The boy who later grew up to be Latina Seville was pretty and grew neither body nor facial hair, and because of this was called ‘fruit’ or ‘queer’ at school, often by the same bullies who made passes when they were alone.
Age 16 having dropped out of school and gone to New York, she became Latina Seville, found work as a female impersonator, and lived fulltime as female. She was recruited by the Jewel Box Revue, and with them travelled across the USA. As also happened at Le Carrousel in Paris, conversation among the Jewel Box performers often drifted to discussions about sex changes, especially with Dr Borou in Casablanca.
She often felt lonely and had difficulties relating to men, and thought that it would be easier as a completed woman. She wrote to Dr Burou giving a complete medical history. He accepted her and gave her a date in July 1963 – she was then 22. She saved up, got a passport and went.
The bill was $2,500. She was told no sex for six months after the operation. She recuperated at her mother’s, and practiced Flamenco dancing. Under the impression that being post-op she could no longer work as a female impersonator, she became a stripper with a Flamenco opening. This went well and her salary doubled and then tripled. But she could not handle the men who were pushy about making passes.
After six months she had a close male friend make love to her, but experienced no pleasure. She thought that perhaps she still thought like a man, and started seeing psychiatrists who advised that she adjust to herself.Abby Sinclair’s autobiography and an essay by Carlson Wade mainly about eunuchs and castratos.
She was not heard of again.
- Latina Seville. “I Want to be a Man Again”. The National Insider, 6,7, Feb 14 & 6,8 Feb 21, 1965.
- Latina Seville “I Want to be Male Again” in Abby Sinclair, George Griffith, Carlson Wade & Latina Seville. I Was Male. Novel Books. 95 pp 1965.
- Liam Oliver Lair. Disciplining Diagnoses: Sexology, Eugenics, and Trans* Subjectivities. PhD thesis, University of Kansas, 2016 : 147n95.