BC -- Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut
ascends to the throne, the second Egyptian queen to rule (the first
was Queen Sobekneferu of the 12th Dynasty). Learning from the disfavor
shown to her predecessor, she dons male clothing and a false beard
signifying kingship, and reigns until 1482 B.C. She has one daughter,
Neferure, who she grooms as successor (male clothing, false beard
and all), but Neferure does not live into adulthood.
date, BC -- The cities of Sodom
and Gomorrah are destroyed by a natural disaster interpreted
as an act of God. This disaster is often referred to as a rain of
fire, possibly an indication of volcanic activity. Interpretations
of the motive for this destruction, however, differ. In all accounts,
a character named Lot (or Lut) figures. In the Biblical texts, Lot
is earlier recorded to have incestuous relationships with his daughters,
but later is considered righteous enough that he is given advance
warning in order to escape. In Arabic texts, Lut is considered a
prophet, but is also considered responsible for the development
of the "sin of Sodom." Classical texts of the time do
not specifically indicate the "sin of Sodom" as being
homosexuality (although one of the words used can be translated
as homosexuality just as it can be interpreted as a number of other
possibilities), and some pre-translation Biblical passages and early
Hebrew texts point to it being more a sin of inhospitality and selfish
attitudes about property. Like all ancient enigmas, it may be impossible
to ever recover the true story.
Century to 1st Century BC -- In the Greek Hippocratic
Corpus (collection of medical texts), physicians propose that
both parents secrete male or female "bodies" and that
if the father's secretion is female (rather than male) and the mother's
is male, the result would either be a "man-woman" (effeminate
male) or a "mannish" female. [I have not been able
to locate original texts or studies of them to determine if this
is an attempt to classify homosexuality / bisexuality or an indication
of some familiarity with intersex conditions -- Mercy]
60 AD -- Emperor Nero reportedly has a young slave boy,
Sporus, castrated (eunuching, in early times, was believed to be
the primary mechanism of gender change -- "eunuchs" ranged
in form from males whose testicles had been removed to those also
given a total penectomy), and takes him as a wife in a legal public
ceremony. Sporus is from then on clothed as an Empress, and accompanies
Nero as such.
- 222 AD -- Roman Emperor Elgabalus
(or Heliogabalus), who ascends the throne in 218, becomes known
for wearing makeup, eccentric habits, behaving as a prostitute,
and numerous bisexual escapades. He reportedly offers a large reward
to any physician who can give him female genitalia, a reward which
is apparently never collected (although this may be urban myth).
18th Century -- The epithet "Molly" originates
with "molly houses," a term for effeminate gay brothels.
The woman's name itself seems to originate as a combination of the
female name Mary with the Latin "mollis," meaning soft,
-- The first openly lesbian and transgendered person, Charlotte
Clarke, comes out by publishing, A Narrative of the Life of
Mrs. Charlotte Clarke (Youngest Daughter of Colley Cibber, Esq.).
In the autobiography, Clarke, a flamboyant cross-dressing actress
during a time in which male impersonation was a popular form of
entertainment (even if still very much taboo), relates many scandalous
things, including her relationship with her "wife," "Mrs.
Brown." Although quite famous after this publication, Clarke
passes away three years later, penniless and destitute.
-- French spy and diplomat Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée
Éon de Beaumont (October 5, 1728 - May 21, 1810), usually
known as the Chevalier
d'Eon is allowed to return to France on the condition that she
live and dress as a woman. Earlier in 1756, the Chevalier had posed
as a woman for several years to gain the friendship of Empress Elizabeth
of Russia. Throughout her life, there would be ongoing speculation
as to the Chevalier's physical gender, which would be determined
as male after her death (the predominant opinion had previously
been that she was female).
Barbin is studied by her doctor, who discovers that the intersexed
woman has a small penis, with testicles inside her body. Barbin
is declared legally male against her wishes, becomes the subject
of much scandal for having previously taught in a girl's school,
moves to Paris but continues to live in poverty, and ultimately
commits suicide in 1868.
James Barry dies, and is discovered to have female sexual characteristics.
He had been a surgeon with the British Army, and had been passing
as male since at least 1809.
Ulrichs (who relates in his memoirs that as a child, he wore
girls' clothing, wanted to be a girl and most enjoyed playing with
other girls) becomes the first "Uranian" (he refers to
"Urning" as a male who desires men, and "Dioning"
as a male who is attracted to women -- it is not until two years
later that Karl-Maria Kertbeny coins the word "homosexual")
to speak out publicly in defence of GLBT causes, when pleading at
the Congress of German Jurists in Munich for a repeal of anti-homosexual
laws. He goes on to self-finance the publication of many advocative
works written by himself, before finally retiring in exile, in Italy.
-- Karl Friedrich Otto Westphal publishes the first medical paper
on transsexuality, describing two cases of what he termed "die
contraire Sexualempfindung" ("contrary sexual feeling"),
one being a male transvestite (the other was a lesbian)
-- Eugene Schuyler visits Turkestan and observes that, "here
boys and youths specially trained take the place of the dancing-girls
of other countries." The Bacchá
are androgynous or cross-dressing Turkish underclass boys, trained
in erotic dance, but also available as prostitutes. This tradition
continues until around or shortly after WWI.
Benjamin (January 12, 1885 – August 24, 1986) meets Magnus
Hirschfeld (May 14, 1868 - May 14, 1935) for the first time.
Although it would be some time before Benjamin would actively research
transsexuality, the two men would become the field's pioneers.
Hirschfeld coins the term "transvestite."
-- In a dictionary of criminal slang published in Portland, Oregon,
the word "faggot" is first seen as applied to the GLBT
community, with the usage example, "All the fagots (sissies)
will be dressed in drag at the ball tonight." The word originally
appeared in Modern English in the 13th Century, meaning a bundle
of sticks (derived from the French). By 16th Century, it meant bundles
used for firewood, for the purpose of burning at the stake. A shortened
version "fag" is adopted as a British colloquialism for
cigarette, and is later (1923) also adopted in print as an epithet
for gay and transgender practices, which at that time are all thought
to be interlinked.
Hirschfeld founds the Institute for Sexology in Berlin, Germany.
This would be the first clinic to serve transgendered people regularily
and develop their study.
-- Jonathan Gilbert publishes Homosexuality and Its Treatment,
which includes the story of "H," later revealed to be
a Portland physician. Dr. Alan
Hart "transitioned" by having a hysterectomy and proceeding
to live as male, in 1917. The lesbian community would later proclaim
Hart to be a pioneer and classify his decision to live as a man
as being an accomodation to social prejudice and coercion by a heterosexual
doctor, rather than accepting any explaination of transsexuality.
However, an examination of the central characters in Hart's novels
reveals many of the common themes and feelings that transsexuals
Although a few
surgeons had already carried out some incomplete sex reassignment
surgeries previously (primarily removing the existing sex organs,
not creating new ones), 1920 also saw the first complete surgeries
for MTF transsexuals. These took place at Magnus
Hirschfeld's Institute for Sexology by Drs. Ludwig Levy-Lenz
and Felix Abraham.
-- Recognizing some of the differences from transvestites, Magnus
Hirschfeld introduces the term "transsexual."
and 1930s -- Carl
Jung proposes the idea of Animus and Anima, that every male
has some of the feminine in his unconscious (Anima), and every female
has some of the masculine (Animus).
-- The first transgender-themed play, Mae
West's The Drag, debuts in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
It moves on to New Jersey, but fails to make it to Broadway, largely
because it is forced to close after West's arrest for appearing
in her first Broadway hit, Sex. Although West originally
defends The Drag by saying that she intended the play to
call attention to homosexuality as a "disease," she later
becomes a sort-of GLBT activist. The play alludes to the writings
Ulrichs, and West later goes on to famously tell policemen who
were raiding a gay bar, "Don't you know you're hitting a woman
in a man's body?"
Woolf's novel Orlando:
A Biography is published, chronicling the story of a man
who decides not to grow old. He doesn't, but he awakes one day in
the body of a young woman, and lives out a lifetime as her before
waking as a man. The remaining centuries up to the time the book
was written are seen through a woman's eyes.
link; Marie Magdalene Dietrich von Losch; December 27, 1901
– May 6, 1992) moves from German Cabaret to American film
with her debut in Morocco. As the '30s progress, she becomes
infamous for dressing in male attire, and gradually brings this
penchant to fashion and film -- ultimately making it acceptable
for women to wear pants and other masculine forms of clothing. Reportedly,
she was quite persistent on changing into male attire offstage,
and rumors circulated of lesbian relationships -- although she has
never been fully established as identifying as male.
1930 also saw
the transition of Lili Elbe, formerly Einar Wegener, a Danish painter
and the first publically-known recipient of an SRS surgery. This
became a major public scandal in Germany and Denmark, and the King
of Denmark invalidated her marriage that October. She was fully
intent on being someday able to conceive a child, and this drove
her surgeons to try far-reaching techniques -- she actually endured
five surgeries in this process (the first was to remove the male
genitals, the second to transplant ovaries -- although she did have
underdeveloped ones of her own -- the third was unspecified, the
fourth to remove the ovaries due to serious complications and the
fifth being a "vaginaplasty"). She died in 1931, probably
from complications from her final surgery, although rumors persisted
that she had faked her death in order to live in peace.
-- Dr. Felix Abraham publishes Genital Reassignment of Two Male
Transvestites, detailing those first MTF SRS surgeries in 1923.
-- Harry Benjamin
arranges a speaking tour for Magnus
Hirschfeld in the United States.
-- A few months after Hitler assumed power in Germany, the Institute
for Sexual Science is vandalized and looted by a mob of Nazi "students."
On May 6th, its archives of books, photographs, research documents
and more are burned publically in Opera Square. The physicians and
researchers involved with the clinic flee Germany, or in some cases
commit suicide, unable to otherwise escape. Magnus
Hirschfeld had moved to Paris by this time, and dies in exile
in Nice, of a heart attack on his 67th birthday.
-- The Pink Triangle is first used as a symbol to denote people
of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered orientations. Prisoners
in Nazi concentration camps are made to wear triangular patches
identifying their status: green for criminals, yellow for Jews,
red for Communists, blue for illegal emigres, purple for Jehovah's
Witnesses, black for "antisocials," brown for gypsies,
and pink for "homosexuals." In the hierarchy that developed,
pink was near the bottom, and GLBT persons suffered extremely high
death rates and were commonly used in medical experiments. In the
1970s, the Pink Triangle would become a symbol of defiance and solidarity
in the GLBT community.
-- Di-Ethyl Stilbestrol (DES)
is introduced into chicken feed as a means of increasing meat production.
Later, it is marketed to pregnant women as a "vitamin"
to help prevent miscarriages (an unsubstantiated claim). Prescriptions
for this purpose ceased in 1973, because by the 1970s, this drug
became linked to endometriosis, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer and
infertility in female children, and more recently to intersex
conditions and transsexuality.
(conjugated estrogens from pregnant mares) is first marketed in
Canada (the U.S. follows in two years).
The phrase "drag
queen" first appears in print, although it had been
used as theater and gay culture slang as early as the 1870s, and
"drag" appeared alone in print in 1914. It is thought
to be a shortening of "dressed as girl," versus
the alternately used "drab," from "dressed
-- Dr. Harry Klinefelter first diagnoses Klinefelter's
Syndrome, a condition caused by a chromosome nondisjunction
in males; affected individuals have a pair of X sex chromosomes
instead of just one, and are associated with additional risk for
some medical conditions. Patients with Klinefelter's Syndrome can
be (but are not always) characterized by effeminate appearance,
sterility, some gynecomastia
and occasional transgenderism.
-- The Garden
of Allah opens in the basement of the Arlington Hotel, in Seattle's
Pioneer Square. It is not the first gay cabaret club, but becomes
fairly well-known and is chronicled in the book, An Evening
at the Garden of Allah: A Gay Cabaret in Seattle.
-- Harry Benjamin
is introduced by Alfred
Kinsey to a boy who wants to become a girl, and whose mother
seeks a treatment to assist, rather than thwart the child. The following
year, he begins treating transsexuals in San Francisco and New York
with hormones. The Institute for Sexual Science had not previously
done this; the treatment was entirely new.
-- Michael Dillon becomes the first female-to-male transsexual to
complete sex-change operation procedures after a series of 13 pre-phalloplasty
operations performed in London over a four-year period. Phalloplasty
for FTM transsexuals would not be coherently developed until 1958.
Jorgensen (May 30, 1926 – May 3, 1989) is "outed"
to the American press, and becomes the subject of great controversy.
Her surgery had been performed two years earlier by Dr. Christian
Hamburger in Copenhagen, Denmark. She hadn't wanted to become a
public spectacle, but spent her remaining years educating people
-- Ed Wood
Jr.'s film Glen or Glenda appears, providing a surprisingly
sincere attempt to understand transgenderism, despite its bizarre
and schlocky B-movie trappings. Purportedly inspired by Christine
Jorgensen. Wood would later become rather famous in Hollywood
circles as being a transvestite.
-- Dr. John Money,
a psychologist, writes the first of many papers in the Bulletin
of the Johns Hopkins Hospital which will establish for him
a reputation as a pioneer in the field of sexual development, and
a proposes the theory that gender identity develops primarily as
a result of social learning from early childhood.
Edna Everidge (alternate
link) first appears in a Melbourne comedy revue in 1955. At
this time she is known as "Mrs Norm Everage". She goes
on to become an Australian figure of note in the 1990s.
-- The first complete Phalloplasty
for gender reassignment purposes is performed by Dr. Judy T. Wu
in Bratsk, Russia. Previously, the procedure had only been devised
for men who had experienced amputations, particularily during WWI,
with some early attempts to develop FTM procedures in the decade
preceeding. Phalloplasty would still not become very refined until
the 1970s, when additional aspects such as a pump for creating erections
would be devised for injured Vietnam veterans. Phalloplasty for
female-to-male transsexuals is more complicated for someone not
having the original infrastructure, as the organ and its function
are not easy to replicate mechanically. Dr. Wu's procedure is developed
from the 1949 process used on Michael Dillon.
(Charles) Prince begins publishing Transvestia Magazine.
She also founds Los Angeles' Hose and Heels Club and another
organization that develops into Tri-Ess
("The Society for the Second Self"). These organizations
are thought to be the first modern transgender support groups, and
the magazine is the first publication for and by transgender people.
She proceeds with a strong belief, however, in "heterosexual
crossdressing" (i.e. crossdressers who are only attracted to
women) and excludes "gay" or "bisexual" crossdressers
from her groups, as well as transitioning transsexuals. Prince eventually
goes on to live full-time as female, but Tri-Ess still does not
allow full membership for gay men or MTF transsexuals to this day.
Sarria becomes the first transgender-identified person to run
for public office. A legendary drag queen, Sarria received 5,600
votes when running for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Sarria
(who still identified as male, at least at the time) proclaimed
himself "Her Royal Majesty, Empress of San Francisco, Jose
I, The Widow Norton," the latter being a reference to the 19th
Norton, who had colorfully proclaimed himself Emperor of the
United States. This led to the 1965 founding of the Imperial
Court System, a non-profit charitable organization of mostly
drag queens that continues to this day to raise funds and awareness
for other charities and people in need. Based on Sarria's model,
another Court materialized in Vancouver, Canada in 1971, followed
by many more in many major cities across North America. Sarria also
later appears with other drag queens in the opening portion of the
motion picture, To Wong Foo: Thanks For Everything -- Julie
-- David Reimer
is born (named Bruce, by his parents). The following year, his penis
is burned up to the base during a circumcision accident. He was
taken to the Johns
Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore to see John
Money. Money recommended that Reimer be raised as a girl. An
orchidectomy was performed, and Reimer was raised with the name
-- Harry Benjamin
publishes The Transsexual Phenomenon. Although he hadn't
coined the word "transsexual," it became the term of choice
following this publication.
Hopkins Medical Center opens the first Gender Clinic, under
guidance. Although Money's beliefs and writings cause severe damage
with regards to intersex children and gender reassignment at birth,
he also champions gender reassignment surgery (SRS) in adults, and
the clinic becomes the mecca for gender transition. Much of the
surgical work from this time would pioneer SRS techniques. Money's
legacy would be a mixed blessing / curse to the transgender cause.
One hot August
night in San Francisco, the management at Gene
Compton's Cafeteria call police to deal with an unruly table
of transpeople, hustlers, and down-and-outers (a typical segment
of their clientele). When they attempt to arrest one of the drag
queens, she throws coffee in his face, and a riot ensues, spilling
out into the street. Although transgender (and gay pride) activism
wouldn't be galvanized until the Stonewall riot of 1969, the Compton's
riot would help set the stage for the gay pride movement, as well
as be a spark to draw the San Francisco GLBT communities together
earlier than elsewhere, making the city a cultural mecca for alternate
sexualities. The story of Comton's Cafeteria is not well known,
but told in the documentary
Screaming Queens (alternate
link). After the riot, (now-Sgt.) Elliot
Blackstone, who had been appointed the first liaison to the
GLBT community in 1962, educates many on the Police force, helping
the city to become one of the most trans-friendly environments in
the world. He also helps to organize San Francisco's first transgender
1960s through the '70s -- Reed
Erickson (1917 – 1992) founds the Erickson Educational
Foundation, which supports many research projects that don’t
fit into the usual catagories of grants... parapsychology, dolphin
/ human communication, human potential movement, and transsexuality.
Erickson's financial support makes much of the work of Harry
Money's Gender Clinic at Johns
Hopkins Medical Center possible.
-- The International Olympic Committee
(IOC) begins chromosome testing of female athletes, effectively
banning transsexuals and some intersexed individuals (some of whom
were fertile as female, with children) from competition, until 2002.
also begin opening clinics for treating transsexuals; the first
surgeries are performed on non-intersexed transsexuals.
-- Sylvia Rivera
(2 July 1951–19 February 2002) throws a bottle at New York
City cops harrassing patrons at Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969;
P. Johnson (1945 - July 6, 1992 -- Johnson is one of the many
we remember during the Transgender
Day of Remembrance) and several others join in, and the Stonewall
Riots touch off the Gay and Lesbian Liberation movements (in
other retellings, Johnson throws the first projectile). A founding
member of both the Gay
Liberation Front and the Gay
Activists Alliance, by 1974, those organizations would abandon
her, seeing transgendered people as being an embarassment and a
political liability to the gay rights cause. By the 1990s, political
gay and lesbian groups would denounce Rivera's contribution, even
denying that she was present during the Stonewall
gradually fell into alcoholism, and it wouldn't be until the turn
of the millennium that she would reemerge as a public figure.
-- Sylvia Rivera
P. Johnson form STAR,
the first transgender activist organization, which later (at times)
included a safe-house.
of Tri-Ess, coins the word
"transgender," albeit with a limited definition to describe
Corbett's (neé Ashley; alternate
link) marriage is annulled and she is declared to be legally
still a man, in spite of a legal sex reassignment, leaving United
Kingdom post-operative transsexuals in legal limbo, unable to marry
as either sex, until 2004.
Warhol protege Holly
Woodlawn debuts in the movie Trash, for which the Academy
of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would be petitioned to nominate
her for an Oscar (they wouldn't). Woodlawn would appear in a few
more films and then disappear from sight, but not before being immortalized
in the Lou Reed
on the Wild Side."
rejection by founder Betty Friedan (who referred to lesbians as
"the lavender menace"), the National
Organization for Women (NOW) expands policy to include lesbian
rights. Embrace of transgender issues does not come until circa
2003, and remains a marginal part of their policy. As NOW represents
much of the core of the feminist movement, feminism as a whole is
still very resistant to accepting transwomen as "women,"
even after surgery is performed.
(specific year unknown) -- Metoidioplasty
is developed for female-to-male transsexuals. Phalloplasty
had existed previously, but Metoidioplasty
was seen as a more affordable option, with better results in sensation.
-- John Money
(with Anke Ehrhardt) publishes Man & Woman, Boy & Girl:
Gender Identity from Conception to Maturity. He would go on
to publish several books asserting that gender is learned, and not
genetically predetermined. This theory is seized upon by the feminist
movement as evidence that women are socialized to be passive against
their true natures, and this later becomes a wedge between lesbian
feminists and transsexual women.
In many of his
writings of this time, Money cites his famous "John/Joan case",
which he touts as being a socialization of a boy whose penis had
been lost in a circumcision accident, to be raised successfully
as a girl. "John/Joan," however, is David
Reimer, who is not settling into his reassigned gender as "Brenda"
as well as Money believes.
As a consequence
of many of Money's writings, paediatricians mistakenly take up the
practice of gender assignment at birth. This is most often determined
by the length of the penile / clitoral tissue: if it is smaller
than a certain length, the child's tissue is trimmed and they are
assigned to be raised as a girl. This policy continued up to the
turn of the millennium, and is a major factor in the origins of
many intersexed children.
crossdressing character, Corporal Maxwell Q. Klinger, debuts on
the CBS television show, M*A*S*H,
the first transgender-related character to appear regularily on
TV. Although Klinger was said to crossdress only as an attempt to
be given a discharge from the Army, it is the first moment of particular
visibility outside comedians' sporadic use of crossdressing for
comedic purposes (popularized by Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in
the movie "Some Like It Hot" as well as by comedians ranging
from Milton Berle to Jerry Lewis to Monty Python's Flying Circus).
-- Folk singer and accomplished activist Beth
Elliott, aka "Mustang Sally," becomes vice-president
of the Daughters
of Bilitis. Soon afterward, she is "outed" as a transsexual,
and hounded out of the organization by transphobic lesbian seperatists.
At the West Coast Lesbian Conference held in Los Angeles later that
year, the controversy would continue as lesbians protest the fact
that Elliott is scheduled to perform at the meeting. She would mostly
abandon activism until 1983.
continues, as Sylvia
Rivera is followed at a Gay Pride Rally by Jean
O'Leary, who denounces transwomen as female impersonators profiting
from the derision and oppression of women.
is delisted from the medical community's standard DSM, declaring
that it is no longer a mental disorder (and never was). Transgenderism,
however, remains listed as a mental disability, termed "gender
dysphoria," to this day.
The stage musical,
Horror Show debuts in London. Jim Sharman and Richard O'Brien
would later translate it to film as The
Rocky Horror Picture Show, which would become a true cult phenomenon.
The theme, "don't dream it, be it" becomes a rallying
cry for many transsexuals as well as many libertarians of all stripes.
for her performances in the long-running 1963 Les Girls cabaret,
in which she was a founding member) debuts in the soap opera, Number
96 playing Robyn Ross, a transgendered showgirl. When the character's
(and actress') identity is revealed, she is quickly written out
of the show due to viewer response. Carlotta
later becomes the inspiration for the movie, The Adventures
of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
-- Jan Morris
publishes Conundrum, the story of her quest for personal
identity, and one of the earliest autobiographies to shed light
on the transsexual dilemma.
Richards (August 19, 1934 - present) is "outed" and
barred from competition when she attempts to enter a womens' tennis
tournament (the U.S. Open). Her subsequent legal battle establishes
that transsexuals are fully, legally recognized in their new identity
after SRS, in the United States. Her story would be told in the
book and movie, Second Serve, but Richards would later
decide that she regretted her transition and the resulting public
Ned Katz publishes Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay
Men in the U.S.A. and the connection between Jonathan Gilbert's
"H" and Dr. Alan
Hart, but asserts Hart as a lesbian, effectively stealing transgender
-- Sandy Stone
is "outed" while working for Olivia
Records, the first womens' music record label, as a recording
engineer. Lesbian activists threaten a boycott of Olivia products
and concerts, forcing the company to ask for Stone's resignation.
Angela Douglas writes a satirical letter to Sister as a
protest of the transphobia in the lesbian community in general,
and the attacks on Sandy
Stone in particular.
Raymond publishes The Transsexual Empire, a semi-scholarly
transphobic attack. In the book, she cites Douglas' letter out of
context as an example of transsexual mysogyny, and casts Sandy
Stone's involvement in Olivia Records as "divisive"
and "patriarchal." (Stone would reply to these accusations
in her book, The Empire Strikes Back: A Posttranssexual Manifesto.)
She championed the idea that gender is purely a matter of "sex
role socialization" (an opinion that coincided very much with
despite her open attacks on him), writing "... All transsexuals
rape women's bodies by reducing the real female form to an artifact,
appropriating this body for themselves. However, the transsexually
constructed lesbian feminnist violates women's sexuality and spirit
as well.... Transsexuals merely cut off the most obvious means of
invading women, so that they seem non-invasive."
Hopkins Medical Center closes its Gender Clinic, under the recommendation
of new curator, Paul McHugh, John
Money's successor and an opponent to both Money's idea of gender
as being learned, and Money's support of transsexuals' need to transition.
Over the next two decades, many of the other Gender Clinics across
North America would follow suit. The closure was justified by pointing
to a 1979 report ("Sex Reassignment: Follow-up," published
in Archives of General Psychiatry 36, no. 9) by Jon Meyer
and Donna Reter that claimed to show "no objective improvement"
following male-to-female GRS surgery. This report was later widely
questioned and eventually found to be contrived and possibly fraudulent,
but the damage had been done.
synthesized music pioneer Wendy
Carlos transitions and goes public.
and transsexuals, who were previously condemned to death in Iran,
are given a new fate under law: they are forced to undergo SRS surgery
to "correct" the inclination. Transsexuals are still held
with a great deal of derision in Iran, and are encouraged to keep
silent about their past.
-- David Reimer
(as "Brenda") learns at the age of 15 from his parents
that he had been born a boy, and decides to re-establish a male
identity. This process would take until 1997, and involve testosterone
injections, a double-mastectomy and two phalloplasty surgeries.
aka Sister Mary Elizabeth, an Episcopal Nun, organizes the ACLU
Transsexual Rights Committee.
organizes the Harry Benjamin International
Gender Dysphoria Association to promote standards of care for
transsexual and transgendered clients. He also founds the Janus
Information Facility, continuing the work of Erickson
Educational Foundation. Later, he would fall ill, and Joanna
Clark and Jude Patton would co-found J2CP Information Services to
continue this legacy.
-- Model, actress and Bond Girl Caroline Cossey ("Tula")
is "outed" by the British press. She would later become
the first post-operative transsexual to pose for Playboy. By 1988,
she would be struggling with the European Court of Human Rights
to recognize her as a female -- she would win in June 1989, but
the court would overturn their decision a year later. Recognition
would not come until The
Gender Recognition Act 2004.
-- Boy George
(George Alan O'Dowd) and Culture Club emerge on the pop charts with
the song, "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?" His
crossdressing image is not totally new (androgyny had been played
with by the likes of David Bowie, Steve Tyler and Aerosmith, Hall
and Oates, Elton John...), but had certainly never been taken to
the same extreme. By 1986, however, the disintegration of his relationship
with drummer Jon Moss and drug problems would hamstring him and
Culture Club would be disbanded. Despite some resurgences (he had
a hit with the Roy Orbison song for the movie The Crying Game,
-- Jessica Lange
wins the Best Actress Oscar for her role in Tootsie,
a Sydney Pollack movie in which Dustin
Hoffman plays an actor who takes on a female persona in order
to secure work in a soap opera. Hoffman and Pollack are also nominated
in the Best Actor and Best Director categories but do not win Oscar.
Although not a portrayal of the transgender community, the movie
is the first gender-transgressive one to be recognized with such
an honor. Lange also later appears in the transgender positive made-for-TV
Later recognition for transgender-related film works include a win
for Hilary Swank (Oscars, 2000, Boys Don't Cry, Best Actress),
a Golden Globe win for Best Picture (Ma Vie En Rose), and
nominations for Jaye Davidson (Oscars, 1993, The Crying Game,
Best Supporting Actor; Neil Jordan won the Oscar for his screenplay
but lost the Directoral nomination), Felicity Huffman (Oscars, 2006,
Transamerica, Best Actress; Golden Globe win for
same category), and Edouard Molinaro (Oscars, 1980, La Cage
Aux Folles, Best Director).
-- The International Foundation for
Gender Education (IFGE) is founded, becoming the first major
transgender organization to welcome both transsexual and crossdressing
members, along with dual inclusion in its magazine, Tapestry
(later, Transgender Tapestry Journal).
Sister brings gender-bending to the fore in a different music
genre, although glam rock had been somewhat previously popularized
by Aerosmith and KISS in the 1970s. Censorship contributes to the
failure of their follow-up album, and front man Dee
Snider spends two years heavily occupied with the music industry
fight against the PMRC music labelling movement.
-- A pink granite monument is unveiled at the site of the Neuengamme
concentration camp dedicated to the homosexual victims of Naziism.
To some, it stands as a memorial to all gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgendered individuals killed in the Holocaust, as the Nazis
did not discriminate regarding individual differences.
-- Albertan k.d.
lang makes her musical debut. lang, whose image is very much
a gender-challenging form of androgyny, exemplifies the dichotomy
within the lesbian community regarding female-to-male transsexuals:
so long as one does not step beyond the "butch" limit
to actually transition to male, they are accepted and even applauded,
but those who transition are deemed "traitors." lang herself
is out as a lesbian, but does not identify as being transgendered.
-- Billy Tipton,
a well-respected jazz musician, dies and is discovered to be female,
after presenting as a man since 1933.
Blanchard proposes the theory of autogynephilia,
which he defined as "a man's paraphilic tendency to be sexually
aroused by the thought or image of himself as a woman." This
theory catches on with some writers of the time, even transgender
advocate Dr. Anne Lawrence,
but is never quite accepted by the medical community as a whole,
as it has many gaps in study (and logic), and widely conflicts with
the accepted model of gender identity disorder. By the turn of the
millennium, it would be dropped in favor of more biological studies
first appears in the Talking Heads video "Love Shack,"
and goes on to become a drag queen of worldwide notoriety.
-- The term "two-spirit"
originates in Winnipeg, Canada, during the third annual intertribal
Native American/First Nations gay and lesbian conference. It comes
from the Ojibwa words niizh manidoowag (two-spirits). It
is chosen as a means to distance Native/First Nations people from
non-Natives, as well as from the words "berdache"
and "gay" -- previously, there were a myriad
of words used, different depending on tribe. The phrase "two-spirit"
is used to denote all third-gendered peoples, whether gay, lesbian,
bisexual or transgendered -- but the intersexed are held in particularily
high regard, and thought to be beings of potentially great power
and blessing. The older term of "berdache" had
been French in origin, and is derived from Arabic and Eastern words
meaning "kept boy" or "male prostitute."
"Berdache" was used by explorers to explain to Western
cultures how many Native traditions held a special reverence for
two-spirit peoples to the earliest time, especially the Lakota,
Ojibwa, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Mojave, Navajo and Cree tribes (others,
such as the Comanche, Eyak, Iroquois and many Apache bands did not
often recognize the existence of two-spirits). Two-spirit peoples
were thought to have both male and female persons living within
the same body, and a two-spirited child's gender would be determined
at puberty, based on their inclination toward masculine or feminine
activities. In the last century, modern Christianity had "evangelized,"
indoctrinated and destroyed many Native traditions, and two-spirit
people are only now just re-emerging from homophobic stigmas.
-- Nancy Jean Burkholter is ejected from the Michigan
Womyn's Festival by transphobic festival organizers. The festival's
policy is that the particularity of "womyn-born-womyn (WBW)
experience comes from being born and raised in a female body. The
following year, Camp
Trans would be set up outside the entrance to the gate in protest
of this policy -- and continued three years following.
Chase founds the Intersex Society
of North America (ISNA).
on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation"
organizers include bisexuals, but refuse to include transgender
in the name of the march, despite months of work to try to get inclusion.
working for many years with gay and lesbian activists successfully
pass an anti-discrimination law in the State of Minnesota, protecting
transsexual and transgendered people along with gays and lesbians.
This is the first instance of inclusion in the U.S. despite the
number of human rights motions since the 1970s to protect rights
based on sexual orientation.
Teena is raped and later murdered by members of his circle of
friends, when they discover his female genitalia. The story is later
retold with an Oscar-winning performance in the movie, Boys
publishes Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J.
Edgar Hoover, in which the rumor that Hoover was a transvestite
is finally put into print. In the book, a Mrs. Susan Rosenstiel
alleged that in 1958 she and her husband met Hoover and McCarthy
lawyer Roy Cohn, both in drag. Several writers since have strongly
discredited Mrs. Rosenstiel, and it is most likely that Hoover's
crossdressing is merely an urban legend. He may have been gay, however,
as some (possibly circumstantial) information about he and right-hand
man Clyde Tolson is more creditable.
-- Transgender activists protest exclusion from Stonewall25 celebrations
and The Gay Games in New York City. The
Gay Games later rescinds rules that require "documented
completion of sex change" before allowing transgendered individuals
on the west coast of the U.S. pass anti-discrimination statues protecting
transsexual and transgendered people.
in India are given the right to vote. Within 5 years, a hijra will
be elected as a Member of Parliament. Hijras are third-gender persons,
usually male or intersex in origin, and living as female. Estimates
range between 50,000 and 5,000,000 hijras currently living in the
Indian subcontinent alone. Although early English writings referred
to them as eunuchs, not all undergo castration. Hijras are limited
by caste, must train under a teacher, and are considered low class.
Violence against hijras is common, and the authorities continnue
to be slow to do anything about the problem.
-- Prominent and respected lesbian writer, activist and therapist
Patrick) Califia comes out as a transman, and begins his transition
to male. The lesbian community largely rejects Califia as a consequence,
although there are pockets that still show support. Regardless,
Califia's writings still strike a chord with many of the alternative
-- Transsexual activists protest Oregon's Right to Privacy (now
known as "Right to Pride") political action committee
to cease using Alan Hart's
old name as an award given out to lesbian activists. Over the following
years, some of his legacy would be regained by the transgender community,
and his preferred male name would regain recognition.
Hunter dies following a traffic accident in Washington, D.C.
Her injuries should have been minor, but when the responding EMT
team (a crew of D.C. firefighters) arrives on the scene, cut away
her clothing and discover her genitalia, and then withdraw medical
care, uttering epithets and taunting her as she bleeds. When she
is finally taken to D.C. General Hospital, she is also given inadequate
care and dies from blood loss. In 1998, a jury awards Tyra's mother
$2,873,000 after finding the District of Columbia (via both the
EMTs and Hospital) guilty of negligence and malpractice. Several
activist groups form in her memory.
Beyer becomes New Zealand's (and the World's) first transsexual
Mayor of Carterton, where she remained until 2000 (see 1999 entry
Program opens in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, designed for GLBT
students at risk of dropping out or committing suicide because of
homophobia in regular schools.
-- JoAnna McNamera of It's
Time Oregon successfully convinces Oregon's Bureau of Labor
and Industry (BOLI) that transsexuals are protected under existing
Oregon labor law dealing with discrimination of people with disabilities
and medical conditions. This made Oregon the third state to extend
employment protection to transgendered people, following Minnesota
Alig is arrested for the murder of "Angel" Melendez
over a drug debt. The arrest draws national attention to the Club
Kids, an often-crossdressing troupe of wildly costumed teens
in New York in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Club Kids fall
from grace and eventually vanish. The story is later chronicled
St. James' memoir, Disco Bloodbath, and in a movie
and documentary, both entitled, Party Monster. Of particular
significance, the famous female impersonator RuPaul
was discovered during the Club Kids' tour of the talk show circuit,
roughly around 1988, and then catapults to fame in a music video
for the B-52's single, Love Shack.
Diamond and Dr. H. Keith Sigmundson publish a paper that expose
claims of success in the "John/Joan" case. Sigmundson
is David Reimer's
supervising psychiatrist at that time, and the two describe Reimer's
literal quest to regain his manhood. Diamond goes on to found the
Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.
-- John Colapinto
Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised As A Girl, telling David
Reimer's story in depth, on the heels of a pivotal Rolling
Stone article on the subject. Ongoing troubles would plague
Reimer, however, including divorce, the death of his twin brother,
family strain and more -- Reimer commits suicide in 2004.
activists once again protest exclusion from The
Gay Games in Amsterdam, this time with modified rules from those
previously rescinded in the last Games: that competitors require
documented completion of sex change or two years on hormones before
being able to compete. FTM transman, photographer Loren
Cameron drops out of competition in protest, but Israeli MTF
International still performs at the Games' festivities.
the first legal gender reassignment surgery (SRS) to be performed
on an FTM transsexual.
Cropper, a transsexual character, first appears on the popular
British soap opera Coronation Street. It is the second
time that a transgendered character appears in serialized television
(the first was in Australia in 1973 -- see above), and the first
time that the character is kept on as a regular in the series (she
had been originally planned to be written out of the show, and viewer
response pushed them to bring her back).
Nong Toom, a
(female-to-male transgendered person) enters professional boxing,
despite being on hormones, and becomes a cross-dressing legend.
She would later go on to have SRS surgery, and her story is told
in the subtitled movie, Beautiful Boxer.
-- Since the Michigan
Womyn's Festival (a noteworthy and popular lesbian community
event) continues to exclude transwomen and refuse to acknowledge
them as being women, Camp
Trans is revived to protest. Initially, post-op MTF transsexuals
are allowed to attend, but confrontations occur. The exclusion and
the protests would continue annually.
In a Texas court,
in Littleton vs. Prang, Christine Littleton (a post-op MTF transsexual)
loses her case against the doctor who she contended negligently
allowed her husband to die... because, as the defense argues,
even though her birth certificate has been amended to denote "female,"
it had originally read "male," and since same-sex marriage
is not permitted in Texas, she was not legally his widow or entitled
to anything on behalf of his estate.
Dr. Scott Kerlin
founds the DES
Sons International Network, an online support and advocacy group
for children exposed to Di-Ethyl
Stilbestrol (DES) in utero, fighting the perception that DES
is strictly a womens' health issue. When DES Sons is only a few
months old, a new member raises the issue that he had always felt
that he was a girl, and was, in fact, transsexual. This initiates
a flood of confessions about other members' own gender identity
issues, and quickly becomes one of the dominant themes raised by
male children of DES births (although not all DES Sons experience
transgender leanings). DES
Trans is later set up by Kerlin and Dr.
Dana Beyer as a seperate support group for this discussion.
Barry Winchell is murdered by fellow soldiers, resparking a
questioning of the "don't
ask don't tell" policy of the U.S. Military. He is murdered
because of allegations that arise from his relationship with transwoman
Addams. Their story is retold in the 2003 movie, Soldier's
Girl. Addams later starts the TSroadmap
website with Andrea James, and the two collaborate on several projects
to assist transwomen.
Beyer becomes New Zealand's (and the World's) first transsexual
Member of Parliament.
Eads dies of ovarian cancer. A transman, Eads is denied treatment
by more than two dozen doctors out of fears that taking him on as
a patient might be an embarassment to their practice. His story
is told (in his own words) in the award-winning documentary, Southern
-- The Transgender
Pride flag is designed by Monica Helms, and is first shown at
a pride parade in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.
-- Erin Lindsey begins producing Venus
Envy, a popular ongoing webcomic strip focusing on the life
of Zoë Carter, a young transsexual girl living in Salem, Pennsylvania.
Dumaresq enters the sport of downhill bike racing, six years
after her SRS surgery. She would go on to win battles with Cycling
BC and the Canadian Cycling Association to compete, win the 2002
Canada Cup series, win the 2003 Canadian National Championships
and score additional victories. At the 2006 Canadian Nationals,
a protest from one of her competitors during the podium ceremonies
would bring renewed attention to Dumaresq's participation in female
sports: the boyfriend of second-place finisher Danika Schroeter
would jump up onto the podium and helped Schroeter put on a t-shirt
reading "100% Pure Woman Champ."
-- Gwen "Lida"
Araujo is murdered by several partygoers, who had discovered
her male genitalia. The three men who were charged alternately resorted
to panic strategies
during their defense, trying to minimize (i.e. to a charge of "Manslaughter")
or legitimize their actions because of their apparent shock at the
Olympic Committee amends policy to allow transexuals to compete
as their reassigned gender if the surgery has taken place at least
two years prior to the competition and if the athlete has been on
a regimen of hormones equal to that of a person born to the gender.
Transgender Law Center is founded, and works toward protecting
and entrenching the rights of transgendered persons in California,
as well as assisting legal activists elsewhere.
Author and activist
publishes Transgender Liberation: A Movement Whose Time Has
Come. She would later publish the well-known works Stone
Butch Blues (1993), and Transgender Warriors: Making History
from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman (1996).
Centurion, a modified form of metoidioplasty is introduced for
Addams and Andrea
James found Deep Stealth
Productions and TS Roadmap,
invaluable resources for transwomen. Deep Stealth produces video
work providing advice on voice therapy and makeup / presentation,
and TS Roadmap covers the entire spectrum of MTF transition, in
free online written advice.
Finney Boylan's memoir, She's Not There, becomes the
first-known best-selling work by a transgendered American.
v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court arrives at a 6-3 ruling that
strikes down the prohibition of homosexual sodomy in Texas, and
declares that such laws are unconstitutional. Several other states
still have anti-sodomy laws on the books, but they are now not as
Gender Recognition Act 2004 is passed in the U.K., allowing
transgendered persons to legally change their sex and have it recognized
for the purposes of marriage and other issues.
Dee Palmer (born
David Palmer), former member of the rock band Jethro Tull, comes
out as an MTF transsexual. A former member of the group Toto also
comes out at around this time, but I've lost the reference.
-- Although homosexuality had been delisted as a mental disorder
in 1973, transgenderism is still listed in the DSM-IV. However,
a new wave of thinking has transsexuality and transgenderism linked
to more biological factors, such as DNA predisposition, or DES.
Books of the time begin to reflect this, including Deborah Rudacille's
Riddle of Gender.
Gwen Araujo Justice for Victims Act becomes law. The bill, fueled
by the murder of Gwen
Araujo and 2004 murder of Joel Robles (in which the defendant
plea-bargained his way down to a 4-month sentence), prevents defendants
from using panic
strategies and potential biases against the victim to minimize
Ben Barres writes a highly-noted article in Nature
refuting an earlier theory by Lawrence Summers and others that there
are fewer female scientists than male because of a difference in
"intrinsic aptitude." In his paper, Barres notes the differences
in treatment of female scientists from male ones, drawing from his
own experiences in both genders.
One of the directors
of the Matrix movies, formerly / currently known as Larry
Wachowski, is reported by Rolling
Stone Magazine to be transitioning to female, in an unflattering
article. This website supports lifestyles that are practiced
safely, responsibly, consensually and respectfully, and as Lana's
choice of partner is a known proponent of those things, we support
Lana's choice -- and do not cast judgement on those things that
we don't know the full story about.
TV-show, The L Word,
introduces a female-to-male transsexual. Max (Moira) is the first
regularly-occurring FTM character in the history of television *and*
the first transgender character to transition during the course
of a show. Actress Daniela Sea is no stranger to performing as male,
but some trans activists take issue with the series portrayal, saying
that it is "based on the stereotype that transmen are driven
by and use testosterone as an excuse to become abusive, violent,
and over-sexualized" (Eli Green, PetitionSpot.com petition).
perform the world's first penis
transplant successfully (however, the patient later has
it removed at the request of his wife, who has psychological
objections), raising a question about the possibility of developing
a similar option for transmen. Such a development is still likely
years away, however, because of the need to find ways to deal with
the differences in the underlying infrastructure.
The 2005 documentary,
The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria, written, directed and
produced by Victor Silverman and Dr. Susan Stryker, is awarded an
EMMY® for "Outstanding Achievement, Historical / Cultural
Program." The film gives life to the early transgender (and
wider GLBT) movement, and is one of the first true transgender-exploring
works to be recognized with a major award (previous trans-ish recognition
is profiled with Jessica Lange's 1983 victory in Tootsie).
-- The rock-star character of "Zarf,"
who debuted on the soap opera All
My Children near the end of 2006, comes out as a male-to-female
transsexual, Zoey. Although this isn't the first time a soap opera
featured a transgendered character in a recurring role (Coronation
Street was the second; the first was Number
96), it is the first to feature an MTF character in the
beginning of her transition, and follow the process along (and second
only to The L Word to feature a transsexual throughout
the process). (Rather than alienate AMC's viewers, Zoey appears
to be re-energizing them).
Musalman, who lives as both man and woman and has not had any
GRS surgery, is granted both male and female citizenship by Nepali
authorities, in the first known case of dual-gender recognition.
It is unclear how this unique legal status will play out in practice
- for instance, how it will affect Chanda's marriage rights.
Court of Canada refuses to hear Kimberly Nixon v. Rape Relief, a
case in which the transwoman was dismissed from rape counselling
because she was not born female (she had been living as female several
years and is legally female). Because it was refused at that level,
the B.C. Court of Appeal ruling against her still stands -- a ruling
which pointed out that transgender people are not currently protected
by the Human Rights Charter under either category of gender or sexual
A 12-year old
in Vienna, Austria is thought to be the youngest person in the world
a sex change procedure.
The city of
Largo, Florida fires long-time City Manager Steve Stanton (the mayor
and one councilman vote in his defense), after he is outed during
preparation to announce his intention to undergo hormone treatment
and start the process toward GRS surgery. This launches a nationally-publicized
court case, in which the City of Largo is revealed to have operated
counter to their own laws, which prohibit discrimination based on
gender identity. In order to save face, the City attempts to first
claim that city employees had lost faith in Stanton, and then (in
the failure of that) dredge up performance issues, despite their
overwhelming support, praise and raises given to Stanton prior to
the most progressive law regarding Gender Identity in the world,
allowing for the change of documented identity just by proving a
medical treatment for two years, and a medical or psychological
certificate, proving a diagnosis of gender dysphoria -- not requiring
scientists find 54 genes that may explain the different organization
of male and female brains. They go on to state that "... gender
identity likely will be explained by some of the genes we discovered."
In Fresno, California,
Tony (Cinthia) Covarrubias runs for Prom King, supported by a state
law passed in 2000 protecting students' ability to express their
gender identity on campus. Covarrubias loses, but approximately
one month later, her story lends a groundswell of support when Johnny
Vera runs for and wins the title of Prom Queen at Roosevelt High
School -- the first transgender person known to have won such an
Russell Reid, a U.K. psychiatrist specializing in gender reassignment,
is found guilty in a medical community investigation of accusations
that he inappropriately treated five patients, allegedly fast-tracking
them, in contradiction of established standards of care. Although
not the first time a doctor has been brought under fire or threat
of legal action for his work (some had even been sued by their transgender
patients), the high-profile case reopens major debates in the medical
community about transsexuality and its treatment. How the finding
will affect the existing pace of the current diagnostic process
is as yet unknown.