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!

31 August 2014

Haa-Lacka Binttii – musician, composer

Daniel Figgis (1961 - ) is a distinguished Irish musician and composer.

Using the pseudonym Haa-Lacka Binttii, he was drummer and keyboardist with the Dublin band Virgin Prunes 1979-1980.

Haa-Lacka Binttii then founded the band Princess Tinymeat (Kenneth Anger's sizist derogatory term originally aimed at actor Montgomery Clift). Princess Tinymeat released several singles, mostly of the 12" format, and in 1986 a retrospective album called Herstory.

Binttii/Tinymeat played with femme/trans imagery and on this basis gets listed amongst trans musicians.

However Figgis reverted to his male name for all subsequent work, and his biography on DanielFiggis.com mentions neither Virgin Prunes nor Princess Tinymeat.

DanielFiggis.com   Last.FM   Discogs   irishrock.org

26 August 2014

The woman who lost her gender

Kim Walmsley of Liverpool is a female cis heterosexual.

Kim Monaghan was born in 1965.  As expected, her parents received a birth certificate for her that said ‘girl’ but somehow she had been entered into the registration book as ‘boy’.

She grew up as a girl, married in a Church of England ceremony in 1991 and became Mrs Walmsley, and she and her husband, Jack, had four sons and a daughter.

In 2003 they decided to emigrate to Australia.   As governments do they were required to send in their original birth certificates.   Wary of losing them they decided to get duplicates.    The registrar insisted on calling her Miss Kim Walmsley, and desired to speak to her alone.  She insisted that it be said in the presence of her husband. "We can't issue you with an identical birth certificate," she said, "because you're registered as a boy".    Kim’s initial response was to attempt common sense: "Obviously I am a girl. I've had five natural births. Just change it for me."   But common sense is not an integral part of how bureaucracies operate. 

Kim left with a new birth certificate marked ‘boy’.  She had already used her original ‘girl’ birth certificate for the emigration process and they received their Australian visas.   They left the registration process with a solicitor, and moved to Queensland. 

The solicitor received a letter from the registrar saying that the “original birth certificate, because it wasn't a true copy of the original registration, was considered an illegal document”.   Kim would not be able to renew her passport, nor would she be able to extend her Australian visa.

Eventually they accepted that they had to return to Liverpool.  Rumours went around, some said that Kim and Jack were two men, and homophobic graffiti was sprayed on their gate and garden wall.
 
They wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and he replied that he could no longer recognize their marriage. Births, deaths and marriages have offered to reregister Kim’s birth, which would allow her to have a passport with "female" on it again, but she would be registered as female only from when the correction was made: the original – and legal – entry would still say "boy".

The Walmesleys estimate that with solicitors’ fees, lost business, and the cost of moving to Australia and back, they are out over £150,000.
__________________________________________________________

This is offered as background for trans persons to consider as they have somewhat different problems in changing gender.   It shows that bureaucracies cane be perverse even when they are not be transphobic or otherwise prejudicial.

At least the Walmsleys’ marriage was not deemed to be annulled.

It is rather pathetic that the Church of England would let its opinion of the marriage be determined by a clerical error, rather than standing on the common-sense ground that Kim is a cis woman and should be recognised as such.    In general a religious marriage and secular marriage may be different, and the church and the state may differ in which marriages they recognise.   It may be that the Church of England, in being established, feels more strongly that it should align its recognition of marriage with that of the state – however it has not taken this attitude with the introduction of gay marriage in England and Wales.

A transgender person is one who changes gender to match gender identity.   The change of gender involves two major aspects: a) presentation and being accepted in the new presentation b) changing the gender designation on identity documents.     Kim never lost her presentation gender.   But she did lose her legal gender.

24 August 2014

Olivia Watts (1961–) police officer, naturopath, Wicca.

For 18 years Watts worked as a male police officer in Casey, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria.
In 1995 Watts retired from the police, started to transition as Olivia, and set up in business as a naturopath. She was also a practitioner of Wicca.

In 2003 Olivia ran, unsuccessfully, to be a councillor in Casey. After an exchange of opinions, a Christian Labor councillor Rob Wilson denounced Olivia as a witch, and as a Satanist. He called on Casey's church leaders to consider calling a day of prayer to hold back the occult forces. Olivia was physically assaulted, and her house and car vandalized. Her business collapsed.
"On August 16 a gentleman came to my door and asked me if I was the naturopath Cr Wilson was talking about. When I admitted I was, he grabbed me and started hitting me on the forehead saying he was driving the demons out of Casey. He just kept screaming 'Out you demon, out you demon'."
Olivia sued Cr Wilson before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). for vilification under the Victoria Racial and Religious Tolerance Act, 2001. At the trial Olivia became the first person anywhere in the world to give a legal Court Oath to the Goddess. In his submission Cr Wilson cited an evangelical Christian website called The Watchman and the Collins paperback dictionary: "Witchcraft: noun, the use of magic especially for evil purposes".

In a separate action, the Pagan Awareness Network, based in Sydney, brought a complaint against Wilson and the mayor. This was settled out of court with an apology and retraction by Wilson.

Olivia's case before the VCAT was heard in August 2004. Cr Wilson initially claimed that the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act was not breached in that, alone in Australia, witchcraft was still illegal in Victoria (this was section 13 of the Vagrancy Act 1966 which was repealed until 2005). However after the first day of hearings he agreed out-of-court to a retraction, and to financial terms which remain confidential.

More recently Olivia has suffered from MS, and became unable to work.
PeaceNext

21 August 2014

Miranda Yardley (1967 - ) accountant, music magazine publisher

++some changes of detail, based on feedback from Miranda.

From Manchester, Yardley completed a degree in Accounting and Finance at Bangor University in 1990.

After moving to London, Yardley qualified as a Chartered Accountant and worked externally for a publishing company. In 2000 Yardley & Co, a small independent accounting business was set up. The publisher considered shedding a couple of titles.
“Early in 2002 the company wanted to remove Terrorizer from their portfolio of titles, and they offered it to me earlier in the year and I politely declined, later on the same year the company’s circumstances changed and when they offered again, I took it with both hands”.
Terrorizer, published every four weeks, specialized in extreme music, and Yardley's takeover was at the time of its first Genre Specials: Punk, Gore and Prog in 2002 and Thrash in 2003. They also arranged live gigs. Yardley incorporated as Dark Arts Ltd.


Terrorizer Online was launched in 2007.  2009 saw the bi-monthly Dominion and the standalone Sick Sounds.
“I made a very difficult decision last year to move from a role as a practising accountant and earning a reasonable amount while part-time managing Terrorizer to taking on these concepts that I had in my head”.
It was also during this period, 2008, that Yardley completed transition as Miranda.
"I am known as being a trans woman who gets along in a world that’s very male dominated, not that I would ever deny the male privilege that got me here."
Miranda is an outspoken woman, and does not automatically accept the new dogmas of the trans movement.
"What are the implications for women of positing the existence of a "female brain" in a society where to be female is to be considered inferior? Should someone be accepted as a woman just because they say they are? Do the rights of a trans woman who has lived as a man for 60 years to not feel intimidated by having to use male facilities trump the rights of women to have a safe space where they do not need to be concerned about voyeurism or sexual violence? "
Others have rushed in to proclaim her to be a TERF, or a 'self-hating trans woman". She labels her own position as 'gender critical' a term proposed by Joan W Scott in 1986, also used by some anti-trans feminists with far less nuance.

On 11 August 2014 BBC's Newsnight attempted to set a discussion re the boxing promoter and UKIP candidate, Kellie Maloney, who had recently come out as trans. They approached some feminists such as Julie Bindel and Sarah Ditum, but based on previous experience none of them would have anything to do with the topic. Therefore Newsnight settled on two trans women and one trans man: Miranda Yardley, Paris Lees and Fred McConnell. Paris took umbrage with the lineup and tweeted that she was “not prepared to enter into a fabricated debate about trans people’s right to exist/express themselves". Fred tweeted that it was a “TERF-filled trap”. Then Newsnight had to inform Miranda that the proposed session was cancelled. The Independent invited both Miranda and Paris to write about the experience. Miranda filed her version, but again Paris pulled out.
LinkedIn     SoundSphere      Terrorizer   blog
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The prospect of three transsexuals being able to discuss their differences without the balance of others that the media always seem to feel is obligatory was a delightful opportunity squandered.

Miranda Yardley is an admirable example of a trans woman who has done something useful with her life.

We do need to hear from Paris Lees about why she is so terrified of discussing with another transwoman who has different opinions. 

13 August 2014

Lana Wachowski (1965–) film writer, director.

Larry Wachowski and brother Andy, of Polish descent, were raised in Chicago. They both dropped out of college and ran a construction business, while creating comic books for Marvel and Epic. In 1993 Larry married his childhood sweetheart.

The Wachowskis' entry into Hollywood was with the script for Assassins, 1995, however their script was 'totally rewritten' by Brian Helgeland and they unsuccessfully attempted to have their name removed from the film.

They wrote, directed and produced Bound, 1996. In the development of the film the male lead was rethought, with the advice of Susie Sexpert, and became a female butch, and the female lead character changes during the film from a femme bimbo to a leather dyke.

In 1999 the Wachowskis took Hollywood by storm with the first Matrix film in 1999. Like the two sequels, The Matrix features several digital gender morphings. With earnings from the film, Larry and his wife bought a $1.9 million house in Venice, California, and the brothers moved their production company into a nearby building.

Larry reportedly went to several dominatrices who catered to transvestites, and in January 2001, Larry was in The Dungeon in West Hollywood which featured celebrity dominatrix Karin Winslow (Ilsa Strix) who had been married since 1998 to a trans man, the future porn star Buck Angel. Larry returned for further sessions. It soon became clear that the convention that there be no sexual or social congress between dominatrix and client outside the sessions was being broken. Ilsa reportedly offered Larry free bondage sessions that lasted overnight. Buck demanded some answers and it was arranged that the three would meet at a trans club on Santa Monica Boulevard. Ilsa and Lana arrived in almost identical outfits of fur jackets and blond wigs. Soon afterwards Buck kicked Ilsa out of their home, and filed for divorce. He then left for New Orleans. Larry's wife also filed.

Ilsa was flown to Australia, first class, where the two subsequent Matrix films were being made, and it was Lana rather than Larry who picked her up at the airport. Larry was struggling with the idea of being transgender, and how to tell their parents. Sometimes he did not sleep for days. After a phone call in which it was apparent that something was wrong, the Wachowskis' mother flew to Australia the next day. The morning after, Larry blurted out: “I’m transgender. I’m a girl". The father arrived a few days later, and accepted their eldest child as Lana, to the extent of going out with her. Shortly afterwards Lana was also on the film set.

However communication with the public on the topic was cut off. It was Larry who appeared with Ilsa at the LA premiere of Matrix Reloaded in 2003, and then again at the Cannes Film Festival. Larry looked different, androgynous, and it was supposed that he was taking female hormones. He and Ilsa moved into a $2.7 million home in San Francisco's Castro area. Later that year the Wachowskis had to attend a Screen Actors Guild arbitration hearing where Marcus Chong, who played Tank in the first Matrix film, claimed that he had been unfairly treated. Again it was noticed that Larry's appearance had changed.

Rumors without confirmation continued as to where Lana was within the transgender options. Sources close to the Wachowskis denied the rumors. One employee on the Speed Racer film pointed out to Fox News that: "on the call sheets, it still says Larry", although it is rumored that she had transgender surgery soon after that film wrapped.

Karin and Lana married in 2009. It was not until 2012 that Lana emerged for a press conference to discuss their new film Cloud Atlas, which featured its major actors in a variety of roles including some cross racial and some cross gendered.

Later that year she was awarded the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award and gave a well-received acceptance speech in which she discussed being trans.

++In March 2016, it was announced in the press that Andy also had started transition, using the name Lilly.
EN.WIKIPEDIA      IMDB



______________________________________________________________________________

Both IMDB and Wikipedia do not seem to like Ilsa Strix.   IMDB lists her as in only one film (she was in at least 6 or 7)  and lists only her marriage to Buck Angle.  On the Lana Wachowshi page it lists Larry's first marriage, but not that of Lana and Ilsa.

Ilsa had a Wikipedia page but it was taken down in May 2010 for a given reason of  "Non-notable person. Being romantically involved with a notable person does not confer notability".   The text can be read in Wikibin.   She would certainly seem to be at least as notable as the others persons in the Wikipedia category on Dominatrices


10 August 2014

Rüzgar Erkoçlar (1986 - ) actor.

Nil Erkoçlar was named for the Nile river. At 10 years old she was acting in Turkish commercials. At 15 she was the model for sanitary pads. She acted in nine television productions and one film, and acted on stage with some of Turkeys' most famous actors.

In February 2013, a record producer who likes to announce celebrity scandal, tweeted that "she is no longer a woman". Erkoçlar's family immediately denied the rumour, but a few days later Erkoçlar agreed to an interview with pre- and post-photographs with Hürriyet Daily News. Erkoçlar announced that he had changed his name to Rüzgar  (wind), had been on male hormones for two years and had had transgender surgery. He had never been with a man, did not regard himself as a lesbian and never identified as a woman. The public reaction was mainly positive, even amongst the Islamist television personalities. Khomeini's fatwa permitting gender changes in Iran was mentioned.

The Turkish state recognized Rüzgar's gender by summoning him to do the military service that is mandatory for all Turkish males. However the military medical board found him 'not suitable for military service'.
TR.VIKIPEDI   IMDB

07 August 2014

Christina Kahrl (196? - ) sports writer, activist.

Original November 2008; updated July 2014.

Chris Kahrl was raised near Sacramento.  Kahrl did a history AB at the University of Chicago in 1990, married a woman and was divorced, and did an MA at Loyola University in 2000.

Kahrl started on hormones in 2002, transitioned socially 2003, and professionally 2004.

Christina is a sports-writer for many US publications including Sports Illustrated, and Playboy. She is co-writer of the revered Baseball Prospectus website and book series, with its pioneering statistical analyses. She is also an associate editor of The ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia.

She counseled fellow sports writer Christine Daniels when the latter announced her own transition in 2007.  She is also friends with Bobbie Dittmeier, another trans sports writer.

In 2010 the HBO program Real Sports devoted a program to Christina, Bobbie Dittmeier and Christine Daniels, following Christine's suicide the previous year. 

In 2010 Ross forman quoted Christina: "I consider myself immensely fortunate because of the women who did have the courage to come out [ before me, ].  They made life so much easier for people such as me who transitioned [ after them. ] Sure, the challenges are still there, but there is so much more knowledge."  

Since 2007 Christina has been active as a speaker for trans persons and against police harassment in the Chicago area.  She is also a board member for Equality Illinois.  In 2013 she was named to the bord of directors of GLAAD.   

In April 2014, Kahrl was a co-signer with 350+ others who protested against Calpernia Addams, Andrea James and many others who had come out in earlier decades.  She has also campaigned to make 'tranny' a slur word. 
 EN.WIKIPEDIA     GLAAD    
______________________________________________________ 
Several articles mention Kahrl, Dittmeier,  Daniels as if they are the set of trans sportswriters.   This is to ignore Pip Wherrett, Patti Dawn Swansson, Juliet Jacques, Brigitte Boréale, Cate McGregor.  

    04 August 2014

    Vicki Strasberg (193?–?) sex worker

    Vicki took her surname in homage to Susan Strasberg, the daughter of Lee, the famous acting teacher.

    Transvestite at her birthday party, N.Y.C. 1969

    Vicki was 6 feet (1.8 m), on hormones and gorging on food to be plumper and more sexually desirable, when she met photographer Diane Arbus in 1969. She lived full-time as a woman, and none of her sex customers had ever complained. She was ogled wherever she went.

    Arbus commented: She had "the most unbelievable walk. I couldn't see the man in her."

    Vicki knew how to use a knife, tortured her cats and once had stabbed a customer. For that she was sent to the Tombs jail.

    Vicki took to Diane and gave her presents (which she had stolen from department stores). Vicki invited Diane to her birthday party, and Diane found that she was the only guest.  But she took one of her best known photographs.
    • The London Magazine, 24,7-12: 75.
    • Albert Goldbarth. Across the Layers: Poems Old and New. University of Georgia Press, 1993: 214.
    • Patricia Bosworth. Diane Arbus: A Biography. WW Norton, 2006: 226.

    01 August 2014

    Jennifer Diane Reitz (1959 - ) activist, game designer, artist.

    Raised in Oregon, Reitz studied biochemistry, but left without a degree. Jennifer had surgery at age 22. Since then she has lived in a polyamorous family that has grown to four persons, three women and a man.

    She was out about being a lesbian-oriented bisexual, although pretty much asexual, and being part of a successful polyamory, but until she was 38 kept her gender history a deep secret.
    "I have lived my entire life psychologically crippled by the shame of the very thought of anyone discovering my transsexuality. No longer. The best way to destroy embarrassment, is to have nothing one needs to hide. I am finally facing the vile bigot inside my own head that lives to condemn myself."
    Since 1981 Jennifer has worked in the games industry, at first with dice-based fantasy games, and then after 1985 on Amiga and IBM computers. She was co-founder and visual designer of the video games site HappyPuppy.com (which was sold for a considerable sum in 1996) and LinkTown.com, (both are now defunct) and helped in the creation of OtakuWorld.com.  She and her spouses run Accursed Toys. Her recent work, mainly webcomics, is on Jenniverse.com.

    Jennifer is the author of transsexual.org, Going from what is written on Transsexual.org:
    1. Jennifer conflates gender and gender identity, and proclaims that "the difference between sex and gender are at the very core of the issue" but ignores the difference between gender and gender identity.
    2. She proclaims that "it is apparent that some fifty percent of transsexuals die by age 30, usually by their own hand. This morbidity is known as the 50% Rule".
    3. She does recognize the high success rate of hormones and surgery.
    4. She opts for foetal hormonal events as the cause of transsexuality, and unlike many recognizes that the same is posited for homosexuality: "Although transsexuality is not the same thing as homosexuality, the two can sometimes occur in conjunction with each other, and there is evidence that both are created by the similar mechanisms, in utero".
    5. She proclaims that transvestity is something quite different: "primarily a sexual fetish that occurs after puberty … the behavior is apparently not rooted in a biological, pre-natal basis, but is learned".
    6. She rejects "transgenderism" as an "empty word" whose "primary function is social and political, and not clinical, despite the efforts of some to legitimize this essentially meaningless term".
    7. She accepts the 1:30,000 estimate for transsexuals, but argues that because "transsexuality is most commonly caused by stress-related hormonal changes … more transsexuals are born during times during or following war".
    8. She claims that "the transsexual is on average two standard deviations in intellect greater than the base population, and one standard deviation higher than those defined as homosexual". 
    9. "Every society in history has had some name, role or way of relating to the transsexual, from ancient Canaan and Turkey to India, even to the present day."
    10. Her site contains self-administered test to identify m-f transsexuals. She calls it Combined Gender Identity And Transsexuality Inventory (COGIATI).
    Jennifer describes herself as a hetaera (the highly educated Greek courtesans).

    EN.WIKIPEDIA   Transsexual.org   OtakuWorld   Jenniverse

    COGIATI:
    ___________________________________________________________

    Transsexual.org appears not to have been updated since 2009.

    COGIATI has been much criticized for its reliance on gender stereotyping.  In particular maths ability is regarded as masculine, and admissions of such will result in the person not being identified as transsexual.  I would say that Jennifer's conflation of gender and gender identity damages the COGIATI seriously.

    On Transsexual.org Jennifer insists “I care nothing for the politics of gender, nor the politics of sexuality, nor politics at all. Indeed I am reviled by such, gender issues are about survival and identity, and it is despicable to use the agony of anyone as a basis for petty power games.”   Presumably she fails to see the inevitable politics in her attitudes to transvestites and to transgenderism.   In fact we could take her as a pre-cursor of the HBS movement.  At the same time the gender stereotyping of COGIATI makes her position comparable to that of Ray Blanchard and his division of trans women into AGP/HSTS.

    I don't see where late-transition transsexuals fit into her scheme, particularly those who have been husbands and fathers.

    I simply do not understand her claim that “more transsexuals are born during times during or following war”.  In western Europe and north America, there were a few transsexuals in the 1960s (presumably born in the 1940s) but there are a lot lot more today.

    She cites no sources for her claim of 50% dead by age 30.

    Not all traditional societies had reverence for trans persons.   It is an interesting question why some did and others did not.   Some think that societies that have institutional inter-generational sex do  not have trans roles.   Some, such as the Celts, seem to have had neither.

    We should be very wary of theories that flatter us by claiming that we are more intelligent and creative.  Again Jennifer cites no sources.  Many of the persons whom I have featured on this blog do indeed have intelligence and creativity, but that is one reason why I selected them and not others.   I have also featured trans persons, particularly those now in prison, who seemed rather challenged in terms of intelligence.