This site is the most comprehensive on the web devoted to trans history and biography. Well over 1700 persons worthy of note, both famous and obscure, are discussed in detail, and many more are mentioned in passing.

There is a detailed Index arranged by vocation, doctor, activist group etc. There is also a Place Index arranged by City etc. This is still evolving.

In addition to this most articles have one or more labels at the bottom. Click one to go to similar persons. There is a full list of labels at the bottom of the right-hand sidebar. There is also a search box at the top left. Enjoy exploring!

29 March 2016

40 trans persons in Australia who changed things by example and/or achievement

  • Norman Haire (1892 – 1952) Australian sexologist, colleague of Hirschfeld. GVWW   book
  • Herbert Bower (1914 - 2006) co-founder of Monash Gender Dysphoria Clinic. GVWW

  • Trudy Kennedy (1936 - 2011) co-founder of Monash Gender Dysphoria Clinic.
  • Peter Haertsch (1945 - ) best-known Australian sex-change surgeon. Discussion   Newsarticle

  1. Edward de Lacy Evans (1830 – 1901) Irish immigrant in Melbourne, labourer outed when entered lunatic asylum in 1879. GVWW
  2. Steve Hart (1859 – 1880) Irish immigrant in Victoria State, part of Ned Kelly Gang. GVWW
  3. William Edwards (1874 – 1956) from Melbourne, sheep shearer, performer. GVWW
  4. Harry Leo Crawford (1875 – 1938) manual worker in Sydney convicted of murdering his wife. GVWW   EN.Wikipedia
  5. Bill Smith (1886 – 1975) Queensland jockey, brewery worker. GVWW
  6. William Smith (190? - ?) farm worker sued to get wages at male rate. GVWW
  7. Harry Foy (1901 – 1942) Sydney female impersonator 1940s GVWW
  8. Lea Sonia (191? - 1941) female impersonator in 1930s. GVWW
  9. Rose Jackson (1934 – 2011) Sydney performer, costumier. GVWW
  10. Kate Cummings (1935 - ) immigrant from Scotland, librarian who spent much time in North America meeting pioneers of the 1960s and 1970s. First Australian to get her Naturalization Certificate reissued with the revised gender. TSSuccesses

  11. Kathy Anne Noble (1935 - 2015) UK immigrant, Brisbane activist, founder of Agender Australia and Changeling Aspects. Book
  12. Peter Stirling (1936 - ) shoe retailer, store detective, female-born XXY  GVWW
  13. Pip Wherrett (1936 – 2009) Sydney motorsports journalist, broadcaster. GVWW   EN.Wikipedia
  14. Janine Roberts (1942 - ) UK immigrant, investigative journalist. GVWW
  15. Carlotta (1943 - ) Sydney entertainer, 1st trans to play trans on television in 1973. GVWW   EN.Wikipedia 
  16. Raewyn Connell (1944 - ) sociologist at the University of Sydney, specializes in the social construction of masculinity EN.Wikipedia
  17. Sarah Parry (1945 - ) ship's captain in Hobart. GVWW
  18. Westerley Windina (1950 - ) Queensland champion surfer. GVWW
  19. Doris Fish (1952 – 1991) Sydney drag performer who found fame in San Francisco. GVWW
  20. Rachael Padman (1954 - ) from Melbourne, physicist at Cambridge. GVWW
  21. Adele Bailey (1955 – 1978) NZ-born sex worker in Melbourne whose murder became an ongoing mystery. GVWW
  22. Catherine McGregor (1956 - ) Australian soldier, cricketer, sports writer, political aide GVWW   EN.Wikipedia
  23. Roberta Perkins (195? - ) author of Drag Queen Scene: Transsexuals in Kings Cross, and books on prostition, co-founder of Tiresias House, which grew into The Gender Centre. Books    Gender Centre
  24. Tracie O'Keefe (1957 - ) British-born hypnotherapist in Sydney, author of books on TSity Books   Gender Centre
  25. Penny Whetton (1958 - ) climate scientist in Victoria State. GVWW   EN.Wikipedia

  26. Olivia Watts (1961 - ) police officer, naturopath, Wicca  GVWW

  27. Norrie May-Welby (1961 - ) Immigrant from Scotland, pursued legal status of being neither male nor female. EN.Wikipedia
  28. Madison Hall (1964 - ) NSW murderer, first Australian to have TG surgery in prison. GVWW
  29. Estelle Asmodelle (1964 - ) NSW dancer. Model, activist. GVWW  EN.Wikipedia
  30. Mianne Bagger (1966 - ) pioneered permissions for trans women to compete in ladies' golf. EN.Wikipedia
  31. Alan Finch (1967 - ) UK immigrant. Much cited changeback. GVWW
  32. Sally Goldner (1968 - ) co-founder of Transgender Victoria, activist, GLBTI Person of the year 2015. VictoriaHRC
  33. Christine Chappel (1972 – 2000) from Perth, Western Australia, murdered in Suffolk, UK. GVWW
  34. Tony Briffa (1971 - ) PAIS raised as a girl, lived as a man, now neither/both. Intersex activist, Mayor of Hobsons Bay, Victoria. EN.Wikipedia   GVWW
  35. Savannah Jackson (1972 - ) financier. Newsarticle

  36. Veronica Baxter (1975 – 2009) Queensland aboriginal died in Sydney police custody. GVWW

  37. Bridget Clinch (1979 - ) Army Captain whose struggle to stay forced Army to change its policy of terminating trans persons. Newsarticle
  38. Delilah Slack-Smith (196? - ) martial artist. Gender Centre   Star Observer
  39. Jordan Raskopoulos (1982 - ) comedian, actor. EN.Wikipedia
  40. Kate Doak (198? - ) Sydney journalist DeadlyNewt

24 March 2016

Carys Massarella (1965–) physician.

Calum Massarella grew up in Sudbury, Ontario, graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1990, cum laude, and completed an FRCPC in Emergency Medicine at McMaster University in 1997.

From there Massarella took a position in the emergency department at the associated St Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, Ontario, and became Chief of Emergency Medicine there in 2001. Massarella also married and had two children.

When Massarella was 42, a trans patient suffered a cardiac arrest and died. This brought home to Massarella that he did not want to die as a man, and as Carys she completed transition in 2009, with surgery in the US.

Carys remains an attending Emergency Physician at St. Joseph’s and is the lead Physician for the Transgender Care Program at Quest Community Health Centre in nearby St Catharines. She is President of the Medical Staff Association.
“The biggest obstacle for most transgender individuals is access to medical care,” she says. “In our clinic, we no longer refer patients to psychiatrists. Being transgender is not a pathology. Gender dysphoria is not a psychiatric illness.”
“What I always tell people is, you’re always going to have a transgender identity. That’s never going to change. Whether or not you transition, that’s a personal decision. But at the end of the day, the vast, vast majority of people do better after they transition, or they feel better after they transition.”
“I must say, my American colleagues…every time I tell them I did this at a Catholic hospital they are like ‘no you didn’t’ and I’m like ‘yes I did.” 

14 March 2016

Deborah Hartin (1933 -2005) sailor, activist

The AP wire photo of Debbie
Austin Hartin joined the US Navy in 1953. He married while serving in Florida the next year. Later Hartin would explain that he married to escape from having to live in the all-male environment on the navy base. A daughter, Deborah, was born a year later. The Hartins separated in 1957.

Hartin became a patient of Leo Wollman, and then had surgery from Dr Burou in Casablanca, April 16 1970. She was granted a divorce later that year from the wife not seen since 1957. A name change to Deborah Hartin was also granted. The mother retained custody of the daughter. The case attracted press attention as it was one of the first divorce cases where one party had transitioned.

In 1971 Debbie was featured on local cable television and in Screw magazine. Both appearances included a clear view of her vagina. Later, in March the Queens Liberation Front presented themselves in a class on homosexuality at New York University, where Debbie also spoke. Later Debbie spoke about her problems with ‘her family, her neighbors and her daughter’ at a meeting that was supposed to be the inaugural meeting of Transsexuals Anonymous held at the office of Dr Benito Rish.

That same year she was on the New York David Susskind Show, and later was filmed being interviewed and examined by Leo Wollman. Again this examination included a close-up of her vagina. The segment was eventually incorporated in the 1978-released film Born A Man... Let Me Die A Woman. She was living with her parents at that time.
from Let Me Die a Woman

Deborah had been able to get her name and sex changed on her baptismal certificate and certificate of discharge from the navy. She applied to get the same changes on her New York birth certificate. The name was changed but sex left blank. The Bureau of Records had adopted a committee report in 1965 to omit a sex designation from amended birth certificates for transsexuals. This had been tested legally but unsuccessfully in Matter of Anonymous v. Weiner, 1966. This was re-inforced by an amendment to the New York City Health Code which was adopted unanimously in 1971 that a re-issued birth certificate for a transsexual should not indicate the applicant’s sex. Nevertheless Deborah sued the Director of the Bureau of Records in 1973 in that she was not issued a revised birth certificate saying ‘female’ and that this was arbitrary and capricious and constituted an abuse of discretion. However the court denied her suit ruling that the Board had acted in a rational manner and made no error with regard to their own rules. They cited the 1966 precedent.

In 1976, Jude Patton and Deborah were guests on the syndicated The Phil Donahue Show.

Deborah died age 71.
  • “Father divorced, wants to remarry as woman”. Seattle Daily Times, October 7, 1970: F1. Online.
  • “Transsexual Divorce Is Approved”. Mobile Register, October 8, 1970: 7F. Online.
  • Heidi Handman. “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Mother”. Screw, 109, April 5, 1971: 4,center spread.
  • Drag, 1,3, 1971: 10. Online
  • Garry Pownall, “AV View”. New Scientist, 54, 793, 27 April 1972: 221. Online
  • Hartin V. Dir. Of Bur. Of Recs. Supreme Court, New York County, August 3, 1973. Online
  • Doris Wishman (dir). Born A Man... Let Me Die A Woman. Hosted by Leo Wollman, with trans persons Deborah Harte, Leslie, Lisa Carmelle, Ann Zordi, and porn stars Harry Reem, Angel Spirit and Vanessa del Rio. Scientific and medical advisor: Dr Leo Wollman. US 78 mins 1978. Debbie is featured from 90-100 minutes.
  • M.J. Lucas. Let Me Die A Woman: The Why and How of Sex-Change Operations. New York: Rearguard Productions. 1978: 22-4.
  • Joanne Meyerowitz. How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States. Cambridge, Ma, London: Harvard University Press, 2002: 202, 236, 249, 278.
  • Samuel E Bartos. “Letting "privates" be private: Toward a right of gender self-determination”. Cardozo Journal of Law and Gender, 15,67, 2008. 

EN.Wikipedia     IMDB


Deborah is the only trans woman that I have come across who took her daughter's name.

11 March 2016

Moscow, 1926

In Nikolai Krementsov's Revolutionary Experiments: The Quest for Immortality in Bolshevik Science and Fiction, Oxford, 2013, we find on page 152.

"Available evidence indicates that at least one Moscow clinic did practice such operations.  As an Evening Moscow reporter informed his readers in December 1926, professor Il’ia Golianitskii, well-known for his work on plastic surgery and tissue transplantations, had successfully performed sex-change operations on both men and women.  Entitled “Underdeveloped people” and illustrated by  a photograph of one of the patients, the reportage described five successful sex-change operations: four on women and one on a man."

Unfortunately, that is the only mention of professor Golianitskii in the entire book.

 1926 is earlier than the pioneering operations carried out at Magnus Hirschfeld's Institute in Berlin.  If this is so, the early history of surgical transsexuality will be changed.  

04 March 2016

Curt Thomalla (1890 – 1939) doctor, writer

Thomalla, from Silesia, studied law and then medicine at the universities of Lausanne, Kiel, Würzburg, Erlangen und Breslau.

A volunteer in the War, he was severely injured in 1914. He passed the state exam in Breslau (now Wrocław in Poland) and worked at the city's Nervenklinik specialising in neurology and psychiatry.

From 1918 to 1925 he was head of the medical film archive at the UFA film studio in Potsdam. From 1924-6 he worked as a physician and as freelance writer, and was interested in the ideas of Eugene Steinach, rejuvenation and internal glands.

In 1924 he wrote for Uhu, the Berlin women's periodical, an article “The Riddle of the Glands: The mysterious Effects of Inner Secretion”, where he argued that 'sex intermediates' are the result of inner secretions, rather than of degeneracy. However he regarded this as a disease to be fixed by glandular means. The article was accompanied by a photograph of four 'women' who lived and worked as male, and had acquired police permits to do so.
Uhu, 1924, reprinted p104 in Sutton

From 1926 Thomalla worked for the German state as a popular educator on hygiene. In 1929 he was head of the press office of the association of German professional associations.

After the Nazi takeover he worked as a speaker in the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. In 1936 he published a book on eugenics with the then-required anti-Semitic aspects.

In 1939, feeling in disagreement with the government, he and his secretary both gassed themselves.
  • Curt Thomalla. “Ein psychiatrisch-neurologisches Filmarchiv. Zeitschrift für die gesamte” Neurologie und Psychiatrie, 45, 1/2, 1921.
  • Curt Thomalla. “Hygiene und soziale Medizin im Volksbelehrungsfilm”. Zeitschrift für Medizinalbeamte und Krankenhausärzte 21/23, ss. 589-593, 606-610, 631-635, 1922.
  • Curt Thomalla. “Steinachs Forschungen und Theorien im Lehrfilm”. Zeitschrift für ärztliche Fortbildung 20, ss. 52-56, 1923.
  • Curt Thomalla. “Vom medizinischen Lehrfilm zum Steinach-Film”. Der Bildwart (1), ss. 170-171, 1923.
  • Curt Thomalla. “Medizin und Arzt im Spielfilm”. Der Kinematograph, 805, 1923.
  • Curt Thomalla, “Das Drüsenrätsel: Das geheimnisvolle Wirkung der inneren Sekretion,” Uhu, no. illeg., November 1924, 82-91, 142-44.
  • Curt Thomalla. Innere Sekretion; Probleme der Blutdrüsen und Verjüngung, 1925.
  • Curt Thomalla. “The Sterilization Law in Germany”. The Scientific American 126, September 1934.
  • Curt Thomalla. Gesund sein – Gesund bleiben. Ein volkstümliches Hausbuch für den gesunden und kranken Menschen. Berlin: FW Peters, 1936
  • Katie Sutton. The Masculine Woman in Weimar Germany. Berghahn Books, 2011: 103-4.
  • Andreas Killen. Scientific and Medical Films in the 1920s-1930s. PDF