - ) Part II: New York City

Part I: Atlanta
Part II: New York City
Part III:  London and Berlin

After a spell living at the YMCA, Wayne met the aspiring photographer Leee Childers (1945 - 2014) who invited him to share a coldwater walkup on 13th St. Wayne hung out at the Sewer club on West 18th St where he encountered members of Charles Ludlum's Ridiculous Theatrical Company, and also Holly Woodlawn, a friend of Tammy Novak. Leee had already photographed Holly and Tammy.

On the night of June 27 1969 Wayne was on his way to the Stonewall when he met Miss Peaches and Marsha P Johnson and realized that a riot was in progress.  He joined an impromptu march up and down Christopher Street shouting "Gay Power!".

Through Leee, Wayne came to know Jackie Curtis and Candy Darling, and the Andy Warhol crowd. After falling out with Warhol's screenwriter, John Vaccaro, Jackie moved into Leee's flat. Shortly afterwards, Holly also moved in. After Leee and Wayne had been to Woodstock, Wayne started going to Max's Kansas City at 213 Park Avenue.

Wayne's first on-stage performance was in Jackie Curtis' Femme Fatal, a women-in-prison play.  He wanted a stage name and took Wayne County, from where Detroit is located, in homage to Iggy and the Stooges. He was cast as a psychotic southern lesbian. Patti Smith played a mafia dyke, and Bunny Eisenhower was also in it.

Wayne wrote a play World – Birth of a Nation that had lots of sex and fetishes in it. It was produced, and one of the stars was Cherry Vanilla. Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey came to the opening night, and The Village Voice gave it a rave review.

Andy Warhol had been taping private telephone conversations, and he arranged for them to be transcribed and arranged into a play, that became called Pork. Wayne was to play a character based on Warhol Superstar Viva. The play got a big write-up in The New York Times, and it was taken to England, where it opened, August 1971, at the Roundhouse in Camden Town. This was the same time as the Oz Magazine trial for obscenity. The reviews in the British Press were completely negative, but crowds came anyway. Rod Stewart and Ron Wood came more than once. As did David and Angie Bowie.

Back in New York Wayne got a gig as the house DJ at Max's Kansas City, and did some more theatre. While playing a transvestite revolutionary in a play, Wayne thought about forming a band, which became Queen Elizabeth, which took a lot of ideas from the Ridiculous Theatrical Company and Jackie Curtis, and put them to music. They played with the New York Dolls and at Max's. David Bowie's manager Tony Defries put Wayne on a retainer, but never recorded the band.

In October 1973 Wayne was on the cover of Melody Maker, and was in David Bowie's 1980 Floor Show with Amanda Lear and Marianne Faithful. In 1974 Wayne started doing shows at the 82 Club.

At this time Wayne read Canary Conn's autobiography, and felt that she wanted to be more transsexual than drag queen. She was referred to Eugene/Jeanne Hoff (who herself was starting transition) at what had been the Harry Benjamin practice. Hoff advised
"You should only get a sex change if you are one hundred and twenty five per cent sure about it. If you have the least hesitation about it, don't do it".(p100)
After starting on female hormones, early in 1976, Wayne resumed being the DJ at Max's, and working with the new band, The Back Street Boys, and wrote the song 'Man Enough to be a Woman'. A proposed album with ESP records fell through, but they were included on the compilation album Max's Kansas City: New York New Wave.

While mainly a Max's performer, Wayne did a gig at the competing nightclub, CBGBs where she was heckled by ex-wrestler Dick Manitoba, singer in the band, The Dictators, shouting homophobic taunts.  Manitoba then climbed on the stage holding a beer-mug, and County hit him with the microphone stand.   County cut his hair short and wore a false beard, but was arrested for assault some days later and spent one night in jail.   Other musicians and performers including the Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, The New York Dolls, Jackie Curtis, Holly Woodlawn, Divine put on a benefit to meet County’s legal costs.  Three times Manitoba failed to show in court and therefore the charges were dropped.

Leee Childers was working in London, and phoned that Wayne should be also.

  • Viviane K.Namaste. " 'A Gang of Trannies': Gender Discourse and Punk Culture". Chp 4 in Invisible Lives: The Erasure of Transsexual and Transgendered People. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. 
  • Zagria. "'A Gang of Trannies': Gender Discourse and Punk Culture – a review of the chapter by Viviane Namaste". Gender Variance in the Arts, 05 March 2011.

Viviane Namaste doesn't seem to have a feel for how trans and punk interact.    She takes the Dick Manitoba episode and attempts to deform it to fit her theoretical position.  This attempt is not helped by her getting most of the facts wrong, nor by her disinterest: "Yet I remain uninterested in a type of historical inquiry that would establish the presence of MTF transsexuals in punk culture”.

Jayne County's account of Stonewall has been added as a comment to that posting. 

Song by Wayne County

Jayne County, The Lower East Side Biography Project, excerpt from 28 minute biography from Steve Zehentner on Vimeo.

22 September 2015

Jayne County (1947 - ) Part I: Atlanta

Part I: Atlanta
Part II: New York City

Part III:  London and Berlin

Wayne Rogers grew up in the small town of Dallas, Georgia. The family was originally Baptist, but became Methodist after moving to a better part of town. When Mrs Rogers was unable to have more children after the birth of the third by caesarean section, she turned to the Worldwide Church of God after hearing Herbert W Armstrong preach on the radio. One of Wayne's aunts killed her husband with a shotgun and walked free after claiming that he was attempting to molest their daughter. Mr Rogers lost the family home gambling.

They then moved to Marietta, which is closer to Atlanta and has bus connections. Wayne started going out dressed female. He also found a copy of John Rechy's City of Night and immediately identified with Miss Destiny, and Kenneth (later Katherine) Marlowe's Mister Madam.

After high school, he got a job in Atlanta, and after work would look for queer people. He then found the beatnik coffee houses and drag bars – although in Georgia you had to be 21 to get into a bar.

He became a Screaming Queen: they wore make-up, screamed at boys and ran away. The local word for that was 'wrecking'. The other queens were referred to as Miss Cocks, Miss Hair, Miss Car, Davinia Daisy who passed well and Queen Elizabeth who managed to get a job as a female model in an Atlanta department store. An older queen, Diamond Lil, ran an antique shop and did drag shows (she is the only one here to be mentioned in Gay and Lesbian Atlanta).
"Everyone was just gay as far as we were concerned; that was the word that we used. … it was just one big grab-bag of being different".(p29-30)
In 1966 Wayne got a Yankee boyfriend, and they got a flat together – the first time that he left home. By now Wayne was a gay hippy rather than a screaming queen. He did his first drag performances miming to Dusty Springfield and Janis Joplin at the hippy bar, The Catacombs, on the corner of 14th Street. Diamond Lil also performed there.

In 1967 Wayne took the Greyhound bus to New York City for $25 ($175 in modern money). He survived by meeting people in the Stonewall, but could not afford a winter coat, so in September phoned his father for money and returned to Atlanta.

He trained as a male nurse and worked in an old-folks' ward. One night Wayne "in hippy chick drag" took his mother's car but was stopped by the police. He was let out on bail, but the hospital was informed and he lost his job the next day. He took the Greyhound to New York City again.


The Wikipedia page for Dallas includes Wayne Rogers/Jayne County in its list of notables, but the one for Mariette does not.

Jayne County explains 'Wrecking' (excerpt) from nicholas abrahams on Vimeo.

19 September 2015

Peter Walker (1942 - ) plastic & reconstructive surgeon

Pater Walker's father was a Dutch diplomat, and his mother an art teacher from Christchurch, New Zealand. Until the age of 10 he was educated at English private schools in Egypt, and after that at boarding schools in New Zealand. He did his medical education at Otago University Medical School, 1961-79, and has been a plastic & reconstructive surgeon since 1981. Most of his work has been breast reductions and augmentations, nose jobs and tummy tucks, and reconstructive surgery in the wake of skin cancer.

He did his first transgender operation in 1992.
"My patients have been aircraft pilots, electronics technicians, computer operators, accountants. They've been merchant mariner captains. Unfortunately, there is still a residuum who have been ostracised at school and left as early as they could and ended up at the bottom of the heap, and had to, for example, become prostitutes. You have from aircraft pilots to prostitutes - the whole range. … They've tried to deny they are transgendered, and done everything they could to demonstrate to the world that they're not. But finally they have to face themselves, and become the female they know they should be."
Walker was part of a three-surgeon team based in Christchurch that has performed 61 male-to-female surgeries. During a four-hour operation, colorectal surgeon Richard Perry created the vagina, urologist Stephen Mark reorganised the urinary plumbing and Walker dealt with the external bits. This was the only provision in New Zealand. In the early days when the NZ $ was weak, private patients came from around the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and the US. He's operated on a Texan police officer. He's in email contact with an American pastor who has
"a great following in her church - I think they probably do know she's transgender."
Some of his patients said that they had no interest in penetrative sex, so the operation was simply external, with no vagina. Dr Walker has also become renowned for 'salvage surgery' where failed inverted penile surgery had to be corrected.

The New Zealand health system pays for four mtf operations every two years, and sends one ftm person abroad for surgery.

The patient who got the most attention in the press was Joanne Proctor, who was due for surgery in 1997 when her local health authority decided to stop funding such procedures. It was not until 2002 that she was rescheduled with Dr Walker, and due to some misunderstanding it was decided to do a colovaginoplasty rather than a penile inversion, while Joanne was expecting the latter. Joanne was left with post-surgical complications, which ended up costing the national health service as much again as the vaginoplasty had done.

In 2007, Walker had temporarily stopped doing surgery while he underwent surgery himself - an elbow reconstruction, a double hip replacement and an acute gall bladder operation. He was out for another few months with a broken leg suffered in a jet-boat accident this year.

A report by the Human Rights Commission the next year criticised the Ministry of Health for contracting transgender operations to only one surgeon, in that the patient's right to quality health services was thereby limited.

Walker's last transgender patient before he retired in 2014 was Theresa, a truck driver, who had been living as female and on the waiting list for surgery for over two decades.

There are currently over 60 New Zealanders on the waiting list, a queue that will take 30 years to process at the current rate even if Dr Walker is replaced. He wrote to all the plastic surgeons in New Zealand, but failed to find any takers.
LinkedIn   Femaletomale    TSRoadMap

16 September 2015

20 trans/intersex persons in or from West Asia who changed things by example and/or achievement

  • Dr Khal‘atbari operated on Kubra in 1930
  • Bahram Mir-djalali (1939 - ) Tehran surgeon, trained in Paris, has done over 1000 sex change surgeries. GVWW  
  • Fawziya Janahi (1962 - ) Bahraini lawyer who has represented trans men. GVWW
  • Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (1902 – 1989) issued a fatwa in 1983 to permit transsexual changes. GVWW
  • Eliezer Yehuda Waldenberg (1915 – 2006) Jerusalem Rabbi ruled in late 1960s that a post-operative transsexual has changed her halachic gender. GVWW
  • Muhammad Mehdi Kariminia wrote an Islamic PhD on transsexuality, published as Sex Change, From Legal and Islamic Jurisprudence Perspective, 2011. Newsarticle
A special mention for Yasmene Jabar, a US American, who set up the web sites Cafe Trans Arabi and the International Transsexual Sisterhood, the first to help trans women in west Asia. In 2005 she was involved in the Trans Eastern Conference (TEC) in Istanbul. GVWW

  1. Assurbanipal/Sardanapalos (685-627 BCE) Assyrian King fond of spending time with his wives dressed in female clothing and makeup.   
  2. Elagabalus (203 – 222) Roman Emperor from age 14 to 18, born of a Syrian dynasty. Reputed to do what would now be regarded as gay and trans. EN.Wikipedia    
  3. Lucy Hester Stanhope (1776 - 1939), niece of UK Prime Minister William Pitt, settled in Palestine and wore male Arabic dress.  Book     Book 
  4. Kubra (1909 - ?) Iranian who had transgender surgery in in 1927. GVWW
  5. A Ma'dan mustergil (1917–?) landowner and poet.  GVWW
  6. Rina Natan (1923 - ?) earliest known Israeli trans woman. Newsarticle
  7. Maryam Molkara (1950 - ) Iranian activist who persuaded Ayatollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa permitting gender changes. GVWW    EN.Wikipedia
  8. Bülent Ersoy (1952 - ) Turkish singer, actor. GVWW      EN.Wikipedia
  9. Charles Kane (1960 - ) Iraqi born businessman in London, changeback. GVWW
  10. Demet Demir (1961 - ) Turkish activist. First trans woman and the first person considered a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International because of “sexual orientation”. Awarded 1997 Felip de Souza Award. GVWW
  11. ? (196? - ) a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards served five years in the war with Iraq. Her operation was paid for by a Muslim cleric whom she had worked for as a secretary, and later married. Newsarticle.
  12. Saman Arastu (1967 - ) Iranian actor. Newsarticle
  13. Sharon Cohen/Dana International (1972 - ) Israeli singer, Eurovision winner. GVWW     EN.Wikipedia
  14. Hussain Rabie (1974 - ) Bahraini para-athletic shot-putter and discus thrower GVWW
  15. Aderet (1976 - ) Israeli singer GVWW     EN.Wikipedia    
  16. Pooya Mohseni (1978 - ) Iranian actress in New York. GVWW
  17. Rüzgar Erkoçlar (1986 - ) Turkish actor GVWW
  18. Yuval Topper-Erez (1988 - ) Israeli trans man parent of two. Newsarticle
  19. Leyla Çalışkan (199? - ) Turkish basketball scout and trainer. Newsarticle
  20. Michelle Denishevich (199? - ) Turkish news reporter. Newsarticle

13 September 2015

Hussain Rabie (1974 - ) shot-putter and discus thrower.

Zainab Rabie, a Bahraini, knew by age 8 that she was different. Zainab married at age 25 but it didn’t work as she did not have standard female organs or chromosomes.

Rabie became a champion shot-putter and discus thrower.  As Rabie had a masculine build and deep voice, the sporting authorities raided her home looking for performance-enhancing drugs.

In 2005 Rabie, by now as Hussain Rabie, submitted medical reports and obtained a court order that explained that he is a trans man, so that he would not be stopped by immigration officials as in the past.

He had a mastectomy in Bahrain, and with the services of lawyer Fawziya Janahi persuaded the Bahraini Health Ministry to pay 5,000 dinars to cover his operation in Thailand and expenses. This was approved by both Sunni and Shi’ite clerics.

Being partially blind in one eye, Hussain does shot put and discus in the Bahrain Disabled Sports Federation, and he hoped to play for the male team after his return.

However his official legal recognition was delayed for one reason or another until 2008 when he was recognized as male by the High Civil Court.

10 September 2015

Solange Dymenzstein (194? - ) dancer, actress.

Dymenzstein was born in Montreuil outside Paris. At age 2 the family moved to Jerusalem where the child went to a French Catholic school with children of diplomats.

At age 11 they moved back to Paris and Dymenzstein received ballet training at the Paris Opera. This was followed by twelve years as a classical dancer, including with Maurice Béjart and at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg.

At age 23 Dymenzstein picked a country at random and went to Japan, was influenced by Kabuki and Noh theatre, and realised that he wanted to play female roles.

Dymenzstein was back in Paris for the 1968 riots and found work in the Alcazar cabaret (which included Marie France Garcia and Amanda Lear). This required playing many roles during each performance.

She moved to Berlin to start transition into Solange for she had heard that natural hormones were available, and being of Jewish descent was intrigued to see the city that been the Nazi capital. However she found Berliners to be quite friendly.

Like Romy Haag, she opened a nightclub. She took the show-biz name Zazie de Paris (a combination of Zsa Zsa Gabor and Zizi Jeanmaire). The club attracted the likes of David Bowie and became a centre for punks, but she found it too much work and left after a year. She was a friend of Jayne County.

In the 1980s Zazie started working in theatre with noted directors Jérôme Savary and Peter Zadek. She acted in minor films from 1982 onwards, but her breakthrough was with Werner Schroeter's film Deux (Two) in 1980 where she played a character called Zazie.

Solange completed her gender affirmation.  Later she was in the euthanasia-clinic comedy Kill Me Please, 2010 and Mario Fanfani's Les nuits d'été, 2015.

Usually she was denied cis female parts, but she has recently been working in the Tatort cop series on German television where she plays the best friend of a police Commissioner.

Solange now considers herself a Berliner, and has said that she will probably never leave.
DE.Wikipedia    IMDB

07 September 2015

Drag Queenery on the Road to Womanhood

Dolly Parton: “It’s a good thing I was born a girl … otherwise I’d be a drag queen.”

Mae West: “Camp is the kinda comedy where they imitate me.

Leslie Feinberg: "I've heard women criticize drag queens for 'mocking women's oppression' by imitating femininity to an extreme, just as I've been told that I am imitating men. Feminists are justifiably angry at women's oppression – so am I! I believe, however, that those who denounce drag queens aim their criticism at the wrong people. This misunderstanding doesn't take gender oppression into account. … There is a difference between the drag population and masculine men doing cruel female impersonations. The Bohemian Grove, for example, is an elite United States club for wealthy powerful men that features comedy cross-dressing performances. Many times the burlesque comedy of cross-dressed masculine men is as anti-drag as it is anti-woman. In fact it's really only drag performance when it's transgender people who are facing the footlights. Many times drag performance calls for skilled impersonations of a famous individual like Diana Ross or Judy Garland, but the essence of drag performance is not impersonation of the opposite sex. It is the cultural presentation of an oppressed gender expression."

There is a lot of nonsense being spread around about drag queenery. That all drag queens are gay; that it is only performance; that drag queens do not become women; that transsexuals and drag queens have little in common.  None of these claims are true when they are examined.

First of all – what does 'drag queen' mean. There have been three major usages:

a) theatrical performance as the other gender.

Such people were previously referred to as female impersonators or female mimics. Some female impersonators complete the journey to womanhood with surgery, others live full-time. Some of these transition while still performing the same act, others go on to acting, being restaurateurs, etc. Certainly as an occupational group, they have an extremely high transition rate.

F=Finocchio's, J=Jewel Box Review, C=Le Carrousel, G=Garden of Allah

FG   Liz Lyons (191? - ?)
G     Hotcha Hinton (1915 – 1983)
       Jeanette Schmid (1924 - 2005)
       Ginza Rose (192? - ?)
       Minette (1928 - 2001)
C    Jacqueline Charlotte Dufresnoy/Coccinelle (1931 - 2006)
C    Marie-Pierre Pruvot/Bambi (1935 - )
C    April Ashley (1935 - )
J    Terry Noel (1936 - )
F   Aleshia Brevard (1937 - )
F   Katherine Marlowe (193? - )
J    Angie Stardust (1940 – 2007)
     Karūseru Maki (1942 - )
C   Yeda Brown (194? - )
      Carlotta (1943 -)
C   Rogeria (1943 - )
C   Amanda Lear (1946 - )
      Holly Woodlawn (1946 - )
      Marie-France Garcia (1946 - )
      Rachel Harlow (1948 - )
      Nanjo Masami (194? - )
      Ajita Wilson (1950 -1987)
      Candis Cayne (1971 - )

If these women are not trans, then we really do not have much history

b) cross-dressers or transvestites who like attention, who like to be read, who exaggerate their femininity, while other transvestites prefer to pass.

This of course is also a type of performance, except that it takes place on the street, in restaurants, on public transport etc. Of course cis women also like to get in on this act, Mae West and Dolly Parton (who once failed to win in a Dolly-Parton lookalike contest) quickly come to mind.

This was a common usage when I was transitioning in the 1980s, but I get the feeling that the expression is less used these days. I am seeing 'attention junkie' or 'attention whore' more frequently, which disassociates the attitude from the cross-dressing.

c) street queens.

When Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P Johnson are described as 'drag queens' it is not because they were stage performers (although Marsha was for a while in Hot Peaches) but because they were 'street queens', that is they lived on the margins without a job or any reliable source of income and either they were without a steady place to live or lived in a commune of similar persons. Several of the voguing ball people such as Angie Xtravaganza lived similar lives. This is the classic life style for trans women found in India (hijras), Thailand (kathoay) Philipines, Brazil etc. The classic study is Frederick Whitam's Male Homosexuality in Four Societies: Brazil, Guatemala, the Philippines, and the United States. 

Most of these women fail to complete the journey to womanhood because they lived too soon for hormones and surgery to be available and/or they don't have the money to acquire them.   That does not make them less trans and it does not make them less of a woman.

This was the dominant way of living for trans women in the pre-modern world. Those who claim that drag queens are not trans are cutting us off from our past.

"If there is any one lesson to be learned from studying this field it is that the individual is individual. People define themselves and the self-definition must always takes priority over the received wisdom. I have met self-defined drag queens whom others would describe as TV either because they enjoy 'passing'; or because they 'dress' so often that it could be seen as a compulsion; or because they wear lingerie, either to turn men on or to make themselves feel sensuous. I have met drag performers who have grown to dislike drag, and men who insist on being called 'cross-dressers' because they dislike what the word 'drag' stands for, and men who wear part-drag in order to create confusion and doubt amongst others, but who would never wear full drag because that would defeat their object. I know self-defined TVs who are gay or bisexual or oscillating, some of them having learned to cross this sexuality barrier through their cross-dressing. I have met TVs who dress like drag queens and drag queens who dress like TVs, and TVs whose cross-dressing has encouraged them to question their 'male role', which in turn has made them examine their idea of 'femininity'. And perhaps most important of all, I have learned how marshy a terrain is the middle ground between our earlier clear-cut distinction between transvestites and transexuals." - Kris Kirk. Men in Frocks, 1984: 74.

04 September 2015

Donna Gee (1949–) sports writer, journalist

Gerry Greenberg was raised by a Jewish family in Caerphilly, Wales. His mother died of polio when he was six, and he was then sent to boarding school until father remarried.

His first job at age 16 was with the Pontypridd Observer weekly newspaper, where he gave singer Tom Jones his first write-up. He married and they had two daughters.
"I was in denial in public, but privately became a woman at any opportunity. I kept a bag of [women's] clothes in the garden shed that I took with me on assignment, and would dress up in the privacy of hotel rooms. Even though I knew there were many others like me out there, I was paranoid about being caught."
One time in the 1970s, Gerry's wife dressed him up as a woman for fun, but realized that it turned him on. She went to the doctor, and said that he was gay. They did not talk about it again for many years.

Gerry worked for the Express newspapers until 1976 when he moved to Manchester to work for the Jewish Chronicle and the Manchester Jewish Gazette. He then became part of the team that launched the new tabloid paper, The Daily Star in 1978 (again an Express newspaper), which was designed to use spare capacity on the Manchester presses. Gerry became the Star's rugby correspondent.

In 1992 Gerry wrote England Rugby star Wade Dooley's autobiography.

In 1997 Gerry searched 'transgender' and 'Manchester' on the Internet and found a local group. Regular e-mail exchanges followed until Gerry's wife noticed, and when she realized what was going on, she gave him a spare lipstick. Together they attended meetings and socials for trans people.
"It was stressful being two people. In time, I realized that my ultimate dream was to become a woman".
Greenberg's boss found out from an anonymous e-mail in 1999. A rumour went around that a sub-editor was changing. A betting book was opened on the identity.
"If only I’d known I was listed as a 40-1 outsider, my winnings could have paid for my surgery!"
After an initial consultations with Russell Reid,    Gerry wrote to workmates while on holiday in Israel, and became Donna Gee. The daughters, now in their thirties were accepting as were the five grandchildren.

Donna worked as a sub-editor for Metro, and the northern sports desk of The Sunday People. She had full sex affirmation in 2003. She also had electrolysis, breast augmentation, a facelift, her adam’s apple reduced and an eye lift in her quest to be a proper female. In all she paid £25,000.

In 2006 Donna and wife retired to Spain, although still doing work for papers in Manchester and Israel. They initially told the neighbours in Spain that they were cousins, but the kids visited and the neighbours asked which one was the mother to which and it became easier to tell the truth which was accepted.

She is working on her own autobiography.
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