This site is the most comprehensive on the web devoted to trans history and biography. Well over 1400 persons worthy of note, both famous and obscure, are discussed in detail, and many more are mentioned in passing.)

There is a detailed Index arranged by vocation, doctor, activist group etc.

In addition to this most articles have one or more labels at the bottom. Click one to go to similar persons. There is a full list of labels at the bottom of the page. There is also a search box at the top left. Enjoy exploring!

23 November 2017

Phoebe Smith (1939–) Part II: state worker, activist

Continued from Part I.

Back in Atlanta after a first visit to Dr Barbosa, Phoebe Smith was taken shopping by an aunt who bought her three dresses. Phoebe made an appointment with Harry Benjamin in New York for a hormone prescription. Two aunts and a cousin went to New York with her.

Phoebe attempted to return to work at Rich’s Department Store, but a few co-workers objected, and the supervisor said no. Phoebe appealed up two levels but without success.

A gay former co-worker gave a big party to introduce Phoebe to the local gay scene – but she did not feel that she belonged there.  She was interviewed for a local television news program.

In November Phoebe returned to New York to see Harry Benjamin, and was told that she was ready for the final surgery. She immediately wrote to Dr Barbosa, but he did not reply – by telegram – until March 31 giving an appointment for April 11. She was in the hospital for two weeks, and even when she left was in considerable pain.

At first she wanted to be open about her past when applying for jobs, but quickly found that that was not going to work. She took the Georgia State Merit test, and got a position in Disease investigation. In May 1971 she transferred to Medicaid.

She was now undergoing electrolysis, and for a short while worked with a local transsexual support group before it discontinued.

Phoebe several times met persons who knew someone who knew her previous self, but it did not become a problem. One man threatened to out her if she did not date him. In spring 1974 a trans woman whom Phoebe had spoken to with the support group applied to Medicaid in the hope of having her surgery paid for. They met at the elevator, and the woman introduced herself. This made Phoebe think that everyone was talking about her. A close work friend told her that “we all know and we still love you”.

In 1975 Phoebe transferred to Family and Children Services. One day a co-worker rushed in and exclaimed: “Y’all, there is a transsexual that works for the State!”. Again it turned out that most of the co-workers already knew, and never said.

By June 1979 Phoebe had written her first autobiography, Phoebe. She self-published it and
advertised in trans newsletters. A thousand copies were printed, and a New York bookstore bought four hundred. Reactions at work were mixed. People she had not previously known became friendly; no man at work ever asked her out again.

In 1980 she put together a brochure, “The Journey from One to Forty was Difficult but Successful”. It included a photograph of herself at age one with father, and a photo at age 40. It criticized the report from Jon Meyers of John Hopkins of the previous year that had been used as an excuse to close its Gender Identity Clinic.
“I have worked for the State of Georgia for almost ten years. During my fourth year of employment, knowledge of my surgery became widespread. It was upsetting, but also a big relief to get it in the open.”
Later that year a new communications office was established, and Phoebe became its supervisor, but with a pay cut.

The sale of the autobiography resulted in mail, much of it from persons seeking information. This led to the idea of a newsletter, The Transsexual Voice. The first two issues were complimentary, and 30 copies were printed. Within a few months there were over 100 subscribers.

A subscriber contacted her wanting to find someone to train in electrolysis. Phoebe jumped at the chance and for the next 15 years they worked on each other.

By the mid-1980s there were over 300 subscribers including Leo Wollman, Rupert Raj and Michelle Hunt. Phoebe mailed packets of transsexual-related material to newspaper editors, television news programs, talk show hosts etc. Very few responded.

Through the 1980s Phoebe’s family health problems deteriorated. Her younger brother was diagnosed with cancer, and died at age 40. Her father died age 74 in 1989 after various health problems. Her mother needed daily care such that Phoebe had to discontinue The Transsexual Voice in 1995. Her mother died in 1998, when Phoebe was 59.

She retired in in 2000. She had worked for the State of Georgia for almost 30 years.
  • Phoebe Smith. Phoebe. P Smith Pub Ind, 1979.
  • Phoebe Smith. “FMI Forum: The Transsexual Voice”. Female Mimics International, 14,6, 1985. Online. This is the 1980 brochure, which is also found p106-8 in Phoebe’s 2015 book.
  • Rupert Raj. “Tribute to Phoebe Smith”. Twenty Minutes, August 1989:3. Online.
  • Joanne Meyerowitz. How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States. Harvard University Press, 2002:158.
  • Phoebe Smith. From Sharecropper's Son to Who's Who in American Women. CreateSpace, 2014.
  • Eve Shapiro. Gender Circuits: Bodies and Identities in a Technological Age: Second edition. Routledge, 2015: 158.
  • Dallas Denny. “Creating Community: A History of Early Transgender Support in Atlanta”., Nov 7, 2015. Online.

Dr Barbosa’s $4,000 fee in 1969 would be $26,600 now!

Phoebe arrived for the first time at Dr Barbosa’s office only two months after Lynn Conway had completed surgery there.

There is no mention at all of Phoebe in Wesley Chenault, Stacy Lorraine Braukman, Gay and Lesbian Atlanta, Arcadia Pub 2008. Come to that, there is no mention of Jayne County or Dallas Denny either.

Phoebe had started electrolysis in 1971, after her two surgeries. In 1981 she trained as an electrologist and then for 15 years she and one other worked on each other. That is 25 years of electrolysis. I was done and complete in less than two years in the mid-1980s. Presumably there was not an electrologist in the Atlanta area at that time who knew how to do it on transsexuals.

It is striking in Phoebe’s autobiography that there is no mention at all of other trans people in Atlanta other than the trans woman who attempted to apply for Medicaid. The famous Atlanta trans women – Jayne County, Diamond Lil, Lady Bunny, RuPaul – were of a performance persuasion, and mostly took off for New York. However, apart from that there was trans man Jerry Montgomery, and Dallas Denny, who arrived in Atlanta in 1989. AEGIS and Southern Comfort Conference were established in Atlanta shortly afterwards.

Dallas Danny says: “With the Louisiana-based Erickson foundation no longer in operation, Phoebe’s Transsexual Voice was so far as I know for many years the only peer-produced transsexual-specific support publication in the world. Phoebe produced the last issue in 1995. It was an astonishing run, and helped thousands of people.”

22 November 2017

Phoebe Smith (1939–) Part I: retail worker

(Phoebe transitioned in Atlanta in the 1960s.   In those days she had great difficulty in finding out about other transsexuals, and in finding any professionals who even knew where to point her, let alone to actually help.   If she were in New York or Paris, she would have had more information even in the 1960s – but she did not know that. Fortunately she was determined.)

James Smith was born to a family of sharecroppers in Irwin County, US Georgia. His relatives referred to him as a ‘sissy’ from an early age, and he was bullied at school, more so because of his disinterest in sports.

In September 1953, the family pickup was hit by a flatbed truck. The father had his left arm crushed and had to give up farming; the mother was in constant pain afterwards. They moved to Atlanta. At the new school Smith was called ‘queer’.

In 1955 a neighbor showed him a magazine article about someone who had a sex-change operation, and asked him why he did not have it also. Smith wrote to a preacher on the radio that he had been listening to, and later phoned him. This was the first time that he ever told someone that he wanted to change sex. The preacher said that he saw nothing wrong or sinful in Smith’s desire, but couldn’t offer any help. In September 1956 Smith attempted suicide by taking his mother’s pain pills. After recovery he insisted on quitting school – he was then seventeen.

After temporary and part-time work, Smith found a position at Rich’s Department Store where he stayed for ten years. Every now and then there would be an article in the news about a transsexual, but when Smith attempted to correspond with a doctor or psychiatrist, he was told that a change of sex was impossible.

In November 1961 Smith was called to report to the Draft Board. He explained himself and was classified 4-F. If questioned he said that this was because of a bad back resulting from the 1953 road crash. Around this time, his father driving a cement mixer was hit by a train on a crossing. Smith’s younger brother joined the US Marines, but was discharged after being diagnosed with chronic bronchitis.

By 1964 Smith had rented a mailbox and was writing letters prolifically: to doctors, to medical universities, to politicians. Many were not answered; some were rudely answered. One, who was helpful, was Amy Larkin, the agony aunt at the Atlanta Constitution (actually a pseudonym for Olive Ann Burns (1924 – 1990) who later became renowned for her novel Cold Sassy Tree). Larkin passed anonymous information about Smith to Harry Benjamin in New York (who was then working with John Money so that the Johns Hopkins Gender Identity Clinic would open the next year). Benjamin wrote back that “there seems very little doubt that this patient is a transsexual”.

Larkin arranged an appointment with a local endocrinologist, but he, despite the letter from Benjamin, maintained that what was wanted could not be done.

Smith wrote to the Governor of Georgia who passed the letter to the Dean of the Medical College of Georgia who replied that the surgery was illegal within Georgia.

Smith contacted Atlanta Constitution journalist, Dick Herbert, who became interested and wrote a sympathetic story (by the standards of the time) using a pseudonym: “Long-Ill Tim Gets New Hope to Solve Endocrine Malady”.

Smith applied to Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation and Georgia Mental Health Institute. They responded with a mixture of ignoring him, giving a run-around and even rudeness. In 1968 Smith saw Christine Jorgensen on the Merv Griffin television show, and wrote to ask for Christine’s address. Christine put Smith in touch with a doctor, who in turn gave the names and addresses of two surgeons: Dr Burou in Casablanca and Dr Barbosa in Tijuana. Smith decided on the latter.

In January 1969, Smith moved out of the family home to stay with a friend; resigned his job; sent a letter to his parents saying for the first time that he was transsexual and asking them to borrow $4,200 against their house to lend to him. Smith paid $200 for a flight to Los Angeles, and then took a train to San Diego, crossed the border into Mexico at 2am. After resting in a hotel, Smith arrived at Dr Barbosa’s office – still in male clothes.

Dr Barbosa examined Smith and then explained that he required a full year of hormone therapy prior to surgery. Further examination discovered a thyroid problem. Dr Barbosa compromised and treatment for the thyroid condition was provided as well as an orchidectomy. While in the clinic, Smith contemplated a female name and decided on Phoebe.

She had brought a mail-order catalogue with her and made her first purchases of female clothing. On return to Atlanta, Phoebe was welcomed by her family and relatives. The mail-order purchases had arrived, and from that day on, she never wore male clothing again.

Continued in Part II.

15 November 2017

7 trans persons in North Africa and 10 emigrants who changed things by example and/or achievement.

North Africa is a difficult place to be trans.  Which is why most persons listed here are emigrants.

Surgeons & psychiatrists

  • Georges Burou (1910 – 1987) pioneer surgeon in Casablanca, invented penile inversion surgery. 1000s of patients. GVWW
  • Ludwig Levy-Lenz (1889 – 1966) one of Hirschfeld’s surgeons, fled to Egypt in 1936, where he opened a clinic that did transgender surgery. GVWW
  • Ezzat Ashamallah, peformed surgery on Sally Mursi, 1988. He was temporarily suspended from the Doctors’ Syndicate.
  • Mahmoud Eteifi, Asyut, Egypt, arrested 2010 for transgender surgery. NewsArticle
  • Hashem Bahary, psychiatrist, Al Azhar University, Cairo, runs a clinic for trans persons. YouTube.


Muhammad Sayyid Tantawy (1928 – 2010) grand mufti and then Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, issued a fatwa that Sally Mursi’s change was necessary for her health but that before the operation she should for one year dress, behave and comply with all obligations of Islam for women, except for marital obligations. This fatwa was the first Sunni ruling about sex changes.


  1. Hatshepsut (1508 – 1482 BCE) Egyptian Pharaoh who wore the same kilt and false beard as the male pharaohs. EN.WIKIPEDIA
  2. Hasan el Belbeissi (182? - ?) Egyptian belly dancer immortalized by Gustave Flaubert. GVWW
  3. Sisa Abu Daooh (1950 - ), Luxor, Egypt, lived and worked as a man for 40 years. Awarded prize as 'best mother' by President al-Sisi. NewsArticle
  4. Sally Mursi (1966 - ) Cairo, medical student refused completion of studies, dancer. GVWW
  5. Hanan al Tawil (1966 – 2004) actress. GVWW
  6. Noor Talbi (1969 - ) Moroccan dancer, model, actress. GVWW
  7. Nourhan (198? - ) Cairo, engineer, academic at Al Azhar University, transferred to administration. NewsArticle.


  1. Marcel Oudjman (? - ?) from Algeria, moved to Paris and became owner of La Carrousel and Madame Arthur. Part 1 Part II
  2. Dominot (1930 - 2014) from Tunisia, actress, performer in Rome. GVWW
  3. Marie-Pierre Pruvot/ Bambi (1935 - ) from Ysser, Algiers. Became star at Madame Arthur/ La Carrousel. Then a school teacher and a novelist. GVWW
  4. Nana (1939 - ) from Oran, Algeria, became a performer/sex worker in Paris. Later she married. GVWW
  5. Marie-France Garcia (1946 - ) from Oran, Algeria, active in FHAR and Les Gazolines in Paris, also a singer. GVWW
  6. Bibiana Manuala Fernandez Chica (Bibi Andersen) (1954 - ) actress, performer, born in Tangiers, found fame in Spain. GVWW ES.Wikipedia
  7. Pascale Ourbih (1972 - ) from Algeria, model, actress Green Party candidate in Paris. GVWW
  8. Randa (198? - ) fled Algeria where her life was threatened. Lives in Lebanon, and is author of The Memoirs of Randa the Trans – first trans autobiography in Arabic. NewsArticle
  9. Carla Massoud, from Egypt, now lives in Germany with her husband. NewsArticle BBC
  10. Achan/Layla Kingston, born in Libya to South Sudanese Dinka Bor parents. Now lives in Pennsylvania. NewsArticle

09 November 2017

Alex Starke (1898–?) dentist

Born as Clara Jenny Starke In Erfurt, Thuringia, Alex, apparently anatomically intersex, moved to Berlin, where he worked as a dentist and, with expert evidence from Magnus Hirschfeld, he applied for a Transvestitenschein (police permission to wear men’s clothing) in September 1919. Hirschfeld had advised that a gender-neutral name like ‘Alex’ was more likely to be accepted. In September 1920, he successfully petitioned a local court in downtown Berlin to change his legal name to Alex, and in November the civil register in Erfurt was accordingly changed. As per usual practice with any name change, he was obliged to pay for announcements in the Deutsche Reichsanzeiger and the Preussische Staatsanzeiger – which in effect outed him.

In 1928 Alex was medically examined twice. The one report said that he had a ‘dual sexuality-bisexuality’ (Doppelgeschlechtigkeit-Bisexualität); the other found him to be female.

In 1930 he wrote an article for Die Freundin magazine about how the then transvestite scene in Berlin was focused on entertainment and did not cater to the needs of actual transvestites.

In September 1939, Alex. petitioned for the birth register to be altered to say that he had been a boy, not a girl. Five months later he gave up this attempt as hopeless, but his file was now on a desk at the supervisor of registry offices (Standesämter).

The Nazi officials who were now running the Standesämter were outraged that such changes of gender were permitted in the Third Reich. They expected the Erfurt Standesamt to rescind the name change, after which the Berlin Transvestitenschein would also be revoked. However a change in the law in 1932 had required an executive decision by the interior administration for such decisions, potentially at ministerial level. Furthermore, from October 1939 all proceedings in change-of-name cases had been suspended for the duration of the war as a labour-saving measure.

The Standesämter persevered, arguing that this was not a private case but a matter of interest to the state. The Interior Ministry issued a ruling in May 1941. They ruled that as Starke had lived as a man since 1920, it would be an ‘unjustifiable hardship’ and maybe even ‘impossible’ for him to have to start living as a woman. The name change was not to be rescinded, however he was not to be allowed to marry.
*Not the 21st century actor
  • Alex Starke. „An alle Transvestiten. Die Welt der Transvestiten.“ Die Freundin, 6, 15, 1930.
  • Rainer Herrn, Schnittmuster des Geschlechts. Transvestismus und Transsexualität in der frühen Sexualwissenschaft, Giessen, 2005: 128, 152.
  • Jane Caplan. “The Administration of Gender Identity in Nazi Germany“. History Workshop Journal, 72, Autumn 2011: 174-5

05 November 2017

Andrea Susan Malick (1939 – 2015) photographer, cinematographer.

Jack Malick, a photographer, was a regular participant from the age of 21 in Susanna and Marie Valenti’s Chevalier D’Eon Resort and later Casa Susanna. Malick’s femme name was at first Jacqueline, but when he and his first wife Bonnie, endowed that name on their daughter, Malick took the name Andrea Susan. Andrea, who had a developing room, became the official photographer for the resort - this was at a time when commercial film developers might react unfavourably.

David/Gail Wilde, one of the richer members, bought Andrea an expensive Roleiflex camera (which cost over $1,000) with the request that Andrea learn how to process color film. Gail also requested a copy of each photograph taken. Gail collected them in expensive albums.

When in 1964 Susanna wanted to make movies, Andrea stepped up with a professional 16mm camera. Two films were shot in the same weekend in Marie’s wig store in New York.

When David Wilde and Joan Bennett decided to move out of Manhattan, it was Jack, already living in Scarsdale, who introduced them to a local real-estate agent. As part of the move Joan insisted that David’s femme persona, including the photograph collection, be left behind. After a night of drinking, Gail’s photograph collection was put out on the garbage, and disappeared overnight.

Andrea 1993
Malick was the cinematographer on Leo Wollman and Doris Wishman’s groundbreaking Adam or Eve, 1971, which was later recut with additional material and rereleased as Born a Man ... Let Me Die a Woman, 1978, (although Malick is uncredited on the actual prints). He was lighting director or cinematographer on mainly television films through the 1980s and 1990s.

Andrea was a regular at Fantasia Fair in Provincetown. She hosted the Fashion Show many years from 1976.

In 1985, Jack was briefly in the news when his Scarsdale home was burgled and he shot the intruder, wounding him.

In 1991 Andrea was the director and cameraperson on the video Bridges to Beauty which apart from the two producers had a totally trans cast and crew. As the airlines would not insure the camera equipment, Andrea drove from New York to Los Angeles for the gig and then back.

Andrea was nominated Ms Fantasia Fair in 1994, and in the newsletter for that year was described: “Andrea passes very well and travels extensively as her girl self, and has been just about everywhere from Disney World to virtually every city (and supermarket ) in the world”.

In 2013 Andrea visited fellow Fantasia Fair director, Miqqi Alicia in Toronto and was shown the 2005 book Casa Susanna complied by Robert Swope and Michel Hurst containing photographs from the 1960s. Andrea recognized many of them as her own work. She announced herself as the photographer at Fantasia Fair, 2013.
Andrea at the premier of the play

The next April Dallas Denny met with Andrea, and with permission identified her online. Jack’s daughter Jacqueline contacted Harvey Fierstein who was producing the play Casa Valentina. Jack and Jaqueline were invited guests at a preview, and then Andrea and Jaqueline at the premier of the play, April 1, 2014. A presentation re Andrea’s work was prepared for Fantasia Fair, 2014. However a medical emergency forced Andrea into hospital instead. Dallas interviewed her on video in hospital.

Andrea/Jack died at age 75. The 2015 Fantasia Fair was dedicated to her.

  • Doris Wishman (dir). Born A Man... Let Me Die A Woman. Hosted by Leo Wollman, camera by Andrea Susan Malick (uncredited) with trans persons Leslie, Lisa Carmelle, Deborah Harte, Ann Zordi, and porn stars Harry Reem, Angel Spirit and Vanessa del Rio. Scientific and medical advisor: Dr Leo Wollman. US 78 mins 1978.
  • “Scarsdale Man Wounds Intruder”. New York Times, January 11, 1985. Online.
  • Bridges to Beauty. Dir & camera: Andrea Susan Mitchell, with Vicki Vargas, Virginia Prince, Diahanna Taylor, Melissa Foster. US 1991.
  • “JoAnne Roberts Service & Product Reviews: Bridges to Beauty Video”. En femme magazine, 24, June 1991: 8-9. Online.
  • “Behind the Scenes: Making the “Bridges to Beauty” Videos. International Tran Script, 1,1, October 1991: 19-22. Online.
  • Ladylike, 16, 1993: Cover, 40, 42. Online.
  • Fantasia Fair Newsletter 96. Online.
  • Michel Hurst & Robert Swope. Casa Susanna. PowerHouse Books, 2005.
  • Kate Cummings. Katherine's Diary- the Story of a Transsexual. Beaujon Press, 2008: 131.
  • Dallas Denny. “The Historical Roots of Casa Valentina”. Chrysalis, May 10, 2014. Online.
  • Dallas Denny. “Identified! Casa Susanna Photographer Comes Forward”. Chrysalis, May 13, 2014. Online.
  • Andrea Susan Malick & Dallas Denny. “In the Beginning: How My Photos of 1950s Crossdressers Inspired a Hit Show on Broadway”. Chrysalis, Nov 24, 2015. Online.
  • Dallas Denny interviews Andrea Susan Malick. Video. Part I. Part II.
  • Dedication. Fantasia Fair Participants’ Guide, 2015. Online.
  • Isabelle Bonnet. Les Photographies des Travestis de La Casa Susanna. Mémoire de Master 1, Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, 2015 : 10-11, 48, 73.
  • Katherine Cummings email to Zagria. 2 Nov 2017.
Obituary IMDB


The Fantasia Fair Newsletter 96 says “She was one of 37 who attended the first unofficial gathering of CDs in Hunter, N.Y. in 1967”. However under the name Jack/Jacqueline she is mentioned in Katherine’s Diary as being at the Chevalier D’Eon Resort in 1962.

Bonnet p48 says that Jack Malick told her that he was a friend of Stanley Kubrick and worked on 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968. The credits for the film, which was made in the UK and Spain, mainly at Borehamwood and Shepperton studios, list a team of 11 for Special Photographic Effects, one of whom is ‘John Jack Malick’. IMDB treats this John Jack Malick as a separate person from Jack Malick. Jack’s full name was Jack John Malik (see the Obituary), so if they are the same person, the credits scrambled his name. This site on Jack’s son Gary, claims that Jack won the Best Visual Effects Oscar for 2001. However that Oscar, the only one won by the film, went to Stanley Kubrick.

There is no mention of Jack Malick in Brian Kellow’s The Bennetts: An Acting Family, which has sections on the marriage of David and Joan Bennett.

Jack in the video interview says that when the Wildes moved to Scarsdale, Gail’s photograph collection was put out on the garbage, and disappeared overnight. He assumes that these are what were found by Roberts Swope decades later. Katherine Cummings says that Gail left her books and publications with a friend. Katherine is ‘100%’ sure that the Robert Swope's find is Susanna’s collection, not Gail’s.

31 October 2017

Birth Order in Androphilic Trans Women

In addition to his proposal that late-transition gynephilic trans women be regarded as “autogynephiles`”, Ray Blanchard proposes the Fraternal Birth Order Effect.

Here is Kay Brown`s summary of Blanchard’s position:

The Fraternal Birth Order Effect is the now well established fact that androphilic males (both gay and transsexual) have more older brothers than sisters.  That is to say, that the odds that a given male baby will be androphilic increases with each male child that their mother had carried previously.  This is a cumulative effect.

Recently Kay Brown endorsed a study that found that “when blood from a previously pregnant woman is transfused in men, their subsequent mortality is increased compared to women who are transfused. Blood from women who had never been pregnant did not increase men’s mortality”. She uses this in support of Blanchard`s Fraternal Birth Order Effect.

Kay has, of course, made her peace with the usage of describing heterosexual trans women as “androphilic males”. Blanchard describes such as “homosexual males”.

I personally am a first born. I have a younger sister and a younger brother, both quite straight. As such I am very sceptical of the Fraternal Birth Order Effect.

Out of curiosity: what is Kay`s birth order? In the short autobiography that she wrote for the TS Roadmap in 2008, when she was starting to claim to be a “homosexual transsexual” as per Blanchard, she avoids stating her birth order. However, earlier, in 1998, for her Transsexual, Transgender and Intersex History site (now no longer available) she wrote of herself:

“Growing up as the first of four children, Kay took on childcare responsibilities early”.

A test of the hypothesis

What neither Blanchard nor Brown has done is to test the hypothesis against the biographies of known androphilic trans women who mention their birth order (most do not). Here is a first cut at doing so. For each of the women below, we have enough information about their birth order, and also the fact that – one way or another – they are best described as androphilic (Kinsey 5 or 6 relative to birth gender). Some of these persons were early transitioners like Kay who never went through a phase as a gay man but later married a man; others went through homosexuality on the way to womanhood.

Only Child, Eldest, only AMAB (assigned male at birth) with sisters

According to Blanchard and Brown, this should be unusual. However it seems to be common.

Nadia Almada - eldest with five younger brothers
Manabi Bannerjee – only AMAB with two sisters
Sally Barry - only child
Aaïcha Bergamin – only AMAB with three sisters
Georgina Beyer – elder of two
Kay Brown – eldest of four
Bobbi Cameron – three older sisters
Candis Cayne – twin boys
Dorian Corey – elder of two
Candy Darling – only child
Jamie Lee Hamilton – only child
Yasmene Jabar – only child
Norma Jackson – only child
Christine Jorgensen – second child
Jill Monroe – only child
Patricia Morgan – only child
Sylvia Rivera – elder child, younger sister
Shonna – eldest, two younger sisters
Dawn Langley Simmons – only child
Hedy Jo Star – eldest of seven
Joe Tish – eldest of seven
Laxmi Tripathi – eldest of seven
Diane Wells – eldest of three
Zagria – eldest of three

Younger children

These conform to Blanchard’s model in having older brothers.
Agnes – youngest of four
April Ashley – two elder brothers, one elder sister
Sharon Cohen - youngest of three
Asha Devi – three elder brothers and three elder sisters
Nicky Kiranant – seventh child
Greer Lankton – third child
Marie-Marcelle Godbout – youngest of seven
Naomi – fourth of eight children
Carmen Rupe – youngest AMAB of 13 children
Angel dela Vega – seventh of eight children
Jackie McAuliffe – third of four AMAB
Angie Xtravaganza – one of thirteen children


Not proven. Androphilic trans women come from all positions in birth order. The Fraternal Birth Order Effect would predict that most be the second category. In fact there are fewer in the second category.

25 October 2017

Trans women featured in Playboy magazine

Slightly off-topic:   Zelda Suplee, later Reed Erickson's office manager, the person who actually ran the Erickson Educational Foundation (EEF), the first US organization for transsexuals, had managed nudist camps in the 1950-1960s.   From this she became the first full-frontal nude in Playboy (in black-and-white). 

1977    Amanda Lear


1979    Wendy Carlos

1981   Caroline Cossey/Tula

For Your Eyes Only - Tula far left
Tula, then in stealth, featured in Playboy re the then new James Bond film.

1984 Luiza Moreira/Roberta Close  

1990 Roberta Close

1991 Caroline Cossey

Tula now out and proud.

1995 Caroline Cossey

2014  Ines Rau

2016 Vittoria Schisano

2017  Ines Rau

It is currently being announced by the Playboy publicity department that "Ines Rau is Playboy’s first (sic) transgender Playmate"!   This despite Ines' previous appearance in Playboy in 2014, and despite Amanda Lear, Roberta Close, Caroline Cossey and Vittoria Schisano.    This false claim is being repeated uncritically by both the mainstream press and by trans bloggers.

24 October 2017

Advice Manuals III 2001-2017


Canadian (auto)biographies
Hoax biographies
(auto)biographies that are almost unobtainable
French and Belgian (auto) biographies and Histories
Biographies with the pre-transition name in the title 
Advice Manuals 1957-1980
Advice Manuals 1981-2000
Advice Manuals 2001-2017

There are many advice manuals for different types of trans person. This list is necessarily incomplete.

Inclusion in this list does not imply that I endorse the contents of any item.

In this third period, since 2001, there has been a pronounced explosion of trans advice manuals.   It in 1960-1970s it was likely that a trans person would read all the manuals available, in recent years years it has become impossible to keep up.    

(I have not included books on 'sissification' or 'forced feminity'.   I regard those as a different genre.)

Part III 2001-2017


  • Veronica Vera. Miss Vera's Cross-Dress for Success: A Resource Guide for Boys Who Want to Be Girls. Villard.
  • Janice Morgan Stevens (Jean Marie Stine). Everything you wanted to know about sex changes ... and were afraid to ask: a primer for male to female transsexuals. Renaissance E Books.


  • Jed Bland (ed) Transvestism and Cross Dressing: Current Views. Beaumont Trust.


  • Alice Purnell. Transexed and Transgendered People: A Guide. Gendys Conferences.
  • Lannie Rose. How to Change Your Sex: A Lighthearted Look at the Hardest Thing You'll Ever Do. Lulu.


  • Paisley Currah, Richard M Juang & Shannon Price Minter (eds). Transgender Rights. University of Minnesota Press.


  • Jennifer Seeley. The Transgender Companion (Male To Female): The Complete Guide To Becoming The Woman You Want To Be. CreateSpace.
  • Andrew Sharpe. Transgender Jurisprudence: Dysphoric Bodies of Law. Routledge-Cavendich.


  • Deep Stealth (Andrea James & Calpernia Addams) Finding Your Female Voice: TS Voice Feminization. 9 DVDs, CD and PDF.
  • Kelley Winters and Dan Karasic. Gender Madness in American Psychiatry: Essays from the Struggle for Dignity. GID Reform Advocates.


  • Mara Drummond. Transitions - A Guide to Transitioning for Transsexuals and Their Families.
  • Joanne Herman. Transgender Explained For Those Who Are Not. AuthorHouse.
  • Douglas Ousterhout. Facial Feminization Surgery: A Guide for the Transgendered Woman. Addicus Books.


  • Megan M.Rohrer and Zander Keig. Letters for My Brothers: Transitional Wisdom in Retrospect. Wilgefortis.
  • Anne VitaleThe Gendered Self: Further Commentary on the Transsexual Phenomenon. Lulu


  • Anne L Boedecker. The Transgender Guidebook: Keys to a Successful Transition. CreateSpace.
  • Alex Drummond. Queering the Tranny: New Perspectives on Male Transvestism and Transsexualism. True Colours Publishing.
  • Alice Purnell & Jed Bland. Trans in the Twenty First Century: Concerning Gender Diversity. Beaumont Trust.
  • Martine Rothblatt. From Transgender to Transhuman: A Manifesto On the Freedom of Form. Martine Rothblatt.
  • Nat Smith & Eric A. Stanley. Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex. AK Press.
  • Stephen Whittle (ed). The White Book: A really indispensible manual for inhabiting a trans man’s being. Gendys.


  • Richard Adler, Sandy Hirsch & Michelle Mordaunt. Voice and Communication Therapy for the Transgender/Transsexual Client: A Comprehensive Clinical Guide. Plural Publishing Inc.
  • Meghan Chavalier. Your True Self: An Informative Guide for Transitioning Transgender Women. Kindle.
  • Trystan Theosophus Cotten (ed). Hung Jury: Testimonies of Genital Surgery by Transsexual Men. Transgress Press.
  • Karine Espineira, Maud-Yeuse Thomas & Arnaud Alessandrin. La Transyclopedie : Tout Savoir Sur Les Transidentites. Lulu.
  • Jennifer L. Levi & Elizabeth E. Monnin-Browder (eds). Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy, GLAD.
  • Racheal McGonigalThe Transgender Guide (Transsexual transition). Kindle.
  • M S Lynette Nisbet. Girl Talk. the Transgender Guide for Voice and Feminization. Robertson Publishing.
  • Carollyn Olson. Tricks of the Trade -- A Beginners Guide To Cross Dressing. Kindle.
  • Nick Teich. Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue. Columbia University Press.


  • Joanne Borden. Transgender Complete, A Virtual Handbook . Kindle.
  • Kate Bornstein. My New Gender Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity. Routledge.
  • Des McCabe & Fiona McLeod. Transgender People - Practical Advice, FAQs and Case Studies (Best Practice Guides in Equality and Diversity - The Diversiton Series). New Activity Publication.
  • Isaac West. Transforming Citizenships: Transgender Articulations of the Law (Sexual Cultures). New York University Press.
  • Tasi Zuriak. Top Ten Fashion Mistakes by Crossdressers And How To Fix them. Kindle.


  • Leo Castana. The Transgender Men's Guide to Life: Decision-Making and Goal-Setting while Transitioning Towards Your True Gender. Kindle.
  • Leo Castana. The Transgender Men's Guide to Life: Coming Out and Socially Transitioning Towards Your True Gender. Kindle.
  • Jennifer Corbett. On Becoming a Woman: A Transsexual and Transgender guide for transitioning from male to female. Kindle.
  • Barbara Deloto & Thomas Newgen. Feminizing Men - A Guide for Males to Achieve Maximum Feminization. CreateSpace.
  • Laura Erickson-Schroth (ed). Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community. Oxford University Press
  • Christine Michelle Duffy. Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace: A Practical Guide.
  • Ally Windsor Howell, with a forward by Phyllis Frye. Transgender Persons and the Law. American Bar Association.
  • Jenny Husk. The Ultimate Transgender Before and After Transgender Surgery Survival Guide for Transgender People with Transgender Issues about Transgender Equality. Kindle.
  • Robyn Kelly. One Woman's Story: A Trans-Activist Sourcebook. Kindle.
  • Snow McNally. The Transition Process. Kindle.
  • Carollyn Olson. More Tricks of the Trade -- A Beginners Guide To Cross Dressing. Kindle.
  • Karen M Scarpella. Sharing the Good News: A Positive Model for Coming Out as Transgender. CreateSpace.
  • Jans M Scherpe (ed). The Legal Status of Transsexual and Transgender Persons. Interentia.
  • Michelle Spicer. The Transgender Handbook, Lulu.
  • Dean Thornton (ed). Letters for my Sisters. Transgress Press. "If you could write just one letter to someone who is beginning their gender transition or to your younger, pre-transition self, what would you say?" 35 trans women answer.
  • Isabella van Vence. Frau sein kann Mann lernen: Das Crossdressing Handbuch. Kindle.
  • Zander Keig & Mitch Kellaway (eds). Manning Up: Transsexual Men on Finding Brotherhood, Family, and Themselves. Createspace.


  • Charles Anders. The Lazy Crossdresser. Greenery Press.
  • Anne L Boedecker. The Transgender Workbook: Your Journey to Womanhood. CreateSpace.
  • Joanne Borden. Transgender Complete: A Virtual Handbook. Kindle.
  • Felix Conrad. Autogynephilia - Everyman's Guide to Autogynephilia, Crossdreaming and Late Onset Transsexualism. Lulu.
  • Eli R Green & Luca Maurer. The Teaching Transgender Toolkit: A Facilitator's Guide To Increasing Knowledge, Reducing Prejudice & Building Skills.
  • Anna Kendrick. Transgender: the guy inside. Kindle.
  • Eleanor Nye. Sex Change - Male to Female: An Essential Guide for Understanding the Process of Gender Reassignment Surgery & Getting to Know the New You. Kindle.
  • Eleanor Nye. Sex Change - Female to Male: An Essential Guide for Understanding the Process of Gender Reassignment Surgery & Getting to Know the New You. Kindle.
  • Eleanor Nye. Gender Dysphoria: An Essential Guide for Understanding and Dealing With Gender Identity Disorder. Kindle.
  • Jami Kathleen Taylor & Donald P Haider-Markel (eds). Transgender Rights and Politics: Groups, Issue Framing, and Policy Adoption. University of Michigan Press.
  • Rylan Jay Testa, Deborah Coolhart, Jayme Peta &Arlene Istar Lev. The Gender Quest Workbook: A Guide for Teens and Young Adults Exploring Gender Identity. Instant Help.
  • Deanne Thornton & Andrea James (eds) Letters for My Sisters: Transitional Wisdom in Retrospect. Transgress Press.
  • R O C Tree. Five Things You'll Face as a Pre-Op, Pre-T FTM. Kindle.
  • Claudia Valsecchi. I Fiori della Transizione - Fiori di Bach per il Percorso Transgender. Kindle. 
  • Alexander Walker & Emmett J P Lundberg (eds). Finding Masculinity: Female to Male Transition in Adulthood. Riverdale Avenue Books.
  • TGEU. Know Your Rights!: Activist’s Guide on Trans People’s Rights under EU Law.  PDF
  • TGEU. Know Your Rights!: Guide on Trans People’s Rights under EU Law. PDF


  • Thomas E Bevan. Being Transgender: What You Should Know. Praeger.
  • Vernon Coleman. Men in Bras, Panties and Dresses: The Secret Truths About Transvestites. Kindle. 
  • Felix Conrad. How to Jedi Mindtrick Your Gender Dysphoria.
  • Felix Conrad. Is a Transgender Woman a Woman?.
  • Felix Conrad. Quantum Desire: A Sexological Analysis of Crossdreaming.
  • Trystan Cotton. Below the Belt: Genital Talk by Men of Trans Experience. Transgress Press.
  • Ally Windsor Howell. This is Who We Are: A Guide to Transgenderism and the Laws Affecting Transgender Persons. Ankerwycke.
  • Ally Windsor Howell. Transgender Persons and the Law 2nd Edition. American Bar Association.
  • Jayden James. Making the Most of your Natural Masculinity: A FTM's Guide To Begin Your Transitional Journey. Kindle.
  • Hannah Lane. Transgender Voice Workbook: A voice course for MTF trans people. Kindle.
  • Sky Logan. Transgender Transition: Introduction. Kindle.
  • Sky Logan. Transgender Transition - Quick Start Guidebook. Kindle.
  • Z Nicolazzo. Trans* in College: Transgender Students' Strategies For Navigating Campus Life and the Institutional Politics of Inclusion. Stylus Publishing.
  •  Andrea Pelleschi. Transgender Rights and Issues. Essential Library.
  • Katherine Reilly. The Road to Femininity: A New Life for a New Woman. Akakia Publications.
  • Drake Cameron Sterling. Top Surgery: Unbound: An Insider's Guide to Chest Masculinization Surgery. Sterling OmniMedia.
  • R O C Tree. Coming Out as Transgender. Kindle.
  • Veronica Vera. Miss Vera's Cross Gender Fun for All. Greenery Press.


  • Walter Pierre Bouman & Jon Arcelus. The Transgender Handbook: A Guide for Transgender People, Their Families and Professionals. Nova Science Pub Inc.
  • Candis Cayne. Hi Gorgeous!: Transforming Inner Power into Radiant Beauty. Running Press.
  • Vernon Coleman. Men in Bras, Panties and Dresses: The Secret Truths About Transvestites. Kindle. 
  • Charlie Craggs (ed). To My Trans Sisters. Jessica Kingsley Publishers
  • Jo Green. The Trans Partner Handbook: A Guide for When Your Partner Transitions. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Declan Henry. Trans Voices: Becoming Who You Are. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Mason Daxton. The Transgender Mans Guide to Passing: The book every transgender male needs after coming out. Kindle.
  • Ephraim Das Janssen. Phenomenal Gender: What Transgender Experience Discloses. Indiana University Press.
  • Matthew Mills & Gillie Stoneham. The Voice Book for Trans and Non-Binary People: A Practical Guide to Creating and Sustaining Authentic Voice and Communication. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

22 October 2017

Advice Manuals II 1981-2000


Canadian (auto)biographies
Hoax biographies
(auto)biographies that are almost unobtainable
French and Belgian (auto) biographies and Histories
Biographies with the pre-transition name in the title 
Advice Manuals 1957-1980
Advice Manuals 1981-2000
Advice Manuals 2001-2017
There are many advice manuals for different types of trans person. This list is necessarily incomplete.

Inclusion in this list does not imply that I endorse the contents of any item.

This middle period is notable for the scarcity of publications in the 1980s.   This is the period following Janice Raymond’s diatribe against any form of transgender.   Even writer sympathetic to trans persons such as Liz Hodgkinson and Dave King felt obliged to cite Raymond.   It was also the period after the closure of the Johns Hopkins Gender Identity Clinic, and the legal persecution of doctors such as David Wesser.   And, of course, the coming of AIDS. 

There is recovery in the 1990s.   Most of the authors are associated with the trans peer groups of that time. 

Part II 1980-2000


  • Louis Sullivan. Information for the female to male cross dresser and transsexual. Ingersoll Gender Center. 1st Ed Janus Information Facility.


  • Yvonne Sinclair. Transvestism within a partnership of marriage and families. Transvestite/Transsexual Social Group.


  • Joseph Doucé. La Question transsexuelle. Paris: Luminière et justice.


  • The Brussels Experience. Ingersoll Gender Center.


  • Morgan Holliday & Peter Hawkins. The Morgan Mystique: Morgan Holliday's Essential Guide to Living, Loving and Lip Gloss. Holliday Productions.
  • Peggy J Rudd. Crossdressing With Dignity: The Case for Transcending Gender Lines. Pm Pub.
  • Joanne Altman Stringer. The Transsexual's Survival Guide: To Transition & Beyond. Creative Design Services.
  • Jennifer Anne Stevens. From Masculine to Feminine. Inland Book Co.


  • Dallas Denny. Deciding what to do about your gender dysphoria: Some considerations for those who are thinking about sex reassignment. (AEGIS transition series).
  • Dallas Denny. Deciding what to do about your gender dysphoria: Some considerations for those who are thinking about sex reassignment. (AEGIS transition series)
  • JoAnn Roberts. Coping With Crossdressing: Tools & Strategies for Partners in Committed Relationships. Creative Design Services.


  • The Trinidad Experience. Ingersoll Gender Centre.
  • Jed Bland. The Dual Role Transvestite: a Unique Form of Identity. Derby TV/TS Group.
  • Jed Bland. The Secret Wardrobe. Derby TS/TV Group.
  • Joanne Altman Stringer. The Transsexual's Survival Guide II: To Transition & Beyond for Family, Friends, & Employers. Creative Design Services.


  • Jed Bland. The Gender Paradox: What it Means to be a Transvestite. Derby TV/TS Group.


  • Jed Bland. Transvestism: Four Monograms. Derby TV/TS Group.
  • Dallas Denny. Identity Management in Transsexualism. Creative Design Services.
  • Sheila Kirk, M.D. Hormonal therapy for the male-to-female transgendered individual. IFGE.
  • JoAnn Roberts. Art & Illusion: A Guide to Crossdressing. 4 volumes. Creative Design Services.


  • Sheila Kirk & Martine Rothblatt. Medical, Legal and Workplace Issues For The Transsexual. Together Lifeworks.


  • Mildred L Brown & Chloe Ann Rounsley. True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism : for Families, Friends, Coworkers, and Helping Professionals. Jossey-Bass.
  • Vernon Coleman. Men in dresses : a study of transvestism/crossdressing. European Medical Journal. 
  • Vernon Coleman. Crossdressing: The Path to Male Emancipation. European Medical Journal.
  • Sheila Kirk, M.D. Masculinizing Hormonal Therapy for the Transgendered, Together Lifeworks.
  • Sheila Kirk, M.D. Feminizing hormonal therapy for the transgendered. Together Lifeworks.


  • Alison Laing. Speaking as a Woman. King of Prussia, PA: Creative Design Services.
  • Alison Laing. Speaking as a Woman. VHS 45 mins.
  • Veronica Vera. Miss Vera's Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls. New York: Main Street Books.


  • Kate Bornstein. My Gender Workbook: How to Become the Kind of Man or Woman You Always Thought You Could Be...or Something Else Entirely. Routledge.


  • Vicky Lee. The Tranny Guide. Enfield: Wayout Publishing Co. 336 pp 2000

21 October 2017

Advice Manuals I: 1957-1980


Canadian (auto)biographies
Hoax biographies
(auto)biographies that are almost unobtainable
French and Belgian (auto) biographies and Histories
Biographies with the pre-transition name in the title 

Advice Manuals I: 1957-1979
Advice Manuals II: 1980-2000
Advice Manuals III: 2001-2017

When I first started this encyclopedia in 2007 I included a bibliography of books up to that date. Since then the field has exploded and my bibliography became increasingly out of date – although I did include most of the new books for each year in my year-end review each year. I have now taken down the old bibliography, and bit by bit am rebuilding it.

Advice manuals Part I: 1957-1980

There are many advice manuals for different types of trans person. This list is necessarily incomplete.

Inclusion in this list does not imply that I endorse the contents of any item.

In this early period the genre is not defined. The book by Prince, Roberts and Salem are completely different, although some trans women would have read all all them, as there was nothing else at the time.


  • Virginia Prince.  An Introduction to the Subject of Transvestism or Femmiphilia (Cross-Dressing). Foundation for Full Personality Expression.




  • Michael Salem with Leo Wollman. How to impersonate a woman; a handbook for the male transvestite. New York, M. Salem Enterprises.
  • Michael Salem. How to Impersonate a Woman. VHS. US 60 mins. Michael Salem. The video of the book.


  • Paula Grossman. A Handbook for Transsexuals. Broadview Enterprises Inc.

12 October 2017

Leynon (192? – 195?) performer

Leynon, from Mexico, was a well-known performer in US female-impersonation nightclubs in the 1950s. When Perry Desmond was hired for a first chance as a performer at New Orleans’ My-O-My Club in 1956, Leynon stepped in to help Desmond with make-up and costume.

Desmond records that she was viciously murdered in a transphobic hate crime in Mexico a few years later.

  • Perry Desmond & Dr. R. L. Hymers. Perry: A Transformed Transsexual. Impact Christian Books. 2004: 31-2.

Queer Music Heritage.

24 September 2017

Hanan Al Tawil حنان الطويل actress (1966 – 2004)

Tareq, born and raised in Egypt, was an actor, but felt wrong in the body, so went to Europe for the operation. On return she took the name Hanan Al Tawil, and announced from the stage that she had become a woman.

She was given a small part in the film Abboud Alal Hodood (Abboud on the Borders), directed by Sharif Arafeh. Arafeh then cast her as a school-teacher in Al Nazer (Headmaster).

She moved to comedy theatre, and to straight drama. In the play Hakim Uyoon (Ophthalmologist) she was cast as a young wife suffering from a negligent husband. Her family were quite accepting of her new self.

Hanan died at age 38, possibly from suicide. She had been frequently mocked and harassed, and took it badly.

El Cinema     IMDB


IMDB often becomes quite deficient, the further that it moves from Hollywood.   It lists only one film for Hanan: I Want my Right, 2003.  El Cinema list 6 films.

20 September 2017

Jayne Thomas ( 194? – 2002) psychologist

Jay Thomas grew up in a small town in Indiana, and as a teenager was a national swimming champion.

Despite feeling wrong as a boy, Jay married a woman at age 17, however she had great difficulties with her husband’s transsexual inclinations. Thomas moved to the Los Angeles area and worked as a consultant for movie and television productions and as an engineer psychologist for Hughes Industries, an aircraft development company.

A second wife was more supportive of the trans aspects, and they traveled together as two women. Thomas had children with both wives.

When the second wife passed on in 1985, Thomas felt free to transition. Thomas had been working as a consultant at a large Los Angeles banking firm, and was able to continue there as a woman.

Afterwards she gave counseling to other transsexuals, in accordance with the HBIGDA Standards of Care. In 1988 she took a part-time position in the Psychology Department at the Santa Monica College, where she was a well-regarded teacher who shared her background with the students. She also worked part-time at the Los Angeles Mission College.

With Kate Bornstein, Jayne appeared on the Geraldo television program “Who’s Sorry Now” about post-surgical regret. Kate and Jayne were there in contrast as successful and happy transsexuals.

Jayne was a speaker at the first New Women’s Conference in Essex, Massachusetts in 1991: her talk was reprinted in The Journal of Gender Studies.
“I've made the comment on more than one occasion that I'm a hell of a lot more comfortable with the masculine part of myself now, in female form, than I ever was when I was in male form. I couldn't be androgynous as a male. I can now. Because being male doesn't threaten me now”.
Jayne also gave lectures and presentations at other colleges. From this came the VHS tape Gender Identity: Variations of Expression. At one college presentation, after Thomas spoke of her gender history, an Iranian woman said:
"I knew there was something different about you. I knew it! Women don't walk around the way you do. Women aren't as assertive, as bold as you. Women your age wouldn't generally stand here like this and make a presentation."
Jayne’s son, an aspiring thespian had become involved in dance as a form of creative expression. Jayne met his teacher and also took the course, and found it useful in expressing a new gender. She and the teacher wrote this up and it was included in the Gender Blending anthology edited by the Bulloughs and James Elias.

During the spring semester, 2002 Jayne suffered a stroke and went into a coma. Despite medical care, she died a few months afterwards
  • Jayne Thomas. “Putting Gender Issues in Perspective: The Whole You”. Journal of Gender Studies, 14,1,Winter-Spring 1992: 3-19. Online.
  • Kate Bornstein. Gender outlaw: on men, women, and the rest of us. Vintage Book, 1995: 81.
  • Jayne Thomas & Toby Green. Gender Identity: Variationsof Expression. VHS Tape, 1995.
  • Loren M. Wingert, CPA. “Coming Out: Transitioning Successfully On the Job”. Transgender Tapestry, 78, Winter 1996: D3. Online.
  • Jayne Thomas & Annette Cardona. “The Use of Dance/Movement in the Adjustment to a New Gender Role” in Bonnie Bullough, Vern L. Bullough & James Elias. Gender Blending. Prometheus Books, 1997: 405-412.
  • Daniel Harju. “Teacher Fights For Her Life: SMC instructor shared perspectives on human sexuality and personal life experiences”. Corsair, 84, 11, 13 November 2002. Online.
  • Jeffrey S Nevid & Spencer A Rathus. Psychology and the Challenges of Life, Binder Ready Version: Adjustment and Growth. 13th Edition. Wiley, 2016:404-5, 407.

Melanie Yarborough

17 September 2017

Noor Talbi نور طلبي dancer, model, actress (1969 - )

Noureddine Talbi was born in Agadir, and was raised in Hay Mohammedi, outside Casablanca. Talbi was good at languages and also a teenage athlete and won gold medals in the 110 and 440-metre hurdles at the national level, but was more interested in dancing, which was done at first in the family setting, and in imitation of the dance sequences in Egyption films.

Talbi left for Spain at 18, and then France where she found work on the fashion catwalks. Her name was now Noor (shortened from Noureddine, a unisex name that means ‘light’ in Arabic).

Back in Morocco she founded her own fashion brand … but she still wanted to dance. She studied oriental dance under renowned choreographers. Initially she was snubbed, as are all artists initially, and there were rumours about her gender history. However she persisted, and performed at shows, charity galas, weddings.

Her sister acted as her manager – until she got married. Noor has adopted a child. She sent her mother on the Hajj in 2002, and wants to go herself.
“I am a strong believer; I pray five times a day, I am very close to God."
Noor became one of the best known oriental dancers in Morocco. She also dances the kabuki, the hindi, the woolof and the charqi. She can speak French, English, Spanish, Italian and three Arabic dialects: the Moroccan darija, the Lebanese and the Egyptian. She is 1.85m (6'1"), a full 2 metres in heels. She had surgery in Egypt.

She has starred in films, headlined weddings for the rich, and is a regular at big events such as the Marrakech International Film Festival, run after by the paparazzi. She teaches dance in Rabat and Casablanca, and has performed in the US, Australia and Japan.  However she chooses not to work with LGBT activists despite being asked.

However Morocco refuses to reissue her identity card, and state television continues to ban her.
'If I wasn't such a strong woman, religious, humanly and social, another might have killed herself'.

FR.Wikipedia       IMDB

14 September 2017

Sylvia Rivera Part V: Later Years

Part I: beginnings
Part II:  GAA & Weinstein Hall
Part III: Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries
Part IV:  Other activities to 1973
Part V:  Later years

Sylvia retreated to Tarrytown on the northern edge of New York City where she worked as a food services manager with the Marriott Corporation. With her husband Frank she bought a house, but they lost it after taking up crack.

She was discovered by David Isay for his radio program, Remembering Stonewall which was broadcast on the 20th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in 1989. She was then interviewed by Martin Duberman and featured in his book, Stonewall, as a major participant.

Allyson Allanta, Sylvia, Ivana Valentin at Stonewall 26.
She joined the executive of the Stonewall Veterans Association.

She took it badly when Marsha was found dead in the Hudson River off the West Village Piers in 1992. In 1995 she herself attempted suicide by walking into the river.

From 1997 Sylvia lived at Transy House, the home of Rusty Mae Moore and Chelsea Godwin (who had been in the earlier S.T.A.R.). She was an alcoholic at this time, but after discussions with Rusty and Chelsea, she went cold turkey. She renewed her political activism, giving speeches concerning the need for unity among trans persons, and their position at the forefront of the GLBT movement.
Sylvia took up with a trans woman Julia Murray, and they became a couple.

She was active in New York’s Metropolitan Community Church, where she became the director at the food pantry.

Lee Brewster died in 2000, and Sylvia wrote an obituary, but none of the gay papers would print it.

Later that year she went to Italy for the Millenium March (the first WorldPride), and was acclaimed as the Mother of all gay people.

In 2001 she revived STAR (this time with T=transgender) and they fought for the New York City Transgender Rights Bill and for a trans-inclusive New York State Sexual Orientation Non Discrimination Act. They also agitated for justice for Amanda Milan, a trans woman who had been killed on the street 20 June 2000. Sylvia still had to fight with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the Empire State Pride Agenda (ESPA) who were neglecting trans issues. She was still negotiating with ESPA on her deathbed.

She died in 2002, with Julia at her side, of complications from cancer of the liver at age 50.

In her honor: MCC New York's queer youth shelter is called Sylvia's Place; In 2005, the corner of Christopher and Hudson Streets was renamed Rivera Way; the Sylvia Rivera Law Project is dedicated
"to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination or violence".
*Not known to be related to Birdy Rivera, or René Rivera (Mario Montez).

Sylvia is included in the 2002 anthology GenderQueer, and this is very appropriate, and in retrospect was timely as she died the same year. She had been on external hormones as a teenager, but discontinued. Unlike Virginia Prince, who also discontinued hormones and abandoned her intention to gain surgery, Sylvia remained positive about those who continued the journey:  In her article she says:
“I thought about having a sex change, but I decided not to. I feel comfortable being who I am. That final journey many of the transwomen and transmen make is a big journey. It’s a big step and and I applaud them, but I don’t think I could ever make that journey. Maybe it comes of my prejudice when so many in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s ran up to the chop shop at Yonkers General. They would get a sex change and a month, maybe six months, later they’d kill themselves because they weren’t ready. Maybe that made me change my mind.”

In 1970-2, Sylvia corrected those who who referred to her as a 'drag queen', and preferred the word ‘transvestite’. However in her essay for GenderQueer, she used ‘drag queen’.  This of course creates some confusion with respect to the 1973 pride march in that the Club 82 performers were drag queens in a very different sense.

Sylvia was lucky in those who wrote about her: Arthur Bell, David Isay, Martin Duberman; and it is the media construction resulting from these three writers that is most of her legend.  So let us return to the question raised in Part I:  was she actually at the first night of the Stonewall riots?  Arthur Bell was in Europe with his lover Arthur Evans that summer, and says nothing about Stonewall in his book, Dancing the Gay Lib Blues, 1971, although he publicized her trial for soliciting signatures on a petition for gay rights, and later her involvement in StarHouse.   It is presumably the fame resulting from this that led David Isay and Martin Duberman to include her in their accounts of Stonewall.   On the other hand the carefully researched book by David Carter and Stephan Cohen conclude that she was not there.   If so, why did she say that she was?    Perhaps she did not want to disappoint them?  In her final writing, the essay in GenderQueer, she carefully says that 'we' (that is street queens) were at Stonewall, but does not say that 'I' was.  If she were not, it was rather bold of her to be on the executive of the  Stonewall Veterans Association.

It does not matter if Sylvia were not at Stonewall.  Her actions as recounted in this series justify her place in history in either case.

I mainly followed Stephan L. Cohen. The Gay Liberation Youth Movement in New York: 'an Army of Lovers Cannot Fail'.   This is certainly the best book on Sylvia and on New York gay lib in the early 1970s.   I got it from the library, but it is a shame that, being published by Routledge, it is so expensive.   The hardback is US$130/C$167/£110.00; the paperback:  US$43/C$57/£35.
  • Arthur Bell & Sylvia Rivera. “Chris: Gay Prisoner in Bellevue.” Gay Flames, Nov. 14, 1970: 1, 2, 7. Online.
  • Arthur Bell. “STAR Trek: Transvestites in the street.” Village Voice, July 15, 1971, 1, 46.
  • “March on Albany”. Drag, 1,3, 1971 : 30, 32-3. Online.
  • Arthur Bell. Dancing the Gay Lib Blues: A Year in the Homosexual Liberation Movement. Simon & Schuster, 1971: 60-5, 88, 113-5, 118-120, 122-3, 145-6, 157-8, 176, 191.
  • Sylvia Rivera. “In a World of Darkness.” Come Out 2, No. 7b, Spring/Summer 1971, 17.
  • Sylvia Lee Rivera. “Transvestites: Your Half Sisters and Half Brothers of the Revolution.” Come Out 2, No. 8, Winter 1972, 10.
  • “Drags and TVs Join the March”. Drag, 3,11, 1973: 4-11,44. Online.
  • Rey “Sylvia Lee” Rivera. “The Drag Queen” in Eric Marcus. Making History: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights, 1945-1990 : an Oral History. HarperPerennial, 1992: 187-196.
  • Martin B Duberman. Stonewall. Plume, 1994: 20-24, 65-71, 117,122-8, 182-3,,190-3,195-6,198,201,202-3,235-9, 246, 251-5, 259, 262-5, 282, 287, 280, 282, 285n10, 300n40, 308n46, 313n83-4, 314-5n94.
  • David Isay, with photographs by Harvey Wang. Holding On: Dreamers, Visionaries, Eccentrics and Other American Heroes. New York : W.W. Norton, 1995. Contains a chapter on Sylvia.
  • Leslie Feinberg. Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue. Boston: Beacon Press. 1998: 96-7, 106-9.
  • David Isay, with a photograph by Harvey Wang. “Sylvia Rivera”. New York Times Magazine. June 27, 1999. Online.
  • Michael Bronski. “Sylvia Rivera: 1951-2002: No longer on the back of the bumper”. ZMag. April. 2002.
  • Sylvia Rivera. “Queens in Exile, The Forgotten Ones”. In Joan Nestle, Clare Howell & Riki Wilchins (eds). GenderQueer: Voices from Beyond the Sexual Binary. Alyson Books 297 pp 2002.
  • Dora Francese (dir). Sylvia, rimembri ancora? Scr: Adi Gianuario, with Sylvia Rivera. Italy 21 mins 2001.
  • Bebe Scarpinato & Rusty Moore. “Sylvia Rivera”. Transgender Tapestry, 98, Summer 2002: 34-8. Online.
  • “Sylvia Rae Rivera”. Stonewall Veterans.
  • Paul D Cain. “David Carter: Historian of The Stonewall Riots”. Gay Today, 07/01/04.
  • Victoria I. Muñoz. "Fabulous Resistance: Carmen Miranda, Sylvia Rivera, and Queer Latinidad" National Women's Studies Association Conference. 2005.
  • Stephan L. Cohen. The Gay Liberation Youth Movement in New York: 'an Army of Lovers Cannot Fail'. Routledge, 2008: 2, 8-9, 35-6, 37, 38, 39, 40, 56-8, 89 -92, 93-4, 96, 97-8, 101-7, 108, 109-118, 119, 121-137, 140, 141, 143, 144, 145-6, 148, 152, 153154-9, 161-2, 196, 197, 244n6, 245n19, 255n270