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!

28 May 2020

Malcolm Himschoot (1977 - ) pastor

​Himschoot was raised as a girl in Colorado, the middle child of three – but always felt like a third brother. They were raised on “church potlucks and belief that homosexuality – never mind transgender – was just awful” (quoted in Draper).

Intrigued by the lore of Emily Dickinson, Himschoot did a BA at Amherst College in Massachusetts, which led to an encounter with the United Church of Christ (UCC), and enabled a new-found mental wellness and a shedding of fundamentalist guilt and shame. After graduation Himschoot worked as a small-town journalist, but felt more inclined to give counsel and comfort than to write. While volunteering to help orphans in Guatemala, Himschoot realized a calling to be a minister.

The parents were devastated when told of his gender identity, but while they did not condone, they did not shun either. In 2000 Himschoot was accepted at Denver’s Iliff School of Theology, and in 2001 participated in a consultation for trans people in the UCC’s national LGBT Concerns Office in Cleveland. Also that year the UCC featured him in a documentary film, Call Me Malcolm, that followed him around the US meeting other trans people and talking about his faith.
“Some people hear, just by who I am, … the sermon about stepping into who God has called you to be, and understanding transformation even if it’s hard … I wasn’t really ready to do anything while I was going by the name of Miriam. I was sort of a lonely person, and I don’t think that’s a way to head into ministry. So I don’t think I, as Miriam, could have been a minister, or much of anything” (In Call Me Malcolm, quoted in Cornwall). 
He completed transition in 2002, taking the name Malcolm, and graduated and was ordained by the
UCC in 2004. In 2005 he married a female friend who knew his gender history. That year the UCC at its General Synod voted 80% in support of equal marriage, the first major US church to do so.  In 2007 Malcolm and his wife welcomed twin girls into their family.

Malcolm served as an associate pastor in Minneapolis, and as the Open and Affirming Coordinator for the United Church of Christ Coalition for LGBT Concerns. In 2012 he became an adjunct professor at the Iliff School of Theology. In 2019 he returned to being a full-time pastor at a church in Maine.
  • Joseph Parlagreco (dir). Call Me Malcolm, with Malcolm Himschoot, Matt Kailey, Calpernia Addams, Major Griffin-Gracy. US 90 mins 2005. IMDB .
  • “Q&A: Malcolm Himschoot”. The Advocate, August 30, 2005: 4. Online.
  • Malcolm Himschoot. “Action and Reflection: One Pastor’s Method of Creating Trans Day of Remembrence Liturgy”. In Marcella Althaus-Reid & Lisa Isherwood (eds). Trans/Formations (Controversies in Contextual Theology). SCM-Canterbury Press, 2009: 139-147.
  • Malcolm Himschoot. “fatherhood”. In Megan M.Rohrer and Zander Keig (eds). Letters for My Brothers: Transitional Wisdom in Retrospect. Wilgefortis, 2010.
  • Electa Draper. "Church's transgender pastor grateful for life 'beyond my wildest dreams'". The Denver Post, 03/14/2011.
  • Susannah Cornwall. Sex and Uncertainty in the Body of Christ: Intersex Conditions and Christian Theology. Routledge, 2014: 132-3, 146.
  • Malcolm Himschoot. “Gender Going Forward (and Back Again”. In Megan Rohrer & Zander Keig (eds). Manifest: Transitional Wisdom on Male Privilege. Lulu, 2016: 121- 4.

RELIGIOUS ARCHIVES     LinkedIn     Progessive Renewal(Archive)


26 May 2020

Jeffrey McCall (1988 - ) Christian organizer

All bible quotations from the King James Bible.

McCall, from Franklin Springs, Georgia, identified as gay from age 15. By age 18 he was living in Nashville:
"I just partied and would shop, and that was my life, shopping, partying, and whoever was my boyfriend at the time. I was addicted to drugs. I was taking a ton of Xanax and smoking crystal meth.” 
He then returned to Georgia to attend college, and by the time he graduated at age 27 was using the name Scarlet, and identified as a trans women. He started doing drag shows and living as Scarlet and as such was actively sexual, and was drinking heavily. He threatened suicide and spent two days in a psychiatric ward. McCall obtained a psychiatrist’s diagnosis of ‘gender dysphoria’, but had not started on hormones.

In secret he was also listening to and watching preachers on television or online, particularly Jentezen Franklin. In March 2016 he had a religious experience and felt that Franklin’s god had a mission for him. By June he had thrown away all the aspects of Scarlet:
“All the hair, makeup, jewelry, clothes, shoes, everything. I just threw my life as I knew it away. It was an encounter with the Lord.” 
He made a Facebook video about acknowledging Jesus Christ as his saviour and cut ties with his previous life. He lost friends and some family, and had peace and joy.

He has organized “Freedom Marches” in various US cities, proclaiming that people gain “freedom from homosexual/transgender lifestyles by the grace and power of Jesus Christ”.  He insists that this is not a type of Conversion Therapy:
"It's not about conversion therapy. It's about following the Holy Spirit. And as I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ, I changed. My ideas of who I was changed. The Lord showed me that He created me as Jeffrey McCall and He showed me how much He loved me specifically as Jeffrey." (Christian Post, 2018)
McCall is inspired by the death of Jezebel (2 Kings 9:30-36), wherein a rebellious army commander, Jehu, having murdered his king, intends to kill the king's mother, Jezebel, who had stood up for religious diversity against the monolatrous Yahwists:
"And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs. And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot."   
To this he adds Isaiah 56:4-5
"For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off."  
and Matthew 19:12: 
"For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it."
He identifies 'eunuchs' with LGBT persons, and comments:
"The Lord spoke to my heart that eunuchs born that way are those who were set apart by God from the womb to minister to God. They are to continually minister to his heart, and He to them. They were set apart not to be touched by any other humans. They were not created for marriage and the typical family life.  Then the Lord shared with me revelation of where they are today. The Lord spoke to me again, saying, 'Many eunuchs are trapped in the LGBTQ community.' He showed me that not all in the LGBTQ community are born eunuchs, but that many eunuchs are trapped in those lifestyles under deception from the enemy."(Charisma 2019)
In 2018 McCall published his memoirs.

*not the boxer, nor the media critic.
  • “Jeffrey McCall: From Transgender to Transformed by God”. CBNnews, 04-29-2019. Online.
  • Brandon Showalter. “Former Transwoman, Gay Male Prostitute Shares New Life in Christ”. The Christian Post, May 04, 2018. Online
  • Sam Damshenas. “Ex-LGBTQ activists humiliated after only 36 people show up to gay conversion therapy march”. Gay Times, 8th May 2018. Online.
  • Peter Montgomery. “Ex-Gay ‘Freedom March’ Organizer: Trump’s Jehu Anointing Opens Door for ‘Trapped’ LGBTQ Eunuchs to Defeat Jezebel”. Right Wing Watch, August 23, 2019. Online.
  • Jeffrey McCall. For Such a Time: From Transgender to a Son of God. Jeffrey McCall, 2018. 
  • Jeanne Gossett Halsey. The Emperor has no Clothes!. Lulu, 2019: 128-9.
  • Jeffrey McCall.  "Prophetic Word: Eunuchs Trapped in LGBT Community Will Overthrow Jezebel".  Charisma, Aug 2019,  Online.  

Others would observe that like many religious fundamentalists, Jeffrey not only relies on questionable interpretations of scripture, but also alleges personal communications from his god supporting his views. None of this is provable, and, we might observe,  this would appear to be a very different religion from that of Fran Bennett, even if both call their gods by the same name. 

18 May 2020

Fran Bennett (195?-) monk, spiritual guide

Francis Bennett did a BA in Philosophy at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, and then a two-year chaplaincy residency in the Ohio Health Hospital system. He then entered the Trappist Abbey of Gethsemane, Kentucky in 1981 and in the 90’s subsequently lived at a “daughter house” of Gethsemane in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. And then after that a small urban monastery in Montréal. Bennett has been a “spiritual seeker” throughout, practicing in the Christian mystical/contemplative Tradition and inspired by the Christian mystic, Thomas Merton, and working deeply with teachers in both the Theravadan Vipassana and the Zen traditions of Buddhism as well as the Advaita-Vedanta teachings of Ramana Maharshi;. In 2010 he experienced a profound perceptual “shift” in which he realized the ever-present presence of pure Awareness.

Bennet then left monastic orders, and came to see that this awareness is actually the unchanging essence of who one really is and has always been; the Supreme Self, talked about by many sages and saints from many spiritual traditions down through the ages.

In 2013 Bennett published a book: I Am That I Am, described by reviews as simple and straightforward, yet profound.

Bennett then travelled and taught, lead residential retreats and weekend events in the US, Ireland, the UK and elsewhere in Europe, and also wrote and recorded a series of online courses.

She transitioned to female 2016-7. This was announced on Facebook 16 November 2016.
“God created humankind in the divine image … both male and female (Genesis 1:27). So God as Creator is both father and mother. God is both male and female. God is fully androgynous……God is therefore trans-gender if you will… 
I believe that we LGBTQI persons can be considered to be special gifts of God not in spite of, but precisely BECAUSE we are different and don’t fit within normally accepted societal gender or sexual attraction categories. We have been rejected by the leaders of most organized religions. Simply to survive emotionally and spiritually, we have been often forced to look more deeply into the meaning of life than the average person who fits in more easily. Our rejection by mainstream religions causes many of us to question the basic tenets of these religions in order to determine what fits for us and what does not. Though not always, this in turn can sometimes result in a higher level of spiritual consciousness. . . . Because our very survival depends on it, we who are different must question all these things. As survivors of this painful process, we are perhaps better able to tap into the true nature of God/Source/Consciousness, and the intended relationship of humanity with this absolute Reality.” (Bennett in Science & Non-Duality, and quoted in Horsley)
Fran has since then been involved in spiritual outreach to LGBTQI communities, as well as others interested in an inclusive study of the mystical forms of Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism. She regards being trans as just one part of her own journey, which she describes as a quest of the spirit.

“In that journey and process we do not necessarily need to reject spirituality or religion altogether. But we do need to reject the patriarchal, misogyny and sexism that has defined virtually all religious hierarchies and structures, both in the East and the West from time immemorial.”

*There is another trans woman with the same name: Fran Bennett the celebrity DJ in Phoenix and Los Angeles.
  • Rick Archer. “133. Francis Bennett”. BatGap, August 7, 2012. Online.
  • Francis Bennett. I Am That I Am: Discovering the Love, Peace, Joy and Stability of the True Self. Non-Duality, 2013.
  • Jim Morekis. “Renowned mystic leads two-day event at UU Church”. Connect Savannah, November 29, 2017. Online.
  •  Jasun Horsley. “The Rise of the Dream-State, part 3 of 3: Trans-Culture, Paraphilias, Non-Duality, & Corporate Cures for Alienation”. Auticulture, 12 June 2017. Online.
  • Francis Bennett. “What Does Being Transgender, Intersexed, Lesbian or Gay Have To Do With Spirituality Anyway?”. Science & Non-Duality, no date. Online.

Finding Grace at the Center (archive)       Francis Bennett Europe (archive)


Francis has stayed with the male spelling: not Frances.

I am that I am” is the standard English translation of the name given by Yahweh or perhaps the Elohiym in Exodus 3:14. This is not the same as “I am what I am” as per Greta Garbo, Popeye, the Village People, a song in the musical version of La Cage aux Folles and a defiant cry from many who are queer.

15 May 2020

Abby Sinclair (1938 - ) performer

Sinclair was raised in Flatbush, Brooklyn. By age 14 Sinclair was starting to be perceived as gender variant, and at age 17 left home and found work as a female impersonator at the Circus Bar in Miami.  
However the club closed after two years, and Sinclair returned home, and found a sympathetic doctor who found female hormones in a blood sample.  Sinclair was then drafted, and explained the circumstances to the medical officer.  
“I was told I would get a discharge, not because I wasn’t physically fit to serve, but for psychological reasons.  I Waited four months to be processed out and then suddenly I learned that my company was being sent to Trieste.”  
An officer in Trieste was sympathetic and arranged for Sinclair to serve as a hospital orderly.

After discharge Sinclair rented an apartment in Manhattan, and found work as a female impersonator in clubs on Long Island and in the Catskills, sometimes with the Jewel Box Revue.  This was supplemented by work as a photographer’s model, usually in furs – this paid up to $70 an hour. She was by now taking female hormones, and having electrolysis to remove facial hair, and she had been told of the outstanding work of Dr Burou in Casablanca.

They corresponded, and then Abby with a female friend for support travelled to Casablanca.  The operation cost $5,000. A few weeks later, they were in Paris. Abby even had a brief fling with a count who took her to the Riviera.

Back in Manhattan, Abby became a stripper – one known to be transsexual.  In Summer 1965 Female Mimics magazine ran a photo-spread on her and announced that she was to wed a New York Lawyer.

  • Watson Crews. “Sex Change Breaks Up Old Gang of His (Hers)”. New York Sunday News, 43, 47, March 22, 1964: 1-3,26.  Online.
  • “MD’s Knife Changed my Sex”.  The National Insider, 5, 14, Oct 18, 1964.
  • Abby Sinclair, George Griffith, Carlson Wade & Latina Seville. I Was Male. Novel Books. 95 pp 1965.
  • “Abby Sinclair .. Ex-GI now a Bride-to-be”.  Female Mimics, 1, 6, August 1965: 54-63”. Online.
  • “Dear Abby: A Change is Gonna Come”.  Pulp International, Oct 18 2011. Online
  • Joanne Meyerowitz. How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States. Harvard University Press, 2002: 199-201.


$70 in 1963 is equivalent to $580 now.
$5000.00 is equivalent to $42,000 now.

08 May 2020

Pamela Helen Bonert (1950 - ) military captain, medical officer, counsellor

Bonert was the first openly trans woman in the German military.

After marriage and two daughters, Bonert, in 1999, then a captain in the Luftwaffe, completed surgical transition as Pamela Helen Bonert. The Bundeswehr personnel management transferred her to the medical division, since before 2001, women were permitted in the Bundeswehr only in the medical and musical sections.

Bonhert retired from the Bundeswehr in 2004, although by then procedural instructions for women and for trans persons and their acceptance in the Bundeswehr were being issued.

Bonert had written an autobiography, and it was to be published in 1998. It was to be titled Glücklich (=happy), however Bonert parted from the publisher and book was self published in 2001 with a different title.

Since 2008 Helen has been managing a branch office of the White Ring association which supports victims of crime.

Her entry was deleted from DE.Wikipedia in 2008.

  • Pamela Helen Bonert. Der kalifornische Alptraum oder wie ich glücklich wurde: autobiographische Geschichte mit Leitfaden für Betroffene und transidentische Menschen. Pahebo, 2001.
  • Laszlo Scheuch. „Ein Opfer hat immer lebenslänglich“. General Anzeiger, 19, Juni 2017. Online.


-------------------- included an excerpt from Bonert's book, but under the abandoned title of Glücklich.   Bonert wrote to them 15 November 2003, asking that they correct the title.  17 years later they have still not done so.

Der kalifornische Alptraum oder wie ich glücklich wurde is not listed in nor in    I have added it to my article:   (auto)biographies that are almost unobtainable.

06 May 2020

Chez Nous - Berlin Travestietheater

A nightclub in Berlin that was open 1958-2008, at Marburger Straße 14 in Charlottenburg, that was the oldest surviving Travestietheater in West Germany. It was a smallish bar with a capacity of only 150. Local artists included Marcel Andre and Gloria Fox. From France, and specifically from Le Carrousel came Coccinelle, Everest, Capucine; from the US came Sonne Teale, Angie Stardust, Ricky Renée.

The original choreographer and costume designer was Yvana who established the clubs original image. He was succeeded by Le Boy, from London. And in turn he was succeeded by Manel Dalgó.
Like Le Carrousel, Chez Nous became a brand name, under which performers from Chez Nous performed to packed houses across Europe.

Peki de Oslo (the future Amanda Lear) did a striptease show in 1962.

The Michael Caine/Harry Palmer espionage film Funeral in Berlin, 1966, featured a scene shot in Chez Nous – although they avoided including any trans women who could pass or who were attractive – such as Ricky Renée:

Harry Palmer arrives at the ChezNous

Harry Palmer within the club.

Ricky Renée had been one of the early artists who made the club famous. In 1966, in London entrepreneurs Ray Jackson and Eric Lindsay had contracted with Sonne Teale that she would would have a third share in a new club to be called Sonne Teale’s. While renovations were being done to the building, Sonne headlined in a Carrousel tour of Japan. However she and three other performers were killed when their return flight crashed. Ricky Renée had been working at Chez Nous for some years, having made Berlin his home. Lindsay phoned and offered the same deal to Ricky that Sonne would have had. Ricky accepted.

Tobi Marsh, ex-Jewel Box Revuew and the 82 Club, 1968, got a contract to do four shows a night at the Chez Nous for US$200 a week. Even though accommodation was arranged via personal contacts at the club, the first landlord objected to overnight male visitors.

Working the bar and waiting since 1978 was Daisy St Denise, an ‘Urberliner original’. She opened her own bar after Chez Nous closed.

  • Guy Hamilton (dir). Funeral in Berlin. Scr: Evan Jones based on the novel by Len Deighton, with Michael Caine as Harry Palmer. UK 102 mins 1966. IMDB.
  • R Kurt Johnson. “An American Drag Queen in West Berlin: The Negotiation of Homosexual Identity, Transgressive Behavior and Social Acceptance in late 1960s and early 1970s West Germany”. Sexuality and Culture, 16, 2, 2012: 187-204.
  • Eric Lindsay. “ 'A Time For Tears': A further instalment in the Casino de Paris Striptease Theatre Club Story”., 1 May 2013. Online.

HomoWiki    DE.Wikipedia     Queer Music Heritage    Harry Palmer Movie Site    ReelStreets(Funeral in Berlin)    Danny Stafford    Dragstravaganza    Discogs


Homosexuality was partially decriminalised in West Germany in 1969, a year after East Germany had done likewise.    Most of the information about Chez Nous refers to pre-1969 when homosexuality was illegal.  Much of it sounds very old fashioned.  In particular the performers were obliged to arrive and leave in mufti - not in 'costume' as was then said.   

This of course changed  later in the 1970s when artists such as Jayne County and Romy Haag became dominant on the Berlin scene.