Continued from Part I.
The Second Hungarian Republic (Magyar Köztársaság) was created following the formal abolition of the Hungarian monarchy in February.
István Faludi emigrated via Denmark to Brazil, and in 1953 to the US, where the name István was anglicised to Stephen.
- Anton Prinner.La femme tondue. Paris: APR, 1946.
1948Hajdu Karoly from Budapest spoke fairly good English, and managed to get into the British sector in Austria, and from there to England as a refugee. As Karl Hajdu he found work in small hotels and nightclubs, and was experimenting with cross-dressing.
- Anton Prinner. Le livre des morts des anciens Egyptiens..
The Hungarian People's Republic (Magyar Népköztársaság). The surveillance and treatment of queer persons remained the same as it had been under the monarchy, except that the police now surveilled lesbians as well.
Anita Verig Sandor, raised as a girl, at age 15 found her birth certificate that said that she was a boy. She was told to shut up and not ask questions.
Anton Prinner, having spent most of the German occupation of France in hiding, in 1950 settled in Vallauris, close to Antibes and to Italy, as had Picasso. He made ceramics and sculptures, including esoteric statues and protective deities. After 1954 Prinner discovered a passion for ancient Egypt and esotericism. He did an androgynous female Pharaoh, and a female Buddha.
The Hungarian Uprising.
When the Hungarian Uprising began in October 1956, Anita was afraid of being raped by the Russians, so she cut her hair, dressed in some of her father’s clothes and fled to the West. As Sandor he was shot in the knee, and was two months in hospital before getting to England.
After the Hungarian Uprising, Karl Hajdu in London collected ₤2,000 to send ‘freedom fighters’ into Hungary, and led a march to Downing Street. However he was not able to explain where the money went.
Karl Hajdu was pressed into bankruptcy listing 26 creditors, and returned to cross-dressing. He took the name of Michael Karoly and took a course in hypnotherapy. He never graduated but set up in business as a hypnotherapist anyway. He was also commissioned by Paul Elek, a Hungarian, to write a book on hypnosis. The book, the only one of his ever published, includes an early explanation of the joys of cross-dressing, and many of the patients in the book are aspects of himself.
Sandor, presenting as a man, found work in a London hotel stillroom, and met and married a French woman in 1959. They had two sons, but separated after four years, and were divorced in 1967, with the wife retaining custody of the children.
Decriminalisation in Hungary of Homosexuality. Six years before England.
- Michael B. Karoly. Hypnosis. Elek, 1961.
Gobbi Hilda, an award-winning Hungarian actress, known for her portrayals of elderly women. During the German occupation she had worked with the Resistance distributing forged documents to exempt men from military service. She was a member of the Communist Party until 1956, when she left over ideological differences feeling that it had abandoned the people. Even before 1961 she was openly lesbian and frequently wore men’s clothing.
Karl Hajdu was charged at Knebworth with a breach of the peace after being arrested dressed as female. He separated from his wife, founded Divorcees Anonymous and seduced several of the women who attended. After a denouncing article in the Sunday People, both his hypnosis patients and members of Divorcees Anonymous stayed away. Later that year both his wife and her son died in separate incidents.
Anton Prinner returned to Paris, and to painting, and was exhibited.
15-year-old, Russian-born El Kazovsky moved to Budapest.
European Athletics Championships held in Budapest, with visual inspection sex testing of all 243 female athletes by 3 female doctors. The intersex athlete Ewa Kłobukowska passed the sex test and won two gold medals.
The New Economic Mechanism (NEM) introduced free-market elements into the socialist command economy. As a result of a relatively high standard of living, a more liberalised economy, a less censored press, and less restricted travel rights, Hungary was generally considered one of the more liberal countries in Eastern Europe.
Karl Hajdu/Michael Karoly changed her name by deed poll in 1970 to Charlotte Maria Beatrix Augusta Hajdu, but normally used the surname Bach. She started writing the enormously long Homo Mutans, Homo Luminens which presents the transsexual urge as the key to human evolution, but could not interest any publishers.
Thomas Kando, born in Hungary and educated at the Universities of Amsterdam and Minnesota, was looking for a dissertation topic when Minnesota’s medical school did its first sex-change operations. He interviewed 17 post-op MTFs, aged 21 to 55, two weeks to two years post-op. He found his subjects to be more stereotypically feminine than other women, and referred to them as ‘reactionary’ and ‘the uncle toms of the sexual revolution’.
- Thomas Kando. “Passing and Stigma Management: The Case of the Transsexual’.The Sociological Quarterly13, Fall 1972.
- Thomas Kando. Sex Change;The Achievement of Gender Identity Among Feminized Transsexuals. Springfield, Ill: Thomas 1973.
After the 1967 divorce, Anita returned to living as a woman. She was working as a cinema usherette when she met 17-year-old Peter, a building labourer. They socialised and went on holidays with the other building workers. The major problem was his parents who objected to Anita being so much older.
She had applied for a sex-change operation as it was then known. Peter accepted this and they were able to get a council flat in Islington, north London. In 1976 they decided to get married at an Anglican church in Hackney. She explained that she had lost her birth certificate in flight from Hungary. So they had to go to a solicitor and swear a declaration that she was Anita Verig Sandor born in 1940. There were 50 guests at the wedding, and the vicar attended the reception.
- Anton Prinner & Lionel Le Barzic. Le Tarot ésotérique et poétique de Prinner: et le développement scientifique, poétique, anecdotique de la cartomancie. [S.l.]: Édition Aujourd'hui, 1976.
The age of consent for gay sex set at 18 in new Hungarian Penal Code.
The English writer Colin Wilson having read Charlotte Bach’s Homo Mutans, Homo Luminens, interviewed her for the magazine Time Out, and featured her prominently in his book, Mysteries, 1978.
- Colin Wilson. Mysteries: An Investigation into the Occult, the Paranormal and the Supernatural.Putnam, 1978 : Grafton Books 1979: 514-523. With a significant section on Charlotte Bach.
- Ray Chapman. “Secret of the bride in white: she’s the father of two sons”. The News of the World, 25 March 1979. Online. About Anita Sandor.
- Janice G. Raymond. The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-male.Beacon Press. 1979: 79-86. Includes 7 pages enthusiastically summarising the work of Hungarian Thomas Kando.
- Thomas Szasz, (Szász Tamás István) “Male and Female He Created Them: review of The Transsexual Empire: The Making Of The She-Maleby Janice G. Raymond”, New York Times Book Review, June 10, 1979: 11, 39. Reprinted in Thomas Szasz. The Therapeutic State. Prometheus Books. 1984: 327-9. Hungarian-born Szasz enthusiasticly reviewed Raymond’s book, which was quoted on both the back and front of the reprint of her book.
- Thomas Szasz.Sex by Prescription. Anchor Press/Doubleday 198 pp 1980: 86-92. He refers to trans women as ‘he’ etc; compares the operation to clitorectomy; sees sex change as a fraud, accepts uncritically the study that justified the ending of surgery at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, ignoring all the methodological problems that have been raised, but does not respect the decision made by the individual transsexual. He embraces Janice Raymond's claim that sex changes are anti-feminist, and his review of her book is quoted on both its front and back pages. He has said “If a man cuts off his own penis psychiatrists call him a schizophrenic, but if he can persuade a surgeon to cut it off for him, then they call him a transsexual”.
Charlotte Bach died of untreated liver cancer, having refused to go to a doctor, at the age of 60. The revelation that she was a ‘man’ was a surprise to Colin Wilson.
- Makk Károly & Xantus János(dir) . Egymásra nézve(Another Way), Scr: Makk Károly & Galgóczi Erzsébet, based on the novel by Galgóczi. Hungary 102 mins 1982. It won the Best Actress award at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Palme d'Or. A film about the difficulties of being lesbian in Hungary at that time, which became a cult film for lesbian audiences in eastern Europe.
Anton Prinner died in poverty at age 81. Prinner had never returned to Hungary except for a quick visit in 1930, and never discussed his gender change.
- Anton Prinner,. Anton Prinner, 1902-1983. Paris: Binoche et Godeau, 1985.
The Homeros Society, Hungary's first gay organization, was founded. Initially a social group, it quickly evolved a political side.
All police files about and the registry of homosexuals disappeared and were most likely destroyed by the Communist Party during or shortly after the democratic changes.
May: Free elections held. Power then alternated at each election between the Democratic Forum (conservative) and the Socialist Party.
After the end of the Communist regime, Faludi visited his parents in Israel, the only time that he ever did so. He then moved to Budapest. He attempted to get the deeds of the buildings that the family used to own in Budapest, and then attempted to reclaim the buildings, but without success.
US inventor William Nelson had created the EPFX (Electro-Physio-Feedback-Xrroid System), which he said would diagnose and eliminate all diseases from Aids to cancer. The US Food and Drug Administration indicted him on felony fraud charges in 1996, and he relocated to Budapest.
Parliament passed a law that recognised unregistered cohabitations. It applied to any couple living together in an economic and sexual relationship (common-law marriage), including same-sex couples. No official registration was required. The law gave some specified rights and benefits to any two persons living together.
First LGBT Pride in Budapest - the first in Eastern Europe. This became an annual event.
William Nelson became Desiré Dubounet. She performed with her band, Hunz, at conventions for fans of her machines and in her own club. She also made films at a Budapest studio, and was an activist for LGBT rights in Hungary.
A Constitutional Court decision set the gay age of consent to be the same as for heterosexual activity, that is 14.
- lFrancis Wheen. Who was Dr Charlotte Bach?Short Books, 2002.
As part of the preparation to join the European Union, Hungary passed the Equal Treatment Act. They were so eager that they added extra categories: in addition to race, religion and sex they included ‘family status’, ‘motherhood’, ‘fatherhood’, ‘circumstances of wealth and birth’, ‘social origin’, ‘state of health’, ‘language’, ‘part-time work status’, and ‘trade union representatives’. They also added ‘gender identity’, which made Hungary the first country in the world to do so. However the legislation was very far in front of public opinion, and while gender changes became legally recognised, public acceptance was low.
At age 76, Faludi, now using the name Stefánie, had vaginoplasty and breast augmentation with Dr Sanguan Kunaporn in Phuket, Thailand. At this stage she had minimal experience of going out as a women – she had done this mainly in Vienna, rather than Budapest. As she did not have psychologists’ letters that approved her for surgery, Faludi wrote a letter as if from a Hungarian friend, and this was accepted by Dr Kunaporn. She also deducted 10 years from her age, in case she was rejected for being too old. Faludi flew out in men’s clothes and with women’s clothes for after surgery, and with several cameras, a tripod, a videocam, a computer and DVD player, and a suitcase full of films, music, and opera recordings. Faludi was able to persuade Kunaporn’s staff to film the operation.
Later in 2004, after a quarter century of non communication, Stefánie contacted her daughter Susan Faludi who had become a well-known author in the US with her books Backlash, 1991, and Stiffed, 1999. Susan visited her father in Budapest several times.
Parliament adopted a registered partnership bill submitted by the Hungarian Socialist Party–Alliance of Free Democrats Government. The bill was found unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court because it duplicated the institution of marriage for opposite-sex couples. In February 2009, the Parliament approval a modified version of the bill. Since 1 July 2009, same-sex couples could enter into registered partnerships. The law gave the same rights to registered partners as to spouses except for adoption, assisted reproduction or taking a surname.
The first year that LGBT Pride was violently attacked.
Budapest hosted Mr Gay Europe as part of Pride Island Europa, Central and Eastern Europe's largest new International GLBTQ celebration
- Bence Solymar & Judit Takacs. “Wrong Bodies and Real Selves: Transsexual People in the Hungarian Social and Health Care System”. In Roman Kuhar & Judit Takacs, Beyond the Pink Curtain: Everyday Life if LGBT People in Eastern Europe. Peace Institute, 2007.
More violent attacks during LGBT Pride. An amendment to punish violent behaviour aimed at hindering other persons’ participation in a public demonstration was adopted in the Criminal Code.
El Kazovsky, one of Hungary’s leading painters, died age 60. Although AFAB he had lived his life as an androphilic man.
Budapest hosted Mr Gay Europe again.
Transvanilla Transgender Association (Transvanilla Transznemü Egyesület) activist group founded
Andrea and Balazs, marriage of a trans man and a trans woman.
Singer Szecsődi Kári came out as trans in a television interview. She defined herself as “not a boy, not a girl, not straight, not bisexual, not gay, just me”.
Szecsődi Kári had top surgery.
Budapest hosted the gay EuroGames.
A new constitution, enacted by the Parliament in 2011, came into effect, restricting marriage to heterosexuals, and removed all protections from discrimination for GLBT persons. However the 2003 Equal Treatment Act was still in effect.
The Jobbik party introduced a constitutional amendment to the Parliament seeking to ban "the promotion of sexual deviations". The amendment would punish the "promotion of homosexuality or other disorders of sexual behaviour" with up to eight years in prison. The amendment ultimately failed to pass.
5th European Transgender Council held in Budapest.
Stefánie Faludi died age 88. Daughter Susan was working on a biography, but also an account of her own discovery of her father’s womanhood and of the history of Hungary.
Hungarian-born Swedish ballet dancer, ballet teacher, and former soloist with the Finnish National Ballet, Julia Horvath, transitioned.
- Susan Faludi. In the Darkroom. Henry Holt and Company, 2016.
December: A government decree was published, establishing for the first time a legal basis for gender transitions. After 1 January 2018, transgender people living in Hungary were theoretically able to change their legal gender. They required a diagnosis from a medical professional, but did not have to undergo hormone therapy, sterilization or sex reassignment surgery.
Transvanilla reports that the government was refusing to honour applications for the legal gender change.
A joint case of 23 trans people was created and submitted to the European Court of Human Rights in that their rights are being denied.
During the Coronavirus lockdown Orbán Viktor was enabled to rule by decree following an emergency powers act. On 31 March, the Transgender Day of Visibility, a bill was submitted that redefined the Hungarian term "nem", which may mean either "sex" or "gender", to mean sex at birth, defined as "the biological sex determined by primary sexual characteristics and chromosomes". Parliament voted in favour of the bill on 19 May 2020, making it impossible for individuals to change their legal gender. The vote was 134 yes, 56 no, and 4 abstentions. Dunja Mijatović, commissioner for human rights in the Council of Europe, stated it "contravenes human rights standards and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights"
December: the Equal Treatment Authority (ETA) was abolished. Its duties, including the legal protection against racial, gender and other discrimination, were taken over by the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights. ILGA expressed grave concerns.
June: a new law prohibiting the showing of "any content portraying or promoting sex reassignment or homosexuality" to minors.
The following were consulted.
- Francis Wheen. Who was Dr Charlotte Bach? Short Books, 2002.
- Geertje Mak. "Sandor/Sarolta Vay: From Passing Woman to Sexual Invert". Journal of Women's History. 16 (1) 2004: 54–77.
- Linda Rapp. Hungary. glbtq, 2004.
- Bence Solymar & Judit Takacs. “Wrong Bodies and Real Selves: Transsexual People in the Hungarian Social and Health Care System”. In Roman Kuhar & Judit Takacs, Beyond the Pink Curtain: Everyday Life if LGBT People in Eastern Europe.Peace Institute, 2007.
- Judit Takács. “Queering Budapest”. In Matt Cook & Jennifer V Evans (eds). Queer Cities, Queer Cultures: Europe since 1945. Bloombuey, 2014: 191-210.
- Tamas Bezsenyi. “The Great War in the Backyard: The Unsettling Case of a Rural Hit(Wo)man”. In Nari Shelekpayev, Francois-Oliver Dorais, Daria Dyakonova & Solene Maillet (eds). Empires, Nations and Private Lives: Essays on the Social and Cultural History of the Great War. Cambridge Scholars Publishers, 2016.
- Susan Faludi.In the Darkroom. Henry Holt and Company, 2016.