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05 April 2018

Aurora (1873? - ?) hairdresser, sex worker

Aurora arrived in Buenos Aires, from Paraguay, in the late 1890s.

He quickly drifted into prostitution, however was arrested only when found brawling in cafes, or when dressed as a female. He was persuaded to become a women’s hair stylist, and as such found work in bordellos. He was arrested several times, but there was never enough evidence for a conviction.

One time Aurora was placed in ‘preventative arrest’ after clients at a costume ball in a bordello became angry in that she was too realistic as a woman.


Aurora’s life history was taken by Dr Francisco de Veyga, and published in 1903. In it she asserts that she was born a marica. De Veyga avoided referring to Aurora as a prostitute: he called her a ‘professional’. He regarded Aurora as having an acquired mental disorientation caused by a misunderstanding of female sexuality.
  • Francisco de Veyga. "La inversión sexual adquirida. Tipo de invertido profesional. Tipo de invertido por sugestión. Tipo de invertido por causa de decaimiento mental", Archivos de Psiquiatría y Criminología aplicadas a las ciencias afines. Medicina Legal. Sociología. Derecho. Psicología. Pedagogía, año 2, 1903: .193-208.
  • Donna J Guy. Sex and Danger in Buenos Aires: Prostitution, Family, and Nation in Argentina. University of Nebrasca Press, 1991:86.
  • Jorge Salessi. “The Argentine Dissemination of Homosexuality, 1890-1914”. Journal of the History of Sexuality, 4,3,Jan 1994: 356, 359-363. .
  • Osvaldo Bazán. La historia de la homosexualidad en la Argentina: De la Conquista al siglo XXI. Marea, 2006: 127.
  • Kristen Loehr. Tranvestites in Buenos Aires: Prostitution, Poverty & Policy. MA Thesis, Georgetown University, 2007: 30.
  • Matthew J Edwards. Queer Argentina: Movement Towards the Closet in a Global Time. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017: 13-7.
  • María Belén Ciancio & Alejandra Gabriele. “El archivo positivista como dispositivo visual-verbal. Fotografía, feminidad anómala y fabulación”. Mora (Buenos Aires), 18,1, ene/jul 2012. Online.

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Francisco de Veyga writing in 1903, several years before Hirschfeld's Die Transvestiten, 1910, uses the word 'travestida' (tranvestite). 

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