This site is the most comprehensive on the web devoted to trans history and biography. Well over 1200 persons worthy of note, both famous and obscure, are discussed in detail, and many more are mentioned in passing - especially in the year-end summaries (see links in right sidebar.)

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!

30 June 2014

Anna Kristjánsdóttir (1952 - ) marine engineer, activist

Kristjánsson was educated as a Marine Engine Officer and worked as a Control Room Engineer at the Reykjavik Energy Co. Scania for a year. Kristjánsson married and they had three children. They were divorced in 1982.

Kristjánsson had been gender dysphoric since childhood, but even by the 1980s there was no support of any kind anywhere in Iceland. Kristjánsson relocated to Sweden and found a job with Stockholm Energi (now Fortum AB), and joined the Swedish Transsexual Society. This led to a doctor in Uppsala in 1992, and as Anna Kristjánsdóttir she had transgender surgery in 1995.

She moved back to Iceland in 1996 and found it very difficult to get a job, although eventually she obtained a position at Reykjavík Energy. She was the only known transsexual in the country at that time. She estimates that there are around 50 by now.
“I believe that gay legislation in 1996 played a big role in changing points of view for our community as well. In 2007, we founded the society Trans-Iceland, which was part of getting more acceptance from the outside. Around 2005/2006 attitudes really seemed to change, partly because more people came out. The healthcare system adopted a much more positive stance on transgender issues, which made it much easier for us.”
In 2012 the Althing passed a supportive law requiring the National University Hospital of Iceland (Landspítali) to have a department for transgender diagnosis and surgery, and legal changes, all without a requirement for surgery.

Anna was also active in TGEU.
Blog    Fotki
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I take it that we all understand Icelandic surnames which are usually the father's first name with a suffix or either 'son' or 'dóttir' depending on gender.    

28 June 2014

WorldPride in Toronto, Trans March 27/06/14































Sign says 'trans asexuals exist'.  Hirschfeld told us that, D'Eon was one.

The superstition & hatred counter demonstration








































Drag Queens were left off the invitation, but came anyway

26 June 2014

Carlett A. Brown (1927–) sailor, performer, cook

Charles Robert Brown from Pittsburgh volunteered for the US Navy in 1950 to obtain medical treatment for periodic internal bleeding. He was treated for a 'serious mental illness', which Brown said consisted only of a passion to become female, and said that one doctor had diagnosed this as resulting from the presence of female glands. He was discharged from the Navy after six months.

Brown then worked as a 'shake dancer' in Boston and Pittsburgh at $10 to $15 a night. Brown's fiancé was an army sergeant stationed in Frankfurt. They had been corresponding for 2½ years and had known each other since childhood. Brown wrote to surgeons in West Germany, Denmark and Yugoslavia. Dr Christian Hamburger in Copenhagen said that it would be possible if Brown became a Danish citizen. Dr Thomas Dehler, West German Justice Minister said that such operations were only for residents taking steps towards citizenship. Jet Magazine in 1953 designed Brown as the "first Negro 'transvestite' in history to transform his sex".

Brown signed papers at the Danish Consulate in Boston renouncing US citizenship and was issued a passport in the name of Carlett Angianlee.
"I regret leaving the United States, but after the Christine Jorgensen affair, the United States refuses to give an American citizen permission to alter his sex. I want to become a woman as quickly as possible so that I can marry."
Carlett also announced that she would be going further than Christine Jorgensen in having female ovaries transferred so that she can have children. She announced that she would be leaving on the SS Holland on August 2.

Brown then, while presenting as male, went shopping for a wedding gown in downtown Boston until ejected by a policeman. A subsequent purchase of a women's coat-suit ensemble led to Carlett being arrested when she wore it under a Boston law forbidding men to appear in female garb. Brown was unable to pay the $5 bail and had to await the arrival of her manager. She admitted that she sold blood at $5 a pint to pay rent and food, but hoped to work as a female impersonator to raise the cost of passage to Denmark.

She did not sail on the SS Holland, and instead announced that she was to have a $500 face lift operation first in New York.
“I feel that female impersonators are being denied their right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness when they are arrested for wearing female clothes – especially when they are minding their own business".
Shortly afterwards, Brown was informed by the Internal Revenue Service that he owed $1,200 in back income taxes, and could not leave the US until it was paid off. A cousin arranged a $60-week job as a cook at an Iowa State College fraternity house.

After that the press lost interest in Carlett A Brown.
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There is something called the Panache Report, a jumble of fact, rumour, supposition and nonsense. Amongst much else it takes the text I wrote about Delise Newton and adds a claim that Delise was born "Carlett Brown". Delise and Carlett were both proclaimed "The First Negro Sex Change" but 12 years apart and obviously were different people.

It is unusual to have cause to criticize Joanne Meyerowitz, who wrote the best book so far on trans history. However in the case of Carlett she cites only the June 18 article, and gives only Brown's male name.

The August 6 Jet Magazine article gives the name of the New York face-left surgeon as George Weiss, which by coincidence was also the name of the film producer in Los Angeles who commissioned Ed Wood to make Glen or Glenda at around the same time.

It is not clear whether the $1,200 tax debt is genuine, or a vindictive charge for renouncing citizenship.

Of course someone who is selling blood to survive shouldn’t buy a wedding dress, and certainly cannot afford a $500 facelift ($4,455 in 2014 dollars).   The determination to sail to Denmark is different in being existential, but spending on facelifts prevents her from getting there.

It was common for transsexuals in the 1950s and 1960s to invent implausible intersex conditions, see also Betty CowellDawn Langley Simmons.  It was also the sometime practice to arrange the operation first, and take hormones and learn to pass only afterwards.

There is no mention of Carlett Brown in Vidensbanken om kønsidentite, the Danish encyclopedia of trans history maintained by Tina Thransen, which implies that Carlett never did make it to Denmark.
  • "Male Shake Dancer Plans to Change Sex, Wed GI in Europe." Jet Magazine, June 18, 1953: 24-5.
  • "Male Dancer Becomes Danish Citizen to Change his Sex." Jet Magazine, June 25, 1953.
  • "Jail Male Shake Dancer for Posing as a Woman in Boston." Jet Magazine, July 9, 1953.
  • "Shake Dancer Postpones Sex Change For Face Lifting". Jet Magazine, August 6, 1953.
  • "Tax Snag Halts Male Dancer's Trip for Sex Change." Jet Magazine, October 15, 1953.
  • Joanne Meyerowitz. How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States. Harvard University Press,. 2002: 86.
  • Corey. "Who is Carlett (Charles) Brown and what is she to you?". I'll keep you posted, November 19, 2009. http://illkeepyouposted.typepad.com/ill_keep_you_posted/2009/11/whatever-happened-to-carlett-brown-aka-charles-brown.html.
  • Glenda Elizabeth Sherouse. The Politics of Homosexuality In the Twentieth Century Black Freedom Struggle. University of South Carolina PhD Thesis, 2013: 99.
  • Katie Bruno. "Carlett Brown: The Extreme Marginalization of Transwomen of Color". OutHistory. www.outhistory.org/exhibits/show/tgi-bios/carlett-brown.

23 June 2014

Orlaith O'Sullivan (197? - ) writer, editor

O'Sullivan, born and raised in Dublin, completed a Ph.D. in Renaissance Literature at Trinity College, in 1997. She then became Curator/Cataloguer on manuscripts and early printed books at the Scriptorium/Van Kampen Collection in Grand Haven, Michigan which led to several volumes in The Bible as Book series.


In 2006 as part of becoming a full-time writer, Orlaith lived for some time on Madeira.

From 2010-2013 she was the Campaigns and Advocacy Manager for Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI), and edited two collections of writings by TENI members.

She has also compiled a bibliography of the Book of Common Prayer, and a bibliography of Robert Graves.

She was consultant editor for the first Time Out Guide to Dublin.
LinkedIn     orlaithosullivan.com     Amazon     WorldCat

20 June 2014

Anette Egelund (1956 - ) sailor, politician.

Hugo Holm was raised in Svendborg, Denmark, and initially worked as a sailor. He later joined the anti-tax, anti immigration Fremskridtspartiet and was elected to Parliament.

He lost his parliamentary immunity when he was charged with drunk driving, violence, perjury and attempted fraud. Subsequently, he was sentenced to 30 days in jail for drunk driving. He attempted suicide in 1996, and was admitted to a psychiatric ward.

However this led to a final push. After working on the Mellerup-Voer ferry, she transitioned as Anette Egelund in 2004, and flew to Bangkok for surgery.
"The prejudices that I have encountered, can be counted on one hand. The biggest enemy I had was myself. I was a victim of my own prejudices about what people thought about me".
Later she joined the Det Radikale Venstre, and stood as a candidate in 2009 for the regional government (the first open transsexual to do in Denmark), but without success. She also helped the party to write its Program of sexuality and gender, where transsexuality was mentioned for the first time. She has appeared in two television programs about transsexuals.
DA.WIKIPEDIA    IMDB
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The article in Information says: "The Health Act requires namely the permission of the Interior and Health Minister to be allowed to change sex. This means that only four or five Danes obtain gender reassignment surgery in this country, while an estimated 20 Danes are operated on outside the Danish health and judicial systems abroad, mainly in Thailand."

17 June 2014

26 trans Latinas in the US who changed things by example and/or achievement

  • Clarabelle (18?? - ) queen mother of Los Angeles' Bunker Hill. GVWW
  • Geraldine Portica (189? - ?) from Mexico, chamber maid. GVWW 

  • Schlitze (1901 – 1971) from Mexico, carnie pinhead, film actor. GVWW


  • José Sarria (1922 -2013) of Colombian/Nicaraguan descent, caterer, performer, activist, founder of Imperial Court System. GVWW      EN.WIKIPEDIA 


  • Susanna Valenti (192? - ?) translator, broadcaster, femmiphilic activist. GVWW


  • Victoria Fenández (Vicki Starr) (1932 – ) from Puerto Rico, performer, archivist. GVWW

  • René Rivera (Mario Montez) (1935 – 2013) from Puerto Rico, actor in New York avant-garde films. GVWW EN.WIKIPEDIA


  • Nicole Murray Ramirez (194? - ) activist, Empress in Imperial Court System. GVWW



  • Christina Hayworth (194? - ) from Puerto Rico, soldier, Stonewall veteran, activist. GWVV

  • Holly Woodlawn (1946 - ) from Puerto Rico, actress, Warhol Superstar. EN.WIKIPEDIA
  • Sylvia Rae Rivera (1951 – 2002) of Puerto Rican/Venezuelan descent, Stonewall veteran, activist. GVWW   EN.WIKIPEDIA 

  • Lisa Carmelle (195? - ) from Puerto Rico, featured in Born a Man … Let Me Die a Woman. IMDB


  • Catira Reyes (Lady Catira) (1959 - 1999) from Puerto Rico, performer, pageant winner. EN.WIKIPEDIA
  • Ricardo (196? - 1995) from Cuba, sex worker, evangelist. GVWW
  • Mark Angelo Cummings (1964 - ) television personality, web broadcaster GVWW
  • Sophia Lamar (196? - ) from Cuba, performer, model. GVWW

  • Angie Xtravaganza (1966 – 1993) Puerto Rican mother, sex worker, voguing star. GVWW EN.WIKIPEDIA

  • Amara Vadillo (Sylvia Boots) (197? - ) from Cuba, porn star, convicted of murder. GVWW

  • Alexandra Reyes (1978 - ) Mayan, abused by family, finally accepted by US immigration. NewsArticle
  • Claudia Charriez (1982 - ) of Spanish descent, model. GVWW

  • Carmen Carrera (1985 - ) of Puerto-Rican-Peruvian descent, RuPaul Drag Race alumna, model. EN.WIKIPEDIA 
  • Gwen Araujo (1985 – 2002) murdered teenager. EN.WIKIPEDIA
  • Allanah Starr (198? - ) from Cuba, performer, porn star. GVWW    EN.WIKIPEDIA

  • Gia Darling (198? - ) from Guatemala, porn star. GVWW EN.WIKIPEDIA 

  • Bamby Salcedo (19?? - ) Los Angeles trans and HIV activist, featured in film TransVisible. GLAAD 

  • Harmony Santana (199? - ) of Puerto-Rican and Dominican heritage. Starred in film Gun Hill Road. EN.WIKIPEDIA 

14 June 2014

Amy Weston (1988 - ) astronomer

The six-year-old Weston was inspired by the solar eclipse in northern New England in 1994, and vowed to be a scientist. After education at the elite private school Phillips Exeter in New Hampshire , with completion of the advanced track for physics and a special program with NASA and Caltech, Weston, now as Amy did a gender studies major and astronomy minor at Colby College in Maine. That she was known as transgender and lesbian created difficulties, but she completed the astronomy courses, did independent research, and worked as a teaching assistant for the astronomy labs. She was noted for her independent work, and her determination to get the best image of spiral galaxies. Amy did her senior research on how the space race directed gender construction in the 1960s.

She began work at NASA three weeks after graduation, and is today an associate instrumentation engineer with a team charged with figuring out what happened in the first 10^34 seconds after the Big Bang.
“Gender is complicated in ways that send the smartest physicists running for cover. It’s not logical like astronomy is; it’s slippery and prone to evaporating completely before you can understand what’s going on.”
*not the photographer

11 June 2014

Yasmin Lee (1983 - ) actress. activist.

Lee was born in Thailand of Thai, Cambodian, Chinese, and Brazilian heritage. The family moved from Thailand to the Philippines and then to California.

Lee joined the U.S. Navy at age 18, but he was harassed and forced out. He found work as a drag entertainer and make-up artist. He worked as a make-up artist in Hollywood actresses and on music video sets.

After taking female hormones, and having breast implants while back in Thailand, Yasmin felt that she had to quit her job as a make-up artist, but was able to find work as an assistant on pornography sets. She became a casting director.

One day in 2004 the engaged actress did not show, so Yasmin took her place. She was featured in many porn videos. She was nominated AVN Transsexual Performer of the Year in 2008 and 2009.

After various television appearances such as The Maury Povich Show and The Tyra Banks Show, Yasmin was able to make a breakthrough into mainstream movies the with horror release Red Ice and the comedy The Hangover Part II, both 2011.

She is also an activist with the American Civil Rights Union and campaigned against California’s Proposition 8.
EN.WIKIPEDIA    IMDB      YasminLeeBlog

07 June 2014

Sabrina Petra Ramet (1949 - ) Professor of Political Science.

UK-born Ramet became a US citizen in 1966, and graduated with an AB from Stanford in philosophy in 1971, an MA from the University of Arkansas in International Relations, and PhD from UCLA in Political Science in 1981. He served in the US Air Force 1971-5.

Ramet taught at UCLA until completing transition in 1989. Sabrina then taught at the University of Washington and Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto.

In 1996 she edited Gender Reversals and Gender Cultures: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives, an eclectic collection of essays about gender variance across cultures and through history. In particular she takes issue with the much repeated feminist assumption that transsexuality is a type of reactionary conformism.
"Why anyone should think that people change sex in order to conform to to specifically the most demeaning stereotypes is quite beyond me. Why anyone would presume to generalize about 'all transsexuals' as if we were some sort of disciplined military unit is, again, beyond me. (p20)".
In 2001 Sabrina joined the faculty of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim as Professor of Political Science. She specializes in Yugoslavia and Eastern Europe. Her wife is a scientist at the University of Trondheim.

In 2009 she was elected to the Norwegischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.
  • Sabrina Ramet. Rocking the State: Rock Music and Politics in Eastern Europe and Russia. Boulder: Westview Press, 1994.
  • Sabrina P. Ramet (ed). Gender Reversals and Gender Cultures: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives. London: Routledge, 1996.
  • Sabrina P. Ramet. Eastern Christianity and Politics in the Twentieth Century. Christianity under stress, 1. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1988.
  • Sabrina P. Ramet and Gordana P. Crnković. Kazaaam! Splat! Ploof!: The American Impact on European Popular Culture Since 1945. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.
  • Sabrina P. Ramet. Thinking About Yugoslavia: Scholarly Debates About the Yugoslav Breakup and the Wars in Bosnia and Kosovo. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
DE.WIKIPEDIA   AMAZON   WorldCat   PRIO   NTNU

04 June 2014

Trans Activism in Canada – a review


  • Dan Irving & Rupert Raj (eds). Trans Activism in Canada: A Reader. Canadian Scholar's Press, 2014. $69.95.


When I reviewed Susan Stryker's Transgender History, 2008, I commented: "the title needs two caveats. This is a not a history of transgender persons and their achievements in show biz, music, sex work, computing, health work, literature, the law, religion, the military, police work, teaching, sports etc. It is a history of almost only trans activism. Secondly it is restricted to one country." This new book by Dan Irving & Rupert Raj is upfront about being confined to Canada, and mainly being about activism.

However 'activism/activist' is never defined except by naming exemplars. The core concept is, of course, persons who agitate on behalf of trans men and women, who organise groups and campaign for law reform etc. But activism is also implicit in trans persons who become prominent in other fields and are quite open about being trans. Some examples are Synthia Kavanagh, convicted murderer, who agitated through the Human Rights system so that first herself and then other prisoners were able to obtain transgender surgery (unfortunately now terminated by the Harper government); Carys Massarella, prominent physician in Hamilton, openly trans and lead physician in the city's transgender care program; Michelle Duff, motorcycle racer, winner of 1964 Belgian Grand Prix, who still makes appearances at Canadian and international motorcycle events and so makes the rather macho world of motorcycles more trans friendly; Michelle Josef, drummer with Prairie Oyster, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and other bands, who sued the Ontario government to re-instate funding for transgender surgery. None of these persons are considered worthy of even a passing mention by any of the authors in this book.

So while inmates, physicians, sports stars and musicians are not regarded as activists even when their activities have resulted in benefits for the community, the book does include the work of academics, even when they do not have similar claims. With this in mind it is instructive to peruse the Contributor Biographies at the end of the book. Most of the non-academics use one wording or another to say that they are transsexual, two-spirit, intersex, had transitioned, had surgery etc. When we look at the academics, they have written books, and hold positions in institutions. What they do not mention is whether they are trans. Some of us know from elsewhere that some of them actually are, but not from this book. A more descriptive title of the book would be Trans Academics and Activism in Canada. There is even a tendency for activists to turn into academics. We first meet Treanor Mahood-Greer in Chapter 8 where he was an activist who had previously been a butch woman working with men in the bush. He returns in Chapter 18 with a paper based on his Masters of Social Work thesis.

When I reviewed Crossing Sexual Boundaries by Ariadne Kane and Vern Bullough, I was critical of it for excluding immigrants, the working class, sex workers and particularly androphiles. No such criticism could be raised re Trans Activism in Canada. Each of Canada's major demographic groups are represented: First Nations and Métis, descendants from French colonists, descendants from English colonists, recent immigrants. There are affluent and impoverished and all sexual orientations. Unusually for trans anthologies, but obviously given who the two editors are, there is a strong male presence.

It seems a bit unbalanced that three chapters in the book are attributed to Vivian Namaste. The Afterword and two interviews: with Michell De Ville (who always appears in Namaste's books, just as Virginia Prince appeared in Vern Bullough's books) and Marie-Marcelle Godbout. Both interviews, well worth reading, document performance/activist lives in Montréal across the decades, and Namaste manages to keep her usual Foucaultianisms out of the way. However why are De Ville and Godbout not listed in the Contributor Biographies section at the end of the book? (Unlike Chapter 8 where Grey Muldoon and his interviewer are both listed as contributors). When I wrote about Dianna Boileau (not mentioned in this book), the first trans patient at the Clarke Institute and the first Canadian transsexual autobiography, I repeated the rumour that there had been transgender surgery in Montréal at about the same time, 1969. Marie-Marcelle Godbout knew the woman in question and tells us what happened to her.

Jamie Lee Hamilton is of course possibly the trans and whore activist with the best track record not only in Canada, but world-wide. She has organized, run for many offices, and almost alone agitated to get the police to pay attention to the serial killings now attributed to Robert Picton (although the Wikipedia article on Picton denies her the credit that she very much deserves). Her account of her life and work is worth reading again, even though most of it was included in a profile of her in the June 2010 issue of The Walrus. It is unfortunate that there is no explanation of why the 2005 biography of her by Barbara Daniel has completely disappeared.

Since Rupert Raj's Wikipedia page was removed, the only account of his life on the web is the one by me. Nick Matte's "Rupert Raj and the Rise of Transsexual Consumer Activism in the 1980s" could at first reading be an account of a different person – especially as he omits my account of Rupert from his bibliography. It is a compliment to Rupert that different accounts are possible. Matte concentrates on Rupert's Metamorphosis Medical Research Foundation and its publication, and says almost nothing about the Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Transsexuals (FACT). He has a passing kind word for Susan Huxford, but doesn't bother to mention how she damaged FACT and reduced Gender Review, which was well worth reading when Rupert edited it, to little more than a diary of her own activities. Matte highlights two reviews published in the Metamorphosis newsletter. The first by D.Hudson (whom he fails to identify as the last chairperson of FACT-Toronto) was of Gender Dysphoria, 1985 by the team at the Clark Institute of Psychiatry. Matte says: "the review validated and recognized many trans people's frustrations with the gender clinic research model as being out of touch with their realities, as well as their efforts to negotiate the world as trans people". However both Hudson and Matte fail to mention that this book lays out the Autogynephilia model – the full perniciousness of which was not realized until later. The second review was by Lou Sullivan of Lothsteins's Female-to-Male Transsexualism, which insisted that trans men were lesbians in denial. Sullivan rightly castigated this as 'dangerous and regressive'.

Elizabeth James' is an inspiring story of descent into heroin and bank robbery, but after prison she embraced her two-spirit heritage and turned her life around.

Sandy Laframboise is another positive model whose rise from whore to social worker is inspiring. And as with Marie-Marcelle Godbout there is a second story of a trans colleague of Sandy's that should be told but is quickly summarized in a footnote.

One of the most inspiring chapters is Grey Muldoon's. In 2009 he hitch-hiked around northern Ontario and visited seven trans activists in Sudbury, North Bay, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie. Life there is necessarily different from that in the big cities in the south of the province, and has its own experiences of gender non-conformity. A particular example is Wendy who does travel to Toronto for appointments with the CAMH Gender Clinic. However she explains that CAMH 'have no clue about the North'. They press her to have long hair, and wear skirts and makeup, but none of the cis women that she knows do those things. She rightly insists on presenting as a woman on local terms.

Trish Salah's chapter is a case study of how a trade union (Canadian Union of Public Employees – CUPE) can accept non-discrimination against trans persons as part of its remit. In her 20-pages, she spends the first six discussing the use of the term 'transgender' in another country. She tells us nothing of how it was used in Canada. She repeats yet again the misinformation that Virginia Prince introduced the term, citing Leslie Feinberg's Transgender Warriors. How many times does this have to be refuted before people stop claiming it? My 2011 article, The Myth that Transgender is a Princian Concept explains step by step why the Princian claim is not true. Salah apparently does not want to know this. The editors should have advised her to drop this section of her article. On the seventh page she writes: "I do not have the space here to document a longer history of trans activism in the Canadian or international context". Indeed! She then quickly traces trans activism back to the mid-1990s. Those of us who were doing it in the 1970s, are not too impressed. She documents how trans persons in CUPE came out, and were able using precedents set by GLB and feminist activism to get pro-trans resolutions passed within CUPE, but without member engagement. When times got tougher, other priorities were attended to and trans issues forgotten. Towards the end she is talking more about sex workers than trans public and university employees. "...there was a persistent doubt as to whether they were legitimately representing sex workers, trans people, or trade unionists, and skepticism about what 'they' had to do with 'us' ". I feel that she fails to explain the issue with regard to CUPE. She mentions hard-working trans-sex-worker activists such as Jamie Lee Hamilton and Sandy Laframboise, but does not claim that they were in CUPE. Surely she is not trying to say that sex workers have CUPE membership cards? I certainly agree that the Canadian Labour Congress and its member unions should provide money and advice to help sex workers to unionize, but the account here is confusing.

The major discussion of the CAMH (previously the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry) Gender Clinic is by Will Rowe, which is another chapter based on a Master of Social Work thesis. Rowe does, as we would expect, talk of the "incredibly transphobic history of CAMH's GIC". He interviewed four trans men about their current experiences with the CAMH GIC. For an earlier period, the 1990s, he relies on Namaste's writings. Namaste, as per her usual approach, never told us whether she was actually a patient at CAMH, although, as she lived in Ottawa and then Toronto while she transitioned, she quite likely was. No other trans women or other earlier patients are cited or discussed. This despite the extensive section on the CAMH GIC in my own writings and those of Andrea James. James' material is especially germane in that she reprinted first person accounts of what happened there. It is particularly odd in Rowe's account is that there is no mention of autogynephilia, and no mention of Ray Blanchard. Autogynephilia is the most pernicious face of the CAMH GIC's transphobia, so how can it not be mentioned? Rowe also fails to mention the only two books books published by the CAMH GIC: Gender Dysphoria: Development, Research, Management, 1985, and Clinical management of gender identity disorders in children and adults, 1990. These two books which are the CAMH GIC explaining itself are dominated by Kurt Freund and Ray Blanchard and are the definitive exposition of autogynephilia. Rowe does not explain this omission, any more than Namaste explained why she also removed the same topic. Why are Namaste and Rowe removing autogynephilia from the history of the CAMH GIC?

The CAMH Gender Clinic was dominated by US immigrants: Blanchard, Zucker, Cantor, and understandably they endorsed the US Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). They may be pleased that not a single writer in this anthology questions why Canadian psychotherapy is using a foreign diagnostic manual rather than either having its own like France or Sweden or using the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO).

A final niggle. The contributor biography for Broden Giambrone says that he is 'currently' doing an MHSc at the University of Toronto. That was four years ago. He has been CEO at TENI in Dublin since.

The not-so good parts of the book: that Michell De Ville and Marie-Marcelle Godbout are not listed as contributors; the pretence that autogynephilia is not part of the history of CAMH; the lack of shame in uncritically accepting the DSM in Canada.

The best of the book: the variety of persons, especially the otherwise undocumented activists in Northern Ontario; Marie-Marcelle Godbout's defiant declaration:
"And I never hid who I was. I would not want to be anything other than transsexual. If you were to tell me that I had a chance to do it all over again, I would say leave me as I am. I worked hard to get here."

01 June 2014

Sandra Day (1939 – 2010) bookseller, performer.

After a childhood in Ebeltoft, Jutland, and training as a bookseller in Copenhagen, Sandra Day transitioned in 1969, and has since performed in Copenhagen nightclubs as a stripper and whip queen, and also as a singer and actress.

Sandra was cast as a transvestite in the 1978 film, Lille Spejl, and was featured in the 2004 television documentary Danmarks Marquis: Marcel de Sade.

In the last year of her life she recorded an album: Sing – don't cry.
DA.WIKIPEDIA    IMDB