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!

30 March 2021

Calenna Garbä (1972 - ) musician

Raised in Buenos Aires, Garbä had started a business career, and also had some musical training. At the age of 30, she moved to the seaside town of Mar de Plata, transitioned and became a mainly self-taught musician, with some influence from her musician father, and some private lessons, but no formal training.

She has become a composer of music that is sometimes described as like film music or light classical.

Calenna has received, among others, the Argentine “Estrella de Mar 2017” award for her summer concerts in the city of Mar del Plata. In 2017 she premiered a work performed by the Urban Queer Orchestra of New York.

  • Agustina Larrea. “La increíble historia de Calenna Garbä, la compositora y pianista trans argentina que fue reconocida por la ONU y dará una charla TED”. Infobae, 27 de Octubre de 2018. Online.
  • Milagros Chirinos. “Argentinian Pianist Calenna Garbä is Raising LGBTQ Awareness One Concert at a Time”. Human Rights Campaign, May 16, 2019. Online.

Buenos Aires Ciudad      LinkedIn

28 March 2021

Mariela Elcira Muñoz (1943 - 2017) tarot reader, mother of 23

The Muñoz family came from Lules in the northern Argentinian province of Tucumán, but moved to Quilmes, south of Buenos Aires where the father was able to get construction work.

By age 13 Muñoz declared her name to be Mariela, and was already taking care of her three brothers and the children of a neighbouring Italian couple. She endured teasing, bullying and a gang rape, but never backed down. Her father took her to psychiatrists and prostitutes, but finally accepted her and even considered mortgaging the house to pay for completion surgery.

Mariela and her mother
In her twenties Mariela was making a living as a tarot reader, and was already helping children and single mothers. The first child she took in was the son of a prostitute who could not take care of him. Next were three sisters abandoned by their mother. She found 16-year-old Yolanda in front of the train station. She had fled home with her baby when she was told to prostitute herself to feed the baby. Mariela invited Yolanda to live with her. 14-year-old Enrique arrived in Buenos Aires after fleeing from the brick kiln where he had worked since the age of 9. He was rescued by Mariela. Eventually she became mother to twenty-three children, and then 30 grandchildren. She was always honest with the children about her own condition and how she intended to become a woman.

She had completion surgery in Chile in 1981 with Dr Guillermo Mac Millan.

Mariela's worst year was 1993. A woman had given her three children. Later she repented and then without even talking to Mariela made a legal complaint. The judge convicted Mariela of kidnapping the children. Furthermore he sentenced her to a year in jail, suspended. This did lead to a discussion in the Argentinian media re trans women raising children. Dr Mac Millan spoke up in her support: 'Her attitude as a woman, her feeling as a mother, her noble readiness for adoption, which is one of the most sublime feelings in the world, they comfort me. It is the answer that we always seek in all the cases that we operate. '

The media coverage enabled Mariela, in May 1997 to became the first Argentinian to get her name and gender corrected on her national identity card. This was 15 years before Argentina’s Ley de Identidad de Género, 2012, which gave the same rights to trans persons in general.

Later that year she ran in the primaries to be a candidate for mayor of Quilmes. In 2003 she ran to be a provincial deputy for the Justicialista Party with the slogan 'A different woman'. In 2009 she ran as a candidate for provincial deputy for the Renewal Party,

In 2013 Mariela had a stroke. A judge awarded her and four other trans women "extraordinary and reparatory" subsidies for the discrimination to which the country, the law, and neglect had subjected them.

The French-Argentinian filmmaker Maria Audras made a film about Mariela’s life which won the best feature film award at the LGBTAQ Asterisk film festival, 2017. Audras had heard tell of Mariela from a friend in the 1990s. She went to Buenos Aires and phoned every Mariela Muñoz in Buenos Aires, and still did not find her in that she was in Quilmes. When they finally met, Audras was so impressed by the love expressed by Mariela’s children that she scrapped the fiction film she had in mind and made a documentary - which she worked on for three years. By this time Mariela had suffered three strikes and was dependent on the care of her children.

Mariela died age 73.

  • Maria Audras (dir & scr). Amor a paso de gigante, with Mariela Muñoz. Argentina 53 mins 2016.
  • “Murió Mariela Muñoz, la primera transexual en conquistar un DNI femenino”. Clarín, 07/05/2017. Online.
  • “Murió Mariela Muñoz, la primera madre trans de la Argentina”. Latfem, mayo 7, 2017. Online.
  • “La ‘gigante’ Mariela Muñoz, pionera transexual y madre de 17 hijos”. El País, 11 Nov 2017. Online.
  • Lucas Garabento. “La lucha, el dolor y las conquistas de Mariela Muñoz, la mujer trans que crió 23 hijos”. Infobae, 17 de Noviembre de 2018. Online.

ES.Wikipedia          IMDB

25 March 2021

Holden Madagame (1990 - ) opera tenor

 Madgame was raised in Michigan, trained as a mezzo soprano at the Michigan School of Music, and then moved to Berlin as a third of the world’s opera is in Germany. 

By 2013 Madgama knew that he had to transition. He researched what effect testosterone would have on a trained singing voice and found very little information, and what there was suggested that it would damage his career. But he had to do it anyway. A year after starting testosterone, he had top surgery in Bangkok. He rebuilt his repertoire, this time as a tenor. He applied to the Glynbourne Academy which offers courses for opera singers not on the standard track. They helped him to sort out a vocal technique, especially in mixing head and chest voice. 

Holden has become an accomplished tenor both as a soloist and in chorus. He continue to live in Germany and has sung with Passaggio Oper, Fulham Opera, Gerhart Hauptmann Theater in Görlitz, and the Brandenburgisches Konzertorchester.

  • Holden Madagame. “Holden Madagame: The trans opera singer who went from mezzo soprano
    to tenor”. The Independent,4 December 2017. Online.
  • Lara Moehlman. “Registering change: A trans opera singer’s risky decision to follow his dreams”. Michigan Radio, Mar 14, 2018. Online.
  • Michael Cooper. “Transgender Opera Singers Find Their Voices”. New York Times, July 11, 2019. Online.

22 March 2021

Barbara de Lamere previously known as Bunny Eisenhower

Several trans histories tell us that Bunny Eisenhower and Lee Brewster founded the Queens' Liberation Front in 1970, and that they worked with Sylvia Rivera. We know quite a lot about Lee Brewster, but who was Bunny?  Nobody seems to have dug into this question.     David Kaufman's Ridiculous!: The Theatrical Life and Times of Charles Ludlam mentions her several times in that she was a minor actor in the plays considered in the book.   However Arthur David Kahn's The Many Faces of Gay contains a fairly detailed biography of Bunny.  This was published in 1997 and nobody seems to have noticed.  Kaufman has details that Kahn does not.   Putting them together we get the account below.

++ Original September 2015, revised March 2021 after being informed by her brother that "Esther" was really Enid Dame, the noted poet. 


Eddie Dame (1940 - )  began cross-dressing at age 3, but usually only when the parents were away. The family regarded him as effeminate, and called him 'Butch' to toughen him up. Cousins slapped him around, to the same end. By age 13 he had started drinking, as did most of the family. Eddie's sisters helped him with makeup, and Nellie, the elder, introduced him to her fiancé with the comment: "my brother wears my clothes". However the rest of the family played a game of denial.

Anticipating being drafted Eddie volunteered for the US Air Force in 1959, where he entered into a relationship with Larry. From 1963, the year that they completed service, to 1967, they lived as a couple in New York. Larry refused to escort Eddie when he was cross-dressed. In 1967 Larry, announcing that he wanted children, married a woman. Eddie was the best man, and Eddie and Larry had sex the night before, as they continued to do occasionally until 1982 when Larry was seriously ill. Eddie never heard from him again.

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 dressed female.

In 1968 he joined Charles Ludlam's Ridiculous Theatrical Company, and had a part in When Queens Collide. The name Inez Bunny Eisenhower was first proposed for cis actress Regina Hirsch, without her approval, and both names were listed for her in the flyer for Jack Smith's film Big Hotel. However she settled on the nom d'etage of Lola Pashalinski by the time that she was in Bill Vehr's Whores of Babylon. By the time of the production of Ludlam's Turds in Hell, 1969 the name had been assigned to Eddie.

He took up with Esther Enid Jacobs, the daughter of Jewish radical labor activists in Pennsylvania.  She was active in a Communist anti-war group, had had lesbian affairs and was okay with his transvestity, however she felt that the group would not be, so she left the group. Enid was not accepted by the Ridiculous Theatrical Company, so Eddie gave up acting. Eddie's father died in 1970, and later Eddie and Enid were married in a Unitarian Church, a second marriage for both of them. His mother came, but was already drunk.

Bunny and activist Lee Brewster founded the Queens' Liberation Front in 1970. They campaigned successfully to de-criminalize cross-dressing in New York. Previously a bar or club could be closed and patrons arrested, simply because a single person, deemed to be cross-dressed, was present.
Enid & Bunny in 1973 gay parade.   p8 Drag Magazine 3.11

Eddie and Enid stayed married for seven years. When Eddie let his hair grow and grew a beard, Enid thought that his cross-dressing would stop, but he continued with a scarf to hide his beard. 

In 1977, Eddie got a position as a proof-reader in a law firm. The next year he and Enid divorced.

Eddie now considered the possibility of transition. A therapist provided a reference to an electrologist and an endocrinologist. She came out at work after speaking up when the supervisor made comments about transsexuals. Word spread though the firm, and as Eddie became increasingly androgynous, colleagues would stop by her office to see 'the company freak'. Outside Eddie was taken as a woman, but at work was still addressed as a man. She was unnerved by this, developed ulcers and thought of suicide. After a bad experience with a Catholic family values psychologist, Eddie was referred to a therapist who was positive and helpful. She gave up drinking at home and worked overtime to accumulate savings for the operation, which, as Barbara de Lamere, she achieved in 1982. 

Barbara was able to retain her job as a proof-reader. She became active in gay organizations. In 1990, the Gay Veterans Association was excluded from the Veterans Day Parade and Barbara joined the GVA. She became a member of the board and editor of the newsletter. In 1993 she was arrested while marching in the unofficial St Patrick's Day Parade with the Irish and Lesbian Gay Organization.
  • Jayne County & Rupert Smith. Man Enough to Be a Woman. London: Serpent's Tail, 1995: 64.
  • Arthur David Kahn. The Many Faces of Gay: Activists Who Are Changing the Nation. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 1997: 3, 15-20, 266-9.
  • David Kaufman. Ridiculous!: The Theatrical Life and Times of Charles Ludlam. Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, 2002: 95, 98, 107,119.
  • Susan Stryker. Transgender History. Seal Press, 2008: 87.   2nd edition, 2017:111. 

Enid Dame

Enid Dame become known as a poet, gained a PhD in English from Rutgers University in 1983, and taught there and at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.  Her third husband was the poet Donald Lev, but she retained her second husband's surname.  The two edited Home Planet News, a literary review.  Enid's poetry often expanded the Torah from a midrash and feminist perspective, for example by invoking the personae of Lilith and Eve. 

Enid died in December 2003.  The Academy of American Poets Prize bestows the Enid Dame Memorial Poetry Prize for the best poem by an undergraduate.
  • Burt Kimmelman.  "The Historical Imperative in Contemporary Jewish American Poetry: Enid Dame, Michael Heller, and Nikki Stiller".  Shofar:  An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, 21,2, Fall 2002: 103-110. 
  • "Enid Sue Jacobs Dame".  Legacy, The New York Times, Jan 9, 2004.  Online.  
  • "Enid Dame (1940?- ) Jewish American". In Linda Cullum (ed).  Contemporary American Ethnic Poets: Lives: 91.  Greenwood, 2004.
  • "Honoring Enid Dame".  Friends of Rutgers English, Spring Summer 2005.  Online.  
  • Madeline Tiger & DeDe Jacobs-Komisar.  "How Enid Dame Led Us Beyond Paradigms".  Bridges, 16,1, Spring 2011: 200-7.  

Kahn refers to Enid as Esther, which I initially followed until corrected by her brother.  

The following is found on p98 of Kaufman's book:
 A flyer about the cast of a theatrical production by custom may take liberties with the truth.   Either way I could not see how to fit in the work in Chicago and Los Angeles between the marriages to Larry and to Enid.


In Stryker’s book the only mention is that “drag queen Lee Brewster and heterosexual transvestite Bunny Eisenhower” founded the Queens Liberation Front.  As you see above, to simply describe Eddie/Bunny/Barbara as a ‘heterosexual transvestite’ raises a lot of difficulties.  ++For the second edition of her book, Stryker could not be bothered to add the extra information about her transition.

WikipediaContemporary American Ethnic Poets: Lives, etc, etc totally ignore Enid's first two marriages and her being in a Communist group, simply describe Donald Lev as her husband, not as her third husband, and do not explain why her surname is 'Dame".  

12 March 2021

Anna Heming (1913 - 1981) sailor, retailer, pioneer

Heming, despite early feelings that she should be female, worked as a sailor, was tattooed and married in the 1940s, and had children.   

After an auto-orchiectomy Anna Heming had completion surgery in Switzerland in 1959.   She and her wife remained married, but eventually divorced in 1971.

Anna combined both stereotypical masculine and feminine occupations.   She made her own clothes, and built a house, brick by brick.  She set up an electrical and second-hand goods shop in Bristol.   She also made electronic organs (the musical kind), and was known for spending time and energy helping younger transsexuals.

After she retired, she suffered badly from depression, and took her own life at age 68.   As she had never had her birth certificate re-issued, she was listed as male on her death certificate.

· Liz Hodgkinson,. Bodyshock: the truth about changing sex. Columbus, 1987. Virgin 1991:121-3.


If not for the happenstance of Anna meeting Liz Hodgkinson, her story would have been lost.

Who did her surgery in Switzerland is not stated.   We should note that it was a year earlier than April Ashley's surgery in Casablanca.


09 March 2021

Some forgotten European gender impersonators 1890-1925

Stiv-Hall Bloch (187? - )

Stiv-Hall and four sisters, of whom the most famous was Jeanne Bloch, were collectively known as the troupe de la Scala. Only Stiv-Hall did gender impersonations in addition to singing and acting. Stiv-Hall was known for perfect impersonations of the major actresses of the day, especially Yvette Guilbert of whom he was more than once taken to be the original. It was proposed that Stiv-Hall make a phonograph record of imitations of the famous singers of the day, but that did not happen.

  • Oscar Paul Gilbert translated from French by J Lewis May, Men in Women's Guise. John Lane The Bodley Head Limited. 1926: 270-2.
  • Anthony Slide. Great Pretenders: A History of Female and Male Impersonation in the Performing Arts. Wallace-Homestead, 1986: 141
  • F Michael Moore. Drag!: Male and Female Impersonators on Stage, Screen and Television. McFarland & Compamy, 1994: 71-2
  • Dutempsdescerisesauxfeuillesm, 2010: Chapitre XXXI. Online.

Geneanet       FR.Wikipedia(Jeanne Bloch)


Ernst Middendorf was a renowned Berlin performer. In December 1917 he was sentenced to one year and five months penal servitude for shoplifting “while disguised as a woman”. 

Despite this, his skill was used in a court trial in September 1922. The woman owner of a hotel was accused of letting her premises be used by persons of bad character. An elegantly attired young woman was called as a witness and questioned seriously and politely by the judge. When this was complete, the defence lawyer requested an acquittal.  “The witness is not a woman at all, but a man. If an astute court can’t tell the difference between a man and a woman, how can it expect my client to distinguish good characters from bad on sight”. The judge accepted this, and dismissed the case.

  • C J Bulliet. Venus Castina: Famous Female Impersonators Celestial and Human. Bonanza Books, 1928: 271.
  • F Michael Moore. Drag!: Male and Female Impersonators on Stage, Screen and Television. McFarland & Compamy, 1994: 71.

Aranka Gyvengy

Performed female roles and minor parts in Budapest for 23 years before being outed.

  • Oscar Paul Gilbert translated from French by J Lewis May, Men in Women's Guise.John Lane The Bodley Head Limited. 1926: 270.
  • C J Bulliet. Venus Castina: Famous Female Impersonators Celestial and Human. Bonanza Books, 1928: 271.
  • F Michael Moore. Drag!: Male and Female Impersonators on Stage, Screen and Television. McFarland & Compamy, 1994: 71.

Pepi Schmeer

A Viennese folk singer, a mustachioed man with a sonorous tenor voice, who was for many years accepted as he appeared, although it eventually came out that he was a ‘woman’, and his female name Josephine was disclosed. Schmerr had originally performed as a ballerina. After becoming a folk singer, Pepi lived as male full-time, on stage and off. It was said that he had a Transvestitenscheinen (police permission) to do so. At the turn of the century, Schmeer had a stroke while on stage, His fellow performers came to his aid, and he appeared a few more times, but his health was broken and he retired to a home for the aged.

  • Magnus Hirschfeld & Wissenschaftlich-Humanitäres Komitee. Jahrbuch für sexuelle Zwischenstufen mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Homosexualität. 1899: 1242-4.
  • Magnus Hirschfeld translated by Michael A Lombardi-Nash. Transvestites: The Erotic Urge ro Cross-Dress. Prometheus Book, 199:346-7.

28 February 2021

Diana Thomas (1959 - ) journalist, editor, novelist

David Thomas Senior, UK diplomat, was posted in Moscow when his son was born.  The boy partly grew up in Havana and Washington, DC on later postings, and then had an elite education at Eton (paid for by the Foreign Office) and Cambridge (where he first spoke to psychiatrists about gender incongruity).  He married and they had three children. In his twenties he wrote young-adult books under the name David Churchill, while establishing himself as a journalist as David Thomas. He was Young Journalist of the Year at age 24, a magazine editor at 25 and in 1989 the youngest ever editor of the 150-year-old Punch magazine where he stayed for three years.  While there he edited a best-of anthology from the magazine. 

In 1993 he published Not Guilty - The Case in Defense of Men, which he regarded it as an examination of masculinity, and how men are oppressed thereby - however some took it as an attack on feminism.  After discussing machismo and the rise in plastic surgery for men, he writes

“This should come as no surprise. Homosexuals are pioneers for the male sex. They experiment with attitudes and lifestyles that may take decades to reach the straight community. Gays are to straights as California is to Arkansas.”  

It moves on to a section called “Frocks Away” (p104-8) in which he discusses drag parties at Mick Jagger’s house, Bohemian Grove drag events for the super elite, Paris is Burning, drag star Lypsinka being featured in Vanity Fair in November 1992 and in Esquire magazine, Wigstock, and a survey that showed that only 2% of women accept cross-dressing from their male partner, while female cross-dressing is repeatedly common in fashion.  

 “A woman has to retain only one or two visible elements of femininity in order to keep her gender identity intact. … For men, the opposite is true. It takes only one or two non-masculine elements to intrude upon a man's appearance for his whole identity to fall apart. He may be six feet six, bearded, and wearing combat boots on his feet, but if he's got a skirt around his waist, he's no longer a man in the eyes of the world. Once again one should note the extreme fragility of masculinity in the face of any threat to its conventions.”  


“Transvestism is an unlikely mast upon which to fly the banner of men's liberation. The right to put on a dress is not one for which most of us would man the barricades. But it illustrates two typical processes in society's treatment of men. The first is that we drastically limit male freedom of action by drawing rigidly defined boundaries around the perimeters of acceptably masculine behaviour. The second is that we then classify any action outside these boundaries as either criminal or, in this case, perverse. Neither of those processes applies to women, whose femininity is in no way compromised by the clothes they choose to wear, any more than it is by the job in which they choose to be employed.”   

“Why are inappropriate clothes such a threat to male self-image? Perhaps our response is a sort of metaphor for the limitations that are placed upon male behavior as a whole. In the reasons why transvestism should be feared by the many, and desired by the few, lie many of masculinity's most delicate hidden secrets—secrets that relate to all men, even if they've never, in their wildest nightmares, dreamed of wearing a dress.”   

He follows this with a report on a visit to the Manchester branch of Stephanie Lloyd’s Transformations where married man “Samantha” says “I’d like to bonk” while being dressed in a tartish fashion.

Two years later he published Girl, a forced femininity novel about a man in hospital for a minor operation who awakes to find that there has been some confusion and he has had a vaginoplasty.

From 2007, as if he had never written Not Guilty,  Thomas wrote a series of masculine thriller novels under the name Tom Cain featuring Samuel Carver, an assassin who makes his killings look like accidents.  In 2015 he revived the David Churchill name and wrote a trilogy about William the Conqueror, as well as two other thrillers as David Thomas.  From 2016 he has written three Wilbur Smith novels using Smith’s characters and situations.  One of these as Tom Cain and two as David Churchill.  

In 2019 Thomas announced that she was now Diana, and has written a column in the Daily Telegraph about her experiences in transition.  She was due to have completion surgery in 2020 but of course this was delayed because of the Covid pandemic. Her 87-year-old father succumbed to Covid.  In 2021 she went to a private hospital for an enucleation of the prostate.  She estimates that transition (including facial surgery) has cost £40,000 funded by a house sale and cashing in a pension.   

Books by Tom Cain

  • The Accident Man. Bantam/Corgi, 2007.
  • The Survivor (US title: No Survivors).  Bantam/Corgi, 2008.
  • Assassin.  Bantam/Corgi, 2009.
  • Dictator.  Bantam/Corgi, 2010.
  • Carver.  Bantam, 2011.
  • Revenger.  Corgi, 2012.
  • Wilbur Smith with Tom Caine.  Predator.  Harper Collins, 2016.  

Books by David Churchill

  • Its Us and the Others. HarperCollins Juvenile Books, 1979.
  • The Silbury Triangle.Heinemann, 1979.
  • A Focus for Writing. Heinemann, 1980.
  • Fishing Forever. Merlin Unwin, 1999.
  • Devil (Leopards of Normandy 1).Headline, 2015.
  • Duke (Leopards of Normandy 2).  Headline, 2017.
  • Conquerer (Leopards of Normandy 3).  Headline, 2018.
  • Wilbur Smith with David Churchill. War Cry. Harper Collins, 2017.
  • Wilbur Smith with David Churchill. Courtney’s War. Zaffre, 2019.

Books by David Thomas

  • David Thomas with Ian Irvine. Bilko: The Fort Baxter Story.  Vermilion/Hutchinson, 1985.
  • Pick of Punch. HarperCollins, 1991.
  • Not Guilty - The Case in Defense of Men.  William morrow & Co, 1993.
  • Girl.  Penguin, 1995.
  • Beggars, Cheats and Forgers: A history of frauds through the ages. Pen & Sword History, 2014.
  • Blood Relative. Quercus, 2011.
  • Ostland. Quercus, 2013.


  • “Punch Editor David Thomas”.  In Pictures,01-06-1989.  Online.
  • "Tim Dowling talks to David Thomas".BBC. 24 November 2014.Online.
  • Manuela Svoboda & Petra Zagar-Sostaric. “How much Artistic Freedom is permitted when it comes to Language? - Analysis of a Crime Novel”.  European Journal of Social Science Education and Research, 5,2, 2018,  Online.
  • David Thomas.Media: “The dirty world of Mr Punch: Punch is fighting back by hitting below the belt. It may be hurting, but is it working?”.  The Independent, 23 October 2011.   Online.
  • Julie Bindel.   “What women really want? You’ve got no idea”.  UnHerd, August 6, 2021.  Online.  
  • Jane Gordon.  “ ‘Call me Diana’: Our columnist David Thomas reveals her new life and look”.  The Telegraph, 14 March 2020.  Online.  
  • “David Thomas obituary”.  The Times, May 04, 2020. Online,
  • Charlotte Metcalf.  “Conversations At Scarfes Bar: Diana Thomas”  Country & Town House,  Online.
  • Diana Thomas.  “Ex-Cambridge University rower and married dad DIANA THOMAS spent six decades as a man... So why does she say trans militants are only stoking intolerance?”.  Daily Mail, 19 February 2021.  Online.  

EN.Wikipedia     LoveReading    Linkedin    Daily Mail articles     Diana Thomas at the Telegraph   Muck Rack    Amazon Author Page (Thomas)    Amazon Author Page (Cain)     Amazon Author Page(Churchill)    


'David Thomas' is a rather common name, and there are several who have written books.  There is no definitive list of Thomas's writings and so the list above is tentative. 

I have added the non-fiction books to my Writings on other Topics.

17 February 2021

Trans Scotland - a Timeline: Part III - after the GRA

Part I: to to the Wolfenden Report

Part II: to the Gender Recognition Act 

Part III: after the GRA


The wife of Edinburgh resident Jo Clifford died. Despite being grief-stricken, Clifford was now able to make the decision to transition.



Edinburgh native James Morton was 24 years old when his employers realized he was trans after he applied for a pension scheme requiring him to provide a birth certificate. A data protection error outed him to colleagues, who began asking Morton about his private parts and "made offensive jokes at my expense”.






Nicole Dolder was co-founder of the Edinburgh theatre group, The Luvvies, and her first part was as Mrs Madrigal, the trans landlady in Tales of the City.

Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 gave same-sex bidie-ins (cohabiting and not registered as civil partners) the same legal rights as mixed-sex bidie-ins (cohabiting and unmarried) with the exception of adoption rights, which were granted in subsequent the next year.


Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 allows joint adoption by same-sex couples.

Scottish Transgender Alliance was formed, led by James Morton and was funded by the Scottish government.


Nicole Dolder. The Luvvies presented her play Painted Eggs, based on her own experiences as a transsexual.

Sex Discrimination (Amendment of Legislation) Regulations 2008 extended protection from discrimination on grounds of gender reassignment by banning direct discrimination and harassment by most providers of goods, facilities and services in the UK.


Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009. Definition of ‘consent’ to sexual activity and ‘rape’ were now applicable to men and trans women, and the Act introduced a statutory offence of rape with an object (previously, this would be classed as indecent assault, a less severe crime). It also abolished the old 'homosexual offences' of sodomy and gross indecency, and amended sexual offences law to avoid discrimination in terms of gender and sexual orientation.

Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Act 2009 allowed for non-binary persons with the wording “any other gender identity that is not standard male or female gender identity”.

Jo Clifford. Jesus, Queen of Heaven. The play was staged at the Glasgay! Festival  It portrayed Jesus as a trans women, with Jo playing the role herself. It was strongly condemned by various churches, which resulted in the sale of all remaining seats. It has since gone on to international success.

Transformance, a performance of stories from transgender lives, was directed by Jo Clifford and staged at the LGBT Centre in Glasgow.

Mark Ravenhill directed A Life in Three Acts, in Edinburgh. The Life of Bette Bourne.


Jo Clifford. Sex, Chips and the Holy Ghost, which features a transsexual nun and a gay priest.


Paris Green, in the early stages of transition, and two others were convicted of murdering a fourth after a petty disagreement. Green, sentenced to 18 years, was sent to Cornton Vale prison for women, the only such prison in Scotland. It was also announced that transgender surgery would be arranged for Green on the NHS, which would have to be in England. The victim’s family, supported by some politicians, objected that Green should lose her right to transgender surgery as part of her punishment. Soon Green was found to be having sex with other inmates, and after warnings was moved to the women's section of Edinburgh's Saughton Prison.

Scientist Kate Stone, while on a new-years break near Fort William, was chatting with friends after returning from a ceilidh when she was attacked and gored in the throat and chest by a stag that had gotten into the fenced garden. Kate was airlifted to the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow, where she was put into an induced coma. She survived.

Chris Wilson, Edinburgh, was convicted of ‘obtaining sexual intimacy by fraud’ for not telling his girl friend that he was trans, was put on the sex offenders register and was facing jail time.

River Song barred from women's toilets in St James shopping centre, Edinburgh. The same happened to Hannah Leith at the Paisley Centre.


NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde erroneously revealed 86 email addresses of trans clients by not using the BCC (blind copy) feature.

Scottish activists began a Equal Recognition campaign calling for a self-recognition process, and open to non-binary recognition.

Amanda McKay, ex-soldier, ex-cop, Glasgow, 51, transitioned.

  • Andrew Smith. A neuropsychological exploration of autistic traits in a transgender population.D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow, 2014. PDF.
  • J K Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith. The Silkworm. Sphere, 2014. The woman who attacks the detective is revealed as trans.


Michelle McDonagh, 54, Edinburgh, pub manager and ex-Hell's Angel rocker, began transition after dying wife urged her to be herself.

Sandra MacDougall, then 63 and having moved to Glasgow, was in the news in that her pension had been suspended because she did not have a Gender Recognition Certificate and had not reached the male retirement age. However after her story was in the press, her pension was restored. Newsarticle.

Free Pride, Glasgow, first banned drag queens for being ‘offensive’ but then admitted their mistake and will now welcome any performers of any gender.

Sarah Franken performed at Edinburgh Fringe, just before reverting back to being Will Franken.

  • Ben Walters. "From Christ to Lou Reed: the Edinburgh fringe shows celebrating trans life". The Guardian, 29 July 2015. Online
  • Sophie Xeon.Product. 2015. CD compilation album of singles by the Glaswegian electronic musician.


Philippa York, in a statement in Cycling News, confirmed that she was previously the cycling champion Robert Miller.

October: Sophie Xeon. “It’s Okay to Cry”. Single. The first time her voice and image were used in a release, with Sophie appearing nude from the bust up against a backdrop of clouds. This was widely interpreted as a coming out announcement as a trans woman.

Sandra MacDougall was featured again in the Daily Record, which led to 100s of messages of support. LGBTNation.

Drag king artist, writer and educator Diane Torr, raised in Aberdeen, who had achieved fame in New York’s drag-king scene, and was also a visiting lecturer at Glasgow School of Art, died in Glasgow age 68 of a brain tumour.

Against a background of growing transphobia in the English press, Scotland's government launched its own consultation on the issue of gender recognition. A coalition of Scottish women's organizations -- including Engender, Scottish Women's Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland -- welcomed the law's reform saying that they "do not regard trans equality and women's equality to be in competition or contradiction with each other." They added that refuges had already been providing "trans-inclusive services" for the past six years, which "has not given rise to any concerns or challenges".

While The Times ran a lot of anti-trans stories in its English edition, many of them were filtered out from the Scottish edition.


Sophie Xeon.  Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides, 2018. CD.

Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018. Legislation to increase women’s presence in government agencies and public commissions. Some cis women took objection to the clause: “The Act does not require an appointing person to ask a candidate to prove that they meet the definition of woman in the Act” in that such would constitute self-definition.


Katherine O’Donnell, night editor at The Times Scottish Edition, made redundant after the Scottish Office was closed, and turned down offer to relocate to London. She sued claiming discrimination and a “toxic environment for trans people” at the newspaper. The employment tribunal ruled in favour of the newspaper. Guardian.

  • Morgan Holleb. The A-Z of Gender and Sexuality: From Ace to Ze. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2019. Holleb is a trans immigrant from Colorado living in Glasgow. Review.
  • Grant Anderson. Non-Conforming Gender Geographies: a longitudinal account of gender queerness in Scotland. PhD Thesis University of Glasgow. Online.


James Morton stepped down as manager of Scottish Transgender Alliance.

Sinead Watson regretted her double mastectomy three years before and five years on male hormones, and has returned to living as female.

Edinburgh novelist, J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, objected to the term ‘people who menstruate’, and when accused of being a TERF wrote an essay about how she is a survivor of domestic abuse and sexual assault from a cis man.

J K Rowling writings as Robert Galbraith. Troubled Blood. Sphere Books, 2020. A disappeared woman is believed to be the victim of Dennis Creed, “a transvestite serial killer”.


January: Sophie Xeon died after a fall from a roof in Athens, age 34.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said transphobia should be treated with zero tolerance in the same way as racism or homophobia. She would move to a self-declaration model removing the need for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, and lower the age for applying for a gender change to 16. However 15 senior SNP politicians objected. The Green Party backed the proposed changes with the party's co-leader, Patrick Harvie, claiming that transphobia has grown worse in Scotland because of Ms Sturgeon's failure to turn "words into actions".

SNP MP Joanna Cherry removed as the Party’s home affairs and justice spokesperson after she expressed concerns about gender issues.

The Court of Sessions considered whether expanding the word ‘women’ to include trans women was discriminatory with reference to the 2018 Act.


The following were consulted:

16 February 2021

Trans Scotland - a Timeline: Part II - to the Gender Recognition Act

Part I: to to the Wolfenden Report

Part II: to the Gender Recognition Act 

Part III: after the GRA


Ewan Forbes (pdf) was to assume the Baronetcy after the death of his elder brother. His cousin, John Alexander Cumnock Forbes-Sempill, contested the inheritance on the grounds that Ewan was female. A two-year court battle ensued, first in the Scottish Court of Session where Dr Charles Armstrong gave evidence that Ewan was intersex, and then the case went to the Home Secretary (the future Prime Minister), James Callaghan. A letter from Ewan’s sister was produced to the effect that he was female, but Ewan’s wife testified that they had normal intercourse. The Session judge decided that Ewan was “predominately male”, though intersexed. Callaghan, after consulting with the Lord Advocate, directed that Sir Ewan Forbes (he had dropped the ‘Sempill’) should be entered in the Roll of Baronets as The 11th Baronet of Craigievar and The 20th Lord Sempill, Sir Ewan Forbes of Craigievar. All public records of these events were removed, although some knowledge survived in newspaper archives. The case was deliberately not made available as a legal precedent – in particular April Ashley’s barrister in Corbett vs Corbett 1970 was forbidden to mention it. More


Sexual Offences Act enacted in England and Wales (but not Scotland or Northern Ireland), decriminalising male homosexuality in private between consenting adults over 21.

The closing sessions of the in camera Ewan Forbes case took place as the UK Parliament was debating the Sexual Offences Act. If the case had been allowed as legal precedent, there would have been a paired advance of gay and trans rights together.


May: Formation of Scottish Minorities Group (SMG).

Virginia Prince, visiting the UK, visited Beaumont Society members in Scotland.


Bobby MacKenzie, from a small Scottish fishing village, was in London and living as female.


Scottish Minorities Group launched Edinburgh Gay Switchboard.


The first International Gay Rights Conference was held in Edinburgh, leading to the formation of the International Lesbian and Gay Association in 1978.

Scottish Minorities Group bought 60 Broughton Street to set up a gay centre in Edinburgh, with a café, information centre, meeting rooms and befriending service.

Lindsay Kemp opened Flowers, a mime and music show based on Jean Genet's Our Lady of the Flowers at the Edinburgh Festival. Kemp played Divine, the trans character.


Dr Martin Whittet in Inverness was willing to treat trans men and women. Word got out and trans persons from Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester (including a young Stephen Whittle) drove north for a consultation.


In Glasgow, 534 Sauchiehall Street became Britain's first named Gay Centre.


Scottish Minorities Group (SMG) became Scottish Homosexual Rights Group (SHRG).


Sandra MacRae, lawyer, who had been Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) candidate in Edinburgh 1966, 1970, 1973, left wife and job, and transitioned. In 1979 Sandra joined the legal services department at Inverness District Council.


Scottish Homosexual Rights Group (SHRG - previously SMG) opened a Gay Club on Queens Crescent.

Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1980, brought Scots law on male homosexuality into line with English law. It was decriminalised if in private and both parties over 21.


Lavender Menace – Scotland’s first LGBT bookshop – opened on Forth Street.

Scottish TV/TS Group started social support meetings in Edinburgh.


Sandra MacRae, lawyer, had surgery in Glasgow in 1984. She held posts with Angus District Council and with the Ethnic Minorities Law Centre in Glasgow. She worked in private practice in East Calder before returning to Dundee to set up Alexandra MacRae & Co. She specialised in immigration law and working for ethnic minority groups.

  • Ian Banks. The Wasp Factory. Macmillan, 1984. The first published novel by Banks. Told in the first person by Frank Cauldhame, who lives on a Scottish island with his father. The younger Frank was told that he had lost his genitals when attacked by a dog. He also killed three relatives. At the end of the book Frank discovers that he had been born female and his father had been feeding him male hormones. Wikipedia.
  • Ewan Forbes. The Aul' Days.Aberdeen University Press, 1984. An exercise in nostalgia.


Robert Miller, one of Britain’s most successful cyclists, raised in Glasgow, won one prize after another in the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta a Espana etc. See 2017.


The all-girl singing group Fascinating Aida performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, and Adèle Anderson was read, which led to her being outed in the press. However the other members of the group were very supportive.

Ruby Todd, a co-ordinator of the Scottish TV/TS Group was in the press in that he was refused access to buses in that when dressed femme he did not match the photograph on his his bus pass. More.


Claudia, one-time opera singer from Glasgow, was referred by Russell Reid and had surgery in London.


Bobby MacKenzie, still in London, had been suffering from Huntington’s Chorea since 1978. She chose to end her life at the age of 38.


Section 28 (2A in Scotland) passed by the Thatcher government prohibited the 'promotion' of homosexuality or transgender by local authorities, which then included schools.


Lily Savage, drag comedian, at the Edinburgh Fringe posed with firemen after setting off the alarms, was then on front page of the papers, and went on to make the shortlist for the Perrier Award.


January: Scottish TV/TS Group launched its newsletter, Tartan Skirt, edited by Anne Forrester.

Sandra MacRae  was the SNP candidate in Glasgow Provan election in 1992, taking 21.7% of the vote and coming second to Labour.


Stuart Lorimer, future consultant psychiatrist at Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic, graduated from Aberdeen Medical School.


The first Scottish Pride March held in Edinburgh. This was then an LGB event. However the organisers began consulting with trans people.

Glasgow LGBT Centre was opened on 4 November on Dixon Street.

October: Last issue of the Tartan Skirt, No 16 edited by Anne Forrester. She was succeeded by Julia Gordon.

Julia Gordon ran a trans support group in Inverness, and also worked with the LGBT charity Reach Out Highland.

  • Val McDermid. The Mermaids Singing. Harper Collins, 1995. A detective novel. The serial killer is revealed to be a trans woman who kills men that do not return her affection. Wikipedia.


Bette Bourne, drag performer, delivered the Alasdair Cameron Memorial Lecture, Glasgow University,

The Second Scottish Pride held in Glasgow. It finished with a festival on Glasgow Green.

The Sex Offenders Bill (UK) 1996 to set up a sex offenders registry. As originally written gay and bisexual men would have been included for consensual sex when heterosexual men with the same age disparity would not. Campaigners in London had succeeded in getting this section removed from the English part of the bill. It was noticed only just in time that the same removal from the Scottish section had not happened. This required LGBT activists to quickly learn how to lobby.


Sandra MacRae  disappeared and it transpired that £18,000 was missing from her law practice. After seven weeks she was arrested at King's Cross Station, London, and appeared and was arraigned in Dundee. She admitted to embezzling money from a client's account in order to pay her Dundee firm's debts. She was struck off and later sentenced to 15 months. She then made history as the first trans woman in the UK to be sent to a women's prison. She served the time in the women's wing at Craiginches Prison, Aberdeen.

The Third Scottish Pride held in Edinburgh. Trans people were fully involved this time.

Pride Scotland included a workshop on trans inclusion. Julia Gordon from Inverness attended as part of Reach Out Highland. Agreement was reached that Equality Network should be created.


Eight performance pieces at the Tramway, Glasgow, included Diane Torr’s Mr EE in Bull.

  • Jackie Kay. Trumpet. Novel about Scottish jazz musician Joss Moodywho is found on his deathbed to be female-bodied, a secret known only to his wife Milly. Trumpet wins the Authors' Club first novel award and the Guardian fiction prize.


Following a referendum, and the Scotland Act 1998, a devolved Scottish Parliament/ Pàrlamaid na h-Alba; was established in Edinburgh, and members elected.

Equality Network produced a manifesto for the new Scottish Parliament calling for legal gender recognition and gender identity non-discrimination policies.


Jackie McAuliffe, London sex worker and pianist, was featured in a panel discussion Genetically Modified Fame at the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival. She received hundreds of letters, many from other transsexuals.

LGBT activists campaigned to repeal Clause 2A (Section 28) which prohibited discussions of gay and trans topics in schools and anywhere at local government level.  A Keep the Clause counter campaign, backed by the Daily Record (Scotland’s best-selling newspaper) and the Roman Catholic Church, put homophobic billboards all over Scotland, and Brian Souter of the Stagecoach Group (Britain’s largest privately owned public transport company) provided £1 million for a postal poll re the Clause. Fewer than a third of voters returned the poll form, although of them 87% voted to keep the Clause..

Most Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) regarded the poll as invalid, and voted that Clause 2A (Section 28) be repealed in Scotland as part of the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000: only Conservative MSPs voted against repeal. It took three more years for Section 28 to be repealed for England and Wales.

The LGB activist organisation, Stonewall, opened a Scottish office. It was made clear that being LGB only was not acceptable in Scotland, and so Stonewall Scotland was LGBT inclusive from the start. This was not so of the English Stonewall for another 15 years.


Sandra MacRae appeared in court again and was sentenced to three years when another embezzlement of almost £100,000 came to light. It was taken from an elderly client before her death, and then from the estate. Shares had been sold, and the proceeds put into accounts in MacRae's name. This time she was jailed for three years.

The Convention Rights (Compliance)(Scotland) Act complies with the European Convention on Human Rights and repeals the law that had criminalised gay sex where more than two people are present. The repeal was enacted 2 years later in the rest of the UK.

Singer Song-writer Simon Ruth de Voil set up Scotland’s first trans youth group.


Jo Clifford's first play about being transgender, The Night Journey.

Diane Torr, male impersonator and coach who had grown up in Aberdeen, put on a Man for a Day workshop in Glasgow.

Sandra MacDougal had transitioned in 2000. Previously MacDougall had been with the army in Northern Ireland, and was featured in several newspapers in 2002 when her transition was not going very well, and she was suffering abuse from people in the small town in Ayrshire where she lived. Lynn Conway included Sandra in an article, still available, on transsexual regrets. See 2015.


ILGA (International Lesbian and Gay Association) Europe conference in Glasgow is the biggest ever.

Pride Scotland went bankrupt. That year’s and subsequent prides were organised by Pride Scotia.

Diane Torr presented another Man for a Day workshop in Glasgow


Helen Savage, vicar and wine expert, from Northumberland, completed transition as a patient at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Claudia, who had surgery in 1986, was now expressing regrets. She was featured with a full-page photograph in David Batty’s article on detransition. “Mistaken identity”. The Guardian, 31 July 2004.

Gender Recognition Act (UK) was passed, Birth registration is a devolved matter, so Scotland could have chosen to pass its own gender recognition legislation. However the then Scottish government, a Labour-Lib Dem coalition preferred to accept the UK legislation. Input was taken from Scottish civil servants and from The Equality Network. The latter called for a non-medicalised self-declaration, but this was rejected.

15 February 2021

Trans Scotland - a Timeline: Part I - to the Wolfenden Report

Part I: to to the Wolfenden Report

Part II: to the Gender Recognition Act 

Part III: after the GRA


The prince of Rheged/Strathclyde, Owain Mab Urien, was to make a dynastic marriage with Teneu of Gododdin/Lothian, and they had a child who became Saint Mungo. However Owain, who was apparently trans, was not interested in marriage.


James Stuart, king of Scotland 1567-1625, and of England 1603-25, is taken by many historians to be gay because of his interest in young men. Certainly his reign was one with only a few prosecutions for sodomy. He wrote a book on demonology that is quoted in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and sponsored a translation of the Christian Bible that became canonical.

Unlike England, there was no Buggery Act in Scotland. Those who were charged were so because of what it says in Leviticus.


Double prosecution and execution of John Swan & John Lister of Edinburgh for consensual sodomy. They were smith and servant of the same master.


Michael Erskine was accused of witchcraft and sodomy, convicted of the latter and executed,


Gavin Bell tried for sodomy. After this there were no other Sodomy prosecutions until the 19th century.


Stephen Evison, a soldier was discovered to be female during the Parliamentary occupation of Scotland during the Civil War, and was identified as Anne Dymoke, from a distinguished family in Lincolnshire. She and her lover, John Evison, having no means of support, had entered service as two brothers. They then took a sea voyage during which John was drowned. Knowing not what else to do, Stephen then enlisted giving his name as John. (Frazer p225)


The Acts of Union/Achd an Aonaidh uniting England and Scotland. Initial Scottish proposals in the negotiation over the Union suggested a devolved Parliament be retained in Scotland, but this was not accepted by the English negotiators.


The Beggar's Benison club founded in Anstruther, Fife. Members celebrated male sexuality, drank from phallic-shaped goblets and were initiated through collective masturbation rituals. An Edinburgh chapter opened in 1766. The clubs continued until 1836.


Charles Edward Stuart, aka Bonnie Prince Charlie, was on the run after the failure of the Jacobite uprising and the defeat at the Battle of Culloden, the last battle fought in Britain.  The rumour was put out that he passed himself as Betty Burke, an Irish maid.


John Fubbister, from Orkney, went to Rupert’s Land (now western Canada), and worked for the Hudson Bay Company as a labourer.


John Fubbister outed as Isabel Gunn after giving birth.


James Barry, at the age of 14 went to the University of Edinburgh Medical School to enroll as a student. He graduated in 1812 with a thesis on the hernia of the groin, which, as was normal at the time, he wrote and defended in Latin. The following year he passed the Army Medical Board exam and became the medical surgeon that he would remain for the rest of his life. See 1865.


John Trott was convicted of attempted sodomy, the first Scottish case since 1645. After that sodomy cases became regularly prosecuted.


David Lyndsay wrote a variety of short stories, essays and poems which were published in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine and elsewhere between 1821 and 1828. Collections of fiction were also published as books: Dramas of the Ancient World, 1822 and Tales of the Wild and the Wonderful, 1825.


  • Walter Scott. Redgauntlet. Archibald Constable  & Co, 1824.  Androgynous protagonist is kidnapped and forced into woman’s riding outfit.  Wikipedia.


David Lyndsay, had been raised as Mary Dods, the illegitimate daughter of George Douglas (1761-1827), the sixteenth Earl of Morton, lord lieutenant of Fifeshire and of Midlothian, Lord High Commissioner of the Church of Scotland. Lyndsay took the name Walter Sholto Douglas when father died. Douglas married the pregnant and abandoned Isabelle Robinson. Their friend, Mary Shelley, helped them to get passports and Mr and Mrs Douglas moved to Paris.


Walter Douglas was in debtors' prison. He declined both physically and mentally, and he died a year later.


A legal text dated 1832 added a then recent case in which a man, on confession to two acts of sodomy out of nine initially charged, was transported for life.


David Gray (1838-61) poet from Kirkinilloch died of consumption after a failed attenpt to make it in London. His close friend Robert Buchanan described him thus: “…there was in Gray’s nature a strange and exquisite femininity – a perfect feminine purity and sweetness. Indeed, till the mystery of sex be medically explained, I shall ever believe that nature originally meant David Gray for a female; for besides the strangely sensitive lips and eyes, he had a woman’s shape – narrow shoulders, lissome limbs, and extraordinary breadth across the hips. ”


James Barry
Scottish military medical surgeon James Barry died in London and at the layout out of his body was identified as female-bodied.


In Kirknewton, east of Edinburgh, John Campbell married Mary Ann, pregnant and already the mother of two.


The Edinburgh Seven, the first group of women admitted to study medicine at a British university had been admitted in 1869. They received obscene letters, were followed home, had fireworks attached to their front door, mud thrown at them. This culminated in the Surgeons' Hall riot on 18 November 1870 when the women arrived to sit an anatomy exam at Surgeons's Hall and an angry mob of over two hundred were gathered outside throwing mud, rubbish and insults at the women. Influential members of the Medical faculty eventually persuaded the University to refuse graduation to the women by appealing decisions to higher courts. The courts eventually ruled that the women who had been awarded degrees should never have been allowed to enter the course. Their degrees were withdrawn.


Smallpox epidemic in the Glasgow area. John Campbell attended his landlady when she fell ill. When the doctor called, he insisted that John needed to be admitted to the infirmary. John agreed only if he were to remain fully clothed. The doctor pressed, his suspicions aroused, and John admitted that he was Marie Campbell. In Kirknewton, parish authorities had sought Mary Ann’s husband. She had admitted that her husband was a woman, but as her children were not John’s her character was questioned and her claim dismissed. On hearing the news from Renfrew, it was decided that Mary Ann and a Will Waddel, a witness to the marriage, should accompany the Inspector of the Poor to Renfrew. John Campbell was charged with contravening the Registration Act, and shortly afterwards disappeared. He arrived in New York and gave his name as Murray Hall from Govan, Glasgow. He became a major figure in Tammany Hall politics.


A peak in the number of sodomy cases in Scotland prosecuted with 22 High Court prosecutions (many more cases short of sodomy were to appear before the country’s sheriff courts), with sentences ranging from 1 year to 15 years.


Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, commonly known as the Labouchere Amendment made "gross indecency" a crime in the United Kingdom. In practice, the law was used broadly to prosecute male homosexuals where actual sodomy could not be proven. The first legislated prescription of homosexuality in Scotland.


Removal of death penalty for Sodomy. England had done so in 1861. Scotland was the last country in Europe to remove it.


August: William Sharp published what became the only issue of the Pagan Review, in which he, under a set of pen names, argued for the establishment of a neo-paganism which would abolish gender inequality. The review was received negatively; among other things, critics wrote that its paganism was far removed from the pagan writings of the ancient world.


Fiona Macleod joined the circle of writers in the Celtic Revival. The poet W B Yeats welcomed her writings, unlike those of William Sharp.


Scottish emigrant Murray Hall died in New York and was found to be female-bodied.


Hector MacDonald (1853-1903), son of a crofter who rose to Major-General, KCB, DSO, was accused of sexual activity with young men in Ceylon and shot himself. He was discovered to have a secret wife and son. He had seen her only four times in nineteen years of marriage. He remains a hero in Scotland: a 100ft memorial was erected in 1907.


William Sharp (1855-1905), poet and biographer from Paisley, died in Sicily, and was found to be also the author of the prose and poetry published under the name of Fiona Macleod.


Frederick Alexander Macquisten KC the Unionist MP for Glasgow Springburn proposed a new clause to Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act. He wanted to include female same-sex sexual acts. The House of Commons agreed that both heterosexual marriages and the mental health of women were at risk, so the matter was passed to the House of Lords… who disagreed. They argued there was not enough research into the subject, meaning prosecution was unlikely. They also argued there’s not much public knowledge of the existence of female same-sex relationships. The amendment did not pass into law.


George Buchanan, MP for Glasgow Gorbals, in a House of Commons debate on blackmail commented:

“They were without dress, or any male attire, but with tight fitting jackets; and all that; with their hands finely chiselled – far more finely chiselled than, say, the hands of my wife; who called each other by female names, used the scents common to women, and even painted.They were known to the police”. Despite the almost complete silence in Scottish papers on such subjects, he wished for further suppression: “My own feeling is that I would go almost to the extent of suppressing accounts of such cases: No man who was brought up in the strict Presbyterian circles, in which most of us were brought up, wishes to see or read that sort of thing, or cares to think that his children or relatives, particularly the young folk, would know anything of the sordid and cruel details of some divorce cases.”


  • Masculine Women Feminine Men.A popular ditty: “It’s hard to tell ’em apart today And say…/You go and give your girl a kiss in the hall/But instead you find you’re kissing her brother Paul/Mama’s got a sweater up to her chin, Papa’s got a girdle holding him in…/Sister is busy learning to shave,/Brother just got a permanent wave,/It’s hard to tell ’em apart today! Hey, hey!”


Norma Jackson was briefly in Edinburgh before being arrested in Blackpool later that year, and becoming Britain’s most famous trans person at that time.


William Merrilees of Edinburgh CID made his name by arresting homosexuals, particularity effeminate prostitutes. He had been part of the crackdown on the Kosmo Club in 1933 which was aimed at female prostitution, The next year they targeted Maxime's Dance Hall aiming at both male prostitution and consensual male sex. Merrilees affected a lisp and a gay walk to get into cruising grounds and the Russian baths. He was part of a raid on a gay brothel where men cross-dressed and wore make-up. He was later promoted and became Chief Constable of the Lothians and Peebles Constabulary (which includes Edinburgh).


Patrick Clarkson, future sex-change surgeon, graduated MRCS from Edinburgh University.


Leo Wollman, future New York sexologist, completed his medical education in Edinburgh. Over his lifetime he treated 2,800 trans persons.


Elizabeth Forbes-Semphill graduated in medicine from University of Aberdeen.


Ewan Forbes (previously Elizabeth Forbes-Semphill) petitioned the court under section 63 of the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act 1854 to enter in the Register of Corrected Entries substitutions of his name and sex. It was argued that subsequent examination had found Forbes to be male. The request was granted, based on his oath and medical evidence. A few months later, he married Isabella Mitchell, his housekeeper.


Eric Crichton, the future South African sex-change surgeon, became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.


Ewan Forbes assumed management of the family estates for his brother.


A trans woman, whose name we do not know, neither her real name, nor her pre-transition name. She is referred to as ‘X, Petitioner’. X had been born in 1907, married in 1939 and fathered two children, They separated in 1945. X then sought to live as a woman and had undergone some physical changes to that end (details are not provided, nor where she went for surgery: Copenhagen? Casablanca?) She petitioned the court under section 63 of the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act 1854 to have her birth certificate amended, allowing her to be re-registered as female. The petition was refused. The court acknowledged that the petitioner had undergone reassignment surgery, displayed obvious and consistent femininity. But although Sheriff-Substitute Prain noted that any attempt to make the petitioner live as a male again would, in all likelihood, have serious consequences, he concluded that: The doctors are careful to stress that this is not a case of hermaphroditism, but is a genuine case of the very rare condition of transsexualism. … it is however stated that skin and blood tests still show X's basic sex to be male and the changes have not yet reached the deepest level of sex-determination.

November: Frank Little, Rosythe, who headed a naval electronics research team, announced that “his” sex was changing and that “he” will live “his” life outside work as a woman. His boss had asked for a statement to bring the matter into the open. Mrs Little sat by “his” side. “My biological and psychological systems began to change, and about 10 months ago I began to go out with my wife dressed as a woman. I became terribly unhappy as a man and just normal as a woman.” Little’s choice of a female name was not given. The press lost interest after the first announcement, and there was no follow-up.

The report of the Wolfenden committee, which had been looking into the law on homosexuality and prostitution, was published, with the recommendation that sex between two consenting male 21 or older in private should no longer be an offence.. A Daily Record poll in 1957 indicated that 85% of Scots surveyed opposed the recommendations of the Wolfenden Report. Around the same period in 1957 a poll conducted by the Daily Mirror, south of the border, showed a much more even split where 51% opposed decriminalising homosexuality.

James Adair OBE, a former Procurator Fiscal of Glasgow and Edinburgh, had sat on the Wolfenden committee and formed the only dissenting voice. His minority report was printed in The Scotsman on 5 September 1957. He addressed The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland as a commissioner from the Presbytery of Glasgow and urged the assembly to disapprove of what was suggested by the Wolfenden committee regarding any amendment to the law in Scotland.

Wolfenden Report's recommendation on homosexual law reform was rejected by General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

The ruling Conservative Party in London chose to do nothing about the recommendations re homosexuality, although those re prostitution were incorporated in the Street Offences Act 1959. Those re homosexuality did not become law until 1967 when the Labour Party was in power. Even then Scotland was excluded as per the wishes of James Adair and the Church of Scotland. Northern Ireland was also excluded. The changes were finally effected in Scotland in 1980.


The following were consulted: