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!

26 December 2020

This and that

When I go to Amazon.books and type in 'transgender' the top item shown is this year's most hyped transphobic screed: A Shrier's Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.


On page 100 of Kay Brown's new book, named after her blog as On the Science of Changing Sex, she mentions that "Meyer at Hopkins" labelled a group of transkids as 'Eonists'.  She then adds, in brackets: "Ironically, he used the term 'Eonist' which was named after a famous historically significant cross-dresser, who by his history, is easily recognizably autogynephilic".   

Now this is not a surprising claim from Brown who after all declared Christine Jorgensen to be autogynephilic.

Some of the problems in applying a 21st-century concept like 'autogynephilia' to the 18th century:

  1. A lack of early-transitioners to compare to.   Quite likely there were many early-transitioners in India and South-East Asia - although this remains undocumented.   In Christian Europe where sex and gender expression had been so repressed, it is almost impossible to name any at all.  
  2. The major development of gay/trans expression at that period was the molly houses.  There is no mention that d'Eon was ever seen at one.  However given his high diplomatic rank, he would be very constrained in what he might do.
  3. Nor is there any evidence of female lovers.   It is true that the more sensational elaborations of d'Eon's life added such titillations as the claim that d'Eon was the father of George IV, but the more reliable books reject such claims.
  4. Vern Bullough makes the claim – that surprisingly has been ignored in the debate about social construction - that “there is no evidence in Western culture of what might be called a heterosexual transvestite consciousness before the twentieth century”, and probably not before Magnus Hirschfield modified the term 'transvestite' in 1910.   Those such as Brown who conflate heterosexual transvestity and autogynephilia are notable in not having even discussed this.
  5. Brown seems to regard autogynephilia as sort of an essentialism, that is a resultant from DNA modified by epigenetics.  If so why are there not loads of such persons in the 18th century?  Is modern pollution the required epigenetic? The best known transvestites in 18th century London are George Selwyn, who loved to attend public executions in drag, and Horace Walpole who dressed as an old woman for masquerade balls. Neither ever married and historians discuss whether Walpole was gay.   So how do they fit into the 21st century social construction of  HSTS/AGP?
"his history" .   Brown denies female pronouns to Charlotte d'Eon, as does Gary Kates, her otherwise best biographer, and remarkably so does Patrick Califia.

D'Eon's name was of course taken by the English Princian group, the Beaumont Society.   Personally I could never see her as one of their members.

The word 'chevalier' was used by Susanna Valenti for her Chevalier D’Eon Resort and by Virginia Prince for Chevalier Publications.   I always found it odd that they stuck with the male form of the word, and insist on using the transient title over 200 years later.   The female form is 'chevalière'.      D'Eon is hardly the only chevaler/chevalière.  So are Marie-Pierre Pruvot (Bambi) and Amanda Lear.  Why is it that those who always say Chevalier d'Eon do not say Chevalière Pruvot and Chevalière Lear?  Here is the Wikipedia list of Chevaliers (which does not include Charlotte d'Eon).   And of course the EN.Wikipedia entry is for "Chevalier D'Eon" not "Charlotte d'Eon de Beamont".  The FR.Wikipedia entry is for "Charles d'Éon de Beaumont" - yet another Wikpedia entry for a trans person under the pre-transition name.


My site is being subjected to a strange inflation.   Not the most recent posting, but the first link in the most recent posting gets an extra 6,000 or so visits per day.   Hence at the moment Jan Morris part 3 is so effected because I linked to it in 2020's obituaries.   This did not happen to any of the other links in the same posting.

Blogspot's statistics tell me that the source is the site World of TG which does mention the obituaries but not Jan Morris.   This should change as soon as I post this.  Will George Selwyn now be surged?  

Administrators at World of TG: why are you doing this?  It really messes up my statistics.

+++ added a day later.   I was quite right.   George Selwyn has surged to the very top!!


Funny things that cis academics do.   In the new book Others of My Kind: Transatlantic Transgender History , 2020, there is chapter by Annette Timm of the University of Calgary.  

On p147 we find "These primitive forms of hormonal treatment struck Benjamin as a new panacea for aging, and he became the most well-known American exponent of the benefits of getting 'Steinached,' eventually performing as many as 500 of these operations." 57

What is in endnote 57   ?: 

'57. Anonymous, “Harry Benjamin: Part 2 Rejuvenation,” A Gender Variance Who’s Who (blog) 5 Oct 2012, accessed 26 June 2019, Even though the author of this blog remains anonymous, I have found the information it provides extremely helpful and impeccably researched.  This is one of the few pieces of information I was not able to  find elsewhere.'

a) The 500 count is not my research at all. It is found in Ethel Person's The Sexual Century.  Person was the only writer to do a biography of Harry Benjamin based on interviews with the subject.  It is an essential source for anybody writing about Benjamin, and is not in Timm's bibliography.

b) Timm otherwise ignores what I have to say.   For example, why no mention of Carla von Crist who actually was transatlantic - appearing in both New York and Berlin? Nor does she use my detailed close reading of Benjamin's The Transgender Phenomenon.

c) So in what way is it "extremely helpful"?

d) Anonymous?!!   This encyclopedia (much much more than a blog) has an author name.

e) The book is by 4 authors.  If any of them are trans they are keeping it quiet, and therefore we assume that they are all cis.  Despite that they title the book: Others of My Kind.

f) Like, I think, most trans persons I live semi-stealth.  Some know my past, most do not, and I do not insist on telling them.  Therefore I use a pen name - as do many cis persons for all kinds of reasons.  While Timm is making a career writing about us, she does not seem to understand such everyday aspects of being trans.   

16 December 2020

2020 Obituaries, trans & others

Ricky Renee (1929 – 2017) Jewel Box Revue performer from Indiana, moved to London and then Germany, voted one of Top Ten Artists, cameo in Cabaret, 1972. DE.WIKIPEDIA

Gloria Greaves (1932 – 2015) Transitioned 1964. Sex worker sent to women’s prison for a crime that only a man can commit.

 Jan Morris (1926 – 2020) journalist and travel writer. Author of one of the first trans autobiographies.

Little Richard/Richard Wayne Penniman (1932 – 2020) colourful androgynous rock singer who started out as a drag queen, and continued to blur the gender expression boundaries.


Richard Green (1936 - 2019) Academic and administrator who worked at Johns Hopkins, ULCA and Charing Cross gender identity clinics, and who did help many trans persons, but whose reputation is seriously sullied by participation in the Sissy Boy Project, his defence of Blanchardians and lack of defence of Russell Reid.

Genesis P Orridge (1950 – 2020) musician and magickian. Played with Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV – over 200 albums. Died of chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia.

David Carter (1953 – 2020) gay historian, author of best book on Stonewall, in which he removed Sylvia Rivera from that history without even a footnote. Died of a heart attack.

Aimee Stephens (1960 – 2020) Funeral director fired for being trans. Her case led to US Supreme Court ruling that 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian and trans from discrimination. Died from complications related to kidney failure.

Lorena Borjas (1961 – 2020) Latinx in Queens, NY. Helped other trans women contend with human trafficking, health issues and possible deportation. COVID casualty.

M Sangeetha (1961 – 2020) a revered elder in the trans community in Coimbatore district, Tamil Nadu had hired a young man R Rajesh to work in her restaurant, Covai Trans Kitchen. He killed her when she intended to call the police after a sexual assault.

Monica Roberts (1962 - 2020) Blogger, as TransGriot since 2006, after illness.

Kimberly Fial (1965 – 2020) volunteer at Baptist homeless shelter, San Jose, California, when a knifeman rushed in, killed two, injured three. 

Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien (1978 – 2020), Massachusetts, founder of the Miss Trans America Beauty Pageant, murdered by her husband.

Mickerlange François (? – 2020) a policeman in Haiti in a conflict over a woman.

Gul Panra (? – 2020) activist in Islamabad. Shot dead while returning home from a wedding performance by man who also wounded her companion, and raped a cis woman. The miscreant arrested four days later based on forensic evidence.

Valentina Ferrety (? – 2020) activist, coordinator of the first Pride March in the city of Salamanca and organizer of correction of data on the birth certificates. Coordinator of the Mexican Network of Trans Women of the State of Guanajuato. Murdered.

Madona Kiparoidze (? – 2020) set herself on fire at the Tbilisi City Hall Thursday evening protesting Georgia’s negligence towards the transgender community in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maya Haddad (1997- 2020) Israeli model and activist, who had disowned by her family after coming out at age 15. She represented Israel in the Miss Trans International Beauty Pageant, 2019. She died byt her own hand.

Jiratchaya Kampoon (1998 – 2020) paid 35,000 baht for silicone gel-filled breast implants at an unlicensed clinic and died on the operating table. Lampang, Thailand.

Murder Count

Murders in the 12 months up to the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Transrespect.

There were 350 recorded deaths this last year – plus many more nor reported, especially in countries were transgender is not recognized. This is slight increase on the 331 reported in 2019.

As usual the most murders were recorded in Brazil (152), Mexico (57), the United States (28), and Colombia (21).

06 December 2020

Books on Gender Variance in 2020

$£¥ €=Excessively overpriced books. 

  • $£¥ € Natalie Boero & Katherine Mason. The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Body and Embodiment. Oxford University Press, 2020.
  • $£¥ € Stevie N Berberick. Reframing Sex: Unlearning the Gender Binary with Trans Masculine YouTube Vloggers. Lexington Books, 2020.
  • $£¥ € Linda W Brakel. The Trans Phenomenon and the Nature of Self: Moore's Paradox? More Paradoxes! De Gruyter, 2021.
  • $£¥ € Courtenay W Daum. The Politics of Right Sex: Transgressive Bodies, Governmentality, and the Limits of Trans Rights. State University of New York Press, 2020.
  • $£¥ € Michele Dow. Transgender Educators: Understanding Marginalization through an Intersectional Lens. Lexington Books, 2020.
  • $£¥ € Elijah Adiv Edelman. Trans Vitalities: Mapping Ethnographies of Trans Social and Political Coalitions. Routledge, 2020.
  • $£¥ € Douglas C Haldeman. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Change Efforts: Evidence, Effects, and Ethic Harrington Park Press, 2020.
  • Ksenija Joksimovic. Activist Identity Development of Transgender Social Justice Activists and Educators. Sense Pub, 2020.
  • $£¥ € Marianne J Legato (ed). The Plasticity of Sex: The Molecular Biology and Clinical Features of Genomic Sex, Gender Identity and Sexual Behavior. Academic Press, 2020.
  • Christoph-Maria Liegener. Die Transgenderisierungen der Menschheit. Books on Demand, 2020.
  • $£¥ € Wendy Martino & Wendy Cumming-Potvin (eds). Investigating Transgender and Gender Expansive Education Research, Policy and Practice. Routledge, 2020.
  • Josef Müller. Der Transgender Report - Trans lives matter: Echte Erfahrungsberichte. 2020.
  • Siobhan B Somerville (ed). The Cambridge Companion to Queer Studies. Cambridge University Press, 2020.
  • $£¥ € Douglas A Vakoch (ed). Transecology: Transgender Perspectives on Environment and Nature. Routledge, 2020.
  • Benny Vincent. Gender Undefined: Delineation Theory & the Consequences of Constructs. Kindle, 2020.
  • Laurel Westbrook. Unlivable Lives: Violence and Identity in Transgender Activism. University of California Press, 2020.

Jargon & Language

  • Dennis Baron. What's Your Pronoun?: Beyond He and She. Liveright, 2020.
  • Shelley R Roth. A Field Guide to Gender-Neutral Language: For Business, Families & Allies. Springboard Publishing, 2020.


  • Christina Beardsley & Chris Dowd. Trans Affirming Churches: How to Celebrate Gender-Variant People and Their Loved Ones. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2020.
  • Daniel Shank Cruz. Queering Mennonite Literature: Archives, Activism, and the Search for Community. Penn State University Press, 2010.
  • $£¥ € Dane Figueroa Edidi. The Black Trans Prayer Book. Lulu, 2020.
  • Austen Hartke. TransFormadxs: La Biblia y las Vidas de lxs Cristianxs Transgénero. Juanuno1 Ediciones, 2020.
  • $£¥ € Dirk H de Jong.  Conservative Christianity, Gender Identity, and Religious Liberty: A Primer and a Proposal. Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.
  • Kent Philpott & Katie Philpott. In the Wrong Body?: Transgender Issues from a Biblical Perspective. Kindle, 2020.
  • Kent Philpott. The Third Sex? Homosexual and Transgender Issues from a Biblical Perspective. Earthen Vessel, 2020.
  • Arabella Stevenson. Transgender People in the Christian Family. Lulu, 2020.
  • Mark Yarhouse & Julia Sadusky. Emerging Gender Identities: Understanding the Diverse Experiences of Today’s Youth. Brazos Press, 2020.
  • $£¥ € Pamela Ayo Yetunde. Buddhist-Christian Dialogue, U.S. Law, and Womanist Theology for Transgender Spiritual Care. Palgrave, 2020.

Legal & Activism

  • Peter Goodrich. Schreber's Law: Jurisprudence and Judgment in Transition. Edinburgh University Press, 2020.
  • $£¥ € Joanna Jamel. Transphobic Hate Crime. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
  • Melissa R Michelson. Transforming Prejudice: Identity, Fear, and Transgender Rights. Oxford University Press, 2020.
  • J Michael Ryan. Trans Lives in a Globalizing World: Rights, Identities and Politics. Routledge, 2020.
  • Alex Stitt. ACT for Gender Identity: The Comprehensive Guide. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2020.


  • Noah Adam & Bridget Liang. Trans and Autistic: Stories from Life at the Intersection. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2020.
  • Maxfield Sparrow. Spectrums: Autistic Transgender People in Their Own Words. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2020.

Health, Medical and Social Work

  • $£¥ € Dana Bevan. Transgender Health and Medicine: History, Practice, Research, and the Future. Praeger, 2019.
  • $£¥ € Lauren Bonati & Jard Jagdeo (eds). Transgender Dermatology,An Issue of Dermatologic Clinics. Elsevier Canada, 2020.
  • $£¥ € Adriana Cordova, Alessandro Innocenti, Francesca Toia & Massimaliano Tripoli (ed). Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery of the Male Breast. Springer, 2020.
  • Heidi Dalzell & Kayti Protos. A Clinician's Guide to Gender Identity and Body Image: Practical Support for Working with Transgender and Gender-Expansive Clients. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2020.
  • $£¥ € Rusi Jaspal. Trans Women and HIV: Social Psychological Perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.
  • Shanna K Kattari, M Killian Kinney, Leonardo Kattari & N Eugene Walls (eds). Social Work and Health Care Practice with Transgender and Nonbinary Individuals and Communities: Voices for Equity, Inclusion, and Resilience. Routledge, 2020.
  • $£¥ € Alexandra CH Nowakowski. J e Sumerau & Nik M Lampe. Transformations in Queer, Trans, and Intersex Health and Aging. Lexington Books, 2020.
  • Christina Richards & James Barrett. Trans and Non-binary Gender Healthcare for Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and Other Health Professionals. RC Pstch Publications, 2020.
  • $£¥ € Esther D Rothblum. The Oxford Handbook of Sexual and Gender Minority Mental Health. Oxford University Press, 2020.
  • Matthew D Skinta. Contextual Behavior Therapy for Sexual and Gender Minority Clients: A Practical Guide to Treatment. Routledge, 2020.


  • $£¥ € Conrad Alexandrowicz. Acting Queer: Gender Dissidence and the Subversion of Realism. Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.
  • Kelly Drake. Art Therapy with Transgender and Gender-Expansive Children and Teenagers. Jessica Kingsley, 2020.
  • Laurie Greene. Drag Queens and Beauty Queens: Contesting Femininity in the World's Playground. Rutgers University Press, 2020.
  • Jake Hall. The Art of Drag. Nobrow, 2020.
  • Dan Jones. 50 Drag Queens Who Changed the World: A Celebration of the Most Influential Drag Artists of All Time. Hardie Grant, 2020.


  • Peter Bussian. Trans New York: Photos and Stories of Transgender New Yorkers. Apollo Publishers, 2020.
  • Allie Crewe. You Brought Your Own Light. BJP, 2019.
  • Delphine Diallo. Lived Experience: Reflections on LGBTQ Life. The New Press, 2020.
  • Jake Naughton & Jacob Kushner. This Is How The Heart Beats: LGBTQ East Africa. The New Press, 2020.
  • iO Tillet Wright. Self Evident Truths: 10,000 Portraits of Queer America. Prestel, 2020.


  • Robyn Ryle. Throw Like a Girl, Cheer Like a Boy: The Evolution of Gender, Identity, and Race in Sports. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2020.


  • Kay Brown. On The Science of Changing Sex: A Layman’s Guide to Transsexuality and Transgenderism. 2020
  • Kay Brown. Rainbow's End: A Parent's Guide To Understanding Transsexual Children And Teens. 2020
  • Sage Buch. Finding Self: A Transgender Person's Guide to Physical Transition (For Transmasculine and Nonbinary People) [Guide + Workbook]. 2020
  • $£¥ € Jen Gilbert & Julia Sinclair-Palm (eds). Trans Youth in Education. Routledge, 2020.
  • Tavi Hawn. Cultural Awareness in Therapy with Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Adults and Older People: A Practical Guide. Jessica Kingsley Publsihers, 2020.
  • Hil Malatino. Trans Care. University of Minnesota Press, 2020.
  • D M Maynard. The Reflective Workbook for Parents and Families of Transgender and Non-Binary Children: Your Transition as Your Child Transitions. Jessica Kingsley, 2020.
  • Matthew Mills & Gillie Stoneham. Voice and Communication Therapy with Trans and Non-Binary People: Sharing the Clinical Space. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2020.
  • Martine M Song. How To Feminize Your Body: A helpful guide for Crossdressers. 2020.

Trans Children

  • Lyndsay Brown. What Would Love Do?: Parenting a child through the first year of gender transition. Ginninderra Press, 2020,
  • Kelly Darke & Shannon Scott-Miller. Art Therapy with Transgender and Gender-Expansive Children and Teenagers. Jessica Kingsley, 2020.
  • Michelle Forcier. Pediatric Gender Identity: Gender-affirming Care for Transgender & Gender Diverse Youth. Springer, 2020.
  • Paria Hassouri. Found in Transition: A Mother's Evolution during Her Child's Gender Change. New World Library, 2020.
  • Melinda Mangin. Transgender Students in Elementary School: Creating an Affirming and Inclusive School Culture. Harvard Education Press, 2020.
  • Elizabeth Rahilly. Trans-Affirmative Parenting: Raising Kids Across the Gender Spectrum. New York University Press, 2020.
  • $£¥ € Ryan J Watson & Jaimie F Veale (eds). Today's Transgender Youth: Health, Well-being, and Opportunities for Resilience. Routledge, 2020.

Couples & Family

  • Andrea Bennett. Like a Boy but Not a Boy: Navigating Life, Mental Health, and Parenthood Outside the Gender. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2020.
  • Heather Bryant. My Trans Parent: A User Guide for When Your Parent Transitions. Jessica Kingsley, 2020.
  • C A Gibbs. The Picture Wall: One Woman's Story of Being (His) (Her) Their Mother. Ingenium Books, 2020.
  • Jo Ivester. Once a Girl, Always a Boy: A Family Memoir of a Transgender Journey. She Writes Press, 2020.
  • Selenis Leyva & Marizol Leyva. My Sister: How One Sibling's Transition Changed Us Both. Bold Type Books, 2020.
  • Selenis Leyva & Marizal Leyva. Mi hermana: Cómo la transición de una hermana nos cambió a ambas. Bold Type Books, 2020.
  • Adam M Messinger & Xavier L Guadalupe-Diaz. Transgender Intimate Partner Violence: A Comprehensive Introduction. New York University Press, 2020.
  • Roxanne Moore. Out of the Blue: A Mother's Memoir of Our Family's Transgender Experience. Page Publishing, 2020.
  • Jodie Patterson. The Bold World: A Memoir of Family and Transformation. Ballantine Books, 2020.


  • Leah Devun. The Shape of Sex: Nonbinary Gender from Genesis to the Renaissance. Columbia University Press, 2020.
  • $£¥ € Motmans Joz, Timo Ole Nieder & Walter Pierre Bouman (eds). Non-binary and Genderqueer Genders. Routledge, 2020.
  • Laurence Philomene. Puberty: Exploring Hormone Replacement Therapy in a Non-Binary Trans Person. Yoffy Press, 2021.
  • Jespa Jacob Smith. Non-Binary Lives: An Anthology of Intersecting Identities. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2010.
  • Charlotte Chucky Tate, Ella Ben Hagai & Faye J Crosby. Undoing the Gender Binary. Cambridge University Press, 2020.
  • Ben Vincent. Non-Binary Genders: Navigating Communities, Identities, and Healthcare. Policy Press, 2020.
  • Alok Vaid-Menon. Beyond the Gender Binary. Penguin, 2020.


  • Jay Kyle Petersen & Christina M Laukaitis. A Comprehensive Guide to Intersex. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2020.
  • Hida Viloria & Maria Nieto. The Spectrum of Sex: The Science of Male, Female, and Intersex. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2020.


  • Jane Ward. The Tragedy of Heterosexuality. NYU Press, 2020.


  • TJ Barganski. She, He and Finding Me. AlyBlue Media, 2020.
  • Alex Bertie. Trans Mission: My Quest to a Beard. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2020.
  • Jackson Bird. Sorted: Growing Up, Coming Out, and Finding My Place. Tiller Press, 2020.
  • Cooper Lee Bombardier. Pass with care: Memoirs. Dottis Press, 2020.
  • Jennifer Boylan. Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs. Celadon Books, 2020.
  • Carl. Becoming a Man: The Story of a Transition. Simon & Schuster, 2020.
  • Gabrielle Claiborne with Linda Tatro Herzer. Embrace Your Truth: A Journey of Authenticity. Transformation Journeys Worldwide.
  • Dylan Cotter. Transgender Sex, Love & Dating Disasters in Hollywood, A Memoir. 2020.
  • Dylan Cotter. Transgender Antihero. Indy Pub, 2020.
  • Glenn Deefholts. Gender Fluid: A Way of Being. Kindle, 2020.
  • Linus Giese. Ich bin Linus: Wie ich der Mann wurde, der ich schon immer war. Rowohlt Taschenbuch, 2020.
  • Gemma Hickey. Almost Feral: The only limits are the ones we self-impose. Breakwater, 2019.
  • Charlie Kiss. A New Man: Lesbian. Protest. Mania. Trans Man. Troubador Publishing, 2020. 
  • Bobbi D Lancaster, edited by Kally Reynolds. The Doctor Is in: The compelling (and true) story of a McMaster Medical School graduate.
  • Sandy Lee. Ich, Sandy: Erfahrungen mit der Transidentität - Eine Autobiografie. Engelsdorfer Verlag, 2020.
  • Kristy McClellan with Teresa Martin. Better Late than Never: Transitioning Late in Life: A Transgender Autobiography. 2020.
  • Claudia Sabine Meier. Oh Mann, Frau Meier: Alles andere als eine transnormale Geschichte. 
  • Arielle Rippgather. Hässliche Modetranse. Kindel, 2020.
  • Amiyah Scott. Memoirs of a Mermaid: The Evolution of Amiyah Scott. Kindle, 2019.
  • Gabriel Sving. En flicka växer upp till man. Books on Demand, 2020.
  • Meredith Talusan. Fairest: A memoir. Viking, 2020.
  • Betsy Warland. Oscar of Between: A Memoir of Identity and Ideas. Dagger Editions, 2020.
  • Amber Rose Washington. Hiding from Myself: My Complicated Rebirth Into Womanhood and My Own Skin.


  • Anne Balay. Semi Queer: Inside the World of Gay, Trans, and Black Truck Drivers. University of North Carolina Press, 2020.
  • Brian Bradley. Outrageous Misfits: Female Impersonator Craig Russell and His Wife, Lori Russell Eadie. Dundern, 2020.
  • Ed Caesar. The Moth and the Mountain: A True Story of Love, War, and Everest. Simon & Shuster, 2020. About Maurice Wilson.
  • $£¥ € Lili Elbe & Pamela L Caughie (ed) & Sabine Mayer (ed). Man into Woman: A Comparative Scholarly Edition. Bloombury Academic, 2020.
  • Rachel Mesch. Before Trans: Three Gender Stories from Nineteenth-Century France. Stanford University Press, 2020.
  • $£¥ € Heather Panter. Transgender Cops: The Intersection of Gender and Sexuality Expectations in Police Cultures. Routledge, 2020.
  • $£¥ € Baker A Rogers. Trans Men in the South: Becoming Men. Lexington Books, 2020.
  • Troy R Saxby. Pauli Murray: A Personal and Political Life. University of North Carolina, 2020.
  • Amanda Sewell. Wendy Carlos: A Biography. Oxford University Press, 2020.


  • Jeffrey McCall. For Such a Time: From Transgender to Son of God. 2018.

Race and Gender

  • $£¥ € Andrea P Herrera, D Nicole Farris & D’Lane R Compton (eds). Gender, Sexuality and Race in the Digital Age. Springer, 2020.

Trans/GLBT history

  • Samantha Allen. Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States. Back Bay Books, 2010.
  • Alex Bakker, Rainer Herrn, Michael Thomas Taylor & Annette F Timm. Others of My Kind: Transatlantic Transgender Histories. University of Calgary Press, 2020.
  • Carlos A Ball. The Queering of Corporate America: How Big Business Went from LGBTQ Adversary to Ally. Beacon Press, 2020.
  • Roland Betancourt. Byzantine Intersectionality: Sexuality, Gender, and Race in the Middle Ages. Princeton University Press, 2020.
  • William Burton. Out in Central Pennsylvania: The History of an LGBTQ Community. Penn State University Press, 2020.
  • £¥ € Bianca Camminga. Transgender Refugees and the Imagined South Africa: Bodies Over Borders and Borders Over Bodies. Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.
  • Eric Cervini. The Deviant’s War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America. Farrar, Staus and Giroux, 2020.
  • Alexander K Davis. Bathroom Battlegrounds: How Public Restrooms Shape the Gender Order. University of California Press, 2020.
  • Lisa Selin Davis. Tomboy: The Surprising History and Future of Girls Who Dare to Be Different. Hachette, 2020.
  • Jen Jack Gieseking. A Queer New York. NYU Press, 2020.
  • Jen Manion. Female Husbands: A Trans History. Cambridge University Press, 2020.
  • Barry Reay. Trans America: A Counter-History. Polity, 2020.
  • Horacio N Roque-Ramirez. Queer Latino San Francisco: An Oral History, 1960s-1990s. Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.
  • Robert C Steele. Banned from California: -Jim Foshee- Persecution, Redemption, Liberation … and the Gay Civil Rights Movement. Wentworth-Schwartz Publishing Company, 2020.
  • $£¥ € Allison Surtees & Jennifer Dyer (eds). Exploring Gender Diversity in the Ancient World. Edinburgh University Press, 2020.

Cultures and minorities.

  • Joseph Randolph Bowers. Mi’kmaq Puoinaq Two Spirit Medicine: Sexuality and Gender Variance, Spirituality and Culture. Ability Therapy Specialists Pty Ltd, 2020.
  • $£¥ € Siobhan Brooks. Everyday Violence against Black and Latinx LGBT Communities. Lexington Books, 2020.
  • Linda Heidenreich. Nepantla Squared: Transgender Mestiz@ Histories in Times of Global Shift. University of Nebraska Press, 2020.
  • Tutun Mukherjee & Niladri R Chatterjee (eds). Androgyny & Female Impersonation in India: Nari Bhav. Niyogi Books, 2017.


  • Andrea Abi-Karam & Kay Gabriel (eds). We Want It All. An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics. Nightboat Books, 2020.
  • Michelle Berthiaume. Trans-Sensual Poetry: A Journey of Self Identity. Kindle, 2020.
  • Kayleb Rae Candrilli. All the Gay Saints. Saturnalia Books, 2020.
  • Robin Gow. Our Lady of Perpetual Degeneracy. Tulsun Books, 2020.
  • Taylor Johnson. Inheritance. Alice James Books, 2020.

Written by a trans person

  • Genesis P-Orridge. Sacred Intent: Conversations with Carl Abrahamsson 1986-2019. Trapart Books, 2020.
  • Raewyn W Connell. Gender: In World Perspective. Polity, 2020.


  • April Alexander. Queer Jesus. Love for all, Inc, 2020.
  • Seaby Brown. Raven's Rook (All The Stars Are Suns Book 2). 2020
  • Emerson Whitney. Heaven. McSweeneys Books, 2020.


  • Heather Brunskell-Evans. Transgender Body Politics. Spinefex, 2020.
  • Walt Heyer. Articles of Impeachment against Sex Change Surgery.
  • Scott Howard. The Transgender-Industrial Complex. Antelope Hill, 2020.
  • Birgit Kelle. Gendergaga: Wie eine absurde Ideologie unseren Alltag erobern will. FinanzBuch Verlag, 2020.
  • Birgit Kelle. Noch Normal? Das lässt sich gendern!: Gender-Politik ist das Problem, nicht die Lösung. FinanzBuch Verlag, 2020.
  • Michele Moore & Heather Brunskell-Evans (eds). Transgender Children and Young People: Born in Your Own Body. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018.
  • Michele Moore & Heather Brunskell-Evans (eds). Inventing Transgender Children and Young People. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019.
  • ++Douglas Murray.  The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity.  Bloomsbury, 2019. 
  • Katie Roche. 2+2=5: How the Transgender Craze is Redefining Reality. 2020.
  • Abigail Shrier. Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.
    Regnery Publishing, 2020.

Announced for 2021

  • Jensen Anderson. Life As A Transgender: She, No He!: A Transgender-gay Memoir Book 1. Kindel, 2021.
  • Callum Angus. A Natural History of Transition. Metonymy Press, 2021.
  • Krys Malcolm Belc. The Natural Mother of the Child: A Memoir of Nonbinary Parenthood. 2021.
  • Freiya Benson. The Anxiety Book for Trans People: How to Conquer Your Dysphoria, Worry Less and Find Joy. Jessica Kingsley, 2021.
  • Precious Brady-Davis. I Have Always Been Me: A Memoir. Topple Books, 2021.
  • Jillian Celentano. Transitioning Later in Life: A Personal Guide. Jessica Kingsley, 2021.
  • Howard Chiang. Transtopia in the Sinophone Pacific. Columbia University Press, 2021.
  • Lore m dickey. Case Studies in Clinical Practice with Trans and Gender Non-Binary Clients: A Handbook for Working with Children, Adolescents, and Adults. Jessica Kingsley, 2021.
  • $£¥ € Rachel Friedman (ed). Beyond Binaries: Trans Identities in Contemporary Culture. Lexington Books, 2021.
  • Francisco J Galarte. Brown Trans Figurations: Rethinking Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Chicanx/Latinx Studies. University of Texas Press, 2021.
  • Finlay Games. Top To Bottom: A Memoir and Personal Guide Through Phalloplasty. Jessica Findley, 2021.
  • Tara Gereaux. Saltus. Nightwood Editions, 2021.
  • $£¥ € Abbie Goldberg & Genny Beemyn (eds). The Sage Encyclopedia of Trans Studies. Sage, 2021.
  • $£¥ € Peter Goodrich & Katrin Trustedt (eds). Laws of Transgression: The Return of Judge Schreber. University of Toronto Press, 2021.
  • Bruce Owens Grimm, Tiff Ferentini & Miguel M Morales (eds). Fat and Queer: An Anthology of Queer and Trans Bodies and Lives. Jessica Kingsley, 2021.
  • Karen Jaime. The Queer Nuyorican: Racialized Sexualities and Aesthetics in Loisaida. New York University Press, 2021.
  • Sarah Mei Herman. Solace: Portraits of Queer Youth in Modern China. The New Press, 2021.
  • Leyla Jagiella. Among the Eunuchs: A Muslim Transgender Journey. Oxford University Press. 2021.
  • Jennie Kermode. Growing Older as a Trans and/or Non-Binary Person: A Support Guide. Jessica Kingsley, 2021.
  • Gerald Mallon. Strategies for Child Welfare Professionals Working with Transgender and Gender Expansive Youth. Jessica Kingsley, 2021.
  • $£¥ € Daniel Marshall. Queer Youth Histories. Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.
  • Steve McCurry. Belonging: Portraits from LGBTQ Thailand. The New Press, 2921.
  • $£¥ € Dmitriy Nikolavsky & Stephen Blakely. Urological Care for the Transgender Patient: A Comprehensive Guide. Springer, 2020.
  • Genesis P-Orridge. Non-binary: A memoir. Abrams press, 2021.
  • Philippa Punchard. Gender Pioneers: A Celebration of Transgender, Non-Binary and Intersex Icons. Jessica Kingsley, 2021.
  • Yenn Purkis & Wenn B Lawson. The Autistic Trans Guide to Life. Jessica Kingsley, 2021.
  • Aaron Raz link & Hilda Raz. What Becomes You. University of Nebraska Press, 2021.
  • $£¥ € Christina Richards. Trans and Sexuality: An existentially-informed enquiry with implications for counselling psychology. Routledge, 2021.
  • $£¥ € Emily Rose. Translating Transgender Identity: (Re)Writing Undecidable Texts and Bodies. Routledge, 2021.
  • Vaibhav Saria. Hijras, Lovers, Brothers: Surviving Sex and Poverty in Rural India. Fordham University Press, 2021.
  • Stef M Shuster. Trans Medicine: The Emergence and Practice of Treating Gender. New York University Press, 2021.
  • Debra Soh. The End of Gender: Debunking the Myths about Sex and Identity in Our Society. Threshold Editions, 2021. (Blanchard-Levay oriented)
  • Preston M Sprinkle. Embodied: Transgender Identities, the Church, and What the Bible Has to Say. David C Cook, 2021.
  • Eric A Stanley. Atmospheres of Violence: Structuring Antagonism and the Trans/Queer Ungovernable. Duke University Press, 2021.
  • Sabrina Symington. Coming Out, Again: Transition Stories. Jessica Kingsley, 2021.
  • Paula Stone Williams. As a Woman: What I Learned about Power, Sex, and Patriarchy after I Transitioned. Atria Booke, 2021.
  • Nevo Zisin. The Pronoun Lowdown: Demystifying and Celebrating Gender Diversity. Smith Street Books, 2021.
  • Angela Zottola. Transgender Identities in the Press: A Corpus-based Discourse Analysis. Bloomsbury Academic, 2021.

Announced for 2022

  • $£¥ € Lopamudra Sengupta. Human Rights of the Third Gender in India: Beyond the Binary. Routledge India, 2022.

30 November 2020

More on Maurice Wilson

In 2008 I wrote about Maurice Wilson, who in 1934 decided to climb Mt Everest/Chomolungma.   With no flying experience and no climbing experience he bought a plane and flew to India, and then set to climb the mountain. He died on the mountain and mountaineering forums are still debating whether he died on the way up or on the way down.   

There were and are persistent rumours that he was trans.  If so he was the first known European trans person to climb Mount Everest, nineteen years before Jan Morris

His first biographer
  • Dennis Roberts. I'll climb Mount Everest alone; the story of Maurice Wilson. R. Hale 1957.
did not discuss whether he was trans.

The Wikipedia entry has not a single word on the topic.

There is a new biography, just out. 
  • Ed Caesar.  The Moth and the Mountain: A true Story of Love, War, and Everest.  Avid Reader Press, 2020.

Caesar does discuss the issue on p172-4.  

"There have long been rumours in the climbing community and beyond that Maurice Wilson was a private transvestite, that he carried with him items of women’s clothing to Everest, and that he wrote a secret, second diary, detailing many kinds of niche sexual predilections. You want to know what to do with such stories. His tale is remarkable however he was clad."

Wilson took an unusual choice of book up the mountain with him,  Hans Licht’s Sexual Life in Ancient Greece,  published 1931.

His great-nephew took a secret about Wilson to the grave - but he insisted that "He weren't queer".  So if not gay, then what?

Caesar concludes: "The evidence is not conclusive, and in any case you are not trying Wilson for a crime. But you think of how happy he was, dressed as someone else, and you wonder whether his whole story—the broken relationships, the spiritual mania, the purging fasts, the demented mission to Everest—was born out of an unsettled sense of his true self."  

Here is a summary of the new book - that is without mentioning transvestite rumours. 

25 November 2020

Trans New Orleans: Part III - Activism and Legal Changes

Part I: the early years to news of Christine Jorgensen

Part II: to the two fires of 1972-3

Part III: Activism and Legal Changes


Perry Desmond’s mother died, and wished to remember Perry ‘as you were’. Perry’s ex-lover had turned to Jesus, and kept sending her religious literature. She finally read it, and approached the Baptist Church next to the laundromat. The minister visited her at home, and she converted, and was persuaded that to God she was still a man. Perry reverted to male clothing. He (from now on) became a minister after a while, and a celebrity on the Christian circuit. He became a pioneer in the Exodus ex-gay movement.

Travis’s Bar on Rampart Street became the drag venue after Club My-O-My closed. It sponsered a Miss Drag Universe Pageant.


During a few weeks in the spring, five gay men were attacked and killed. The spree stopped when two black trans women tipped off the police. Sixteen-year-old Warren Harris who had been raised in a devout Baptist home was arrested. During questioning he expressed revulsion for gay men – this despite living with a trans woman. He was sentenced to three life sentences.

The Anita Bryant crusade against gay and trans persons came to New Orleans – her first public appearance after her successful overturn of the gay rights ordinance in Miami. Perry Desmond spoke out in support, but otherwise it became the first large mobilization of gay protesters.

Lucille Mar (born 1956) was arrested for prostitution. However a medical examination showed that she had previously been a man, and the Louisiana Law against prostitution applied only to women. The charges were dropped. 

Faubourg Marigny Bookstore opened, the first gay/feminist bookstore in the US South.


At Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Vicky West, the cover artist for New York’s Drag Magazine, was with a contingent organized by New York’s Lee's Mardi Gras Boutique when she met cis photographer Mariette Pathy Allen who was impressed by her posture: “who focused straight back at me. As I peered through the camera lens, I had the feeling that I was looking at neither a man nor a woman but at the essence of a human being”. As it turned out they lived 20 blocks apart in New York. They started going to parties and other events together.


Joanna Cluse had genital surgery from Dr Biber in Colorado. Joanna met and married a loving Jewish man, but cheated on him, and then asked for a divorce. Her next fiancé dropped her when he discovered her past.

Neil Cargile/Chenille, Tennessee cross-dresser and dare-devil pilot, landed a passenger at New Orleans, who then walked into the propellor and was decapitated.


Regina Adams, who had escaped the Upstairs Lounge fire, became a well known performer in New Orleans, first as a drag performer, and then as a woman. In 1980 Regina legally changed her name to Regina Adams, honoring the man who should have been her husband.

Colin Markland, previously sex-change surgeon at the University of Minnesota, was professor and Head of Urology at Louisiana State University.


Leslie Townsend was in New Orleans. She worked as a female impersonator and a sex worker.


Tara O’Hara had been raised by a Jehovah's Witness family in New Orleans. In the early 80s, he was working in Berlin as an English teacher. When he discovered Romy Haag's drag club he went back again and again, and started wearing drag to the club. This lead to a part in the show and he gave up both teaching and the Jehovah's Witnesses. She was in Rosa von Praunheim's 1983 film, Stadt Der Verlorenen Seelen (City of Lost Souls) along with Jayne County and Angie Stardust where they all play versions of themselves.

Future sex-change doctor Toby Meltzer graduated with a MD from Lousiana State University, then did a four-year residency at the Charity Hospital in New Orleans.


Perry Desmond died of a heart attack aged 48.


Gilbertine Liveaudais was a fashionable trans woman who managed to be at the best galas, balls and soirées. She was a self described and unapologetic “quadroon”, who had been raised in the Magnolia Housing Development. She always did well in the Miss Drag Universe Pageant. She performed at Travis’s Bar. 


Marsha and Rip Naquin-Delain moved to New Orleans. They expanded the coverage of Ambush Magazine to include the city.

Crystal Little, ex-navy, had been oscillating for 20 years. After her mother died, she started to live openly as a woman. Her son stopped speaking to her.


Marsha and Rip Naquin-Delain acquired the building at 828 Bourbon Street. The ground floor was the office of Ambush Magazine and Naquin and Delain lived upstairs.

Joanna Cluse returned to LaFayette. One evening, while drunk, she crashed her car and almost killed her passengers. In 1988 she married a single father of two children. They moved to Marietta, Georgia, and she became a Christian wife and mother, and stayed off drugs and alcohol.

Dave Parsons, punk rock author and record producer, lived in New Orleans for a while. He started performing mime and doing Charlie Chaplin impersonations. An Italian film crew found him and asked him to do Charlie at their film premier in Rome. He then ended up in Switzerland making a living as a Chaplin impersonator, and was the official Charlie Chaplin impersonator to the Chaplin family, working with them for 15 years. Dave as Donna completed transition in 2003, but died shortly afterwards.


Marcy Marcell, who missed the Upstairs Lounge Fire by being late, founded the Gay Appreciation Awards, a charity fundraiser.


  • Oliver Stone (dir) JFK. Scr: Oliver Stone & Zachery Sklar, with Kevin Costner as Jim Garrison, Gary Oldman as Lee Harvey Oswald, Tommy Lee Jones as Clay Shaw. US 189 mins 1991. The major film about the 1963 presidential assassination which is shown as having been planned in New Orleans, with gay conspirators and a few fleeting drag queens, leading up to the trial of Clay Shaw. While some gay men may have been involved, the presentation here was upsetting to gay reviewers. Comment from GLAAD.


Megan Chavalier and Alex Forrset performed as drag queens at Papa Joe’s on Bourbon Street. Chavalier later moved to Hollywood and became a trans pornstar.

The City Council passed its first Gay non-discrimination ordinance.


  • Mark Frost (dir). Storyville. Mark Frost & Lee Reynolds (scr) with Bernard Zette as Tom Plunkett. US 113 mins 1992. Plunkett is a trans model who witnesses a murder, and then retreats to a male identity so as not to be found. Finally Plunkett – en femme – does appear at the trial to give evidence and is shot at, but survives. 


New Orleans Ordinance introduced same-sex domestic partnerships in 1993, Naquin and Delain were the first to be registered.

Section 5-66, ccs 18, 537, the ban on gay bar employee from 1959 was repealed; Ordinace 14.240 from 1935, that prohibited cross-dressing in public except on Mardi Gras, also repealed.


Joanna Cluse had embraced her Christian beliefs more deeply, and by 1994 had concluded that she was outside God’s will. She shared her conclusion with her husband, and they separated. She returned to Louisiana as a woman.


Trans woman Chrystal Little became director of the GLBT Community Center. She had already been president of Gulf Gender Alliance.


Joanna Cluse participated in Crossover, the ex-transgender group. Eighteen months later she did a 40-day fast, and then in January 1999 returned to being Joseph. Joseph had his breast implants removed. He became pastor with Crossover and with Exodus, and became a star feature on the Exodus Gender Identity page, where he explained: “Satan’s stronghold on my life was such that I could see no other course for my life than a complete sex change operation. I believed God had made a mistake and given me the physical attributes of a man, and I determined to set things ‘right’ ”.

Louisiana became the first state in US South to pass a hate crimes law that covered sexual orientation.


New Orleans added gender identity to the list of groups protected from discrimination.

Katey Red was signed and became one of the first trans rappers in the sissy bounce genre.


Big Freedia, who had started singing in her local Baptist Church, started her career in bounce music.


Peter Oiler, a 20-year Winn-Dixie supermarket truck driver in Harahan outside New Orleans, was fired when his manager found that outside work he was Donna. The case was taken up by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which filed a federal lawsuit on his behalf under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits sex discrimination, and the Supreme Court case Price Waterhouse v. Cooper which had barred sex stereotyping in the workplace. The US District Court Judge ruled against Oiler on both counts in 2002, and Winn-Dixie then sued Oiler for legal fees of $9,000. Casetext.

Bobbi D’ean Perry was featured in the Times-Picayune as an example of trans women being benevolent.

  • Bill Grady. “The Girl Can’t Help it, So She helps Others”. Times-Picayune, 23 July 2000.


JoAnn Guidos had waited until his mother died, and finally became JoAnn full time at age 51. Ex-wife Kathy and her new husband were friendly and together the three of them fixed up a couple of properties to be run as bars.

Robert Durst, from a New York real-estate dynasty and a murder suspect, was living sometimes as Diane Winn in New Orleans.


The husband of Ilsa Strix (Karin Winslow), a top dominatrix in Los Angeles, who had left him for Lana Wachowshi, one of the directors of the Matrix films, moved to New Orleans to be with his second wife, body piercer, tattoo artist and body modification enthusiast Elayne Angel - he took her name, and became Buck Angel. He then sought work as a trans-porn actor.

The Louisiana anti-sodomy law was rendered unenforceable in 2003 by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas. However the 1805 law otherwise remained in effect and the police started using the clause that prohibits “unnatural copulation” against sex workers. They were charged with a felony, had “sex offender” added to their drivers’ license, were forbidden to wear a costume at Mardi Gras, and were denied public assistance. Of those so arrested, 78% are black, almost all are women and many are trans. Archived newsarticle.

Rose Venkatesan of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, graduated in biomedical engineering from Louisiana Tech University. She commented that she found the people there to be “aggressively homophobic”.

  • Big Freedia. Queen Diva. CD, 2003.


JoAnn Guidos was the co-owner with Kathy of Kajun’s Pub in downtown New Orleans. A few months later during Hurricane Katrina in August-September JoAnne kept her pub open as a place of refuge until armed troops forced the place to close, and all to evacuate.

Cathryn Platine and Ethan St Pierre from New York State’s Cybele Maetreum organized relief efforts for the LGBT victims of the hurricane.

Because of Hurricane Katrina, there was no Southern Decadence in 2005. Therefore joint Grand Marshalls Lisa Beaumann and Regina Adams reigned in both 2005 and 2006.

Amiyah Scott, 17, raised in New Orleans, completed transition.


New Orleans born female impersonator Elton Paris (1922-2007) died age 85. He had performed at Finocchio’s in San Francisco and with the Jewel Box Revue.


Tyra Fields, a health worker, facilitated a meeting of black trans women who had been harrassed and subjected to arrest without cause by the police. NewsArticle.

  • Big Freedia. Big Freedia Hitz Vol 1. CD, 2010.


Marcy Marcell died.

New Orleans bounce artists including Katey Red and Big Freedia were celebrated in an exhibition at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans.


Marsha and Rip Naquin-Delain were married in St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York on their 40th anniversary.


Three Louisiana residents have been arrested after allegedly holding a transgender woman captive for months, treating her as their “slave”. 37-year-old David Rodriguez, Jr., along with Christina Marie Harper and Ambre Tubbs Lomas, both 39, were arrested on charges ranging from human trafficking to battery. Newsstory.

  • Big Freedia. Just be Free. CD, 2014.


Tristan Broussard, 21, Lake Charles, Louisiana, filed a sex-discrimination lawsuit after forced to leave his job. A company executive found out he was listed on his driver's license as female. The executive demanded he dress and act like a woman, something he refused to do.

Amiyah Scott cast in The Real Housewives of Atlanta – the first trans woman in the franchise. Later she was cast in the show Star.

Murdered: Penny Proud.


Goddess Diamond was found dead in a torched car. 


Rip Naquin died age 63 in August 2017 of liver failure. Marsha died four months later – some say of a broken heart.

Sophie White, filmmaker and actress started transition. That year she won an International Screen Writers Association award. She also pitched a film called Hummingbird loosely based on her own story of almost being pushed to suicide. They started filming with Sophie in the lead role. However another trans woman brought in as a consultant died by suicide, and they did not have the heart to finish post-production. 

Three unrelated murders of trans women in February: Ciara McElvee, Chyna Gibson & Jaquarrius Holland.


Joseph Cluse died on his birthday, age 64.

Armani Nicole Davenport, a trans pageant winner, was tried in New Orleans for illegally injecting another trans women with silicone. She pleaded guilty to negligent homicide, and was sentenced to two years probation and 50 hours of cummunity service. Newsarticle.


Sophie White cast in an episode of Chicago Med.

  • Amiyah Scott. Memoirs of a Mermaid: The Evolution of Amiyah Scott. Kindle, 2019.


New Orleans trans poet, Taylor Johnson, featured by the Folger Shakespeare Library. NewsArticle.

The House of Tulip organized an online fundraiser, and bid for some rundown properties to become a refuge for homeless trans and gnc persons.


The following were consulted

  • James T Sears. Rebels, Rubyfruit and Rhinestones: Queering Space in the Stonewall South. Rutgers University Press, 2001.
  • Roberts Batson. “New Orleans”. GLBTQ, 2004
  • Scott S Ellis. Madame Vieux Carré. University Press of Mississippi, 2010.
  • Jelisa Thompson. You make Me Feel: A Study of the Gay Rights Movement in New Orleans. BA Thesis. The University of Southern Mississippi, 2011.
  • Frank Perez & Jeffrey Palmquist. In Exile: The History and Lore Surrounding New Orleans Gay Culture and Its Oldest Gay Bar. LL Publications, 2012.
  • Frank Perez. ““My O My! The Most Interesting Women Are Not Women At All!”. Ambush Magazine, March 5-18, 2013: 12. Online.
  • Frank Perez. “Killer Tricks”. Ambush Magazine, September 24 – October 7, 2013. Online.
  • Ryan Pretcher. Gay New Orleans: A History. PhD Thesis. Georgia State University, 2017. 

Trans Legends on New Orleans 

History of Drag Culture in New Orleans 

LGBT+ Archives of Louisiana

22 November 2020

Trans New Orleans: Part II - to the two fires of 1972-3

Part I: the early years to news of Christine Jorgensen

Part II: to the two fires of 1972-3


At Louisiana State University Perry Desmond found his first gay friends, but was expelled for being gay. He found a lover in Baton Rouge until his mother interfered. He then went to Southwestern Louisiana Institute (now the University of Louisiana at Lafeyette) and found another lover before being kicked out for doing so. In New Orleans he became a waiter and a prostitute, and as a kept boy started wearing female clothing full time, until his mother interfered.


Charlotte McLeod, back from surgery in Copenhagen, took a gig in New Orleans, but found that the contract was with a strip club. “And right across the street was a very, well the nicest club on the street. No hard bumps and grinds and strips and all that kind of thing. And to get me out of the verbal contract the owner paid for me going to court. And the next thing I am sitting up in front of the judge. I never will forget, I had a great big felt cart wheel hat on. Couldn’t sit on the seat because the cart wheel hat hit the back and I had to take my hat off. I don’t know why I should remember that. In that day and time ladies wore their hats. And he released me from the contract and I went across to the Show Bar, which was the nicest club on the street.” A dancer-comedienne called Cupcake wrote material for Charlotte: “I’ve been to many places, environments strange, and then I went to Denmark, just for a little change”.

Charlotte met Christine Jorgensen when they were both appearing in New Orleans. 

Stormé DeLarverie, New Orleans born, became the sole male impersonator in the Jewel Box Revue. After starting with the show he began to dress in men's clothing offstage too.

Impersonator Harvey Lee performed at Club My-O-My.

Queer Music Heritage

NOPD Superintendent declares homosexuals to be “Number 1 vice problem”.


Bobby Marchan was employed by Ace Records’ Johnny Vincent who did not realize that Bobby was not a woman until told two days later.

Leynon, from Mexico was a star at the My-O-My Club on Lake Ponchatrain. When Perry Desmond was hired for a first chance as a performer at New Orleans’ My-O-My Club in 1956, Leynon stepped in to help Desmond with make-up and costume.

Desmond records that Leynon was viciously murdered in a transphobic hate crime in Mexico a few years later. 

Perry Desmond was recruited for the Jewel Box Review because his size allowed him to take over the costumes of one who had left. He quit the Revue when his father was in hospital. After that he opened a beauty salon, but then performed in various drag clubs.


The first gay 'krewe' – of the krewes that put on the New Orleans Mardi Gras celebrations –the Yuga Krewe, was founded. The first two Yuga Balls – a mixture of a drag show and a bal masque - were held in a private house on Carrollton Avenue, but the neighbors had become irate. They did not join the Mardi Gars parade.

Candy Lee had started a career as a female impersonator at the Club My-O-My on Lake Pontchartrain. She also worked as a bartender at Bacino’s bar, and was an acquaintance of playwright Tennessee Williams, who wrote a one-act play, And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Queens in 1958, which is said to be inspired by the life of Candy. The play’s protagonist, an interior decorator who sometimes cross-dresses, is called Candy, and is about to turn 35. Her older lover who set her up in business has left her for a younger man. Candy picks up a sailor, Karl, in a gay bar. She spends money on him, and he then beats her up and steals more. This was the first play by Williams with explicit gay characters, and was never performed during his lifetime.

Candy was also one of the founder members of the Yuga Krewe. However she did not get on with the other members, and by the early 1960s had been banned from the balls. The word is that she called the police on the 1962 Fifth Yuga Ball.

An agent in New York named Perry Desmond ‘The South’s Most Beautiful Boy’. In 1958 he and 142 others were arrested at a big costume ball at the Manhattan Center in New York. At the same time he came down with jaundice.

New Orleans city council created a “Committee on the Problem of Sex Deviates”.

Section 5-66, ccs 18, 537 was added to city ordinances. “No person of lewd, immoral, or dissolute character, sexual pervert … shall be employed” in bars or restaurants. This ordinance was not repealed until 1993.

The manager and staff (one of whom was Candy lee) of Tony Bacino’s, a gay bar, were arrested six times, the charge each time reading “Person of lewd character employed as bartender”. They applied for and were awarded an injunction and temporary restraining order, but ultimately lost the case.

Three students at New Orleans’ Tulane University decided to” roll a queer”. At 1:30 am one of them picked up a man in the Café Lafitte in Exile. He got him into an alley, where he and the two others beat the man so badly that he died 12 hours later. An autopsy revealed that the victim had an unusually thin cranium. During their murder trial the three students argued that his thin cranium was why he died, not their beating. The all-white, all-male jury quickly acquitted them to courtroom applause. They were also charged with robbery and got six-months suspended. 


The third Yuga Ball in 1960 was held in a jazz club, Mama Lou’s on Lake Pontchartrain, reached by a wooden walkway that proved quite difficult for those who came in high heels. William Wooley was the head window dresser at a department store on Canal St. He and his team simply borrowed stock for the Yuga ball.

Smith p107

One day on the street Perry Desmond met an old friend who was close to completing transition, and demanded the name of her doctor. Perry then started on hormone injections from “Dr Ritter” in New York (probably Dr Benito Rish) , and started electrolysis. She also bleached her hair. She had a nose job and silicone injections. Once she had breasts she passed easily as a woman, and went back to a mix of hooking and running a beauty salon. She gave that up to be a kept woman, but after a year of two-timing her husband, left him for the other man, Wayne.

New Orleans chapter of the lesbian organization Daughters of Bilitis founded.


The Krewe of Petronius legally registered as a Mardi Gras krewe. It received a charter from the state to stage a Mardi Gras ball. The krewe also hired a police detail for protection, thus making it safe from a raid or other harassment.


The fourth and fifth Yuga Balls were held in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie in a school that had a large dance studio, and was surrounded by a wooded area close to the lake. The second gay krewe, that of Petronius, held its first ball in 1962 at the same location.

However the Yuga Ball a week later was raided by the Parish Police. Some managed to flee, but many were arrested in what the police dubbed a ‘lewd stag party’. Those arrested had their names printed in the newspapers and thus most lost their jobs.

Newly elected and sexually flexible District Attorney Jim Garrison made headlines with a series of vice raids in the French Quarter.


Soon-to-be-assassination-patsy Lee Harvey Oswald returned to his birth city. He approached Jules Weiss of the gay Armeinius Krewe who was also known as Lovely Rita. Weiss let him stay in his spare room for several weeks before he moved on to Dallas. Oswald noted this kindness in his diary, and a decade later Weiss was charged with conspiracy to kill President Kennedy and fencing stolen goods.

John Rechy published his accounts of male hustling in New Orleans and elsewhere. He had seemingly been unaffected by Garrison’s vice raids.

After surgery in New York and at Johns Hopkins, Reed Erickson legally transitioned – a legal precedent in Louisiana. He married his first wife shortly afterwards.

  • John Rechy. City of Night. Grove Press, 1963.


Tony Barreto-Neto ran off to New Orleans where, sometimes as a man, sometimes as a lesbian, he did a degree at Louisiana State University Medical Center while being openly gay, dropped out of graduate school, ran a gay disco, played drums in several bands, especially Original Bleus, became active on lesbian issues, was the first female co-chair of the Louisiana Gay Political Action Coalition (LAGPAC)


Delisa Newton , nurse, jazz vocalist, had surgery and was billed in the press as ‘The First Negro Sex Change’.


A few of the bars in the French Quarter offered drag performances, but it was strictly enforced that performers had to arrive dressed as men, and likewise to leave.

The balls of the gay krewes were popular despite police harassment. They had problems finding places for the balls to be held. Some of the few organizations willing to rent to them were the African-American labor unions, especially the Longshoremen’s Association.


Richard Ekins, the English future sociologist of transgender, and jazz musician, on his first visit to New Orleans encountered Joseph 'Kid Twat' Butler, bass player with the Kid Thomas Band, who had never seen such a tall, long-haired and heavily-bearded man, and bowed down proclaiming: “Here come de Lord!". The moniker stuck. Lord Richard set up his own record label, La Croix Records, and released seven LPs by both British and New Orleans musicians. The famous Kid Thomas Band recorded live in 1968 at Kohlman’s Tavern in New Orleans was one of his projects.

State v. Young et al (1966); the Louisiana Supreme Court unanimously held that cunnilingus between lesbian partners was also criminal.


Originally from New Orleans, Lady Java had been working in Los Angeles for two years, and was then performing and waiting at the Redd Foxx Club. She was billed as "The Prettiest Man on Earth”.

Eddie Dame, the future Barbara de Lamere, had lost his New York boyfriend to a heterosexual marriage. After the wedding, Eddie went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras and bought a full set of female clothing. Back in New York Eddie started going out en femme. Barbara completed transition by 1982.

Prominent gay businessman Clay Shaw was charged by Jim Garrison with conspiring to bring about the JFK assassination. New Orleans gay persons saw this as homophobic persecution.


Perry Desmond’s father died, and she bought male clothing to attend his funeral. She opened a new beauty salon in a haunted ante-bellum house in New Orleans, and then became a self-taught astrologer, and did lots of drugs. Her business evolved into an occult shop called The Age of Aquarius. She had her fortune read two or three times every day and constantly recalculated her horoscope.


Alice Stevenson reportedly first NO trans woman to achieve completion surgery. (Approximate year.)

Clay Shaw reads about his trial

The trial of Clay Shaw started during Mardi Gras. A not guilty verdict was returned by a jury that took less than one hour to decide.


Gay Liberation Front local chapter founded. Although the group fell apart by mid-1971, in that brief span it had produced the first gay public action, a demonstration at City Hall protesting police harassment. It also published the first gay-identified publication, a newsletter entitled Sunflower, and presented the first Stonewall commemoration, a June 1971 "Gay-In" in City Park.


Joseph Cluse from Lafayette, Louisiana, moved to New Orleans, became Joanna, performed in a nightclub and did sex work. She also did lots of drugs and drink.

New Orleans Metropolitan Community Church founded.

It is said that Bubbles Rose Lee of New York’s Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) was extradited to Louisiana on serious criminal charges – although there is no record of a trial.


Club My-O-My destroyed by fire. It relocated to the French Quarter for a short wile, before closing permanently.

First Southern Decadence. At first a private party, it has grown into one of the city's most important gay events. Guests at the original party were invited to come as their favorite Southern decadent character, real or fictional. This was repeated and became the huge annual Labor Day extravaganza called Southern Decadence, which rivals Mardi Gras in terms of the number of gay tourists it attracts. Costumes and cross-dressing are part of the celebrations.


24 June. An arson attack at the Up Stairs Lounge, 141 Chartres Street, in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The prime suspect is a gay man who had been ejected from the bar earlier in the day. He was never charged and killed himself 17 months later. 29 died, and another 18 were injured, of whom three later died. 

Among the dead was Reginald Adams, an Afro-American from Dallas who had been studying at Loyola University in New Orleans, initially with the aim of becoming a Jesuit priest. At the Up Stairs lounge he had met a young performer, who did drag acts, and was trying out some feminine personae. They became a couple, Regina and Reginald, one of the few inter-racial gay couples in New Orleans at that time. They were both at the Up Stairs social on the fatal night. They realized that they did not have enough money for a dinner arrangement afterwards, and, having finished her drink, it was Regina who went home to get some, and also a borrowed hat to be returned. On return she saw the building aflame.

Marcy Marcel was a regular performer at the Upstairs, but she was fortunate in that she arrived late after watching Bette Davies in Jezebel on television.

Another survivor was Adrian St Clair, a drag performer who went on to be the repeated winner of the Miss Drag Universe Pageant.

The horror of the Upstairs fire was compounded by the undisguised homophobia of the time. Some churches refused to allow funerals for the victims, and some parents refused to claim the bodies of their children for burial. The tragedy, however, did motivate a handful of activists who launched another publication, Causeway, and established a Gay Crisis Phone Line.

Marsha Delain met Rip Naquin on a trip to New Orleans. They soon moved in with each other in Baton Rouge. They started two gay publications that ultimately failed. Their third attempt was Ambush Magazine. Originally it covered Baton Rouge and north Louisiana.


The following were consulted:

  •  James T Sears. Rebels, Rubyfruit and Rhinestones: Queering Space in the Stonewall South. Rutgers University Press, 2001.
  • Roberts Batson. “New Orleans”. GLBTQ, 2004.
  • Albert J Carey. “New Orleans Mardi Gras Krewes”. GLBTQ, 2004.
  • Scott S Ellis. Madame Vieux Carré. University Press of Mississippi, 2010.
  • Jelisa Thompson. You make Me Feel: A Study of the Gay Rights Movement in New Orleans. BA Thesis. The University of Southern Mississippi, 2011.
  • Frank Perez & Jeffrey Palmquist. In Exile: The History and Lore Surrounding New Orleans Gay Culture and Its Oldest Gay Bar. LL Publications, 2012.
  • Frank Perez. ““My O My! The Most Interesting Women Are Not Women At All!”. Ambush Magazine, March 5-18, 2013: 12. Online.
  • Frank Perez. “Killer Tricks”. Ambush Magazine, September 24 – October 7, 2013. Online.
  • Clayton Delery-Edwards. The Up Stairs Lounge Arson: Thirty-Two Deaths in a New Orleans Gay Bar, June 24, 1973. McFarland Publishing, 2014.
  • Howard Philips Smith. Unveiling the Muse: The Lost History of Gay Carnival in New Orleans. University Press of Mississippi, 2017. 
  • Robert W Fieselar.  Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation. Liveright, 2018. 
  • Ryan Pretcher. Gay New Orleans: A History. PhD Thesis. Georgia State University, 2017. 

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