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Homeogender surgery


There is a type of are some trans woman who have lots of surgeries as part of their transitions.   Some examples are Allanah Star (60+ surgeries), Gia Darling (45+), Fulvia Siguas Sandoval (64+ and in Guinness Book of World Records for most cosmetic surgeries); Nina Arsenault ($150,000+ of surgery); Amanda Lepore.  For some of these the surgeries did not include vaginoplasty. 

They are hardly typical of trans women, but they do attract press attention, and in so doing can give out the mistaken impression that trans women in general are fakes and freaks.

Are such women autogynephilic?   Apart from ‘autogynephilia’ being a badly thought out concept that should be dismissed unless and until some future author is able to do something much better with the idea, several of those I have just mentioned were early transitioners.

The point that I am getting around to is that is that having lots of cosmetic surgeries to achieve an idealized body is not peculiar to trans women.  An equally small percentage of cis men and women do it also.  Some examples:

Luciana Malgeri,  Princess Pignatelli, Mrs Avedon.  A classic in this field.  She had a nose job as a teenager and married an Italian Prince.  After divorce she had silicone facial injections and  other cosmetic surgeries.  She opened her first book with:  “A few times every century, a great beauty is born. I am not one of them. But what nature skipped, I supplied—so much so that sometimes I cannot remember what is real and what is fake.”   Camille Paglia’s discussion of transsexuality on p368 ofSexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson segues into a discussion of Luciana (perhaps showing that Paglia has no idea about transsexuality).

Vanilla Chamu has spent over 10 million yen to become like a French doll. 

Herbert Chavez of the Philipines has had multiple surgeries since 1995 to look more and more like superman.

Cindy Jackson, in Guiness Book of Records for most (50+) cosmetic surgeries (is Fulvia Siguas Sandoval now forgetten?).

Jocelyn Wildenstein is said to have spent over $4 million on facial plastic surgeries.

One of the psychiatrist’s terms for such surgical makeovers is Body Dysmorphic Disorder.   However I think that there is a more neutral, and therefore better term.  I have previously discussed Hom(e)ovestity– dressing UP as your birth sex.  What we have been discussing here is surgical homeovestity.   Nobody seems to have coined a term for this behaviour.  On the model transvestity –> transsexuality we would get homosexuality, but that term is well established with a different meaning.   I therefore propose Homeogender Surgery. 

F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby

Princton was an all-male university in 1916 and for decades afterwards.   F. Scott Fitzgerald was in the Triangle Club which put on plays.  

He posed for a publicity photo for a production of The Evil Eye, which he co-wrote, which was printed in The New York Times on January 2, 1916. The newspaper called him "the most beautiful" show girl in the production.  However having failed his exams he was not allowed to perform.

Catherine Bruce, New York 1968

Diane Arbus is famous for her photographs of transvestites, although she didn't really take that many such photographs.  Her transvestites are rarely given names, and only a few of them look as if they could pass on the street or go shopping without drawing attention.

The major exception is Catherine Bruce, also referred to as Bruce Catherine.   Presumably her two first names.   Diane photographed Catherine on a park bench, then in her underwear as home, then as a naked man, and then as Bruce on a bench:

The message from UN human rights office germaine on this day of IDAHO.

Waleria Fernanda Torres (1950 - ) chemical engineer, sexologist

Torres was raised in São Paulo. He graduated in Chemical Engineering in 1972 from the Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo. He married twice and had children in both marriages. He lectured at universities and was a consultant to the petrochemical and fertilizer industries.

After a second divorce, Torres made a spiritual retreat before deciding to transition. She was then in her mid-40s. At first Torres sought advice from other transsexuals, but turned instead to the 'experts'. She was treated at the Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, and had surgery in 1997 from Dr Jalma Jurado at Faculdade de Medicina de Jundiaí.

She made her own study of gender identity and gained a masters degree in sexology from University Gama Filho in Rio de Janeiro. In 1998 she published Meu sexo real using her then name Martha Freitas. A English translation of this book was sent by the publisher to the Frankfurt Book Fair of that year where it was discovered and endorsed by Günter Dörner of Berlin's Humboldt-Universität.
Martha became the leader of Transgender Brazil, which had come together that year, and appeared on several Brazilian television programs, of which the most important was a debate on Ede Viva between Jalma Jurado and Martha Freitas on one hand and representatives of the Catholic Church. However Martha found most television show far too sensational, and declined further invitations.

In 2000 she changed her name to Waleria Torres. She became the only Latin American member of HBIGDA in 2002 and the Organization Intersex International (OII) spokesperson for Lusophonic countries. She edited GID Journal and runs an online gender diagnosis and counselling service for those able and willing to pay. She blogged as Martha Freitas until 2009.

She has proposed the term Neurodiscord for transsexuals. She stresses that
"due to its complexity, the evolution of gender identity for each individual is 'a priori' unpredictable, irrespect of which are the genitals, the chromosomes, and so on. The lack of predictability is for each individual. For the species, for the human colectivity, there are patterns of development, and these patterns may be recognized - through its dynamic signatures."
"the Gender Identity self-perception is something unpredictable 'a priori', even when there is a typical sexual development - when society considers someone 'normal' man or woman - we said also that was a characteristic of a Chaotic System. In chaotic systems, the unpredictability means there are more probable and less probable states for any development inside the system. The lack of previsibility is not related to random noise - external noise - but to inner fractality - a characteristic of the system."

Kayo Satoh 佐藤佳代 (1988 - ) model, gamer, television actor

Satoh, from Aichi, Japan, started on female hormones at age 15. She ran away after high school.

She found work in a women's clothing retailer, where she was discovered by a fashion scout. She did modelling work in Nagoya, and became an exclusive model for Tokai Spy Girl magazine.

She became more famous when on 31 August 2010 she mentioned on Nippon Television's Majotachi no 22ji that she had been born male, after online rumours.

In 2011 she exhibited semi-nude for the first time, and was featured in a photography book. She has been in two films: Tekken: Blood Vengeance, 2011 and Detective 2 Susukino, 2013.

She is a keen player of the video game Street Fighter.
Top 10 transsexual entertainers in AsiaEN.WIKIPEDIAJA.WIKIPEDIA

Jean Lessenich (1942 - ) Germany

Lessenich, from Remagen, was educated in graphic design in Cologne. After a failed marriage and a period as a prostitute, she completed transition in 1973 with surgery from Dr Burou in Casablanca.

This was at a time when advertising was trendy and sexy and Jean obtained work as art director for advertising agencies in Dusseldorf and Frankfurt, and later as a freelance illustrator for magazines in Hamburg and Munich.

Through friends she was able to make extended trips to Japan and to visit Native Americans. In 1985 she returned to living as a man so that she could marry her Japanese lover and obtain for her permanent residency in West Germany. Her lover died in 1996.

Jean returned to being female. Now in her seventies, she continues to participate in art exhibits.

She does not identify with the idea of a female soul in a male body, or say that she always was a woman, although she did want to be a girl when young. She chose Jean as a name in that it is male in French and female in English.
  • Jean Lessenich. Nun bin ich die ewig junge Hirschkuh oder der Ajilee Mann. Edition Suhrkamp 1988.
  • Jean Lessenich. Mit den Zähnen am Zweig. Selbstverlag 200.
  • Jean Lessenich.Die transzendierte Frau. Eine Autobiografie. Gießen 2012, Psychosozial-Verlag.
  • Andrea Bronstering. "Die transzendierte Frau: Eine Autobiografie: Amazon.de". Transgenderradio Berlin, 2012. http://am-toerichten-bach.de/blog-2/index.html.
  • I Am a Woman Now. Michiel van Erp (dir) with April Ashley, Marie-Pierre Pruvot, Colette Berends, Jean Lessenich, Corinne van Tongerloo. Netherlands 80 mins 2011.
  • Am törichten Bach: Die Stimme des Tales ist Buddhas weite und lange Zunge. http://am-toerichten-bach.de.

Jacqueline Galiaci (194? - ) 1st Brazilian to have gender surgery

Jacqueline is the first known Brazilian to have transgender surgery, which she had from Dr Burou in Casablanca in 1969. This was two years before the first surgery in Brazil, that on Waldirene Nogueir by Dr Robero Farina.

She requested the addition of 'Jacqueline' in the margin of her birth registration. The Magistrate authorized both this and the registration of her female sex.

Jacqueline's entry was deleted from the official PT.WIKIPEDIA in 2008.

Hoax biographies

Hoax biographies can be considered a genre, although those that are most successful are accepted at face value and not designated hoaxes.

The concept of hoax does not have clear boundaries, nor is there an established typology (see the various bits and pieces in Wikipedia).  Debate continues over the founding documents of religions and which terrorist events are false-flag events.   Some writers include women who wrote under male names.   Most annoying to us are the anthologies of hoaxes which include the lives of trans persons as if to be trans were in itself a hoax.  This issue is confused of course by a small number of trans persons who are indeed fraudsters (eg Charlotte Bach, Alice Baker, Storme Aerison, Celeste Tate, Elizabeth Young, Tito da Paixao Gomes, Lechane Bezuidenhout, Desiré Dubounet). 

Some examples of cis hoax biographies:

    Authors writing as an other gender, who are not otherwise trans (are these people cross dreamers?)

    Books that appear to be biographies of trans persons, but on a closer look appear to be something else.

    Juliet Griffiths.GVWW Eric Oakley, hack writer and sometime drag performer, published this implausible account of what would be Britain's first surgical transsexual who was also a famous performer, but who has otherwise been lost to history.

    •  Eric Gilbert Oakley. Man into Woman: The Amazing account of a male’s change into female, with full psychological and medical Case History and Personal Analysis Questionnaire. London: Walton Press, 1964.

    Margo Howard-Howard. GVWWEN.WIKIPEDIA If Margo Howard-Howard is a not a performance piece by Penny Arcade who is otherwise Susana Ventura, he is a New York drag artist and sex worker who had encounters with James Dean, Truman Capote. Judy Garland, Andy Warhol, Jackie Curtis, Tallulah Bankhead, Madonna and Elizabeth Windsor.

    • Margo Howard-Howard with Abbe Michaels. I was a White Slave in Harlem. Four Walls Eight Windows. 1988. Reissued in 1991 with an Introduction by Quentin Crisp.

    John White. EN.WIKIPEDIA Don Akensen insisted when his book was published that the story of Irish-Canadian John White, MP made more sense if we assumed that John died young and that his sister Eliza had taken over his identity. More recently Akensen has said that this was a hoax, and the book is now listed as fiction.
    • Donald H.Akenson. At Face Value: the life and times of Eliza McCormack/John White. Montréal. McGill-Queen's University Press, xiii, 245pp. 1990.

    kaitlyn Bogas (1959 - ) chef

    Ken Bogas was raised in Vancouver. By age 5 he was dressing in his sisters' clothes, wondering why his body was different, and feeling left out when mother made dresses for the others. He set a 100-metres B.C. Peewee Boys record of 13.3 seconds "on cinders" in 1971.

    He married at 19, they had a daughter and divorced after six years. A year later he married again, and they had three children. He built a reputation as a chef. From 1991 he was co-owner of two restaurants with his brother-in-law, and hosting a cooking show on cable television. His signature dish was pink scallops with black beans. He had a reputation as a ladies' man, and for being frequently angry. However he hired more women than men, and felt that he worked best with women.

    In 2005 he went bankrupt and lost his life savings. In 2008, after a decade of feeling suicidal, Bogas had an epiphany that transition was the right thing to do. kaitlyn quickly found a supportive psychologist, and started transition. She was outed by an online food columnist who referred to the gossip as “either malicious rumour, bizarre publicity stunt” or “unfortunate joke”. kaitlyn was accused of ruining the lives of her children, was shunned by the restaurant community, her marriage ended, she couldn't get a job as a chef, but took work landscaping.

    kaitlyn completed transition with surgery in Montréal, paid for by the BC Medical Services Plan. She sent out hundreds of applications for chef positions, to no effect: “I couldn’t even get an interview in places I consulted on”. In 2012 she got a position as head chef at a fishing lodge in northern BC.
    Chef and Restaurant Database

    The strange case of Phyllis Grosskurth and Eonism


    Phyllis Grosskurth (1924 – ) spent most of her life in the English department at the University of Toronto.  She is best known for a series of biographies of sexologists: John Addington Symonds, Melanie Klein and Havelock Ellis.

    The Havelock Ellis volume was recommended to me when it came out in 1980.  However noting that ‘Eonism’, the concept, was not in the index I did not pursue it.   Recently I acquired a copy of the book for $1 in a charity book sale, and decided to look more closely.

    Havelock Ellis was one of the first writers to separate cross-dressing from the other types of sexual inversion.  He named it Eonism after the 18th century diplomat, Charlotte d'Eon de Beaumont, on the model that Sadism had been named for Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade and Masochism for Leopold Rittervon Sacher-Masoch.   For whatever reason no term based on a prominent practitioner ever came into usage in the same way for what we now call homosexuality (Wildeism is more used for his witticisms)

    Ellis is often quoted:
    “On the psychic side, as I view it, the Eonist is embodying, in an extreme degree, the aesthetic attitude of imitation of, and identification with, the admired object. It is normal for a man to identify himself with the woman he loves. The Eonist carries that identification too far, stimulated by a sensitive and feminine element in himself which is associated with a rather defective virile sexuality on what may be a neurotic basis.” 
    This quote is found in Wikipedia and in Blanchard’s “History of Autogynephilia” but not in GrossKurth’s book.

    The only entry under Eonism in the index of Grosskurth’s book is for the title Eonism and Other Supplementary Studies.  However the concept does come up a couple of times.  On p219 while discussing an overview of Ellis’ Studies in the Psychology of Sex, she writes:
    “Furthermore, if he had applied himself to an investigation of ‘normal’ sexuality, as he claimed, it is puzzling why he devoted long sections to aberrations like ‘cross-dressing’, which he termed ‘Eonism’ after the eighteenth-century transvestite.”                            
    On p379 she mentions Magnus Hirschfeld: 
    “ Ellis’s attention had been drawn to first to Hirschfeld in 1904 when he published Die Transvestiten, which places what Ellis was later to term ‘Eonism' on a solid basis as an anomaly distinguishable from homosexuality”.  
    That is it.

    Grosskurth summarizes most of Ellis’ publications, and spends most of Chapter 23 summarizing the papers in Eonism and Other Supplementary Studies. She summarizes “The History of Florrie and the Mechanism of Sexual Deviation” (a case study of a woman who longs to be whipped); “The Synthesis of Dream”; “Undinism” (better known as urolagnia, and Ellis’ own predilection); a review of Edward Westermack’s The History of Human Marriage.  What she does not summarize is the initial 110 page essay that gave its name to the volume.  She passes quickly by “Eonism” as if it were not there.

    Phyllis Grosskurth’s book is definitely not the book on Havelock Ellis to read if you want to know about Eonism.

    • Phyllis Grosskurth. Havelock Ellis: A Biography. London: A. Lane, 1980.

    Tonë Bikaj (1901 – 1971) farm worker, partisan, musician

    The marriage of Lule Bikaj to Katerinë, both of the Catholic Kelmëndi tribe of northern Albania, was delayed 12 years when Bikaj was arrested for his part in the struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire. Initially sentenced to death, he served 12 years penal servitude in Anatolia.

    Their first child was Tonë. She was followed by two sons and two more daughters. However the two sons both succumbed to malaria at an early age. At the age of 9 Tonë decided to be the son his parents and sisters needed so much. He switched to male clothes and male tasks, but never did masculinize his name (to Ton). Lule introduced his 'new son' to neighbours, and like all other sons in the region Tonë received weapons from his father on becoming 15.

    In 1921, when Tonë was 20, his 49-year-old mother gave birth to a son who was named Gjelosh. Tonë was pleased to be the older brother. The Kelmëndi recognized and honoured him as a man, and his posture and voice were increasingly male. When his sisters reached marriageable age, Tonë handed them to their grooms as an older brother would.

    Both Tonë and Gjelosh fought with the Albanian partisans against the Italian and German invaders 1939-44. Tonë was a unit commander. However his unit was with Balli Kombëtar, which opposed the Communists because they did not demand that Kosovo be part of Albania, and lost its credibility by allying with Nazi Germany. Katerinë was shot for refusing to persuade her sons to join the cease-fire. When Tonë did surrender he was imprisoned for a year. During confinement he was deeply upset at being treated as a woman and being separated from his comrades. Lule died just after the war finished and Gjelosh was released in 1951. Tonë and Gjelosh crossed the border to Montenegro, Yugoslavia.

    They settled among the Grudë. Gjelosh married in 1953 and Tonë acted as vëllam, the elder male relative who goes for the bride and leads her to the groom. Tonë lived with Gjelosh and his wife. Their children referred to him as babá, and some younger members of the family did not realize that he was female-bodied until after his death.
    Tonë, in Herdt p258.

    Gjelosh commuted to Titograd where he worked as a carpenter, and Tonë worked locally mowing and hay-stacking (male tasks). He did cooking but not any other female tasks. He attended gatherings of the male heads of households, and was popular as a singer and musician.

    Tonë died at age 70 after three years of illness, with several nuns at his bedside. At the cemetery some men, friends and relatives, wanted to start a traditional lamentation, but objections were raised by the Grudë who would not allow such for a woman. Gjelosh felt that Tonë was therefore deprived of the last honours of a man to which he was entitled.
    • René Grémaux. "Mannish Women of the Balkan Mountains". In Jan Bremmer (ed). From Sappho to De Sade: Moments in the History of Sexuality. London & New York: Routledge,1989:150-2. Reprinted as "Woman Becomes Man in the Balkans" in Gilbert Herdt (ed). Third Sex, Third Gender: Beyond Sexual Dimorphism in Culture and History. NY: Zone Books, 1994: 253-6.

    Kristen Paget (197? - ) software security consultant

    Paget, from the UK, is a software security consultant working in the US.

    In August 2002, Chris Paget published a paper on a design flaw in Windows XP, NT4.0 and 2000 which permitted privilege escalation and what became known as Shatter Attacks. Microsoft replied that it was an intended design, but issued a security patch before the end of the year. Windows Vista was designed to avoid the issue.

    In 2004 Chris married a woman.

    In 2006 Paget and a team was contracted by Microsoft to analyse the new Windows Vista for security bugs. They found more than Microsoft expected and the release date had to be put back several months. The team received special T-shirts signed by the Vice President of Windows Development that proclaimed: "I delayed Windows Vista".

    Paget became the chief hacker at Recursion Ventures, which specializes in hardware security. In 2008 Chris was declared one of the top 15 people in computer security by eWeek magazine.

    In 2009 Paget built a machine for $250 from surplus hardware that was able to read the numbers on RFID chips in passports and drivers licences from a passing car at distances of up to nine metres.

    In 2010 Paget, who was by now Kristin, wrote on her blog:
    "I’ve decided that it’s time to stop living to other people’s expectations / prejudices and live life on my own terms instead. What does that mean? ... Sure, I’m biologically male, but for a long time I’ve regarded myself as mentally female; I’ve come to the conclusion that it really doesn’t work for me to try to be one or the other. I value my ability to switch back and forth as my mood dictates, and that means that how I present myself to the world switches back and forth as well. Some days I want to wear a pretty dress and sparkly jewellery, other days I want to be big, male, and intimidating. Why commit to one or the other fulltime when I can have both?"
    The next year Paget transitioned. She and her wife made a trip to Las Vegas, and Kristen went through the TSA screening at the airport as a woman for the first time. This led her to realize:
    1. Whenever I felt like I had a choice, I was choosing to be a woman.
    2. Whenever I felt like I *had* to be male it upset me immensely – I truly hated it.
    3. If I could cope with TSA as a woman, I could cope with anything.
    She started on estrogen, and had her first surgery.
    "Most of the people I see on a daily basis never knew Chris and completely accept me as Kristin; looking back it feels like I never really was Chris, I was just Kristin pretending to be a boy and doing a lousy job of it."
    However she did run into the problem that she was expected to divorce her wife.

    The Non-Disclosure Agreement re Windows Vista expired and Kristen gave a presentation on the project at the Las Vegas Black Hat Hacking convention.

    In 2012 Kristen was employed by Apple to work on its security.

    *not the cricketer, nor the novelist.

    The UK Honours system



    The Order of the British Empire is multi-faced creation given more often to our enemies than to gender variant people.   However there is a short and interesting list of those who have received such honours. 


    Olave Baden-Powell GBE 1932

    Robert Stephenson Baden-Powell  Order of Merit 1937 (also GVMG, GCVO, KCB)

    Dudley Clarke Companion of the Bath 1945

    Herbert Hoover KBE 1950

    Ernest Thesiger  CBE 1960.

    Lynne Braithwaite British Empire Medal 1976.

    Jan Morris CBE 1999

    Danny La Rue OBE 2002

    Rudy Giuliani KBE 2002

    Peter Ackroyd (Author of Dressing Up, possibly a crossdreamer) CBE 2003

    Stephen Whittle (Press for Change) OBE 2005

    Christine Burns (Press for Change) MBE 2005

    Barry Humphries/Edna Everage CBE 2007

    Paul O’Grady/Lily Savage MBE 2008

    Bernard & Terry Reed (GIRES, parents of a trans woman) OBE 2010

    April Ashley MBE 2012

    Grayson Parry CBE 2013


    See also Royal Command Performances by gender impersonators.

    And also State Honours.

    Diane Wells (1953 - ) trustfunder

    Constance (1922 - 2007) was born in South Africa. Her father, a mining engineer who made his money in the diamond business, set up a trust fund for her. She moved to New York aged 19, married Joseph Cheney, a radiologist, and they had three children: Jonathan, Jennifer and James. In 1954 they found an apartment in the Eldorado building on Central Park West.

    Jonathan became Diane Wells in the mid-1970s and disappeared for several years.

    Joseph, who had had a bad heart since age 11, died in 1977.

    In the early 1980s the Eldorado became a co-op and Constance bought her apartment. Jennifer left when she was 27 and did not see her mother again for 20 years. Diane ran out of money in 1989 and returned home. She and her mother each had their own locked room. Diane spent much time in her room chain smoking. Constance had given substantial sums to the two younger children to buy Manhattan apartments. Diane persuaded her mother to pay for expensive life insurance so that Diane would be able to afford the apartment after her death.

    In 1999 Diane was listed as a co-owner of the apartment. In 2001 and again a few years later Mrs Cheney called the police, but did not press charges against her daughter. In May 2005 Mrs Cheney had lawyers come over to talk about her will. Diane was pressing that she be left the bulk of the estate. This led to an altercation that left Mrs Cheney with a broken arm, and left until the housekeeper arrived the next morning and called an ambulance.

    Diane was obliged by court order to move out. She was later convicted on a misdemeanor assault charge and served 60 days at Rikers Island prison. Constance Cheney died of cancer in April 2007. A month later Ms Wells was arrested on a charge of solicitation of murder based on reports that that she had asked around to have her brother killed. However the case was later dropped, and after a court case about ownership Diane was able to move back into the apartment.

    In 2012 the apartment corporation alleged that Diane had become a nuisance: her chain smoking caused smoke and odors to seep into the corridor and she did not allow maintenance staff to fix this; she failed to pay her monthly maintenance fees and did not maintain her escrow account at a sufficient level.

    Max Drenth (1963 - ) novelist, philosopher.

    Marjolijn Drenth was born in Coevorden, Netherlands. Because her grandfather had worked in a German Army camp in the Second World War, the family was for a long time stateless.

    Drenth published several novels under the name M Februari, some of which were awarded prizes. In the first one he strove for 'geestelijk hermafroditisme (spiritual hermaphroditism) and the narrator is sometimes male, sometimes female.

    Drenth studied art history, philosophy and law at Utrecht University, and in 2000 earned a PhD in philosophy from Catholic University of Brabant (now known as Tilburg University) with a dissertation on economics and ethics, and was a lecturer there 1992-7, and then at Radboud University.

    Drenth was also a member of the civil aviation safety board.

    In 2012 he enhanced his transition with male hormones, and in 2013 he published De maakbare man. Notities over transseksualiteit (The selfmade man: notes on transsexuality).

    Norah Vincent (196? - ) journalist.

    Norah grew up in Detroit, the only daughter of Ford Motor Company attorney Robert Vincent and minor actress Juliet Randall (whose biggest gig was The Beachcombers, 1973-6). Norah was a tomboy with an "instinctive loathing of dresses, dolls and frills of any kind". When she was 10, her father was transferred to the UK and they lived there for seven years.

    Norah did a philosophy degree at Williams College, Massachusetts, where she came out as lesbian. After some freelance journalism she worked at The Free Press during its neoconservative phase.

    In 1994 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

    In 1996 she wrote "Beyond Lesbian" which was published in The New Republic, in which she was critical of what she saw as lesbian conformity, and she started getting her writings published in conservative publications. In 1999 she was controversially hired to do a weekly column in The Village Voice. One of her first articles was a sympathetic article on Drew, a New York trans man. Vincent has also had columns at Salon.com, The Advocate,The Los Angeles Times at all of which she established her reputation of being a conservative lesbian.

    In June 2000 in The Advocate, she described transsexuals as “the most draconian arm of the PC language police”, and concluded:
    “So why, as adults, do transsexuals mutilate their bodies in order to make them conform to the fashionable version of the opposite sex and gender? That only reinforces oppressive stereotypes every bit as much as liposuction or a bimbo's boob job. If you're a man in a woman's body, then live androgynously if you're such a revolutionary. Don't conform. I do it every day, and it isn't particularly easy. Half the time I'm sir, and half the time I'm ma'am, and that's how it should be when sex and gender don't matter.
    If you truly want to thwart gender norms, don't pull a fast one on the dictionary or your poor blameless privates. Live with all the polymorphy God gave you, body and soul. It's a lot more radical.”
    In February 2001 she wrote up an approving article about an evening about male masculinities at Pace University. However a few months after that she blamed San Francisco giving transition costs as part of a health benefit package for employees on postmodernism and the death of the self:
    "If you take seriously the idea that a person cannot be himself without the intervention of modern technology, then you have lost the notion of a self altogether".
    Vincent was a senior fellow at the neoconservative Foundation for the Defense of Democracies 2001-3. Richard Goldstein featured Vincent in his 2001 book on gay conservatives, along with Andrew Sullivan and Camille Paglia.

    In 2002 she moved to Philadelphia to be with her girlfriend, and was writing with candor about her struggles with multiple sclerosis and depression.

    After experimenting with male drag at the urging of a drag-king friend, she lived as a man, Ned Vincent, for eighteen months from 2004-5. She is 5'10" (1.82m). She consulted a make-up artist and used a stubble beard. She also hired a voice coach. As an act of participant observation, Ned then joined an all-male bowling club, joined a men’s therapy group, went to strip clubs and visited Catholic monks in a cloister. She found men as much as women to be victims of the gender system and women as active as men in building it. Ned was assumed to be gay, often for the same features that lead to people thinking that Norah is butch. She published this as Self-Made Man, 2006. She concludes the book with:
    "I, Meanwhile, am staying right where I am: fortunate, proud, free and glad in every way to be a woman".
    However, afterwards she slipped into depression and on the advice of a psychologist spent time in three different mental hospitals: one urban, public and ill-funded; one small-town; and one private and expensive. She turned this into her second book.


      Vincent seems to have an ambivalence concerning trans issues, but is more sympathetic to female transvestites and trans men than to those of the other direction.

      Self-Made Man is an odd book in that it is mainly a book for women who want to know what men do and say when women are not around.  As Diane Torr says: “She makes little sustained effort to reflect critically on her own experiences as a woman passing in male-oriented environments … Moreover, she seems intent on reinforcing precisely the gender binaries that drag kings and trans performers have sought to challenge”.

      I have elsewhere criticized the reluctance of sociologists and other academics (e.g Richard Ekins, David Valentine) making studies of trans people but not even being willing to cross-dress.  So kudos to Vincent for doing so.   If only more cis people would do so.

      Vincent does seem to have an attraction to greater expression of her masculinity, but without having the whatever that makes a trans man.  In this she is an interesting example of cis gender variance and female transvestity.

      Vincent documents well how heteronormativity can oppress men, and admires their resiliance, but pays little attention to male strategies for escaping heteronormativity such as homosexuality, although she does have a chapter on monks.  And thus there is no discussion at all as to whether some trans women are more motivated by escaping male heteronormativity than by 'gender identity'.   Of course trans people rarely discuss this either.

      Canadian (auto)biographies

      The bibliography page (see at the top of this blog) does not contain (auto)biographies.This is the start of an occasional series by country or area that will contribute to and finally become a Biographies Page. Feel free to suggest any that I may have missed.

      Australia, New Zealand, Pacific
      Deutschsprechen countries
      Europe, rest of
      Francophone countries
      Latin America
      UK and Eire
      US – East
      US – Middle
      US – South
      US – West


      • Inge Stephens & Alexis Lefrançois. Alain, transsexuelle. Vis-à-vies. Saint-Lambert, Québec: Héritage, 1983.
      Alexandra Highcrest. Sex worker.
      • Alexandra Highcrest. At Home on the Stroll: My Twenty Years As a Prostitute in Canada. Toronto: A.A. Knopf Canada, 1997.
      Brigitte Martel.GVWWFR.WIKIPEDIA Chanteuse.
      • Brigitte Martel. Né homme, comment je suis devenu femme. Montréal: Québécor, 1981.
      Clara Ford. Hostler, murderer.
      • Patrick Brode. Death in the Queen City: Clara Ford on Trial, 1895. Natural Heritage, 2005.
      Darrin Hagen. Performer.
      • Darrin Hagen. The Edmonton queen: not a riverboat story. Edmonton: Slipstream Books 1997. Reissued as Edmonton queen : the final voyage. Edmonton: Brindle & Glass pub. 2007.
      David Reimer.  EN.WIKIPEDIA CBC
      • John Colapinto. As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised As a Girl. Toronto: HarperCollins Publishers, 2000.
      Dianna Boileau.GVWW Secretary, first patient at Clarke Institute Gender Clinic
      • Dianna as told to Felicity Cochrane, with an Introduction by Leo Wollman. Behold, I Am a Woman. New York: Pyramid Books, 1972.
      Erica Rutherford. XTRA Artist.
      • Erica Rutherford. Nine Lives: The Autobiography of Erica Rutherford. Charlottetown, PEI: Ragweed 1993.
      Frances Olympe Cormier
      • Frances Olympe Cormier. Frances with an "E": Our Story! Moose Creek, Ont: Pilgrim Publications, 1995. France avec un s: notre histoire! Moose Creek, Ont: Publications du Pèlerin, 1995.
      Guilda. GVWWFR.WIKIPEDIAXTRA Performer, artist.
      • Guilda et Denis Monette. Guilda: elle et moi. Montréal: Editions Québécor 1979.
      Jamie Lee Hamilton. GVWWEN.WIKIPEDIA Sex worker, activist, political candidate.
      • Barbara Daniel. She’s No Lady: The Story of Jamie Lee Hamilton. Cormorant Books Inc, 2005.
      John White. EN.WIKIPEDIA Don Akensen insisted when his book was published that the story of Irish-Canadian John White, MP made more sense if we assumed that John died young and that his sister Eliza had taken over his identity. More recently Akensen has said that this was a hoax, and the book is now listed as fiction.
      • Donald H.Akenson. At Face Value: the life and times of Eliza McCormack/John White. Montréal. McGill-Queen's University Press,
      Katherine Johnson. Inmate
      • Katherine Johnson and Stephanie Castle. Prisoner of Gender: A Transsexual and the System. Vancouver: Perceptions Press, 1997.
      Lisa Salazar.
      • Lisa Salazar. Transparently: Behind the scenes of a good life. Lisa S. Salazar, 2011.
      Madeleine Charest.
      • Madeleine Charest. Le dur combat d'une femme. Chertsey, Québec: Madeleine Charest, 2006.
      • Madeleine Charest. Enfin, la lumière! Québec: Madeleine Charest, 2009.
      Marie-Claude Paquette.
      • Marie-Claude Paquette. 17: autobiographie. Longueuil: Éditions Médialib, 2002.
      Marie Mayrand.
      • Marie Mayrand. Le combat de la mère d'un transsexuel. Collection Transformation. Montréal: Éditions Le Cercle international des gagnants, 1986.
      Michelle Ann Duff.GVWWEN.WIKIPEDIA motorcycle racer
      • Michelle Ann Duff. The Mike Duff Story: Make Haste Slowly. Toronto: mad8 Pub., 1999.
      Patrick Verret.
      • Patrick Verret. Changer de sexe pour vivre enfin: le long combat de Manon devenue Patrick. Laval, Québec: Vivre enfin, 2005. English translation by Chris Duncan: Changing Sex to Finally Live: The Long Struggle from Manon to Patrick. Laval, Québec: Vivre enfin, 2006.
      Stephanie Castle. Activist
      • Stephanie Castle. Feelings: A transsexual's explanation of a baffling condition. Vancouver: Perception Press, 1992.
      S. Bear Bergman. EN.WIKIPEDIA Writer.
      • S. Bear Bergman. Butch is a Noun. San Francisco: Suspect Thoughts Press 176 pp 2006.
      Yanni Kin. GVWW
      • Yanni Kin. Regarde-moi, maman!: témoignage d'un transsexuel. Outremont: Lanctôt éditeur, 2002.

      East New Jersey in the 1960s


      Vito Russo, who would later write the ground-breaking The Celluloid Closet, was raised in East Harlem, Manhattan.  In 1961 when he was 15, to his chagrin, his parents bought a house in Lodi, New Jersey.  Therefore the teenager perforce explored the gay scene in Lodi and nearby towns such as Hackensack, Bloomfield, Garfield etc.  Given that this was the sticks and not Manhattan, there was a lot more drag/trans activity than you might expect for that period.

      “Vito’s first drag-queen contemporary was a a fellow student …. Standing six feet two inches [1.89 m] under a bleached-blond man, Billy knew how to make a striking entrance – particularly when bombing around Lodi in his pink Cadillac convertible.  Contact with Billy meant automatic social ostracism.  … Billy invited Vito to a New Year’s Eve party held at the home of ‘the most outrageous drag queen in Bergen County’.  …
      Billy’s friends were working-class drag queens from Lodi and the nearby towns…. Like Billy, these men were wildly out of the closet, almost unwittingly so: they were ‘identifiable on the street whether they liked it or not.  They couldn’t hide it even it they tried.‘  From them, Vito got his first lessons in gay survival.  He listened attentively to their tutorials on ‘how to take care of himself on the street and be funny and get out of a raid and go through a window in a bathroom and all that stuff you had to know in the ‘60s.  …
      Another favorite haunt was Danny’s in Fort Lee, where the group went to see ‘Bella from the Bronx’, a drag queen whose act consisted of traditional Italian families’ reactions to the revelations of their gay children.  …  He was also enamored of the headliner at Fran Bell’s in Nyack, New York.  Fran herself … donned a tuxedo and top hat  and crooned ‘Just a Gigolo’ à la Dietrich.  Then there were the drag balls at Newark’s Robert Treat Hotel.”

      See also New York City in the 1960s.
      • Michael Schiavi. Celluloid Activist: The Life and Times of Vito Russo.  The University of Wisconsin Press, 2011:  43-4.

      Alicia Liu/ Lui Xun' Ai 刘熏爱 (1986 - ) model.

      Lui Zihua, in Taiwan, transitioned to Xun'Ai at age 18 with surgery paid for by her then boyfriend.

      As Alice Liu she participated in 2006 in a fashion contest on Taiwan TVBS. In 2008 she became a professional model and appeared on television.

      She was outed in 2010 when a schoolmate put a photograph of her as she had been on the internet. Xun'ai called a press conference and stated: "As far as I can remember, I love being a woman. The past is not important".

      * not the web builder