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US Post Office, censorship, sex and gender

Most countries use their postal systems to censor correspondence and publications.   This is in addition to censorship though the court system.  The usual excuse is that of security, but once censorship is in place it often extends to sex and gender topics.   This article is just about the US.

1872.  Post Office Act.  §148 which made it illegal to send any obscene or disloyal materials

1873.  The Comstock Law.  An amendment to the Post Office Act of 1872 made it illegal to send any "obscene, lewd, and/or lascivious" materials “or any drug or medicine, or any article whatever, for the prevention of conception, or for causing unlawful abortion, or shall advertise the same for sale, or shall write or print, or cause to be written or printed, any card, circular, book, pamphlet, advertisement, or notice of any kind, stating when, where, how, or of whom, or by what means, any of the articles in this section…can be purchased or obtained, or shall manufacture, draw, or print, or in any wise make any of such articles”.  The law was named after Anthony Comstock who became postal inspector,  He was also head of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice.  He prohibited the sending of anatomy books to medical students.  Comstock bragged in 1913, two years before his death, that he had been responsible for the criminal conviction of enough people to fill a 61-coach passenger train -- over 3,600 people.  He was responsible for the destruction of 160 tons of literature and pictures.

1876. A pamphlet by Edward Bliss Foote, inventor of the rubber diaphragm, was the first American publication on birth control to run afoul of the Comstock law. Foote was fined $3,000 for publishing his pamphlet, Confidential Pamphlet for the Married; Words in Pearl for Married People Only.  Birth control information went underground: even in medical textbooks, contraception was unmentionable.

1897.  Henry Addis and Abner J. Pope, publishers of a Portland, Oregon anarchist newspaper, Firebrand were arrested and their paper closed for sending an allegedly obscene poem by Walt Whitman through the mail.

1901.  Lois Waisbrooker of Home, Washington (an anarchist colony) was fined $100 for The Awful Fate of a Fallen Woman.  The postmistress for Home, was also charged for mailing it, but was acquitted.

1902Discontent: Mother of Progress also printed in Home, Washington, an article written by James W. Adams defending free love and criticizing formal monogamous marriage as hypocritical. Federal officials charged the editor, James E. Larkin, the printer, Charles L. Govan, and Adams with mailing obscene literature.   However the judge deem to article to be, though radical, not obscene.

1903.  Home, Washington, being ‘a settlement of avowed anarchists and free lovers, the members of which society on numerous instances, with the apparent sanction of the entire community, have abused the privileges of the post office establishment and department’ lost its post office and did not get it back until 1958, but even then was not allowed its traditional name.

1911.  A report by the Chicago Vice Commission, headed by Dean Summer of the Episcopal Church, was banned from the mails.

1915.  Architect William Sanger was charged under the New York law against disseminating contraceptive information.  Anthony Comstock, at the height of his power, appointed by President Wilson as the International Purity Congress delegate in San Francisco, testified at his trial. Sanger died shortly after on September 21st.

1916. Ricardo Flores Magón, anarchist and Latino activist, arrested on charges of defamation and sending indecent materials through the mail. He was sent to USP Leavenworth. In 1922, he died in his cell, maybe murdered by a guard.

1918. Sanger’s wife, Margaret similarly charged.  On appeal, her conviction was reversed on the grounds that contraceptive devices could legally be promoted for the cure and prevention of disease.

1920.  The US Post Office seized and burned four issues  of The Little Review, edited by Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap, that contained excerpts from James Joyce’s Ulysses. The next year, they were tried and found guilty of obscenity, fined $100 and forced to discontinue serializing the book.

1921.  William Hays appointed new Postmaster General.  He was quoted in The New York Times:  “It is no part of the primary business of the Post Office Department to act as censor of the press. This should not and will not be”.  Mary Ware Dennett met with Hays who implied that he would recommend to congress that contraceptive information be removed from the definition of what is obscene.

1922.  William Hays quit as Postmaster General without keeping his promise to Mary Ware Dennett.  He became president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America.

Mademoiselle de Maupin by Théophile Gautier, a tale of a cross-dressing woman,was cleared of obscenity in the 1922 case Halsey v. New York.

Mary Ware Dennett’s pamphlet, The Sex Side of Life-An Explanation for Young People, after having been in circulation over four years, was declared unmailable as obscenity.

1927.  The Post Office and the Customs Bureau issued a list of 739 books and pamphlets to be banned by department officials. The arbitrary list included many foreign books that had been published in America in English for years without prosecution. “Other volumes were passed in the English version and excluded in the French or Italian; or excluded in Spanish while being passed in French or Italian.”  However the list was withdrawn in 1930 after pressure from a New Mexico Senator.

H.L. Mencken, editor of The American Mercury was arrested for selling obscene literature. His April contained “Hatrack”, a chapter from an upcoming book about a prostitute by Herbert Asbury, and “The New View of Sex”, an editorial essay by George Jean Nathan. Mencken was tried and acquitted two days later. The day after the trial and after all the April issues were mailed to subscribers, the Solicitor of the U.S. Postal Service Department, Horace J. Donnelly, decreed the issue obscene and unmailable.

1928.  Mary Ware Dennett was fined $300, for distributing her pamphlet. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), appealed her conviction and won a reversal, in which judge ruled that the pamphlet's main purpose was to "promote understanding".

1929.  Radclyffe Hall’s pioneering trans man novel, The Well of Loneliness, was published in the US after already having been banned in the UK. It was seized in New York.  This was successfully challenged in court.

1930. Ex-Postmaster General, William Hays, introduced the Motion Picture Production Code, known as the Hays Code, which removed most adult representation of sex and gender for the next few decades.

1932.  Margaret Sanger arranged for a shipment of diaphragms to be mailed from Japan to a sympathetic doctor in New York City. When U.S. customs confiscated the package as illegal contraceptive devices, Sanger helped file a lawsuit. In 1936, a federal appeals court ruled in United States v. One Package of Japanese Pessaries that the federal government could not interfere with doctors providing contraception to their patients.

1933. The Nudist was banned even though genitals were airbrushed.  The US Supreme Court disagreed.

1935.  Ban on contraceptives declared unconstitutional.

1938.  A Catholic Group, The National Office for Decent Literature, was founded with a list of topics including homosexuality and transvestism that were to be proscribed. To avoid trouble most publishers and editors engaged in self censorship, and avoided such topics.

1953.  The August issue of ONE Magazine was confiscated by the Los Angeles postmaster.  However the Federal Solicitor General determined in 3 weeks that the issue was not obscene, and the confiscated copies were returned.

1954.  ONE Magazine October issue was seized because of “Sappho Remembered”, an advertisement for a Swiss magazine, Der Kreis “with beautiful photos” and a poem about homosexuality in England.

1957Samuel Roth’s American Aphrodite, containing literary erotica and nude photography was convicted.   The Supreme Court upheld the ruling.

Attorney Eric Jilber, refused help from the ACLU, lost ONE’s case in the Court of Appeal.  The three judges deemed the issue “morally depraved and debasing”

520 copies of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, being imported from a printer in London, were seized by US Customs.  Then the manager of City Lights Bookstore and publisher, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, were tried for publishing and selling the book. The ACLU  supported the defendants and nine literary experts testified on the book’s behalf.  It was acquitted on appeal.

1958. The US supreme Court ruled, re One Magazine, in its first ever case involving homosexuality, that the Post Office was discriminating and denying equal protection.  Hence homosexual content is not obscene simply because it is homosexual.

1959. The US publisher of D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover won his case and its appeal against the US Post Office’s censorship.

1960. Nan Gilbert in New England, a publisher of petticoat-punishment fantasies had had his mail stopped and was fined $500.

1961. H Lynn Womack, gay erotica publisher, successfully sued the post office for confiscating Grecian Guild magazine.

Susanna Valenti as summoned by postal officials. Two of her correspondents had been charged with mailing obscene materials, and Susanna’s name had come up. Tito pleaded respectability and denounced the obscenities.

Virginia Prince was actually arrested re personal correspondence to another transvestite, who he thought was a woman, who was already under investigation. Prince pleaded guilty in a plea bargain to sending obscene material through the mail. With a five-year probationary sentence, he was liable to be imprisoned if caught cross-dressed in public. However his lawyer persuaded the court to include educating the public about cross-dressing as part of the probation order.

1963.  Sanford Aday & Wallace de Ortega Maxey, mail-order erotica publishers, both of the Mattachine Society, indicted on 18 counts of Interstate Transportation of Obscene Material, convicted of 5.  Of the 8 books named, only Sex Life of a Cop was found obscene. They were fined $25,000 each and sentenced to 25 years in prison (although the conviction was reversed by the US Supreme Court a few years later).  There is now a Sanford Aday collection at California State University, Fresno.

1965. The U.S. Supreme Court case Griswold v. Connecticut struck down one of the remaining contraception Comstock laws in Connecticut and Massachusetts. However, Griswold only applied to marital relationships.

1972. Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972) extended its holding to unmarried persons as well.

1996.  The Comstock Act was revived into Title V of the Telecommunications Act

Virginia Prince (1912 - 2009): Part 1 - Youth and First marriage

See also:  Did Virginia Prince have Harry Benjamin Syndrome?
and The Myth That Transgender is a Princian Concept.

Previously in April 2008, I wrote an account of Virginia Prince, who started life as Arnold Lowman. With all due modesty I think that it still stands as the best short account of her.  I wrote it based mainly on the books by Richard Docter, Richard Ekins and Vern Bullough.  Particularly after I wrote my TG, Words and Concepts series, I realized that my account of Prince could be much improved.  This realization was further developed by reading Robert Hill’s dissertation which is largely based on a close reading of Transvestia magazine.   One problem with most accounts of Virginia Prince is that they are not integrated into GLBT and general history.  Hence I have included background events below, mainly of what else was going on in Los Angeles, but also elsewhere when it seemed appropriate, to give a contextualization.

Part 1 – Youth and First marriage
Part II – Second Marriage
Part III – Femmiphilic activist
Part IV – Full-time Living
Part V – Transgenderist dowager
Jargon terms and general comments

Charles Leroy Lowman (1879-1977) was born in Park Ridge, Illinois. Both his paternal grandparents were physicians. He trained as doctor at the University of Southern California, interned at California Lutheran Hospital and studied orthopedic surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Children’s Hospital in Boston. In 1909 he started a small out-patient clinic for handicapped children, and was the only orthopedist between San Francisco and New Orleans, traveling through five states to practice. He married Elizabeth Hudson Arnold (1882-1968), the daughter of a prosperous Indiana farmer and Ella Gifford Ferris, who was a cousin of George Ferris, the inventor the Big Wheel that first appeared at the 1893 Chicago Exposition1. Charles and Elizabeth Lowman had two children: Arnold born in 1912 and Elizabeth born four years later.2

The owner of the building where Charles Lowman had his clinic made an offer that if Lowman could establish a functioning hospital within 15 years, he would donate clear title to the building and its gardens. This was done and further expansion of the Los Angeles Orthopedic Hospital was being discussed when the 15 years had passed in 1922. Lowman pioneered aquatherapy for poliomyelitis patients, and devised motor-driven lifts to get the patients in and out of the water. He pioneered fascia lata strap transplants which enabled wheelchair-bound patients to walk with crutches.

Elizabeth Sr contributed to the home by shrewd investments in property and stocks. For grades 3-7 Arnold was transferred from his local public school to the residential Glendora Foothill Christian School, fifty miles to the east. On Thanksgiving Day in his seventh grade, the school burnt down, and he was transferred back to a local school.

Arnold developed a fixation with high-heeled shoes. They were of course not welcome in the home of an orthopedist. He moved on to his mother's clothes, and then started collecting his own. By the age of 12 Arnold was an accomplished cross-dresser and could pass in public as a girl. He used the name Muriel.(Docter:41-2)    As Prince wrote in 1979:
"Starting at the age of about twelve I found myself fascinated with wearing my mother's clothes on all occasions when the family would be out. It was sexually exciting and thrilling but it was also frightening and it gave rise to a tremendous load of guilt and shame. With that kind of pressure I should have quit – and I did – many times, I felt terrible about it, guilt ridden and wondering what was wrong with me – an otherwise normal, functional boy. For a while I supposed that I must be a homosexual – though I had no interest in boys sexually. When I got that straightened out in my head I decided that I must be psychopathic. But on the other hand, I was an intelligent, above-average student, an athlete, member of clubs, etc. But even if I was not either of those two two things surely I must be the only otherwise normal boy who was so weird as to want to wear girl's clothes. I went through adolescence with those worries, and I kept on dressing on every occasion when I thought I could do so safely. While it started out as an erotic experience each time, there came a time when, after eroticism had run its course, I discovered that there was still a very special pleasure in 'being' a 'girl'. Instead of just being an erotically aroused male in a dress, I found that I was somehow different. I did not know for years what was going on – or more properly what was coming out. It was that part of myself that had been hidden and suppressed in all my growing years – just as it is in all men. It was my other half, that half that when openly expressed is termed feminine."
In 1922, the Los Angeles City Council had revised its anti-masquerading law of 1898. It now stated that if one dressed in the clothes of the opposite sex on the streets, a penalty of up to six-months in jail or a fine of up to $500 could be imposed. By 1924 the Los Angeles drag culture was dominated by Clarabelle, who was regarded as the queen mother of Bunker Hill. Arnold never spoke of this. That was also the year that male-impersonator Jean Southern accosted a police officer who failed to read her, and the encounter made headlines in the Los Angeles Times. Julian Eltinge was the US's top female impersonator and was playing to sell-out audiences at the Los Angeles Orpheum Theater.

Charles Lowman was a prolific author and innovator in the field of orthopedic medicine. He published A Collection of Papers Dealing with Some Physical, Educational, Physiotherapeutic & Orthopaedic Problems in1924, persuaded the California legislature to provide teachers for handicapped children in hospital in 1927 and co-published Corrective Physical Education for Groups: A Text Book of Organization, Theory, and Practice in 1928.

At age 18, in drag, Arnold won a prize for best costume at his church Halloween party. He did his BA at Pomona College, Los Angeles where by chance he shared a dorm with Edward Richards, the future Barbara Wilcox, although they did not know each other.

Whether young Arnold knew or not, 1932 was a peak year for pansy revues (which featured female impersonation) with appearances in Los Angeles by Karyl Norman and Jean Malin, and the next year Hollywood made a record number of films with pansy content. However, from 1932 onwards, and especially after the end of Alcohol Prohibition in 1933, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) started busting the pansy clubs. BBB's Cellar and Jimmie's Back Yard were raided repeatedly. The raid on The Big House in fall 1932 met resistance: the patrons fought back and a female impersonator attempted to escape through a window. The bar, renamed Buddy's Rendezvous, reopened, and the police returned eight months later and arrested five transvestites on vagrancy charges. In November 1933 another raid on Jimmie's Back Yard resulted in 90-day sentences for the owner, the mistress of ceremonies and the piano player. Three other female impersonators were each sentenced to six months – the maximum penalty. Harold Brown, arrested on suspicion of posing as a narcotics officer, was discovered to be female bodied and got a suspended 30-day sentence for masquerading. Three pansy bars were shut down in 1936, and another three the next year. Frank Shaw, the Los Angeles Mayor, ran a notably corrupt administration from 1933 until he was recalled in 1938. He was opposed by Clifford Clinton, a restaurateur, who with others filed a grand jury report that led to the recall. Part of Shaw's fight back was to step up the attack on 'sex pervert' bars. This was reinforced in 1937 by a national sex panic after children were killed in New York, and J Edgar Hoover declared 'War on the Sex Criminal'. In 1940 even Julian Eltinge was prevented from appearing on stage in Los Angeles in female clothes, and was obliged to do his act in a tuxedo with his dresses on mannequins.

However private parties in Hollywood and even public appearances by its stars were another matter. Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo and Katherine Hepburn were known for their male attire, both on screen and when out socializing. Film director, Dorothy Arzner, the only female director in Hollywood, was known for dressing in men's clothes. In 1937, Howard Greer, the Hollywood fashion designer who did the costumes for Bringing Up Baby and My Favorite Wife, threw a drag party at which he hired female impersonators to sign a Cole Porter song in front of the real Cole Porter (Gay LA: 46) In 1938 Los Angeles resident Michael Higgins was arrested on charges of grand theft and fraud, and discovered to be female-bodied.

Meanwhile Arnold graduated from Pomona College in 1935 and did postgraduate studies in pharmacology at the University of California at Berkeley.

Charles Lowman published Balance skills in physical education in 1935, and the next year Arnold co-published with a fellow student a paper on lactic dehydrogenase. In 1937 Charles Lowman published The Therapeutic Theatre, and contributed to Technique of Underwater Gymnastics; A Study in Practical Application. Arnold's MS thesis was on lactic dehydrogenase, and the fellow student and he published a book on the topic in 1939. Arnold's PhD thesis, Carbohydrate Metabolism and Its Relation to the Cancer Problem, was completed in the same year.

Elizabeth followed her brother to Pomona College and then Berkeley. She later met and married a mining engineer, and they moved to Nevada. They had three children.

Fletcher Bowron, who was mayor of Los Angeles 1938-53, had a particular antipathy to women in trousers. In 1942 he declared to the city council that he loathed "to see masculine women much more than feminine traits in men" and got them to pass a regulation barring female employees at City Hall from wearing pants.

In 1941 Arnold outed himself as a transvestite to his father after a trip to San Francisco, by being his femme self when his father arrived to pick him up. This was just before his first marriage, to Dorothy Shepherd (1909 – 1985) a secretary from Anoka, Minnesota, whom he had met at church. The wedding was held in the Lowman home, the day after Arnold burned all his female clothing. Mr and Mrs Lowman then moved to San Francisco where Arnold had a job with Del Monte Foods, and later on a medical research project for one of his professors who was now at the University of California Medical School at San Francisco.

Arnold researched transvestism in the medical library. He noted two case studies of interest being presented in the psychiatry department, and attended both. The first was by Barbara Wilcox who had been his classmate at Pomona College, and was by then living as a woman and had petitioned the Superior Court of California to change her name and to become legally a woman. The second presentation was by Louise Lawrence, the pioneering transvestite organizer who put transvestites in touch with each other, and with sympathetic doctors. Either Arnold badgered the lecture organizer to reveal Louise's home address, and Louise took in the nervous young man on her doorstep (Stryker, 2005: xv); or he sneaked a look in the case file to obtain her address, and telephoned and asked to meet (Docter: 45). In either case Lawrence introduced Virginia Prince as Arnold named himself (he lived on Prince Street) to other transvestites in San Francisco, and provided contacts in Los Angeles. Through her he became a patient of Karl Bowman of the Langley Porter Psychiatric Clinic, the seventh psychiatrist that he consulted, who told him to “relax and learn to accept yourself” (TV&Wife: 5-6). She also introduced him, in the late 1940s, to a doctor who spent each summer in San Francisco, and was starting to build a practice with transvestite clients: Harry Benjamin.

In 1945 the millionaire Howard Hughes went San Francisco's famous Finocchio's female impersonation revue and night club where he met performer Pussy Katt. Shortly afterwards he flew her to Mexico City for an operation that made her America's first surgical transsexual. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Clarabelle, the queen of Bunker Hill was no more. Her successors were Wilhemena, and then Carioca (who later died on an operating table in Calexico). The inter-racial Club Alabam on Los Angeles' Central Avenue continued to sponsor an annual drag ball contest.

When the research project was over Arnold and Dorothy returned to Los Angeles where Arnold found work as a chemist. Their only son, Brent, was born in 1946. For the first five or six years of their marriage, Arnold kept his cross-dressing from Dorothy, but then got it into his head that he was going as a half man/half woman to the church Halloween party. Dorothy was not thrilled. Afterward they had a long talk and agreed that Arnold was not to dress in her presence, but that she would do his clothing shopping, to avoid one risk. Then Arnold got to be Virginia about once every two weeks. He started spending time with Edith Ferguson and other transvestites. They attended meetings at the Long Beach home of Joan Thornton, who shared the same interest.
Virginia Prince, 1948.  Plate 1 in JJ Allen, The Man in the Red Velvet Dress

William Parker (played by Nick Nolte in the film Gangster Squad) was Los Angeles Police Chief from 1950 until his death in 1966. He repeatedly sent his men to raid gay and lesbian bars and to treat gays and lesbians as if they were criminals. So many arrests occurred that an entire section of the Lincoln Heights jail was reserved for gay and trans inmates, nicknamed the "fruit tank". One case that made the newspapers in 1950 was of three Negro domestic servants who were arrested for dressing as female.

That year two lesbians, in separate cases, challenged the Los Angeles anti-masquerading law, and in both cases the courts declared that cross-dressing alone did not constitute guilt under the ordinance unless there was further intent to conceal one's identity. However the LAPD and the local politicians simply ignored these two rulings.

By 1951 Dorothy Lowman felt unable to cope with her husband’s cross-dressing, and saw a psychiatrist who explained that Arnold was homosexual. She sued for divorce mainly citing her husband’s “admitted propensity for feminine apparel”. Arnold was ordered to pay $50 a month for his son’s support and $50 for his wife’s. His transvestism was publicized during the proceedings, which led to contacts with more transvestites. (Docter: 29-35, 47-8)

One who did not establish contact was Gigi Hemingway who was arrested en femme in the women’s restroom of a Los Angeles movie theater. Many gays and trans were incarcerated in Atasceradero State Hospital, a maximum-security facility, which came to be known as the 'Dachau for queers'. Atasceradero was frequently visited by Dr Walter Freeman who specialized in ice-pick lobotomies. This was done through the eye socket. Of the 4,000 patients he treated this way, over 30% were diagnosed as homosexual (which included transvestites).  Another of his victims may have been the film star, Francis Farmer.

Charles Lowman co-published Therapeutic Use of Pools and Tanks in 1952. The same year the group meeting at Joan Thornton’s created a mimeographed newsletter: Transvestia: Journal of the American Society for Equality in Dress – a name suggest by Joan, who was the major editor. The initial subscription list was built around Louise Lawrence’s address book, and the subscription list for Edith Ferguson’s instruction course. Arnold contributed under the name Muriel. While only two issues were made, they were mailed to all the cross-dressers that they could identify in the United States and to sympathetic doctors and sexologists including Alfred Kinsey. Without paid subscriptions, the project proved to be too expensive to continue. This was at the same time as the fledgling homophile organization, ONE, Inc started selling its magazine. The first attempt to ban it by the US Post Office occurred a year later. At the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine Elmer Belt had started doing controversial sex change operations.

For the group at Joan Thornton's, there was a question of who was a transvestite. Louise Lawrence had written that the group includes "heterosexuals, there are definite fetishists, sadists, masochists, voyeurs, homosexuals, etc.", and Edith Ferguson had previously been a female impersonator. However there were cross-dressers who were not invited such as fellow Angeleno and heterosexual Edward D. Wood, Angeleno Sascha Brastoff, José Sarria who was starting to organize fellow drag queens in San Francisco, and the majority of female impersonators, such as those who performed at Finocchio's in San Francisco. Nor was the invitation extended to female cross-dressers. While Lowman maintained that women were free to wear what they liked, many women in Los Angeles, mainly lesbians, were being arrested for 'masquerading' and dumped in the Daddy Tank at Lincoln Heights jail. One of these was Nancy Valverde who was arrested many times in this period.

In 1953 when Arnold was attempting to modify his visiting rights and reduce his alimony, he was again named in the press as a transvestite and his father threatened to disown him. This was at the same time that Christine Jorgensen was in the news after returning from Denmark, and it was announced that Bela Lugosi’s next film would be called Transvestite. The director, Edward D Wood, announced that the film, which was eventually called Glen or Glenda, would have no relation to the transvestite divorce story then in the Los Angeles newspapers. The judge ruled in favor of Arnold who was allowed custody one day a week and alternate holidays, increased the son’s support to $60 and discontinued the alimony payments. However Dorothy moved back to Minnesota with Brent. Arnold called on her some years later. They had a cordial evening, but then never saw each other again.

Harry Benjamin had helped Lowman with “parental and marital problems” (TV&Wife: 6, Ekins & King, 2006: 81), and put him on female hormones, which he continued for a few years. As Virginia, Arnold wrote to Christine Jorgensen that he had "a missionary complex" and hoped to "alleviate the lot of our kind in the social scheme" (quoted in Meyerowitz:182). Benjamin arranged for Virginia to have a personal interview with Christine and her mother while they were in Los Angeles ( Ekins & King, 2006: 235n4; Docter 2008:xii). As Prince later admitted, at this time he was considering sexual surgery: "If I had had the money at the time, I would have taken the boat to Europe". ("The Life and Times of Virginia", Transvestia, 100, 1979; TS&PseudoTS :271).

In 1954 the LAPD raided LaVie Cafe in Altadena and arrested five 'men' for wearing women's clothes. Tamara Rees, another ex-GI turned female was in town to do a burlesque show. Elmer Belt discontinued doing sex-change operations after a committee of doctors decided against it, but restarted a few years later.

 1. Docter:18 says that George Washington Ferris was Arnold's great-great grandfather. As George Ferris lived 1859-96 this seemed improbable. With the aid of genealogy sites I was able to construct the following:

                                        Silvanus Ferris (1773-1861)
                                          |                                   |
            Henry Ferris (1809 -1891)                       George Ferris (1818 - 1895)
                                          |                                    |
            Ella Ferris Arnold (1842 – 1929)               George Ferris (1859 – 1896)
            Elizabeth Arnold (1899 - 1968)
                       Arnold Lowman

Hence George Ferris was Arnold's grandmother's cousin. While he built the first Ferris Wheel, he died alone and impoverished, of typhoid at age 37.

2. Docter:19 says that the Lowmans lived at 123 South Hobart Avenue until Arnold was eight. According to Google Maps, there is no such address. It must be South Hobart Boulevard. However ferristree.com says that the first address was 7121 Senalda Road which is in the Hollywood Hills.

They then moved to 867 Victoria Avenue "two blocks off Wilshire Boulevard … in the Hancock Park neighborhood". There is such an address, in the Venice district. However South Victoria Avenue is close to Wilshire Boulevard.


Arnold went to a Christian School, met his wife in church, did his early drag appearances at church Halloween socials, and as we will see in Part II the first meeting of the Hose and Heel club was in a church building. After that we hear no more about any involvement with a church.

Arnold completed his PhD in 1939 at the age of 27. The US joined WWII two years later. There is no mention in any of the sources that he was called to be inducted into the military. Did the military not want qualified pharmacists? It is difficult to believe that the Arnold who had not yet met Louise Lawrence avoided service by confessing his transvestism, and being refused.

For some reason the Find-a-Grave page on Elizabeth Arnold does not link to either husband or children (although it does say "cremains buried with the Prince family - Ferris family relations ").

Virginia Prince: Bibliography.

Part 1 – Youth and First marriage
Part II – Second Marriage
Part III – Femmiphilic activist
Part IV – Full-time Living
Part V – Transgenderist dowager
Jargon terms and general comments

As I have supplied line source notes, it seem that I should provide the bibliography now, rather than at the end.

As usual on this site, the bibliography is in chronological order. It is not by author surname.

Where a source item is simply Docter, the reference is to From Man to Woman, 2004. If to either of his other book, a year is given.

It is interesting that so many books and articles have been written about Virginia Prince, but none of them mention that she published three books under the name Arnold Lowman. She also wrote transvestite fiction anonymously. Such are marked below as: Anonymous (Virginia Prince).

Background. Details of other persons and events in Los Angeles were taken from:

    Virginia Prince: Part II – Second Marriage

    Part 1 – Youth and First marriage
    Part II – Second Marriage
    Part III – Femmiphilic activist
    Part IV – Full-time Living
    Part V – Transgenderist dowager
    Jargon terms and general comments

    Charles Leroy Lowman published his seminal work, Abdominal Fascial Transplants, in 1954. He remained Chief of Staff at the Orthopedic Hospital until 1955 when he was 75. His son Arnold had several ideas re cosmetics which he published as his second book, Chemistry in Your Beauty Shop, also 1955. With a partner he set up a business, Cardinal Industries, located on real estate owned by his mother.1

    With the encouragement of his mother, Arnold married a second time in 1956 to Doreen Skinner, of English origins, who had been his parents' housekeeper and after initial misgivings, was accepting of his cross-dressing. Arnold initially found Doreen to be unattractive because of her "dowdy attire, old-fashioned hair style and lack of makeup". He instructed her and she became more attractive. She told him that she had discovered photographs of his father cross-dressed. Arnold and Doreen went out socially as two women, and spent weekends in San Francisco like that. Doreen bought him a white satin nightgown as a wedding present. She also helped Arnold run his business selling grooming products for dogs and humans. They designed and built a house in Nichols Canyon. It included a special room with wardrobes, a sewing machine and several mirrors. (Docter: 35-7)

    In a club in West Hollywood that same year, Rae Bourbon was billed as ‘not a female impersonator’, and was charged by the LAPD and convicted of impersonating a female. In January 1957 Confidential Magazine outed actor/dancer Dan Dailey as a transvestite: "The Night Dan Dailey was Dolly Dawn", which pretty well ended his film career, although he continued in television.

    Arnold began using the male name of Charles (his father's name) Prince. In 1957 C.V.Prince wrote a paper for The American Journal of Psychotherapy where he was introduced by Dr Benjamin: "‘Dr Prince is known to me personally. I have met him in his male as well as his female role. I have had lengthy and stimulating discussions with him. He is highly educated with a fine cultural background". Prince presented three types of ‘males’ who may share ‘the desire to wear feminine attire’ (p82), that is homosexuals, transvestites and transsexuals. He was keen to dissipate the confusion of the three, but in its place propagated an alternate myth that ‘true transvestites ... are exclusively heterosexual ... Frequently they are married and often fathers”.

    He was developing the concept of “femmiphilia” and was talking of his feminine self as “a real personality in her own right”. He also proposed “femmepersonator”. As he explained to Harry Benjamin (TSPhenomenon:53) the two words are to counteract the popular confusion with homosexuality, and to to take the sex out of if. He later wrote up these ideas in a pamphlet: An Introduction to the Subject of Transvestism or Femmiphilia (Cross-Dressing). He no longer thought of himself as the same kind as Christine Jorgensen, and started denouncing sex change operations. One of the first to receive this message was the teenage Diane Kearny who naively wrote to him and was told that she was ‘delusional’ in wanting such.

    It was in 1958 that a 19-year-old, who had been taking her mother's estrogen pills, was referred to Dr Robert Stoller at the University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center. Stoller took Agnes to be an example of testicular feminization syndrome, and arranged for her to have corrective surgery.

    In 1959, Virginia Prince established Chevalier Publications (named for D’Eon), and the next year revived Transvestia, which was now sold by subscription and later in adult book stores. The cover of the first issue contained the statement: "A privately Printed Magazine with three objectives – (1) To Provide expression for those interested in the subjects of exotic and unusual dress and fashion; (2) To provide information to those who, through ignorance, condemn that which they do not understand; (3) To provide education for those who see evil where none exists."

    Louise Lawrence and Edith Ferguson with their more tolerant definitions of transvestite were no longer involved. Joan Thornton complained that Prince had stolen the name Transvestia. As in the 1990s with the term 'transgender', Prince took the word 'transvestite' and attempted to restrict its meaning to a narrow group. The first editorial offices of Transvestia were in the premises of Cardinal Industries on Pico Boulevard. (Docter: 74-7) Arnold published a revised and enlarged Chemistry in Your Beauty Shop, and also his new book, A Survey of Chemistry for Cosmetologists.2

    While most of the content of Transvestia was submitted by readers, Prince used the forum to construct transvestism as he had presented it in his 1957 paper. Much of Lawrence’s material, such as bondage and petticoat punishment was never allowed in Transvestia, nor was anything that might be deemed fetishistic, such as wearing only female underwear. However the first issue January 1960 contained a letter from William Bessie Beck, a noted advocate of petticoat-punishment, and issue #2 had a letter from his wife, and two photographs of Bessie were in issue #4. (Farrer:14-5) #1 also included an In Memoriam to sexologist David Cauldwell who had died the previous year. From #5 Transvestia featured a cover girl. Potential cover girls were asked to supply several photographs and a personal history, and were requested to pay for their page of photographs. The first such was Annette of Idaho. #6 contained a description of the research questionnaire that Prince was doing with Peter Bentler that was finally published in 1972.

    Prince did not want to be associated with queens of Bunker Hill who had organized transvestites in Los Angeles only a generation earlier, nor with the transvestite drinking clubs that Edward D Wood was involved in. In particular, transvestites as imagined were never to be homosexual or to desire a sex change. Prince early picked up the new usage of ‘gender’. “It is not the sex we are imitating, it is the gender—the quality of expression, the kind of living, the kind of personality that we associate with a lady.” In Transvestia, Prince repeatedly claimed that gender is between the ears, not the legs. (Hill:58), and argued that whereas homosexuals were ‘sexual deviates’, transvestites were ‘gender deviates’. Prince discouraged the use of established words such as ‘TV’, ‘drag’, ‘camp’ etc as they were associated with homosexuality: ‘femmiphilia’ (Transvestia, 7, Jan 1961) and ‘femmepersonation’ (Transvestia, 12, Dec 1961) should be used instead, and FP be the abbreviation of both words instead of TV. Also in December 1961, Prince claimed, that having coined ‘TV’, Prince could end its use. The terms ‘femmename’, ‘femmeself’, ‘femmelife’ and ‘femmetalk’ were also proposed.

    Around the same time Vern and Bonnie Bullough moved to Los Angeles to teach at California State University, Northridge, and shortly afterwards they met Prince, and also became involved with the homophile organization, ONE, Inc. Vern also became head of the San Fernando Valley chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

    1959 was also the year that Jack Doroshow/Flawless Sabrina started his Nationals Pageants, which were drag contests. As local laws almost always prohibited cross-dressing, he would meet with officials and propose a charitable donation, and in return the town would pass a variance to permit the pageant. Usually the town officials did not understand that local people would be performing. In May of that year, at the all-night Cooper's Doughnuts on Main St, Los Angeles, the LAPD started arresting the queens among the customers, and a riot broke out.

    Hose and Heels Club, Lavender Los Angeles: 65
    Prince founded the Hose and Heels Club in 1960 for an initial 12 members who all arrived en homme at a house attached to a church property and put on their hose and heels simultaneously so that no-one had anything on anyone else. The second meeting, at the home of a member who was a dress designer, was attended by Vern and Bonnie Bullough. Bonnie commented: "There were 12 or 14 cross dressers in attendance who reminded me of a bunch of young girls at a wedding shower, giggling and acting like teenagers". Prince enforced a no alcohol policy. (Docter: 51)

    One of the first other columnists in Transvestia was Susanna Valenti of New York, who had a more carefree style. She coined the metaphor the ‘girl within’ which became popular with Prince and the readers of Transvestia.

    Hill (60) writes: “Prince recognized that both groups [transvestite and homosexual] shared a common problem with social intolerance and understood that the social gains won by the larger and better organized homophile movement would only benefit her group. In this regard, she called for mutual respect and cooperation while still maintaining that separateness must also prevail in order to build a distinct group identity for heterosexual cross-dressers. My sense is that there was rampant homophobia within the readership and that Prince was quite progressive on the issue of homosexuality, especially given the historical context.“ Prince did in fact work with homophile activists, Harry Hay and others.

    Kate Cummings in Australia discovered Transvestia in 1960. "When it arrived I was overwhelmed by the potential wealth of transvestite material available to me by subscribing. There were scientific articles reprinted from learned journals; there was advice on what to wear, how to use makeup, how to act in public; there were letters from transvestites and their wives; there was wish-fulfillment fiction and there were even advertisements for booklets published by Chevalier Publications." Kate was the Cover Girl on Issue #8 as 'Joan from Australia'.3

    Although the US supreme Court had ruled in 1958, re an edition of One Magazine, also from Los Angeles, that homosexual content is not obscene simply because it is homosexual, and in 1959 the US publisher of D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover won his case and its appeal against the US Post Office’s censorship, these were not taken to apply to transvestite content. In 1960 Nan Gilbert in New England, a publisher of petticoat-punishment fantasies had had his mail stopped and was fined $500. In 1961 Tito Valenti (Susanna's male persona) was summoned by postal officials. Two of her correspondents had been charged with mailing obscene materials, and Susanna’s name had come up. Tito pleaded respectability and denounced the obscenities. Prince was actually arrested re personal correspondence to another transvestite, who he thought was a woman sympathetic to male cross-dressing, who was already under investigation. Prince pleaded guilty in a plea bargain to sending obscene material through the mail. With a five-year probationary sentence, he was liable to be imprisoned if caught cross-dressed in public. However his lawyer persuaded the court to include educating the public about cross-dressing as part of the probation order. In the next few years Virginia lectured to service clubs in the Los Angeles area and participated in a few medical conferences. Transvestia #6 contained the announcement that "Flash … Important … Read Carefully .. Transvestia has been examined by Postal Inspectors and has not been found to be unmailable".(Docter: 78-80).

    José Sarria ran to be a San Francisco Supervisor in 1961: the first openly transvestite person to run for political office.

    Charles Lowman co-published Postural Fitness; Significance and Variances in 1960, and Underwater Therapy in 1961. Arnold's previous psychiatrist, Karl Bowman, along with Margaret Mead and Hal Call of the Mattachine Society, appeared in a ground-breaking documentary on San Francisco's KQED television channel, The Rejected, about homosexuality. Bowman argued that homosexuality is not a mental illness and should be legalized.

    Mr and Mrs Lowman visited Doreen’s relatives in England, and Virginia used the trip to contact some English transvestites.

    1962.  Plate 6 in JJ Allen.  The Man in the Red Dress
    In 1962 Virginia attempted to organize Transvestia's readership into a nationwide group. FP (from FemmePersonator) also stood for Full Personality. What was needed was Full Personality Expression (FPE). That was Hellenized into Phi Pi Epsilon in the fashion of university sororities. The Hose and Heel Club became the Alpha Chapter. In Transvestia #15 Prince exhorted: "Haven’t you all read newspaper reports of police in various cities raiding some home or club and finding a bunch of ‘guys as dolls’? What prevents our groups being looked upon the same way? Nothing at all…except Phi Pi Epsilon… when we get organized to the point where we have something to point to with some pride." In subsequent issues its purpose was developed and proposals made on how it would be organized. FPE was for cross-dressers who have gone beyond the novelty of dressing up secretly. Social interaction would be fun, and would foster self-acceptance. "The sorority is here, for those whose development has taken them to the point of FemmePersonation, which differs from simple transvestism in much the same way as being a champion Olympic swimmer differs from the person who simply puts on a bathing suit and gets in the pool." Homosexuals, transsexuals and fetishists were not admitted. Soon afterward there were three other FPE chapters: Beta in Chicago, Delta in Cleveland, and Theta in Madison, Wisconsin.

    Prince published the first edition of The Transvestite and his Wife in 1962, and a first version of the results of his survey questionaire, "166 men in dresses" was published in Sexology magazine. In March Darrell Raynor, in Los Angeles on business, having previously corresponded, met first Charles, and then was invited to dinner to meet Virginia and Doreen. He was chauffeured to the Prince home by Robert Stevens/Barbara Ellen who was also a business associate of Prince (Raynor: chp 1-4).

    The program of the Alpha Chapter was two meetings a months. One was formal, without any members being dressed, at which Virginia or an invited psychologist would give a lecture, and serious discussion would ensue. The other meeting was a party, a dress-up affair (Raynor:135).

    In 1962, Elmer Belt finally discontinued doing sex-change operations at UCLA Medical School. That same year, Prince gave a lecture at the UCLA Medical School, which led to being contacted by a psychiatrist at the School, Robert Stoller. He was interested in Virginia as a research resource. It was Arnold who appeared for the first session, as per the terms of his parole. Stoller was requested to send a letter inviting Virginia Bruce. However by the time of the second interview Arnolds's parole was ended. From then, for the next for 29 years, Virginia and some other Alpha Chapter members met with Stoller. In Virginia's case the meetings were twice a month and continued until Stoller's death in 1991. These sessions were taped, and some have been transcribed. She was emphatic about the distinction between sex and gender, and both Vern Bullough and Richard Green affirm that it was Prince's influence that led to Stoller's first two books being called Sex and Gender, Vol 1: On the Development of Masculinity and Femininity, 1968 and Sex and Gender, Vol 2: The Transsexual Experiment, 1974. (Docter: 62-5) Unlike Harry Benjamin and Vern Bullough, Stoller never named Prince in his books, although sometimes there is mention of an anonymous person who would seem to be her.4

    While in her articles in Transvestia, Virginia played down the erotic aspects of cross-dressing, in the conversations with Stoller, she affirmed it. While she denied finding men attractive, she did enjoy being attractive to and flirting with men.5 She had a cross-dresser friend who was willing to play the male role and took her for lunch and drinks. Afterward they did mutual masturbation.6 She found kissing, hugging and affection from a man to be sexually rewarding. (Docter: 66-7)

    Virginia was the major guest at the 1962 Halloween meeting at Susanna Valenti's Casa Susanna in upstate New York. The New York Transvestia subscribers had already been socializing with each other meeting in the apartments of Susanna and Gail Wilde. The Halloween meeting was also attended by psychologists Hugo Beigal and Wardell Pomeroy as well as Darrell Raynor, Felicity Chandelle and Katherine Cummings. Katherine Cummings later wrote that Virginia "was argumentative in the extreme. She had very fixed views on transvestism and proclaimed them with great force and no tolerance whatever of opposing views." While previously Susanna had not been in agreement with Virginia's insistence on respectability, they were in agreement in being appalled about one guest who didn't shave and wore a simple nightgown, and even smoked a cigar. Susanna later wrote that such members lacked the cultivation of an 'inner femininity' that distinguished a true transvestite from drag queens and clothing fetishists. (Transvestia #19, 1963).

    Prince gave a speech that she did not regard herself or any other femmepersonator as emotionally or psychologically ill. Psychologists were not consistent with their research on gender when it came to labeling deviancy: "Further indication of the falsity of this arbitrary division [between genders] is evident in all the tests and devices which psychologists come up with to measure masculinity and femininity ‘indexes’ in each sex. They therefore give lip service to the presence of masculinity in the female and femininity in the male, but when it comes to practical and actual expression of this (at least on the part of the male) they raise their eyebrows…and start to work ‘helping’ the individual to ‘get back to normal’—to ‘adjust himself to society’ and, if possible, to stop being what he is…. FemmePersonation as we know it and show it is not a perversion, sex deviation, anomaly, obsession, or similar terms denoting that ‘something is wrong’.… It should be made clear that ‘statistically uncommon’ is not synonymous with ‘psychopathological,’ and ‘culturally impermissible’ is not necessarily ‘morally reprehensible.’ All a true TV or FP is doing is to seek to express some of the values and traits which, when they were drawn from the common human supply depot, so to speak, were arbitrarily assigned to the female.” (Also printed in Transvestia #19, February 1963; Hill: 310-1)

    In the last Transvestia of the year, Prince urged co-operation with the homophile movement:
    "Whatever the more highly organized homophile community does to improve their lot tends to improve ours and vice versa…. The homophile group is much better organized, larger, and has been at it far longer than we have. Thus where we can assist any general programs they have for breaking down prejudice and legal restrictions, we should do so. Where we can take advantage of any organizations or procedures which they have set up which can be of help to us individually or collectively, we should do so. We should establish and maintain contact with the organizational centers that are maintained by the homophile community, getting from them and giving to them such information and assistance as may be mutually helpful." (Transvestia #18, December 1962; Hill: 321)
    In early 1963, Virginia fell out with both Barbara Ellen and Evelyn, a best friend for ten years. They started a competing group, and for a while it looked as if the Alpha Chapter would not continue (Raynor: Chp.17-18)

    The most famous transvestite in Los Angeles that year was Miss Destiny who was featured in John Rechy's City of Night, and then in One Magazine the next year. FPE was only a small and specialized part of the transvestite scene. There were various kinds of trans women at the gay bars on Main Street, from the obvious to the passing. There was even a group for Pacific Islanders. Rex/Gloria, was an FPE member, but was also paying for younger trans women to fly to Dr Burou's clinic in Casablanca. (Gay LA:114-5) Edward D. Wood extended the lead character of his film Glen or Glenda in an unlikely direction in his first novel, Black Lace Drag (renamed Killer in Drag, 1965): Glen is doing contract killings to pay for a sex-change. The same year saw the publication of the transvestite novel Double Switch, which is attributed to Virginia Prince.

    In New York, Siobhan Fredericks, who had quit FPE, started a competing magazine, Turnabout and made fun of the many femme* words that Prince had coined, and attracted cross-dressers who were critical of Prince and her ideas. Fredericks started a support group in her home, to which Harry Benjamin sent some of his patients, including Renée Richards.

    Also new that year was the glossy magazine Female Mimics. Performer Kim August was on the cover of the first issue, and Coccinelle on the second. No statistics are available on how many subscribers to Transvestia also read Female Mimics. In San Francisco, The Black Cat bar, where José Sarria had performed, was shut down for permitting cross dressing.

    That year Prince delivered her first paper to a professional conference, the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality in New York. She differentiated transvestites, transsexuals and homosexuals, introduced the term feminiphilia, explained that most professionals conflate sex and gender, and presented statistics from a 272-member survey that she had analyzed. She presented her group as the vanguard of men's liberation, and denounced aversion therapy: doctors should advise transvestites to accept themselves as they are. "There is no question but that persons with these types of histories [i.e. troubled] do exist and that they turn up in the offices of psychiatrists. Unfortunately, the psychiatrist only sees a specialized sampling of transvestites and therefore the conclusions drawn are based on a biased population of cases. Generally speaking, the only cases that go to a doctor are those that have been sent there by legal authorities, are forced to come by wives or parents, or are quite disturbed by their desires and seek help. The well adjusted, happily married and out-of-trouble transvestite does not go to the doctor, and he is therefore not studied nor counted in the population of cases from which most conclusions are drawn." (Transvestia #24, December 1963; Hill:309-310)

    In 1964 José Sarria, in San Francisco, was part of the founding of the Imperial Court System, an alternate transvestite sub culture, albeit mainly for gays. Unlike FPE, the imperial Court was able to open branches in Canada and Mexico. With only a few exceptions, FPE and its later successor Tri-Ess and the Imperial Courts did not acknowledge each other. José Sarria's later successor as leader of the Imperial Courts was at that time a Los Angeles sex worker under the name Lolita. She was not of course invited to join the Alpha Chapter. In New York the short-lived Lavender & Lace magazine for transvestites came out – it had a much greater racial diversity than Transvestia. The Los Angeles Free Press started, which would provide an alternate voice for hippy, gay, trans and other minority voices. Vern Bullough, working with ONE, Inc was successful in getting the San Fernando Valley chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to adopt a policy of protection of homosexuals, transvestites and transsexuals.

    Felicity Chandelle/John Miller was arrested for cross-dressing under an obscure New York law and lost her job: her male persona had been a pilot for Eastern Airlines for 25 years. Prince and Fredericks championed her case, persuaded the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to file a brief and raised over $1,200 to finance an appeal, which however was denied by the New York appeal court and by the US Supreme Court.

    Prince started using Carl Jung's7 concepts of ‘anima’ and ‘animus’, but with the twist that each of us has both an anima and animus, and that they should be integrated. This need not necessarily be done by cross-dressing.
    “There are, however, quite a number of us who have succeeded in recognizing our Anima sides, giving expression to ‘her’, originally through dressing, and subsequently simply through an integration of our inner selves in our daily lives. Dressing may still remain a very pleasant activity and a source of renewed emotional awareness and may continue with greater or lesser frequency all our lives. The important thing is not necessarily to conquer the dressing but to recognize what it is actually doing FOR us, and recognizing this, to actively attempt a greater degree of integration in our ordinary lives without any guilt feelings. I believe that this is the true goal and virtue of FemmePersonation. (Transvestia, 27, June 1964)”.
    1964 was when Transvestia published its first photograph of a black transvestite (Diana, 28, Aug). The next would not be be until 1969.

    In Transvestia #31, February 1965, Prince reacted to Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique, not by empathizing with the problems of being a woman, but: “So who is going to write a book on the Masculine Mystique and the frustrations and psychosomatic disturbances that George and Harry have, because they too are trying to live up to an artificial and unsatisfying role forced on them by society? It seems to me that all of you who read Transvestia and myself are collectively, so-to-speak, writing such a book.”

    Also that year, Chemistry in Your Beauty Shop was revised again and republished.

    Until this point, Prince alone ran the organization out of her home and her work office, collected dues and handled membership applications. There were complaints about autocratic style, and profiting from the dues. Thus Prince appointed Fran Conners, president of the Theta Chapter in Madison, Wisconsin as executive secretary, and Sheila Niles of New Jersey to be field co-ordinator. Niles had a job that involved frequent travel around the US and was able to visit the various chapters. They divided the US, in fact the entire world, into regions, and appointed a regional counselor and deputy for each. The counselors were to encourage the renewal of dues, and also to meet with each new applicant to ensure that they were suitable – however vast distances made face-to-face meetings almost impossible, and some became members without being screened. Like the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis, FPE was a white, middle-class organization with concerns about being respectable. An applicant must purchase fives issues of Transvestia before applying. This was not just to sell more copies, but also to ensure that he was serious, and that, having read the issues, he was acquainted with the philosophy of femmepersonation. The application asked about sexual orientation, marital status, employment status and cross-dressing history. The applicant had to sign his legal name and write his home address, however these would not be passed on the the regional counselor. He also had to pledge to keep secret all information about other members.

    Bonnie and Vern Bullough, visiting the Lowmans at home, noted that Virginia would act as the hostess, reducing Doreen to sort of a maid. (Docter: 37-8)

    In 1964 Reed Erickson founded his Erickson Educational Foundation (EEF), through which over the next twenty years he donated hundreds of thousands of dollars into gay, lesbian, trans and New Age activities such as acupuncture, homeopathy, dolphin communication and altered states of consciousness. He donated to two friends of Prince, Harry Benjamin and Vern Bullough, and especially to the Los Angeles gay center, One, Inc, but never considered FPE as a suitable recipient.

    In May 1965 members of Theta (Wisconsin) joined with members of Beta (Chicago) and Delta (Cleveland) in South Bend, Indiana for a Midwest Conference. However the turn-out was disappointing. Only fourteen FPE members and three wives made it to the event. The Alpha chapter in Los Angeles, although one of the most populous chapters, still had only 18 members.

    ONE, Inc split into two competing factions, and Vern Bullough was one of only two people who was able to maintain working relationships with both sides.

    In Transvestia #36, December 1965, Virginia reaffirmed the lifestyle of part-time cross-dressing:
    "I have had the experience, now that Virginia lives as much as she does and gets about everywhere, of having people who know me as Virginia and see me as a relaxed and comfortable woman often say ‘why don’t you live that way all the time’. They are not thinking of surgery but just of living. Sometimes I am afraid the fascination of this new life gets out of hand and we lose the perspective necessary to enjoy it. When we go too far in the femme-direction we are riding up the other side of the pendulum swing…. So let’s not forget that we are all built in a male way and have been brought up in a masculine framework which has its costs but also its compensations and let us say a word for and give a little credit to the ‘boy without’ as both the source and the support of the ‘girl within’. (quoted Hill:172).
    By this time Arnold's son, Brent, had come to live with his father and Doreen. He was having personal problems, probably drugs, and his presence added to the stress among the Lowmans. Virginia had been taking dancing lessons and attending public dances. An out-of-town male friend visited and they went dancing all night. (Docter:69) Doreen was also anxious in that Arnold had developed a friendship with a post-operative transsexual, Sherry, and she was concerned that he would go the same route. Virgina and Sherry went to public dances as two women. Doreen moved out, and in with Arnold's parents. Stoller, who counseled both of them, felt that Doreen was "emotionally exhausted" in her struggle over the possibility that Virginia would go full-time. Stoller reported that Prince said he was hurt that Doreen would "just up and walk out on me" – which perhaps implies a lack of empathy. (Docter: 38-40)

    In December that year, Stoller dictated a description of how he saw Virginia, who was then 53:
    "It's worth describing Virginia's appearance today which is typical of the way she usually looks: A light brown wig which is not startling but well kept, dangling silver earrings, pancake makeup, sharply red but not extravagant lipstick. On her neck, a necklace made of three strands of large silver balls, pretty garish when taken with all the rest of her appearance, with a V-cut dress out of which peaked the pushed-up bits of breast tissue looking like an old woman's breasts being shown when they shouldn't be with her brassiere showing and the straps showing, the inner side of the two shoulder straps of her dress; the dress, the upper part of it where her bosom is huge and the largeness is increased by a whole bunch of white flowery patterns on on a navy blue background, the lower part is just the navy blue. When she sits with her legs crossed you see up the outside of her thigh quite a long distance, it's not particularly attractive, her knees are bony and her legs although not masculinely muscled are not at all like a woman's; her arms have the muscular contour of a man's, they are very smooth and soft skinned though on her forearms they are darker brown while the upper part is light. I didn't really notice her shoes except that they were high heeled. The overall impression is that if this were in fact a woman, no woman of her age and appearance should show so much of herself and I would think there was something severely wrong in the degree of exhibitionism being revealed." (Stoller#4: 23-4; Docter: 70-1)

    1. Cardinal Industries seems to have disappeared from history. It should not be confused with Cardinal Industries of New York which is a still active and successful company that makes toys. I could not find the name of Arnold's partner in any of the source documents.
    2. I do find it strange, given the number of books that discuss Virginia Prince, that no-one previously – except the editors at WorldCat – had bothered to check if there were any book under the name of Arnold Lowman. Milady Pub. Corp is a real publisher, specializing in books about beauty. It is not a self-publishing like Chevalier Publications.
    3. Kate Cummings also volunteered to be and was the cover of Transvestia #108, 1983, twenty three years later.
    4. For example: Presentations of Gender, 1985:137. "For instance, for about twenty years I have had a friendly, more than therapy-oriented relationship with a transvestite man, In that time we have often talked of his childhood, his parents, his parents' personalities, and the relationships among the family members."
    5. "While she denies finding men attractive, she does enjoy being attractive to and flirting with men." A subtle difference. I wonder how many cisgendered women could be likewise described. Has anybody done research into heterosexuality using this distinction?
    6. Prince: "mutual masturbation … but never once was there any kind of anal or oral sex .. never". Was Prince unaware that a significant minority of gay men have exactly the same preference?
    7. Prince probably related to the fact that Jung, in 1950, had dismissed transsexual surgery as having nothing to do with either medicine or psychology. Carl Gustav Jung, “Zur Frage der arztlichen Intervention” In. Das symbolische Leben: verschiedene Schriften. Olten: Walter-Verlag, 1995: 375-6. Quoted in Sander L.Gilman.Making the Body Beautiful: A Cultural History of Aesthetic Surgery. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999:271.

    Virginia Prince: Part III – Femmiphilic activist

    Part 1 – Youth and First marriage
    Part II – Second Marriage
    Part III – Femmiphilic activist
    Part IV – Full-time Living
    Part V – Transgenderist dowager
    Jargon terms and general comments

    Virginia Prince was an adviser to Harry Benjamin for his 1966 seminal The Transsexual Phenomenon, consulted on the transvestite types, but not on Benjamin’s type IV, nonsurgical transsexual, a role that Prince did not adopt until 1968. The three types of transvestite in Benjamin's schema: pseudo, fetishistic and true were a direct reflection of what Prince had been advocating, and left nowhere for gay transvestites, female impersonators nor for female cross dressers. Benjamin proposed a scale or typology divided into six types: Transvestite (Pseudo), Transvestite (Fetishistic), Transvestite (True), Transsexual (Nonsurgical), Transsexual (Moderate intensity),Transsexual (High intensity). Prince responded with a seven-type scale (Benjamin: 40):
    1. Fetishist
    2. Low intensity TV
    3. True femmiphile TV
    4. Asexual type
    5. Gender type TS
    6. Intensive sexual type TS
    7. Operated TS
    As the book came out, Mr Lowman was being divorced by Doreen, and was selling his share of Cardinal Industries. He said that he sold it for 10 times his initial investment. Doreen retained more than half of the assets including the house in Nichols Canyon. Arnold moved to a small rented house in Laurel Canyon.1 Harry Benjamin wrote to the US Passport Bureau in support of Prince's application for a passport in her female name. Without comment the request was granted. (Benjamin:169-170)

    The same year Agnes confessed to Dr Stoller that she had indeed taken external estrogens, and that she was not intersex.

    Early that year Prince urged FPE members to remember that homophile advances rebounded in their interest:
    "The homophile community is on the march AND on the way to gaining acceptance…. Some of the more narrow minded of our sister TVs see nothing good in anything that homosexuals do, but we ought to remember that their persecution is our persecution and their victory will be our victory too…. So, personally I am all for their success and would cooperate in helping them to achieve it where I could out of pure self interest for our group if nothing else fails. There is, however, the broader interest of helping all minorities toward acceptance." (Transvestia #37, February 1966; Hill: 321)
    The North American Conference of Homophile Organizations (NACHO) held its founding convention in San Francisco in August 1966. Prince attended as an observer. “I think it is in order that we keep an observer status in this field and stand by to aid their cause when it will aid ours and to extract from their experiences and their contacts with authorities and influential groups any contacts and opportunities that may be to our advantage."

    Lavender Los Angeles p 65
    The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) adopted a national policy very similar to the one that Vern Bullough had drafted for the San Fernando Valley chapter, and following the amicus curiae brief that they had filed in the Felicity Chandelle case, that homosexuals, transvestites and transsexuals should be protected.

    Prince and several FPE members attended a drag ball. Prince took an informal survey of sixteen drag queens, asking each ten questions that she had pre-devised. She hypothesized that the answers to these questions would distinguish homosexual queens from transvestites. However one of the 16 answered as if a femmiphilic. Prince informed him of that and introduced him to the FPE members. He later joined FPE. (Transvestia #41, October 1966; Hill:399-400).

    In August there was a riot between trans women and the police at Compton's Cafeteria in San Francisco's Tenderloin district.

    Another book that came out that year was Myron Brenton's The American Male, an early work of men's liberation. Prince felt that Brenton's arguments about masculine mystique, the arbitrary construction of gender norms, and the narrow stereotypes that men felt pressured to follow were much the same as she had been writing about in Transvestia for the last six years. She juxtaposed quotes from Brenton with references to her own earlier columns (Hill:390) Prince even spoke up for homosexuals as long as they did not attempt to join FPE: “Nothing is more basic to our insecurities, self-condemnation, and non-acceptance than the problem of homosexuality.”(Transvestia #41, October 1966; Hill:398)

    FPE- Northern Europe was set up on the FPE model for the Scandinavian countries, at the initiative of Annette Hall from Sweden who had met Virginia in the US in the Spring of 1966. In later years it split into separate organizations for each country.

    Late 1966 Virginia was interviewed for television in Hawai'i: "I was there as Virginia and was interviewed for about twenty minutes before I was asked what personal interest I had in the field—it had all been professional before that—and I dropped to my masculine voice and confessed all…" (Transvestia #42, December 1966; Hill:305-6.

    Prince set up meetings with police chiefs and the heads of vice squads.
    "I went as Virginia to see the Lt. who was public relations assistant to the Police Chief in San Diego. He then took me to the Lt. in charge of the vice squad. After about 45 minutes with him I left for an appointment with the City Attorney….The reason for my call on them was that San Diego is working on an ordinance which could make the wearing of the clothing of the opposite sex with the intent to commit an illegal act, illegal itself….Both the Lt. and the City Attorney made it clear that if a TV such as myself was just walking the streets, acting like a lady and minding his own business that no law would be being broken because there would be no ‘intent’….I urged them to try to get the ordinance through leaving out the clothing as a means to their ends. I don’t think I succeeded in selling them on this, but they did admit that I had a point." (Transvestia #38, April 1966; Hill:308). She usually started with an inquiry about the city's cross-dressing laws, and then stressed the harmlessness of heterosexual cross-dressers. She was always emphatic that they were different from homosexuals and street queens.2
    On the last night of 1966 there was a drag contest at New Faces, a bar on W. Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles. Just before midnight many of the contestants crowded into the Black Cat, just down the street. At the stroke of midnight, as many of the men exchanged a traditional kiss, the LAPD rushed in and beat several customers brutally. They chased two back to the New Faces where they knocked down the woman owner and beat the two bartenders unconscious, one of whom then suffered a ruptured spleen and after recovery was charged with felony assault on a police officer. Six patrons were charged with lewd conduct for kissing, and were all found guilty by a jury. Two of them were later registered as sex offenders. In response, there were organized protests, and the convictions of the two were appealed as far as the US Supreme Court which declined to take the case. This inspired a new periodical, The Advocate, for gay and lesbian (including transvestite) issues. It was at first a Los Angeles publication, and then grew into a national publication. Despite the probability that some of the drag contestants were FPE members, FPE took no notice of the event.

    In January 1967 Prince attended a combined party arranged by Theta Chapter (Madison) and Theta Tau (Minneapolis-St Paul). Later that year members of Theta-Tau joined Prince for a visit to the University of Minnesota.

    The newly divorced Prince published a new edition of The Transvestite and his Wife later that year, a clear re-statement that Prince’s organizing is only for heterosexual men. The book is dedicated to Karl Bowman and Harry Benjamin, both of whom had helped Prince. "Through his [Benjamin's] education of other doctors, psychologists, and marriage counselors he has helped many hundreds of transvestites."
    Prince claimed to have encountered few happier marriages than those in which the wife accepts and participates in the husband's transvestism; fewer more unsatisfactory than those in which the wife rejects it. If a wife should fail to understand, it is an indication of her immaturity stemming from her own unresolved emotional problems. Prince grades wives A-F on how well they understand and accept. "The femmiphile adopts feminine garb as a matter of personal internal expression – the homosexual 'Queen' does so for external effect – to attract males for sexual purposes and to ease the guilt of both." 3 "Females can and do wear masculine type clothing so openly and without social disapproval that the desire to do so is not frustrated and does not therefore present a problem."4

    The British FPE offshoot, TheBeaumont Society was founded with an initial membership of 7.

    In August Prince appeared on the Irv Kupcinet show in Chicago in a panel with Paul Gebhard, director of the Kinsey Institute who had continued Kinsey's research into transvestites, the black novelist Richard Wright and a psychiatrist. "'For the first time over the air,' she proudly wrote 'a TV was treated as the intellectual equal of other persons with some stature and not as a sort of curiosity to be taken apart.' (Transvestia #47, October 1967; Hill:306). She received hundreds of letters of inquiry.

    Sir Lady Java was fired from her employment as a performer and waitress at the Redd Foxx Club in Los Angeles. The ACLU, having been persuaded to aid transvestites, challenged the LAPD Rule that applied as unconstitutional. But apparently FPE did nothing. In New York, Mauricio Archibald, in female clothing and on his way home from a party, was arrested on a subway platform and charged under the same obscure law that Felicity Chandelle had been charged under. Despite his being heterosexual, and despite his obtaining an appeal hearing, no help was forthcoming from either Prince or Siobhan Fredericks.

    The final Nationals Pageant, for professional and amateur drag performers, organized by Jack Doroshow/Flawless Sabrina,was held that year in New York as a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. This was filmed, and released the next year as The Queen, which became a sensation at the Cannes Film Festival. On this basis Doroshow, obviously openly transvestite, was hired as a special adviser on the films Midnight Cowboy, 1969, and Myra Breckinridge, 1970.

    Prince informed her readers under the title “Life Begins at 54”:
    “Virginia will be a freer soul now even if she has to crossdress as Charles now and then…. I’m going to do everything that will continue to broaden (literally and figuratively) my experience of life in my closing years. Everything with three specific exceptions that is, I draw the line at homosexuality, transsexuality, and a third marriage. (Transvestia #43, 1967)"
    The Alpha group had its first open house in November 1967. This became an annual event. City leaders and public officials were invited to a catered dinner and a lecture by Prince. 50 guests turned up the first year. (Hill: 315)

    The December 1967 issue of Transvestia was the only one ever to publish a photograph of an east Asian transvestite: Lili, a recent immigrant to New York from Shanghai.5

    Prince took on a part-time assistant at Transvestia at this time. Mary’s mother had died in 1966, and she started electrolysis and hormones and gave up her male job with the intention of seeking surgery. However Prince gave her a hard time on the question of surgery. She did however start living full time as female. Her story was published in Transvestia, 62, Feb 1970.

    From this point on, until 1982, Prince was a full-time activist and lecturer. She traveled across the US, to England, Scandinavia and Australia. She appeared on radio and television, lectured to college classes, gave newspaper interviews, delivered papers at professional conferences, and appeared at local FPE chapter meetings and social functions. Traveling and appearing as a woman in public as this entailed led to her decision in late 1968 to live full time as female. She encouraged members of FPE to contact their local networks to set up potential appearances. Prince appeared on either radio or television shows in San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Chicago, Madison, Minneapolis, Detroit, Cleveland, Toledo, New York, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, Houston, and Tulsa, among other cities. On these radio and television programs, she promoted her books, the magazine, and Phi Pi Epsilon. In Transvestia, she published photographs of herself with television and radio personalities and described her trips in extensive travelogues.

    A handful of doctors and mental health professionals responded to Prince's growing reputation by referring transvestite patients to FPE and Transvestia. A similar shift had already occurred with homophile patients being referred to gay groups, and as already mentioned, Harry Benjamin had been referring patients to Siobhan Fredericks since 1963.

    In 1968, Transvestia columnist Sheila Niles popularized the concept ‘whole girl fetishist (WGF)’ for members who did not pass well enough, particularly if it were for lack of trying. Over the next few years it came to be that those who failed or didn’t bother to fashion themselves as truly feminine were fetishistic.6Susanna even estimated that the majority of members were WGFs (Transvestia #55, 1969).

    From 1968 Prince wrote more columns about transsexuality than about homosexuality and fetishism combined. He strongly resisted the common assumption (endorsed by Harry Benjamin and others) that there was a continuum from fetishism to transvestism to transsexuality. Susanna Valenti held that many transvestites were incipient transsexuals who with the right circumstances would progress to living as women. Dozens within Transvestia's readership were opting for surgery, and it irked Prince that his advice was being ignored: “…the number of persons asking for and achieving it does not make me happy. I am disturbed”. (Transvestia#50, 1968; Hill, 137) He became quite mean-spirited on the subject, presenting transsexuals as failed individuals: “inadequate, inappropriate, inefficient, and uncomfortable in the masculine gender role and who were also inadequate and unhappy in the male sex role". They had failed at both the sex and the gender of being male. Several times Prince used the crude pun: “While I feel whole, transsexuals feel hole”.

    FPE continued its policy of not accepting “bondage or masochistic people, amateur investigators, curiosity seekers, homosexuals, transsexuals or emotionally disturbed people”, Great emphasis was still placed on privacy and secrecy, and also on involving members’ wives.

    Annette, whose photograph had been the first cover girl on Transvestia #5, invited FPE, as he did most years, to visit his remote ranch in Idaho. Most of the Seattle Chapter went, and Virginia drove up from Los Angeles. Katherine Cummings was present and observed that Virginia managed to alienate most of the wives by telling them that she was just as female as they were. (Cummings: 185).

    WBI Boston 1968 with Dr Leo Wollman.  Presenter Bob Kennedy
    Also 1968, Prince's mother, Elizabeth Arnold, died. By this time Prince had had facial hair removed by electrolysis and was taking female hormones again, and had had a legal name change to Virginia Bruce. She took an extensive six-week trip across the US meeting FPE members and even police officers. She emphasized that she took no male clothing with her. On her return she bought a spacious house in the Hollywood Hills. She trained as a glider pilot and purchased an Ultralite aircraft. She also bought a motorhome for her travels in the US.7

    In August she wrote "My goal achieved" (Transvestia #49) about how she had attended a session of the then new nudist therapy led by psychologist Paul Bindrim, who had previously spoken at an Alpha Chapter meeting. Prince felt that it was an opportunity to present as Virginia while revealing her male anatomy:
    "For about 20 hours I was as naked as the day I was born but for those same 20 hours I was still Virginia to myself and to all the rest. Although there could be no doubt as to my maleness (sex), nobody seemed inclined to doubt my femininity (gender), and I was treated in all respects as one of the girls by men and women alike."
    This, of course, created a reaction from her readers. The August issue contained the following letter:
    "Most of your readers think that you are everything good about TVism and are the ultimate in FPism and pure in all ways. What your article has done is to plant a great deal of doubt in their minds as to just what you are…. When all this is added to your story of running around in the nude, kissing a man, having him hold you and the other things, no matter what the occasion, I think that a lot of people think you have gone off the deep end. I would think that the GG’s who read it would all be set back…because you have given them proof that TVs just don’t want to put on a dress to express feminine feeling inside them but really want to go much further, and this is what they fear most”
    In the June issue, Prince went so far as to denounce how male roles are connected to violence.
    "The male citizen of our American culture, and to some extent but not to the same degree, the males of other western cultures, have elevated the cult of masculinity to the ultimate….In a world that venerates, honors, and rewards masculinity far above femininity and which at the same time equates strength, courage, determination, aggressiveness, and force with masculinity, what can we expect? Men are so frightened, so ashamed, so fearful of their gentler instincts and feelings that they shove them aside and elevate the current conceptions of masculinity to the dominant and determining place in their life philosophy. In order to deny femininity, a man will exaggerate masculinity well beyond its proper proportion in human life. What is the result in the world? The continued domination of the masculine ethic of force and violence, of solving problems with wars, pistols, or fists instead of with the head and the heart." (Transvestia #51, June 1968; Hill 391-2)
    Prince wrote that she completely accepted herself 'genderally'.
    ‘I was then free to live my life as I wanted having no domestic or business responsibilities. I therefore crossed the line completely and have lived as a woman full time ever since’ ("Charles to Virginia: Sex Research as a Personal Experience” in Vern Bullough (ed), Frontiers of Sex Research: 172).
    Despite the no-transsexuals policy, Virginia Prince, as she now was at age 55, was in effect what Harry Benjamin called a non-surgical transsexual, although she would never admit to the term. However Virginia's male persona was resurrected again for a revised version of A Survey of Chemistry for Cosmetologists.
    1. Laurel Canyon in 1968 had more than its share of both celebrities and of murder. There are two books about the neighborhood: , Michael Walker's Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock-and-Roll's Legendary Neighborhood, 2006. and Dave McGowan'sInside The LC: The Strange but Mostly True Story of Laurel Canyon and the Birth of the Hippie Generation, 2008-2012. Neither has anything to say about Prince. In addition to Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa as neighbors, there was Ramon Navarro who was murdered in his home by two intruders that very year.
    2. Hill:308 commented: "I have found no evidence that indicates what exactly police officials thought about Prince—whether they took her seriously or as a complete joke or as another urban oddity whose voice they, as public servants, were obligated to listen to. Accompanying her many travelogues are photographs of Prince with prominent psychiatrists, doctors, and radio and television personalities. It may be telling that there is not one photograph of Prince posing with a police chief or law officer."
    3. However, see footnotes 5 and 6 in Part II. Prince admitted to Stoller that attracting the attention of men was something that she specifically enjoyed.
    4. Sex Changes: The Politics of Transgenderism was written by Patrick Califia before transition. Its section on Prince is based solely on a careful and insightful reading of The Transvestite and His Wife. "But this putative 'difference' between male and female sexuality has more to do with the repression of women's sexuality in general … than a shift in couture. I know what I feel when I am in male drag. My conversations with other women who cross-dress as men make it clear that I am not the only woman who gets a sexual rush out of appropriating a masculine image. A whole book could probably be written about the misogyny and homophobia that has led sexologists and other 'experts' to frequently state, as Prince does, that women can wear men's clothes without being punished, so they have no need to become transvestites. This is patently false. … As any stone butch or passing woman can tell you, the general public continues to be deeply disturbed by a biological female who appears in public in men's clothing. There is no difference between the discrimination, condemnation, and violence that is routinely inflected upon male and female cross-dressers, if they are exposed as such."
    5. Lili took up with Susanna Valenti, and can be seen several times in Casa Susanna, 2005.
    6. The FPs felt about the ‘whole girl fetishists’ in much the same way that not-TG persons today feel about those who do not pass, and whom they call ‘transgenders’.
    7. Perhaps Prince was affluent after selling 50% of Cardinal Industries; or perhaps his mother left a bequest.

    Virginia Prince: Part IV – Full-time Living

    Part 1 – Youth and First marriage
    Part II – Second Marriage
    Part III – Femmiphilic activist
    Part IV – Full-time Living
    Part V – Transgenderist dowager
    Jargon terms and general comments

    In 1969, Prince used the term ‘transgenderal’ in an article for Transvestia. This was a one-off usage that she never repeated. She commented on the Stonewall Riots as being the inevitable consequence of a group being oppressed by society.(Hill: 401). The leader of the Gamma Chapter in Boston discontinued on obtaining surgery: Ariadne Kane stepped forward and with others restructured and relocated the group under a new name, the Cherrystone Club. In London Jean Fredericks and Ron Storme started organizing drag balls, mainly at the Porchester Hall.

    In the same year Prince visited the UK for the first International Conference on Gender Identity in London, organized by the Albany Trust and the Erickson Foundation, and to visit the Beaumont Society. She visited members in Scotland and Leicester, and there was a formal dinner in London with 9 members and three wives, and she returned again in 1971. By then Charlotte Bach was living full-time a female, and writing a theory of transvestity that was completely different from anything that Prince ever wrote. It is a shame that they did not meet. Nor apparently did Prince attend any of the Porchester Balls.

    H. Taylor Buckner, of Sir George Williams University, Montréal, presented a paper at the American Sociological Association annual meeting in San Francisco that drew on the data about 272 transvestites that Prince had presented in 1963. However he also drew on the biography of the fetishist and bondage transvestite Leonard Wheeler, and concluded that transvestism is a socially induced pathology.

    In 1970 Prince visited Sydney, NSW, to kickstart what evolved into the Seahorse Society. Rosemary Langton, who had recently immigrated from the UK, had been a member of the Beaumont Society. She contacted some others by mail and then they advertised in the Daily Telegraph and then the rather bawdy King's Cross Whisper.

    Susanna Valenti’s last regular column for Transvestia was in 1970. She announced she also was going to start living full time as female.
    1970.  Hill p406

    In May Prince was in the meeting at the American Psychiatric Association in San Francisco when it was zapped by gay and feminist protesters: "Between them they created so much noise, confusion and disturbance that the chairman had to dismiss the session. It was a frightening premonition of things that may lie ahead for this nation when even a professional group like that of the psychiatrists can have their meeting disrupted by the radical wing of various minority groups". (Transvestia #62, 1970; Hill 401n47)

    Prince took out a membership in the National Organization for Women (NOW), and encouraged her readers to support its work, but clarified that she did not mean the radical women's lib which got the media attention. After two years of living as a woman, second-class citizenship "was now my problem as it is the problem of all women, even when they don’t realize it. My interest in the movement has since become more personal and less intellectual.”(Transvestia #63, 1970; Hill 394-5).

    Despite Prince’s proscription, ‘transvestite’ and ‘TV’ continued to be used elsewhere, and also kept creeping back into Transvestia. In Transvestia 62, 1970, she urged that the usage stop:
    “It was bad enough when misguided and ignorant reporters used it in the press when referring to drag queens. But when the queens themselves appropriate it and use it in reference to themselves because they are, after all, crossdressers and because we have managed to give the word some respectability and dignity, then I for one have had it. I have spent 10 years trying to educate both my readers and the public to the fact that heterosexual crossdressers are a separate breed of cat. It is the only way to establish our identity, to gain a modicum of understanding and to escape the opprobrium (albeit unfairly) that society lavishes on the homosexual.”
    Hill who has examined the original Transvestia proof files found that many of them feature pen marks where 'TV' or 'transvestite' is replaced by femmepersonator etc (p148). This presumably is Prince acting as editor.

    Around 1970 three transvestite novels were published by Chevalier Publications: From Martin to Marion, The Turnabout Party and The Birth of Barbara. They are attributed to Prince, and they and others are advertised at the back of How to be a Woman Though Male.

    Prince's How to be a Woman Though Male, 1971, was an advice book very different from Pudgy Robert's Female Impersonator's Handbook., 1967 or Michael Salem's How to Impersonate a Woman: A Handbook on Makeup & Dress for the Male Transvestite, 1973. Prince's book is notable for its old-fashioned ideas of femininity, as if the counter-cultural and feminist changes of the time had never happened. It contains extensive and detailed advice on how to walk, sit, stand, run, eat, drink, and so on, "like a woman". One piece of general advice is "try to be more gentle, less direct, less forceful, and more delicate and graceful in your movements". "If you are nervous about how adequate you look upon entering the inner room you can buy considerable authenticity by going over to the Kotex or Fems dispenser which is usually on the wall at one end and spend a dime for a pad and take it with you into the booth" (p141) and "It is often overlooked or unknown to males that the female urinary stream not being focused as it were into a narrow stream by passing through a pipe (penis) before leaving the body tends to spray out and to hit the water in the bowl in a much bigger stream than a male urinary stream. For this reason it makes considerably more sound. A male sitting on the seat will have a thin stream falling only a few inches and will not therefore make a usual sound. While most of the time this might be of no importance, if you feel any qualms about your authenticity you might be well advised to make much the same sound as the other females. This can be accomplished by standing up, facing the door, and straddling the bowl with feet not too far back (this would seem strange to anyone in the neighboring booth). Aim the stream right into the pool of water and let go. The greater length of fall will allow the stream to spread out and make more noise." (p142) She also gives advice on how to avoid the then common 10¢ charge to use toilets. "It is the best in womanhood that the FP seeks to emulate, not the common. Be the LADY in the crowd if you are going to be a woman at all, not the scrubwoman or a clerk. It is the beauty, delicacy, grace, loveliness, charm and freedom of expression of the feminine world that you are seeking to experience and enjoy, so ‘live it up’ – be as pretty, charming and graceful as you can. " (p137)

    In the same year, FPE member Carol Beecroft split off and founded Mamselle Sorority with a more open membership policy. In London Rachel Pollack and Roz Kaveney were organizing a transvestite presence at the Gay Liberation Front Meetings.

    A wife of a new member discovered what her husband was up to, and wrote the following to another member whom her husband has been corresponding with. The second member passed it onto Prince who published it:
    "You are sick and are in very bad need of professional help. As you don’t know, I am a nurse and we put people like you in an insane asylum or on the psycho ward in the hospital. I know my husband must have answered that ad by the reference to your letter but no letter from you or your B+ wife could convince me what you’re doing is normal. You’d better seek help from a Professional Doctor or find an old fashioned altar and pray to God for his saving power to save you from a Devil’s Hell. That would be the best fulfillment you or your ‘sisters’ could ever get. I hope and pray if you ever ‘dress’ again there will be a Policeman close by to nab you and ‘undress’ you in front of so many people it will make you feel as low as an animal…. No, your wife had better not write to me for what you do is your business and I am an F or Z wife and I won’t ever believe anything could convince me to believe what you’re doing is right. If my husband desires this kind of life he has my blessing with a divorce. I wouldn’t want to expose our daughter to anything so disgusting." (Transvestia #70, 1971. Hill: 257)
    In 1971 Charles Lowman was named Doctor of the Century by the Los Angeles County Medical Association. In August that year the Alpha Chapter hosted Lady Java, who had been in the press for trans activism in 1967 – and were thus more accepting than Virginia. At the same time the Gamma Chapter in Boston was doing outreach to the local gay community. Dot from Gamma spoke to a meeting of the Homophile Union of Boston with much success, and then to the local chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis.

    Prince’s paper with P.M. Bentler, “A Survey of 504 Cases of Transvestism” in Psychological Reports, 1972, followed on from Louise Lawrence’s work in the 1940s and 1950s bringing non-patient transvestites to the attention of doctors. Prince and Bentler surveyed 504 crossdressers, mainly readers of Transvestia. 66% had never seen a psychiatrist.

    A count was made that year by Fran Conners of all FPE members, past and present. The total came to 1,800. This would be comparable to the size of the pre-Stonewall homophile groups. Each of the Chapters had the right to suspend members who were security risks "in the opinion of the majority of chapter members". Hill, however, comments that: "The organizational literature, however, indicates that local chapters were plagued more by drop-outs—the revolving door syndrome—rather than suspended members. Many crossdressers, much like their homophile counterparts in Mattachine and Daughters of Bilitis, used the magazine Transvestia and the organization as a source of information and entrée into the larger subculture. They bolted once they got what they needed or developed peace of mind." (Hill: 284)

    In Transvestia #74 Prince wrote "…we are the vanguard of Men’s Liberation in that we have met and made friends with that woman formerly locked away in the dungeons of our psyche". However the pro-feminist Men's Liberation movement of the early 1970s did not acknowledge any contribution by Prince.1

    1972 was also the year that Fran Conners, who was recognized as having built up the organization over the last seven years, resigned as executive secretary of FPE and as the editor of Femme Forum. Fran's replacement was Donna from Los Angeles. However, Donna suffered from ill health and Femme Forum did not survive beyond the end of the year. Prince had that year reiterated the basic philosophy of the group: "FPE was organized to serve one kind of person only….heterosexual, single and family people with jobs, reputations and responsibilities…and to do it in a context of concern for that person’s personal, marital and reputational well-being" (Femme Forum #33, January 1972). Other groups, that were less exclusionary were referred to as 'open groups'. The next year Prince announced that FPE was no longer a non-profit organization, but was now to be an adjunct of Chevalier Publications. All membership dues were now to go to her and were now raised to $12. Hill (296) speculated that there was a mass exodus of members to the other open groups at this time. For the next few years the national organization was minimal. Prince started issuing a directory listing the femme-name, code, city and state, marital status, religion, wife’s attitude, degree of dressing, and hobbies of each active member. But not mailing addresses. Contact could be initiated with others only through Transvestia's contact forwarding service at $1 a time.

    Charles Lowman married his second wife, Mary, in 1972. This wife was not sympathetic towards her stepson. Prince, in male drag, made a rare appearance at their home but was not invited inside. (Docter:17)

    By now Angela Douglas had founded Transsexual Action Organization (TAO) and was actively campaigning in Los Angeles. I could find no record of Prince and Douglas even acknowledging each other. In New York Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P Johnson were organizing transvestites with STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries); the scene that was to become the voguing balls of the 1980s was evolving.

    By 1973 Prince was urging her readers to read Germaine Greer's The Female Eunuch, and to subscribe to MS magazine.
    “Learn exactly how women are tied down and suppressed by the male organized culture. When you have learned something of that you will be better able to understand what’s inside your wife’s head.” She took the side of an unhappy wife who wrote to complain that although she accepted her husband's cross-dressing, he did nor reciprocate by trying to understand her. ...
    "What is ridiculous is that he [the husband] sees women as beautiful creatures that have lots of time to kill and just lay around reading or doing their nails, or going out shopping, etc. ... Is it any wonder then, that in a lot of cases after several years of trying to understand and to accept the idea that men have a need to express their femininity as women do their masculinity, that she gets a bit fed up with seeing what his concept of femininity is?"(Transvestia #78, 1973; Hill:397)
    In her 1973 paper “Sex vs Gender” just after Fisk had proposed the re-medicalizing concept of ‘gender dysphoria syndrome’, Prince argued for a distinction from ‘sexual dysphoria syndrome’:
    "I was pleased to have Dr. Fisk use the term ‘gender dysphoria syndrome,’ but if it is truly a matter of gender dysphoria, why do you not offer a gender solution instead of a sexual one? What you really have is a ‘sexual dysphoria syndrome.’ We have sexual identity clinics in which people are examined, selected, screened, and finally have surgery performed on them which changes their sexual identity … It seems a very sad thing to me that great many individuals have to go to the expense, pain, danger, and everything else when they could achieve a gender change without any of it."
    In 1974 Vern and Bonnie Bullough organized a conference in Los Angeles under the auspices of the Institute for the Study of Human Resources (ISHR, associated with ONE and sponsored by Reed Erickson) which brought together Prince, Christine Jorgensen, Zelda Suplee, Laud Humphries, Christopher Isherwood and Evelyn Hooker. Nicole Ramirez, the Empress of the Imperial Court of San Diego, rode in San Diego’s first Pride parade in an open vehicle amid jeers from hostile spectators.

    1974 was also what Docter refers to as 'The Revolt of the Alpha Chapter'. Virginia had always been autocratic and made the chapter do things her way. She was also often looking for ways to get rich quickly. When the members found that she had given a list of their male names and addresses to a gold and silver broker they were furious. Many of them broke away and the next year formed the Crossdressers Heterosexual Intersocial Club (CHIC), which is still going. Virginia resigned during a angry confrontation over the broker. The Chapter reformed without Virginia. 2 (Doctor:85-7).

    Charles Lowman received from President Nixon the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1974. In 1975, 1,200 people honored Dr Lowman at the Hollywood Palladium. A message of tribute was sent by President Ford. Dr Lowman had treated over 210,000 patients during his lifetime. There is no mention that Virginia was present or even invited.3

    Ariadne Kane and other members of the Cherrystone Club organized the original Fantasia Fair in Provincetown, Massachusetts which was to become an annual event.

    Virginia's son Brent, who had by then become a husband and father, was arrested for burglary March 1, 1976. He was held at the jail ward of the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center to be medically examined for heroin addiction.  He died there on October 30, 1976. He was 30 years old.

    Prince published Understanding Cross Dressing in the same year, and, as Arnold, published the final revised and enlarged Chemistry in Your Beauty Shop.

    Vern Bullough and other members of ONE, Inc finally published their An Annotated Bibliography of Homosexuality: In Two Volumes, which contained the largest bibliography of transvestite and transsexual material available at that time. Apparently there was no input from FPE. The gay bibliography was later expanded by Wayne Dynes; the trans by Dallas Denny.

    Carol Beecroft had returned to Prince’s views about membership, and Mamselle Sorority and the FPE were merged and renamed the Society for the Second Self, or 'Tri-Sigma'. Several of Carol’s concepts such as Femme Mirror magazine and Holiday En Femme became part of the Tri-Sigma program. Beecroft had the time and energy to run a national organization. From 1977 the annual dues were set at $20. The policy of barring homosexuals, transsexuals and fetishists was continued. Aspiring members now had to to purchase and read only three issues of Transvestia, or alternatively, Understanding Cross Dressing. Hill (299) suspects that this is when the interview requirement for new members was suspended, but was unable to find confirmation.

    Despite urging her readers in earlier years to read Greer and Friedman, Prince could still write the following in 1977: “while a man’s world and a woman’s world can be toted up on a scoreboard and on any given item one or the other will have an advantage or a specific disadvantage, when the total score is taken into consideration, things are about equal.” As Hill comments, "missing from Prince’s avocation of free gender expression were analyses of economic and power differentials between men and women". (“I’m Glad I Wasn’t Born a Girl,” Transvestia #91 ,1977; Hill:398 ). In the same issue she commented on the Anita Bryant attempt in Dade County to roll back gay rights. "There is a wave of reaction under way in this country today and you ought to be aware of it….Thus if the anti-gay rights movement is successful, you can expect a lot less freedom for yourself, too. Remember that as far as society is concerned, FPs are the same as gays….Thus you don’t have to be gay to take the position that they, too, have a right to live, to have a job, to be able to rent an apartment, and the other things that the Miami ordinance attempted to guarantee them." (“Persecution of Minorities,” Transvestia #91, 1977; Hill:401)

    In London, the TV/TS Group, mainly run by Yvonne Sinclair had been started.

    Charles Lowman died in 1977 at the age of 97 after a minor cerebrovascular thrombosis. He died in the institution that he had founded in 1922. Prince dressed in a male suit one last time for the funeral. (Docter:17)

    In 1978 the Archives of Sexual Behavior published Prince's "Transsexuals and Pseudotranssexuals" 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.
    "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, while those in the heterosexual group (Kinsey 1,2) gave high scores to gender type questions and much lower scores on the sex type questions".
    This model was later taken up by Ethel Person, and anticipates the two-type system that will later be developed by Freund and Blanchard, although neither of them ever refer to it, with the important difference that Freund and Blanchard see the heterosexual group as erotically based.

    Also in 1978 the Boston group, the Cherrystone Club split into the Mayflower Club and the Tiffany Club. Ariadne Kane was interviewed by Boston’s Gay Community Newsand used the term 'transgender' . Prince was introduced by Ariadne Kane to this term, which was not new but was being increasingly used. Prince then used the term in “The Transcendents or Trans People”, a paper read to the Western Regional Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex in Santa Barbara, June 1978, reprinted in Transvestia 95.
    "The second class [transgender] is a group of which I am a member and about which most of you haven’t heard …These are people who have adopted the exterior manifestations of the opposite sex but without any surgical interventions. Thus they are what may be rightly termed ‘male women’."
    1979.  Hill p405
    Prince used 'transgender' a couple of times more in Transvestia magazine, and then once and once only in a paper, “Charles to Virginia: Sex Research as a Personal Experience” for Vern Bullough’s The Frontiers of Sex Research, 1979. After that she lost interest in the word, and stopped using it. In “Charles to Virginia" she continued the specious claim from 20 years before that "This name [tranvestism] was coined [by Hirschfeld] specifically for heterosexual persons but, unfortunately, of recent years if has come to be used by many people to refer to anyone who cross-dresses for whatever reason". She explained that "Although I personally try to dissuade people from having the surgery, except in special cases, it is interesting that three of my best girl friends are former men who have had the surgery". She considered that the four of them had reached an ideal state: "When one person is androgenous [sic] (gynandrous) and has access to both the masculine and feminine parts of one total person, he or she is not so in need of another person to fulfill life. This unification of the duality of masculine and feminine in one person is what make people like the four us is self-sufficient."

    Vern Bullough's message at this time was mixed. Ten years after Prince had gone full time, in his introduction to Prince in Frontiers of Sex Research, he still still described Prince as a transvestite who "dresses up" as a woman. In his Homosexuality, a History, in his “Cross-Dressing: Transvestism, Transsexualism, and Homosexuality” chapter he describes Prince as a good example of a heterosexual transvestite. Some would say that by the logic of book's title it should not have even discussed Prince. He also mentions Chevalier d’Eon, Lili Elbe and Christine Jorgensen who were not homosexual either. And having done so it does not mention even one gay transvestite or even one androphilic transsexual. However he does say: "Though no large-scale study exists of homosexual transvestites, our own preliminary work in this area indicates that such people do exist, and for many of the same reasons as the heterosexual transvestites". He further disagreed with Prince saying: "Probably transsexualism and transvestism exist on a continuum".

    Also the year that Prince first met Richard Docter, a colleague of Vern Bullough at Northridge University, when she gave a talk there.

    Other than to her three friends, Prince was still being mean-spirited on the topic of surgery. A reader wrote: “I am sorry I have to disagree strongly on what you wrote to me. Transsexuals (me, personally) are NOT gay or homosexuals. They have the mind of a woman, and think and want to satisfy a man like a woman does.” Prince replied (Transvestia, 94, 1978; Hill:140): "Can you believe that? How do you manage to NOT be homosexual when you want a hole so that you ‘can satisfy a man the way a woman does’?”

    In the special 100th edition of Transvestia, the last one edited by Prince, Susanna Valenti returned to comment on all that had been accomplished since the first issue in 1960. She was impressed by the achievements of homosexuals, transsexuals and women, but pointed out that transvestites had done less well.
    "A good number of people, many more than there were one hundred issues ago, know about us. The moral ‘liberation’ of our times seems to have helped somewhat, too. But, we ask ourselves, have we really become liberated? Have we really become understood? Accepted? Our transsexual sisters are willing to meet the cameras, to make the headlines, but we are not quite willing to follow the example of GG’s and transsexuals and gays. We are still at the bottom of the acceptance totem pole….We are letting the revolution pass us by, while we timidly hope that the GG’s, transsexuals, and gays will win their battle so that we can gather a few crumbs from their banquet. We can count with the fingers of one hand the number of TV’s…who have dared a break-through in radio, television, and other organizations. The rest of us sit back silently and do nothing but wish that something, somebody, would do something for our liberation." (Transvestia 100, 1979: Hill: 328)
    In July 1979, Prince sold Chevalier Publications to Carol Beecroft, who also took over the editorship of Transvestia, and became the sole president of Tri-Sigma. In twenty years Prince had published some 120 life histories from readers and 300 letters to the editor. With only a few exceptions, these readers were white male middle-class heterosexuals usually aged between 30 and 60 (Hill: 30).

    The third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was issued in 1980. Homosexuality, after a long and loud campaign, had finally been removed. But transvestism was now added. In DSM-III-R, 1987, it was renamed 'Transvestic Fetishism'. As Prince had advocated, Transvestism was defined as done by heterosexual males. Cross-dressing was not regarded as a transvestism when done by women or gay men. However, presumably to her chagrin, the psycho-analytic tradition that heterosexual transvestism was a fetish was accepted.

    In the same year, Vern and Bonnie Bullough moved to the State University of New York at Buffalo.

    In 1981, the national college sorority called Sigma Sigma Sigma, dating from the 1890s, having discoved Tri-Sigma and making noises about possible litigation, Beecroft changed the name of Tri-Sigma to Tri-Ess. Transvestia failed shortly afterwards, although Femme Mirror continued. Beecroft subsequently gave responsibility for Tri-Ess to Jane & Mary Fairfax, a husband and wife, in Houston, (Docter:82-3)

    In 1982, Marcia Ann Lowman, Brent's wife, lost her appeal against the dismissal of her complaint for wrongful death in the case of her husband, in that such a complaint cannot be maintained against a public entity and she was not able to truly name any individual involved. 4
    1. See for example Jack Nichols' Men's Liberation: A New Definition of Masculinity, 1975, which was probably the book most likely to do so. It does have a chapter on psychological androgyny, but nothing on the topics that Prince would raise.
    2. Docter does not give a date for 'The Revolt of the Alpha Chapter'. I took the year from the CHIC website.
    3. Virginia Prince like Roberta Cowell had a father who was one of the outstanding doctors in his own country. And neither father has a Wikipedia page.
    4. There is no mention that Virginia aided Marci in her case re Brent's death.

    Virginia Prince: part V - Transgenderist dowager


    Part 1 – Youth and First marriage
    Part II – Second Marriage
    Part III – Femmiphilic activist
    Part IV – Full-time Living
    Part V – Transgenderist dowager
    Jargon terms and general comments

    In 1985 Virginia and Christine Jorgensen appeared in Lee Grant's documentary, What Sex Am I?    Dorothy Marie Shepherd, Arnold's first wife, died the same year.

    This was also the year that the Clarke Institute in Toronto published Gender Dysphoria which laid out the dichotomy between heterosexual autogynephilics and 'homosexual transsexuals'. While this corresponded to Prince's insistence that homosexuals and femmiphics were, to use her term, "separate breeds of cat" there is no record that I have found of either Kurt Freund and Ray Blanchard of the Clarke on one side or Virginia Prince on the other discussing how femmiphilia and autogynephilia are different or similar, although later writers see them as two aspects of the same thing.

    Frederick Whitam published his Male Homosexuality in Four Societies in 1986. He argues that homosexuality and transvestic homosexuality are as natural as heterosexuality and occur in all societies, and homosexuals in general tend to patterns of early cross-gender behavior. He sees heterosexual transvestites as a different category and protests their appropriation of the word 'transvestite'. "Some heterosexual transvestites, not wanting to be identified as being homosexual, have insisted that they are the 'true transvestites' and take a demeaning attitude towards drag queens and female impersonators". (p80) We now had three solitudes that should have been talking to each other, but did not.

    IFGE (International Foundation for Gender Education) was founded by Merrisa Sherrill Lynn in 1987, initially as an outgrowth from Boston's Tiffany Club. Although proclaimed as a group for both transsexuals and transvestites, they built in a heterosexual transvestite bias by creating a Virginia Prince Award, and, apparently with no sense of irony, actually awarded the first one to Virginia Prince. The next two went to Merrisa Sherrill Lynn and Ariadne Kane.

    Richard F. Docter published his Transvestites and Transsexuals: Toward a Theory of Cross-Gender Behavior in 1988. He gathered data from 110 male transvestites. He found that even after excluding those who were exclusively gay, 28% of the rest had some sexual experience with men. He purports a 5-part typology for heterosexual transvestites: fetishism, fetishistic transvestism, marginal transvestism, transgenderism and secondary transsexualism. He conceives these as stages which an individual can progress through. He has a 4-part typology for homosexual transvestites: primary transsexualism, secondary transsexualism, "so-called drag queens" and female impersonators. This is not a progression in the same sense. He treats Prince as one source among many and does not indicate that he knows her personally. Certainly he does not stick to her usage of the term 'transgender', although he credits Prince with coining it in her Understanding Cross Dressing, 1977 (but without giving a page reference and Google Books Search is unable to find it). He notes that his ‘transgenderism’ category corresponds to Benjamin's Type IV, Nonsurgical Transsexual. According to the diagram on p25, it is an heterosexual variation as in Prince, but Docter discusses only one example, a then 22-year-old Everett/Angela who is androphilic, sexually active and will probably shortly have transsexual surgery. (p21-5)

    Robert Stoller died in a traffic accident in 1991. His wife returned the tapes and transcription of their 29 years of sessions to Virginia, who later passed them on to Docter for his biography.

    By 1992, Yvonne Cook-Riley (who was awarded the Virginia Prince Award in 1995) was lobbying for the use of ‘transgender’ within IFGE, and would later, with willful ignorance, claim that she and Prince had created the ‘transgender community’.

    In 1993 Vern and Bonnie Bullough returned to Los Angeles after his retirement. Vern again taught at Northridge as an adjunct professor until 2003. Their new book, Cross Dressing, Sex, and Gender, while totally ignoring Reed Erickson and April Ashley, reducing Lou Sullivan to an erotic cross dresser, and refusing to give Jacqueline Dufresnoy's female name, builds up the importance of Prince. They claim that Prince was the only transvestite organizer of note from 1952 to the 1980s. They do see through Prince's claims: "Prince's quest for respectability led her to exclude cross dressers who were homosexuals, sadomaschists, women, prostitutes, or even partial cross dressers. Because the psychiatrists accepted Prince's definition of transvestism and incorporated it into the DSM-III-R, behavioral scientists, including the authors, blindly followed the accepted definition by studying club members as if they were the universe of cross dressers." (p302) They follow with a summary of Frederick Whitham's work in the third world, but do not name any European or North American gay transvestites. The organizing work by Sylvia Rivera in New York or of Rachel Pollack or later Yvonne Sinclair in London is certainly not mentioned, and, as I have mentioned before, there is a recurring pattern in Bullough's work of not mentioning either transvestites or transsexuals who have a male lover or spouse. The Bulloughs, despite knowing Prince personally, do not claim the she coined 'transgender', or even associate her with the word at all. They do use the word when referring to Ariadne Kane. The Bulloughs note "Originally, we planned to publish Virginia/Charles's original name, but she regards this part of her past a closed book she would rather not reopen." (308n5)

    The internet forum, alt.transgendered, was launched 1992, did not even mention Prince until 1995 when Kimberleigh Richards, editor of Cross-Talk, entered to promote Prince as a pioneer of ‘transgendered’, but with almost no success.

    Prince sold most of the remaining copies of Transvestia and the copyright on her major books to Sandy Thomas, an old colleague. There are now available along with Thomas' transvestite fantasy titles from Lulu.com.

    By 1996, the claims by Cook-Riley and Richards that Prince had coined ‘transgender’ were becoming widely known, and were repeated without citation in Leslie Feinberg’s Transgender Warriors: “But the word transgender is increasingly being used in a more specific way as well. The term transgenderist was first introduced into the English language by trans warrior Virginia Prince. Virginia told me, ‘I coined the noun transgenderist in 1987 or ’88. There had to be some name for people like myself who trans the gender barrier’ (p x) “. This is her only appearance in the book: Feinberg does not care to demonstrate Prince as a ‘trans warrior’. This seems to be the major source from which people claim that Prince coined the word. However there is no record of Prince using the word in 1987/8. This led to mainstream, albeit uncritical, acceptance of the claim.1

    The same year, Prince published “Gender Fundamentalists” in Richards’ Cross-Talk, where she rejected the inclusions that IFGE and Feinberg had been putting out in her name and reasserted her separatism and her transgenderphobia. "It is strange but true that the ones who are most vocal, most in print and most publicly active are the transsexuals. Their main point of attack is Tri-Ess because of the policy (which in their anointed wisdom they like to term "exclusionary") of selecting heterosexuals only, which conflicts with what they proclaim to be the only right way for a group to be ... open to all comers." Prince is complaining that transsexuals are trying to include her and her group in an umbrella.

    Bonnie Bullough died, just before the publication of Gender Blending edited by herself, Vern and James Elias. The tome is inclusivist except for the contributions by Prince and Kimberleigh Richards. In "Seventy Years in the Trenches of the Gender Wars" Prince actually claims: "As a matter of fact, I coined the words 'transgenderism' and 'transgenderist' as nouns describing people like myself who have breasts and live full time as woman, but who have no intention of having genital surgery". However she does not say where, and she objects to the inclusivist usage of ‘transgender’. She plays with the idea of adopting  ‘transposeur’, although she never returned to this term. She is also emphatic that she is a "congenital heterosexual" (perhaps having forgotten her claim to be a woman). She re-asserts her objection to the notion of "fetishistic cross-dressing", and asserts again that she is a pioneer of men's liberation.

    On the other hand in 1999, in a meeting with Vanessa Foster: "She was bemused by my use (and the community's) of the word transgender, and how the story affixed its authorship to her, even though she'd referred to it as transgenderist as a self-descriptor once she'd moved from occasional crossdressing to living as female, though not transsexual (she was quick to correct that!)".

    In 2000 Prince sold four sets of Transvestia, photographs and personal papers to Rikki Swin. They were initially in the Rikki Swin Institute in Chicago, and are now at the University of Victoria. Other files and papers were donated to the Special Collections Department at California State University, Northridge.

    In 2003, Michael Bailey's The Man Who Would Be Queen, revived the Freund-Blanchard notion of autogynephilia to much alarm and controversy, but still there was no dialectic with the notion of femmiphilia
    Virginia with Richard Docter
    In 2004, Richard F. Docter, who had become a friend of Prince and the Bulloughs, at the urging of Vern, wrote and self-published his biography of her. Bullough provided a Preface. Unlike her reluctance in Bullough's book a decade earlier, Prince was now willing that her original name of Arnold Lowman, not mentioned outside her inner circle since the court appearance in 1961, should be used. While Docter had developed a 5-part typology in his Transvestites and Transsexuals, 1988, he does not locate Prince within it, although in chapter 13 he does discuss Step a: from being a fetishistic cross dresser to being a transgender women and then Step b: from being a woman in public to having the gender identity of a woman.

    From 2005 the so-called Harry Benjamin Syndrome movement was developed. The European branch had little to say about Virginia Prince: Charlotte Goiar's bête noire is rather Carla Antonelli. The US HBS people following Diane Kearny set up Prince as that which they are not. It is therefore ironic that in several respects they follow Prince more than they do Benjamin:
    • they deny that there is a continuum from transvestite to transsexual
    • they disassociate from trans women who pass less well, and whom they regard as fetishistic
    • they disassociate from gays and lesbians
    • they disassociate from the transgender umbrella
    Vern Bullough died in 2006. In his final book, Crossing Sexual Boundaries, co-edited with Aridane Kane, Bullough still does not use Prince's original name. His take on the term 'transgender' has now altered to: "In fact, Virginia was a main source of the popularization of gender as applied to cross-dressing. She and Ariadne popularized the term transgender, which has been a more encompassing term than cross-dresser."

    Prince lived till 2009 and the age of 96, lastly in a retirement home in Los Angeles, and according to her friend, Richard Docter, she developed a taste for she-male pornography. She also dabbled in astrophysics and led a discussion group on being and consciousness in her retirement complex. She willed her body to the UCLA medical school. (Hill:39)
      1. This is comparable to the way that Agnes Gonxha (generally known as Mother Teresa) was uncritically treated as a saint after being endorsed by Malcolm Muggeridge.

    Virginia Prince: Jargon terms and general comments


    Part 1 – Youth and First marriage
    Part II – Second Marriage
    Part III – Femmiphilic activist
    Part IV – Full-time Living
    Part V – Transgenderist dowager
    Jargon terms and general comments

    Jargon terms associated with Virginia Prince:

    • Transvestite, transvestism – the various forms of transvest* and the French form travest* have been around as noun, verb and adjective for almost 500 years. The Paris police have been issuing Permissions de Travestissement since 1800. Magnus Hirschfeld associated the word with eroticism, and psychoanalysts attempted to redefine it as a fetish. Prince cited Hirschfeld's usage as a justification for restricting the word to heterosexual transvestites.
    • Femmiphilic, femmepersonator -- these were terms for heterosexual transvestites of the type encouraged to join Tri-ess. Prince coined the terms in 1961 as she knew that her attempted restriction of the word transvestite was not successful, but other members largely kept using transvestite until after 1970 when Prince became more insistent that they not be used. Femmiphilia fell out of use towards the end of the 1980s and was replaced by cross-dressing.
    • ‘TV-TS’ Ekins claims that Prince pioneered this, but gives no citations. TV and TS are the obvious abbreviations for transvestite and transsexual and were almost certainly coined by many unconnected people independently.
    • Trangenderal -- a term used by Prince in 1969, but once only.
    • Male Woman - a person whose sex is one side of the binary divide and whose gender is the other side and whose sexuality vis-à-vis sex is heterosexual.
    • Dual personality expression
    • gender is between the ears, not the legs - a phrase that has become popular in recent years, and is not usually attributed to Prince.
    • Transgenderist -- a variation on transgender which had been picked up by Ariadne Kane around 1978, and copied by Prince in a few articles 1978-9. They used it to mean a Prince-style transvestite who goes full time. Such is a type of what Benjamin called a Non-Surgical Transsexual, but Prince would never admit this. As she had done with 'transvestite' Prince took an existing word and attempted to restrict it to mean only her own type. Richard Docter, 1988, and IFGE promoted the idea that Prince coined ‘transgenderist’, and in 1996, Feinberg popularized the idea in hir Transgender Warriors. From that time Prince started claiming that she had coined the term, but sometimes mocked the idea, depending on the audience. Vivian Namaste uses 'transgenderist' in her Invisible Lives with no connotation of the Princian usage.
    • The Girl Within -- a term coined by Susanna Valenti in the early 1960s. It was taken over with credit by Prince to express what is found in every male, but repressed in most. Neither Valenti nor Prince compare the term to Ulrichsanima muliebris.
    • Transposeur -- a term proposed by Prince in 1997 to replace transgenderist which was being confused with transgender. She never did follow up on this proposal.
    • Whole Girl Fetishist – proposed by Sheila Nile in 1968 for members who did not pass well enough, particularly if it were for lack of trying. Over the next few years it came to be that those who failed or didn’t bother to fashion themselves as truly feminine were fetishistic. Susanna even estimated that the majority of members were WGFs.
    When to use female pronouns? Wikipedia and Ekins follow the confusing convention that the pronouns of a person's final gender should be retrojected to childhood and even birth. The not-TG people and Patricia Califia - who claim to follow that same convention - somehow deny Prince all female pronouns, some just to Prince and others to all non-op trans women. This is despite the obvious fact that Prince had a female gender identity before puberty. However she did not become a full-time woman until 1968. Like the rest of us, Prince had more than one persona. Much clarity is gained when Arnold, Muriel and Virginia are used to signify which aspect is doing what. Virginia did not do a pharmacology PhD, write Chemistry in Your Beauty Shop and marry two wives; Arnold did.

    The US state of Virginia has three counties with Prince in the name: Prince Edward, Prince George and Prince William. This does make it difficult to google "Virginia Prince".

    In the decades before Stonewall there were silly laws and there were draconian laws. People, gay, trans, lesbian were irritated by those laws, were harassed by them, they were sometimes arrested, less often jailed, and more often lost their jobs. Virginia Prince hobnobbed with the gay and lesbian organizations, with the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis. But she told the members of FPE and she told the police officers that FPE was not not gay, it was not fetishistic, it was not gender variant, and its members did not seek surgical transformation. We are different from people like that. Yes some members of the Mattachine Society were into a similar sense of false respectability, and emphasized that they were not transvestites. But in both cases saying we are different, there is always an unspoken 'jail them, but please not us'.

    Was Prince a transvestite activist? Obviously not. I showed this by listing individuals who could be regarded as transvestites who were not supported. Felicity Chandelle stands out as an exception. Comptons Cafeteria, the Black Cat police riot, Sir Lady Java– Prince was not interested. Even Mauricio Archibald, where the charge was identical to that against Felicity, and where an appeal had been secured, Prince was not interested. When she spoke to police officers she always emphasized that her members were different from street transvestites.

    Was Prince a transgender activist? Even less so. Non-femmiphilic transvestites were banned from FPE. Also banned were drag queens, all gender queers, all transsexuals, and most non-ops. Prince had transsexual friends. There is no record that she had any transgender friends. Nor did she she seek to co-ordinate or ally of her own accord with any transgender groups. IFGE did ally with various types of transgender groups, as did Leslie Feinberg. Feinberg and IFGE used Prince's name in proclaiming transgender umbrellas but Prince continued to write mean-spirited articles complaining about the umbrellas. In short she was transgenderphobic.

    The other partner in Cardinal Industries of California is a well-kept secret. I presume that it was a private company, not quoted on the stock exchange. Attempts to google it mainly bring up Cardinal Industries of New York, a toy-making company.

    Likewise the list of the original 12 members of the Hose and Heel Club is still a secret 50 odd years later. Are the names not in the papers left to either Rikki Swinn or to Northridge University? Docter tells us that one member was a dress maker and that the second meeting was at his house. Darrell Raynor tells us that Robert Stevens/Barbara Ellen and Evelyn fell out with Prince late 1962 or early 1963. Presumably they were in the original group, but we know nothing about them other than what is in Raynor's book.

    It occurs to me that the surviving members of the Alpha Chapter might tell a rather different account, but with the exception of JJ Allen they have not done so. I was able to find so much more about the New York chapter. I can work only from published accounts.

    The most remarkable thing about Virginia Prince is that she had dealings with five sexologists: Bowman, Benjamin, Stoller, Bullough and Docter. While each of them disassociated from her published opinions, she did affect, even deform, the writing of Benjamin, Bullough and Docter.

    Prince quest was a quixotic one. She took the example of the femmiphilic and presented it as the ideal type of transvestite person, and that the membership of FPE was the universe of cross dressers. To do this she had to construct three dams of exclusion that were forever disintegrating.

    a) Fetishism. Hirschfeld subtitled his 1910 book: The Transvestites:The Erotic Drive to Cross-Dress, andPsychoanalysts spent most of the last century developing the idea that transvestism is fetishistic. Quite reasonably Prince reacted against this. In addition, in the early days of Transvestia Prince had to be careful or else the magazine would have been banned by the US Post Office. This meant not only excluding discussions of eroticism, but also forced-femininity and petticoat-punishment fantasies. Nan Gilbert, a publisher of petticoat-punishment fantasies had had his mail stopped and was fined $500 in 1960. So it is certainly intriguing that Issues 1, 2 and 4 featured William Bessie Beck, the legendary recipient of petticoat-punishment whose amazing tale has now been published by Peter Farrer. What should we make of the fiction titles: From Martin to Marion, The Turnabout Party and The Birth of Barbara? They were published by Chevalier Publications, and advertised at the back of How to be a Woman Though Male. Amazon lists the author as "Anonymous (Virginia Prince?)". In fact the first draft of most of these fictions were published in Transvestia. Then there is Sandy Thomas, apparently a long-time friend of Prince. Thomas is the author of lots and lots of transvestite fiction. In the mid-1990s Prince sold the copyright of her major books and of Transvestia to Thomas who has reprinted them on his own imprint and listed them under his own name. Both the original Prince books and the Thomas-authored books are now available together on Lulu.com.

    b) Transsexuality. Prince had an initial enthusiasm for transgender surgery, as we saw above. There are rumors that she even applied to be accepted in the Stanford University program (although she had been in Los Angeles earlier at the right time for Elmer Belt's program at UCLA Medical School). However Prince completely denied that rumor. She decided against surgery, as did Yvonne Sinclair, Nicole Murray Ramirez and Leslie Feinberg, but of these only Prince then came down heavy on others who were considering surgery (other changebacks who are more like Prince in wanting to ban gender surgery include Charles Kane, Gerry Leach and Alan Finch). One of the first to receive this negative message was the teenage Diane Kearny who naively wrote to Prince and was told that she was ‘delusional’ in wanting such. Words such as 'mean-spirited' and 'bullying' have been used to describe Prince's antagonism to other people's possible surgery. A typical example was Mary who was Prince's assistant in 1967 and who had originally thought that she would seek surgery. On the other hand, in the period just before Doreen's departure, Prince was friends with Sherry, a post-operative. They would go to dances as two women, and Doreen was stressed that Prince would follow in Sherry's footsteps. In 1979 Prince wrote: "Although I personally try to dissuade people from having the surgery, except in special cases, it is interesting that three of my best girl friends are former men who have had the surgery". Docter (p58) says: "Over the years, Virginia has been very outspoken and dogmatic in her opposition in presenting her opposition to surgical sex reassignment, often going well beyond the simple expression of a personal preference and more into the mode of conducting an ideological campaign. Let's just say she has not shown much acceptance of contrasting opinions on this topic, and it has cost her some friends. But as strong as her views on this may be, she has sustained many close friendships with transgendered women who elected to proceed with surgery." Despite her statements, there was a steady loss of FPE-Tri-Ess members to surgery.

    c) Homosexuality. In The Transvestite and His Wife, Prince wrote "The femmiphile adopts feminine garb as a matter of personal internal expression – the homosexual 'Queen' does so for external effect – to attract males for sexual purposes and to ease the guilt of both." However in conversation Prince, while denying finding men attractive, did admit to enjoying being attractive to and flirting with men.She had a cross-dresser friend who was willing to play the male role and took her for lunch and drinks. Afterward they did mutual masturbation. She found kissing, hugging and affection from a man to be sexually rewarding. Hence we could take the attitude that by her own definition we can take her as a homosexual queen. The fashion in typology has changed since the sixties. Then the emphasis was on behavior; now it is on sex or gender identity. Prince did emphatically reject a gay identity, but if a police officer had encountered Prince and her date they could have been convicted. She insisted that "never once was there any kind of anal or oral sex". There is of course a significant minority of gay men have the same preference, but with a different sexual identity. Suzan Cook says that she spoke to a male hustler who counted Prince among his customers. That is certainly possible but we need further confirmation.

    Like the later HBS movement, Prince would use 'gender' where the context would imply that she meant 'gender identity'. And of course there is something a bit askew about Prince's gender identity. Even as late as the 2000s she insisted that she was heterosexual. It seems that she never accepted the argument that as a heterosexual woman she should be interested in men. Likewise she kept repeating that she was a pioneer of men's lib. If she were a women with a woman's gender identity then of course she would not be a pioneer of men's lib.

    If Muriel were born not in 1912, but in say 1992, where would she be today? Would she have been a transkid on puberty blockers, and completing surgical transition in a gap year before going up to university? Or would she join those who say that it is a violation of the UN statutes against torture to compel trans persons to be sterilized? In none of the source documents is there an explanation of why Prince turned away from wanting surgery.

    As TS Eliot famously said: a bad poet borrows, a good poet steals. Actually he did not. What he actually wrote: "One of the surest tests [of the superiority or inferiority of a poet] is the way in which a poet borrows. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different than that from which it is torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion." On this basis Prince is a bad poet. 1978, when Kane introduced Prince to the word 'transgender', was early enough that if Prince had had the gumption and the resourcefulness she could have taken the word and made it hers. To do so would have involved using it more than only three or four times. It would have meant using it regularly and with a force that would have withered the competing usages. Prince was not a major intellect: she was saying the same specious claims in 2005 as in 1965; and had not the slightest idea how to weld her theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different than that from which it is torn. Rather she defaced a rich multivalent word, transgender, and attempted and failed in her attempt to reduce and narrow it into something quite inauthentic. She threw it into something which has no cohesion.

    One can see why Yvonne Cook-Riley and Kimberleigh Richards wanted to credit Prince with something that she never did, and never could have. It is an irony of note that Diane Kearny, Suzan Cooke, Jenifer Usher and Cathryn Platine all want to support Cook-Riley and Richards in this endeavor.

    A Review of Darryl Hill's Trans Toronto: An Oral History

    Darryl Hill did his BA and MA at the University of Saskatchewen, and his PhD at the University of Windsor. He was for a while in the Psychology Department at Concordia University, where he would have met Vivian Namaste.  He is now an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at the College of Staten Island, which is part of the City University of New York.  He is also a co-founder of TransNYC.  He has previously published a paper, "Sexuality and gender in Hirschfeld’s ‘Die Transvestiten’: A case of the 'Elusive evidence of the ordinary.' ". Journal of the History of Sexuality, 14, 2005, 316-332, which points out that the distinction in his work between homosexual and transvestite is less sure than generally assumed.

    • Darryl B. Hill.  Trans Toronto: An Oral History. New York: William Rodney Press, 2012.  
    Or from Lulu.com.

    In 1996-7 and again in 1999-2000 Hill interviewed a variety of trans people in Toronto, 28 in all.  However despite the book's title this is not simply an oral history of being trans in Toronto.  The final paragraph of the book is a summation: "A new model of gender generalisable beyond trans-identified people presents challenges, but I have found that postmodern feminist queer theory offers a compelling proposal for gender in the postmodern context, assertions widely supported by the life stories of some trans Torontonians at the start of the 21st century".

    He tells us (p12) that "Many interviewees had questions about me (e.g. What's a straight guy from Saskatchewan doing interviewing trans people?), my goals for this research (e.g. Was I seeking, like some psychologists, to pathologise trans people?), my gender (Was I a female-to-male transsexual?) and so on.  When they asked questions, I was open and honest."   Except that he does not tell us, the readers, what answers he gave to those questions.

    The book really does need to have 'postmodern' in its title.  I imagine that there will be three kinds of reader:
    1) those of the postmodern persuation.  Even these I think will find the 50 (out of 180) or so pages explaining postmodern theory to be a bit much, as presumably they already know it.
    2) those unpersuaded by postmodernism.   I suspect that many of these will give up once they hit the heavy theory section starting in chapter 3.
    3) those who want a history of trans Toronto, for there is no other book on the topic.  By a mixture of skipping and using the index these readers will find the bits of interest.
    This book would be much more readable if the theory sections had been moved to an appendix.  The major history discussion does not happen until chapter 8, after the theory chapters.  Fortunately the postmodern sensibility as it has seeped into public consciousness has removed the obligation that people used to feel that a book should be read sequentially. 

    Let us return to the 28 interviewees.  They are referred to only by first names or pseudonyms for obvious reasons of confidentiality.  However Darryl does taunt us a bit on that.  He tells us (p93) that Laura, Sarah and BC "were a significant presence on the Internet: they each had popular and widely accessed web pages dedicated to some aspect of trans life", and that (p161) "one narrator had been a leader in trans politics, truly a leader, but had since been keeping a lower profile and was not currently involved in any political project."   I  had previously visited BC's web page, and so recognized her non-standard name immediately.

    Another of the 28 used the very unusual spelling Miqqi.  Google 'Miqqi' - simply that even without any extra words like 'transgender' and you immediately find the web page of Micheal Gilbert who is a professor at York University, Toronto and, as Miqqi Alicia, an open tranvestite who has been profiled as such in Toronto Life, has written for Transgender Tapestry and is a frequent participant at Fantasia Fair.  The index has an entry for each of the 28 interviewees, and therefore an entry for Miqqi.  However it also has an entry for Michael Gilbert.  It is never admitted that they are the same person.  In addition Hill mentions Xpressions (p27), a transvestite social group, without mentioning that Miqqi is active in it.    And further (p9) he mentions that he met a key informant at an academic conference - at a guess this is Miqqi again.   While I am open to the Buddhist-postmodernist notion that the unitary self is a delusion, to split a single person into parts like this is misleading.

    There are no sketches of each of the 28.  Apart from Miqqi, I was unable to develop any feeling for them as individuals.   As I said, there are index entries for them which enable you to flip and read all the comments from a single person, but this is awkward at best.  They are quoted in response to aspects of theory, sometimes supporting it, sometimes questioning it.  On page 5, Hill mentioned that Namaste had rightly argued - in particular against Garber -  that trans persons are more than literary devices illustrating the the crisis of gender through discursive perfomatives.  Likewise they are more than talking heads to be juxaposed against theory points.  Without a proper sketch of each of the interviewees, it is not really fair to describe what Hill is doing as 'oral history'.

    The book contains a short account of Toronto trans history before 1995, when Hill began his interviews.

    However there is nothing on the 1950s when Jean Fredericks started her career before moving to London nor on the 1960s when Katherine Cummings was a student in Toronto and socializing with John Herbert Brundage.  The periodical Justice Weekly, which was published in Toronto, acted as a contact point for closeted transvestites. The transsexual, Dianna Boileau, was dramatically outed after a car accident, and later became the first transsexual accepted for surgery at the Clarke Institute Gender Identity Clinic.  Nor is there mention of Betty Steiner who became the first head of the Clinic when it was founded in 1969.  

    Rupert Raj, founder of FACT, Metamorphosis Medical Research Foundation etc is very ill-served by being reduced to one factually-incorrect sentence: "Rupert Raj, who was active in in the Calgary-based FACT between 1982 and and 1988, went on to cofound (with Mirah-Soleil Ross) the Meal Trans program in 1999)" (p150).  On the previous page Hill had told us that "the Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Transsexuals (FACT) [was] also known as the Federation of American and Canadian Transsexuals".  This really won't do.  Rupert moved to Toronto from Calgary in 1979 which therefore became the base location of FACT.   In 1982 he permitted Susan Huxford (not mentioned anywhere in Hill's book) to take over FACT.   Huxford renamed FACT as the Federation of American and Canadian Transsexuals as there was a branch in the US. 

    Two paragraphs later Hill is telling us that "By the late 1980s, the main newsletter was Transition Support News".  His removal of Huxford from the story creates more problems.  In 1986 both FACT-Toronto and FACT-Hamilton rebelled against Huxford's authoritanism (much as FPE Alpha Chapter had rebelled against Virginia Prince in 1974).  The Toronto chapter reconstituted itself as Transition Support, and has continued with name changes and is still going. 

    The in-between paragraph tells us: "In July 1979, a group claiming to be Ontario's only group for 'TV/TS' produced their first newsletter, Skirting the Issue".  The group was the short-lived Transvestites in Toronto, a social group.  Why doesn't Hill name the group? Is he being prudish about its acronym?

    Hill does not mention that FACT-Toronto had a member who is world-famous for her sporting achievements: Michelle Duff.  Nor does he mention the Toronto performers such as Craig Russell, Rusty Ryan, Michelle DuBarry (who did attend a few meetings of Transvestites in Toronto), nor the musicans Barbra Amesbury and Toby Dancer (whom the Ontario trans rights bill was named after).

    Unlike the chapter in Namaste's book which discusses the Clarke Institute Gender Identity Clinic but says not a word about autogynephila, Hill does quickly summarize it (139) and ask his interviewees what they think about it.  There is no mention at all about Kurt Freund, its inventor and Ray Blanchard is referred to only by his surname, and only his late 2005 paper is listed.  Michael Bailey is not mentioned but Alice Dreger's defence of Bailey is.  Of the transsexuals who embraced the concept, Anne Lawrence in the US is mentioned, but the major Canadian who did so, Willow Arune, is not.  Nor is there any mention that the Clarke Gender Clinic is the only clinic in the world where a staff member has also changed gender: Maxine Petersen. There have been extensive discussions of the Clarke Institite (later called CAMH) and autogynephilia on this site, on BC's site, on TS Roadmap and on Lynn Conway's site.  As Hill's account is so short it would help if he referred his readers to these sources.

    On p67 Hill cites Docter and Prince in successive sentences as both regarding the sex-gender syster as binary.   Surely he should have mentioned that they were personal friends and therefore this does not count as two independent researchers coming to the same conclusion.

    In the 1980s one of the most dispiriting aspects about reading books on transgender was that almost all of them cited Janice Raymond, even for small details.  One would have thought, at least hoped, that that was bygone.  But she is cited 4 times in this book without any warning that her book is a transphobic tirade which does not attempt to be objective in either a modern or a postmodern sense.   If Hill did not figure that out himself, surely some of the 28 interviewees pointed it out.   Also Raymond is not a postmodernist.  She is not only an unreconstructed essentialist, her positions in all her books are fully compatible with the doctrines of the Holy See.  This is not a minor point.  After all the damage that Raymond did, the many who died because her advocacy denied them needed medical care, it matters that we should stand up and call out any who purport to be pro-trans and yet uncritically cite Raymond.

    Most of the deficiencies in Hill's knowledge of the history of trans in Toronto could have been fixed by perusing this site.  Should I take umbrage that he declined to do so?  From internal evidence it is apparent that he wrote the first draft in his book at the beginning of the 2000s, years before this site existed.  However he revised it later for publication in 2012 - see the (very small number of) items in his bibliography with dates in the last five years.

    What you think of this book will depend on where you situate yourself with regard to postmodernism.  I have flirted with it, mainly in the 1990s.  People do tell me that some of my positions are definitely postmodern, and I don't mind being labelled so.  However I have generally been quite disappointed by postmodernist book on trans topics.  Other examples are by Namaste and Ekins (not mentioned at all by Hill).  To do postmodernist theorizing (or theorizing for any other school) it is necessary to get the facts fairly close to being right, and Hill, Namaste and Ekins have come up short on this criterion.

    Unfortunately we do not yet have a history of trans in Toronto, or even in Canada.  This is much needed.  Hill's book is inevitably going to attract readers looking for such a book, and unfortunately they will have to plough through a long theory section, or practice their skipping skills.

    statistics and stuff

    For several years the most popular all-time post on this blog, according to the internal statistics from Google, was Amanda Lear.   It has now become Diane Delia.

    When I write a multi-part series I don't expect that the statistics for each part will be identical.  A normal expectation is that fewer people will read each successive part.  The stats on my Virginia Prince series are rather odd.  Part IV has been read by twice as many as Part 1, and thus even more so than the other parts.  I have no idea why Part IV is so popular.  Personally I found it to be the least interesting, as culminations of careers so often are.  The struggle to get there is a better story.  Why are so many of you reading only Part IV?

    Some commercial organization called Rudyem - Cliché in Liberty has been attempting to put a link to a mediocre - and yes very clichéd - video about only the very most hyped drag performances on various postings of mine where it would be quite irrelevent.   I certainly am not going to give their link here.  My advice is to totally ignore them.

    Jennifer North (1953 – 1989) pageant winner

    Steven Renner from Texas moved to St Louis and became a transgender performer as Bobbie Holliday, and winner of many gay pageant titles.

    Bobbie was Miss Gay Missouri 1978 and Miss Gay Arkansas 1981, and also Miss St Louis, Miss Tri-State, and was chosen a top ten finalist at Miss Gay America numerous times.

    She then moved to Atlanta, had gender surgery, and changed her legal name to Jennifer North. She died of complications from Aids.

    *Not Jennifer North in Valley of the Dolls.


    It is rather insentive of LGBT St Louis to put the Find-a-Grave entry under her boy name rather than either her legal name or her professional name.

      A review of Kris Kirk & Ed Heath - Men in Frocks, 1984

      There are three books on trans people in the UK in the 1980s: this book, Richard Ekins' Male Femaling and Liz Hodgkinson's Body Shock.  I have all three side by side on my shelf.  Each book focuses on a different group:  Hodgkinson on SHAFT, Ekins on the Beaumont Society and Kirk and Heath on the TV/TS group.  Somehow this results in no one person appearing in more than one book, although in reality there was migration among the three groups - for example we have seen that Janette Scott moved from the executive of the TV/TS group to the executive of the Beaumont Society.

      Christopher Pious Mary Kirk (1950 – 1993) was a journalist for Gay News in the early 1980s. Later he was an openly gay music journalist writing for Melody Maker, The Guardian and other publications. In 1984 he published Men In Frocks, with photographs by his lover Ed Heath. In 1986, Channel 4 television broadcast a documentary-drama about Kris Kirk entitled A Boy Called Mary. In 1988 Kris and Ed moved to rural Wales to open a bookshop, but three years later Kris found that he had Aids. He went blind in 1992, and died in 1993. Other works: A Boy Called Mary: Kris Kirk's Greatest Hits, 1990 - a collection of his music journalism.

      • Kris Kirk with photographs by Ed Heath. Men In Frocks. London: Gay Men's Press 1984.
      but cheaper at AbeBooks.

      Note: this book was written in the early 1980s and thus, inevitably, it does not conform to the expectations of the 2010s.   The title was perhaps ill-chosen even then.   Kris, several times in the book has to apologize that a person (Poppy Cooper, Roz Kaveney, Letitia Winter) is not a man in a frock, they having become a woman.  However the book is of major historical interest, and many of its observations are still valid.


      Kris asks where you would have looked if you wanted to wear drag in the 1940s?
      "Well, if you were lucky enough to be on one of the few gay grapevines - and the right gay grapevine at that - you might hear of a secret party in somebody's private home where you could slip on a frock on arrival and slip it off again when you left.  There was little else. ... So what happened between then and now? What triggered off the rise of drag in Britain?"  
      His answer is that
      "The evolution of modern drag goes hand in glove with the increased visibility of those gay men who not only enjoy debunking the traditional male image, but also enjoy doing it in public."
      Vivian Namaste has claimed that the pioneering for trans people was mainly done by sex workers, but has declined to provide a supporting narrative for her claim.  Kris' claim for the pioneering by gays is found in this book.

      The Chorus Queens

      Following the Second World War a venue of sorts did open up for the isolated few who wanted something other than the stereotyped male role.  In California Louise Lawrence was introducing trans women to each other, as was Marie André Schwidenhammer in Paris.  However in Britain the only option was the soldiers-in skirts revues, and of course to get into those you had to have some inclination, if not actual talent, towards singing and dancing, although you did not have to have actually served in the forces. The first such show was actually a US import, Irving Berlins' This is the Army, which played the London Palladium for four nights in 1944.  The going wage in the British versions was £6 or £7 a week and half of that went on draughty digs where they sometimes had to share four-to-a-bed.  We have already noted Poppy Cooper whose path to womanhood was via these revues. Other performers included Terry Gardner and Canadian Loren Lorenz.  Shelley Summers did drag while with HM forces in Burma until 1947 (for which he got sergeant's stripes) but did not join any soldiers-in-skirts revue because of family, but did become a drag performer in the 1960s.  While most books on either theatre or on cross-dressing barely pay any attention to these shows, Kris points out that while Lena Horne could not fill the Theatre Royal in Leeds, Men in Frocks played to capacity houses; Sophie Tucker's box-office record at the Golders Green Empire held for years until it was broken by Forces Showboat.  There was a significant difference from the drag acts of the 1930s such as Bartlett & Ross or Ford & Sheen and the pantomime dames all of whom had been doing cod drag, that is being funny.  Terry Garder, who was in the first We Were in the Forces in 1944, explained:
      "The general idea of the first show was to put men into dresses to make them look dreadful, but that soon started to change because the audience liked the prettiest ones best" - which much suited the performers. 
      Most were gay:
       "Heterosexuals? In the choruses?  I can't say I ever met any.  I guess it was possible" - Loren Lorenz. 
       Men who were not queens were 'hommes' ('omnies' in Polari).  A surprising number of omnies wanted to bed the queens, but
      "If you ever suggested to an homme in those days that he was homosexual, even bisexual, he would have killed you" - Poppy Cooper.

      Did somebody say: what about Gillies, Dillon, Cowell?  They don't fall within the pervue of this book.  Not only were none of them gay, and to be a trans patient of Gillies you had to be the child of either one of England's top doctors or of a Baron.  Anyway he stopped after two patients.  Hoi polloi need not apply.  

      Gay Paree and the Sea Queens

      By the mid-1950s the forces drag shows had run their course, and the audiences were no longer coming - many of them had acquired televisions.  There were other things happening that were a bit of a surprise to the queens: those who took being female more seriously.  There were stories in the press: Christine Jorgensen, Bobbie Kimber, Roberta Cowell.  

      Basically the show queens had nowhere to turn to.  The few exceptions were Terry Gardner who partnered with Barri Chat and found work in regular variety shows, as did Phil Starr and Terry Dennis.  Danny Carrol changed his name to La Rue and in 1955 started a residency at Winston's Club in Mayfair that lasted for six years.  Mrs Shufflewick pursued an idiosyncratic career on the wireless and also did eight seasons at the Windmill Theatre - many of her audience took her to be a woman. However Roy Alvis, not finding any drag work, became a meat porter at Smithfield Market until the pub drag boom in the late 1960s.  Some like Poppy Cooper went to Paris where Le Carrousel and Chez Madam Arthur were hiring.  Tommy Osborne remembers
      "I liked Paris, but I wasn't too happy in the show.  I was a singer and I used to go out there and belt out the numbers big and loud and forget about being in drag, but most of the audience was there purely for the sensation of seeing boys with tits.  The boys were all incredibly beautiful.   But they just couldn't do anything, bless them."   
      1953-4 was a particularly good time to not be in England.  In addition to the Coronation, David Maxwell-Fyfe, Home secretary 1951-4, and John Nott-Bower, Commission ofScotland Yard (1953-8), under US pressure and in the shadow of the Guy Burgess defection to Moscow, started a purge of homosexuals.  In 1953, the actor John Gielgud, the writer Rupert Croft-Cooke and the MP William Field were all convicted.  In 1954 Edward Montagu, Lord of Beaulieu, the writer Peter Wildeblood and Michael Pitt-Rivers were convicted and imprisoned.  On release Rupert Croft-Cooke moved to Morocco, and drag entertainer Ron Storme worked in Tunisia.  

      The other destination for show queens was the merchant navy.  Lorri Lee recalls: 
      "The sea was an ideal life for queens in those days.  There were hundreds of us, literally.  Competition was very stiff if you wanted an homme.  ... The Sea Queens were all drag queens and had a frock tucked away, just in case.  We did shows on a little stage on the ship: the crews got the dirty version, while the passengers got the cleaned up version."  
      On layovers in London, a popular place to stay was Stella Minge's.  Other sea queens were Loren Lenz and Yvonne Sinclair.  

      However there were drag gatherings in Britain that were not bothered by the police, such as Blackpool at Easter, and the Vic-Wells Costume Balls (Old Vic and Sadler's Wells) although it had signs posted saying "No Drag Allowed", and later the Chelsea Arts Ball, which had a similar sign.

      The Pub Queens

      There was very little pub drag before 1960 except for a few tolerant, mainly straight, pubs in the East End, such as the Bridge House (which later became a heavy metal/punk/goth pub) in Canning TownThrough the 1960s the number of pubs doing drag increased.  Roy Alvis returned to doing drag, although he was arrested by the police for doing so more than once.   Gay men started going to drag shows in straight pubs in that that was a good way to meet gay men.   

      The drag scene was helped by the various youth homeovestic fashions - the Teddy Boys, The Mods, the Rockers - which opened up clothing options so that short-back-and-sides, jacket and tie were no longer so overwhelmingly demanded.  The iconography was upended in the mid 1960s, following the Beatles and the Stones when long hair on men became acceptable.  Swinging London came and went, as did the Permissive Society.   Drag was never central to either but it benefited from the futher loosenings of required dress.  The first edition of Roger Baker's  bookDrag: a history of female impersonation on the stage came out in 1968.  

      In London, the Union Tavern, the Vauxhall Tavern and Black Cap became established as drag venues.  A similar situation happened in Manchester, where the Union Tavern was the place.   Danny La Rue opened his own club in 1964, performed for royalty and for a while was Britain's highest paid performer.  Gays who were not queens were arguing in public for changes in the law, and the law really was changed in 1967 as part of a liberal package from the Labour Party which included abortion and divorce law reform.  While a significant number of the drag performers did continue their journey and become women, the majority did not.  

      On p48 Kris notes that:
      "Whatever their reason for donning drag in the first place, dragging up soon became 'just a job' for most of the regular Pub Queens.  One of the many ironies of professional drag is that, for many performers, what began as a giggle or as a pleasure soon became a chore.  And then drag queens come to realise what women have always known: that the fun of dressing up quickly evaporates when you feel obliged to do it." 
      Another change in the 1960s was the innovation of miming to records.  The act Alvis and O'Dell are credited with being the first when they mimed to Susan Maughan singing Bobby's Girl, a 1962 single that went to number 3 in the UK and number six in Norway.  Alvis and O'Dell were then one of the hottest acts in town -- until every body else got a tape recorder.

      Kris. a gay man who loves drag, but was unhappy about what the pub scene had become,  finishes the pub chapter with a regretful survey:
      "I have spoken to drag performers who have been genuinely hurt at the suggestion that they are satirising women because they feel  - however mistakenly - that they are paying homage to their female idols; and while there are Diana Rosses and Shirley Basses in this world I cannot see how they will ever be dissuaded of this.  ... There are also drag acts like Dave Dale who consider themselves to be character actors who do caricatures of both men and women.  There are acts who are still doing the pregnant bride routine which they were doing twenty years ago.  And there are acts which prey on the basest instincts of their audience, perpetuating the notion that women smell like fish and that black men swing from trees.  What the latter acts do is unforgivable and I prefer to reserve my venom for them and those unthinking audiences of gay men who appear to share their brute misogyny and racism."
      The Ball Queens

      The problem with the Chelsea Arts Ball was that officially drag was not permitted, and if you did not pass well, or drew attention, there was a risk of being ejected.  By the mid-1960s there were balls that were really drag balls.  After trying different locations the Porchester Hall was selected as the place.  Prominent among the organizers were Jean Fredericks and Ron Storme.  At first most of those who went thought of themselves as drag queens,   A fair number of them didn't bother at first with female underwear, and in fact would rush home afterwards to change and then go out to pick up a bloke. But then they realized that there are lots of men who went to went to the balls to pick them up, and that these men expected them to be wearing stockings and frilly knickers. (1)

      As the balls continued, those better described as transvestites or transsexuals starting coming.
      "The drag queens thought the TVs were peculiar for wanting to dress like an ordinary woman does, and the TVs thought it peculiar that the queens like to go over the top.   In those days you could always tell them apart by the clothes.  -- Ron Storme

      TV and TS (2)

      In this chapter Kris discusses the differences between DQ, TV and TS.  The stereotypes and that many do not fit the stereotypes.  He concludes:
      "If there is any one lesson to be learned from studying this field it is that the individual is individual.  People define themselves and the self-definition must always takes priority over the received wisdom.   I have met self-defined draq queens whom others would describe as TV either because they enjoy 'passing'; or because they 'dress' so often that it could be seen as a compulsion; or because they wear lingerie, either to turn men on or to make themselves feel sensuous.  I have met drag performers who have grown to dislike drag, and men who insist on being called 'cross-dressers' because they dislike what the word 'drag' stands for, and men who wear part-drag in order to create confusion and doubt amonst others, but who would never wear full drag because that would defeat their object.  I know self-defined TVs who are gay or bisexual or oscillating, some of them having learned to cross this sexuality barrier through their cross-dressing.  I have met TVs  who dress like drag queens and drag queens who dress like TVs, and TVs whose cross-dressing has encouraged them to question their 'male role', which in turn has made them examine their idea of 'femininity'.  And perhaps most important of all, I have learned how marshy a terrain is the middle ground between our earlier clear-cut distinction between transvestites and transexuals."


      Until 1968 theatres had to obtain a license for each production from the Lord Chamberlain.  This was of course inimical to innovation.  John Osborne'sA Patriot For Me at the Royal Court Theatre in 1965 was banned because of the drag ball scene – it became a private theatre club to continue the performance.  The previous year, Douglas Druce, whose imitation of Elizabeth Windsor was regarded as stunning, was invited to close the first half at a show called Sh... at the New Century Theatre in Notting Hill Gate.  This was met by great applause, in that Druce had got HRH absolutely right.  The next night the Lord Chamberlain in person appeared and would close the theatre if the scene were not cut.  (3)

      The Lord Chamberlain also did not approve of any drag shows.  Chris Shaw managed to get some staged by disguising them as Old Tyme Music Hall.

      The 1970s, however, were very different. Tim Curry got the role of his life in The Rocky Horror Show which opened in 1972.  Lindsay Kemp opened Flowers, based on Genet's Our Lady of the Flowers at the Edinburgh Festival in 1974.  The Cocteau inspired Grande Eugene appeared at the Roundhouse.

      The US histories tell us how San Francisco's Cockettes were such a flop in New York.   The same thing happened to the Ballet Trocadero and the Cycle Sluts from the US and the Australian Simon and Monique's Playgirls Revue when they came to London.  However Hot Peaches were successful and an inspiration to the Brixton Faeries and Bloolips.   Divine played the warden in Women Behind Bars, 1976. Hinge and Bracket started their career.

      The Rad Drag Queens

      London Gay Liberation Front was established in 1970.   At first there was no drag.
      "It started with jellabas and kaftans and long hair and flowers ... then we discovered glitter ... and the nail varnish.  Later some of us - a quarter of the men, I'd say, at some time or other - would get a nice new frock for the next Gay Lib dance.  Then a few people began wearing it to meetings.  It just evolved." -- Michael James.
      It then became street theatre, notably the Miss Trial demo outside the Old Bailey in support of the women who were on trial for disrupting the Miss World contest, and then the disruption of the 1971 Christian Festival of Light. Some GLF queens wore drag because it felt right, some for fun and some for political reasons.  

      Generally the queens were living in communal squats and in poverty in Brixton and in Notting Hill, and wore drag all day every day. They aligned themselves with lesbians against the masculine gay men who were dominating the GLF meetings. When the women finally split from GLF in February 1972, the Rad Fems began to dominate at the All-London meetings at All Saints Hall in Powis Square, which was a bit intimidating for newcomers.

      However the RadFems also demonstrated against the launch of the feminist magazine Spare Rib, which allowed The Sunday Times to run an article on the irony of feminist men telling women how they should behave. The fledging Gay News used this to disassociate from what they referred to as 'fascists in frocks'. The initial issues of Gay News were hostile to GLF in general and even more so to the queens.

      There was also a Transvestite, Transsexual and Drag Queen group which met separately.

      And Now?

      The 1970s and 1980s had a lot of drag on record and stage: David Bowie and Boy George.  The punks initially went to gay bars because they weren't accepted anywhere else, and some of the gay bars evolved into punk bars.   The New Romantics and the Blitz crowd came and went.

      Kris provides a profile of many who were active in the 1980s.


      "In general, people do not like complexity.  That is why when they come across something like transvesting they look to science to provide them with cut and dried answers.  But science, for all its valuable contributions to understanding, has little to tell us about the human spirit.  To learn about that you have to talk to and observe human beings.  If the people in this book are saying anything at all with one voice, it is that there is no overall psychological compulsion for cross-dressing. There is nothing that the men we have spoken to have in common except that they dress in the clothes associated with the opposite sex.  They are the most extraordinarily  wide range of people, they see all sorts of different reasons for why they dress, and they dress in all sorts of ways.  We are left, as we always knew that we would be, with more questions than answers.  This might appear confusing, but of course confusion is what drag is all about.  And confusion can be a very valuable tool, because when people are confused, they are sometimes obliged to think.  And perhaps the more they think about it, the more they will find an understanding of why men sometimes discover a wish or a need to play sometimes at being 'not-men'."


      (1) Indifference to underwear can be argued either way 1) that it is a marker of a lack of a female gender identity; 2) that it is marker of a non-erotic gender identity. Either way it is not confined to self-identified drag queens -- see Felicity Chandelle.  Also some cis women insist on sexy underwear, while other choose what is practical.

      (2) We have already seen Virginia Prince's unlikely claim to have coined the abbreviations TV and TS.   I think that their use here demonstrates  that they are the obvious abbreviations and were arrived at independently by different people.

      (3) This of course is long before Helen Mirren essayed the part.

      April Ashley,  while androphilic, is not featured here because she did not go to any of the places discussed.

      None of the people in this book appear in any book by Vern Bullough.  It was realizing that that led me to perceive the systematic exclusion of gay/androphilic trans persons from Bullough's work.

      Probably Ray Blanchard would regard these persons as "homosexual transsexuals" as he uses the term, although many of them defy his stereotyping.  However he never does discuss work by other writers outside a small circle of psychologists.   The one person in the world who does self-identity as a "homosexual transsexual" in the Blanchardian sense, ie Kay Brown, is not such that she would would be featured in this book even if she were British.  In the autobiographical accounts that she has published there is no mention of participating in gay events, nor does she express similar sentiments to the ones found in this book.

      Like - well actually very unlike - Darryl Hill's Trans Toronto, this book is an oral history.  Hill seems to think that all his interviewees must be confidential.  In some cases there is such a need, but some of Hill's interviewees are well known to trans readers.  He should have given them the option to be identified by their full name.  Also they are encouraged to talk using their own term rather than just to affirm or dissent from theory points.

      Les Lee (1929 – 2010) performer.

      Les Lee from Québec became a female impersonator at age 19, emigrated to Paris in 1954 and stayed there for the rest of his life.

      A glamorous performer Les Lee worked many years at Le Carrousel and frequently appeared in Japan and West Germany. He worked with Australian Tracey Lee as the Dolly sisters, and was like a big sister to April Ashley: he translated for her, found accommodation for her and went to visit when she had surgery:
      Les Lee, Margaret Lockwood, April Ashley, 1957
      "Les was always enormously kind to me. He had all the old-fashioned vices, but all the old-fashioned virtues too. He sent money home to his parents every month. He saved, had a budget for everything, made all his own dresses, sewed every sequin on himself.”

      His début in England was in Paul Raymond's Birds of a Feather, 1970, a show that was ahead of its time.

      Les Lee designed and modelled a collection of women's cloths with some success, such that the models union was able to persuade the French Government to pass a law forbidding female impersonators working as models.

      He died at age 81.
      • Desmond Montmorency. The Drag Scene: The Secrets of Female Impersonators. London: Luxor Press. 1970: 96-7.
      • Peter Kenna and Steve J. Spears. Drag Show. Woollahra, N.S.W: Currency Press, 1977: 67.
      • Anthony Slide. Great pretenders: a history of female and male impersonation in the performing arts. Lombard, Ill.: Wallace-Homestead Book Co, 1986: 46.
      • April Ashley with Douglas Thompson. The First Lady. London: Blake. 383pp. 2006: 82, 86-8, 96, 98-9, 101, 103, 106, 114-6, 125, 132, 191.
      • "Drag History Diva-Les Lee" A Day with the Mistress Borghese, January 23, 2011. http://mistressmaddie.blogspot.ca/2011/01/drag-history-diva-les-lee.html.

      Harvey Goodwin (1912 – 1992) performer

      Harvey Wilson Goodman was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. He suffered from tuberculosis from an early age. He was interested in theatre and his father made a makeshift stage for him out of canvas and drapery.

      After he graduated from high school in 1930, he quickly made his way to Washington, DC where he was employed as a clerk in the Bureau of Public Health. He also studied music and dance, and built up a female wardrobe. He first appeared as a female impersonator at a dance recital in 1933.

      The City Slicker, 1936
      He resigned from the Bureau of Public Health in 1934 when he was hired by Club Richmond in New York City, where he adopted the stage name of Harvey Lee. Lee played the part of a female performer in a Warner Bros-Vitaphone movie, The City Slicker. He was billed as the male Jean Harlow.

      However in 1936 he was rushed to hospital with a 104-degree fever and was diagnosed with tuberculosis. He was in a sanatorium until 1941. Harvey then returned to Arkansas and worked as a clerk at an army base.

      Word got out about his show-biz experience and he was coaxed to perform, which his drag persona did in 1942 at the Arkansas Ordnance Plant to a capacity crowd of 5000 with two full orchestras. He did three more victory balls.  In 1943 he moved to San Francisco and became a performer at Finocchio's night club. In 1945 Harvey acquired a white borzoi (Russian wolfhound) whom he then featured in his act. He toured with the Jewel Box Revue, performed at the My-Oh-My club in New Orleans and the Moroccan Village in New York, and won first prize for female
      impersonation at the 1952 Mummers Parade in Philadelphia.

      In 1952 he had another bout of tuberculosis. Until 1957 he worked in clerical positions in New York. Harvey Lee performed on stage in France and Germany, but he returned to clerical work again the next year. In 1964 Lee returned to Finocchio's to be the MC, and then worked sporadically in California. He retired in 1984.

      After the 1989 San Francisco earthquake Goodwin returned to Little Rock, where he was honored as a judge of the Miss Gay Arkansas Pageants.

      He died at age 81.

      A rejoinder to Kay Brown’s “What is a Transsexual?”


      Last week Kay Brown, the one-time author of Transsexual, Transgender, and Intersex History (which she later took down) and pioneer in liquid crystal displays who has become the major lay advocate of the Blanchard binary, posted a short and straightforward account of that two-type model.  For those who would like to read a succinct and uncritical account of Blanchardianism I would recommend it.  It is probably the best such account.
      This is Kay’s description of a “homosexual transsexual”:
      “The prototypical feminine androphilic (“homosexual”) transsexual was called a “sissy” by her peers growing up.  She avoided rough & tumble activities.  Her primary social circle consisted of one or two girls.  She actively participated in girls games and imaginary play.  Her parents were embarrassed by her femininity, and may or may not have sought professional help in trying to discourage her behavior.  As a young teen, she became interested in girls fashion and make-up, often exploring how she might look as a girl by dressing up and experimenting with make-up.  This did not, of course, involve erotic cross-dressing.  She had crushes on boys at school.  Her peers thought she might be homosexual.  She was hassled, perhaps even bullied, by homophobic boys, but otherwise was reasonably popular in her chosen circle.  She was considered very neat and well dressed in boy’s clothes.  She sought out opportunities to interact with small children and infants, taking on babysitting jobs.  As she approached adulthood, looking at her own nature, her potential future, both romantic and economic, made a rational decision to transition to living as a girl so as to grow up to be a woman socially.  Her family may or may not have disowned her in late adolescence.  As she is naturally feminine and passes quite well, she found that she was socially and romantically more successful as a woman.  She actively dated men while pre-op, but assiduously avoided direct contact with her penis, finding that emotionally uncomfortable.  Being young and lacking capital, she lived several years as a woman, taking feminizing hormones, before having SRS to improve her sex life, replacing genitalia that she didn’t use with those that she did.  She may or may not have found a husband and adopted children.”
      You may care to compare this description with Kay’s autobiographical sketch that she provided for TS Roadmap at a time when she and Andrea James were on better terms.  You will notice that the two accounts are similar.  It is always easier to believe in a theory that matches your own life experience. 

      The distinctive characteristic of Kay’s life is that she was an early transitioner.  Other such are April Ashley, Caroline Cossey, Diane Kearny, Rachel Harlow, Suzan Cooke, Margaret O’Hartigan, Matene, Romy Haag, Hedy Jo Star, Kim Petras,  Veronique RenardLauren Foster etc.   While many of these persons acquired a husband at some point in their life, I would not describe any of them as ‘homosexual’.  Their quickly abandoned male persona did not either have a male lover or indulge in gay sex.  

      On the other hand there are gay transsexuals, many of whom are not early transitioners.   This is a common pattern among trans men, many of whom spend some years as lesbians, often gaining a female lover who stays with them when they become men.  Similarly many trans women spend some time as gay men on their way to womanhood:  Jennifer North, Poppy Cooper, myself, Roz Kaveney, Dawn Langley Simmons

      Kay Brown embraces the Blanchardian model because it matches her life experience; I reject it because there is nowhere in it for me or anyone like me.  And, unlike Kay, I made the mistake of actually applying to the Clarke Institute, as it then was.  They did not know how to categorize me.   I was then 36 and working in computers so they therefore presumed that I was autogynephilic – except that there was a problem in that I had a husband.  Their solution was to refuse me all help, to ignore my husband and tell me that I would meet a woman and change direction !!!

      The two groups that I have just summarized, the early transitioning trans women and trans women who spend some time as gay men on their way to womanhood are obviously two different types of trans women – that is if you want to divide us into types. 

      However Kay insists on labelling the former group as ‘homosexual transsexuals’.  This is obviously confusing.  Blanchard uses the term as he is working in the tradition of cis sexologists who have been doing that for over a century now.  These sexologists also refer to trans women as ‘male transsexuals’ and trans men as ‘female transsexuals’.   John Randell in the 1960s and 1970s upset many of his mtf patients by referring to them as ‘he’ and saying to them ‘you’ll always be a man’.  Even Harry Benjamin in The Transsexual Phenomenon refers to trans women as ‘male transsexuals’ and trans men as ‘female transsexuals’.   This terminology of course reveals that the very sexologists who were arranging surgery for trans patients did not actually accept that transgender surgery constitutes a gender change.  It is also downright rude.  For many years Ray Blanchard was urged to say ‘androphilic’ rather than ‘homosexual’ for heterosexual trans women, but would not do so.  The transkids.us site, previously edited by Kiira Triea and now by Kay, includes a defense of this refusal to be more descriptive and polite.  Trans activists have been talking to the professionals for some time and many are now using more polite language.  Kay is obviously sensitive to this issue and uses the cumbersome ‘strictly homosexual with respect to their natal sex’ rather than simply ‘homosexual’, but like Kiira refuses to drop the word.

      However there is a bigger issue: The ongoing erasure of gay transsexuals.   In 1966 Benjamin accepted Virginia Prince’s typology of transvestites as Pseudo, Fetishistic or True (Femmiphilic) which eliminated all gay transvestites.  Vern Bullough systematically ignored all transvestites and transsexuals who had male lovers. Blanchard and Brown misapply the term ‘homosexual transsexual’ to early transitioners, and thus totally ignore the existence of trans women who spend some time as gay men.  Excuse me for protesting, but I feel that for most of my life sexologists have been telling me that I do not exist.


      There are other important aspects that I could bring up including the crude positivism of Blanchard’s axioms; the disinterest in different types of homosexuality;  the biased selection by taking as subjects only those trying to get approval under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan so that it will pay for surgery; the disinterest in other theorists such as Frederick Whitam; the disinterest in history; the rudeness of the concept of autogynephilia and even more so of that of Erotic Target Location Errors;  the equivocation between behavioural criteria and identity criteria.  I will return to some of these, but today I am just doing the above.

      Rejoinder to Kay Brown 2: the gynephilics


      Kay’s description of typical gynephilic transsexuals is:

      “The prototypical autogynephilic transsexual was accepted as a boy as a child.  She was often a “loner”, finding her hobbies and reading to be more rewarding, but still willing and ready to participate in rough & tumble play.  She often envied girls and observed them more often than most masculine boys.  As she entered puberty, she began erotic cross-dressing in private, often masturbating while dressed, usually with lingerie.  She found this shameful and hid her cross-dressing as best she could.  She entertained thoughts of living as a woman, often in very idealized situations.  As a young adult, she dated women, often finding it necessary to imagine that she was female to “perform”.  She typically hid this fact from her dates.  She fell in love and found that the previously growing desire to live as a woman abated for a while.  She married and had children.  Her need to cross-dress and use autogynephilic ideation grew, as the first blush of their romance matured into committed love.  She agonized about it obsessively, trying alternatively to push it out of her thoughts and trying to appease it by cross-dressing.  At one point, perhaps in her early 30s, or in her late 50s, a set-back or other significant personal change brought all of these feelings to the fore… and she made the fateful decision that she could no longer ignore her sexuality.  After having tried to ignore the cognitive dissonance between her successful social identity as a man, husband, and father, and her obligatory autogynephilic image of being female, concluded that the female image is her “true” image.  She then made steps to begin counseling with a gender therapist, obtained prescription for feminizing hormones, and then began the painful steps to living full time as a “transsexual”, since she didn’t pass very well and had too many social connections who know of her previous status as a man to be truly stealth.  She had SRS within a short time of nominally living as a woman, as she was impatient, feeling like she had waited long enough in her previous life as a man.  Her wife may or may not have demanded a divorce.”

      Just as the previous type had to be ‘homosexual transsexual’ rather than just ‘androphilic’, this type must be ‘autogynephilic’ rather than just ‘gynephilic’.  I find it very difficult to accept that an entire category of people should be defined by the details of how they masturbate.  In addition to the common sense rejection of the notion, as a historian I also know that I rarely have information of how people masturbate.

      What I do have though is mention that people marry and have children.  Thus I can identify gynephilic persons who later progress to being women.   There are many of these, more than gay transsexuals.  As more people are heterosexual and not gay, it is not a surprise that more trans women previously had a wife than previously had a husband.  Some examples of transsexuals known to be gynephilic before transition:  Jan Morris, Rennee Richards, Katherine Cummings, Gloria Hemingway, Jane Fae, Nancy Hunt, Rachel Webb, Susan Huxford, Judy Cousins; a surprisingly large number of the better known HBS women: Rose White, Cathryn Platine, Jennifer Usher, Tabatha Basco; and the soi-disant or professional autogynephiles: Anne Lawrence, Willow Arune, Maxine Petersen

      Are these women autogynephilic as opposed to gynephilic, now or pre-surgery? I certainly would not say that, and I really don’t think that Blanchard or Brown would come out and say it either, although their theoretical position implies that they should be willing to say that.  But if they are not willing to say that, what does it mean to say that late transitioners are autogynephilic?

      Aspersions have been cast against a few of the women, the term ‘autogynephile’ has become an insult term, especially from the HBS women whom others suspect of trying to divert attention from themselves, but where something has been said about a person it is rarely other than hearsay, and as such not admissible as evidence.

      It is common sense that cis men and cis women vary in the degree that they are aroused by being the man or the women that they are.  This is particularly intense in teenagers after puberty.  If we are to have concepts such as autogynephilia and autoandrophilia then the concepts should be applied to cis persons as well.  There has been a small amount of investigation of cis autogynephilia in recent years, but the Blanchardians are still in the situation of applying the term to trans women without any idea of how the phenomenon manifests in cis women.  Brown poo-poos a study done by Charles Moser who used a semi-Blanchardian approach to the question.

      Brown and Blanchard reject the idea that there is such a thing as cis autogynephilia, because if there were, trans autogynephilia would also be normal.

      Brown and Blanchard take the abnormality of trans autogynephilia even further.  They regard it as a subtype of Erotic Target Location Error (ETLE).  The other two types that they identify are autopedophilia and the desire to be an amputee.  It is of course heterosexist to assume that the correct erotic target for a person born male is an woman of similar age.  It is sexist to insist that there is any correct erotic target.  Nature is full of variations and gynephilic transsexuality is as natural as homosexuality.

      Their heterosexism also comes out when Brown criticizes the “obvious lack of naturally feminine behavior” in gynephilic trans women – she writes as if the feminist critique of the social construction of artificial femininity had never happened.

      In summary, the concept is not at all useful to anybody writing biographical and history essays. 

      See also:  A Blanchard-Binary Timeline
                What is Autogynephilia?

      Christine White (1949 - ) construction boss, bank robber

      Anatoli Misura was born in Belgium to Ukrainian refugees, who later ran a dairy farm in Mont St. Grégoire, Quebec. By age 18 Anatoli was reading about and identifying with transsexuals. He trained as a mechanical designer and worked as a manager of a construction crew, and was married for seven years.

      She transitioned as Christine White in 1993, reportedly spending $60,000. She had genital surgery with Dr Michel Seghers in Brussels, a nose job, breast implants and three operation on her vocal cords. She was then unable to obtain work in the construction industry. She worked a little in Edmonton, Alberta as an escort and manicurist.

      However she felt that she was entitled to recompense. She robbed 31 banks across Canada taking an estimated total of $80,000 between May 1997 in Edmonton and November 1998 when she held up the Scotiabank in the Quinte Mall, Belleville, Ontario, and was pursued in a high-speed chase.

      Her initial approach was to disguise as a man, and pass the teller a note from a day-timer book. Sometimes she had a fake bomb. The robber was described as an effeminate man, or a masculine woman in men's clothes: the Toronto Police referred to her as the Unisex Bandit. However the police had been looking for a man, and she was living as a woman.

      After a protracted trial during which White successively fired five lawyers, she pleaded guilty in 2002 and was sentenced to eleven years minus three for pre-trial custody. In Burnaby prison and then Joliette prison outside Montréal, psychological counselling brought out her feelings of persecution. She studied computers and construction health and safety. She also sued her arresting officers for assault, the doctors who initially treated her after her arrest, and Legal Aid Ontario when it refused to finance her suits. She befriended notorious killer Karla Homolka.
      She was granted parole in 2007.

      *Not the racing commissioner, nor the actor, nor the anthropologist.
      • Don Campbell. "Transvestite arrested in robbery rampage: Gender-bender allegedly looted 31 banks in two years". The Ottawa Citizen, 20 Nov 1998.
      • "Unisex robber pleads guilty in bank heist". Kingston Whig-Standard, 18 Sep 1999.

      Julian Schutting (1937 - ) academic, poet.

      Jutta Schutting was born in Amstetten in Lower Austria. In despair at being female she attempted suicide at 16.

      She trained as a photographer and then read history and German at Vienna University. From 1965 to 1987 she was a college teacher.

      From 1973 Schutting was a published writer of prose, poetry and philosophy. In 1989 he transitioned to male. He did this to realize "Übereinstimmung mit meinem lebenslangen Lebensgefühl (my lifelong sense of life)“ and also said: "Ich werde ein bißchen mehr der Mann, der ich schon immer gewesen bin. ('I'm a little more of the man I've been always been)".

      Julian has won several prizes for his novels.
      • Harriet Murphy (ed) Critical Essays on Julian Schutting, Riverside CA, Ariadne Press, 2000.
      • "Dichter Julian Schutting ist heute 75". NOE, 25.20.2012. http://noe.orf.at/news/stories/2556037.

      Christie Lee Littleton (1952–) beautician.

      Lee Cavazos, Jr was born in San Antonio, Texas. As a child Lee was prescribed male hormones in an attempt to 'cure' gender dysphoria.

      From the age of 17 Lee was searching for a physician who would help her change into a woman. At age 23 she was accepted by the University of Texas Health Science Center. Supervised by psychiatrist Paul Mohl and surgeon Donald Greer, she legally changed her name to Christie Lee Cavazos in 1977 and started female hormones. Between November 1979 and February 1980 she underwent three sessions of genital and breast surgery. She changed her Texas birth certificate.

      Ten years later she travelled to Kentucky for bladder surgery after a car accident, and met Jonathan Littleton (born 1961) in a motel lobby. She told him of her past and they married in Pikeville, Kentucky. They moved back to San Antonio where she opened a beauty salon and he was a high-rise window washer.

      After seven years of marriage, her husband died while under medical care after a series of injuries and blood clots. In 1999, in Littleton vs. Prang she sued the doctor who, she contended, negligently allowed her husband to die. The doctors’ defense lawyers argued that she was never married to her late husband since her Texas birth certificate, although amended to read female, originally read male, and thus could not be the widow as Texas law does not allow “same sex marriage”. The issue of medical malpractice was not addressed.

      Her appeal to a higher court also failed on the same grounds. She appealed to the US Supreme Court, with attorney Phyllis Frye, but it declined to hear the case. She also lost her right to her husband’s Social Security and retirement benefits.

      This case was cited as a precedent in the J’Noel Gardner case in Kansas, and the Nikki Araguz case in Texas.

      *Not the UCLA law professor.

      DB Karron (1956–) biomedical engineer, inmate

      Daniel Karron from Long Beach, New York, studied at a number of New York universities and was awarded his degrees at New York University. His PhD in Biomedical Engineering was completed in 1992.

      Karron then worked at New York University Medical Center, specializing in Computer Aided Surgery, especially by audio feedback, and was was granted several patents. Karron’s company, Computer Aided Surgery Inc. , was awarded a $1.3 million grant to develop computer technologies for medical uses, with potential benefits in radiation therapy, surgical planning and the manufacture of prosthetic devices.

      However Karron used a good part of the money for personal expenses, and electrolysis and vaginoplasty for herself and three of her employees. DB Karron was convicted in 2008 of pilfering and served 15 months at the women's Federal Prison Camp Alderson in West Virginia that is known to some as Camp Cupcake.

      In 2011 it was ruled that with civil penalties and fines that she must repay $4M.
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