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 right-hand sidebar. There is also a search box at the top left. Enjoy exploring!

28 September 2020

Trans London in the 1960s: part II - 1964-7

Part II: 1964-7


Gloria Robinson completed surgical transition and became the wife of Brian Greaves.

Dr Shan Ratman from Singapore studied at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in London where he earned MRCOG and FRCS in 1964. He then became Professor and Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Singapore. By the end of the decade he performed his first sex-change operation, and then ran a gender identity clinic for 25 years, in which over 300 operations would be performed.

The Future Carolyn Mercer spoke to the family doctor about feeling as if in the wrong body but was told “Stop bothering your mother”. The vicar arranged a referral to a psychiatric hospital where Mercer was subjected to ‘five or six’ sessions of electric shock aversion therapy while seeing pictures of women’s clothes. It took 40 years to get over that experience.

James Morris was in New York and visited Harry Benjamin, who advised him that a change of body must be a last resort, and that he should try working life as a man. Shortly afterwards Morris obtained an appointment with a London endocrinologist who said: "What it would do to your personality or your talent, we cannot say. It is a grave decision to take, but it must be your own. You do know what you are doing?" Morris returned to Venice with a box of oestrogen tablets, but considered the advice of both men and flushed them down a lavatory. However he did take a subsequent prescription from Dr Benjamin.

After the George Brinham murder and subsequent trial, it was felt by the judicial authorities that persecution of gay men should be toned down. The Director of Public Prosecutions issued instructions to police forces that in cases involving consenting adults in private no prosecution should be initiated until an opinion had been obtained from the Director. It was noted that his boss Peter Rawlinson, the Solicitor General 1962-4 – who had survived the Vassell and Profumo scandals although they happened on his watch – had, despite being Catholic, previously been a defence barrister who had defended accused gay men. The story was leaked by the London Evening Standard in July 1964.

Also in July, The Daily Mirror ran a story about a Peer and a gangster (both unnamed) implying a sexual relationship. They were named by the West German magazine Stern as Robert Boothby and Ronnie Kray. Both Tom Driberg, a Labour MP and ex-chairman of his Party, and Robert Boothby, previously a Conservative MP and since 1957 in the House of Lords, were sexually interested in young men, and that interest had led to associations with the Kray twins, the most notorious of the East End gangsters. Boothby was in France when the story broke. The Conservative government was alarmed and feared a new Profumo scandal on the eve of the up-coming election- but had no idea what to do. However the Labour Party leaders – who wisely had not made capital from the Profumo affair a year earlier - were concerned that the story would spread to include Driberg. Boothby went from considering suicide to threatening to sue the Sunday Mirror. Labour put pressure on Cecil King the owner. The Mirror sacked its editor, apologized and paid Boothby £40,000 [over £800,000 today]. Other papers stopped covering the Krays and their criminal enterprises for 3 years – as also did Scotland Yard.  There was also a secret agreement forbidding those in the know from discussing it in public.  

The General Election of 15 October 1964 returned the Labour Party to government, after 13 years of Conservative rule. Both Labour and Conservative had chosen new leaders in 1963. The Conservatives had chosen Alec Douglas-Home a 61-year-old aristocrat who seemed out of touch, while Labour elected 48-year-old Harold Wilson who promised to modernise the country. Labour won a narrow majority. They would later pass a series of social reforms, but not immediately, other then the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965 introduced as a private member's bill.

Anthony Storr, psychiatrist, published a book called Sexual Deviation which sold quite well, and strongly influenced thinking in the English-speaking countries. Quite possibly, from the internal evidence, Storr thought that he was writing a liberal book, an intelligent mix of common sense and psychoanalysis, a plea for compassion rather than condemnation of the poor perverts. His chapter on transvestism follows immediately on his chapter on fetishism, and it is presented as a variation thereupon. He repeats the common misconception that transvestites dress usually to masturbate. This false premise also leads to his conclusion that there are no female transvestites and that female cross-dressing is of a completely different nature. He gives the standard psychoanalytic interpretation of transvestism as follows: “The homosexual man replaces his love for his mother by an identification with her: the fetishist refuses to acknowledge that a woman has no penis. The male transvestite assumes both attitudes simultaneously. He fantasies that the woman possesses a penis, and thus overcomes his castration anxiety, and identifies himself with this phallic woman.”  He does note that for ’normal’ men, the desire to dress as female is widely catered for vicariously in public entertainment. He discusses that there are also "men" who seek an operation to “change their sex”. This is possible for anatomical hermaphrodites, but “this is very far from changing the sex of an individual with normal organs, and such an operation is of course impossible”. The word “transsexual” is not used at all. Those who express the “delusion” of becoming the opposite sex “are invariably psychotic”.  Female cross-dressing is merely a part of lesbianism which is merely the normal schoolgirl crush for another female extended into adulthood because of a shortage of men or because of emotional immaturity.

20 November: John Randell from Charing Cross Hospital gave a paper at the Royal Medico-Psychological Association in London on aversion therapy for homosexuality. He had intended to include a film on the topic but was advised that it might constitute obscene material, and so did not do so.

The wife of Michael Karoly (the future Charlotte Bach) died of a severe uterine haemorrhage that erupted while she and her new lover were on holiday in Germany. It then came out that she had embezzled thousands of pounds from her employer. Her son Peter died in a road accident a few weeks later. In shock Michael retreated into his wife's flat, avoided all contact and took lots of photographs of himself in his wife’s clothes.

Commercially successful female impersonator, Danny La Rue opened his own club in London’s West End. La Rue was the most successful drag artiste in Britain, and among Britain’s highest paid performers in the 1960s. His act emphasised that he is a man in drag with giveaway comments, and, in the old tradition, his wig came off at the end.

Through the 1960s the number of pubs doing drag increased. Roy Alvis had been in the forces drag shows after WWII, but when that dried up in the mid-1950s he became a meat porter at Smithfield Market. He returned to doing drag, although he was arrested by the police for doing so more than once.  Alvis and O'Dell are credited with being the first act to mime to records – they chose Susan Maughan singing Bobby's Girl, a 1962 single that went to number 3 in the UK. Alvis and O'Dell were then one of the hottest acts in town -- until every other drag performer got a tape recorder.

Gay men had started going to drag shows in straight pubs in that that was a good way to meet other gay men.

The show Sh..' at the New Century Theatre in Notting Hill Gate featured Douglas Druce's impressive imitation of the Queen for one night only. The Lord Chamberlain oversaw theatrical censorship. The incumbent of the office, Cameron Cobbold, previously Governor of the Bank of England, actually appeared in person the next night to ensure that Druce’s scene was removed. 

The Lord Chamberlain also did not approve of any drag shows in general. Chris Shaw managed to get small all-male reviews at Kent House in Hammersmith staged by disguising them as Old Tyme Music Hall.

Mrs Shufflewick recorded her appearance at the Waterman’s Arms in the Isle of Dogs, and it was issued as an LP, Look in at the Local. This led to a career bounce. She also appeared in West End Shows; did some pantomime, and a season at Butlins Holiday Camp where she had to constrain the natural bawdiness of the act for the family audience. However she then started working the northern working men clubs where the bawdiness was encouraged. She lived in a run-down flat in Kentish Town, London where she kept scrap metal in the bath, and was proud of the fact that she had not had a bath in over 25 years.

Heterosexual drag queen Keith Moon became the drummer in The Who. As his personal assistant put it: Moonie 'frequently takes it into his head to act the ginger beer, especially if he can get hold of a dress or two'.

Jane Heap, apparently a trans man who wore men’s suits etc but never took a male name, and who had run the Gurdjieff study group in London since 1935, died of diabetes at age 81.

Micky Jacob, masculine/gender queer woman actor, novelist, memoirist, died age 80.

  • Victor Knight. “The peer and the gangster”. Daily Mirror, July 13, 1964: 1. 
  • Frank Marcus. The Killing of Sister George. The play was premiered in Bristol in April and in London in June. A character in a radio soap opera is to be killed off, and the actor who plays her is belligerent. The actor is implicitly a lesbian butch.
  • Reginald Pound. Gillies: Surgeon Extraordinary. Michael Joseph, 1964. A biography of Britain’s first sex-change surgeon.
  • C N Armstrong & A J Marshall. Intersexuality in Vertebrates Including Man. Academic Press, 1964. Armstrong proposed four criteria of sex (1) chromosomal sex (2) gonadal sex testes or ovaries (3) apparent sex: external genitalia and body form; and (4) psychological sex: psychosexuality and behaviour. Normally, all four criteria indicate the same sex; if they do not, the case is one of intersex.
  • Eric Gilbert Oakley. Man into Woman: The Amazing account of a male’s change into female, with full psychological and medical Case History and Personal Analysis Questionnaire. Walton Press, 1964. Apparently a hoax biography. It is claimed that Juliet Griffiths, a big nightclub star otherwise unknown to history, had a sex change operation in Casablanca in 1950, before contracting cancer of the neo-vagina. She drowned herself at age 30. Analysis.
  • Anthony Storr. Sexual Deviation. Penguin Books. 1964.
  • Mrs Shufflewick. Look in at the Local. LP 1964.
  • Jean Fredericks. Recitals are a Drag. LP 1964
  • Susan Maughan. Sentimental Susan. LP 1964. Arranged by Wally Stott (the future Angela Morley). 
  • Harry Secombe. Film Favourites LP 1964. Arranged by Wally Stott. 


Alice Purnell, Alga Campbell from Dublin, Giselle, a US expatriate, and Sylvia Carter, members of the European chapter of Virginia Prince’s FPE, met in 1965 and agreed to found the Beaumont Society (named after the 18th century transgender pioneer). The membership numbering was started at 100 (which was assigned to Alice), and then issued back and forth from that to give the impression of greater membership. Initially there were almost as many overseas members as in the UK, with some in Malaysia, Kenya and other parts of the Commonwealth. Alice became the overseas contact person because of her French. Regional contacts were appointed but were often the only member in their region.

The Charing Cross Hospital surgeon Lennox Broster died age 77.

September: Peter Stirling was still living as a woman. She was arrested on Westminster Bridge by two police constables who assumed that she was a man in drag, an assumption quickly dropped when they arrived at the well-lit Canon Row Police Station. 

Peki d’Oslo from Le Carrousel had become Amanda and was studying at St Martin’s College of Art in London. She became acquainted with musicians Marianne Faithfull and Keith Moon. Desiring a UK passport she and April went to a pub in Notting Hill and found a Mr Lear, a Scottish architecture student, who was willing to wed Amanda for ₤50. Mr Lear was dumped right after the ceremony, but Amanda has kept his name to this day.

Jean Fredericks featured in the first issue of London Life magazine.

John Osborne's A Patriot For Me at the Royal Court Theatre, was banned because of the drag ball scene. The Theatre became a private theatre club to continue the performance. 

Kenneth Tynan, on 13 November, on a BBC late-night satirical show, was asked about sexual intercourse on the stage and replied: “Well, I think so, certainly. I doubt if there are any rational people to whom the word 'fuck' would be particularly diabolical, revolting or totally forbidden. I think that anything which can be printed or said can also be seen." This was the first speaking of 'fuck' on British television. The BBC issued an apology, there were four separate censure motions in the House of Commons and Christian morality campaigner, Mary Whitehouse, wrote to the Queen that Tynan should have "his bottom spanked" (which of course he would have enjoyed).

Chris Shaw performed in the West End in The It Girl for six months.

The Black Cap pub in Camden had been first licensed in 1751 and was originally called the Mother Black Cap, after a local witch. By 1965 the Black Cap was a well-known gay pub.

The Lord Ranelagh pub in Earl’s Court had been encouraging local transvestites to come and perform. This evolved into the Queen of the Month contest. This continued until May 1965 when the show was denounced in the News of the World. This resulted in the pub being so crowded that the audience spilled out onto the pavement, and the police closed the show. The pub was later renamed The Bromptons. 

Julian and Sandy” was a regular in the BBC radio comedy show Round the Horne, starting with episode four of the first series and continuing to the end of the fourth and last in 1968. Their use of a simplified Polari (the gay underground argot) identified the characters as gay to those in the know, and introduced Polari to a mass audience for the first time. 

William Burroughs on a trip to London stayed at Hotel Rushmore at 11 Trebovir Road in Earl’s Court. There was a circle of transvestites known as “the Maids” who all lived at the Rushmore. They were called Babs, Carlotta, and Scotch Agnes. There was no bar, but Benson ran a sort of salon in his parlor, featuring the Maids. The owner, Jeffrey Benson, was always referred to as Madame. And Madame’s acquaintanceships were always very wide and varied. And Madame was always the same, in sort of half drag, very painted up, falsies. Very sure of what he thought was the best kind of life to lead.

In December Roy Jenkins was appointed Home Secretary. He would hold the position until November 1967. During these two years he oversaw as direct government policy or by encouraging a private member's bill several important social reforms: the legalisation of abortion, the implementation of the Wolfenden recommendations re homosexuality, the end of flogging in prisons, no-fault divorce, the end of the Lord Chamberlain’s censorship of the theatre, the ban on racial discrimination in employment – the last three were passed as legislation under his successor as Home Secretary, James Callaghan.

  • R. B Ball. Transsexualism. M.D. Thesis, University of Newcastle upon Tyne. 1965. Ball started as an assistant to CN Armstrong. His first trans patient was an Australian living in England, who had a brief, moderately successful career as an entertainer and then settled down to domestic anonymity.
  • JC Baker. “Behaviour therapy for transvestism”. British Journal of Psychiatry, 11, 1965. 
  • “This show must not go on”. News of the World, May 1965. A denunciation of the The Lord Ranelagh pub in Earl’s Court.
  • Bryan Forbes (dir & scr). King Rat. Based on the novel by James Clavell, with George Segal, Tom Courtenay, James Fox. UK 134 mins 1965. The episodes featuring Sean Jennison who plays women in the POW camp theatre and comes to identify as a woman were in the script from the beginning, but at a late stage, Columbia Pictures executives finally realized that they were present, and Sean was completely removed from the film.
  • Terence Young (dir) Thunderball. Scr: Richard Maibaum & John Hopkins, based on the novel by Ian Fleming, with Sean Connery as James Bond and Rose Alba/Bob Simmons as Madame Boitier. UK 130 mins 1965. In the opening segment Bond attacks the widow of a Spectre boss, but as the fight develops it becomes apparent that it is the husband in drag. This is a casting cheat in that a woman plays the part until the fight starts and is then replaced by a man in a similar dress.
  • Gerald Thomas (dir). Carry on Cowboy. UK 93 mins 1965. With Richard O’Brien as a stunt rider (uncredited)


After an initial meeting in Hampstead, the first full meeting of the Beaumont Society was held in Southampton in 1966 with 12 in attendance including two wives.

David Burgess who had been born in Castleford, West Yorkshire and educated in Skipton, went to Cambridge in 1966. Then he became a lawyer in London working for immigrants and trans persons. Burgess would also be known as Sonia. 

The future Alice Purnell, a co-founder of the Beaumont Society, had been attending the Charing Cross Hospital Gender Clinic under the care of Dr Randell, and was offered surgery. However Purnell married a second wife instead.

Michael Karoly (the future Charlotte Bach) was charged with 13 offenses of obtaining credit under false pretences, and trading as a psychologist without disclosing that he was an undischarged bankrupt under another name. He was jailed for three months.

9 April 1966. A two-page summary of the then professional view of transsexuality was published in the British Medical Journal in 1966, just a few months before Harry Benjamin’s The Transsexual Phenomenon, and three years after Georgina Turtle's Over the Sex Border (which is not mentioned). 

“The sincerity and conviction with which these people describe their predicament has inclined many physicians who have studied the disorder to regard transsexualism as an inborn tendency, but the men patients show no chromosomal abnormality and in every possible measure are anatomically and physiologically male. … Psychotherapy is at best supportive for these patients, behaviour therapy of unproved value, and the indications for surgical operation often based on opinion rather than facts. Many transsexual men achieve a real sense of contentment for the first time if, despite the social and administrative problems, they can live and work as a woman. … Some maintain that operation is the most effective means of treatment available, yet the evidence is by no means clear.” 

In the House of Commons Conservative MP Humphrey Berkeley introduced a bill to legalise male homosexual relations along the lines of the Wolfenden report. Berkeley was well known to his colleagues as a homosexual, and was unpopular. His Bill passed a second reading by 164 to 107 on 11 February, but fell when Parliament was dissolved soon after. Unexpectedly, Berkeley lost his seat in the 1966 general election, and ascribed his defeat to the unpopularity of his bill on homosexuality.  He later became a candidate for the Labour Party.

The Labour Government whose majority had been reduced to only 2 after a by-election, called a snap election for 31 March, and was returned with a majority of 98. 

Richard Green who had worked with John Money and Robert Stoller, was awarded a one-year fellowship at the Maudsley Hospital London. He became friends with Yoko Ono, and part of his anatomy appears in her film, Bottoms. He also socialised with John Randell: Green later commented: “He had a home and family in North London. But he also had a flat in Central London. One evening, as we were preparing to go out for drinks and dinner at his club, he went to the wardrobe to get his coat. There were many dresses on hangers. 'A woman stays here sometimes' he explained. I thought he had a mistress. I did not realize that they were his dresses."

Entrepreneurs Ray Jackson and Eric Lindsay had taken over Annie’s Room, a nightclub in Russell St. They contracted with prominent female impersonator Sonne Teale that she 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 in a plane crash leaving Tokyo on 4 February.  Jackson and Lindsay were devastated, but were able to recruit Ricky Renée who had been working at the Chez Nous in Berlin for some years, having made Berlin his home. Lindsay phoned and offered the same deal to Ricky that Sonne would have had. Ricky accepted.

King Shaw productions started the drag shows at the Vauxhall Tavern in south London; they put on Holiday Showboat at The Playhouse Theatre in Jersey for three years; they organized drag balls at various London town halls.

Last Exit to Brooklyn, a US novel by Hugh Selby Jr, with several trans characters was published in the UK in January 1966. It sold 14,000 copies. Blackwell’s Oxford bookshop complained about its contents, but no action was taken. Cyril Black, Conservative MPP for Wimbledon, brought a private prosecution at Marlborough Street, and all copies within the jurisdiction of the court, roughly Soho, were to be seized. It turned out that no bookseller in the area had a copy but three were found at the publisher and taken. The book continued to be published and sold everywhere else in Britain, so the public prosecutor did bring criminal charges under Section 2 of the Obscene Publications Act of 1964. The jury was all male – because women "might be embarrassed at having to read a book which dealt with homosexuality, prostitution, drug-taking and sexual perversion”. After a nine-day trial, a guilty verdict was returned on 23 November. The judgement was appealed in 1968.

  • Hugh Selby Jr. Last Exit to Brooklyn. Calder & Boyers, 1966
  • “Transsexuality”. British Medical Journal, 9 April, 873,1 1966. Online.
  • Georgina Turtle. “Transsexuality”. British Medical Journal, 9 July 1966: 116. Online
  • “Sex change”. Horizon, BBC, 24 October 1966. The program was prompted by the withdrawal of the Press sisters from international athletics. This was the first appearance of a "sex changeling" person on a medical program on British television. Georgina Somerset was invited following her letter to the British Medical Journal. She gave up a day in her surgery, cancelling a full appointment book, to go to Television Centre, and gave a forty-minute filmed interview. However only a minute of her interview was broadcast, and she was afterwards informed that she had said more than the BBC was prepared to screen.
  • Colin Spencer. Poppy, Mandragora and the New Sex. Anthony Blond, 1966. Described variously as a ‘larky romp’ and a ‘satirical black comedy’ . The evil Dr Berriman uses rare plants to intensify the effect of female hormones. He gives this treatment to gay men released from prison, and marries then off to the upper classes. An English Myra Breckinridge that came out two years earlier. Review. Review of Spencer’s autobiography 45 years later.

  • Chris Shaw & Arthur Oates. A Pictorial History of the Art of Female Impersonation. King-Shaw Productions. 1966.  Online
  • Bill MacIlwraith. The Anniversary. With Mona Washbourne as Mrs Taggart and James Coussins as Henry. The play, after first being performed at the Theatre Royal, Brighton had a long run at the Duke of York's Theatre in the West End. A dysfunctional family in the construction business. We are told that Henry is a transvestite, but never see him in a dress, but we do see him stealing female underwear from washing lines. 
  • 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. The film features several symbolic gender swaps, and has scenes in a Berlin drag bar, Chez Nous, which if you were there at the right time featured Coccinelle, Capucine, Sonne Teal, Ricky Renée, Amanda Lear, Tobi Marsh – but none of these were in the film: the trans women in the film are very obvious.
  • Peter Glenville (dir). Hotel Paradiso. UK 98 mins 1966. With Douglas Bing, a female impersonator who did the first drag show on television in March 1938, in a straight role.
Have you seen your mother, Baby
  • September - The Rolling Stones 'Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing in the Shadow?'.  a 45 single.  The band dressed in drag as World War II army nurses for the photograph that accompanied the single.
  • The Who. “I’m a boy”. August 1966. A 45 single from the never completed opera, Quads, set in a future where parents choose the sex of their children. A mistake is made and a boy is being raised as a girl, and his objections to his parents are being ignored.
  • Harry Secombe. Italian serenade. LP 1966. Arranged by Wally Stott. 


Justice Ormrod declared that in the case of Talbot (otherwise Poyntz) v. Talbot the husband, John Talbot, was a woman and that their marriage was not permitted under British law.

MP Leo Abse introduced the Sexual Offences Bill 1967 as a Private Member's Bill supported by the Home Secretary Roy Jenkins.

The Abortion Act passed legalising abortions on certain grounds by registered practitioners, and regulating the tax-paid provision of such medical practices through the NHS. The bill was introduced as a Private Member’s Bill by David Steel, a Liberal MP, and supported by the Home Secretary Roy Jenkins.

The soon-to-be Charlotte Bach placed an advert in the New Statesman claiming to be a psychologist seeking transvestites, and got a dozen replies. One was from the person who would transition as Della Aleksander, but who at that time was a novice. Michael Karoly (Bach’s male persona) acted as male escort for several of his new contacts, and started a book, Man and/or Woman: A Comprehensive Study of the ‘Tammuz Complex’ (Transvestism), using the anecdotes of his new contacts. He also started to go out dressed as Charlotte. At the same time, as Michael, he took his last female lover. Through Della, Charlotte was able to obtain female hormones, although she persuaded herself that living as a woman in itself altered her hormones. Her method of coping with being read was to engage the person in conversation, and to repeat the story of how her husband and son had died. From 1968, Charlotte was more or less living full-time as female. The major exceptions were signing on for unemployment pay, and Michael the psychologist’s one paying client.

The future Anita Verig Sandor had come to the UK during the 1956 Hungarian Uprising and had tried, as society said that he should, to live as a man. As such he had married a French women, and they had two sons. They were divorced in 1967, with the wife retaining custody of the children. Anita returned to living as a woman.

The future Rachel Webb consulted with the Maudsley Hospital in London and started taking female hormones. However he married a woman, they had two children and he stopped taking the hormones. Webb did not restart until 1978.

The future Janine Roberts was ordained, and started a B.Sc in sociology at the London School of Economics.

Chris Shaw did a tour of South Africa and Rhodesia called Boys Will Be Girls. He fell in love with a Rhodesian man, sold his half of the agency and his house in London. He opened a nightclub in Salisbury (now Harare) and brought out top cabaret acts from the UK. However as the struggle for Zimbabwean independence developed, Chris moved to Cape Town in South Africa,

Michael Karoly wrote to the prominent female impersonators Danny La Rue and Ricky Renée for advice on cross dressing.

Gillian Freeman published a pioneer survey of pornography and some other literature, such as it was at the time: The Undergrowth of Literature. It includes two chapters on trans topics. The transvestite chapter is based mainly on Turnabout (New York) and Justice Weekly (Toronto) and forced femininity fiction. The transsexual chapter includes the British Medical Journal April 1966 summary of the condition, Geoff Brown’s novel I Want What I Want, and the stars at Le Carrousel, although there is no mention at all of April Ashley or of Dr Burou or of the Charing Cross clinic.

The Sexual Offences Act 1967, decriminalised homosexual acts between two men over 21 years of age in private, excluding the armed forces and the merchant navy, and hotel rooms were not ‘private’ for the purposes of this Act.  It was debated 4 July, and received Royal Assent on 27 July.  Enoch Powell and Margaret Thatcher were among the MPs who voted for it, a coalition of left-wing libertarians and right-wing libertarians.  Passage of the Act was followed by a surge in the number of arrests for 'indecency between males' where the restrictions were not observed . Although transsexuality or change of sex was not mentioned in either the new Wolfenden Report or in the Act, it was thought and said by some that sex changes were now legal.

From May to December an in-camera case in Scotland was taking place at the same time which should have established the rights of transsexuals to be registered as their target sex, and as such would have been an obvious supplement to the Sexual Offences Act. However almost all information about the case was kept secret and there were no press reports of the conclusion – much like the cover-up of the Boothby-Kray affair. See Callaghan and Ewan Forbes December 1968.

  • John Berger and Jean Mohr. A Fortunate Man; the Story of a Country Doctor. Writers and Readers Publishing Cooperative 1967:56. The doctor had been called because a housewife was bleeding from below. The doctor is surprised to find male organs when he examines her, but as they are irrelevant to the condition, nothing is said of them. The trouble is severe piles.
  • Pink Floyd. “Arnold Layne”, written by Syd Barrett. 45 single, Columbia, 1967. About a closeted transvestite who steals women’s underwear from clothes lines. Wikipedia
  • David Palmer (the future Dee Palmer) for the first time produced an LP, Nicola, by Bert Jansch.
  • Gillian Freeman: The Undergrowth of Literature. Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1967, Panther 1969. 
  • Ricky Renee’s Club London closed.
  • Quick Change Artist. 3 min Pathé film, with Ricky Renee. UK 1967. Online
  • Scott Walker. Scott. LP 1967. 5 tracks arranged and conducted by Wally Stott. 
  • John Huston et al (dir). Casino Royale. UK 131 mins 1967. With Richard O’Brien as a stuntman.



  • Gillian Freeman: The Undergrowth of Literature. Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1967.
  • Kris Kirk with photographs by Ed Heath. Men In Fr London: Gay Men's Press 1984.
  • Peter Stirling. So Different: an Extraordinary Autobiography. Simon & Schuster 1989.
  • Alkarim Jivani. It’s Not Unusual: A History of Gay Britain in the Twentieth Century. Indiana Press, 1997.
  • John Pearson. “The Lords of the Underworld”. The Independent, 15 June 1997. Online.
  • Colin Wilson. The Misfits: A Study of Sexual Outsiders. Grafton Books,1988.
  • Francis Wheen. Who was Dr Charlotte Bach? Short Books, 2002.
  • Pierre-Henri Castel. Chronologie et bibliographie représentative du transsexualisme et des pathologies de l'identité sexuelle de 1910 à 1998. Online.
  • Tommy Dickinson. ‘Curing Queers’: Mental nurses and their patients, 1935-74. Manchester University Press, 2015.
  • Michael Bloch. C10set Queens: Some 20th Century British Politicians. Abacus, 2015.
  • Zoe Playdon. “Who’s Offensive Now? Trans law at the time of the Sexual Offences Act. SEXing the Past. 3-5 March 2017. 
  • Haydon Bridge. “The Mysterious East: East London has generally kept its gay history secret … until now”. QX London Gay History. Online.
  • Haydon Bridge. “Go West, Young man: Pretty and fashionable – West London is just like the gay men who’ve lived there!”. QX London Gay History. Online.
  • Haydon Bridge. “Northern Exposure: For London’s newest gay village and most famous cruising ground head north …” QX London Gay History. Online.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments that constitute non-relevant advertisements will be declined, as will those attempting to be rude. Comments from 'unknown' will also be declined. Repeat: Comments from "unknown" will be declined, as will anonymous comments.