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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.

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