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.

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 page. There is also a search box at the top left. Enjoy exploring!

12 May 2019

Seattle-Portland-Spokane - Part III – to now

Part I – to the closure of The Garden of Allah, 1956.
Part II – to the Buckwater & Kotala decisions 1996.
Part III – to now.


Bob Birch died in December and Barbara Dayton disappeared within hours. She settled in a mobile home near Carson City, Nevada living sparsely on social security and gambling whatever she could in nearby casinos.

Reid Vanderburgh started hormones at age 41.

Kay Brown moved to California, started teaching classes at the Harvey Milk Institute in San Francisco and publishing the online TransHistory site, and in the Transsexual News Telegraph.

Anne Lawrence, while working as an anesthesiologist, allegedly performed an unauthorized vaginal inspection on an unconscious Ethiopian patient and was forced to resign.

Oregon Legislature responded to Buckwalter and Kotula decisions in 1996 by amending the state law to state that "an employer may not be found to have engaged in an unlawful employment practice solely because the employer fails to provide reasonable accommodation to a person with a disability arising out of transsexualism”. This was better than the original proposals.
  • Sue-Ellen Jacobs, Wesley Thomas & Sabine Lang (eds). Two-Spirit People: Native American Gender Identity, Sexuality and Spirituality. University of Illinois Press, 1997. Jacobs was at the University of Washington, Thomas is a Navajo activist and health worker. The first major anthology on Two-Spirit with Native input.
  • Margaret Deirdre O’Hartigan. Our Bodies, Your Lies: The Lesbian Colonization of Transsexualism. 1997.
  • Dean Kotula. “Building a Male Body”. Transgender Tapestry, 79, Summer 1997. An early version of the photographic section of The Phallus Palace, 2002. Online.


A prostitute, who had serviced Douglas Perry at home, reported to the police that she saw a lot of guns, knives and a cross-bow. She identified his car and police officers stopped and searched it. They found attorney papers that said that Perry had “a gender psychosis disorder where he does not like females”, and other papers explaining gender transition.

Babette Ellsworth made an arrangement with one of her students, Ross Eliot, food and board in exchange for chauffeuring and other assistances.  Bills and other mail arrived addressed to Albert Ellsworth. "My professor smiled mischievously when I asked about this. Albert? Oh, he was my husband. Some people suspected I had him murdered. This suggestion made her laugh.”

After success in the Lori Buckwalter case, Joanna McNamara became active in the Oregon Gay/Lesbian Law Association, the US National Lesbian and Gay Law Association and the US Transgender Law Conference: the latter two where she worked with Phyllis Frye and they were allowed to put the case to the US Federal Government that trans persons should be covered under Title VII, Sex  Discrimination Protection. She was also active in the Metropolitan Community Church. However as a known transsexual she was unable to find employment, and committed suicide at age 48.

Anne Lawrence put up a web site containing a lot of resources for transsexuals, including comparative material on the vaginoplasty of different surgeons. Through the web site she collected several hundred narratives via her website from 'autogynephilic transsexuals'. This collection continued until 2011.

Andrea James came to Portland for surgery with Dr Meltzer.

Reid Vanderburgh gained a BA in Psychology at Portland State University.

Benton County passed an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  This appears to be the first law in Oregon which makes it illegal to discriminate against transgender people.

A subcommittee of the Oregon Health Services Commission took evidence from five Portland transsexuals before deciding to organize a task force to determine if sex-change operations are effective in treating gender-identity disorders. Rachel Koteles said health commission staff members have exaggerated the possibility that Oregon would be flooded by transsexuals seeking surgery if the procedures were approved. Margaret O'Hartigan said: "Before surgery, I was surviving through prostitution and welfare and made repeated suicide attempts. Since obtaining surgery, I've supported myself as a typist and secretary and have never attempted suicide again."; Vincent Irelan, who was born blind, said he would take advantage of state-financed sex-change operations "in an instant" if they were available – he needs removal of his breasts in that binding is aggravating a medical condition; Olivia Jaquay had paid for surgery herself but needed one more minor operation.


Right to Pride dissolved in 1999, but the Portland Right to Pride Dinner was taken over by Basic Rights Oregon, which called it the “Hart Dinner”, but they still could not let go of the female pronouns.

Margaret O’Hartigan opposed the Portland Lesbian Community Project extending its services to trans women whom Margaret referred to as ‘men’, and cited Janice Raymond as part of her argument. This article was later reprinted by the Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter during the dispute that arouse when they rejected Kimberly Nixon as a counsellor.

Anne Lawrence worked with Andrea James on a possible book for transsexuals, but they went their separate ways.
  • Margaret Deirdre O'Hartigan. "Post-Modernism Harms Women". Off Our Backs. 29, 1, 1999: 6-13.
  • Margaret Deirdre O'Hartigan. "Postmodernism Marches on: Women's Space Under Continued Attack". Off Our Backs. 29, 8, 1999: 9.
  • Brian Booth. The Life and Career of Alberta Lucille/Dr. Alan L. Hart with Collected Early Writings. Lewis & Clark College, 1999.
  • Jason Cromwell. Transmen and FTMs: Identities, Bodies, Genders, and Sexualities. University of Illinois Press, 1999. Review by Dallas Denny.


Douglas Perry became Donna and flew to Thailand for correction surgery.

Pre-transition Rebekah Brewis in Oregon sentenced to 5 years for burglary and threatening the homeholder.

63-year old Seattle resident Robyn Walters had surgery with Dr Meltzer.

The Portland City Council voted unanimously to add “gender identity” to the city's 1991 civil rights ordinance which already banned employment, housing, and public accommodation discrimination based on sexual orientation.


Anne Lawrence studied for a Ph.D from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality at San Francisco, which she received in 2001. Michael Bailey was one of her thesis advisors.  She followed that with an MA in Clinical Psychology at the Washington School of Professional Psychology.

Rhiannon G O'Dannabhain had surgery with Dr Meltzer .

Reid Vanderburgh gained an M.A. in Counseling Psychology (specialization Transpersonal Psychology) from John F. Kennedy University's Graduate School for Holistic Studies . The thesis topic was Gender Dissonance: A New Paradigm,


Barbara Dayton died, aged 76.

Babette Ellsworth was contacted by the long lost Rosalyn, who came to visit her sister-father. While she was there, Babette died of a massive heart attack while entering a bus for a student tour that she was to lead. She was 74.

Christine Beatty came to Portland for surgery with Dr Meltzer. She was accepted despite her HIV status.

In 2002, Eastmoreland Hospital was purchased by Symphony Healthcare, a for-profit hospital company founded in Nashville Tennessee in late 2001. Dr Toby Meltzer received a certified letter advising that he would not be allowed to perform any type of gender transition surgery after July 2002 (this was extended to December 2002), and that his patients must leave the hospital after three days. Meltzer asked around Oregon, at hospital after hospital, but was unable to get the hospital privileges that he required. A former patient, a doctor, suggested Scottsdale, Arizona, and in 2003 Meltzer, his wife and three children, and four members of his office staff, relocated there.
  • Dean Kotula (ed). The Phallus Palace: Female to Male Transsexuals. Alyson Books, 2002. Contains an interview with Toby Meltzer and Margaret O’Hartigan’s account of the struggle for Alan Hart’s legacy.


Laura Calvo testified in an Oregon legislative hearing for a bill that would ban discrimination based on both sexual orientation and gender identity.  It is the first time an openly transgender person testified for an Oregon civil rights bill that covers gender identity.

Anne Lawrence published the results of a survey of 232 MtF transsexuals who had undergone SRS with surgeon Toby Meltzer during the period 1994–2000 (Lawrence, 2003). “I observed that about 86% of respondents had experienced one or more episodes of autogynephilic arousal before undergoing SRS and 49% had experienced hundreds of episodes or more. Two years later, in a second article based on data from the same survey, I reported that 89% of the respondents classified as nonhomosexual on the basis of their sexual partnership history reported one or more experiences of autogynephilic arousal before undergoing SRS, vs. 40% in the small number of respondents classified as homosexual (Lawrence, 2005); there was evidence that some of these supposedly homosexual participants had misreported their partnership histories and were actually nonhomosexual.”

Skippy LaRue, Garden of Allah alumna, died age 82. In later years Skippy lived in a mobile home in south Everett, north of Seattle, and worked at a gay bathhouse in Seattle, where he was known as Seattle’s oldest female impersonator. He kept in touch with others, and when Don Paulson was researching his book on the Garden of Allah, Skippy acted as a major resource.

Internet Society of North America (ISNA) moved its office to Seattle from Petaluma, California.
  • A A Lawrence. “Factors associated with satisfaction or regret following male-to-female sex reassignment surgery”. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 32, 2003: 299–315.
  • Peter Boag. Same-Sex Affairs: Constructing and Controlling Homosexuality in the Pacific Northwest. University of California Press, 2003.
  • Gary L. Atkins. Gay Seattle: Stories of Exile and Belonging. University of Washington Press, 2003.


Portland resident, Susan Faludi, was contacted by her father after a quarter century of non-communication. Her father had become Stephanie. She went to Budapest where Stephanie was then living, and finally wrote a book about rediscovering her father.

Melanie Myers, ex-commercial-printing salesman in Portland, had surgery from Dr Kunaporn in Phuket, Thailand. She then opened a guest-house there for trans women especially those who had surgery at Kunaporn’s clinic, where Stephanie Faludi was a guest.

Asa Wright, Klamath-Modoc, started Partland Two-Spirit Group with 20 people.


Marc LeJeune, worked at Outside In as a social worker during his transition
  • A A Lawrence. “Sexuality before and after male-to-female sex reassignment surgery”. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 34, 2005: 147–166.


TransActive Gender Center founded by transgender pioneer activist Jenn Burleton. Jenn remains the organization’s Executive Director.


Donna Perry said too much in 2007-8 when talking to an agent of the Department of Social and Health Services. She talked of shooting people, and said: “I knew I was going to end up dead or in prison again if I didn’t do something. I got gelded just like a horse and got my life back under control.”

Rebekah Brewis castrated self, and transferred to psychiatric ward at Oregon State Hospital.

Reena Andrews returned to Spokane to be closer to family.

Michael/Megan Wallent, manager at Microsoft who had worked on Outlook and Windows, took paternity leave and returned to announce that was trans. She took six weeks leave and returned to a different division.

Alexander James Adams, Oregon based musician, after a 25 year career and 10 albums, transitioned to male. He continued playing in the same venues.

Imperial Court System Coronation Ball in Seattle, on Feb. 17, José Sarria formally handed leadership to Nicole Murray Ramirez, and she assumed the title “Queen Mother of the Americas”.

The State of Oregon enacted the Oregon Equality Act which bans discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation in employment, housing, public accommodations, and some other areas.
  • Reid Vanderburgh. Transition and Beyond: Observations on Gender Identity. Q Press, 2007.


Stu Rasmussen elected Mayor of Silverton. 

The Formans contacted the FBI and showed the evidence that Barbara Dayton was DB Cooper, but never heard back from the FBI.
  • Pat & Ron Forman. The Legend of D. B. Cooper - Death by Natural Causes. Lulu, 2008.


The National Geographic cable channel broadcast a special on the DB Cooper case in July 2009. They filmed material re Barbara Dayton, interviewed the Formans and hired a female pilot to wear a wig and fly a Cessna 140. However all Dayton material was pulled when sent to senior management: "executives at National Geographic cited three reasons for pulling the Dayton footage: one, Barb Dayton’s sex-change was too controversial; two, the story line was too complex for a one-hour broadcast; and three, the FBI did not consider Dayton to be a credible suspect".

Rev David Weekly, inspired by Japanese-Americans in Oregon congregations who told their stories of internment during World War II and the healing they had experienced, and following months of preparation, David told his story as a trans man in a sermon on August 30, 2009. The congregation responded with resounding support. He became one of the only openly transgender clergy serving in The United Methodist Church. Following this event Rev. Weekley appeared on ABC News, CBS Early News and several radio programs.


Rhiannon G O'Dannabhain, who had had surgery with Dr Meltzer in 2001, won in court against the US tax authorities to the effect that the cost of transgender surgery was tax deductible.

October: Lynn Edward Benton, a cop in Gladstone, south of Portland, had been transitioning to male and married Debbie Higbee. He was not called as a witness at the Neil Beagley trial, despite being the first cop to the death scene. He was also passed over when the police chief retired.


Darcelle was grand marshal of the Portland Rose Festival's Starlight Parade and received the city's Spirit of Portland Award.

Colin Wolf becomes the third openly-trans therapist in Portland, opening his practice Queerapy.

May: Lynn Benton offered $2000 to a friend and her son to kill his wife. They shot, beat and then strangled her. Debbie had opposed his further progress to male, and he had beaten her. If she reported this it would damage his career. The mother said too much and was arrested. The son was arrested and imprisoned for sex with underage girls and said too much in prison.

Benton was first placed on administrative leave, but then fired in December when pornography was found on his laptop, and because of the 1993 marriage which was considered a sham. He became a Greyhound Bus driver.

Rebekah Brewis released. Sued the Oregon prison system for failing to treat her for gender identity disorder.
  • Walter Cole & Sharon Knorr. Just Call Me Darcelle: A Memoir. CreateSpace, 2011.
  • Peter Boag. Re-Dressing America's Frontier Past. University of California Press, 2011.
  • David Weekly. In From the Wilderness: Sherman, (She-r-man) (Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2011).


Donna Perry was again arrested by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition. A search of her home recovered more firearms. She was sentenced to 18 months and placed in a Federal Prison in Fort Worth, Texas. She boasted to her female cell-mate that she was a contract killer who had killed nine prostitutes. “He told me … becoming a woman was a disguise to take the heat off of him, that an elderly lady with mental illness would never get caught.” She also claimed to have killed two others after returning from Thailand. A check on Parry’s DNA revealed a match to that taken from Ms Brisbois’ fingernail. A further match was found with DNA found on the blanket wrapped around Yolanda Sapp’s body, and a fingerprint match to Nickie Lowe’s purse etc. which had been recovered from a dumpster. A further search of Perry’s home found a box containing panties – but in a size too small to be her own. In an interview in November that year Donna said: 'Douglas didn't stop, Donna stopped it,' 'I'm not going to admit I killed anybody, I didn't. Donna has killed nobody.' And 'I don't know if Doug did or not, it was 20 years ago and I have no idea whether he did or did not.' She also said that a sex change is a “permanent way to control any violence” – that it results in “a very great downturn in violence”.

Stu Rasmussen was re-elected Mayor of Silverton. 

Rev David Weekly was invited to preach Morningside United Methodist Church in Salem, Oregon, and talked about his life as a trans man. Later he left for Boston University School of Theology to do a doctorate.

In 2012, in Flagstaff, Arizona, while out shopping, musician Camilla Rose collapsed and woke up in hospital. Her lack of sight was now almost complete. She decided to move to Portland, Oregon for access to the Casey Eye Clinic, the city’s mass transit system and its strong music scene.

Candi Brings Plenty, Oglala Lakota Sioux, from South Dakota, moved to Portland.

The Portland City Council voted unanimously to cover fully inclusive and medically necessary transition related health care for transgender city employees. Trans activist and Basic Rights Oregon Communications Manager Sasha Buchert is the major advocate for the new policy.

Oregon prohibits heath care providers from discriminating based on actual or perceived gender identity.  This means that health insurance plans sold in Oregon can no longer deny care to transgender policy holder’s procedures which are provided to non-transgender (cisgender) policy holders.  Transgender activist and (at that time) BRO Communications Manager Sasha Buchert provides the major advocacy for this important advance.

Latina transgender pioneer Laura Calvo was elected Democratic National Committee Member, Democratic Party of Oregon (DPO). Previous to that, Laura had held a number of other positions in the DPO.

Sasha Buchert was appointed to the Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board by Governor John Kitzhaber. She is the first transgender Oregonian to hold a public appointed position.

Simone Neall appointed by Governor Kitzhaber as a member of the State Construction Contractors Board.  
  • Paula Nielsen. The Trans-Evangelist: The Life and Times of A Transgender Pentecostal Preacher. CreateSpace, 2012.


Sasha Buchart left Oregon to take a position with the Transgender Law Center in California.

Megan/Michael Wallent, Microsoft manager returned to being Michael citing health concerns.

Camilla Rose, was welcomed by the Portland Folk Music Society and invited to be one of the representatives of the blind community. She is the first trans person in the history of the Western Music Association. She was chosen by the Portland Folk Music Society as their featured artist for November and December 2013, however the Oregonian Newspaper refused to do a story on her, or to review her music.

Gregory G Bolich, who did his first degree at Gonzaga University in Spokane published books on Protestant Theology 1980-2001. From 2007-2013 he published 9 books on trans topics through Lulu.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber signed House Bill 2093 to remove the surgery requirement before changing a birth certificate.  Basic Rights Oregon’s contract lobbyist played a lead role in lobbying the bill, while BRO Transgender Justice Program Manager (at that time) Tash Shatz and TransActive Executive Director Jenn Burleton advocated for it. 

The Oregon Health Plan announced that beginning October 1, 2014 it will cover the cost of pubertal suppression treatment for transgender adolescents and teens.

The Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) ordered Portland bar owner Chris Penner to pay $400,000 to the T-Girls, a group of transgender and crossdressing people whom Penner asked not to return to his bar the previous year. The penalty is the first imposed under the 2007 Oregon Equality Act which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public places.

The State of Oregon settled with Alec Esquivel in his case Esquivel v. Oregon, by agreeing to remove the exclusions that denied coverage to transgender people for transition-related health care. This applies to the State of Oregon’s employee health plan.
  • Stu for Silverton, book by Peter Duchan, music and lyrics by Breedlove. Directed by Andrew Russell, with Mark Anders as Stu Rasmussen, Intiman Theatre, Seattle, 125 minutes.
  • Anne A Lawrence. Men Trapped in Men’s Bodies: Narratives of Autogynephilic Transsexualism. Springer, 2013. This is largely based on the autobiographical narratives submitted through her web site. Lawrence also discusses several published biographies of those she considers to be autogynephilic but chose not to include Barbara Dayton, Seattle’s first surgical transsexual, despite writing five years after the Formans' biography.
  • Cameron Stauth. In the Name of God: The True Story of the Fight to Save Children from Faith-Healing Homicide. Thomas Dunne Books, 2013: 158, 201, 202, 205-6, 220-1, 338, 398-9, 405, 411-2, 417, 427, 440-1, 448-9. Lynne Benton, pre-transition, is in this book as a cop working the case.
Cheney, Spokane, March. Reena Andrews shot and killed Roman Bailey, and then herself. (both were trans)

Spokane, July. Amanda Blanchard’s body discovered after a mobile-home fire.


Portland Trans Pride marches had been held in Portland in previous years, but 2014 is the first year a Trans Pride March is an official event during Pride Weekend.
  • Ross Eliot. Babette: The Many Lives, Two Deaths and Double Kidnapping of Dr. Ellsworth. Heliocentric Press, 2014. About Babette Ellsworth.
  • Reid Vanderburgh. Journeys of Transformation: Stories from Across the Acronym. Odin Ink, 2014.
  • Miriam J Abelson. Men in Context: Transmasculinities and Transgender – experiences in Three Regions. PhD Thesis, University of Oregon, September 2014.


Dylan Orr, 36, previously chief of staff at the US federal Office of Disability Employment Policy, was appointed to direct Seattle's Office of Labor Standards to oversee implementation of Seattle’s $15-an-hour minimum wage law.

Mel Myers, who as Melanie, had run a guest house for transsexuals in Phuket, Thailand, was back in Portland and reverted to male. He and his Thai wife had opened a Thai restaurant, and Mel was also driving a city bus.
  • Maija Anderson. Interview with Ira B. Pauly, MD. Oregon Health & Science University, Oral History program, Februray 18, 2015. Online


Darcelle XV was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World's Oldest Drag Queen.

Irene Berg, the mother of Debbie Higbee filed a $900,000 wrongful death lawsuit against Lynn Benton.

Portland Two Spirit Society, regrouped in February, with Candi Brings Plenty as leader. The group was Grand Marshall of Portland Pride.
  • Susan Faludi. In the Darkroom. Henry Holt and Company, 2016. Susan’s account of her trans father. She had been living in Portland when she started the book.


Donna Perry was found guilty and sentenced to three life sentences without parole.

Lynn Edward Benton was found guilty of arranging the murder of his wife in 2011. He was sentenced to life without parole, which he is serving in Oregon’s only women’s prison at Coffee Creek. (The facility also processes all new inmates, male and female. There are usually about 400 men at the facility. There are also six trans inmates there.)

Rebekah Brewis was a director of PDX Trans Pride which agreed to be a fiscal sponsor of the Portland Women’s March. It raised over $20,000 which disappeared when Brewis disappeared.


Danni Askini, trans activist from Seattle, had her US passport renewal refused, and became a refugee in Sweden.


The following were consulted in compiling this section of the timeline.

  • Kay Brown. Transsexual, Transgender and Intersex History …. 1997-2000. No Longer available as such. Archive.
  • Walter Cole & Sharon Knorr. Just Call Me Darcelle: A Memoir. CreateSpace, 2011.
  • Jason Cromwell. Making the Visible Invisible: Contrictions of Bodies, Genders and Sexualities by and about Female-to-Male Transgendered People. PhD thesis, University of Washington, 1996.
  • Jason Cromwell. Transmen and FTMs: Identities, Bodies, Genders, and Sexualities. University of Illinois Press, 1999.
  • Kirstin Cronn-Mills. Transgender Lives: Complex Stories, Complex voices. Twenty-First Century Books, 2015.
  • Mara Dauphin. “ ‘A Bit of Woman in Every Man’: Creating Queer Community in Female Impersonation”. Valley Humanities Review, Spring 2012.
  • Ross Eliot. Babette: The Many Lives, Two Deaths and Double Kidnapping of Dr. Ellsworth. Heliocentric Press, 2014.
  • Susan Faludi. In the Darkroom. Henry Holt and Company, 2016..
  • Pat & Ron Forman. The Legend of D. B. Cooper - Death by Natural Causes. Lulu, 2008.
  • Chrystie Hill. “Queer History in Seattle, Part 2: After Stonewall”. History Link, November 2003.

It is rather unfortunate that 2017 trans history on this region was dominated by the convictions of Perry and Benton, and the disappearance of Brewis.   This is merely happenstance and of course should not be taken to imply anything about trans persons or the US North West.  

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