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!

16 April 2018

The first Canadian surgical transsexual?

By some accounts trans history in Canada starts in 1962 when Jackie Shane was doing her gender ambiguous act at Toronto's Sapphire Tavern; legal secretary Dianna Boileau was arrested and outed after her best friend was killed in a car accident; Marie-Marcelle Godbout arrived in Montréal to start living as female; and  the Soeurs-du-Sacré-Coeur pushed the police to charge trans entertainer Lana St-Cyr with giving an indecent performance.

However, eight years earlier in August 1954, a trans woman became the third North American to seek surgery in Copenhagen.   In the footsteps of Christine Jorgensen and Charlotte McLeod she arrived in Denmark.  As had Charlotte McLeod a year earlier she found that the Folketing had passed a new law restricting sex-change operations to Danish nationals.   She self-castrated in her hotel room, forcing the medical authorities to step in. 

We do not know her name, or what happened to her afterwards, either in Denmark or in Canada.

Ottawa Citizen?, 19 August 1954. 

Tina Thranesen of the very informative trans history site Vidensbanken om kønsidentitet (in Danish) has provided the corresponding article from Ekstra Blatet, also 19 August 1954.

Her translation:


Canadian, rejected by Copenhagen doctors, taken to hospital after desperate action

A young Canadian came to Copenhagen recently for the purpose of being transformed into a woman. He had heard that Danish doctors had done this miracle with others, among them the often mentioned Chris Jorgensen.
But since then it has been forbidden to do this kind of operation on foreigners, and the Canadian was therefore rejected by the doctors he addressed.
It depressed the Canadian terribly that no-one would help him, and he has therefore performed a desperate act. In a hotel room in Frederiksberg he operated on himself with a regular knife with the result that he has now been hospitalized at Frederiksberg Hospital. His condition is quite critical, it is said.
There is, as will be remembered, something similar in the past. An American citizen, who had been rejected by Copenhagen doctors, also took an intervention on himself, which almost cost him his life. He got up, and a doctor in Frederiksberg later made an operation on him in his private consultation room.
The doctor is Emil Petersen, who during the investigation has claimed that it was only compassion that caused him to operate the American, known as McLeod.
He is, however, charged with violation of the Castration Act.

09 April 2018

Caitlin R Kiernan (1964–) novelist

Kiernan started life as Kenneth R Wright in Dublin, and a few years later moved to Leeds outside Birmingham, Alabama, with his mother, Susan Ramsey Cleveland.

Susan, an avid reader, introduced Wright to Edgar Allen Poe and Bram Stoker. Wright also became strongly interested in paleontology, and as a teenager, volunteered at the Red Mountain Museum where fossils of Cretaceous mosasaurs, extinct seagoing reptiles, could be seen in the rock. Wright also spent several summers on archaeological and paleontological digs.

After studying geology and vertebrate paleontology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Colorado at Boulder, Wright then held both museum and teaching positions at the Red Mountain Museum, and published in paleontology journals, mainly on mosasaurs.

By 1992 Wright had transitioned, and was using the name Caitlin R Kiernan. She wrote her first novel, The Five of Cups, but it was not published until a decade later. Caitlin continued to be published in paleontology journals using her new name.

Her 1995 short story “Persephone” was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award by the Horror Writers of America, and led to Neil Gaiman and the editors of DC/Vertigo Comics asking her to write The Dreaming, an anthology comic book spun off from Gaiman's popular Sandman, featuring both existing supporting characters from Gaiman's title and new ones of Kiernan's own creation.

Her first published novel, Silk, came out in 1998. It was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award and British Fantasy Award and won the International Horror Guild Award for Best First Novel. More novels, short stories and comics followed. Her most acclaimed novel to date is The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, published in 2012 and set in Providence, Rhode Island.

Like HP Lovecraft, a major influence, Caitlin lives in Providence with her wife. She describes herself as an atheist pagan.

Caitlin has used the Red Mountain cut, as a setting for four of her novels – Silk (1998), Threshold (2001), Low Red Moon (2003), and, to a lesser extent, Murder of Angels (2004).
She has also written as Kathleen Tierney.
Encyclopedia of Alabama     EN.Wikipedia    EN.Wikipedia(Bibliography)    Wikiquote     Amazon Author Page     Queeraday    LocusMag    LiveJournal

Of the people whom I have featured in this encyclopedia, Caitlin is one of the few listed as a notable in the Wikipedia article on her home town.

05 April 2018

Aurora (1873? - ?) hairdresser, sex worker

Aurora arrived in Buenos Aires, from Paraguay, in the late 1890s.

He quickly drifted into prostitution, however was arrested only when found brawling in cafes, or when dressed as a female. He was persuaded to become a women’s hair stylist, and as such found work in bordellos. He was arrested several times, but there was never enough evidence for a conviction.

One time Aurora was placed in ‘preventative arrest’ after clients at a costume ball in a bordello became angry in that she was too realistic as a woman.

Aurora’s life history was taken by Dr Francisco de Veyga, and published in 1903. In it she asserts that she was born a marica. De Veyga avoided referring to Aurora as a prostitute: he called her a ‘professional’. He regarded Aurora as having an acquired mental disorientation caused by a misunderstanding of female sexuality.
  • Francisco de Veyga. "La inversión sexual adquirida. Tipo de invertido profesional. Tipo de invertido por sugestión. Tipo de invertido por causa de decaimiento mental", Archivos de Psiquiatría y Criminología aplicadas a las ciencias afines. Medicina Legal. Sociología. Derecho. Psicología. Pedagogía, año 2, 1903: .193-208.
  • Donna J Guy. Sex and Danger in Buenos Aires: Prostitution, Family, and Nation in Argentina. University of Nebrasca Press, 1991:86.
  • Jorge Salessi. “The Argentine Dissemination of Homosexuality, 1890-1914”. Journal of the History of Sexuality, 4,3,Jan 1994: 356, 359-363. .
  • Osvaldo Bazán. La historia de la homosexualidad en la Argentina: De la Conquista al siglo XXI. Marea, 2006: 127.
  • Kristen Loehr. Tranvestites in Buenos Aires: Prostitution, Poverty & Policy. MA Thesis, Georgetown University, 2007: 30.
  • Matthew J Edwards. Queer Argentina: Movement Towards the Closet in a Global Time. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017: 13-7.
  • María Belén Ciancio & Alejandra Gabriele. “El archivo positivista como dispositivo visual-verbal. Fotografía, feminidad anómala y fabulación”. Mora (Buenos Aires), 18,1, ene/jul 2012. Online.


Francisco de Veyga writing in 1903, several years before Hirschfeld's Die Transvestiten, 1910, uses the word 'travestida' (tranvestite). 

31 March 2018

Angelina Mead King (1980–) scion of motel business, car racer.

Ian King was the son of Archimedes King (1953 - 2015), the owner of the Victoria Court chain of motels in the Philippines, himself the son of Angelo King (1927 - ), a Chinese-Filipino who established the Anito Lodge chain of motels.

Ian became a well-known sports car enthusiast, and an executive in his father’s business. In 2006 he was introduced to Joey Mead (1976 - ), the prominent Filipino model of Iranian descent who was raised in Australia. A few months into the relationship he mentioned that he liked to wear female clothes. Joey was supportive, and took him shopping for female clothes.

They were married in the US in 2011. They were open to their families re Ian that is Angelina. Archimedes was initially reluctant to accept it, but came round.

Archimedes died in a helicopter crash in July 2015.

A few months after that King saw an endocrinologist and was started on a prescription for hormones.
image on Istagram
In July 2016, an until-then private Instagram account with the handle @hailtothe_queen_ went public and thereby it was announced to the world that Ian, now to be known as Angelina, was trans. There was general support even from the motor racing community. She owns 20 cars, mainly in Manila, but also in Los Angeles and Germany.


There is of course a lot of class privilege here.  The ordinary Filipino Bakla or Bayot would not be given the same degree of acceptance, and far from storing part of her car collection in LA, would find it very difficult to even get a visa at all.