A History of the Transsexual Action Organization (TAO) and some associates
See also Angela Douglas (1943 - 2007) musician, activist
Part 1: to 1971. USAF, music, GLF
Part 2: 1972-82. TAO in Miami Beach
Part 3: aftermath
Douglas Carl Czinki became Angela Douglas. Therefore when I write 'Douglas' alone there is ambiguity whether that is his forename or her surname. Up to 1969 it is the former. Douglas is not the only trans woman to use her boy name as her new surname, but I will not name the others.
While Angela Douglas is the dominant and central character in this history, there are several others who contribute significantly to trans history.
In quoting Douglas I have corrected spelling and punctuation, and sometimes added [words] to make it more readable.
Part I: to 1971. USAF, music, GLF1943
Douglas Carl Czinki born in Detroit, of Hungarian descent. Raised on USAF bases. Father was in AFOSI, Air Force Intelligence; mother employed by AEC, CIA and DEA.
Colette Tisha Goudie, born in France of French-Cuban descent.
Danny O'Connor born in San Antonio, Texas.
Kimberly Barreiro born in Cuba.
The Czinki family moves to South Florida neighborhood of Hialeah, which had a large Latino population. Douglas meets Norma Rodriguez.
Douglas at high school in Japan.
Against his family's opposition, Douglas marries Norma
Douglas plays in Charades, a roadhouse band in Oklahoma City; he also says that he was in USAF in this period.
As Doug Delain, Czinki plays guitar with band Euphoria with William D. Lincoln (bass, vocals), Hamilton Wesley Watt (vocals), Dave Potter (drums).
Virginia Prince rents a house in Laurel Canyon around the same time as Frank Zappa and many other musicians. There is no recorded interaction of Prince with the musicians.
Delain tries to form a band, Motorcycle Abilene, with Warren Zevon, and records songs with Love's Ken Forssi and Alban Pfisterer. Releases LPs: Trapped, C'est Dommage.
Delain has a cameo in Roger Corman's LSD film The Trip in Laurel Canyon. "There are two scenes in The Trip filmed there. [Peter]Fonda, [Bruce] Dern drive up, bikers in front including Roland God Barnett of The Barons, I painted "LOVE" on the street, did some of the art on the film. [Dennis] Hopper is passing joints around. I am in that scene, so is young future billionaire Paul Allen, a wanna be bass player then, hung out now and then there, helped me set up Hendrix's gear for a promo film Hendrix made there in 68."
Czinki's wife, Norma Rodriguez, pregnant, leaves him for a woman.
Danny O'Connor marries and they have a child.
Delain plays last music gig as a boat party for Steppenwolf in Hawai'i.
Jimmy Hendrix television special is filmed at Delain's home in Laurel Canyon.
Danny O'Connor wins nationwide contest "Super Teen: The Sounds of '68.
Czinki becomes Angela Douglas, and is active in LA GLF. There is no indication that she even considered Virginia Prince's FPE. "I was not gay and knew nothing of them prior to l969. I became a writer for The LA Image and communists and gays sought me out to promote their actions. I did, and got involved with the Gay Liberation Front, took part in a few protests, then formed the Transsexual Action organization with Canary Conn." (email to Kay Brown)
Colette Tisha Goudie starts living as female.
Singer Danny O'Connor releases two 45 rpm singles: "If I Am Not Free" and "Can You Imagine." (Click to listen). Later leaves wife and child and becomes Canary Conn. Canary has stage-one surgery with Dr Lopez in Tijuana.
Douglas and trans singer attacked when supposed to perform at LA gay lib dance.
Frustrated by 'antitransvestic' attitudes of some gay men, and that GLF ignored the push for a clinic in Los Angeles, Douglas founds Transvestite/Transsexual Action Organization (TAO).
Douglas and one other demonstrate at a showing of the newly released Myra Breckinridge, denouncing it as exploitative and objecting that a non-transsexual, Raquel Welsh, played Myra.
TAO protests when Los Angeles welfare officials discontinue aid to 'men' who dress as women.
TAO persuades the Californian Peace and Freedom Party to include in its platform "The right to determine the uses of one's body, as in sex changes operations and others" and gets the Socialist Party to call for an end to arrests for 'cross-dressing'.
Douglas writes to Harry Benjamin: "As I progress as a transsexual, I find myself more attuned to Women's Liberation, in particular, the demands and ideas of gay women".
In a published letter to Playboy, Douglas explains that TAO supported "both gay liberation and women's liberation: we believe that all victims of prejudice and discrimination must work together to change this society".
Czinki senior murdered in Maryland.
Douglas on a visit to New York as part of investigating father's death, meets with Zelda Suplee of the Erickson Educational Foundation, and passes on a leaflet for a demonstration in Sheridan Square for 'transvestite and transexual liberation'. However only Suplee and one organizer turned up.
TAO is renamed to Transsexual Action Organization. Transvestites no longer welcome.
Canary Conn answers an ad in the Los Angeles Free Press for TAO and attends: "The TAO advertised itself as 'a transsexual action organization' but turned out to be a gathering place for a bunch of drag queens who were mostly interested in running pink flags up poles and picketing college campuses as well as having sex with anyone who walked by, male or female. It was a fiasco." (Conn: 202)
There is an excellent book on the Los Angeles music scene in the 1960s: Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon, Headpress, 2013 by David McGowan. It points out that most of the noted musicians associated with Laurel Canyon had fathers in either the military or in intelligence: Frank Zappa, Papa John Philips, Stephen Stills, Gram Parsons. Jim Morrison's father, George Morrison, commanded the US warships in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964 in the incident, false flag or not, that led to the escalation of the US-Vietnamese war.
Carl Douglas Czinki/Doug Delain fits right into this pattern, but is missing from McGowan's book.
There is an idea that Jim Morrison of the Doors survived his death and became Angela Douglas. Yeah right. Douglas commented on this in 2004: "Never even met The Doors, but they got signed with Electra by Arthur Lee. I am not James Douglas Morrison who apparently died in Paris in l97l (not l969.) The Doors, family think he faked his death. Incredibly, we were both born in 43, he in Florida, me in Michigan, I grew up mostly in Florida in the Air Force, he in the Navy, he left Tallahassee in 63-64 for LA he had attended FSU, I left Miami in 65 for LA and got Lee's new band hired at Bido Lito's (see on web), a club helped get open, sang with him a bit, cut two of my songs later with Love members. I was born Douglas Carl Czinki, he was born James Douglas Morrison, so there are some incredible similarities with our lives I can't explain, supernatural. I can sound very much like him when I sing, however, despite the sex change." (Amorous Propensities May 21, 2004 and October 21, 2004.)
Douglas says, GuitarSite 10/15/04: "I found out that Jim Fouratt (now an A and R man with Mercury NYC in a 1993 gay history book, Stonewall, falsely claims he removed firebombs I planted at NYU in 70 and is a big fucking hero. I was briefly in NYC in 70 and he assaulted me and a TV news team interviewing me, stalked me later in Miami and may have been involved in many tries to kill me". I checked Martin Duberman's Stonewall, 1993. There is no entry for Douglas, Czinki or Delain in the index. Fouratt is in the book, but I could not find anything resembling this claim.
Douglas married a woman, was later sexually attracted to other members of TAO, and in 1991 is reported as cat-calling pretty women on the street. In short was gynephilic, and could be said to be a heterosexual male who temporarily became a woman. Thus it is reasonable to ask why he did not simply join Virginia Prince's FPE, which was active in Los Angeles in 1969, before starting a new group? There would have course have been ego-conflicts.
Gift from Euphoria is on sale at Amazon. I cannot find the other albums for sale.
Douglas claims Canary Conn as a TAO co-founder because of her fame as a singer, while, according to her book, she attended only once and was horrified. Compare her attitude to that of Lili Elvenes (Elbe) who was equally horrified when she met the other trans women at Hirschfeld's Institute.