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22 October 2023

Ernst Buchard's Lexikon

Part I: life

Part II: Lexikon

Part III: history of cis words

Transgender lexicons:

Virginia Prince
Rose White
Raven Usher
Chris Bartlett
Jack Molay
Raphael Carter
John Money – part 1: gender and transexual
John Money - part II: other words

Morgan Lev Edward Holleb    


  • Ernst Burchard.  Lexikon des gesamten Sexuallebens.  Adler-Verlag, 1914.

Burchard's Encyclopedia of all sexual life was published in 1914, four years after Magnus Hirschfeld's Die Transvestiten; eine Untersuchung uber den erotischen Verkleidungstrieb, and five years after Hirschfeld and psychoanalyst Karl Abraham wrote an evaluation so that trans man Karl Kohnheim under the pseudonym ‘Katharina T’ and referred to as 'Fräulein' was able to obtain the first German Transvestitenschein, Hirschfeld's German rendering of the French term permissions de travestissement.

Hirschfeld and the French sexologist Pierre Vachet were both active nudists and had first met when German and French nudist groups had joint meetings. It is most likely that it was from Vachet that Hirschfeld learned of the French practice of permissions de travestissement, which dates from November 1800 and continued through into the 20th century - and was also introduced to the French word travestissement which he rendered in German as Transvestismus, and travesti/e which he rendered as Transvestiten.

However Hirschfeld altered the meaning by making it an erotic activity. The permissions de travestissement were issued - at least nominally - for mainly vocational reasons. They were not regarded as erotischen Verkleidungstrieb (erotic urge to dress up). Nor were the German Transvestitenscheinen regarded as erotic - they were issued so that the trans person could live, work and get on with life - the frequency or lack of a sex life did not come into it.

Unfortunately Burchard's Lexikon was published only a short while before the outbreak of war, and this probably contributed to the fact that it was never translated into English.

I used DeepL to translate the terms that seem most relevant to trans history. I also edited them slightly, mainly using bold for cross-references rather than the German 's.d.' (= see also).

Note that the entry for Geschlechtsübergänge merely says 'see Zwischenstufen'. This despite Geschlechtsübergänge being the title of Hirschfeld's 1906 book on sexual intermediaries.

In 1914 the German word Geschlecht would have invariably been translated as 'sex'.  However by usage it sometimes has the meaning which we would now translate as 'gender'.  Sometimes I adjusted the translation to this effect.

While Hirschfeld titled his 1910 book Die Transvestiten, in the contents to the book he mainly uses Geschlechtsverkleidung (sex-gender dress up) the older German term, and in the text itself, he often shortened it to Verkleidung (dress up).  Buchard's Lexikon has an entry for "Verkleidungstrieb, erotischer" but no entry for "Geschlechtsverkleidung".

Verkleidung is tricky to translate.  Kleidung=clothing, garments etc, and the prefix Ver=non standard.  Verkleidung is often translated as disguise or dress-up - neither of which is appropriate for trans persons.  This is probably why modern German writers use the English loan-word 'cross-dressing' rather than Geschlechtsverkleidung or Verkleidung, 

There is no entry for "Transvestitenschein".  Burhard used the more cumbersome "polizeiliche Genehmigung".

The Lexikon is sometimes modern - for example in stressing that trans and gay are congenital - and at other times seem quite old fashioned - see the entry for Degeneration, and the assumption that transvesting is an erotic activity.  It is a good mirror of the discussions at that time amongst Hirschfeld, Buchard and their associates.

Selections from the Lexikon.

Androgynie, Mannweiblichkeit (=Androgyny, man-femininity)

Echoes of the female sex in the bodily development of men. The symptoms can be isolated, e.g. in the development of the breasts, width of the pelvis, daintiness of the hands and feet, length and softness of the hair, etc. (gynecomastia, gynecosphysia, etc.) or they can be expressed more in the general structure of the body, as depicted by classical art in the hermaphrodite. Often Androgyny is found as a concomitant of other sexual transitional forms such as homosexuality and transvestitism. The counterpart is male body development in women: Gynandry.

Cisvestitismus (=Cisvestitism)

the tendency to put on the clothes of another age group, ethnicity, or occupational class of the same sex for the purpose of sexual relaxation, analogous to transvestitism (see Verkleidungstrieb).

Damenimitatoren (=Female impersonators)

Female impersonators, persons who professionally portray females on the stage - mostly in vaudeville or in farces, but also in serious plays.  The predisposition and inclination to do so will usually coincide and be based on the abnormal drive, recognised by Hirschfeld and described as transvestitism, to adapt the external appearance and lifestyle to the ways of the other sex.  In most cases this disposition is also supported by androgynous body development, feminine posture and movements, so that the deception, even in such distinctly feminine roles as "Gretchen" or the "Maid of Orleans", is sometimes complete.

Since transvestic inclinations also occur relatively frequently as a concomitant of homosexuality - representing a feminine stigma - homosexual predisposition is also relatively frequent with Damenimitatoren. A necessary or even only predominant coincidence does not exist in every case, as transvestitism need not be linked with homosexuality.

The counterpart of the Damenimitatoren, are female Herrenimitatoren (male impersonators and performers of so-called "trouser roles".

Degeneration. Entartung (=Degeneration)

By degeneration, we mean a state of the whole personality or of particular mental or physical characteristics, which is not adapted to the demands of the struggle for existence.  Degeneration may be due to the continued deterioration of one of the parental germ plasm or to an unfavourable result of the union of the two germinal substances. It is possible that a degenerative factor inherent in one germ cell (sperm cell or egg) can be compensated for by a compensating favourable property of the other. Accordingly, a similar strain of the parents will be more prominent in the offspring than a dissimilar one. ....

Certain sexual perversities, especially if they occur as compulsive acts as a result of neuropathic, in particular epileptic or hysterical conditions, are to be regarded as degenerative phenomena. The partial or complete inversion of the sex drive (see Geschlechtstriebes), bisexuality and homosexuality, as well as transvestitism, should not in themselves be regarded as degenerative phenomena, although they seem to be relatively more frequently associated with degeneration than heterosexuality. Similarly, we must not regard physical transitional phenomena such as androgyny, hermaphroditism and pseudohermaphroditism as degenerative phenomena in themselves, but this should be done in so far as they can be explained biologically as developmental disorders and not as transitional or mixed forms. The decision in a particular case will often not be easy and will have to depend more on the individual overall picture than on the individual phenomenon.

Erreur de sexe.

Erroneous determination of sex, caused by false hermaphroditism (pseudohermaphroditism). Correction often occurs later in life, sometimes after death by dissection.

Fetischismus, (Fetischzauber,) (=Fetishism, (fetish magic,))

Sexual fixation on a partial sexual object, or a category of identical or similar objects. It can be certain body parts, certain objects carried by beloved persons, or finally only these objects themselves. The Fetish is always based on the idea of an adequate sexual object, a beloved human person; insofar as fetishistic inclinations are only linked to this, they fall within the range of the normal ("a cloth from her breast, a garter of my love lust" Goethe, Faust.). Only when the personal object pales in comparison with the partial or objective one, and the latter, detached from the former, becomes the sole aim and content of the sexual striving, is the phenomenon to be regarded as pathological. The earlier this detachment takes place, the more pronounced the fetish appears, the less a connection can be found with a drive directed towards human persons. Only the nature of the fetish indicates this. Thus one can assume that a man who loves garters is heterosexual, a man who is only attracted by hussar boots is homosexual. The desire to take possession of the fetish, if it concerns adjuncts of the body, such as braids, can lead to bodily harm, if it concerns objects, to property crimes. The Fetish, probably always arises on the ground of a psychopathic personality, particularly unstable, but on the other hand also predisposed to obsessive fixations. Its treatment can only be psychological and must aim at a careful redirection of the sexual feeling towards a person, which of course is only possible if a personal type adequate to the sexuality of the fetishist can be determined.

Geschlecht (=Gender/Sex)

A word with multiple and comprehensive meanings. Apart from the narrower sense of the physically sexual, as expressed in the terms "sexual organs" or "venereal diseases", Geschlecht denotes not only the peculiarity of sexually differentiated living beings, but also that of all things and finally of all concepts, in that the language gives them a certain Geschlecht through the article. Finally, the "sexes" and the "succession of the sexes" are understood to be the connection of all that inhabits the earth in present, past and future times.

Geschlechtsübergänge, s. Zwischenstufen (=Sex transitions, see Intermediate Stages)

Geschlechtsumwandlung (=Gender reassignment)

The later necessary correction of the sex as a result of erroneous sex determination (see Erreur de sexe),

Gynandrie (=Gynandry)

Analogous to androgyny in the male sex, the occurrence of male secondary sex characteristics, especially in body hair, formation of the skeleton and body formation in the female sex, often associated with deficient development of the sex characteristics actually belonging to the female sex (mammary glands, etc.).

Hermaphroditismus (=Hermaphroditism)

Physical hermaphroditism in the narrowest sense. True Hermaphroditism, which consists of the presence of both male and female germ tissue (testicular and ovarian tissue), has been observed - as far as is known - five times. According to more recent findings, there seems to be more frequent occurrence of testicular interstitial tissue in ovaries and vice versa; possibly the development of the psychosexual variants or intermediate stages can also be explained by partial internal secretion of the opposite sex. In addition, a complete contrast of inner and outer sexuality, as described by Magnus Hirschfeld and this author as "sperm secretion from a female urethra", is to be regarded as Hermaphroditism. Finally, half-sided hermaphroditism, the sexual difference between the two halves of the body, occurs quite frequently in certain butterfly species, has also been observed by Hertwig in a bullfinch and by the author once in humans. Pseudo-hermaphroditism is far more common.

Historische Urninge (=Historical Urnings)

The fact that urnings, homosexuals, have often played a role in history is as indisputable as the fact that the individual peculiarities based on their disposition have played a specific part in their significance. Their biographies are of the greatest importance both for the understanding of homosexuality and of history.

Homosexualität (=Homosexuality)

Same-sex. A word formed from the Greek o/no- and the Latin sexus. In contrast to heterosexuality, Homosexuality denotes the innate or natural direction of the sexual instinct towards the same sex. It is an endogenous, original disposition, which we must count among the sexual transitions, intermediate stages (Zwischenstufen), in that it is the deviation of an important sexual character, the sex drive in the sense of the opposite sex. Not only does the fact that only sexual stimuli emanating from persons of the same sex have an a priori and constant attracting effect on homosexuals speak in favour of the predetermined disposition of this deviant drive, but also especially the fact that the entire psychosexual personality of homosexuals shows characteristic peculiarities - essentially based on a fusion of male and female components - which in a number of individual nuances represent a series of biologically typical manifestations. - In addition, the homosexual man, Urning, and the homosexual woman, Urninde, show sexual characteristics of the opposite sex relatively more frequently than heterosexuals, so-called sexual incongruities, which are causally connected with the character of the phenomenon as a gender transitional phenomenon.

In terms of time and place, homosexuality has been assessed very differently by different peoples and in different epochs according to the prevailing views. While primitive peoples were and are mostly naive about it, accepting it as a given form of manifestation and making use of the special gifts and abilities of homosexuals in appropriate professions (nursing, priesthood, teaching, etc.), while in classical antiquity it was an integral part of culture and reached its highest flowering in the scientific, artistic and especially pedagogical development of the psychological values based on it, it was later included in the general decline of morality, just like conventional love-seeking. When the ascetic worldview of Christianity countered this, it naturally turned against homosexuality in principle, in accordance with its view of the sinfulness of all extra-marital sexual activity. Thus there are - scientifically, of course, completely unfounded and untenable - threats of punishment against male or same-sex intercourse, among other things, in Germany in § 175 Str.G.B.'s, in Austria in § 129b.

On the part of doctors, attempts have been made to eliminate H. by therapeutic means, or to transform it into heterosexuality. Psychological methods of treatment have been used: Waking suggestion, hypnosis, association therapy, psychoanalysis. Success with pure H. is of course impossible, since it is, according to its endogenous disposition, too firmly integrated into the psychic personality as a whole. Suggestive healing, which usually lasts only a short time, can therefore only be based on self-deception. In the case of bisexuality (see below), a strengthening of the heterosexual component is possible under certain circumstances. It is the duty of the doctor to make a rigorous diagnosis on an individual basis. The guiding principle must be to maintain the homosexual as a useful member of human society or to make him so.

In most cases it will be the duty of the doctor to warn homosexuals against normal intercourse, to which they have no inclination, and especially against entering into marriage. Apart from the tragic conflicts which such a marriage usually causes for both parties, eugenics demands that the indication of nature, which with homosexuality so clearly points away from procreation, be heeded, especially since the offspring of homosexuals do indeed show relatively frequent and severe symptoms of stress and degeneration.

Hormone (=Hormones)

The chemical products of internal secretion in their grouping for the purpose of certain effects.

Inversion, sexuelle (=Inversion, sexual)

The inversion may be complete, so that only persons of one's own sex are sexually arousing, homosexuality, or partial and fluctuating in the choice of objects between the two sexes, bisexuality.  Sexual Inversion always represents an original, endogenous characteristic of the psychosexual personality as a whole, even if it often only appears after fully developed sexual maturity, as a reaction to adequate stimuli, which are then often mistakenly regarded as essential determining factors. With the differentiation of the sexes, a restriction to the stimuli appropriate to the disposition occurs, in the case of I. therefore to same-sex stimuli. If this attitude to the individual drive direction predetermined in the disposition is inhibited for a disproportionately long time, which is not infrequently caused by sexual mimicry, and then still appears at a later age, one speaks of delayed homosexuality.

Konträrsexualität (=Contrary sexuality)

Contrary sexual sensation is the term introduced by Westphal and adopted by Krafft-Ebing for homosexuality or sex, inversion, which does justice to the essence of the phenomenon as a reversal of the direction of the drive, i.e. a variant of the sexual life of sensation.

Perversion (=Perversion)

Any variant of the drive direction (homosexuality and bisexuality) based on psychosexual hermaphroditism. As such, perversion is fundamentally different from perversities, which represent anomalies with regard to the drive and activity type.

Perversität (=Perversity)

In contrast to perversion (Sexual Inversion, Contrary Sexuality, Homosexuality), which represents a deviation or reversal of the direction of the drive due to a variation in psychosexual individuality, Perversity means an unusual approach to sexuality, which is essentially based on subjective qualities of sensation, cruelty in active or passive form (Sadism and Masochism, Curiosity or Vanity (see Watching or Exhibitionism) or is fixed to partial attributes (fetishism) or inanimate or dead objects (pygmalionism and necrophilia), or, in the normal direction of the drive, finds satisfaction only in other forms of activity than normal coitus for reproduction.

Perversity., in contrast to perversion, which is a variation in the direction of the drive, thus represents an anomaly in the type of drive and activity.

Pseudohermaphroditismus (=Pseudohermaphroditism)

Transitions respectively of the primary sex characteristic: In the male sex there is no complete regression of Müller's ducts; in the female sex of Wolff's ducts, transitional and mixed forms of the genital organs arise, which lead from hypospadias to the formed Pseudohermaphroditism, masculinus or femininus, which, because the constitution of the external genitals is more or less in contrast to the real sex determined by the gonads, leading to erreur de sexe, which, if the secondary or tertiary sex characters reveal the true sex, gives rise to sex changes. In its most extreme form, the complete incongruence between external and internal genitalia, Pseudohermaphroditism can be classed with true hermaphroditism.

Pseudohomosexualität (=Pseudohomosexuality)

Same-sex activity without an adequate predisposition. Pseudohomosexuality can take the form of male prostitution for the purpose of gain, or for nobler motives: Attachment, veneration, gratitude to a homosexual friend, or also for lack of normal intercourse - faute de miuex. The latter occurs especially where the opposite sex is absent, in so-called single-sex environments, with men on ships, in prisons, barracks, colonial troops, with women in monasteries and convents. Among adolescents, too, sexual intercourse in the form of mutual onanism is a widespread phenomenon, especially in boarding schools.

Psychoanalyse (=Psychoanalysis)

Modern method of psychic treatment developed by Freud and his students, based on the assumption that the repression of sexual drives during the developmental years results in sexual abnormalities and nervous disorders. It is assumed that those sexual impulses are suppressed, pushed into the subconscious, as it were, which run counter to the sensibilities of today's cultured man. First and foremost among these are the child's ideas of incest, then narcissism (see below) and the homosexual component which, according to Freud, is always present in human bisexuality (see Homosexuality). If it is possible to recall these repressed ideas from the subconscious into the consciousness, which is to be helped by the real and daydreams in particular, taking into account their symbolic interpretation, then a relaxation, a reaction should occur which eliminates the state of illness caused by the repression. - Although these theories - which are only superficially hinted at here - are certainly worthy of attention, and there is no question that every psychological treatment must "dig deep", the generalisation that every neurosis can be cured in this way is certainly just as daring as the conclusions which Psychoanalysis draws from the symbolism of dreams,

Psychotherapie (=Psychotherapy)

Mental treatment. In all disorders of the sexual life, Psychotherapy is of essential importance, in addition to local or general physical treatment of existing disorders, or as an independent and sole method of cure. The aim of Psychotherapy must be the attainment of a harmonious sexuality or, if this is impossible, the happiest possible adaptation of an abnormal one to the requirements of life. Its prerequisite is that the doctor obtains complete and unreserved clarity about the entire psychosexual individuality of the person to be treated, possibly by way of psychoanalysis. The relaxation associated with this in itself is an essential healing factor for the doctor. Further therapy must be strictly individualised, using the usual methods: suggestion, hypnosis, association, milieu and adaptation treatment, in order to exert an influence on the patient in the sense of the desired success.

Transvestitismus. Erotischer Verkleidungstrieb (=Transvestitism. A type of Erotic urge to dress differently)

A variant of sexual disposition identified and described by Magnus Hirschfeld, Transvestitism expresses itself in the tendency to put on the clothes of the opposite sex, usually to style their whole appearance accordingly, often also in their habits, their nature and their occupation to follow completely what is generally customary with the opposite sex. Transvestitism therefore represents the drive to shape the surface in an opposite-sex way, or to relax an opposite-sex component inherent in the psychosexual individuality by appropriate surface shaping. Only if one takes into account that clothing in the broadest sense belongs to the individuality of man, that in many respects it plays the same role as, for example, the plumage of birds or the color of butterflies, it becomes comprehensible that an apparently so external inclination can represent a dominating basic trait of the personality, which in its constancy and uncontrollability can only be compared with the variants of the drive (see homosexuality). In fact, Transvestism, for those so predisposed is a question of life, its violent suppression leads to a disturbance of the inner harmony, which causes an unfree, cranky personality or leads to despair.

This author, in joint activity with Hirschfeld, received a picture of the enormous, previously undreamed-of spread of transvestism, since the publication of the discovery of this phenomenon, more and more such predisposed persons found the courage to entrust their inclinations to the expert, in order to receive, on the basis of an appraisal of their condition, the police permission to move about in public in the clothing of the opposite sex, which - at least in Berlin - is usually granted to them, on the condition that they do not cause public annoyance by their behavior.

As a rule, transvestites are not satisfied with an occasional and temporary relaxation, which they can obtain by putting on clothes of the other sex in their domesticity; they rather feel the need to be able to show themselves in public, dressed according to their inclination, and, if possible, to live at least for some time completely in the manner of the other sex. In general, it is easier for the transvestite woman under the present circumstances to follow her inclinations at least partially than for the man, since today's women's fashion allows a close approximation to that of men, but a man dressed femininely is conspicuous under all circumstances. There are male transvestites who prefer the role of the hard-working housewife, others who prefer that of the elegant lady of the world, and still others who prefer that of the discreet bourgeois woman; female transvestites who dress as sportsmen, as plain men from the people, but also those who like to dress in uniform. Often one finds in transvestites a peculiar combination of artistic receptivity and productivity, sometimes a special creative power, especially in the musical field. In this respect Richard Wagner, whose disposition is certainly proven by "his correspondence with a cleaning lady", is a particularly striking example of Transvestism

The historic and ethnological modifications of Transvestism, which can be traced from the primitive peoples through the cultures of all times and peoples according to the respective dress customs, are also interesting.

In the preference for certain pieces of clothing and the sexually justified inclination to wear them on one's own body, connections between transvestism and fetishism come to light. In the most pronounced cases transvestism represents the only and entire need of sexuality, the satisfaction of which requires an absolute relaxation, in others it is connected with normal direction of sexual drive, in others again with homosexuality. In the latter it appears less pure and independently expressed, being more a partial and concomitant phenomenon of the femininity often present in homosexual predisposition.

In some cases, transvestism is favored by feminine body formation in the man, androgyny, virile in the woman, gynandry, but in others there is a quite striking contrast between the absolutely masculine or feminine exterior and the urge to perform just in the exterior completely the role of the other sex.

Verkleidungstrieb, erotischer (=Dress up instinct, erotic)

The erotic disguise instinct is understood to be the urge, based on sexuality, to express in external appearance, but especially in clothing, a personality that does not correspond to actuality. If this urge refers to dressing in the manner of the opposite sex, it is called transvestitism and can be explained by the presence of other-sex components on the individual’s sex/gender identity. Another form of erotic disguise is the urge to dress in the costume of another age group of the same sex, which is called cisvestism and can be explained by infantilism and auto-eroticism as causal factors. Combinations of different forms also occur: one such combination of trans- and cisvestitism is adolescent men who long to dress as little girls. Erotic disguise may completely fill the sexuality, so that in the possibility of satisfying it, other sexual inclinations do not exist and only its compulsory suppression causes sexual irritations, possibly also nervous symptoms of illness; but it can also occur in connection with sexual urge expressions of a hetero- and homosexual nature. Infantilistic cisvestitism naturally often coincides with paedophilic tendencies.

Zwischenstufen (=Intermediate stages)

By Zwischenstufen we mean all sex/gender transitional phenomena both physical and mental: The different forms of androgyny, pseudohermaphroditism and hermaphroditism in the field of physical; homosexuality and transvestitism in the field of mental hermaphroditism. The latter finds their explanation by analogy to physical transition symptoms, to which they are often concomitant.

1 comment:

  1. One of the things that I like about Zagria's work is that, while so many authors repeat uncritically the untruth that Hirschfeld 'coined' transvesititen, as if transvest* words had not been in currency since the 17th century, she - and apparently no-one else - has gone the extra mile to discover who among his associates had been acquainted with the French usage. Bravo.


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