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!

27 February 2018

Gerd Winkelmann (1906–?) postal worker

Gerd Winkelmann was working for the post-office in Berlin in 1933 when he first obtained a Transvestitenschein (permit to cross-dress).

Two years later, after the Nazi takeover, he applied for an extension of the Transvestitenschein. Winkelmann pleaded that the discrepancy between the name on his papers and his appearance prevented him from getting a job, and that he could not wear female clothing because he was always taken to be a man. He stressed that he was not a lesbian. Three officials found his case to be plausible in that he looked like and passed as a man. They ordered the police to keep an eye on him.

In April 1936 the case was passed to the Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo), who requested a report from Herrn Professor Dr. Müller-Heß of the Berlin Institute for Forensic Medicine (Psychiatric division). His report is no longer in the archives.

In February 1940, the application was reprocessed. However it was announced that Winkelmann was a woman and must dress accordingly. A change of first name from Gertrud to Gerd would not be allowed. Winkelmann attempted to live as a woman, but met great humiliation.

  • Landesarchiv Berlin, A. Pr. Br. Rep. 30. Berlin C Tit. 198a 5. Allgemein, Nr.79.
  • Rainer Herrn. Schnittmuster des Geschlechts. Transvestismus und Transsexualität in der frühen Sexualwissenschaft. Giessen, 2005: 163-4.
  • Jane Caplan. “The Administration of Gender Identity in Nazi Germany“. History Workshop Journal, 72, Autumn 2011: 173.

26 February 2018

Jonathan Ferguson (1915 - 1974) pilot, engineer, civil servant

Joy Ferguson was born in Lurgan, County Armagh, and attended Lurgan College, a Christian instition which had admitted girls since 1918.

In 1939 while working as an electrical appliances demonstrator in the local electricity showrooms, Ferguson gained a Royal Aeronautical Club pilot’s licence. With this Ferguson was able to join the Women’s Air Transport Auxiliary (more), which moved planes around, especially from factories to airfields (the men pilots were all needed in combat). Ferguson flew as a 2nd officer and racked up over 1,000 flying hours, and continued with this commission after the war.

Ferguson was then employed by the Ministry of Supply working probably in aircraft research. She was also involved in the Air Rangers section of the Girl Guides, and was elected to the council of the Women’s Engineering Society.
Ferguson 1950s.  No post-transition photographs available

In 1958 Ferguson quit the WES. Shortly afterwards he announced that he had had a sex-change operation and was now Jonathan. He was even able to get his North Ireland birth certificate re-issued and the entry in the register of births changed. A spokesman for the civil service was quoted that “the alteration to the birth certificate will not affect his employment in the Ministry”, and he was upgraded to the male pay-scale.

Jonathan Ferguson died at age 59 after falling from a ladder while doing maintenance at home.


24 February 2018

Juno Dawson (1985–) school teacher, young adult author

James Dawson, from Bingley, Yorkshire, went to the University of Bangor (previously the University College of North Wales), moved to Brighton, Sussex, and became a school teacher of personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education. He lived as a gay man.

He wrote young adult novels with gay characters. He also wrote the well-received Being a Boy, 2013, a guide for boys going through puberty. In 2014 Dawson wrote in the Guardian:
“I was unaware gay people even existed and, when puberty hit, found myself more than a little lost. I so dearly wish there had been just one book with a character who was a bit like me – just a normal teenage guy who happened to be gay. I would have especially loved one whose sexuality did not define him.”
The same year, he became the first male winner the Queen of Teen award where the shortlist are all nominated by teenage readers, who then vote for the winner.

Dawson published This Book is Gay for lesbian, bisexual, gay, queer, transgender or just curious persons, but mainly for teens and young adults. By this time Dawson had begun a gender transition. In 2015 she announced that she was transgender and that her name was Juno. Most of her books were re-issued with her new name (but not Being a Boy).

She was signed to write a column in Glamour magazine to document the experience of transition.
In an interview with Attitude magazine, May 2017, Juno says
"I think there are a lot of gay men out there who are gay men as a consolation prize because they couldn’t be women. That was certainly true of me."
She describes her identity as a gay man as a 'personal misdiagnosis', and believes that it is a more common phenomenon than one may think.

For her Glamour column, Juno interviewed the plastic surgeon Christopher Inglefield who does work for trans persons.  She was considering facial feminization surgery. She was then invited to be part of the ITV 3-part series documentary, Transformation Street. She is featured in episode 2. It fell to her to help educate the television crew on limits, such as the inappropriateness of childhood photographs. Initially the program was to be called Sex Change Clinic, and Juno had to make a fuss to explain that such terminology is outmoded.

Juno’s most recent book is The Gender Games: The Problem With Men and Women, From Someone Who Has Been Both, which restates for another generation that gender is a system of oppression for cis and trans both, mixed with autobiography.

*Not the US Actress, nor the other writers called James Dawson.
Amazon Author Page     EN.Wikipedia     Glamour


This book is gay contains the following diagram which I think is kinda neat:

19 February 2018

Eve Golden (1957–) film biographer

Golden was born near Philadelphia, the child of an electronics engineer and a high-school guidance secretary. The family was gay-friendly, and one grandmother was openly lesbian. Family funding paid the costs of transition including surgery.

Golden graduated from Philadelphia College of Art, 1975 (before it became part of the University of the Arts). She read Neils Hoyer’s book on Lili Elbe and Jan MorrisConundrum; started hormones at 18, started living as a woman at 20, and had surgery as soon as she was 21. Eve had done two years at Towson State University as a man, took a semester off and returned as herself. That was okay with the students, but less so with the faculty. The head of the theatre department said that he would never allow her on stage. She would be a distraction -- and what if an actor had to play a love scene with her. However Eve did graduate in 1979.

She acted for about five years: Off-Broadway, in commercials and summer stock. In 1984 Eve got a job as a secretary with a New York advertising agency, and talked her way into a copywriting position.

Being a classic-movie buff, she was annoyed that there was no good book on Jean Harlow, and eventually had a go at writing one herself. She managed to get an agent, a publisher and an advance, and the book came out in 1991. It got good reviews and sold well.

By that time she was working as a senior editor. She followed up with books on silent actress Theda Bara, 1997, Essays on Silent Film Stars, 1998, Anna Held and Ziegfeld’s Broadway, 2000, the 1950s actress Kay Kendall, 2002.

From 2005 Golden was working as a freelance writer and photographic archivist. In 2007 she published a book on the Ragtime dancers, Vernon and Irene Castle.

Eve next intended to do a book on Peg Entwistle, the British actress, who is mainly remembered in that she jumped to her death from the Hollywood Sign in 1932 at the age of 24. However after starting research, she discovered that a first-time writer, James Zeruk, was already working on such a biography. Impressed by the quality of his work, she helped him.

Her most recent books have been Essays on film stars 1930s-60s, 2009, and on the silent actor, John Gilbert, 2013.
  • Eve Golden. Platinum Girl: The Life and Legends of Jean Harlow. Abbeville Press, 1991.
  • Eve Golden. Vamp: The Rise and Fall of Theda Bara. Vestal Press, 1997.
  • Eve Golden. Golden Images: 41 Essays on Silent Film Stars. McFarland, 1998.
  • Eve Golden. Anna Held and the Birth of Ziegfeld's Broadway. University Press of Kentucky, 2000.
  • Eve Golden. The Brief, Madcap Life of Kay Kendall. University Press of Kentucky, 2002.
  • Eve Golden. Vernon and Irene Castle's Ragtime Revolution. University Press of Kentucky, 2007.
  • Eve Golden. Bride of Golden Images: Essays on Stars of the 1930s-60s. BearManor Media, 2009.
  • Eve Golden. John Gilbert : the last of the silent film stars. University Press of Kentucky, 2013.
  • James Zeruk, with an introduction by Eve Golden. Peg Entwistle and the Hollywood Sign Suicide: A Biography. McFarland Publishing, 2013.
  • Una Newling. “Eve Golden: Queen of the Dead“. Transas City, March 2014.

IMDB     EN.Wikipedia     Encyclopedia.Com     Amazon Author Page

15 February 2018

Michelle Suárez Bértora (1984–) lawyer, senator.

Michelle was born in Salinas in the Canelones Department of Uruguay. She transitioned at age 15 with the support of her mother.

Accepted at the Universidad de la República in Montevideo, she was the first out-trans person to attend university in Uruguay. She suffered transphobic harassment and a professor who specialized in human rights refused to grade her work. She also set a precedent in changing her legal gender status. She graduated and became the first out trans lawyer in the country in 2010.

That year her mother died. Michelle joined Ovejas Negras (Black Sheep), an LGBT rights organization. There she made a major contribution to the draft bill for equal marriage legislation. The bill was presented to congress in 2011, initially passed in 2012, and finally approved in 2013.

In 2012 Michelle published a book on the difficulties that some minorities, including trans and gay, have in achieving human rights.

She joined the Communist Party (PCU) which is part of the ruling coalition Frenta Amplio (Broad Front) and was elected an alternate senator (with limited voting rights).

In October 2017, Senator Márcos Carámbula resigned and Suárez became a full Senator. She said that she would introduce a bill that would allow trans people to legally change their identity without a court order. The measure would also require Uruguay to set aside 1 percent of government jobs for trans people and create a pension to compensate those who suffered persecution during the country’s military dictatorship, 1973-1985, because of their gender identity.

However in December, two months later, she was found guilty in a case of an estranged father’s parental rights having been cancelled in a document with the wrong signatures. Suárez resigned her seat.

ES.Wikipedia     EN.Wikipedia


ES.Wikipedia says that Michelle was born in 1984; EN.Wikipedia says 1983.   I have gone with the former.