This site is the most comprehensive on the web devoted to trans history and biography. Well over 1700 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 2023

Benjamin's Newer Aspects of the Transsexual Phenomenon

Harry Benjamin published The Transsexual Phenomenon in 1966. Two years later he presented a paper at the American Psychiatric Association meeting in Boston, May 1968., in which he gave some afterthoughts.

At that time, he was able to say (using the old system of genderizing a person by birth sex): 

“My observation of transsexual patients dates back more than sixteen years. Their total number now stands at 439: 387 males, 52 females”.

On the issue of etiology, he said: 

“I am in full agreement with those who believe in a multiplicity of determinants for cross-gender identity, be it in the field of psychology or biology. To my clinical sense, however, a prenatal, neuro-endocrine disorder appeals most for the majority of cases. It offers to me the most likely explanation why psychotherapy cannot cure the transsexual, why the emotional distress goes to such depths as to demand surgery, and why endocrine therapy often brings such dramatic relief. This relief, however, is palliative only. None of our present therapeutic efforts are curative in a sense that the psychological sex will be brought to conform with the anatomical. Until the future can provide new psychiatric or chemical weapons, symptomatic treatment with more or less effective alleviation is all we can offer at present to these often tormented people.

“In spite of poor prognosis, I feel that an attempt should always be made, with the help of psychotherapy in whatever form, to induce the patient to accept himself (or herself) in the role of his anatomical sex. Usually the patient will resist all such attempts because they ‘go against the grain of the inner self’.”

He then mentions use of the anti-epilepsy drug Dilantin based on findings by Swedish sexologist Jan Wälinder who had found an abnormal EEG in “28% of a group of transvestites and transsexuals”. Wälinder gave an anti-convulsant drug to in a patient who had developed “transvestitic and transsexual tendencies” together with epileptic seizures after a brain injury, with the result that the obsessive desire to dress was abolished. Benjamin tried Dilantin with a few transvestites who wanted to be cured, and to two transsexuals who were willing to experiment. This apparently worked for some of the transvestites who desisted [for a while at least] but it had no effect on the transsexuals.

Benjamin does not mention this, but Lyn Raskin, who published a rather racy Diary of a Transsexual a few years later, was given a prescription of Dilantin by a deceitful doctor – and it had no effect at all on her yearning to be a woman.

Benjamin continued by noting that there are three types of relief for a ‘male transsexual’: dressing, endocrine therapy and surgery. 

“But neither dressing nor hormone therapy can be depended upon to accomplish enough for the true transsexual. It can allay but rarely replace the demand for the third alternative, which is sex-reassignment surgery. It is hardly necessary to emphasize its radical, irrevocable and controversial nature. Its pros and cons can tax the physician's conscience to the utmost.” 

He admits to two nightmares: 1) self-mutilation or suicide when transgender surgery is denied or otherwise unavailable 2) post operative regret. Both had occurred. On regret: 

“Actually, there was hardly ever admission to that effect, but that means little. It would be difficult to admit to such a mistake. In possibly 4 to 5% of the operated male transsexuals (and in one female), I have a lingering suspicion that there is a degree of remorse and they would undo what was done, if it were possible.” 

He suggests that psychiatric evaluation with a “prolonged period of observation, up to a year”. He continues: 

“Alas, such is more often a pious wish than a clinical reality. Too often, transsexuals make their own decisions, find their surgeon and, under the driving and blinding force of their sex and gender confusion, act without anyone's consent or recommendation.”

He criticizes the lack of support by doctors: 

“Among them are puritanical and other prejudices, politics, a too dogmatic adherence to psychoanalytic theories”.

He also criticizes: 

“The selfishness, unreliability and questionable ethical concepts of some male and female transsexuals have undoubtedly deprived many of them of the otherwise fully deserved interest and sympathy on the part of the medical profession. Fortunately, there are also those whose touching gratitude and loyalty make up for the deplorable defects of the others.” 

He mentions a scare in 1968 when the British Medical Journal reported the cases of two transsexuals who had conversion operations, had also received breast implants and unknown but probably large doses of estrogen by various methods of administration. Both died of breast cancer. This was publicized by the New York Times. However Benjamin was able to report from his own files: 

“Among more than 300 patients under estrogen medication, not a single case of malignancy was observed in sixteen years. Common sense must tell us that, since a small number of the male population does develop breast cancer, a male transsexual, treated or not, may well be among them.”

He regrets to inform us that although the number of post-operative transsexuals in New York State had significantly increased, applications for legal change of status continued to be denied on the grounds that “the ‘chromosomal male’ is more important than an ‘ostensible female’."

In conclusion he says:

“Transsexuals can be diagnosed by their life's history, showing cross-gender identity from earliest childhood on, by their pronounced emotional rejection of their genitalia and their secondary sex characters, and also by their insistence upon a surgical transformation.

Transsexuals, as a rule, are definitely not psychotic, but often show mental peculiarities aside from their sex and gender role disharmony, peculiarities that can contain neurotic, depressive, paranoid, schizoid, or merely sociopathic and eccentric features. Asexuality is by no means rare. There can also be an unfortunate character defect which I have come to think of as the "transsexual character."

Gender role disorientation has been observed in several schizophrenics.

Transsexuals are deeply disturbed, unhappy people who deserve more sympathy and attention than they have so far received.

Psychotherapy in presently available forms is without value.

Endocrine therapy is usually of sufficiently great benefit as to be indispensable. Oral medication is adequate for the majority of patients, although injections are more effective.

Liver function tests are advisable from time to time under estrogen therapy, especially if there is a history of hepatitis. Thrombophlebitis is a contraindication for large doses.

Sex reassignment surgery is requested by almost all true transsexuals. It is fully indicated in some, and not indicated in others (as too much of a gamble). Patients' families have to be earnestly considered. It is just as wrong to reject the operation as a matter of principle as it is to grant surgery for everyone who wants it and can pay for it. Sometimes, however, the question arises what may be the lesser evil.

The results of the operation are favorable, to a greater or lesser degree, in more than 75% of the patients that I have observed. Their lives have been made more contented, although by no means free from emotional and social problems and complaints. After all, they are still the same individuals, yet sufficiently improved in their ad-justment to life and less troubled so that they have a better chance to be productive and to pursue happiness.”


Benjamin’s paper was printed in The Journal of Sex Research, 5,2, May 1969.

  • Jan Wälinder.  Transsexualism: a study of forty-three cases. Goteborg Akademiforlaget, 1967.
  • W St C Symmers. “Carcinoma of Breast in Trans-sexual Individuals after Surgical and Hormonal Interference with the Primary and Secondary Sex Characteristics”. British Medical Journal, 2, 1968: 83-85.
  • New York Times, April 11, 1968.
  • Lyn Raskin. Diary of a Transsexual. The Olympia Press, 1971: 38.

29 March 2023

Navigating this encyclopedia

I have had a few emails recently that mentioned difficulties in finding particular entries in this encyclopedia.    I had realised that some time ago and wrote a navigation guide, which I placed as one of the hearders on each page.

For your convenience I repeat here what it says in that header:


The Gender Variant Who’s Who Encyclopedia has been going since 2007.  There are in excess of 1700 entries, and thus some navigation aids are required.

Ways of navigating:

a) Start with the most current and read each entry in reverse chronological fashion.  No-one is known to have reached the earliest entry this way.

b) In any search engine:   

“whatever” site:    

This is statistically the most common way, although not the most recommended.

c) There is a site search box at the top-lefthand corner, and another in the sidebar.   They work quite well, and may offer more than one article featuring your search term.

d) The Indices.  There are four.  By default you are in the “Main” mode.   See the Horizontal menu close to the top of the page if in a browser, or the drop-down menu if on a phone.  There are 16 other modes.   The first four after "Main" and "About Zagria" are Index, Cis Index, Media Index and Place Index.   These four are updated at the end of each quarter.  The first contains a list of all trans persons for whom there are entries.  They are sorted by occupation and/or avocation.   There is also a section on the different kinds of Changing Back; on traditional third gender roles, and on other groupings (Pansy, Imperial Court, Eurovision, Sexology Magazine, HBIGDA/WPATH, IFGE, Autogynephilia, HBS etc).   A Section on Legal Cases;  

e) The second index is of Cis persons who are found in our history:  doctors, lawyers, spouses, nemeses, etc.

f) The third index is media:  Books, Film and Television, Music, Untruths, Pictures, Lists.

g) The fourth Index is Place:  London, Paris, Casablanca, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Moscow, Dublin, New York, Chicago, Baltimore, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Trinidad Colorado, Seattle, Portland, Atlanta, Toronto, Sydney, Buenos Aires, etc

h) Links.   Many of the articles have links to other articles.   This is probably the most fun way to navigate.  Just click on the link and go.

i) Labels.   Most of the articles have labels at the bottom.   Click on any of the labels to go to other articles with the same label.  In addition, if you scroll to the almost bottom of the right sidebar, there is an alphabetical list of all labels with a count of the number of associated articles.   Again just click and go.

j) Close to the top of the sidebar, under one of the two search boxes. there is a item, Popular Posts, which shows the most popular posts of the last seven days.

k) Below that is a Blog Archive.   This allows you to select a month and then the articles published that month.  If you have navigated in by another method, you will notice that this archive is open for the month  of the current article. 

If you are looking for a particular trans person, the first Index is the recommended approach.   Use ctrl-F, find in page. 

24 March 2023

Lucy Salani (1924-2023) upholsterer, concentration camp survivor

Salani was born in Fassano in Piedmont, and raised in Bologna with the name Luciano. As a teenager Salani was unsure of what she was, information about Hirschfeld’s clinic and what it achieved being unavailable in Mussolini’s Italy. Salani adopted the self description of homosexual, even though it did not properly fit. Homosexuality as a crime had been removed from the 1889 Italian criminal code, although the Fascisti often acted as if it were still illegal. This self description led to estrangement from her family. 

In August 1943 the 19-year-old Salani was called to be conscripted into the army. As homosexuals were prohibited from the army Salani admitted being such, but this was ignored as many claimed the same to avoid being drafted. Salani was assigned to an artillery unit. A month later Italy surrendered to the Allies – the Armistice of Cassible. Germany quickly occupied most of Italy and set up a puppet state, Repubblica Sociale Italiana, also known as Repubblica di Salò. Salani, not wanting to fight for Germany, changed to civilian clothes and walked home to Bologna. The family was fearful of reprisals and Salani hid with another deserter. However they were found and beaten and Salani was inducted into the Wehrmacht, and was assigned to an anti-aircraft unit in a suburb of Bologna. After a bout of bronchitis, Salani was hospitalised and deserted again, and survived in Bologna as a sex worker with even German officers as clients. However she was recognised. Salani was sentenced to a forced labour camp over the border in Bernau am Chiemsee, working on parts for the V-1 rockets. With another inmate, Salani escaped. However they got on the wrong train and ended up in Berlin rather than Italy. When they were recaptured the friend ran and was shot dead: Salani was this time, October 1944, deported to the Dachau concentration camp, and had to wear a Pink Triangle. Salani had the task of marking corpses with number plates and transporting them to the crematorium or mass grave on carts. The camp was liberated by US troops 29 April 1945. While many inmates were compelled into death marches away from the camp as US troops approached, Salani was in a group that was lined up and machine-gunned. Salani was hit in the leg but was found alive under some dead inmates. 

The Salani family was amazed at her return and actually threw a party in celebration, but the estrangement over her gender continued. She left Bologna, worked for a while in a drag show, and worked as a prostitute. In Turin she managed to find work in an upholstery shop that employed women – unusual at that time. Lucy made trips to Paris and met trans women there. In the 1980s she accompanied two trans friends to London where they had transgender surgery, and later she also had the operation. However she was left with no sensation in the genital area.

At the end of the 1980s, Lucy returned to Bologna to look after her elderly parents. By the 2010s she was living alone, until discovered by LGBT groups, Movimento Identità Trans and Arcigay. She became an advocate for concentration camp survivors criticising how they were ignored and forgotten. She did receive 5 million lira (less than €3000) compensation. She applied to enter retirement homes but was rejected in that she did not have a male body to use male toilets, and could not use the female ones in that it said ‘male’ on her identity papers.

In 2009 Gabriella Romano published Lucy’s biography in book form, and two years later as a documentary film. Lucy was featured in two other films: Felice chi è diverso and C'è un soffio di vita soltanto, and appeared on various television programs.

On 2020 Lucy was awarded the Turrita di Bronzo from the city of Bologna.

She died in 2023, at the age of 98.

  • Gabriella Romano. Il mio nome è Lucy: L’Italia del XX secolo nei ricordi di una transessuale. Donzelli Editore, 2009 .
  • Gabriella Romano (dir) Essere Lucy with Lucy Salani, Italy 2011.
  • Gianna Amelio (dir). Felice chi è diverso, with Lucy Salani. Italy 93 mins 2014. IMDB 

  • Matteo Botrugno & Daniele Coluccini (dir). C'è un soffio di vita soltanto, with Lucy Salani. Italy 95 mins 2021. IMDB.
  • Noemi di Leonardo. “Addio a Lucy Salani, unica transessuale sopravvissuta al lager di Dachau”. Bologna Today, 22 Marzo 2023. Online.

IT.Wikipedia           DE.Wikipedia

08 March 2023

Oli London (1990 - ) influencer, temporary trans person

London was born and raised in London. In 2013 he went to Seoul, Korea to teach English. He took to the South Korean culture and their music, and especially became obsessed with Jimin of the boy band BTS. 

London underwent 18 cosmetic surgeries in S Korea, China, Poland and Armenia costing over $150,000 to resemble Jimin. In November 2019 he appeared on the US reality show Botched, and discussed his operations. He was warned that after five rhinoplasties another risked necrosis and the loss of his nose, and they declined to operate on him. By this time London was a famous ‘influencer’ with ‘millions’ of followers on Tiktok and Instagram, and released several KPop style records.

By 2021 London publicly identified as a non-binary Korean – to backlash in Korea where they was criticised as merely using Korea for fame and attention. In August 2022, by which time they had had 32 surgeries, they apologised to Jimin and other Asians that such obsessive emulation was wrong. 

By that time London had announced that she was a genderfluid trans woman, and had married porn-actor Danny Richardson. She intended to get surgeries to look like the female Korean singer Rosé. She talked about going to Bangkok for genital surgery and breast implants- but she never started on female hormones. 

However by October London had changed his mind, reverted to being male and using male pronouns and divorced his husband. Around the same time he visited a church and started reading the Bible. He has been embraced by conservatives and Christians, has adopted their negative attitude to trans persons, and has a book coming out about his life and his new opinions. He has jumped on the bandwagon of condemming the Scottish self-id law despite similar laws working just fine in Argentina, Ireland and many other countries.


Of course one cannot detransition if one has not transitioned. A few months of claiming to be trans on social media is not in itself transition. London could have called his book A Change of Mind or even Changeback (a wider term than Detransition) – but he never stuck with it long enough to call it Detransition

We should note that while London had extensive homeogender surgery, he had no transgender surgery. 

Why is it that so many of those who start on the transgender journey and find that it is not for them, then want to prohibit it for other persons?   For other examples click, .

  • “BTS Jimin Superfan Oli London appears on U.S. TV Show E! Botched”. All K Pop, November 13, 2019. Online.
  • Peter Conte. “BTS fan Oli London's shocking transformation to look like K-Pop idol”., Nov 19, 2019. Online.
  • “Oli London identifies as a Non-Binary Korean and netizens angered as they believe he doesn't really like South Korea or Jimin but he's just using them for attention” Allkpop, June 25, 2021. Online.
  • Angie Hernandez. “Influencer Oli London Apologizes for Getting Surgery to Look Like BTS’ Jimin”. E! Online, Sep 01, 2022. Online.
  • Angie Hernandez. “Influencer Oli London Shares He’s Detransitioning Back to Male“. E! Online, Oct 14, 2022. Online.
  • Oli London. “Oli London: I’ve rejected my trans identity to follow Jesus. Now I want to be baptised”. Premier Christianity, 1 November 2022. Online.
  • Edie Heipel. “De-transitioner Oli London shares conversion to Christianity”. Catholic News Agency, Nov 4, 2022. Online.
  • “British Influencer Oli London Files For Divorce After Just 7 Months Of Marriage After Admitting Resemblance to Kpop Star Was An Attraction”. Towleroad, January 16, 2023. Online.
  • John James. “I spent £250,000 to look like a Korean woman... but I've gone back to being a MAN: 'De-transitioner's journey to the opposite gender and back again”. Daily Mail, 26 February 2023. Online.
  • Oli London. Detransition: a memoir. Skyhorse Publishing, 2023.

EN.Wikipedia    IMDB     Spotify

05 March 2023

Georgina Beyer (1957 - 2023) actress, sex worker, politician.

++Original version posted January 2013.

George Bertrand was a Maori of Te Ati Awa, Ngati Mutunga, Ngati Raukawa, and Ngati Porou descent.  A second child was adopted out.  The father quickly disappeared, and the elder was at first raised on the mother's parents farm. He became George Beyer when his mother Noeline remarried in 1962 to Colin Beyer, a lawyer who later became a Securities Commissioner, and they moved to Wellington.

From 1969-71 George attended the all-boys Wellesley College where he was a few years behind Claudia McKay who was an activist with the trans group Agender (archive).

Noeline and Colin separated in 1971. Young Beyer began acting while at school, and left at 16 intending to be an actor.

A year later Georgina started living as female. She worked as a drag queen, stripper and prostitute in Wellington and in Sydney, Australia. At one point she was beaten and gang-raped. However she persevered and completed transition in 1984.

She acted on stage and in several television productions, and was nominated for best actress in the New Zealand Gofta Awards for her part in Jewel's Darl, 1985.

She moved to rural Carterton (map) and found work as a radio host and social worker. She was quite open about her gender history:
"Children would say to me, 'Are you that queer that's moved into town?' I would say 'Yes, I'm a transsexual. I used to be a man, but I'm a woman now.'"
Georgina was elected to a local school board, and lost in an attempt for the town council by only 14 votes. She was elected mayor in 1995, and then in 1999 ran as the Wairarapa Labour candidate for Parliament. As a left-wing Maori trans woman it was not expected that she would win in such a traditionally conservative district. However, her opponent's negative campaign strategy backfired, and Beyer won the seat. In her maiden speech she said:
"Mr. Speaker, I can't help but mention the number of firsts that are in this Parliament. Our first Rastafarian [Nándor Tánczos]… our first Polynesian woman… and yes, I have to say it, I guess, I am the first transsexual in New Zealand to be standing in this House of Parliament. This is a first not only in New Zealand, ladies and gentlemen, but also in the world. This is an historic moment. We need to acknowledge that this country of ours leads the way in so many aspects. We have led the way for women getting the vote. We have led the way in the past, and I hope we will do so again in the future in social policy and certainly in human rights."
In 2003 she helped to pass the Prostitution Reform Act, which made New Zealand laws on prostitution a liberal model. She opened her speech:

"Madam Speaker, I shall take the liberty of assuming that I am the only member of this House with first-hand knowledge of the sex industry".
In 2004 she was a proponent of the Civil Union Bill, which gave the rights of marriage to same-sex couples. She also attempted to introduce a private members Bill to add 'Gender Identity' to the Human Rights Act of 1993, but found herself alone when the acting Solicitor General opined that trans people were already covered by the Act, and the amendment was unnecessary. However she did persuade both the Solicitor General and the Attorney General to sign a statement to that effect, thereby putting that interpretation into law.

She has been a Justice of the Peace since 1997. She was also named Supreme Queer of the Year in 2000. In 2005, she stepped down as a representative for Wairarapa because of a conflict with her identity as a Maori with respect to the Seabed and foreshore legislation. She became a list Labour MP until 2007.

There had been a series of murders in Wairarapa in the early 2000s, and and she worked as a member of Violence-Free Wairarapa. Unlike other ex-MPs she was unable to get a position on any government boards despite Labour still being in power. She considered returning to show business, but without success.
Beyer was a Keynote speaker at the First International Conference on LGBT Human Rights in Montreal, 2006, the Asia Pacific Outgames Human Rights Conference in Melbourne, 2008, and at the Second International in Copenhagen, 2009, and at Egale Canada's Human Rights Trust in Toronto, 2010. A film based on her life, Girl, was made in 2008.

In 2010 there was talk of her running for mayor of Masterton, which lost her her job at a local jewellors. In 2011 she was living on unemployment benefits, and had been obliged to sell her house.


In 2013 Georgina was diagnosed with end stage renal failure, required dialysis four times a day, seven days a week.  Despite this she ran, albeit unsuccessfully, in the 2014 general election for the Mana Party in the Te Tai Tonga constituency.  However she was critical of Mana’s alliance with the Internet Party which was dominated by Kim Dotcom.

In 2017 She received a kidney transplant, and, no longer needing dialysis, was able to resume public appearances.

In 2020 Georgina was  appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to LGBTIQA+ rights.

Georgina Beyer died in a Hospice in Wellington in March 2023.

  • Georgina Beyer with Cathy Casey. Change for the better: the story of Georgina Beyer. Auckland: Random House New Zealand, 163 pp 1999.
  • Peter Wells & Annie Goldson (dir) Georgie Girl. With Georgina Beyer. NZ 2001.
  • Matt & Andrej Koymasky. "Georgina Beyer". The Living Room, March 12th 2004. Online.
  • Ryan Brown-Haysom. “Beyer Beware”. Critic Magazine. 2005
  • Matt Akersten. "She'll be right - Georgina Beyer keeps it Kiwi". GayNZ, 23rd November 2008. Online.
  • Jack Barlow. "Former MP Georgina Beyer unemployed". Stuff, 17/12/2011. Online.
  • Joseph Romanos."Georgina Beyer : From drag queen to Member of Parliament". New Zealand's Top 100 History-Makers. Wellington: Trio Books, 2012.
  • “Georgina Beyer: First transsexual in the world to be elected deputy”. Trans.Ilga. Online.
  • Danya Levy. "Boys' school with two 'old girls' ". Stuff, 22/03/2012. Online.
  •   “New Zealand: World’s first trans MP suffering kidney failure”.  Pink News, May 05 2013.  Online
  • David Herkt.  “Georgina Beyer: From boy to woman to warrior”.  NZ Herald, 12 Oct, 2018.  Online.
  • Bess Manson. “Georgina Beyer is back and ready for some fighting talk”. Stuff, Oct 13 2018.  Online.
  • Trailblazing MP Georgina Beyer dies aged 65”. 1News, 6 Mar 2023.  Online.
  •  World’s first openly transgender MP, Georgina Beyer, dies in New Zealand aged 65”,  Australian Associated Press, 6 Mar 2023.  Online.


The pinkwashing of Hershey's chocolate

There have been various articles about Hershey's using a trans model in an advertisement.

Personally when buying chocolate I always avoid Hershey's.  When I can get Ritter or Waterbridge, why would I even consider Hershey's?

However more seriously...

From Wikipedia:   

In 2019, Hershey announced that they could not guarantee that their chocolate products were free from child slave labor, as they could trace only about 50% of their purchasing back to the farm level. According to The Washington Post noted that the commitment taken in 2001 to eradicate such practices within four years had not been kept, neither at the due deadline of 2005, nor within the revised deadlines of 2008 and 2010, and that the result was not likely to be achieved for 2020.

In 2021, Hershey was named in a class action lawsuit filed by eight former child slaves from Mali who alleged that the company aided and abetted their enslavement on cocoa plantations in Ivory Coast. The suit accused Hershey (along with NestléCargillMars, IncorporatedOlam InternationalBarry Callebaut, and Mondelez International) of knowingly engaging in forced labor, and the plaintiffs sought damages for unjust enrichment, negligent supervision, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

In December 2022, Hersheys was subjected to a lawsuit over the amount of lead and cadmium in the company's products, especially the Special Dark bar, the 70% Lily Bar, and the 85% Lily Bar. The lawsuit alleges that the company failed to warn consumers about the amount of metal in the bars and is based on findings published by the Consumer Reports magazine in the United States.


The fact that Hershey's used a trans model is not something to be celebrated.  It is an embarrassment.