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!

05 December 2021

Leticia Carolina Nascimento (1990 - ) university lecturer

Nasciemento was born in Parnaíba, a coastal city in the north-east Brazilian state of Piauí, assigned male and raised by the maternal grandparents. Encouraged by the grandparents, and by the mother, Nasciemento graduated in pedagogy, and did a masters in education. 

Living initially as a gay man, Nasciemento taught for seven years in elementary school in Luís Correia, also on the coast of Piauí. In 2015 Nasciemento taught as a substitute teacher at Universidade Estadual do Piauí. Nasciemento had been increasingly living as female outside work. In 2017 she went public as Leticia with a lecture on queer theory called Corpo Sem Órgãos (Bodies without Organs). As she had already published academic articles under her male baptismal name, she was prevented from changing the name in her documents. 

In 2019 Leticia Nasciemento became a lecturer at the Universidade Federal do Piauí, the first trans woman ('mulher travesti') to do so. She commenced her PhD at the same time.

She describes herself as 

“Decolonial witch of becoming and of Sociopoetics (Feiticeira decolonial de devires e Bruxa da Sociopoética)"  ... "producing decolonial cartographies with black travestis from a mixed perspective of encounters between decolonial, feminist ideas and the philosophy of difference (produzindo cartografias decoloniais com travestis negras a partir de uma perspectiva mestiça de encontros entre ideias decoloniais, feministas e da filosofia da diferença)".

She considers that the greatest violence suffered by travestis in non-vulnerable environments is to be questioned about the fact that they are women. (Ela considera que a maior violência sofrida pelas travestis em ambientes não vulneráveis é a de serem questionadas quanto ao fato de serem mulheres. Cidadeverde, 2019)

In a paper in Research Society and Development, 2020, Nasciemento uses the concept of “heteroterrorismo curtural” in the education system: 

“And this way of thinking makes us question and perceive educational institutions, like schools, as one of the most efficient ones for fixing who we are and who others are, for establishing a division between the normal and the abnormal produced in them. And this split is produced by technologies of normalization - part of a system of know-power in which certain representations are authorized and others are made invisible, prohibited and invalidated, producing every utterance of cultural terrorism - reiterations that produce the genders and heterosexuality marked by incentives or inhibitions of behaviors to every lgbt-phobic joke, for example. (E esse modo de pensar nos faz questionar e perceber as instituições educativas, a exemplo da escola, como uma das mais eficientes para fixar quem nós somos e quem são os outros, estabelecer uma cisão entre os normais e os anormais produzidos nela. E esta cisão é produzida pelas tecnologias de normatização – parte de um sistema de saber-poder em que certas representações são autorizadas e outras invisibilizadas, proibidas e invalidadas, produzindo a cada enunciado eteroterrorismo cultural – reiterações que produzem os gêneros e a heterossexualidade marcadas por incentivos ou inibições de comportamentos a cada piada lgbtfóbica, por exemplo.)"

She is noted for her 2021 book, Transfeminismo: Feminismos Plurais, of which she says:

“It shows how more and more it is necessary for people to be open to different existences that do not necessarily fit into the binary and cisgender organization of the world. A first step in this direction is to know the experiences of those who are part of these groups and this book, written by a trans woman, black and fat, who is present in academic circles and is an inspiration for other transsexual and trans women, presents these experiences, it brings historical concepts and places transfeminism within other existing feminisms. (Mostra como cada vez mais é necessário que as pessoas estejam abertas às diversas existências que não necessariamente se encaixam no organização binária e cisgênera do mundo. Um primeiro passo nesse sentido é conhecer as experiências de quem faz parte desses grupos e esse livro, escrito por uma mulher travesti, negra e gorda, que está presente nos meios acadêmicos e é inspiração para outras mulheres transexuais e travestis, apresenta essas vivências, traz conceituações históricas e situa o transfeminismo dentro dos demais feminismos existentes.)”

  • “ ‘Ainda duvidam quando eu digo que sou professora’, diz 1ª travesti da UFPI”. Cidade Verde, 04/08/19. Online.
  • Ketryn Carvalho. “Letícia Carolina é a primeira travesti professora da UFPI; veja a entrevista”. Observatorio G, 2019. Online.
  • Letícia Carolina Nascimento. “Aprendizagens em educação e as diferenças – resistências ao heteroterrorismo cultural: que só os beijos te tapem a boca”. Research Society and Development, July 2020.
  • Roberto de Martin. “ ‘As mulheres trans e travestis entenderam a potência de movimentos feministas’ Letícia Carolina Nascimento conversa com CartaCapital sobre seu livro Transfeminismo, mais recente lançamento da Coleção Feminismos Plurais”. CartaCapotal, 12 de Junho de 2021. Online.
  • Letícia Carolina Nascimento. Transfeminismo: Feminismos Plurais. Perfect Paperback, 2021.

PT.Wikipedia      Google Academico        ResearchGate

21 November 2021

Gillian Cox(1938-1984) mycologist

Cox was born as Geoffrey Frank Laundon, and earned a BSc in Botany at the University of Sheffield in 1969. This led to being a mycologist at the Commonwealth Mycological Institute at Kew in London. 

Laundon specialized on rust fungi (then known as Urediniomycetes; now as Pucciniales). Rusts are considered among the most harmful pathogens to agriculture, horticulture and forestry. Rust fungi are major concerns and limiting factors for successful cultivation of agricultural and forest crops. White pine blister rust, wheat stem rust, soybean rust, and coffee rust are examples of notoriously damaging threats to crops. Laundon soon became well-known in the field for thorough, careful work on the class, first publishing new taxa in 1963.

In 1965 the Commonwealth Mycological Institute published Laundon’s book, The Generic Names of Uredinales. This was reviewed in the Transactions of the British Mycological Society

“Nomenclature at best is a tedious business for many of us, but until a better system is invented the best we can do is to have a set of names whose basis is firmly established. Mr Laundon has done this service for the generic names of rusts nobly.”

Among Laundon’s most important contributions was a new system of spore terminology published in 1967 - this was controversial at the time but was generally accepted later. 

In 1963 Laundon married Margaret Cox and they had three children. In 1965 they emigrated to New Zealand, where Laundon became mycologist at the Plant Health & Diagnostic Station at Levin, and continued to research the taxonomy and nomenclature of rusts. Laundon was an active member of the International Association for Plant Taxonomy and was on the Special Committee for Fungi and Lichens for a number of years. 

myrtle rust infections in NZ

Laundon was the first to realise there were two species involved when the poplar rusts were first found in New Zealand in 1972, a claim not verified until samples of the spores were examined with an electron microscope.

By 1977 Laundon had transitioned as Gillian. She was supported in this by her wife and children. She was initially involved in Hedesthia, the then major New Zealand trans group, but it was mainly oriented to transvestites. Gillian, using her wife’s surname, in 1976 set up Transformation, which was more focused on transsexual issues. Gillian and Margaret produced several information leaflets and fielded questions from transsexuals, interested public and professionals alike, seeking to aid and educate as many people and groups as they could. 

She placed an announcement in the New and Notes section of the Taxon journal: 

“Mr G. F. Laundon of the Plant Health & Diagnostic Station, Levin, New Zealand has changed sex as from the 22nd Jan. 1977 and is now known as Miss Gillian Laundon. She continues her work in plant pathology, mycology and nomenclature.” 

Actually she had become Gillian Fiona Laundon, which enabled her to take advantage of the practice of Onomastic Occlusion, that is to continue to publish professionally as “G F Laundon”. 

However at work some staff strongly opposed her using female toilets. She was restricted to only one toilet and threatened with disciplinary action if she used another. However she was supported by other colleagues including her controlling officer who wrote to the State Services Commission (SSC) on her behalf in order to suggest that guidelines be set up so that “transexuals be treated consistently in the public service”. She was supported by Leone Neil, also a Hedesthia member and public servant. By 1978 Laundon had won her case and was free to use whatever facility she pleased. 

However, the SSC did not implement any guidelines, and discrimination was still rife in the public service. In 1979 Laundon wrote in support of a trans woman in another department who was to be subjected to a vote by her colleagues over whether she should be able to use the female toilets.

Over her career Laundon collected at least 211 specimens and identified 539 that are in formal herbaria or culture collections. The species Phoma laundoniae is named in her honour.

Professional publications by G F Laundon:

  • “D.B.O. Savile, ,Collection and Care of Botanical Specimens Publication 1113 (1962) Canada Department of Agriculture, Research Branch,Ottawa xii + 124, 13 text-figures. Price: $2.00”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 46, 1, 1963.
  • “Uredopeltis (Uredinales)”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 46,3, 1963.
  • “Angusia (Uredinales)”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 47,3, 1964.
  • The Generic Names of Uredinales, Mycological Papers, No. 99. Commonwealth Mycological Institute, Kew, 1965.
  • “Terminology in the rust fungi”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 50, 2, 1967.
  • Review of “Malgolm Wilson, D.M. Henderson, British Rust Fungi (1966) Cambridge University Press”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 50, 2,1967.
  • “The taxonomy of the imperfect rusts”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 50, 3, 1967.
  • “Rust Names Attributed to Léveillé”. Taxon, 16, 3, 1967.
  • “A cold method for preparing dried reference cultures” Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 51, 3-4, 1968.
  • “The Status of Some of Persoon's Uredo Names”. Taxon, 17,2, 1968
  • “(319) Proposal to Delete the Generic Name Nigredo Persoon ex Roussel (1806) as a nomen rejiciendum of Uromyces (Link) Unger (1833) (Fungi)”. Taxon, 19, 6, 1970.
  • “The Lectotype for Uredo”. Taxon, 19,6, 1970.
  • “Records of fungal plant diseases in New Zealand”. New Zealand Journal of Botany, 8, 1, 1970.
  • “Additions to the rust fungi of New Zealand — 5”. New Zealand Journal of Botany, 8, 3, 1970.
  • “A new reinforcement for sealed fluid microslide mounts”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 56, 2, 1971.
  • “Records of Fungal Plant Diseases in New Zealand — 2”.New Zealand Journal of Botany, 9, 4, 1971.
  • “Delimitation of aecial from uredinial states”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 58, 2, 1972.
  • “Records and taxonomic notes on plant disease fungi in New Zealand”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 60, 2, 1973.
  • “Uromyces fallens and U. trifolii-repentis in New Zealand”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 61, 1, 1973.
  • “Proposals in Regard to the Emendment of Author Citations”. Taxon, 23, 5-6, 1974.
  • “Botryosphaeria obtusa, B. Stevensii, and Otthia spiraeae in New Zealand”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 61, 2, 1976.
  • “A new name for a New Zealand Phragmidium”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 67, 1, 1976.
  • “Peridermium (Fungi)”. Taxon, 25, 1, 1976.
  • “New host records of plant disease fungi in New Zealand”. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, 21, 4, 1978.
  • “New plant disease record in New Zealand Uromycladium simplexon Acacia pycnantha”. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, 21, 4, 1978.
  • Phoma rumicicola nov., a cause of leaf spots on Rumex obtusifolius”. New Zealand Journal of Botany, 18, 4, 1980.

Other publications:

  • D M Henderson. Review of “G F Laundon. The Generic Names of Uredinales Mycological Papers, No. 99”. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 48, 4, 1965.
  • Gillian Cox, ‘Friends,’ S-E-L-F,12, November 1976:
  • Gillian Cox, ‘Information service for transexuals,’ The Public Service Journal, 64, 6 July 1977:
  • Gillian Cox, ‘TransFormation Report 1977,’ Trans-Scribe, 1, 17, February 1978:
  • Gllian Cox, , ‘Prejudice against transexuals,’ The Public Service Journal, 66, 11 December 1979:
  • Gillian Cox. ”The Bible Says” and “Telling Your Secret”. Gender Review, 10, February 1981. Online.
  • J R Laundon (brother). “Geoffrey Frank Laundon”. Taxon, 34,1,1985.
  • Geoffrey C Ainsworth edited by John Webster & David Moore. "Laundon (Geoffrey Frank (from 22 Jan 1977 Gillian Fiona)". Brief Biographies of British Mycologists.  British Mycological Society, 1996. Online
  • Will Owen Hansen, “Every Bloody Right To Be Here” Trans Resistance in Aotearoa New Zealand, 1967-1989.MA Thesis, Victoria University of Wellington, 2020: 3, 42, 44, 54, 72-3, 95,
  • Isabel Douglas. “LGBT History Month: Gillian Cox”. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, February 16, 2021. Online.


18 November 2021

Elke Mackenzie (1911 - 1990) lichenologist

Elke Mackenzie was born in London and raised in Scotland, and was given the name Ivan Mackenzie Lamb. Lamb did a B.Sc. in Botany at Edinburgh University and, with a scholarship from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, did further research at the universities of Munich and Würzburg. 

Lamb was employed as an assistant keeper at the British Museum in 1935, and was mentored by the recently retired pioneering lichenologist Annie Lorrain Smith who had worked in the museum’s cryptogamic herbarium 1892-1933, but who had to be paid from a special fund because officially the museum did not employ women. Lamb became especially interested in the lichen flora of the Antarctic, as it was comparatively unknown, and began studying early British, French, and Belgian Antarctic collections in Turku, Finland and Paris. While in Finland Lamb met and married a Finnish woman. Their first child was born in London during the Blitz, and Lamb was granted the degree of Doctor of Science from Edinburgh University in 1942 with a monographic thesis dealing with the hypothesis of the previous movement of the continents of the southern hemisphere based on studies of the Antarctic lichen flora. 

Lamb took a leave of absence from the British Museum in 1943 to join Operation Tabarin, a secret Antarctic expedition organized by the Admiralty on behalf of the Colonial Office to assert British sovereignty in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Falkland Islands Dependencies against Chilean and Argentinian claims, and against possible German naval actions. Lamb served in Antarctica from 1944 to 1946 as a cryptogamic botanist, but he assisted in the construction of bases at Port Lockroy and Hope Bay, which involved person-hauling and dog-sledging 800 miles.

Andrew Taylor in his account of the years in the Antarctic writes: 

“Dr. I. Mackenzie Lamb … in my opinion, possessed the best scientific mind of any of us. Subsequent events probably threw me into closer contact with Lamb than any other individual in our party. A diligent worker as well as a modest and courteous gentleman, he was one of the most unselfish characters I have ever met. It was a privilege to know him so well. Possessing a humour that at times approached elfishness, he was a most sincere and earnest person. Both logical and imaginative, he possessed a realism that did not allow any histrionics or dramatics to warp his steady judgment.” (p24)

Taylor comments on Lamb’s scientific studies, done in addition to the other duties at the base. 

“To most people, for example, the study of the botany of such a region would seem a most uninspiring prospect. To Lamb, a specialist in the study of mosses and lichens, it was an exciting challenge. All can recognize the moss that carpets the forests and climbs up the bases of the trunks of the trees in temperate regions. Perhaps few of us have noticed the lichen—or we pay scant attention to it. Prior to my meeting Lamb, I confess that I never more than casually noticed them, (p113) …Lamb’s diligence and persistence rewarded him with a large collection of lichens gathered from the various localities we visited on Wiencke Island, as well as those collected in the course of his ecological studies of Goudier Islet. Many of the species he collected were new to the Graham Land area, others were new to the Antarctic, and he found a few which were new to science. In addition, he highly prized a few blades of grass that he discovered in a crevice between the rocks of the rookery. His interest also included mosses as well as a variety of marine algae and flora. These specimens were not easily found, but one is amazed at the diversity and luxuriance of some of the growths that the cold rock-faces of the country support. (p114)”

In 1947 Lamb, with wife and child, took a teaching position at the Instituto Miguel Lillo at the Universidad Nacional de Tucumán in northwest Argentina. Lamb built up a collection of lichens, adding Argentinian and Brazilian specimens to those from Antarctica. One field trip ended in disaster when on returning via a mountain pass the wind was so intense that the strings came untied and the new specimens and their annotations were scattered over the mountain. 

In 1950 Lamb was offered a position as cryptogamic botanist at the National Museum in Ottawa. Perhaps because of the cost of moving it from Argentina, Lamb sold the herbarium (3,200 specimens with annotations) to the Museum, and either sold or donated an annotated library on the subject. 

Lamb left Ottawa on short notice in 1953 when  offered the Directorship of the Farlow Library and Herbarium at Harvard University. Unfortunately the Farlow had been inoperative for some time, there was no staff, not even janitorial, and there was a large backlog of unanswered correspondence. However the collection did include 1,400,000 specimens, including approximately 75,000 types, of lichenized and non-lichenized fungi, bryophytes, diatoms and algae. Mrs Lamb helped out with work at the Farlow. Lamb directed the Farlow Library and Herbarium for almost twenty years, extending an interest to algae and marine phycology as well as lichens, and trained in scuba diving for a return to the Antarctic to obtain marine specimens.

In the 1960s the Lambs experienced family and personal crises possibly resulting from feelings of gender incongruence. Mrs Lamb ran up debts in her husband’s name. Lamb started living in the Farlow, and at one point was taken to the University Infirmary with a stay of three weeks. Afterwards Lamb obtained a legal separation from Mrs Lamb. A psychiatrist advised a consultation with “a specialist in New York City in resolving a torment that left him uncomfortable with his gender” (presumably Harry Benjamin).

This was during the final stages of the Antarctic project. Lamb decided on transition, and also dropped her surname, taking her middle name, Mackenzie as her new surname and Elke as her personal name. She applied for a legal name change, new social security number and passport. Publications by Lamb started to acknowledge the technical assistance of Miss Elke Mackenzie. Elke also joined a theatre troupe directed by Laurence Senelick, the historian of theatre and drag performance.

Harvard arranged sabbatical leave in 1971 followed by a total disability retirement (Elke was only 60). Mackenzie turned to translating German botanical text books into English, and for some years lived in Costa Rica, building a house there. She returned to Boston in 1980, living for a while with her daughter. She took up carpentry and started to make furniture. However in 1983 she experienced weaknesses in her legs and was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). She died age 78.

Laurence Senelick’s The Changing Room, sex, drag and theatre has the following dedication: 

“This book is dedicated to Elke Mackenzie, whose transformation taught many who enjoyed transvestism on stage to appreciate transsexualism in life”.

Mackenzie’s original surname was assigned to two genera, Lambia and Lambiella, and several species.

The list of species includes:

Buellia lambii

Neuropogon lambii

Parmelia lambii

Placopsis lambii

Verrucaria mackenzie-lambii

The name was also assigned to Cape Lamb on Vega Island, close to the most northerly point in Antarctica.


Note: Cryptogams are algae, lichens, fungi, mosses, and ferns. They differ from trees and plants in not having flowers or seeds. Their reproductive apparatus is hidden.

Some comments on other accounts:

Turku, Finland is not Turkey. Mrs Lamb was Finnish.

Lamb/Mackenzie could not be “diagnosed” with “gender dysphoria’ before 1971, because Norman Fisk did not propose the term until 1973. She was probably told she was Transsexual.

Surely “Disfonia Syndrome” is a misprint.

While Lamb met and was influenced by Annie Lorrain Smith, she did not direct or supervise him, as she retired in 1932 (age 77) and Lamb did not start at the British Museum until 1935.

There is no Instituto Lilloa in Tucamán or anywhere else. There is there the Instituto Miguel Lillo, and its journal is named Lilloa, to which Lamb frequently contributed.

After transition Mackenzie continued publishing as I M Lamb (for consistency).   Where she is referenced on other lichenologists' work it is as I M Lamb.   WorldCat has changed her name to Elke Mackenzie in its catalogue, but not of course in the actual publications.   Any lichenologist reading up on her work needs to know both names.  

Many trans persons retain the same surname.   The decision to change it is in addition to transitioning.  To refer to her as Mackenzie is ironically to use one of her male first names.


Publications by Lamb/Mackenzie:

  • “Lichenological notes from the British Museum herbarium.-I”. Journal of Botany74, 1936.
  • “Lichenological notes from the British Museum herbarium.-II”. Journal of Botany76, 1938.
  • “A new cephalodiate Lecidea from Japan”. Journal of Japanese Botany14,1938.
  • “Lichenological notes from the British Museum herbarium.--III “.Journal of Botany 77, 1939.
  • “What is Lecidea pringlei Tuckerman?”. The Bryologist, 42, 1939.
  • “A review of the genus Neuropogon (Nees & Flot.) Nyl., with special reference to the antarctic species”. Journal of the Linnaean Society of London, Botany52, 1939.
  • “Lichens from east Greenland collected by the Wager Expedition, 1935-36”. Nyt Magazin for Naturvidenskaberne 1940.
  • “The lichen genus Placopsis in Tristan da Cunha. Results of the Norwegian Scientific Expedition to Tristan da Cunha, 1937-1938”, 3, 1940. Norske videnskaps-akademi, Oslo.
  • “Lichenological notes from the British Museum herbarium.-IV. Rhizocarpon sect. Catocarpon in the British Isles”. Journal of Botany 78, 1940.
  • “Lichenological notes from the British Museum herbarium.--V”. Journal of Botany 79, 1941.
  • “A lichenological excursion to the west of Scotland”. Transactions of the Botanical Society, Edinburgh33, 1942.
  • “A monograph of the lichen genus Placopsis”. Lilloa13:1947.
  • “Further data on the genus Neuropogon”. Lilloa 14, 1948.
  • "New, Rare or Interesting Lichens from the Southern Hemisphere". Lilloa 14,1948.
  • “Antarctic pyrenocarp lichens”. Discovery Reports25, 1948.
  • “La importanciade los liquenes como indicadores fitogeographicos en el hemisferio austral”. Lilloa 20, 1949.
  • “On the morphology, phylogeny, and taxonomy of the lichen genus Stereocaulon”.Canadian Journal of Botany, 29, 1951.
  • “Biochemistry in the taxonomy of lichens”. Nature, 168, 1951.
  • “New, rare or interesting lichens from the southern hemisphere. II.” Lilloa, 26, 1953.
  • “Lichens of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia” Annual Report of the National Museum of Canada, Bulletin, 132, 1954.
  • “Studiesin frutescent Lecideaceae (lichenized discomycetes)”. Rhodora, 56, 1954.
  • “New lichens from northern Patagonia, with notes on some related species”. Farlowia, 4, 1955.
  • “Codex Lichenum”. Taxon, 5, 1956.
  • “Compsocladium, a new genus of lichenized ascomycetes”. Lloydia 19, 1956.
  • “Symbiosis: Part II. The remarkable lichens”. Natural History,47, 1958.
  • “La vegetaci6n liquénica de los Parques Nacionales Patag6nicos”. Anales de Parques Nacionales, 7, 1959.
  • “Lichens”. Scientific American,201(4), 1959
  • “Two new species of Stereocaulon occurring in Scandinavia”. Botaniska Notiser 114, 1961.
  • with Alexander Zahlbruckner. Index nominum lichenum inter annos 1932 et 1960 divulgatorum. Ronald Press Co, 1963.
  • "Antarctic Lichens. I. The Genera Usnea, Ramalina, Himantormia, Alectoria, Cornicularia". British Antarctic Survey Scientific Reports,38, 1964.
  • “The Stereocaulon massartianum assemblage in East Asia”. Journal of Japanese Botany,40, 1965.
  • “Die Gattung Stereocaulon, Lichenes, Stereocaulaceae. (Flechten des Himalaya 3)”. Khumba Himal: Ergebnisse des Forschungsunternehmens Nepal Himalaya 1,
  • Chemotaxonomy in the lichens. International Lichenological Newsletter 1(3), 1967.
  • with A. Henssen. “The Genera Buellia and Rinodina”. Antarctic lichens, 2.; Scientific reports (British Antarctic Survey),61, 1968.
  • “The species of Stereocaulon with protosacculate cephalodia”. Journal of Japanese Botany,43, 1968.
  • Antarctic terrestrial plants and their ecology, pp. 733-751. In M. W. Holdgate (ed.), Antarctic Ecology, 1970.
  • “Stereocaulon arenarium (Sav.) a hitherto overlooked boreal-arctic lichen”. Occasional Papers of the Farlow Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany2, 1972.
  • With W. A. Weber, H. M. Jahns& S. Huneck. “Calathaspis, a new genus of the lichen family Cladoniaceae”. Occasional Papers of the Farlow Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany4: 1972.
  • Stereocaulon Sterile (Sav) and Stereocaulon Groenlandicum (Dahl) Two More Hitherto Overlooked Lichen Species.Harvard, 1973.
  • “Further observations on Verrucaria serpuloides the only known permanently submerged marine lichen”. Occasional Papers of the Farlow Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany6, 1973.
  • “The lichen genus Argopsis”. Fr. Journal of the Hattori Botanical Laboratory, 38, 1974.
  • With A. Ward. “A preliminary conspectus of the species attributed to the imperfect lichen genus Leprocaulon”. Journal of the Hattori Botanical Laboratory, 38, 1974.
  • With S Huneck. “I'-Chloropannarin, a new depsidone from Argopsis friesiana: notes on the structure of pannarinand on the chemistry of the lichen genus Argopsis”. Phytochemistry, 14, 1975.
  • With D J Galloway & G C Bratt. “Two new species of Stereocaulon from New Zealand and Tasmania”. . Lichenologist, 8, 1976.
  • “Structurally unusual types of cephalodia in the lichen genus Stereocaulon (subgen. Holostelidium)”. Journal of Japanese Botany51, 1976.
  • “A conspectus of the lichen genus Stereocaulon (Schreb.) Hoffm”. Journal of the Hattori Botanical Laboratory, 43, 1977.
  • “Keys to the species of the lichen genus Stereocaulon (Schreb.) Hoffin”. Journal of the Hattori Botanical Laboratory44, 1978.
  • edited by S. Haddelsey & R. Lewis-Smith, The Secret South: A Tale of Operation Tabarin, 1943–46. Greenhill Books, 2018.

By Others:

  • David James. That Frozen Land.The Falcon Press, 1949.
  • Andrew Taylor, . “Dr. Ivan Mackenzie Lamb.” Polar Record26, 159, 1990: 343.
  • Geirge A Llano. “I. Mackenzie Lamb, D.Sc. (Elke Mackenzie) (1911-1990)”. The Bryologist,94, 1991.
  • Vernon Ahmadjian. “Obituary: Ivan Mackenzie Lamb (Elke Mackenzie) (1911-1990)” Lichenologist, 23,1,1991.
  • “Lamb, Ivan Mackenzie (1911-1990)”. JSTOR Global Plants. Online.
  • Geoffrey C Ainsworth edited by John Webster & David Moore. "Lamb (ivan Mackenzie (Elke Mackenzie Lamb)" Brief Biographies of British Mycologists.  British Mycological Society, 1996. Online.
  • Laurence Senelick. “Dedication”. The Changing Room: sex drag and theatre. Routledge, 2000.
  • Andrew Taylor edited by Daniel Heidt & Whitney Lackenbauer. Two Years Below the Horn: Operation Tabarin, Field Science and Antarctic Sovereignty, 1944-1946.Universiy of Manitoba Press, 2017.
  • Sabrina Imbler. “The Unsung Heroine of Lichenology”. JSTOR Daily,Sepember 26, 2020. Online.
  • Isabel Douglas. “LGBT History Month: Elke Mackenzie”. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, February 1, 2021. Online.

Wikipedia(Elke Mackenzie)

Wikipedia(Operation Tabarin)

13 November 2021

Torai Masae (1963 - ) activist

Torai Masea was raised in Tokyo.  He completed transition to male with surgery in the United States in 1987 and 1989. 

In 1987 he had appeared as a trans man on television and in magazines, which resulted in hundreds of letters, and replying became too much work. On his trip to the US in 1989 he found Louis Sullivan’s FTM Newsletter. In 1994 he founded FTM Nippon and with it a newsletter. He quit his job in that the job and running FTM Nippon were too much. However it took most of his savings, at a time when he had not paid off his surgery debt. He was also looking after his sick parents. Other trans men sent in material, and it was published in the newsletter and he then created FTM Nippon Press to publish books by them pseudonymously. 

He translated books by Jamison Green and published them with permission. 

In May 2001 he led a group of transsexuals who filed lawsuits in four family courts to have their family register details changed, with success in 2004. 

He is the author of several books on transsexuality.

  • Torai Masae.「男から女になったワタシ」 [I Who Have Become a Man from a Woman]. Seikyu-sha, 1996.
  • Andrew Matzner.“FTM in Japan: Interview with Masae Torai”. TG Tapestry. 91, Fall 2000. Online.
  • Hiroshi Matsubara. “Sex change no cure for torment: Surgery an option but transsexuals still face legal walls”. The Japan Times,Jun 20, 2001. Online.
  • Torai Masae “Japan: A Sexually Unique Country”. In Tracie O’Keefe& Katrina Fox (eds). Finding the Real Me: True Tales of Sex & Gender Diversity. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003:68-75.
  • Torai Masae.「男の戸籍をください」 [Register Me as a Man]. Mainichishinbunsha, 2003.
  • Mark McLelland. Queer Japan from the Pacific War to the Internet Ag Rowman & Littlefield 2005: 207.
  • Mark McLelland. “From the stage to the clinic: changing transgender identities in post-war Japan”. Japan Forum,16,1, 2004: 16.

10 November 2021

1947 police raid resisted

The raid and the fightback at the Stonewall tavern, New York 27-8 June 1969 is now iconic.  Many histories also mention previous police raids on trans/gay/queer venues: Cooper's Doughnuts May 1959, Dewey's Lunch Counter April 1965 and Compton's Cafeteria August 1966.

There were of course a lot more, even in the US. I compiled a list some years back of such raids from 1726 onwards.  But there was an important one that I missed.  The first police raid on a queer venue after WWII.  


Ueno Park had long been a center for the sex trade, given its proximity to Yoshiwara, the traditional pleasure quarters of old Edo.  Ueno was also the main rail terminal for trains serving the north of Japan, and immediately after the war it became a temporary home for people being repatriated from overseas to the provinces or returning to Tokyo from the countryside, where they had fled to avoid the air raids during the closing months of the war. While extreme poverty among this population no doubt drove many women (cis and trans) and some men to prostitution in an effort to survive, it seems that Ueno had long been a site of male prostitution. 

At this time the trans sex workers (Dansho) mainly wore the traditional kimono.

1947 November 22: Police raid on the trans prostitutes in Tokyo’s Ueno Park.  This was motivated not so much by the fact that these were trans prostitutes as by the fact they were seeking customers outside the designated red-light zones. 

Mark McLelland explains what happened:

"At around 7 pm on the previous evening, the superintendent of the Metropolitan Police had gone to inspect the effectiveness of the curfew that had been declared in Ueno Park to deter the lively prostitution scene that had developed there. At the back of the Shimizu-do- (a temple building), he, and his accompanying entourage of journalists, encountered a group of men dressed in women’s attire. When the journalists and camera crew started taking pictures of the men using a flash, the cross-dressers started attacking them in an attempt to take the cameras. The  superintendent and his men fled the scene in fear, but later returned to the  Shimizu-do- with reinforcements, not only to discover that the cross-dressed men were still there but that their number had increased to more than ten. The cross-dressers once again demonstrated their “masculine nature” (dansei no taisei) and began to beat up the camera crew. Then, they started hitting the superintendent who once again fled. Although the cross-dressers were finally subdued and arrested when 15 reinforcement police arrived, all things considered, the police came off looking rather inept if not outright incompetent in their handling of the incident. (p156-7)"

The incident was widely reported in the press, especially the scandal magazines, and was turned into a novel.

  • Sumi Tatsuya. Dansho no mori (男娼の森 / Grove of Male Prostitutes). Hibiya Shuppansha, 1949.  A novel about Ueno Park’s trans prostitutes.
  • “Dansho¯ zadankai: mondai no kokuhaku, (Confessions of a Problem: A Roundtable Discussion with Male Prostitutes)Oke, 2, 5, August 1949. English translation by Wim Lunsing as Chapter 5 of  Queer voices from Japan: first person narratives from Japan’s sexual minorities.     Some of the trans women involved at Ueno Park are interviewed by a journalist.
  • Mark Mclelland. Love, Sex, and Democracy in Japan during the American Occupation. Palgrave MacMillan, 2012.

31 October 2021

Woman in Black

In April 1870 the Wexford Independent, Wexford, Ireland ran the following which was quickly repeated in the Carlow Post.

Women in Black is a name given to a largely US phenomenon from the 1860s through to World War I.

Woodyard writes: 

"The Victorian widow, swathed in her 'habiliments of woe,' was a familiar figure on the streets of the nineteenth century. The dull fabrics, the crape, the veil: all marked the wearer as one touched by Death and entitled to special consideration. Mourning garb both protected the wearer from the public gaze and elevated societal expectations for the widow. This made it all the more shocking when mourning dress was used as a criminal disguise. 

Let us look at the rogues’ gallery of crimes committed in the United States from about 1860 to 1929 under the cover of crape. The list is a long and distressing one: Assault, inducing panic, menacing threats, armed robbery and pickpocketing, burglary, kidnapping, arson, murder, and most heinous of all to a 19th century audience: transvestism."

The different appearances were, of course, different.   The "woman in black" could be or could be taken as:

a) a genuine widow

b) a woman using the guise to commit a crime

c) a transvestite

d) a supernatural apparition

Woodyard points out: 

"A widow’s garb was the perfect cover for a transvestite, who, given the usual domestic organization of a 19th-century working-class household, had little privacy or time for cross-dressing. It allowed him to walk abroad publically, dressed as a woman; hiding in plain sight. The act of wearing widow’s weeds was, for transvestites, both a criminal act and the concealment of that criminal act.

In addition, mourning clothing was readily accessible. A man might borrow the weeds his wife had at home. Mourning goods could be purchased second-hand or through the mail. And security was guaranteed by the fact that few persons would have the courage or the impudence to walk up to a veiled widow in the dark and remove her veil. I found only a single case among hundreds of spectral Women in Black sightings, where a young Connecticut woman pulled the veil from the face of what turned out to be a well-known young man in widow’s weeds. His motive for doing so was elided by the newspaper."

In 1848 Columbus, Ohio became one of  the first US cities to pass a law against transvesting.  40 other cities soon did the same.  So some degree of subterfuge became required.

The Women in Black disappeared during the Great War.  Authorities introduced a ban on deep mourning for considerations of morale, and anyway hemlines began to rise.  Soon the Women in Black were forgotten. 

  • Chris Woodyard.  "The Woman in Black – Victorian Mourning as Criminal Disguise".  Haunted Ohio, March 25, 2017.  Online
  • Beach Combing.  "British and Irish Women in Black Spirits ".  Strange History, October 31, 2021.  Online

27 October 2021

Eleazar ben Jair, sicarius, Masada, CE 74


After the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in CE 70 (Roman Date: AUC DCCCXXIII; Hebrew Year 3831) , the sicarii/zealots maintained a last redoubt in Masada ( מצדה‎ metsada, "fortress") led by Eleazar ben Jair. It was besieged by Roman forces 73-4. Those within chose to die by their own hand rather than submit to the Romans.

However we read in Josephus, The Jewish War (William Whiston Translation, 1737), VII, 9, 1. Online.

“Yet was there an ancient woman, and another who was of kin to Eleazar, and superior to most women in prudence and learning, with five children: who had concealed themselves in caverns under ground; and had carried water thither for their drink; and were hidden there when the rest were intent upon the slaughter of one another.

Those others were nine hundred and sixty in number: the women, and children being withal included in that computation.”

John Allegro (The Chosen People: A Study of Jewish History from the Time of the Exile Until the Revolt of Bar Kocheba. Hodder and Stoughton, 1971: 240-1) comments:

“It might be considered ungracious to speculate on the identity, or even true sex of the ‘old woman’. described as ‘a relative of Eleazar’s’. and as being ‘superior in prudence and training (phronesi kai paideia) to most women’, who hid her female companion and accompanying five children underground during or after the mass slaughter of their fellow-Zealots above. Perhaps, too, we should not enquire too closely how that prudent person could so ‘lucidly report both the speech (of Eleazar) and how the deed was done’, if she were in hiding the whole time.

Nevertheless, one cannot help wondering if Josephus did not come by his remarkably complete knowledge of these last dramatic days and hours of Masada’s resistance through the first-hand report of Eleazar himself. Does Josephus know more about the ‘relative of Eleazar’ and her ‘prudence’ than he cares to divulge? Certainly, if Eleazar had felt no guilt in escaping the suicide pact disguised as an old woman, and was thus enabled to usher perhaps his wife and family from this tomb of Zealot hopes, he would have had some sympathy from Josephus, who had done much the same thing earlier on in the war.”

Certainly an interesting hypothesis. Almost all other writers neither repeat this hypothesis, nor refute it. It is of course a problem that the only evidence either way is the account by Josephus.

Eleazar would of course have worn a beard, and to pass as an old woman would need to have shaved. Shaving technology at this period was rather primitive - it was probably done simply with a sharp knife, and would leave cuts on his face. However the Romans might have respected an old woman enough not to have removed her veil.

25 October 2021

John of Gischala during the Jewish uprising 69-70

John (יוחנן מגוש חלב‎ Yohanan mi-Gush Halav) after defying Vespasian’s forces in Galilee, took his followers to Jerusalem in CE 69 (Roman Date: AUC DCCCXXII; Hebrew Year 3830)

We read in Josephus, The Jewish War (William Whiston Translation, 1737), IV, 9, 10. Online.

“Now this Simon, who was without the wall, was a greater terror to the people than the Romans themselves: as were the zealots who were within it more heavy upon them than both of the other. And during this time did the mischievous contrivances and courage [of John] corrupt the body of the Galileans. For these Galileans had advanced this John, and made him very potent. Who made them suitable a requital, from the authority he had obtained by their means. For he permitted them to do all things that any of them desired to do. While their inclination to plunder was insatiable: as was their zeal in searching the houses of the rich. And for the murdering of the men, and abusing of the women, it was sport to them. They also devoured what spoils they had taken, together with their blood; and indulged themselves in feminine wantonness, without any disturbance, till they were satiated therewith.

While they decked their hair, and put on women’s garments, and were besmeared over with ointments: and that they might appear very comely, they had paints under their eyes; and imitated not only the ornaments, but also the lusts of women: and were guilty of such intolerable uncleanness, that they invented unlawful pleasures of that sort. And thus did they roll themselves up and down the city, as in a brothel house; and defiled it entirely with their impure actions. Nay while their faces looked like the faces of women, they killed with their right hands; and when their gait was effeminate, they presently attacked men, and became warriors: and drew their swords from under their finely dyed cloaks, and ran every body through whom they light upon.

However Simon waited for such as ran away from John: and was the more bloody of the two. And he who had escaped the tyrant within the wall, was destroyed by the other that lay before the gates. So that all attempts of flying and deserting to the Romans were cut off, as to those that had a mind so to do.”

John was finally captured by the Romans in CE 70. He was star attraction in Titus’ victory march in Rome, and presumably died in a Roman prison.

Neither EN.Wikipedia nor the Jewish Encyclopedia mention the transvesting.

18 October 2021

Walt Heyer (1940 - ) manager, counselor, writer, changeback

Walt Heyer, raised in Los Angeles, had a grandmother who loved to dress him as a girl, and an uncle who sexually abused him. He married in 1965 and they had children. His wife knew about his cross-dressing. He became national manager of port operations for American Honda Motor Company, a job that required frequent travel to ports around the US. 

Since childhood his inner woman, who named herself Christal West, had expressed herself in his cross-dressing. Walt moved his family to Sonoma, north of San Francisco so that he would have easy access to the city’s Tenderloin area. At first he went to the drag bars, particularly the Roadrunner, in male guise, until he found a friend who let him change, and then in female guise. 

From there he was given the name of a doctor in Beverly Hills who prescribed female hormones, and then a plastic surgeon for top surgery. At this point his sex life with his wife had ended. In 1981 Heyer obtained the name of gay psychologist Paul Walker from the grapevine. Walker was building a practice catering to transsexuals, and was located on nearby Union Street. Heyer enrolled as a patient. Walker recognized Heyer, having seen his female persona in the Roadrunner. According to Heyer’s account, at the end of the first session Walker diagnosed gender dysphoria, and in the third session gave Heyer a letter recommending trans surgery. This despite the 1979 Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association Standards of Care (of which Walker was the major co-author) requiring two such letters and at least one year of cross-living before surgery. 

Heyer actually went to Trinidad, Colorado and saw Dr Biber. His intention was to have a surgical sex change without telling his boss, his wife or anyone else. The choice of Biber was almost unavoidable he recalled: 

“He was the only one anyone talked about. At the time he was the only one doing the surgery. I had tried to get into UCLA and other places, but everyone had shut down their clinics. There was nothing left. You had one choice.” (Smith p 15) 

Biber read the letter from Walker and asked his usual questions. Heyer gave a check for $7,500, and agreed to the additional hospital fees. He went then to the hospital, felt bad about what he was doing, and returned to Biber’s office with a change of mind. He got a 50% refund. Back home Heyer finally told his wife. Divorce proceedings were started. 

In 1983 Heyer again gained approval from Walker, and again went to Trinidad. Some things had changed. Heyer had started using the name Andrea West. Andrea had had buttocks implants, a nose job and electrolysis. However her resolve had wavered, and she had had her breast implants removed, but later had them replaced. As Walt she was still working for Honda and had been transferred to southern California. Walt’s drinking had become more intense. On return to Trinidad it was Andrea West who signed the papers, but then the name Laura Jenson popped into her head and that is who she became. It was still her intention to continue to work as Walt, and to be Laura out-of-work. She finally told her mother what she was doing. She actually continued to work as Walt. However her attorney maintained that she could not legally continue to work using the name Walt. She procrastinated for several months, until October 1983 when during a business meal and appearing as Walt, she explained that she had already had the surgery. The stunned boss took the issue to the president. Two weeks later she was offered six months severance pay, and she was to disappear and not discuss the termination with anyone.

Laura Jensen could not find another job, but still had alimony, child support and mortgage to pay. She was still drinking, and started taking cocaine. Most of her friends had disappeared, but one offered to help get her sober and took her to an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting. One AA member offered a garage to sleep in, and others offered odd jobs, but one of the others, also trans, took her to a bar, and she relapsed into alcohol and cocaine. AA again helped her out of that. Her son was the only family member still in contact, although she dressed as a man to meet him. 

Laura’s break came when she was taken in by a Christian family, with a father who was a psychologist with a masters in theology. Laura ended up staying nine months, and returning often over the next twelve years. The family led her to accept Jesus as her savior, and helped her to decide to return to being Walt. Walt obtained a job in an auto body shop owned by a Christian man who also convinced him to start attending Bible classes. However, as Walt later wrote: 

“Laura tormented Walt’s thoughts, enticing him to switch back. I began feeling more and more fragile, slowly crumbling under the weight of wanting relief from the intense emotional pain.” (Smith p 91) 

It was Laura who climbed onto the roof of a restaurant and shouted that she wanted to die. This led to Walt losing his job and a court ordered recovery treatment. It was Laura who was admitted into a residential Women Recovery Association program. She began attending a local church in Foster City, south of San Francisco, where the pastor, while admitting that he had no experience with trans persons, welcomed her and they met regularly. 

Laura took courses to become a counselor for people in drug or alcohol recovery - this at the same time as working a job, and working with her church and with AA. She began noticing differences between her two personas. Laura preferred healthy food; Walt was a junk-food fan. Walt’s voice was lower, while Laura’s was pitched higher. Their handwriting and opinions often were quite different. She remained Laura at school and at work, rather than risking discovery by changing whenever the impulse to do so struck. She attended men’s AA group meetings as Walt, and women’s AA group meetings as Laura. She knew that the major imperative was to stay sober. She did and she graduated in 1989 with an advanced certificate in drug and alcohol studies. Working with her pastor, Laura asked if it would be okay to come to church as Walt. After discussion and prayer it was arranged that the pastor gave a sermon on the theme of a sinner saved by repentance, and then told of Walt’s journey, and then Walt in person was well received.

Walt began working at CityTeam, a non-denominational Christian non-profit in San Jose. But at weekends she was still Laura. Walt was baffled by this as were friends and psychologists. Walt/Laura made a follow-up appointment with Paul Walker who had diagnosed gender dysphoria in 1981. By Heyer’s account, Walker responded to her claim of four years of sobriety, by admitting that he too was in a 12-step program, that he had been addicted to drugs and alcohol after a ski accident, and that he was HIV+. Before he died in 1991, Walker wrote to her that therapists should address alcohol and drug issues before moving on to gender issues. He assured Jensen/Heyer “that I share, as best I can, some of the pain that this mistake has caused you”. Heyer seized onto the word “mistake”. 

Walt’s 12-month contract with CityTeam also ended in 1991, and he applied for a position as a counselor in a psychiatric ward in southern California - but as Laura, as all his papers were in that name. The job required working with severe psychological disorders, including self-mutilation and schizophrenia. The psychiatrist who oversaw her work took note of her as a person, and proposed clinical meetings in his free time. After three weeks he had her consult with another colleague, who used a term to explain Laura’s condition: Dissociative disorder (more popularly known as Multiple-Personality disorder). Laura sought a third and fourth opinion. Both confirmed: Dissociative disorder. A Dissociative disorder specialist used hypnosis, and identified 13-15 separate personalities. Penmanship varied according to which persona was active: Andrea’s signature was tight, small, and slanted left; Laura’s was bold and slanted right. If Walt/Laura had Dissociative disorder, it explained why transition had not solved her problems. 

Laura returned to the San Francisco Bay area to be close to those who supported her best. She restarted at AA, and after an initial hesitancy, was welcomed back to the Foster City church. A new therapist advised that working a job interfered with the required therapy: Laura couch surfed, ran errands for a restaurant in exchange for meals and applied for permanent disability income. Whilst praying with her therapist, she had a religious experience, a vision of Jesus who took her into his arms. For the next few years Walt and Laura alternated. A friend who had taken in Laura some years before was dying of cancer at age 46. Walt became part of her support network, and got to know a woman named Kaycee who was doing the same. They started to meet in addition to supporting the friend. Kaycee accepted him while knowing his past. He had his breast implants finally removed and changed what documents he could. After five years Walt and Kaycee were formally dating. They married in May 1997. The gender switching stopped.

In 2006 Heyer published his first autobiography, Trading My Sorrows, in which he discusses his diagnosis of Dissociative Disorder. In 2008 he set up At first response was small. However in 2015, when Caitlyn Jenner was front-page news, Heyer was suddenly in demand. “I did forty radio and TV shows in five days”. He appeared at events with Paul McHugh and Ryan T Anderson, both of whom have also written books decrying transsexuality. Heyer endorsed both McHugh’s and Ray Blanchard’s ideas. He repeats conspiracy ideas that George Soros and Barack Obama have respectively financed and appointed activists to push a transgender agender: 

“They want to destroy the moral fabric of society, of the Church, and if you can destroy gender, then you can destroy the basis of man-woman marriage, and then in due time destroy the foundation of society, which is the male-female family and spawning of offspring. So George Soros is totally against God and family.” (Smith p 145) 

In 2018 Heyer edited an anthology of accounts by 30 others who detransitioned.

By Heyer:

  • Trading My Sorrows: A True Story of Betrayals, Bad Choices, Love, and the Journey Home.  Xulon Press, 2006. Reissued as A Transgender’s Faith. CreateSpace, 2015.
  • Perfected with Love. Xulon Press. 2009.
  • Paper Genders: Pulling the Mask Off the Transgender Phenomenon. Make Waves Publishing, 2011.
  • Paper Genders: Pulling the Mask Off the Transgender Phenomenon.Make Waves Publishing, 2011.
  • Gender, Lies and Suicide: A Whistleblower Speaks out. CreateSpace, 2013.
  • Kid Dakota and the Secret at Grandma’s House. CreateSpace, 2015. A novel based on Heyer’s childhood.
  • (ed)Trans Life Survivors. Bowker Identifier Services, 2018.
  • Articles of Impeachment against Sex Change Surgery. Walter Heyer, 2020.


  • "Walt Heyer". TransChristians, February 21, 2010. Online.
  • "Walt Heyer?" Maple Centers, October 2, 2011 – January 25, 2012. Online.
  • Jeff Schapiro. "Transsexual Returns to Original Gender After Relationship With Christ". Christian Post, January 11, 2012. Online.
  • Sheila Jeffreys. Gender Hurts: A feminist analysis of the politics of transgenderism. Routledge, 2014: 73-4.
  • Jay Akbar. “The man who's had TWO sex changes: Incredible story of Walt, who became Laura, then REVERSED the operation because he believes surgeons in US and Europe are too quick to operate”. The Daily Mail, 26 January 2015. Online.
  • Zinnia Jones. “Walt Heyer and ‘sex change regret’ ”. Gender Analysis, July 31, 2015. Online.
  • Ryan T Anderson. When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment. Encounter Books, 2018: 87-91.
  • Martin J Smith. Going to Trinidad: A Doctor, a Colorado Town, and Stories from an Unlikely Gender Crossroad BowerHouse, 2021: Passim.

EN.Wikipedia     Conservapedia    Susan’s Place


Ephilei at TransChristians wrote in 2010: 

“Walt Heyer was never transgender, yet underwent SRS. Distraught that he was approved for surgery, he hopes to make the psychological community stop SRS.

Walt has a unique circumstance. Walt was eventually diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, archaically called multiple personality disorder. One of his identities happened to be a woman and that identity gradually came into dominance. Not realizing this, he interpreted his feelings as transexual and had SRS. Eventually counselors gave him an accurate diagnosis which provided the proper treatment to eliminate his other false identities. Heyer's situation is undoubtedly tragic.”

Walt Heyer is probably the best known detransitioner or changeback although of course there are many who have done so. Like Alan Finch he set up a webpage and advocated against other people choosing to transition. Some revert to their original gender and admit to a personal mistake. However others go on a crusade to decry that others may decide to do what did not work out for them personally. Back in 2014 I estimated detransition as around 3% based on the data in this encyclopedia. Most other estimates are roughly the same. This Wikipedia article summarizes various studies and concludes: “It is estimated that the number of detransitioners ranges from less than one percent to as many as five percent”. As others have pointed out a 95% success rate makes sex-change surgery one of the most successful branches of medicine.

Heyer claims that 40% of trans persons attempt suicide. He does not differentiate between those who so attempt because they are not able to transition, those who are oppressed by others for being trans and those who actually regret transition.

Heyer is of course right that trans persons with substance abuse/alcoholism should get that sorted out before proceeding with transition. He is also right that those with a Dissociative disorder should get that sorted out first. The persona who becomes the final dominant persona may not want to transition.

There is a divide among trans persons between those who regard therapy as essential and those for whom such a requirement is at best an irritant. I was never offered nor ever wanted professional counselling. I was accepted after one session with Russell Reid. By that time I was working as female, and living so 24/7. I had several years in trans support groups and had talked with, even counselled, many others. I knew what I was doing, and 35 years later have no regrets. Apparently the only trans women that Heyer had met by 1981 were those in the Roadrunner bar. He was on the down-low, and had definitely not done a social transition prior to surgery.

If it actually was as Heyer tells it, Paul Walker did indeed make a serious mistake.

Heyer credits his destiny to grandma's purple dress, father's chastisement and uncle's sexual abuse.  However many children experience worse and become neither trans nor dissociative.   It is not that simple.

03 October 2021

Julia Elle Horvath (1975 - ) ballet dancer and teacher

Born in Hungary and raised in Sweden with the first name Tibor, Horvath was trained by the Kungliga Baletten (Royal Swedish Ballet) and then from age15 had a scholarship with the Hamburg Ballet School.

After final training again with the Royal Swedish Ballet School, Horvath worked with some of the most prominent ballet choreographers and danced the lead male parts. For three years 1995-8, Horvath was with the Finnish National Ballet, and performed soloist roles. In 1998 Horvath joined the English National Ballet performing in ballets including the Nutcracker and Cinderella.

Upon leaving the English National Ballet, Horvath decided to extend into other styles of dance, and worked at the Portuguese Casino Estoril and the Parisian cabaret Lido and the Moulin Rouge. In May 2005 Horvath joined the New York drag ballet troupe, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo performing under the name of Stanislas Kokotch.

In 2007, Horvath settled in Australia and began a teaching and coaching career, that was temporarily disturbed in 2011 when a student complained about being physically compelled during a lesson. The next year Studio Tibor was established in partnership with Damian Hannan.

As Julia Horvath, she began public transition in 2015.

Several of her students have gone on to become noted ballet dancers.

* Not Juliu Horvath (1942 - ) from Romania who was a ballet dancer with the New York City Opera and then the Houston Ballet in the 1970s. Nor Julia Horvath (1924-1947) US ballet dancer. Nor Julia Horvath the Austrian mezzo-soprano.

  • “Hilarious Pas de Dudes”. Daily Press, February 25, 2006. Online.
  • Deborah Jowitt. “Swan Diva”. Village Voice, Jan 2, 2007. Online.
  • “Ballet for adult beginners”. The Border Mail,April 4 2011. Archive.
  • Louise Hall. “Ballet teacher admits assault”. Sydney Morning Herald,October 12, 2011. Online.
  • “Dancer retraces her steps”. Cranbourne Star News, 30/01/2014. Online.
  • David Giammetta. “Two Greenwich dancers compete at the Youth America Grand Prix in New York”. The Daily Telegraph, March 10, 2015. Online.
  • “Ballet star Julia Horvath sentenced for negligent driving”. Daily Mail, 17 February 2017,

EN.Wikipedia    Studio Tibor     Twitter    Mildura

30 September 2021

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) and cis gender play

The fictions of Ernest Hemingway had from way back induced skepticism re his machismo and bravado. This took a more interesting turn in the late 1980s with the posthumous publication of his Garden of Eden in 1986 with its gender play and gender swapping, followed the next year by Paul Hendrickson's article for the Washington Post (which was reprinted in other publications) which interviewed Hemingway’s three sons and how they coped with his image. This was the first time that the reading public became aware that the third child, Gregory was a conflicted trans woman better known as Gloria. In 1988, Kenneth Lynn’s seminal 600-page biography opened up the field with some anecdotes to which the word ‘androgyny’ was applied, but he did not incorporate Hendrickson’s findings.

In the 30+ years since, there has been a slew of books on Hemingway’s life and works with particular attention to sex and gender. Critics and some other readers have found homoeroticism, homophobia, repressed femininity, misogyny, fetishism, sodomy, transvestity and masochism.

The Ken Burns & Lynn Novick 2021 PBS documentary, Hemingway, taken by some as revelatory, actually does not contain anything re sex or gender that was not known in the 1980s and 1990s, but does fill out the images with old newsreels and photographs.


Some comments on aspects of Hemingway’s life that have been proposed by critics as Androgyny or Pseudo-Androgyny.

Baby clothes

For the first few years of his life, young Ernest was kept in dresses. This was not unusual for his generation. If this somehow had a lasting impact, we would expect most young men in the 1920s to be closet cross-dressers.

From the 16th century and into the 20th, young boys wore skirts or dresses until roughly the age of reason (seven or so). One reasons given was toilet training. The Breeching, the first wearing of trousers was an important rite of passage, often celebrated with a small party.

Gender swapping with sister

Ernest and his sister Marcelline were 18 months apart. Their mother Grace apparently had a fantasy of having had twins. She paired them. She dressed them alike, and Marcelline was held back a year so she and Ernest could go through school in the same class.

An unusual practice. However there is no indication that this affected Marcelline’s gender identity. She married at age 25 and had three children. She had a career as a lecturer on literature and the theatre, and wrote a book about her family.

The Sun Also Rises, 1926

The word ‘androgyny’ has been used by several critics in relation to this novel.

Two characters are relevant.

Jake Barnes suffered an unstated injury in WWI and was rendered impotent. So he is a sort of eunuch. There is a traditional attitude which regards eunuchs as somehow androgynous, despite their condition being an involuntary mutilation, despite which the majority remain gynephilic with a male gender identity.

Brett Ashley is more seriously described as ‘androgynous’ although it is still androgyny light. She keeps her hair short in a masculine fashion, and is regarded as having a masculine attitude to sex in casually taking and leaving her male sex partners. She is not lesbian; she does not wear masculine clothes (in 1926 this means that she does not wear trousers). Doing things in masculine fashion was considered feminist at that time and was sometimes regarded as androgynous.

I have written an entry on trans men in the late 1920s. They were all much more androgynous and/or masculine than Brett Ashley.

The Garden of Eden, 1986

The posthumously published novel by Hemingway in which the two protagonists, David and Catherine, get the same short haircut and play games of both being the other gender.

This is apparently based on games that Ernest played with his fourth wife, Mary Welsh. They did this for a while and then desisted. It did not develop into transgender changes for either of them. Such gender play by heterosexual couples is more common than generally admitted.

Father of Gloria

It is now well known that Ernest’s third child transitioned after four wives and eight children and took the name Gloria. There are very few recorded examples of a trans woman having a trans (or trans inclined) father. Virginia Prince and her father Charles Lowman are the best known.

Meyers alone reported in 1999 of Gloria: ‘Transposing his own fantasies onto his father, he claimed that Hemingway couldn’t sleep at night because he dreamed he was a woman”.

Stoller’s concept of a toxic family

Eby draws a parallel between Grace Hemingway and her son, Ernest, and the mother-son dyads discussed in Robert Stoller’s two books called Sex and Gender. In these dyads the son becomes the mother’s “feminized phallus”. Stoller partially based his ideas on the Agnes and the Lance cases, and found a few others who fit his pattern, but they all involved childhood or teenage trans gender expression quite different from what is found in Hemingway. While Eby rewrites the Grace-Ernest dyad to approximate Stoller’s pattern, the gender expression by the boy is missing.


Fantina writes (p76)

 “If we can identify Hemingway as heterosexual but not quite straight, we can do worse than refer to him as a queer heterosexual or as transgendered even if he never cared to or dared to admit it himself” and “What Hemingway does in The Garden of Eden and elsewhere is to affirm the patriarchal social mandate while undermining it in sexual relationships. Hemingway’s male characters often engage in subversive sexual practices but they usually reaffirm other patriarchal values and always reject homosexuality. … Hemingway’s ideological identification conforms to the compulsory heterosexuality demanded of men (and women) in twentieth-century America, while his desire integrates more fluid notions of sexuality. While homosexuality can never present a viable option to Hemingway, it is too facile to call his stance a simple denial. Even if Hemingway felt homosexual desires but willed himself straight, we have to accept the results of his own personal project.”

I do not agree with Fantina, or with most of the writers listed below. 

Was Hemingway a Dark Dreamer as defined by Jack Molay: “people who have managed to suppress their transgender side completely. They are not even aware of splitting (i.e. a mental compartmentalization of their other side)”. Well, no, because of the queer suggestions that pop up in his fiction. But it is not at all clear that he was a CrossDreamer either because cross-gender dreams were only a sometime focus. We can certainly rule out negative concepts like Autogynephilia which has a historical association with the concept of CrossDreaming but is now quite distinct, in that (despite the title of Eby’s book) there is no record of anything deeper than gender play within heterosexual relationships - nothing that could seriously be designated fetishism (either the psycho-analytical usage or fetish subculture usage).

Charlotte Bach proposed that all persons, cis and trans, gynephilic, androphilic and asexual, feel a pull to be be the other sex, to attain complete individual integrity as a member of the species. This can be denied or, as she put it, asseverated. Hemingway dabbled, he indulged in gender play sometimes, but he never asseverated his potential femininity. More often he denied, and asserted his masculinity, often to the point of bombast.

To dabble is to do something intermittently or superficially, without full commitment. A trans dabbler may transvest once or twice and then desist, or write about it only a bit. Some, but by no means all, dabblers - when presented with the example of a committed trans person - will turn transphobic, as Radclyffe Hall did re Victor Barker.

We should also point out that many cis persons who are not writers will also dabble in gender play as much as Hemingway did, but not being writers do not leave a paper trail. We sometimes know of them via anecdotes and gossip, as we do with Virginia Prince’s father, the renowned orthopedic surgeon Charles Lowman. If we did not have Hemingway’s writings, anecdotes and gossip in other persons’ biographies is all that we would have, and the proposal that he was somehow trans would not have received attention.

We should also mention that trans persons often - especially in earlier years - dabble in gender play attempting either to fit in or to deconstruct the heteronormative sex-gender. Like cis-het persons dabbling in queer play, gay and trans persons do straight gender play but desist, finding that they do not fit in that role.

  • Ernest Hemingway. The Sun Also Rises. C. Scribner’s, 1926.
  • Henry King (dir). The Sun Also Rises.Scr: Peter Viertel, based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway, with Tyrone Power as Jake Barnes and Ava Gardner as Brett Ashley. US 130 mins 1957.
  • Ernest Hemingway. The Garden of Eden. C. Scribner's, 1986.
  • Paul Hendrickson. “The Hemingway Heritage: Papa's three sons are still living in conflict with the powerful image of that famous and macho writer” The Washington Post, August 23, 1987.
  • Kenneth s Lynn. Hemingway. Fawcett Columbine, 1988.
  • Mark Spilka. Hemingway’s Quarrel with Androgyny.University of Nebraska Press, 1990.
  • Nancy R Comley & Robert Scholes. Hemingway’s Genders: Rereading the Hemingway Text. Yale University Press, 1994.
  • Carl P. Eby. Hemingway’s Fetishism: Psychoanalysis and the Mirror of Manhood.State University of New York Press, 1999.
  • Jeffrey Meyers. “The Hemingways: An American Tragedy”. Virginia Quarterly Review, Spring 1999. Online.
  • Lynn Conway (ed). "The Strange Saga of Gregory Hemingway", 2003. Online.
  • Richard Fantina. Ernest Hemingway: Machismo and Masochism. Palgrave, 2005.
  • Mauricio D Aguilera Linde. “Hemingway and Gender: Biography Revisited”. Atlantis, 27,2 December 2005.
  • John Hemingway. Strange Tribe: a Family Memoir.The Lyons Press, 2007.
  • Jacob Michael Montie. Couples Therapy: Gender and Sexuality in the Sun Also Rises. MA Thesis Portland State University, 2011. Online.
  • Paul Hendrickson. Hemingway's Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, 1934-1961. Alfred A. Knopf, 2011.
  • Zagria, “Gloria Hemingway (1931-2001) writer, doctor”. A Gender Variance Who’s Who, 5 November 2011. Online.
  • Philip Kaufman (dir). Hemingway & Gellhorn. Scr: Jerry Stahl & Barbra Turner, with Clive Owen as Ernest Hemingway and Nicole Kidman as Martha Gellhorn. US 155 mins 2012.
  • Brittany J Barron. “I’ve Never Felt Such a Bitch”: Lady Brett Ashley’s Trauma and Androgyny in Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises”. Anastamos, April 2019. Online.
  • Richard Bradford. The Man Who Wasn't There : A Life of Ernest Hemingway. Tauris Parke, 2020.
  • Ken Burns & Lynn Novick (dir). Hemingway. Scr: Geoffrey C Ward. US 320 mins 2021. Webpage.
  • Mary Katherine Tramontana. “Ernest Hemingway: The Old Man and the Androgyny”. Esquire, 05/04/2021. Online.
  • Jack Molay. “Yes, Ernest Hemingway was Transgender”. CrossDreamers, April 5, 2021. Online.