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Essays on trans, intersex, cis and other persons and topics from a trans perspective.......All human life is here.

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  • 01/09/15--19:02: Einar Wegener, artist
  • Part I:  Einar Wegener, artist
    Part II: Lili Ilse Elvenes, surgery and womanhood
    Part III:  Lili Elbe, media construct

    (all page references are to the Blue Boat edition of Man Into Woman, 2004)

    Part III will be a discussion of the fact that Man Into Woman appears to be an unreliable narration.  However without it we have almost no story at all.  So in parts I and II details from the book will be used.   However bear in mind that this is tentative.


    Einar Mogens Andreas Wegener (1882 - 1931), the son of a grocer in Vejle, Denmark, was educated as a painter at Vejle Tekniske Gymnasium and then Copenhagen Kunstakademi (Art School) where he met Gerda Gottlieb (1886-1940), the only survivor of four daughters of a pastor. Einar and Gerda married in 1904.

    After graduation Gerda exhibited at the Autumn Art Exhibition, The Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition and the Journalists' Union. Her breakthrough was in 1907 when she won a competition organized by Politiken newspaper, and in the same year several female painters including Gerda were rejected from the Charlottenborg Exhibition – which became known as the Peasant Painter Controversy.

    One of Gerda's early commissions was a portrait of Anna Larssen (1875 - 1955), the popular actress. One day Anna was unable to attend, and on the phone suggested that Einar's legs be used as had been done once before. This time Gerda fully dressed Einar in a dress and wig. In the end Anna did arrive, and on seeing Einar exclaimed:

    "I will christen you my girlie. You shall receive a particularly lovely musical name. For example Lili. What do you say to Lili?" (p 67)
    A few weeks later Lili appeared at the Artists' Ball and was a great success. Gerda found Lili to be a charming companion. Einar did landscape paintings and Gerda illustrated books and fashion magazines. Einar received the Neuhausens prize in 1907 and exhibited at Kunstnernes Efterårsudstilling and at Vejle Art Museum.

    Lili/Einar was an open secret, and in 1912 when Einar and Gerda decided to leave Copenhagen, a satirical poem by Vigge Afrelius, was published in Eksta Bladet, a sister publication to Politiken, that included the lines: "hvis vi tro kan, hvad Saga fortæller,/Michelangelo og som Zahrtmann/you bru'r kun mandelige Modeller! (if we can believe/what the story tells you used/such as Michelangelo and Zahrtmann male models!)".

    After travels in Italy and France Gerda and Einar moved to Paris later that year, and at first stayed at the Hôtel d’Alsace, and were shocked to find themselves in room 16, the very room where Oscar Wilde had died twelve years earlier. They took inspiration and read Wilde's writings out loud to each other.

    Gerda worked for Vogue and La Vie Parisienne. She also held regular exhibitions at the Ole Haslunds gallery in Copenhagen, and came to be considered a major Art Deco artist and was well known for her erotica. Einar exhibited in the Salon de Paris and Salon d'Automne in Paris. However he de-emphasized his own work to help Gerda, and became her favourite model.
    Lili painted by Gerda

    Gerda became famous for her paintings of women, and it was later discovered that most of them were actually of Lili. In 1924, Einar, on a trip back home, was interviewed by the København newspaper, and spoke about dressing as a woman during Paris Carnival.
    Through the 1920s Einer was increasingly Lili. She attended public events, entertained at home as Lili, and went on trips to the countryside. She passed well and men even proposed to her. Gerda introduced her as Einar’s sister. Einar was often depressed and suffered from coughing spells; however Lili was bright and happy: Gerda came to prefer the company of Lili. Einar in male clothing was several times taken as a woman in trousers.

    One day Einar said:
    "Really I cannot imagine what existence would be like if Lili should one day vanish for ever, or if she should no longer look young and beautiful, Then she would no longer have any justification for living at all."
    Gerda replied:
    "In recent months I have felt prickings of conscience because I was, to a certain extent, the cause of creating Lili, of enticing her out of you, and thus becoming responsible for a disharmony in you which reveals itself most distinctly on those days when Lili does not appear." (p92).
    and she continued:
    "It often happens thatwhen she poses for me as a model a strange feeling comes over me that it is she whom I am creating and forming rather than the girl whom I am representing on my canvas.  Sometimes it seems to me that here is something which is stronger than we are, something which makes us powerless and will thrust us aside, as if, indeed, it wanted to be revenged on us for having played with it." (p93)

    Later Einar wrote:  "Formerly I had found distraction in reading.  Now I never opened a book or journal.  What were the fates of strange persons to me, unless I could find consolation in reading about a person of my own kind?  But of such a person no author had been able to able to write, because it had never occured to any author that such a person could ever have existed."  (p110-1)  (This was 20 years after the publication of Magnus Hirschfeld's Die Transvestiten, and 2 years after Havelock Ellis'Eonism and Other Supplementary Studies.) 

     Paintings by Einar Wegener     Paintings by Gerda Wegener  

    Do click through to see paintings by both Einar and Gerda.   In Part III Louise Lassan will describe  Einar’s paintings as ‘virile’ but I do not see them as so.  They strike me as ordinary landscapes.   To my eye Gerda was obviously the more adventurous painter.

    Some sources claim that Gerda was lesbian.   I found no confirmation of this, and of course she will re-marry to a man as soon as her marriage to Einar is annulled in Part II.

    Presumably Einar and Gerda were in Paris during the Great War.  However there is no mention of it in Man into Woman.  

    Anna Larssen was a popular actress in the 1900s.   Surprisingly, she quit acting in 1909 and became a Pentecostal minister, and with her second husband founded the Danish Apostolic Church.  No date is given for when Anna named Einar as Lili, but 1907 must be a terminus post quem and 1909 a terminus ante quem.  Thus it must have been only months before her abandonment of her acting career to dedicate her life to God.

    The poem published on the departure of Einar and Gerda from Copenhagen in 1912:.

    [...] Jolies Popo’s – petites Nichon’s
    kan ingen som Fru Gerda tegne –
    og ganske ligegyldigt hvor –
    for sligt ser ens ud allevegne! [...]

    Med Kunstens Store du i Slægt er,
    hvis vi kan tro, hvad Saga fortæller,
    som Michelangelo og Zahrtmann
    du bru’r kun mandelige Modeller!

    Den Ting har saare mig bedrøvet
    og din er Skylden, skønne Tegner!
    Tænk! Jeg har glædet mig ved Former,
    Der rim’ligvis har tilhørt Ejnar! [...]

    [...] Pretty butt - small breasts
    no one like Mrs. Gerda can draw,
    and no matter wherever -
    as such looks the same everywhere. [...]

    The Great Art thou art related,
    [and] if we can believe what the story tells
    you used such as Michelangelo and Zahrtmann male models!

    The thing I was extremely saddened
    and yours is the guilt, beautiful illustrator!
    Imagine that! I'm pleased me to forms
    that have probably heard Ejnar! [...]
    •  "Afrelius, Vigge:" Ved en Bortrejse ". In: Ekstra Bladet, 04.03.1913; 2.

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    Part I:  Einar Wegener, artist
    Part II: Lili Ilse Elvenes, surgery and womanhood
    Part III:  Lili Elbe, media construct

    In Spring 1930 Einar was depressed in that Lili seemed to be taking over. He had been to several doctors, one of whom was a radiologist, who had perhaps exposed him to too much x-ray therapy. This had been all to no effect and he was contemplating suicide. A friend arranged an appointment with the Dresden Doctor Kurt Warnekros who was visiting Paris. It was not Lili but Einar who attended, and Warnekros, after an examination, made an appointment for further examination and surgery in Berlin the next week.

    Einer alone went to Berlin – in male clothes and with a change of only male clothes in his suitcase. Warnekros arranged blood tests, and for Magnus Hirschfeld to do a psychological examination. This required a visit to Hirschfeld's Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, where he encountered trans women, and it is highly likely that they included Carla van Crist, Toni Ebel and Dörchen Richter, all of whom had had a first operation by this date. Einar did not relate to them:

    "He felt intensely uncomfortable. In this large room a group of abnormal persons seemed to be holding a meeting – women who appeared to be dressed up as men, and men of whom one could scarcely believe that they were men. The manner in which they were conversing disgusted him; their movements, their voices, the way in which they were attired, produced a feeling of nausea." (p54).

    Later that day, Einar dined with his Berlin friend Neils Hvide who puts a question:
    "'As a man you have always seemed to me unquestionably healthy. I have, indeed, seen with my own eyes that you attract women, and that is the clearest proof that you are a genuine fellow.' He paused, and then placed his hand on [Einar]'s shoulder. 'You won't take it amiss if I ask you a frank question? ...Have you at any time been interested in your own kind? You know what I mean'. [Einar] shook his head calmly. 'My word on it, Niels; never in my life. And I can add that those kind of creatures have never shown any interest in me'. 'Good, [Einar]! That's just what I thought'."(p56)
    And two paragraphs later Einar adds:
    "I will  honestly and plainly confess to you, Niels, that I have always been attracted to women.  And to-day as much as ever. A most banal confession!"
    After Einar's orchiectomy at the age of 48, which was probably done by Dr Erwin Gohrbandt, Gerda arrived and purchased women's clothes for Lili, and Wegener was declared to be no longer male and was now entitled to enter Warnekros' Staatliche Frauenklinik (National Women's Clinic) in Dresden, where a second operation was done.

    Lili and Gerda then returned to Copenhagen in October 1930, a few weeks before Magnus Hirschfeld left Germany for New York, never to return. King Christian X Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg annulled the marriage of the Wegeners, and Lili was issued papers in her new legal name of Lili Ilse Elvenes, including a passport.

    Lili Elvenes in Copenhagen, late 1930

    In 1931 Gerda married Fernando Porta, an Italian officer, aviator and diplomat and went to live with him in Morocco.

    A further operation on Lili Elvenes to implant ovaries, or maybe an uterus, taken from a 26-year-old woman was done at the Dresden Clinic by Warnekros. However Elvenes died three months later, probably of transplant rejection, but maybe from infection or a heart attack. She was buried in Dresden.

    Gerda Porta was still in Morrocco when she heard of Lili’s death. She divorced Porta in 1936, and returned to Denmark in 1938. She held her last exhibition in 1939, but by then was rather out of fashion. She died alone and impoverished in 1940, of a heart attack at age 54, shortly after the German occupation.


    It is not my practice to name essays by the pre-transition name of the person if the post-transition name is on record.   I have made an exception in this case in that the name Lili Elvenes is not generally known, and would probably not be recognized.  Almost all accounts refer to her simply as Lili Elbe, but that was never her real name. 

    As already mentioned, the book by Lili Elbe is an unreliable narration.   To take two examples.  It is claimed that the orchiectomy not only changed her voice from a tenor to a soprano, but altered her handwriting to a definitely feminine style.    It only it were so!  Secondly Lili Elvenes appears to be the only person to have had four gonads: two testicles which were removed in the orchiectomy, and two ovaries which had been feminizing his body.  Note that Dr Norman Haire in his introduction to the English version of the biography says that Einar "was sufficiently normal both psychologically and physically to be able to fulfil  his functions as a husband".

    Lili claims that Einar's monthly bleedings from the nose and elsewhere which were taken as representative of menstruation.  30 years later Dawn Langley would also claim to menstruate.

    When Lili had her final operations to transplant ovaries/uterus she was 49, an age when many women have reached menopause, and the childbearing years are definitely over.

    So how does "I can add that those kind of creatures have never shown any interest in me" fit with the repeated reports of men chasing, making passes and wanting to marry Lili.  Are we to presume that 'those kinds of creatures'=gay, while those who made passes at Lili were 'healthy'=straight.   It was an open secret in both Copenhagen and Paris that  Einar=Lili, and at least some of those making passes must have heard the rumours.

    On the eve of the operation Einar asserted an 'banal' interest only in women.  And yet shortly afterwards wanted the extra operations so that Lili could marry a man and bear children.   While such a turnaround is not inconceivable, the assertion of it is very much part of Louise Lassen's program of re-assuring her readers that there is nothing queer in the story.

    Sandy Stone, raises the naughty question of whether Einar wrang the turkey's neck, and continues: "No wonder feminist theorists have been suspicious.  Hell, I'm suspicious."

    Is Neils Hvide, Neils Hoyer?

    Was Einar/Lili intersex?  Here is an article by Karin of OII Australia that argues that she was.  However many of the pioneer transsexuals, Betty CowellDawn Langley, etc maintained that they were intersex, with as little proof.  There is also the problem that most intersex persons stay with the gender of rearing.  An intersex person may or may not be trans, and probably is not.

    My opinion is that Einar was what is often called a Natural Beauty, a man who is often taken as a woman, even when not trying.  The pre-transition Coccinelle, April Ashley, Rachel Harlow were all natural beauties.  Nobody has really argued that this condition is a type of intersex, nor does it always lead to transition: Jaye Davidson, who was cast as Dil in The Crying Game, was so cast because of his beauty, but afterwards continued his life as a man.

    Although I must admit that looking at the male-dressed photographs of Einar, I do not see a Natural Beauty, although we may put this down to the low-definition photography andthe unflattering male clothes and hairstyles of the 1920s.   But if Einar was not a Natural Beauty why did so many men assume that the male-dressed Einar was a woman in trousers?   Maybe in fact they did not, and again this is part of the unreliable narration.  Lili would not be the last trans woman to overestimate both how well she passed, and how attractive she was.

    Why was Elvenes accepted for surgery, when so very few were?  Unlike Carla van Crist, Toni Ebel and Dörchen Ritcher she was not living fulltime as female.  It was Einar who showed for the Paris appointment, and again it was Einar who arrived in Berlin, with only male clothing in a suitcase.  Many transsexuals in later times were rejected until they started arriving dressed as the target gender.  Warnekros did not have Hirschfeld’s experience with trans persons; he was a gynecologist and obstetrician and radiologist, and apparently he wanted to be famous.  I suggest that he mistook being a Natural Beauty for being a transsexual.

    It is not clear just what operations Lili Elvenes had.  However there is a general assumption that death was caused by a transplant, either of ovaries or of a uterus.   Orchiectomy, penectomy and vaginoplasty were quite safe though experimental.   Unlike Elvenes, Hirschfeld’s patients lived:  Carla van Crist was still alive in New York in 1952; Toni Ebel lived until 1961; nothing is known of Dörchen Ritcher after 1933, but the presumption is that she was murdered by Nazis, not that she died as a result of her surgeries.   If Elvenes had settled for the same she also probably would would have lived several years more.

    It was not Lili's age, 49 in 1931, that affected her survival chances.  She was in fact one year younger than Toni Ebel.

    We do not have enough information to be sure, but it would seem that Carla, Toni and Dörchen were more androphilic than gynephilic, and they would have been early transitioners if the social support had existed at the time.   So was Lili the first gynephilic transsexual to achieve surgery?   It is of course ironic that Charlotte Goiar proclaims Lili, and not Carla, Toni or Dörchen, as the first surgical HBS person.  Incidentally there was an earlier attempt at gynephilic transgender surgery in Berlin, as early as 1921.   I will return to that later in the month.

    We should of course mention Dr Eugen Steinach (1861 - 1944) of Vienna.   Steinach proposed that ligation of the vas deferens, while causing atrophy of spermatogenic tissue, would produce additional testosterone. This vasoligation, unlike the similar vasectomy, was done on one testicle only, and most patients (that is men) reported increased vigour and sexual power. This of course was homeogender not transgender surgery.  Some of the men who had this operation were Sigmund Freud, Harry Benjamin and WB Yeats, all of whom were well pleased with the results.  Benjamin became Steinach's US disciple and performed over 500 Steinach operations in New York (unlike Steinach who never did the surgery himself).  Norman Haire, In London, also performed the operation.  Some other doctors, both then and now, say that the results were psychogenic rather than hormonal.

    Along with Steinach, Benjamin pioneered an equivalent operation for women, diathermy, applied to one ovary, supplemented by x-ray treatment of the area.   So much for the idea in the book that Einar's visits to a radiologist had damaged his birth ovaries.

    Steinach also did apparent ‘sex changes’ on guinea pigs with castrations and gland transplants.   This was the background behind the decision to transplant ovaries in Lili Elvenes (who of course should not have needed new ovaries if she had two of her own all along).   Could Steinach's results be also achieved in humans?  Steinach did report that he implanted a testicle into a man who was castrated, passive and feminine, and that the man became a 'normal' heterosexual. There is however a lack of verifications and replications.

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    Part I:  Einar Wegener, artist
    Part II: Lili Ilse Elvenes, surgery and womanhood
    Part III:  Lili Elbe, media construct

    Figure 10 in Ein mensch wechselt sein geschlecht

    • Vigge Afrelius. "Ved en Bortrejse". Ekstra Bladet, 04.03.1913; 2.
    • Aldous Huxley.  "Farcical History of Richard Greenow".  In Limbo. Chatto and Windus, 1920.
    • Thorkil Barfod. "Gerda og Einar Wegener fortæller om Paris". København, 03.08.1924; 5.
    • K.P. "Gerda Wegeners Udstilling(Gerda Wegener's Exhibition)“. Politiken, 26.02.1931, 4.
    • Loulou Lassen. "Et Liv gennem to Tilværelser. En Fortid som Mand og en Fremtid som Kvinde. Lili Elbe fortæller om Maleren Einar Wegener og om sig selv"(A life through two existences. A past as male and a future as a woman. Lili Elbe tells about the artist Einar Wegener and about herself ). Politiken, 28.02.1931, 5–6.
    • Dr. Rank: "Manden, der blev Kvinde. Professor von Warnekros fortæller: Lili Elbe blev til ved et i Lægevidenskabens Annaler enestaaende Indgreb“"(The man, who was female. Professor von Warnekros says: Lili Elbe results from an intervention unique in the annals of medical science). Ekstra Bladet. 28.02.1931, 1, 9.
    • Loulou Lassen. "Kønskarakter og dens Svingninger: Prof. Knud Sand udtaler sig om abnorme Kønstilstande hos Mennesker"(Sexual character and its fluctuations: Prof. Knud Sand's opinion on abnormal sex type of people ). Politiken, 01.03.1931, 5–6.
    • Lili Elbe. Fra mand til kvinde: Lili Elbes bekendelser. København: Hage & Clausen, 1931.
    • Lili Elbe (ed Neils Hoyer). Ein Mensch wechselt sein Geschlecht; eine Lebensbeichte. Aus hinterlassenen Papiere. Dresden: Reissner, 1932.
    • Gregorio Marañón & Warre Bradley Wells. The Evolution of Sex and Intersexual Conditions / Translated from the Spanish by Warre B. Wells ; with New Appendix. London: G. Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1932.
    • Lili Elbe (ed Neils Hoyer) translated from the German into English by H.J. Stenning, with an Introduction by Norman Haire. Man into Woman: an Authentic Record of a Change of Sex. The true story of the miraculous transformation of the Danish painter, Einar Wegener. New York: E.P.Dutton & Co, Inc. London: Jarrold Publisher's, xiii, 287 pp 24 plates 1933. London : Beacon Library, 1937. Reissued by NY: Popular Library, 1953. Reissued as Man into woman: the first sex change, a portrait of Lili Elbe: the true and remarkable transformation of the painter Einar Wegener. London: Blue Boat Books, 2004.
    • Maurice Rostand. La femme qui était en lui. Paris: E. Flammarion, 1933.
    • Magnus Hirschfeld. 'L'amour et la science'. Voila, 3, 199, 1 Juli 1933: 6.
    • "A Man Becomes a Woman". Sexology, 1,4, December 1933: 252-4.
    • Sandy Stone. "The Empire Strikes Back: A Posttranssexual Manifesto". In Julia Epstein & Kristina Straub (eds). Body Guards: The Cultural Politics of Gender Ambiguity. New York: Routledge, 1991: 284-9.
    • Sanda Davis. Am I a Man or a Woman? Ottawa: Personality Press, 1995.
    • Bernice L. Hausman. Changing Sex: Transsexualism, Technology, and the Idea of Gender. Durham: Duke University Press, 1995: 15-19.
    • Tim Armstrong. Modernism, Technology, and the Body: A Cultural Study. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998: chp 6 "Making a woman".
    • Sander L. Gilman. Making the Body Beautiful: A Cultural History of Aesthetic Surgery. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999: 277-80.
    • Rainer Herrn. Schnittmuster des Geschlechts. Transvestitismus und Transsexualität in der frühen Sexualwissenschaft. Giessen: Psychosozial-Verlag 2005: 204-211.
    • Håkan Lindquist. "Lili Elbe – Vetenskapens stora mirakel". Håkan Lindquist, 25 Juni 2009.
    • Sabine Meyer. "Mit dem Puppenwagen in die normative Weiblichkeit. Lili Elbe und die journalistische Inszenierung von Transsexualität in Dänemark". NORDEUROPAforum, 20, 2010,1-2: 33-61. PDF.
    • Susanne Kailitz. "Das Experiment: 1930 führte der Dresdner Gynäkologe Kurt Warnekros eine der weltweit ersten Geschlechtsumwandlungen durch". Zeit Online, 13. Januar 2012.,
    • Nadya Lev. "The Incredibly True Adventures of Gerda Wegener and Lili Elbe". Coilhouse, August 3rd, 2012.
    • Diana Wyndham. Norman Haire and the Study of Sex. Sydney University Press, 2012: 222.
    Bundesstifung MagnusHirschfeld   GLBTQ   DA.WIKIPEDIALGBTHistoryMonth    EN.WIKIPEDIA  
    Kay Brown’s TransHistory    Paintings by Einar Wegener
    Vidensbanken om kønsidentitet   

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  • 01/13/15--07:28: Lili Elbe, media construct
  • Part I:  Einar Wegener, artist
    Part II: Lili Ilse Elvenes, surgery and womanhood
    Part III:  Lili Elbe, media construct

    The young writer Aldous Huxley published Limbo, a collection of short stories, in 1920.  The first story "Farcical History of Richard Greenow", 115 pages in length, told of a Cambridge-educated writer attempting a philosophy synthesis who is disturbed to find that he has an alternate identity, one Pearl Bellairs, who takes over when he is asleep and pens long sacharine romances.  Her novels, La Belle Dame Sans Morality and Daisy's Voyage to Cytherea become best sellers and provide an income.  In writing this story Huxley had been inspired by William Sharp, who after his death in 1905 was found to be also the author of the prose and poetry published under the name of Fiona Macleod.   Huxley, and many others, were also influenced by the very popular same-sex duality 1886 novel Dr Jekyll and Mr Hydeby Robert Louis Stevenson.

    Another well-known story in this period was the 1990 The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde which told of a beautiful (natural beauty?) young man whose life and whose portrait become confused.

    Contrarywise, Virginia Woolf's 1928 novel, Orlando, takes the  opposite approach:

    "Orlando had become a woman - there was no denying it.  But in every other respect, Orlando remained precisely as he had been.  The change of sex, though it altered their future, did nothing whatever to alter their identity".  
    Lili was not a follower of Orlando.

    In October 1930, rumours circulated about the non-appearance of Einar, to the extent that sales were not happening at Gerda's exhibition of paintings.  Louise (Loulou) Lassen, the pioneering female journalist, had interviewed Gerda in 1927, and was now able to interview Lili Elvenes and produced a short series of articles for the sister publications, Politiken and Ekstra Bladet.

    It was Loulou who proposed that Lili Elvenes be known as Lili Elbe.

    The first article was by Loulou about Lili and Gerda. In her write-up Loulou stressed that there was nothing homosexual in the lives of Lili and Gerda.  The marriage had not been sexual, Lili had been a woman's spirit in a man's body since childhood, and more than that, that Einar and Lili were, in the style of Richard Greenow and Pearl Bellairs, two different identities. She explicitly stated:

    "Einar Wegener no longer paints … he was so markedly virile in his whole manner of painting" that Lili could not continue it.
    The second article is a transcript of a telephone call between Copenhagen's Dr Rank and Dr Kurt Warnekros, who was referred to as von Warnekros [‘von’ implies nobility]. Warnekros boasted that he had performed an unprecedented operation that the top French doctors were incapable of. There is no mention of the other trans women who had been operated on under the aegis of Magnus Hirschfeld.

    In the third article, Copenhagen endocrinologist Kurt Sand gave his opinions, and a lawyer discussed the legal aspect.

    Fra mand til kvinde: Lili Elbes bekendelser (From Man to Woman: Lili Elbe's confession) was published in Denmark within months of Lili's death in 1931 incorporating the news articles by Louise Lassen. It uses Lassen's pseudonym of Lili Elbe rather than Lili Elvenes, and Andreas Sparre rather than Einar Wegener although Lili's real names were well known in Copenhagen. Gerda becomes Grete, and the doctors and others are hidden behind pseudonyms.  Lassen's idea that Einar and Lili were two competing identities is retained in the book, as is the Richard Greenow/Pearl Bellaire idea that the male identity is neurasthenic and sickly while the female identity is vivacious and strong

    Ernst Harthen (1884-1969), a German correspondent in Copenhagen, using his pen name Neils Hoyer, produced a German version,  Ein mensch wechselt sein geschlecht, a year later, and an English translation from the German, Man into Woman, with an introduction by Norman Haire came out in in 1933. Haire concluded:
    “I cannot help thinking that until we know more about sexual physiology it is unwise to carry out, even at the patient’s own request, such operations as were performed in this case”.

    The Spanish sexologist Gregorio Marañón perceived sexual evolution to be directed towards the virile, with feminine as an intermediate stage between adolescence and full masculinity.   For him the idea of a regression from male to female was untenable.   In the appendix to The Evolution of Sex and Intersexual Condition, 1932, he comments that "this woman, obviously intersexual, was always a woman".  Furthermore he suggested that Andreas and Grete were 'viriloid' women, their virility proven by their artistic prowess.

    In 1933, Maurice Rostand's La femme qui était en lui, the first novel based on Lili's life came out

    Warnekros' files were destroyed along with his clinic in the Allied bombing and resulting firestorm 13-15 February 1945.

    The Neil Hoyer book became legendary and several transsexuals mention it as an influence on the way: Betty Cowell, Renée Richards, Jan Morris, Sally Barry, Dawn Simmons.

    Various academics gave brief summaries of the book from the 1990s onwards adjusting it to fit their theses. With the exception of Sandy Stone in 1991, it was not read closely until Rainer Herrn in 2005.

    Sanda Davis in her 1995 book, Am I a Man or a Woman?, revived the idea of an alternate identity, but without mention of either Pearl Bellairs or Lili Elbe. This she called an introjection, which can become so dominant that it becomes the major personality: 
     "All humans acquire Introjects. Depending on specific factors, Introjects may or may not lead to dissociation, even to severe forms of dissociation. Reflecting the person that is imprinted as an Introject, some Introjects are content with limited control, while others take over completely, using, abusing, and transforming the body. Such is the case with Gender Identity Disorder: a cross-gender Introject takes over the body, and demands gender reassignment.
    David Ebershoff fictionalized Lili’s life for his 2000 novel, The Danish Girl,making major changes such as changing Greta to be from Pasadena, California (where Ebershoff grew up) and giving her a previous husband and child.It was announced in 2008 that the novel would be filmed with cis actress Nicole Kidman as Lili, but it never happened, and in 2014 it was announced that a male actor, Eddie Redmayne, will play the part.


    There was another woman, Lili von Elbe, the first wife of Kuno von Moltke, one of the participants in the Eulenburg homosexual scandal in 1907, who testified about his aversion to women.  She was no relation to this Lili Elbe.

    You may argue that to apply the tools of literary criticism to the Lili Elbe biographies is to make a category mistake, but my point is that the fact that we are able to do so, that there are such strong echoes of Pearl Bellairs, Edward Hyde and Dorian Gray in the tale of Lili Elbe, that the veracity of the tale is suspect.   Not to the extent of doubting the historicity of Lili Ilse Elvenes, but that we should consider that Lassen and Hoyer, and maybe Lili herself, adjusted the facts.

    There is a good discussion of "Farcical History of Richard Greenow" in Sandra Gilbert & Susan Gubar's No Man's Land: The Place of the Woman Writer in the Twentieth Century. Vol.1, , The War of the Words: 131-6.

    You can actually find novels by Pearl Bellairs listed in both Worldcat and Amazon.  They were in fact written by Margaret Jepson Birkinshaw, mother of Fay Weldon.  And she quite consciously took the name from Aldous Huxley's story.

    Louise (Loulou) Lassen, one of only a few female journalists in the 1920s, was fluent in French, had translated Guy de Maupassant into Danish, and specialized in medical reporting.

    There is a 1991 book, Struggling Under the Destructive Glance: Androgyny in the Novels of Guy de Maupassant Hardcover, by Rachel M. Hartig.  As Lassen had translated de Maupassant, I looked at it to see if it discusses anything like Pearl Bellairs, but did not find anything like competing identities in the same body.

    Elbe is, of course, the river in Dresden.  However 'elvenes' is Danish for 'rivers' and in fact 'elbe' is an old German word from 'albiz'=river.  Additionally a river often what separates two states, so by metaphor two sexes.

    Ernst Harthern, born Ernst Ludwig Harthern Jacobson, wrote several books under the pen-name of Neils Hoyer.  He was raised in Stade, Lower Saxony, and was of Jewish descent.  His father abandoned him and his mother died when he was nine.  Despite difficulties he did finally become a journalist and covered Scandinavia for German newspapers until the Nazi takeover in 1933 when his writings were banned.  He escape the German occupation he moved to Sweden, and in 1943 was part of the team that helped the majority of Danish Jews to escape to Sweden.

    Rainer Herrn,  Schnittmuster des Geschlechts. Transvestitismus und Transsexualität in der frühen Sexualwissenschaft, comments how, in reading the book, it is difficult to know which bits are by Elbe and which bits by Hoyer.  It is not so simple as separating the 1st-person bits from the 3rd-person bits.  Furthermore Sabine Meyer points out in "Mit dem Puppenwagen in die normative Weiblichkeit. Lili Elbe und die journalistische Inszenierung von Transsexualität in Dänemark" that some parts are written by Louise Lassen.   Nor is it clear whether Hoyer was involved in the original Danish edition.  Unlike the German and English editions, his name in not on the book, although WorldCat has added his name to the 5th edition, but not the earlier 4.  The German version is not claimed to be a translation of the Danish.   Nor is at at all explained how or why Hoyer had access to Lili's papers.  There is no mention in the book itself of a Neils Hoyer, although Wegener does socialize with a friend in Berlin, said to be from Copenhagen, who is called Neils Hvide.  It would be a useful PhD thesis if someone were to compare the three language versions and the newspaper articles by Lassen.

    Was Warnekros attempting to outdo Hirschfeld?   His comments in the telephone interview transcipt in Ekstra Bladet would lead one to think so even though Hirschfeld was not mentioned.

    Lili Elvenes was a patient of Kurt Warnekros, of course, and not of Magnus Hirschfeld, but hers was the case that was taken up by the press, while Carla, Toni or Dörchen were forgotten to the point that many writers claim that Lili was the first person to have a surgical sex change.

    Contrarywise, in the following books about Magnus Hirschfeld, Lili Elvene/Elbe is not even mentioned:
    Charlotte Wolff.  Magnus Hirschfeld: A Portrait of a Pioneer in Sexology. 1986.
    Ralf Dose.   Magnus Hirschfeld: The Origins of the Gay Liberation Movement.  2005/2014.
    Robert Beachy.  Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity. 2014
    and she gets only one line in:
    Elena Mancini. Magnus Hirschfeld and the Quest for Sexual Freedom: A History of the First International Sexual Freedom Movement.  2010.

    Tim Armstrong's Modernism, Technology, and the Body: A Cultural Study, chapter 6 "Making a woman' is the best attempt that I found which attempts to integrate the Lili Elbe book into its cultural context, and it should be referred to in any future attempt to do the same.    However he does drop a few big clangers.  He thinks that the next transgender operations are in the US in the 1950 (thus ignoring Drs George Burou, Lennox Broster and Harold Gillies),  he assumes that Magnus Hirschfeld was a transvestite (as does Vern Bullough but nobody else), he feels obliged to drag in Janice Raymond for no reason at all, he opens and closes with the Freudian equation of castration and decapitation.

    And his biggest clanger of all found on p281n24.  He says that the title of the German version, Ein mensch wechselt sein geschlecht, means A man changes his sex, and is therefore a masculine fantasy. This is incorrect, misleading and tendentious.   The proper translation of the German is A Person Changes Sex;   'sein' is masculine only because of its antecedent.  'Mensch' is a noun of masculine grammatical gender, but 'Mensch' simply means a 'human being', regardless of gender.  With no greater distortion, the title could be translated A woman changes her sex.

    The Pseudonyms:

    Andreas Sparre = Einar Wegener
    Grete Sparre = Gerda Gottlieb Wegener Porta
    Lili Elbe = Lili Ilse Elvenes
    Werner Kreutz = Kurt Warnekros
    Hardenfeld = Magnus Hirschfeld
    Gebhard = Erwin Gohrbandt
    Neils Hoyer = Ernst Harthern
    ??Neils Hvide = Neils Hoyer?
    Ridolfo Furuzzi = Fernando Porta

    In all the accounts that I have read about the Danish Girl film there has not been the slightest mention of any input from any real-world transsexual.  The very idea of using a trans actor seems to be totally alien to the production.  Likewise the idea of using a trans writer.   The following is the first line of the story description from IMDB: “Inspired by the true story of Danish painter Einar Wegener and his California-born wife”.   Gerda Wegener was Danish.   The story cannot be true if she is anything else.   The film is fact-free and transsexual-free.   However as Lili Elbe, as opposed to Lili Elvenes, is a media construct by Lassen/Warnekros/Hoyer/Stenning perhaps the further fabulation is not that inappropriate.   However the word 'true' should definitely not be used.

    PS I notice that in the Wikipedia article on Fay Weldon they retroject her name inappropriately (as they do for transsexuals).  Weldon was born Fay Birkinshaw, and by a first marriage became Mrs Bateman.  However the Wikipedia authors refer to her as 'Weldon' in childhood and again when she was Mrs Bateman, that is before she met and married her second husband Ron Weldon in 1960.

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    See also: Flawless Sabrina, Rachel Harlow and 'The Queen'

    Richard Finocchio was raised in South Philadelphia, and bullied at school for being too pretty. A friend of the family was a gay man who introduced young Finocchio to the gay subculture, where acceptance was found.

    Finocchio started winning drag contests. The Hotel Philadelphia (now demolished) at Broad and Vine Streets was the site of the annual Miss Philadelphia contest. The contest was organized by Sabrina (Jack Doroshow). The big winner in 1967 was Finocchio using the name Harlow (in homage to Jean Harlow, the 1930s movie star). Harlow did a few times visit The Stonewall Inn when in New York, but preferred the straight uptown scene.

    Harlow won the Miss All-American Camp Beauty Pageant held in New York in 1967 (again organized by Sabrina). This was filmed, and released as The Queen, 1968. The contestants are shown chatting in their hotel rooms, discussing how they were not called in the draft, their boyfriends, why they would never have a sex change. Harlow throws a fit because he does not have a suitable wig (although her own hair is quite feminine enough). The other standout among the contestants is Miss Manhattan (Crystal LaBeija, who later founded the House of LaBeija) who stages a tantrum when Harlow wins. The film includes shots of only Harlow arriving and departing, and on stage she gets longer and better-lit close-ups than the other contestants.

    She went to Cannes International Film Festival with the film and was a center of attention. David Bowie, in his androgynous phase, cited her influence. A few other minor film roles followed, and, especially in Philadelphia, she became a night-life personality. Bar owner Stanley Rosenbleeth opened Harlow's in the Old City area in 1970, with Rachel as hostess. The place was an immediate sensation. A short time later, a second Harlow's was opened in Atlantic City. There were also interviews, endorsements, modeling jobs and television appearances.

    Rachel Harlow completed gender correction in 1972.

    The Philadelphia disco-nightclub was a place that attracted celebrities, and one person who came was John B. Kelly Jr., brother of Grace Kelly, film star and Monaco princess. In his own right Kelly was an accomplished rower, a four-time Olympian, and an Olympic medal winner. He was also a businessman and was 12 years on Philadelphia council. He separated from his first wife in 1969. In 1975 he began a well-publicized affair with Rachel. He ran to be the Democratic candidate but his mother publicly and financially supported his opponent. This combined with the publicity over his affair led to his dropping out. He claimed that he intended to marry Rachel, but a year later, after his mother threatened to disinherit him, he ended the relationship.

    Rachel was having problems finding her identity. She dropped out of the night-life business and the gay subculture. She did continue to work as a model in New York, but avoided publicity.

    "I was burned out. I was tired of being on all the time. I began to dread meeting new people, having to talk about my life.  Even now, the only way I can talk about my life is to think of it as just a story. It's as if it all happened to somebody else, and I'm just telling about it."
    One night in 1979, she and a woman friend stopped for a drink in a small bistro, got into conversation with two men, and a year later Rachel and Gerard Billebault were married. On the wedding day:
    “I came out of my mother's South Philadelphia house and there were 500 to 600 people waiting in the street for me to leave the house. It wasn't the neighbors, it was the neighborhood. I turned to my mother and said `Look mom, it's all the neighbors - I guess they have forgotten, too'''.
    Billebault was a chef and had founded a bakery. After a trip to Paris Mr & Mrs Billebault opened Harlow's, a restaurant, in 1988, with Mrs Billebault as the hostess.

    However later both the marriage and the restaurant failed.
    • Frank Simon (dir). The Queen. Hosted by Jack Doroshow (Sabrina), with Rachel Harlow Crystal Labeija, International Chrysis, Kim Christy. US 68 mins 1968.
    • Arthur H. Lewis. Those Philadelphia Kellys, With a Touch of Grace. William Morrow, 1977: 175-7, 233-5, 249.
    • John Corr. "Different, Yet The Same: Philadelphia's Famous Transsexual Started Life As Richard Finocchio, But Became Famous As Rachel Harlow. After Years Of Shunning Publicity, She's Back In The Spotlight. Her Restaurant Is Harlow's - And She's Still Rachel"., April 18, 1989.
    • William Grimes. "'The Queen' on the Runway Again". The New York Times, March 27, 1993.
    • Martin B Duberman. Stonewall. New York: Dutton, c1993. New York: Plume, 1994: 186.
    • April Adamson. "It's Harlow! City's Best-known Transsexual Recalls Her Rise From S. Philly To A Life Of Glitz And Glamor"., November 16, 1998.
    • Thom Nickels. Gay and Lesbian Philadelphia. Arcadia Publishing, 2002: 37, 52, 56.
    • Marc Stein. City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves: Lesbian and Gay Philadelphia, 1945-1972. Temple University Press, 2004: 81-2, 269.
    • Wendy Leigh. True Grace: The Life and Death of an American Princess. New York: St Martin’s Press 307 pp 2007: 9,219-20.
    • Gail Gerber & Tom Lisanti. Trippin' with Terry Southern: What I Think I Remember. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, 2009: 81-4.
    EN.WIKIPEDIA(John B Kelly)     IMDB

    There was a famous nightclub in San Francisco owned by another Finocchio.   There is no evidence of them being relatives.

    John B Kelly, Jr, died in 1985 at age 57 of a heart attack.  His mother lived till 1990.  So, as fate would have it, he never inherited after all.

    The IMDB entry is still in Rachel’s boy name.  In fact, in the cast list for The Queen, it says: “Richard Finnochio as Harlow” rather than "Harlow as Herself".   It is time it was updated.

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    Carsten Balzer, whose female persona is Carla Lagata, has been active in social movements since the mid-1980s, holds a MA and PhD from the Free University of Berlin, has done fieldwork in Tanzania, the Brazilian Amazon region, Rio de Janeiro, New York City and Berlin and has taught Cultural Anthropology and Latin American Studies at the Free University of Berlin.

    S_he has published on the differences between drag queens and Tunten, and the differences between the trans subcultures in Rio, New York and Berlin paying attention to the interaction between the international/US concept of drag queen and autochthonous local traditions.

    S_he is chairperson of the Scientific Advisory Board of the transgender network Berlin (TGNB), founding member of the online journal Liminalis – Journal for Sex/Gender Emancipation and Resistance, Editorial Board member of the academic journal Transgender Studies Quarterly (TSQ), and member of the Advisory Committee of the Open Society Foundations’ LGBTI rights initiative.

    S_he supported Transgender Europe (TGEU) from its very beginnings in 2005 and served as a TGEU Steering Committee member from 2008 to 2012. Currently, s_he is the lead researcher of TGEU's Transrespect versus Transphobia research project, which s_he initiated in 2009, and resulted in the publications of several reports on transgender and human rights around the world. In particular for each year's Transgender Day of Remembrance and each International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, under the name Trans Murder Monitoring, they issue a list of named trans persons known to have been murdered in the previous twelve months.

    • Carsten Balzer. Santo Daime in Deutschland - eine verbotene Frucht aus Brasilien.(Santo Daime in Germany - a forbidden fruit from Brazil ). ZfR, Zeitschrift Für Religionswissenschaft ; 7.1999. [Marburg]: [Diagonal-Verl.], 1999.
    • Carsten Balzer. Wege zum Heil: die Barquinha ; ein religiöses Rettungsboot auf den Wogen des kulturellen und sozialen Chaosmos amazonischer Welten ; (amazonische Transformationen im Lichte Ayahuascas). (Ways to salvation: the Barquinha; a religious rescue boat on the waves of the cultural and social Chaosmos Amazonian worlds; (Amazonian transformations in the light of ayahuasca) ) Freie Univ., Fachbereich Sozialwiss. II, Magisterarbeit, [ca. 1999]--Berlin, 1999, 1999.
    • Carsten Balzer. Wege zum Heil: die Barquinha : eine ethnologische Studie zu Transformation und Heilung in den Ayahuasca-Ritualen einer brasilianischen Religion. (Ways to salvation: the Barquinha: an ethnological study of transformation and healing in the ayahuasca rituals of a Brazilian religion). . Mettingen: Brasilienkunde-Verlag, 2003.
    • Carsten Balzer. "The Beauty and the Beast: Reflections About the Socio-Historical and Subcultural Context of Drag Queens and 'Tunten' in Berlin". In Steven P. Schacht & Lisa Underwood. The Drag Queen Anthology: The Absolutely Fabulous but Flawless Customary World of Female Impersonators. New York: Harrington Park Press, 2004.
    • Carsten Balzer. The Great Drag Queen Hype: Thoughts on Cultural Globalization and Autochthony. Paideuma : Mitteilungen Zur Kulturkunde ; 51.2005. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2005.
    • Carsten Balzer,. Gender - Outlaw - Triptychon: eine ethnologische Studie zu Selbstbildern und Formen der Selbstorganisation in den Transgender-Subkulturen Rio de Janeiros (Gender - Outlaw - Triptych: an ethnological study of self-images and forms of self-organization in the transgender subcultures of Rio de Janeiro ), PhD Freie Universität Berlin, 2008.
    • Jan Simon Hutta & Carsten Balzer. "Identities and Citizenship under Construction: Historicising the 'T' in LGBT Anti-Violance politics in Brazil". In Yvette Taylor & Michelle Addison. Queer Presences and Absences. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
    • Jan Simon Hutta & Carsten Balzer. "Trans Networking in the Europen Vortex: Between Advocacy and Grassroots Politics". In Phillip Ayoub & David Paternotte. LGBT Activism and the Making of Europe: A Rainbow Europe. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014
    • J K Carsten Balzer/Carla LaGata. "Human Rights". TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly. 1, 1-2, 2014: 99-103.
    • Aren A. Aizura, Trystan Cotten, Carsten Balzer/Carla LaGata, Marcia Ochoa, Salvador Vidal-Ortiz (eds).Decolonizing the Transgender Imaginary. Duke University Press, 2014.
    TGEU    WorldCat

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    After her father's death in the 1990s, Filipino Juarez was the family breadwinner and did drag shows in Japan, and started taking female hormones. She continued performing on returning to Manila.

    Mimi was included in Janice Villarosa's documentary Shunned about Philippino trans women, but that film was shown only at film festivals.

    Following that she was chosen for the lead role in Quick Change, 2013, as a trans woman who makes a living injecting other trans women with silicone, but is traumatized when her boyfriend leaves her for a younger trans woman. Director Eduardo Roy Jr. commented: “Luckily, he was a good actor to begin with. We only had a two-day workshop before the shoot”.

    At the 2014 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, Mimi won the Best Actor award. She took this in good grace and when asked if she had wanted to win the Best Actress award instead: “Best actor, best actress … whatever, for as long as they show their appreciation for my work, I don’t mind".

    She has since been in South Korea filming a romantic comedy Seoul Mates, where she plays a Filipino trans who goes to Korea to see her boyfriend, but finds that he has a new life.

    IMDB     WikiPilipinas(Quick Change)


    It is depressing that the Philippino news sources and the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival insist on addressing Mimi as 'he'.   Of particular concern is the director Eduardo Roy Jr who researched trans lives and wrote the script.   He must know better, but insists on male pronouns.

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    Felipe Gil was born in San Antonio, Texas. He moved to Mexico and pioneered rock music in Spanish under the name Fabricio. He was in the film Buenos días, Acapulco, 1964, playing himself.

    After a few years in Argentina, he returned to Mexico and worked in television. In 1975 he wrote the OTI Festival winning song "La Felicidad" performed by Gualberto Castro (video). This led to other songs performed by Mexican singing stars.

    Since 1983 Gil has been on the executive of the Society of Authors and Composers of Mexico (SACM), and from 2007 he was Vice President.

    In 2014, at age 73, father of 6 children, grandfather of 11 and great-grandfather of 2, Gil announced that she was transgender, and took the name Felicia Garza (from the 1975 hit, and her mother's family name).

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    Mühsam was a physician-surgeon who qualified at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Berlin in 1893. He married in 1896, and they had two sons and a daughter.

    Between 1912 and the mid 1920s Mühsam was involved in several pioneering surgeries that he wrote up for the Therapie der Gegenwart journal in 1926. None of the patients are given names.

    In 1912 he did a double mastectomy and a hysterectomy on a painter aged 25, born female, who had always considered himself to be a "man in disguise".

    In 1920, at the request of Magnus Hirschfeld, Mühsam castrated a 23-year-old who had been dismissed from military school for not being brave enough, although he did serve in the Great War as an officer, which tested his manhood. By 1920 he could no longer function. "He gave up his medical studies ... spent the day in bed and slept most of the day". He normally wore a corset and stockings when he went out. He masturbated 3-8 times a day imagining himself as female. He implored Mühsam, who considered him to be a severe sexual neurotic, that he be castrated. This was done on 21 June 1920, and two days later he had stopped masturbating and resumed his studies. Mühsam wrote (seven times in three pages) that the purpose of the castration was to enable the patient to work. However now felt an enhanced desire to become a woman, and started living fulltime as female. He requested to have an ovary implanted to generate female hormones, and this was done in March 1921 by another doctor. The patient also requested genital surgery. A month later, Mühsam, who was reluctant, cut a "vagina-like structure" and hid the penis within. Mühsam had created the first constructed vagina for a male-born person. However by August the patient returned. He had fallen in love with a woman, dressed and behaved in a manly fashion and now demanded a reversal. This Mühsam was able to do. Reportedly, the man qualified as a doctor, emigrated and became a pathologist.

    Also in 1921, Mühsam removed the ovaries from his 1912 patient. Unfortunately the painter died in 1924 of tuberculosis. Mühsam did a similar service for another trans man, but he later committed suicide. Mühsam decided that "female" transvestites could not be treated surgically as the removal of the ovaries does not affect their sex drive.

    In addition Mühsam performed four testicle implants on three gay men and one bisexual – the Steinach procedure. This was supposed to induce heterosexual tendencies. However Mühsam reported that it worked only for the bisexual, and he discontinued the practice.

    Richard Mühsam died at age 66 as Europe prepared for war. His widow emigrated to the US, and died in Colorado in 1969 at age 94.

    • Richard Mühsam,. Über den Fundort des Bacillus pyocyaneus und seine Farbproduction bei der Symbose mit anderen Mikroorganismen. Thesis (doctoral)--Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Berlin, 1893.
    • Richard Mühsam. Compendium der Operations- und Verbandstechnik von Eduard Sonnenburg und Richard Mühsam. 2 volumes. Berlin: Aug. Hirschwald, 1903.
    • Richard Muhsam. "Chirurgische Eingriffe bei Anomalien des Sexuallebens,"Therapie der Gegenwart 28, 1926: 451-55
    • Richard Mühsam,. Was kann und wann muss der praktische Arzt operieren? Leipzig: G. Thieme, 1928.
    • Hans Hirschfeld & Richard Mühsam. Chirurgie der Milz. Stuttgart: Enke, 1930.
    • Sander L. Gilman, Making the Body Beautiful: A Cultural History of Aesthetic Surgery. Princeton University Press, 1999: 272-5.
    • Joanne Meyerowitz. How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States. Harvard University Press, 2002: 18.
    • Volker Weiß.  "Transsexualität im Geschlechtsdispositiv", Part III of „Eine Weibliche Seele Im Männlichen Körper“ – Archäologie Einer Metapher Als Kritik Der Medizinischen Konstruktion Der Transsexualität.  PhD Thesis, Freien Universität Berlin, 2007.  PHD.
    • Robert Beachy. Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity. Knopf, 2014: 176-7.    Mühsam family

    Mühsam (like Harold Gillies 20 years later) did only one male-to-female operation.  It is a shame that a better candidate was not chosen.

    The co-author of Mühsam’s last boo was one Hans Hirschfeld.  A German doctor called Hirschfeld in 1930 raises the suggestion that he was a relative of Magnus Hirschfeld, but I could not confirm this in any of the books about Magnus.

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    Josefine Meißauer was arrested more than once in Bavaria for being in female clothing. When Magnus Hirschfelt's book Die Transvestiten came out in 1910, she contacted him, and with a recommendation written by him, she succeeded in obtaining a police permit.

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    O was born in Vorarlberg, Austria. O's father, a gamekeeper and horn player, died when O was 5, of consumption, and his mother 1½ years later. O was still wearing a dress after his brother, two years younger, had switched to trousers. The aunts who took in the orphan did not permit him girls' clothing except at Shrovetide (Mardi Gras).

    After a few years in an orphanage of the Sisters of Mercy, O stole some clothes from a girl of the same size and took her certificate of domicile and ran off to Switzerland, where she found work as a nanny, and taught herself embroidery. When she was 16, a man tried to force himself on her and denounced her as a 'hermaphrodite'.

    O moved to France and found work as an embroiderer. She also worked for a while as a man after a friend's boyfriend threatened to report her to the police. In 1882 O emigrated to New York, and again worked as an embroiderer. A co-worker forced himself on her, and discovering her body, used threats of calling the police to make her an involuntary sex partner. One day when he was away O dressed as a man and fled to Milwaukee and worked in a timber-yard and as a cook.

    In 1885 O arrived in San Francisco, where cross-dressing had been a crime since 1863. As a man O became an itinerant bookseller, invested in property and began traveling for German newspapers. Indoors O, as a woman, helped with children, and provided accommodation for dance-hall women.

    In 1905 O wrote to the new German magazine Mutterschutz (Mother Protection) enclosing an article re feminine boys and men:
    "If he is raised as a girl, then he will lose all doubt and will be more stable in his girlishness, so that he will then never will ever want to become a man; if he forced to behave as a boy, then he will feel destroyed and will yearn for the time when he can make a living as maid or something like that".
    Despite that Mutterschutz advocated the equality of illegitimate children, legalization of abortion, and sexual education, it was not ready for this, and did not reply. O then wrote to Magnus Hirschfeld enclosing the rejected article. They corresponded and Jenny provided photographs for the 1912 supplement to Die Transvestiten.
    • Magnus Hirschfeld. Die Transvestiten; ein Untersuchung uber den erotischen Verkleidungstrieb: mit umfangreichem casuistischen und historischen Material. Berlin: Pulvermacher, 1910. English translation by Michael A Lombardi-Nash. Tranvestites: The Erotic urge to Crossdress. Buffalo: Prometheus Books.  1991: s. 1991: Case 13: 83-93.
    • Magnus Hirschfeld & Max Tilke. Der erotische Verkleidungstrieb (Die Transvestiten). Illustrierter Teil. A. Pulvermacher, 1912: plate XXII.
    • Clare Sears. Arresting Dress: Cross-Dressing, Law, and Fascination in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco. Duke University Press, 2014: 73, 76, 78-80.

    If born a century later Jenny would, quite likely, have been an early transitioner. She did as much as she did without estrogens, and probably had no way to find out that there were cities others than San Francisco that did not have such anti-cross-dressing laws.

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      See also 27 trans persons in France/French Belgium/French Africa who changed things by example and/or achievement.

      See also:
      Canadian (auto)biographies
      Hoax biographies
      (auto)biographies that are almost unobtainable

      Many French and Belgian trans persons have written autobiographies, and many of them differ from the English language stereotypes.   It is a shame that so few have been translated.

      Histories & studies

      • Georges Aubert. Trois cas de désir de changer de sexe.  PhD thesis Lausanne University.  Tavannes: Burkhalter, 1947.  Is this the first ever thesis on transsexuals?
      • Colette Piat, Elles... les travestis: la vérité sur les transsexuels. Presses de la Cité, 1978.
      • Jacques Breton, Charles Frohwirth & Serge Pottiez. Le transsexualisme: étude nosographique et médico-légale : rapport de médecine légale. Masson, 1985.
      • Joseph Doucé. La Question transsexuelle. Luminière et justice. 1986.
      • Louis Edmond Pettiti.   Les transsexuels.  Presses universitaires de France, 1992.
      • Henry Frignet. Le transsexualisme. Desclée de Brouwer, 2000.
      • Leduc Guyonne & Christine Bard. Travestissement féminin et libertés.  Harmettan, 2006.
      • Sylvie Steinberg.  La Confusion des Sexes: Le Travestissment de la Renaissance  a la Revolution.   Fayard, 2001.
      • Pierre-Henri Castel. La métamorphose impensable: essai sur le transsexualisme et l'identité personnelle. Gallimard, 2003.
      • Fernande Gontier.  Homme ou femme? La confusion des sexes.  Perrin, 2006.
      • Stéphanie Nicot & Alexandra August Marelle. Changer de sexe - Identités transsexuelles.  Cavalier bleu, 2006.
      • Laure Murat, La Loi du genre, une histoire culturelle du troisième sexe. Arthème Fayard, 2006 
      • Maxime Foerster. Histoire des transsexuels en France. H&O, 2006.  Revied edition: Elle ou lui ?: une histoire des transsexuels en France. Paris: la Musardine, 2012. 
      • Christine Bard.  Une histoire politique du pantalon.  Seuil, 2010.
      • Karine Espineira, Maud-Yeuse Thomas & Arnaud Alessandrin.LA TRANSYCLOPEDIE : Tout Savoir Sur Les Transidentites.  Lulu, 2012.

      • Brassaï translated into English by Richard Miller. "Le Monocle". In The Secret Paris of the 30s. London: Thames & Hudson, 2001.
      • Christer Strömholm. Les Amies De Place Blanche. Stockport: Dewi Lewis, 2011.
      For some reason the books in this section have been translated into English, while none those above in History & Studies have been translated.
      • Colette Chiland. Le transsexualisme. Presses universitaires de France, 2003. English translation by David Alcorn.  Exploring Transsexualism.  Karnac, 2005.
      • Colette Chiland. Changer de sexe:illusion et réalité. O. Jacob, 2011. English translation by Philip Slotkin.  Transsexualism: illusion and reality. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2003.
      • Catherine Millot. Horsexe: essai sur le transsexualisme. Point hors ligne, 1983. English translation by Kenneth Hylton.  Horsexe: Essay on Transsexuality.  Autonomedia, 1990.


      Camille Barbin.   GVWWWikipedia.  School teacher, railway clerk.
      • Abel Barbin. Mes souvenirs. 1863-8. Published Paris: Editions du Boucher, 2002.
      • Auguste Ambroise Tardieu. Question médico-légale de l'identité dans ses rapport avec les vices de conformation des organes sexuels, contenant les souvenirs et impressions d'un individu dont le sexe avait été méconnu,. Paris: J.B. Baillière et Fils,1872. Contains selection from Barbin’s Souvenirs.
      • Armand Ernest Dubarry. L'hermaphrodite. Paris: Chamuel, 1898.
      • Michel Foucault (ed) Herculine Barbin dite Alexina B. Paris: Gallimard, 1978. Translated by Richard McDougall as Herculine Barbin: being the recently discovered memoirs of a nineteenth-century French hermaphrodite. New York: Pantheon Books; Brighton: Harvester Press, 1980.
      • René Féret (dir & scr). Mystere Alexina. Scr: Jean Gruault, based on the book by Herculine Barbin & Michel Foucault, with (Philippe) Vuillemin as Alexina Barbin. France 86 mins 1985.
      Rosa Bonheur. Wikipedia    cross-dressing artist
      • Dore Ashton & Denise Browne Hare. Rosa Bonheur: a Life and a Legend. The Viking Press 1981.
      • Anna Klumpke. Rosa Bonheur: The Artist's (Auto)Biography. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997.
      Barbara Buick
      • Barbara Buick.  L’Eiquette.   La Jeune Parque, 1971.
      Claire Carthonnet
      • Claire Carthonnet.  J'ai des choses a vous dire. Une prostituée témoigne, Editions Robert Laffont, 2003.
      Claude Cahun  Wikipedia   gender variant artist and writer.
      • Claude Cahun. Claude Cahun. Paris: Nathan, 1999.
      • François Leperlier & Claude Cahun. Claude Cahun: l'exotisme intérieur. Paris: Fayard, 2006.
      • Gen Doy. Claude Cahun A Sensual Politics of Photography. I.B. Tauris, 2007.
      • Gavin James Bower. Claude Cahun: The Soldier with No Name. Zero Books, 2013.
      Alexandra Cerdan.
      • Alexandra Cerdan.  Transsexuelle et convertie à l'Islam. Alphée, 2010.
      François Timoléon de Choisy.  Wikipedia.  Diplomat, priest.
      • L’Abbe de Choisy. Mémoires de l'abbé de Choisy: Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire de Louis XIV. Mémoires de l'abbe de Choisy habillé en femme. [Paris]: Mercure de France, 1966. Translated into English by R.H.F. Scott.  The Transvestite memoirs. Peter Owen, 1973.
      • Dirk van der Cruysse.  L’Abbe de Choisy: Androgyne et Mandarin.  Fayard, 1995.
      • Marc LeBlanc. Étude des pratiques du masque et de la dissimulation dans deux Mémoires de l'abbé de Choisy (1644-1724). Thèse (M.A.)--Université Laval, 2002.
      • Benn Sowerby.   Four Imposters.  Grosvenor House, 2012.
      Andrea Colliaux. Air stewardess.
      • Andrea Colliaux.  Carnet de bord d'un steward devenu hôtesse de l'air.  Michel Lafon, 2001.
      Kathy Dee
      • Kathy Dee. Traveling, un itinéraire transsexuel. Éditions Belfond, 1974
      Ovida DelectGVWW  poet, political activist.
      • Ovida Delect. La prise de robe. Itinéraire d'une transsexualité vécue. Edité à compte d'auteur, 1982.
      • Françoise Romand (dir). Appelez-moi Madame. France 52 mins 1986.
      • Ovida Delect.  La vocation d'être femme. Itinéraire d'une transsexuelle, L'Harmattan, 1996. (includes La prise de robe).
      • Diane. Diane, Acropole, 1987.
      Jane Dieulafoy.   GVWWWikipedia.  Photographer, archaeologist, writer.
      • Jane Dieulafoy. Une amazone en Orient : du Caucase à Ispahan, 1881-1882. Paris: Phébus 404 pp1989.
      • Jane Dieulafoy. En mission chez les immortels: journal des fouilles de Suse, 1884-1886. Paris: Phébus, 1990.
      • Jane Dieulafoy. L'Orient sous le voile : de Chiraz à Bagdad. Paris: Phébus, 1990.
      • Eve Gran-Aymeric & J.M. Jean Gran Aymerich. Jane Dieulafoy : une vie d'homme. Paris: Perrin 1991.
      • Eve Gran Aymerich translated by Alexandra L. Lesk Blomerus & Paul M. Blomerus. “Jane Dieulafoy (1851 - 1916)”. In Getzel M. Cohen & Martha Joukowsky (eds). Breaking Ground: Pioneering Women Archaeologists. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2004: 34-67.
      • Amanda Adams. Ladies of the Field: Early Women Archaeologists and Their Search for Adventure. Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2010: 3,11,41-64,186.  
      Sandra Dual
      • Sandra Dual, Rencontre du troisième sexe, Gérard Blanc, 1999
      Jacueline Charlotte Dufresnoy/CoccinelleGVWW  Wikipedia.  Performer.
      • Mario A. Costa. Coccinelle est lui. Pocket- Mail, 1963. English translation by Jules J Block: Reverse Sex. The Life of Jacqueline Charlotte Dufresnoy. London: Challenge Publications 1961.
      • Carlson Wade. She-male: the amazing true-life story of Coccinelle. New York: Epic, 1963.
      • Coccinelle. Coccinellepar Coccinelle. Paris: Filipacchi, 1987.
      Sylviane Dullak
      • Sylviane Dullak. Je serai elle, mon odyssée transsexuelle, Presses de la Cité, 1983 et France Loisirs, 1984.
      Isabelle Eberhardt/Si Mahmoud Essadi  Wikipedia   Travelled in Algeria as Si Mahmoud Essadi and became a Sufi.
      • Cecily Mackworth. The Destiny of Isabelle Eberhardt.  Ecco Press, 1975.
      • Isabelle Eberhardt & Rana Kabbani. The Passionate Nomad: The Diary of Isabelle Eberhardt. Beacon Press, 1988.
      • Isabelle Eberhardt & Eglal Errera. Isabelle Eberhardt: eine Biographie mit Briefen, Tagebuchblättern, Prosa. Basel: Lenos-Verl, 1989.
      • Annette Kobak.  Isabelle: The Life of Isabelle Eberhardt.  Alfred A. Knopf, 1988; Virago Classic, 1998.
      • Isabelle Eberhardt & Liz Kershaw. The Nomad: The Diaries of Isabelle Eberhardt.  Interlink Books, 2003.
      • Lynda Chouiten. Isabelle Eberhardt and North Africa: A Carnivalesque Mirage. Lexington Books, 2015.
      Marie-Josée Enard 
      • Marie-Josée Enard, Vouloir être… Transsexuelle, Femme et Mère. Persona,1982.
      Delphine De Froissac
      • Delphine De Froissac, La solitude du désir, Éditions LAU, 2004. 
      Marie-France Garcia.  GVWW  Wikipedia     
      • Marie-France, Elle était une fois, Éditions Denoël, 2003.
      A.H.S. FulcanelliWikipedia.   Mysterious alchemist, author of Le Mystère des Cathédrales.   By 1953 Fulcanelli was living as female in a Spanish castle.
      • Kenneth Rayner Johnson. The Fulcanelli Phenomenon: the Story of a Twentieth-Century Alchemist in the light of a new examination of the Hermetic Tradition. Neville Spearman. 1980.
      Paul GrappGVWW   deserter
      • Fabrice Virgili and Danièle Voldman. La garçonne et l'assassin. Histoire de Louise et de Paul, déserteur travesti, dans le Paris des années folles. Paris: Payot & Rivages, 2011.
      Jocelyne    trade unionist
      • Jocelyne (avec la contribution de Florence Haguenauer), Jean/Jocelyne, éditions Stock, 2001.
      Bernadette Lacoste   
      • Bernadette Lacoste, Journal d’un(e) transsexuel(le), Société des écrivains, 2003 (ISBN 9782748006490).
      Amanda Lear.   GVWWWikipedia.  Performer.
      • Amanda Lear. Wer Hat Angst Vor Amanda Lear? Berengaria Editions Germany/France. 1979.
      • Duncan Fallowell & April Ashley. April Ashley's Odyssey. London: Jonathan Cape viii, 287 pp 16 plates 1982: 69,70,120,178-180,196, 241,268. London: Arrow 1983. Also online at
      • Amanda Lear. My Life with Dali. London: Virgin Books Ltd, 1985.
      • Amanda Lear. Persistence of Memory: A Personal Biography of Salvador Dali. Bethesda, Md: National Press, 1987.
      • Amanda Lear. L'amant-Dalí. Paris: M. Lafon, 1994.
      • Ian Gibson. The Shameful Life of Salvador Dali. Faber and Faber. 1997: 527-536.
      Vernon Lee.   Wikipedia.   cross-dressing writer.
      • Peter Gunn. Vernon Lee: Violet Paget, 1856-1935 (1964)
      • Vineta Colby. Vernon Lee: A Literary Biography (2003).
      Axel Leotard      a prostitute becomes a man
      • Axel Leotard.   Mauvais genre, Hugo & Compagnie, 2009.
      Maud MarinGVWW  Wikipedia.  postal inspector, sex worker, lawyer. 
      • Maud Marin & Marie-Thérèse Cuny. Le Saut de l'ange. Paris: Fixot, 1987.  réédition J'ai Lu, 1998. 
      • Maud Marin & Marie-Thérèse Cuny. Tristes plaisirs. Paris: Fixot, 1989.
      • Maud Marin & Marie-Thérèse Cuny. Le quartier des maudites. Paris: Fixot, 1991.
      • Maud Marin & Philippe Delannoy. Pitié pour les victimes. Paris: Fixot, 1996.
      Marie Mayrand
      • Marie Mayrand, Le combat de la mère d'un transsexuel, Cercle International des Gagnants, 1986.
      Pierre MolinierGVWWWikipedia.  Artist.
      • Pierre Molinier. Le chaman et ses créatures, Bordeaux : William Blake & Co., 1995.
      • Pierre Petit. Molinier, une vie d'enfer. Paris: Editions Ramsay/Jean-Jacques Pauvert 267 pp 86 ill 1992.
      Mathilde de Morney. GVWW Wikipedia.  Painter, aristocrat.
      • Colette. Ces plaisirs. Paris: J. Ferenczi & fils 1932, reissued as Le pur et l’impur. Paris: Aux Armes de France 1941. English translation by Herma Briffault. The Pure and the Impure. London: Martin Secker & Warburg 1968. London: Penguin
      • Claude Francis & Fernande Gontier.  Mathilde de Morny: 1862 – 1944, La scandaleuse marquise.  Perrin, 2000.
      • Colette, Lettres à Missy. Édition établie et annotée par Samia Bordji et Frédéric Maget, Paris, Flammarion, 2009.
      Violette Morris.   Wikipedia.   Olympic athlete, rejected from French Olympic team for being too masculine, especially after her mastectomy, assassinated by the Resistance. 
      • Raymond Ruffin, La diablesse. La véritable histoire de Violette Morris, éd. Pygmalion, 1989
      • Jean-Emile Neaumet, Violette Morris, la Gestapiste.  Fleuve Noir, 1994.
      • Christian Gury, L'Honneur ratatiné d'une athlète lesbienne en 1930. Kimé, 1999.
      • Raymond Ruffin, Violette Morris, la hyène de la Gestapo, Le Cherche Midi, 2004.
      • Marie-Jo Bonnet, Violette Morris, histoire d'une scandaleuse. Perrin, 2011.
      Georgine Noël   doctor
      • Georgine Noël, Appelez-moi Gina, Éditions Jean-Claude Lattès, 1994.
      Jeanne Nolais
      • Catherine Rihoit et Jeanne Nolais, Histoire de Jeanne, transsexuelle, Mazarine, 1980.
      Marie Claude Paquette
      • Marie Claude Paquette, Autobiographie 17. Pseudo hermaphrodite neurologique, Les Éditions Médialib 2002.
      Claire Pascal
      • Claire Pascal.   Le mensonge d'une vie, Thélès, 2008.
      Madeleine PelletierWikipedia.  Psychiatrist, activist - dressed like a man to distance herself from femininity.
      • Felicia Gordon. The Integral Feminist--Madeleine Pelletier, 1874-1939: Feminism, Socialism, and Medicine. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1990.
      Michel-Marie PoulainGVWW  Wikipedia
      • Claude Marais. J'ai choisi mon sexe. Confidences du peintre Michel-Marie Poulain. les éditions de Fontvieille, 1954.
      Marie-Pierre Pruvot/ BambiGVWW  Wikipedia.  Performer, teacher, novelist.
      • Marie-Pierre Ysser. J'Inventais Ma Vie. Paris: Osmondes. 2003..
      • Marie-Pierre Pruvot. Marie parce que c'est joli. Villettes: Ed. Bonobo, 2007.
      • Marie-Pierre Pruvot. Madame Arthur (Tome 2 de J’inventais ma vie).  Ex-Aequo, 2013.
      • Marie-Pierre Pruvot. Le Carrousel (Tome 3 de J’inventais ma vie).  Ex-Aequo, 2013.
      • Michiel van Erp (dir). I Am a Woman Now,with April Ashley, Marie-Pierre Pruvot, Colette Berends, Jean Lessenich, Corinne van Tongerloo. Netherlands 80 mins 2011.
      • Clara Vuillermoz (dir & scr). Le sexe de mon identité, with Marie-Pierre Pruvot, Maxime Foerster.  France 52 mins 2012.
      • Sébastien Lifshitz (dir & scr).  Bambi, with Marie-Pierre Pruvot.  France 58 mins 2013.
      • Marie-Pierre Pruvot. La Chanson de Bac (Tome 4 de J’inventais ma vie). Ex-Aequo, 2014.
      • Marie-Pierre Pruvot. Le Gai Cimetière (Tome 5 de J’inventais ma vie). Ex-Aequo, 2014
      Jenny De Savalette De Lange.  GVWW 
      • Hérail. Sur l'homme-femme connu sous le nom de Mademoiselle Savalette de Lange. Versailles: Cerf 1859. Reprinted with a preface by Frederick Prot Paris: Dilecta 2006.
      • Georges Moussoir. L'homme femme Mlle. Savalette de Lange 1786-1858 avec portrait. Paris: Garnet 1902.
      Sophie Simon
      • Sophie Simon, Un sujet de conversation, éditions Stock, 2004
      • Simone (avec la contribution de Jean-Paul Feuillebois et Mireille Dumas), Simone par Simone, éditions du Rocher, 1997.
      Claudia Tavares
      • Claudia Tavares, La Femme inachevée, éditions Régine Deforges, 1987. 
      • Claudia Tavares, Circonstances atténuantes, Le Manuscrit, 2002.
      Ludwig Trovato  GVWW  filmmaker
      • Ludwig Trovato, Mon corps en procès, éditions Flammarion, 2003.

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      Michael Stokes of Virginia had a feeling from an early age of being in the wrong body, resulting in a first self-cutting at 12, and bank robberies at 17 hoping to get enough money to pay for a sex change. In 1983 Stokes was sentenced to 73 years for robbery, drugs and weapons charges.

      In prison she changed her name to Ophelia De’Lonta from the Shakespeare character and the last name of a slain friend.

      In 1999 De'Lonta first filed a lawsuit petitioning for hormone treatment, but without success. In 2003 she, with the aid of the Virginia branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, again sued the Virginia Department of Corrections and was allowed hormone treatment and to live partially as female, to the extent possible in a male prison.

      Occasionally she attempted self-castration, but the VDOC refused to even allow her to be evaluated for transgender surgery. By 2011 De'Lonta was eligible for parole, but failed to get it because of a wide range of prison infractions.

      That year she sued again, claiming that the denial of treatment violated the Eighth Amendment. The judge dismissed the case, and she appealed. On January 6, 2012, the ACLUVa filed an amicus brief in support of her appeal, and oral argument took place on October 24, 2012. On January 28, 2013, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Ophelia De’Lonta stated a “plausible” claim that the Virginia Department of Corrections violated her constitutional rights when it refused to have her evaluated for sex reassignment surgery. The case was remanded to the lower court.

      In December 2013 it was announced that De'Lonta had been granted parole. She had served 34 years of her sentence. The board chairman of Buckingham Correction Center, where De'Lonta was held, was quoted as saying that the possibility of a court forcing the state to pay for an inmate’s sex-change operation was not a factor in the parole decision.

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    • 02/14/15--08:38: Gay Berlin – a review

      • Robert Beachy. Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity. Knopf, 2014
      As Wayne Dynes says in his Amazon review, there is little that is new in this book compared to the books on the topic published in the 1970s and 1980s, other than it being written assuming a social constructionist view. However now it is more than a generation later, and the older books are rather hard to find. This book is easy to read and covers the evolution of gay and trans Germans from Karl Ulrichs (the first to use the expression anima muliebris virili corpore inclusa - a female psyche confined in a male body) in the 1860s to the Nazi destruction in 1933.

      Beachy studied German history at the University of Chicago, and is now an associate professor in South Korea. Unlike the writers in the 1970s he does not care to tell us whether or not he is gay, although one presumes that he is from his expressed sympathies.

      Of the retold material there are two themes that I would like to emphasize. While paragraph 175 of the Prussian legal code which prohibited sodomy was imposed on all of Germany after unification in 1871, at least in Berlin the police regarded blackmail as a more serious crime, and in some cases prosecuted the blackmailer while letting the gay man go free. In this respect it was easier at that time to be gay in Berlin than in London. Secondly, the social construction of bisexuality was radically different from that of today. It was regarded as normal for a heterosexually married man to have a male lover on the side, as opposed to modern opinions like this article in Xtra that concludes that both gays and bisexuals are rather rare.

      So far, so good. What does Beachy have to say about trans persons? He does discuss quite a few and I have already used some of his material in this blog.

      Following a long tradition, Beachy claims that Magnus Hirschfeld coined the term 'transvestite': "Hirschfeld coined the term based on his experience of Berlin Cross-dressers" (88); "his own neologism" (p170). How many times does this misinformation have to be refuted before writers cease to repeat it? I went through the evidence back in January 2010 and showed the term in use back to the 16th century. If Beachy is not willing to condescend to read my blog, he should at least ask himself why the Paris police were issuing permissions de travestissementa full century before Hirschfeld arranged for the Berlin police to do the same. Failing that a quick perusal of the word in the longer Oxford English Dictionary should settle the issue (which is where I started).

      Here is an image on the fourth page of the illustrations. Despite the Fraktur font and the old-German handwriting you should be able to make out that it is an identity card for a trans man called Zwolf Buttgereit. Beachy refers to him only as "Berthe Buttgereit".

      I have already featured Gerda von Zobeltitz, whom I did not know about before reading Beachy. Beachy (p172) refers to her only as Georg van Zobeltitz, although I was able to find her real name online within minutes.

      Incidentally there is no entry in the book's index for either Buttgereit or Zobeltitz. I have come across this in a few other books: patients are not real people like doctors and are left out of the index. That is just plain rude.

      On the other hand the account of Richard Muhsam's experimental transgender surgeries is probably the best in English so far - it is more detailed that the account in Meyerowitz'How Sex Changed. But there is no mention at all of the major transgender patients in Berlin during this period: Carla van Crist, Toni Ebel, Dörchen Richter, and Lili Elvenes (Elbe). The 1931 article by Abraham Felix that discusses the operations of Dörchen and Toni is in the bibliography but is used only as a citation for a minor point.

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      •  Ralf Dose. Magnus Hirschfeld: Deutscher, Jude, Weltbürger. Teetz: Hentrich & Hentrich, 2005. English translation by Edward H. Willis. Magnus Hirschfeld: The Origins of the Gay Liberation Movement. Monthly Review Press, 2014. $20 144 pages.
      Ralf Dose is co-founder and director of the Magnus-Hirschfeld-Gesellschaft in Berlin. His rather useful short biography, part of the Jüdische Miniaturen series, is now available in English. Willis' translation is more than just that, for example the bibliography lists Hirschfeld's books available in English separately from those available in German only. Incidentally it lists Sexual Anomalies and Perversions, 1936, as by Arthur Koestler and Norman Haire, and designates it as 'apocryphal'. The German title translates as Magnus Hirschfeld: German, Jew, World Citizen – I presume that the title change is a marketing decision, but it is not explained.

      The other options for English language readers are:
      • Charlotte Wolff,. Magnus Hirschfeld: A Portrait of a Pioneer in Sexology. London: Quartet Books, 1986. Out of print 496 pages.
      • Rosa von Praunheim (dir). The Einstein of Sex, with Kai Schumann & Friedel von Wangenheim as Magnus Hirschfeld, and Tima die Göttliche as Dorchen. Germany/Netherlands 100 mins 1999. Does take some poetic licence with the facts.
      • Elena Mancini,. Magnus Hirschfeld and the Quest for Sexual Freedom: A History of the First International Sexual Freedom Movement. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. $95 224 pages. A good intellectual biography but seriously overpriced.
      The new book is concise, affordable and up to date, and, while it in no way replaces Wolff's magnum opus, it will meet most readers' requirements.

      It is however written from a gay perspective. We are still waiting for somebody to do an account of Hirschfeld from a trans perspective with details of all his trans acquaintances and patients. (Why are you looking at me?)

      According to the index there is trans content on pages 9,11,46, 72, 97-9. This barely covers the publishing of Die Transvestiten, 1910, the distinction from homosexuality, and the fact that the term 'transvestite' includes what today we would call 'transsexual'.

      Much more interesting is page 55, which is not flagged in the index, which contains:
      "The domestic staff was sometimes complemented by people staying temporarily at the institute and too poor to pay for their rent or treatment. Rudolf R. (b. 1892), called Dorchen, is perhaps the best-known example .42 Likewise Arno/Toni Ebel (1881 – 1961), who attained modest honors as a painter in the 1950s in East Germany, lived for one year in the basement of the institute."
      I immediately recognised Dörchen Richter of course, although I still wonder why some authors write Dörchen R. when we do know her surname. It took a short while for it to sink in that I now had the full name of the second patient discussed in Felix Abraham's 1931 paper, Genitalumwandlungen an zwei männlichen Transvestiten, (full text translation) whom previously I had known only as "Arno (Toni) E." This enabled me to research and write my article on Toni Ebel.

      What about the end note 42? It gives details of Dörchen's operations, and continues:
      "Since she could not afford to pay the expenses of her operations, she worked in the household of the institute. The figure of "Dorchen" in Rosa von Praunheim's film The Einstein of Sex is complete fiction".
      The word "complete" is of course elastic. It is a historical fact that Dörchen worked in the institute, and is not known to have survived the Nazi assault on the institute. The scriptwriters of the film needed to dramatise her role beyond the known facts, and the climax of the film when she goes back into the Nazi ransacked institute to confront them has no confirmation in fact, but is perfectly legitimate poetic licence and an amazing tribute to a brave woman.

      Far less legitimate is the Wikipedia page on Magnus Hirschfeld which in the section on his institute contains the following:
      "Although inspired by Hirschfeld's life, the film is a work of fiction containing invented characters and incidents and attributing motives and sentiments to Hirschfeld and others on the basis of little or no historical evidence. Hirschfeld biographer Ralf Dose notes, for instance, that "the figure of 'Dorchen' in Rosa von Praunheim's film The Einstein of Sex is complete fiction."
      Which reads as if Dörchen never existed, and is a calumny against both Dose and Dörchen.

      "Ebel, Arno/Toni" is in the index, but "R, Rudolf/Dorchen" is not.

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      Clarkson was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, the son of a sheep farmer and meat exporter. He was educated at Christ's College and then emigrated to study medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He won a scholarship to continue at Guy's Hospital in London.

      He was also a notable boxer and squash player. He won the Treasurer's Gold Medal in both medicine and surgery and qualified with the Conjoint Diploma in 1935, becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons the following year and completing his MB, BS London in 1940.

      He joined the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1940, and in 1942 was attached to Rooksdown House, Basingstoke for training in plastic surgery under his compatriot Harold Gillies. He was Officer Commanding of a maxillo-facial unit in North Africa and Italy from 1942 to 1945. In 1945 he was appointed to the British Army Staff, Washington for liaison with US Army and Navy Plastic Surgery Units. He was awarded the MBE for his war service.

      After the war he was appointed to Guy's as surgeon in charge of accident services, and re-joined Gillies at Rooksdown House which was to become a regional plastic surgery centre in the National Health Service. His most notable contributions were probably in hand surgery and in the treatment of burns. He was a founding member of the Hand Club in 1952. He wrote a major book on the topic.

      He performed one 'corrective procedure', changing the sex of the XO/XY mosaic dentist Georgina Somerset, in January 1957, no doubt drawing on the experience of his colleague Harold Gillies who had pioneered surgery on Michael Dillon, and Roberta Cowell, eleven and six years previously.

      Illness led to premature retirement, and he died at Guys Hospital at the age of 58.

      • Patrick Clarkson & J. Schorstein. Treatment of Denuded External Table of the Skull. 1945.
      • Patrick Clarkson & Anthony Pelly. The General and Plastic Surgery of the Hand. Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1962.
      • Patrick Clarkson & Peter Gorer. Development in a burnt child of antibodies following skin homografts. nd.
      • Patrick Clarkson. Clinical material concerning burns relevant to nuclear warfare. nd
      Plarr's Lives of the Fellows

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      Grant Williams, urologist, was, early in his career, from 1968 to 1988, Consultant Urological & Transplant Surgeon, Charing Cross Hospital (Fulham). He was not an advocate of the transgender surgery being done at the hospital.

      In November 1987 he wrote to the British Medical Journal:

      "This week seven patients have been admitted for urological surgery and been sent home because there were no beds for operating lists, but the 26 bed urological ward has two gender reassignment patients in it, despite undertakings from the management that the urological bed complement would not be reduced. One gender reassignment operation takes the whole of one afternoon in the operating theatre. During that time, I could perform 10 cystoscopies or resect four prostates or do three vasovasostomies.
      Most people would feel that to pursue gender reassignment surgery in the current climate must be bottom of the list of medical importance. The hospital continues with this, although it is totally against the wishes of the division of surgery."
      The next year, 1988, he resigned from Charing Cross citing his objection to gender reassignment surgery.

      In 1992 he wrote a Forward for Georgina Somerset's change of sex autobiography:
      "It is sad though, that many feel that they can only be fully satisfied when they have a 'sex change'. Sex cannot be changed. ... I have met some delightful young women walking around in a man's body, and I was pleased to help them, but I have to confess that they are a rarity and the vat majority of transsexuals are totally unsuitable for surgery."
      In December 2000 when the NHS announced that transgender surgery in England would be tripled, Williams was quoted again in the press:
      "It is sad when a patient who can't pass urine is sent home with a catheter because there are not enough beds, while other beds are allocated for transsexual surgery".
      Williams' speciality was vasovasostomy, the reversal of vasostomy.

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      (Original May 2008; expanded February 2015 – all pages references to A Girl Called Georgina unless otherwise noted)

      Part I: dentist and sailor
      Part II: wife and author
      Part III:  Turtle’s typology

      George Turtle, the youngest child of three of a self-made man and dentist, and a musician mother, was born in Purley, south of London. Somerset would later claim that she had an underdeveloped penis and some female organs, and this is why the parents were late in registering the birth – however the parents never referred to any possible confusion.

      George went to Croydon High School for Boys. He did not go through puberty, and grew neither breasts nor facial hair. In 1938, anticipating the coming war, the family relocated to Lower Kingswood, Surrey, and he completed his education at Reigate Grammar School for Boys (which was until 1944 a fee-paying school).

      Turtle passed the pre-medical exams in 1940 and trained in dentistry at King's College Hospital. After qualifying in 1944 he joined the Royal Navy as a dentist, which due to the exigencies of war he was able to do without a physical examination.

      In 1945 the pipe-smoking surgeon-lieutenant and his elder brother were initiated by their father into the Freemasons. Turtle saw service in Ceylon as well as in England. In 1948 Turtle left the Navy and established a dental practice in Croydon. His mother died in 1952. In his 30s Turtle resigned from his Lodge even after being advanced to the rank of Worshipful Master.

      Turtle sought professional help, and had mixed feelings when the Christine Jorgensen story broke:

      "it immensely distressed me as I felt no one would believe that my own case had not been influenced by hers and that I might be different"(p33).
      He was prescribed male hormones for a while, but all they did was make him more irritable. Turtle was introduced to the urologist and Gurdjieffian Kenneth Walker. A psychiatrist proposed that Turtle enter a mental hospital and be treated with electro-convulsive therapy. Turtle Senior strenuously objected, and an appointment was arranged with the Greek-born Professor Alexander Panagioti Cawadias, the prominent sexologist who is credited with coining the word 'intersex' (Hermaphoditus the Human Intersex, Heinemann Medical Books, 1943) who conducted a proper examination and declared Turtle to be a hermaphrodite, prescribed oestrogen and advised a change of sexual role.
      Kenneth Walker arranged an appointment with eminent surgeon Harold Gillies, but it went badly as Turtle came directly from dental work clad in a black morning coat and pinstripe trousers. Gillies, who was already on the carpet with the General Medical Council for having operated on Michael Dillon and Betty Cowell, was dismissive: “I do not really think you look or could be made to look like a woman".

      A 'corrective procedure' was performed by Mr Patrick Clarkson, a New-Zealand-born Harley-Street consultant plastic surgeon and colleague of Harold Gillies, in January 1957.
      "It was not the so-called 'sex change operation' of common knowledge to-day, and I even had to to go out a week before and buy my very first outfit of female clothes in which to leave the clinic. Indeed, I knew little of what a woman wore under her dress or skirt" (p35).
      Georgina now moved to Bognor Regis and began living alone as a woman. Late one freezing November night Georgina was assaulted, dragged into a field and raped. This resulted in being bedridden for weeks with pneumonia and thoughts of suicide. What it did lead to was the cutting short of her hair and a return to the male role, regretted immediately, and locum dental work while she waited for her hair to regrow. She found a cottage in Plumpton, near Brighton, and slowly regained the female role.

      In June 1959, Georgina's father died, and as 'an act of love, duty and loyalty' (p40) Turtle again cut his hair and donned a suit to appear at the funeral as expected, and stayed in the male role for nine months working at his old practice in Croydon and sorting out his father's affairs and selling up.

      This done Georgina moved to Hove, Sussex in April 1960. She finally obtained a revised birth certificate in July that year, but had to supply medical reports along with affidavits from Kenneth Walker, A.P. Cawadias and her father (the last having been signed before his death). Mr Clarkson was also obliged to provide a report of her anatomy and Georgina had to provide written assurances that she had never been married or been capable of functioning as a male.

      The press discovered Georgina, her home was besieged and the phone never stopped ringing. She agreed to an 'exclusive' with The News of the World, and was paid £100. A local paper gave the name of her road and stated that she intended to start a practice. This led to difficulties with the General Dental Council, which in those days was very strict against advertising. Turtle threatened to sue the newspapers, apologised to the Council, and was given a reprimand.

      Letters started to come from all over the world, from transsexuals and those who might be. Georgina sat up long hours answering them, and at weekends received the writers personally. However
      "It was not long before I realised that, as far as I could make out, all were, within a reasonable scale of variation, really physically normal people, and not like me at all. … It must, nevertheless, be said that most of all those I saw and heard from were basically sincere, nice people, who were so very happy for me and so very grateful that I was even prepared to listen to and understand their own troubles.(p50)"
      Turtle knew most of the London consultants, especially John Randell and Kenneth Walker, and they referred patients to each other.

      At Christmas 1961, Georgina was struck down with pulmonary tuberculosis and had to spend seven months in a sanatorium. By then she had met Christopher Somerset, a design engineer and a distant kinsman of the Dukes of Beaufort. He cared for her while she regained her health. Their engagement was announced in the Court and Social Page of the Daily Telegraph, and they were married in a church wedding in Westminster in 1962. Photographs of their wedding appeared on the front page of all editions of the Evening Standard. They were also featured in most of the Sunday newspapers and when they arrived in Paris for their honeymoon, they found that they were on the front page of Le Journal du Dimanche.


      Many of the early transsexuals, Lili Elvenes (Elbe), Betty Cowell, Dawn Langley Simmons, maintained that they were intersex. In all cases the only 'proof' is the claim in the autobiography. Understandably doctors and clinics maintain client confidentiality and so do not naysay the claim with the exception of Dawn who claimed to have given birth when she was 49 years old. Milton Edgerton explained to Dawn's biographer, Edward Ball, that it could not be possible. Georgina claims to be mosaic XO/XY (see Part II) and therefore not transsexual. Unless somebody examines the papers of Alexander Panagioti Cawadias and Patrick Clarkson, we will not have confirmation nor refutation of the claim that she was XO/XY. The link that I have provided is the best that I could find, but it does not discuss the likelihood of transsexuality in male phenotype XO/XY persons. I cannot find any clear statement that such persons are generally inclined to change gender. In the comments to Part II we will see Georgina pooh-poohing the idea that XXY chromosomes give justification for a desire to change sex. If anyone can point me to a medical article that shows male phenotype XO/XY persons changing gender in significant numbers, please let us know.

      Alexander Panagioti Cawadias seems to have been a prominent sexologist, with a seminal book to his name, but is now completely forgotten.

      Georgina says of the trans persons who contacted her that they were 'sincere, nice people' but 'not like me at all'. Her 340-page book is an expansion of this dialectic.

      Georgina carefully says that she was "the first woman who had officially changed her sex ever to be married in a church under English law" (p52). For some reason the Wikipedia article drops the last three words thereby invalidating the claim in that Coccinelle (Jacqueline Dufesnoy) had married in church under French law two years earlier (1960). There were also several marriages in the US that had taken place earlier – of particular note is Georgia Black who married twice. There were also trans men who had married under English law: Wynsley Swan in 1927 and Mark Weston, in 1936.

      Wikipedia also claims that Georgina was the first openly intersex person in the UK. Again one says, what about Mark Weston? Or Betty Cowell?

      0 0

      Part I: dentist and surgeon-lieutenant
      Part II: wife and author
      Part III:  Turtle’s typology

      Several of the medical men in London had suggested to Georgina that she write her autobiography, but what she did produce was a study based on those transsexuals who had contacted her. This involved a detailed knowledge of 30 of the transsexuals (one of whom was the future Jan Morris) and lesser knowledge of 100 others. The book was published in 1963, under her maiden name, as Over the Sex Border, with a Foreword by Kenneth Walker.

      This was three years before Harry Benjamin's book, and thus is the first ever on the topic. It is summarized as the last 30 pages of her 1991 autobiography.  She says that she is not a transsexual, and that surgery should be only for intersex persons and those transsexuals under 25 who have never married or had children.

      "Less than a few percent of transsexuals are true or primary transsexuals. These are generally the lonely, sensitive, asexual types of transsexual" (p82).
      She refers to trans women as male transsexuals.
      "The sad part is that, however permissive society becomes, these cases will always have to accept that biologically and organically they are really no more than feminised males or masculinised females, and will forever remain, regardless of their altered anatomy, of the male or female sex to which they were born. (72)".
      However she does balance this with:
      "There are still some to-day known to me of that era who were repeatedly turned away, heartbroken and suicidal, and yet who have managed to struggle on trying to do 'the right thing' and maintain the respect of society. For them the magical dream of being a young girl has gone for ever – they never wanted to be old women! They banged at the door and it creaked a little, making it easier for the next, but they themselves never 'made it' through. It is these less fortunate unknowns, not just the well known cases, that transsexuals have to thank to-day for the recognition given to the syndrome. (p97)"
      While Over the Sex Border is included in Richard Green's bibliography to Harry Benjamin's The Transsexual Phenomena, Benjamin himself, in the main text, completely ignores it. Similarly, John Randell's Sexual Variations, 1973 lists the book but never refers to it.

      Mrs Somerset wrote a letter to the British Medical Journal in 1966, to note that a leading article on transsexuality failed to mention her book, and concluded: "It is interesting that most if not all medical studies [on transsexualism] have been made by men. (p67)"

      Attention drawn to this letter led to her being invited to appear in a BBC Horizon program on "Sex Change" prompted by the withdrawal of the Press sisters from international athletics. This was the first appearance of a "sex changeling" person on a medical program on British television. She gave up a day in her surgery, cancelling a full appointment book, to go to Television Centre, and gave a forty-minute filmed interview. However only a minute of her interview was broadcast, and she was afterwards informed that she had said more than the BBC was prepared to screen.

      In January 1969, a medical article in the doctors' weekly newspaper, Pulse International, compared her to Christine Jorgensen as being transsexual,
      "implying that I was homosexual, would have had breast implants, electrolysis and was probably not legally married, I had no choice but to instigate libel proceedings for, indeed, all these premises were totally false" (p44).
      The proceedings continued for two years, during which Justice Roger Ormrod ruled in Corbett v. Corbett against the femaleness of April Ashley. However Georgina was not deterred, and even sent a copy of her book to Justice Ormrod, and he wrote back:
      "you and I have arrived independently at the same conclusions as to the legal position".
      She submitted medical reports and underwent blood tests and other medical examinations. For the first time she discovered her chromosomal constitution: mosaic XO/XY. If she had lost she would have been forced into bankruptcy. However two days before the scheduled hearing, the defendants offered an apology based on Georgina's medical records, and a statement was read in the High Court by her barrister, Leon Brittan, later a controversial minister in Thatcher's cabinet and posthumously famous for losing a detailed dossier on child abuse by prominent men.

      Shortly after that Georgina ceased taking artificial oestrogens.

      In 1983, at age 60 she applied for a state pension, only to find that the National Insurance database still had her down as a man. However she was able to point out that she had been legally female since 1960, and was granted the pension.

      In 1989 Mrs Somerset wrote to the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, in reply to an article by the recently deceased Charles Armstrong, and made the point:
      "If male transsexualists are BORN with a female brain, one would not expect their average age to be 35 years and many to have married and fathered children. … Moreover, they lack the vital formative years in their desired role and have a past from which there is no escape, even in dreams."
      She cited Charles Socarides with approval:
      "You don't change the body to conform to anything and, after the operation, the patient remains what he or she was born and the psychic problems are the same or worse",
      and continued:
      "By 1962 I had studied nearly 300 cases, and it became apparent that most were psychologically disturbed in more than the sexual plane. Not only do they convince themselves that their 'sex-change' is real but will lie, cheat and even falsify documents to gain their ends. However sympathetic, we cannot ignore the moral and social issues. Wives commit suicide, children are left fatherless, and all responsibilities are disregarded in their quest. … If we are to allow some form of modified birth certificate on compassionate grounds it should be granted only to those under 25 years who have never married or had children."
      The next year she wrote, again to the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine,
      "These true transsexuals are rare, often asexual and although popular, usually lonely sensitive souls, and its is these who primarily deserve our pity and time-consuming help. However, large numbers of homosexuals, antisocials, exhibitionists and perverts have for some time been jumping onto the transsexual bandwagon, bringing the subject and the medical profession into disrepute. These are more aptly trans-homo-sexuals, often having their partners at their side when having surgery, many afterwards becoming prostitutes." (quoted p74).
      Georgina, 1990
      In 1991 she did publish her autobiography, (from which most of the above is taken) under her married name. The book contains a Forward by Grant Williams, the urological surgeon who resigned from Charing Cross Hospital in 1988 in protest against wasting hospital resources on transsexuals: he iterates that sex cannot be changed, and that the vast majority of transsexuals are totally unsuitable for surgery. The book also includes a reprint of Over the Sex Border (changing the spelling from 'transexual' to 'transsexual').

      In response to a review of her autobiography in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine Georgina wrote to clarify that she is not transsexual:
      "Dr Pryor is wrong to suggest that I am one such case who has been able to adapt and lead a happy and useful life in my chosen gender. As my autobiography relates, my own circumstances are unique. I did not change my name: As a physical and genetic hermaphrodite this was done officially when my birth certificate was corrected from 'Boy' to 'Girl' as a result of affidavits from my father, a surgeon, and a sexologist."
      In 1995 a profile of Georgina was broadcast on ITV.

      In December 2003 she wrote to the Daily Telegraph to oppose the Gender Recognition Bill, then before Parliament, and re-iterated that
      "trans-sexuals do not change their sex but only become simulacra of the opposite sex".
      This was quoted with approval by Norman Tebbit in the House of Lords.

      Georgina's wedding headdress has been preserved and is on display in the Museum of Croydon. Georgina died at age 90, survived by her husband of fifty-one years.

      *Not the equestrian. There were also several Georginas in the family tree of the Dukes of Beaufort (family name: Somerset).

      One could argue that as Hirschfeld's Die Transvestiten and Havelock Ellis'Eonism contain accounts of persons who are from our perspective obviously transsexuals, then Turtle's book was not the first on the subject. However it was the first book to use the term. It was rude of Benjamin and the author of the BMJ leading article to not even mention her book, probably because she was a dentist and not a medical doctor, and probably more so because she was herself a transsexual, which I am sure is how they they perceived her despite her protests to the contrary.

      Note that Turtle uses 'transsexualist' without any reference to Benjamin, and it would seem that the word was in use in England independently of the use of 'transsexual" via Cauldwell-Lawrence-Wood-Benjamin in California.

      It is, of course, contentious to insist that chromosomes = sex as Somerset and various others have done.   Benjamin named the first chapter in his 1966 The Transsexual Phenomenon"The Symphony of Sexes" and while admitting that chromosomal sex is fundamental, 'sex' also has genetic, anatomical, legal, gonadal, germinal, endrocrinal, psychological and social aspects. Chromosomes are the one aspect that cannot be changed. By making chromosomes the same as 'sex' Somerset thinks that she is able to differentiate herself from transsexuals as a class.

      Much as I identify with Georgina as she attempts to get her book noticed, I must admit that I was appalled by her suing because she was compared to Christine Jorgensen. Let us repeat her words: "implying that I was homosexual, would have had breast implants, electrolysis and was probably not legally married, I had no choice but to instigate libel proceedings for, indeed, all these premises were totally false". Two years after homosexuality had been partially decriminalised, Mrs Somerset still treats an assumption of homosexuality as a libel. Furthermore, when she denies being homosexual, she is not denying being lesbian, she is denying being androphilic – an odd thing for a woman married for seven years to say. Jorgensen, an openly heterosexual woman, had admitted an interest in men. Nor was there any reason to assume that Jorgensen had had breast implants. Jorgensen's UK publishers should have counter-sued for the defamation of androphilia.

      In her various missives to journals and newspapers, Georgina never writes in support of any transsexual. In fact after the initial surge of respondents after the publicity of her change and then marriage, it seems that she avoided all transsexuals. Certainly she avoided the English transsexual groups: GLF TV/TS group, Beaumont Society, the TV-TS Support Group, SHAFT, Press for Change, although she has good words for the Beaumont Trust and lists gender identity clinics and a few groups at the end of her autobiography. However her opinion of such groups is: "most of these appear to be mutual admiration societies run by transsexuals themselves""they fail to help the lonely transsexual who does not feel, or wish to feel, part of an abnormal group. These would be distressed by the sight of other types … even the thought of having to attend a Gender identity Clinic or sit in a private waiting room with other transsexuals is off-putting."(p87)

      There is passing mention in A Girl Called Georgina of Christine Jorgensen and April Ashley, but not a word about Betty Cowell (1918 – 2011) only five years older than Georgina, who also served in the Second World War, who also claimed to be intersex, and who also dismissed other transsexuals: "I had female chromosome make-up, XX. The people who have followed me have often been those with male chromosomes, XY. So they’ve been normal people who’ve turned themselves into freaks by means of the operation", and avoided meeting them.

      Practically all the points that are raised by transphobes are found in Georgina's books and letters: still have a prostate, not raised as female, need to dilate, no female reproductive organs, sex cannot be changed, no periods, cannot become pregnant, deep voices, etc.

      On page 69 of her biography, Somerset writes: "The fact that those with Klinefelter's syndrome [XXY] are almost certainly sterile and may present with some female physical characteristics does not, in itself, predispose to transsexualism. Much as one must sympathise with their predicament, those with such a constitution hoping that it gives some justification for their desire for a 'change' can only be disappointed, since this chromosomal aberration is not a mixed-sex, mosaic aberration, occurs in 1 in 700 males, and only very few of these are transsexuals – evidence enough that the aetiology of the problem is much more complex than genetic considerations alone." If one removes "is not a mixed-sex, mosaic aberration" one can replace 'Klinefelter's syndrome' with mosaic XO/XY. Somerset asserts that the latter alone is a justification for a desire for a change, but does not demonstrate it.

      On p92-3 Georgina lists in details the contents of her private archive. I have found no mention of what happened to it.

      There is no mention of Turtle's book in Janice Raymond's The Transsexual Empire, although it would have been very useful to her. Norman Tebbit quoted Georgina Somerset; Sheila Jeffries quoted Norman Tebbit on the subject, but does not mention Somerset at all.

      0 0

      Part I: dentist and surgeon-lieutenant
      Part II: wife and author
      Part III:  Turtle’s typology

      In Chapter 5 "Basic Types of Cases" in Over the Sex Border, the following typology is proposed. Remember that the author was writing in 1962. In each of the eight cases a sketch of a corresponding person is offered. With one exception, they are referred to by a letter incrementing from A to G, with the honorific that seems appropriate to Turtle:, Mr, Miss etc. Turtle says that each sketch is of one person with identification details removed.

      Note: 'homosexual' = a trans woman interested in men, or a trans man interested in women. This was the almost universal usage in 1962, and has been retained by a few reactionaries and contrarians such as Ray Blanchard and Kay Brown.

      A. The Immature type
      Mr A, 25 and in catering, subject all his life to over-doting parents, no associates of his own age and sheltered from the outside world. No sexual experience and no opportunities to cross dress.

      B. The Aesthetic type
      A sensitivity of feeling, a desire of everything that is fine and clean, a love of music and the arts. A disassociation of all fine things from masculinity. A feeling that one cannot express finer emotions and remain masculine. A man's life is shallow and superficial while femininity represents purity, cleanliness, finesse, charm and gracefulness, gentleness and beauty. These transsexualists are intelligent and well-educated, and are successful in passing as male. They can be talked out of transition if the illogicality of associating aesthetic characteristics with womanhood is forcefully brought home. Mr B, 34, engineer, an only child raised by his father to avoid aesthetic and beautiful things. He spent good money so that his female clothes were just right. After a period on female hormones, he reverted to male after realizing that his female state would be less than perfect.

      C. The Oedipus type
      Identify with their mother, and are antagonistic to their father. Mr C, 44, chemical processing executive. His desire to cross-dress is repressed by his fear of ridicule, and when he does, he quickly burns the items afterwards.

      D. The Homosexual type
      Unlike the above, this type has friends, and does not feel guilty about cross-dressing, and often will reach a stage of being a man only for work. Many work as female impersonators, and transition earlier. Mr D, 42, engineer, served in the forces, taken for a girl as a child and overcompensated by being good at rugby and cricket. Attracted to men but rejects homosexuality. Has been to many doctors, and has started living as female, though unable to obtain surgery.

      E. The Anti-Social type
      Turtle sees this as a variation on the Homosexual type. They are selfish and cowardly, and desire to be female in that things must be easier for females. They want to be pampered and looked after without having to work hard. They enjoy the pleasure of fooling people by their appearance, and are exhibitionists. Often they will abandon wife and children to live full-time as female, and have fantasies about becoming prostitutes. Mr E, 56, married with several children, has lived on and off as a woman for much of his life, and has obtained a female National Insurance card. Has made no effort to seek treatment. Has been arrested for theft.

      no letter The Glandular type
      Glandular, that is endocrinal imbalances, result in a man in his twenties who does not shave, or a woman with a muscular physique and hirsutism. Of those so affected, only few become transsexualists. However for those few, the adoption of a cross-sex role comes easily. Those born boys often take up work as a female impersonator, but move on to a sex change, and afterwards desire marriage. Those who manage to obtain female hormones early avoid the male secondary sexual characteristics, and have less past to leave behind them. Turtle, however, cautions: "Nevertheless, it must be remembered that however much justification these individuals might appear to have they are no less biologically of the sex they were born, and can still only be called transsexualists. We are not therefore speaking here of someone who is intersexual."

      F. The Basic Female transsexualist
      Turtle admits that there should be a corresponding typology for female-born transsexualists, "Nevertheless, all cases known to the writer had intimate female partners, suggesting that most were probably homosexually oriented." There was no significant loneliness or need for secrecy. Miss F, 25, an only child, wanted to be a boy from childhood. Since the age of 18 has sought help from doctors, but with no success. Has had a female companion for many years.

      G. The Intersexual group
      In true intersexuality "sexual ambiguity is caused by a conflict of the biological factors affecting development, and, in contrast to transsexualists who often prove the normality of their sexual function, intersexes are often both physically and sexually immature and may indeed be sterile". However "intersexes may continue through life quite happy in their sex of rearing, regardless of their 'true' sex". Miss G, 37, realised from early years that her interests and feelings were those of a girl. "In spite of her inner feelings there was never any question of wanting to dress up or resort to transvestism, and it was only when she was eventually obliged to see a sexologist that her physical intersexual state was revealed."


      • A is not a type, but rather a stage or phase. One wants to know where the person is 10 or 20 years later. Obviously he needs to build his own life away from his parents.
      • B's reasons of aesthetics and purity are a type of fantasy, but remember that the time is 1962, and for most people it was still impossible to talk about transsexuality. I suspect a displacement of narrative, but until he can talk about what he really wants and feels, perhaps he should not transition. Probably some conversations with women about what being a woman is really like may be useful.
      • It is not said that C is married, or even that he is heterosexual, but he certainly does not seem to be gay. Is this the entry for heterosexual transvestites? It seems to be less that it should be. Surely the 'heterosexual' type should be more definite?
      • Homosexual transvestists are described as early transitioners, guilt-free and often female impersonators. But the description of D is of a man who has rejected homosexuality. Surely he is in the wrong section.
      • E, the anti-social 'homosexual' is the only example here to have a wife and children, and the only suggestion of 'homosexuality' is 'his desire to meet up with a man friend'. This is too vague. The exhibitionism and lack of consideration may match Turtle's stereotype of a gay man, but in actuality are as likely to be found among heterosexuals.
      • So we do not have a fleshed-out example of a gynephilic transvestite/transsexual, and the two examples nominated as 'homosexual' are neither in contact with the gay scene nor have a male lover/husband. Perhaps Turtle had not really thought through what 'homosexual' and 'heterosexual' really mean.
      • The 'glandular type' is based on an assumption. Turtle says that when they are still men, they are termed 'pretty boy' or 'baby face'. These persons are sometimes known as 'natural beauties'. Turtle gives no example for this type, but of course one was in the news a lot in the early 1960s, and had a church wedding two years before Turtle/Somerset did. That person is Coccinelle.
      • Elsewhere Turtle/Somerset has said: "Less than a few percent of transsexuals are true or primary transsexuals. These are generally the lonely, sensitive, asexual types of transsexual". Are we to assume that this group is the same as the 'glandular type'? If not, where are they in this typology?
      • Turtle's insistence that glandular imbalance is not a type of intersex is not shared by OII and ISNA. She is painting herself into a corner by not having 'true transsexualists' other than the glandular type.
      • The one group that is definitely 'homosexual' in the inverted way that Turtle used the term is the one she calls the 'basic female transsexualist'– what we would refer to as trans men. They have experience of the lesbian scene, and most have female lovers. As to her assumption that almost all "female transsexualists" are such, she should have paid more attention to the first surgical trans man who was outed in the press in 1958: Michael Dillon.
      • Turtle regarded herself as intersex and as not a transsexualist, even though she knew that most intersex persons stay with the sex of rearing. The positioning of 'basic female transsexualist' in between the 'glandular type' and the 'intersexual group' is odd until you realise that Turtle is putting the maximum distance between herself and any type of male-born transsexualist. She also claims that she has actually "changed sex", but that this would be impossible for a transsexualist.
      • Miss G is the only one example in the chapter who is referred to by the pronoun and the honorific of their gender identity. She is the only post-op person considered.
      • Is Miss G a sketch of Georgina Turtle? The not having a letter associated with the 'glandular type', and then putting the 'basic female transsexualist' in between the 'glandular type' and the 'intersexual group' result in the letter for the 'intersexual group' being G. Also Miss G has Georgina's age, and the description certainly seems to fit.
      Primary and Secondary Transsexuals
      Turtle/Somerset uses the term 'true or primary transsexuals'. In 1963 she was ahead of the game, but the boundaries between primary and secondary slid back and forth over the next few decades.

      Harry Benjamin had two kinds of 'true transsexual', moderate and high intensity, the former being 4-6 on the Kinsey scale, and the latter 6 only. Thus they are both androphilic.

      Robert Stoller also regarded the ‘homosexual early transitioner’ as Primary.

      On the other hand, Ethel Person & Lionel Ovesey, writing in 1974, agreed with Turtle. They designated a Primary Transsexual as one who is functionally asexual and who progresses resolutely toward a surgical resolution without significant deviation toward either homosexuality or heterosexuality. They defined two types of Secondary Transsexual: 1) one who is a homosexual and effeminate from early childhood into adulthood. 2) transvestitic transsexualism.

      In 1978 the Archives of Sexual Behavior published a paper by Virginia Prince in which she proposed that the only true transsexuals are asexual, socially-inadequate men who would function better as women, as "less is expected of women". She presumed that bisexuals (2,3,4 on the Kinsey scale) of their nature do not become transsexuals. She also proposed two kinds of 'pseudotranssexual' based on sexual orientation: 1) The preoperative homosexual group (Kinsey 5,6) gave much higher scores on all questions dealing with sex and lower scores on those questions dealing with gender, 2) those in the heterosexual group (Kinsey 1,2) gave high scores to gender type questions and much lower scores on the sex type questions.

      A decade later Ray Blanchard redistributed the types; he conflated the 'homosexual' transsexual and the early transitioner as Primary, while putting the asexuals with the 'heterosexuals' and bisexuals as autogynephilic. In fact he came up with a neologism: analloerotic which means sex but not with other people because he wanted to regard these people as autogynephilic.


      It was of course prejudice that Turtle's book was cold-shouldered because she was a dentist and because she had changed sex herself. However Benjamin's book of three years later is a better book and has a more coherent typology. Not that there are not problems with Benjamin's typology, but it is a better starting point for later discussions.

      It is annoying in Georgina's autobiography that she thinks that she is a real sex change and that the rest of us are not. In a typology chapter in a book with pretensions of science it is more than annoying. It is quite objectional.

      Apart from her personal ego trip, her typology is incoherent in that heterosexual transvestites, the largest group by numbers, are merely suggested under the heading 'Oedipal', and the only example cited is such a beginner.

      It is weird that the only male-born examples with a wife and children is designated 'homosexual', and that the other 'homosexual' is so homophobic. There were androphilic trans women in the 1950s. It was a difficult time to be so, but several in the UK are recorded in Kris Kirk's Men in Frocks.

      • Georgina Turtle. "Basic Types of Cases" in Over the Sex Border. Victor London: Gollancz, 1963: Chp 5.
      • Harry Benjamin. The Transsexual Phenomenon. New York: Julian Press, 1966. New York: Warner Books Edition 1977: 36-7.
      • Robert Stoller. Sex and Gender. London: Hogarth, 1968. ‘Homosexual early transitioner’ came to be the more accepted usage for Primary.
      • Ethel Person & Lionel Ovesey. "The transsexual syndrome in males. I. Primary transsexualism". American Journal of Psychotherapy, 28, 1974; 174-193.
      • Ethel Person & Lionel Ovesey. "The transsexual syndrome in males. II. Secondary transsexualism". American Journal of Psychotherapy, 28, 1974; 4-20.
      • Virginia Prince. "Transsexuals and Pseudotranssexuals", Archives of Sexual Behavior, 7, 4, 1978: 263-272.
      • Robert Stoller. "Gender identity disorders". In H I Kaplan, A M Freedman & B J Sadock (eds). Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 3rd ed., Vol. 2. Williams & Wilkins, 1980.
      • Ray Blanchard. "The classification and labeling of nonhomosexual gender dysphorias" . Archives of Sexual Behavior, 18, 1989: 315-334.
      • Anne Vitale. “Primary and Secondary Transsexualism--Myths and Facts”., 2000.

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