This site is the most comprehensive on the web devoted to trans history and biography. Almost a thousand 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 are also a search boxes at the top left. Enjoy exploring!

26 November 2014

Berlin in the 1920s and early 1930s

Three trans women - said to be prostitutes - at the  Marienkasino.

Trans women at the Eldorado Nightclub

 Hansi Sturm, Miss Eldorado, 1926.

All images from:
Robert Beachy. Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity. Knopf, 2014.

Note Herman von Teschenberg's transvestity is not mentioned, Dörchen RichterCarla van Crist are not mentioned at all.  Lili Elbe is not named. 


24 November 2014

Catherine McGregor (1956–) soldier, cricketer, sports writer, political aide.

Malcolm grew up in Toowoomba, Queensland, in a Catholic family. He was eight when his father died, and shorty afterwards he tried on his mother's clothes. He was a successful boy, at humanities and at cricket, at a Christian Brothers high school. He always wanted to be a soldier.

He enlisted at 18, and chose to go into the infantry, where he met David Morrison. He was known for his drinking and getting into fights.

However after a promotion, he left and joined the New South Wales Labor Party, and became press secretary to Bob Carr, then leader of the opposition. At this time Malcolm encountered Tony Abbott, who was making a name for himself in the Liberal Party, on a rugby field. In 1985 McGregor sought medical help and was offered a diagnosis of being transgender. He started going out as a woman, but lost his nerve and drank instead. He managed to stop, but had a major falling out with the Labor Party.

Malcolm went to work with the Federal Liberal Party for the 1993 election where John Hewson lost, despite expectations, to Labor's Paul Keating. 18 months later McGregor was involved in the leaking of internal polling that showed how unpopular Hewson was, and this led to Hewson being replaced.

Malcolm "having burnt my bridges with both political Parties" then became a media political commentator, and also joined the Army Reserve. After 911 he rejoined the Regular Army.
At this time Malcolm found a woman that he loved, and they married. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was working as advisor and speechwriter for Lieutenant General David Morrison, who was now the Chief of the Army.

He had a second career as a cricket commentator for The Spectator.

In October 2011, McGregor read a magazine article about Westerly Windina in The Sun Herald, and this enabled him to tell his therapist that he was transgender.

In 2012 McGregor was awarded the Order of Australia, and discussed his gender issues with the chief, who refused twice to accept a resignation. McGregor's book, An Indian Summer of Cricket, came out under Malcolm's name, and in the final chapter she announces her impending transition. Tony Abbott reviewed it, and lauded her courage. She separated from her wife and transitioned as Catherine (Cate) "rhymes with mate'.

Cate & Tony in the ABC Radio commentary booth
In general both army and cricket associates were supportive, but there were a few negative remarks, which led to spats on social media until Morrison counselled her that such was not to happen again.
In 2014 Catherine was featured on ABC's Australian Story, introduced by her old mate Tony Abbott, now Prime Minister. Catherine transferred to the Air Force. She now writes about cricket for the Australian Financial Review. She is senior delegate for women’s cricket in the armed services, and helps select the Australian prime minister’s sides, as his representative, that play touring teams. Catherine is on good terms with her ex-wife.

*Not the academic at UVic, nor the NZ journalist, nor the actress.
EN.WIKIPEDIA     Pinnacle

22 November 2014

Laura de Costa Teixeira (1980–) police

Thiago de Castro Teixeira is a Brazilian policeman who until recently was in charge of the anti-drugs squad in the north-east city of Goiana, Pernambuco. Teixeira was previously married with two children, although some of his colleagues regarded him as gay.

In late 2013 Teixeira took three months leave and after surgery in Thailand returned as Laura. She arranged to be transferred to a police unit that specializes in countering crimes against women.

"I feel that as a woman now I can make a difference investigating and helping transgender victims in particular who suffer abuse and violence because of who they choose to be".

*Not the boxer Thiago Teixeira.

18 November 2014

Barneys New York - Brothers, Sisters, Sons, & Daughters: The Film

I missed this when it came out in February, but it is certainly worth watching.

Directed by Bruce Weber

With Candy Darling,   Flawless Sabrina

Arin Andrews
Edie Charles
Valentijn de Hingh
Ashley de la Cruz
Sawyer Devuyst
Peche Di
Dezjorn Gauthier
Trevon Haynes
Katie Hill
Eve Lindley
Niki M’nray
Ryley Pogensky
Ines Rau
May Simon
Ahya Taylor
Maxie Neu
Gisele Xtravaganza

The individual portraits start at 10.00 minutes in.

16 November 2014

Maria Clara Spinelli (1985 - ) civil servant, actress.

Spinelli was raised Assis in São Paulo province, and as an adult became a public servant.

After some theatre work Maria Spinelli was cast as a transsexual lawyer in Quanto Dura o Amor?, 2009 (known as Paulista outside Brazil), and won the Best Actress award at the local Paulinia Film Festival, and again at the Hollywood Brazilian Film Festival and the Monaco Charity Film Festival.

She has since been in several episodes of the Salve Jorge telenovela, again playing a transsexual.


13 November 2014

Rafalala (1982–) artist, activist

Rafalala, from Siedlce, has become one of Poland's most famous transsexuals, appearing in her own theatre revue and writing a popular blog. Her name is "Rafal", her official name and 'lala'='dolly.

In 2007 she was featured in the documentary film, I bóg stworzył transwestytę. During the elections that year, she arrived at the polling station, accompanied by German and Polish camera crews, but because of the male-looking photograph on her identity documents, she was not allowed to vote. This led to a debate in the Polish media on identity and sex.

Later she was featured in the media when she met with a letting agent to complete a pre-arranged lease, and he refused to let her have the apartment.

In August 2014, she was invited on Polsat news along with Artur Zawisza, the leader of the right-wing Ruch Narodowy (National Movement). Zawisza referred to her as 'it', 'that thing' and 'male whore'. Rafalala retorted with “You, sir, are a stupid man who lies on the air”, and finally, as he would not stop his insults, poured water on him, after which he left the studio.
Homopedia   Website   Blog   Filmweb   IMDB

09 November 2014

IOS Rainbow List 2014

The 2014 Independent on Sunday Rainbow List (previously Pink List) of 101 LGBT persons who made a difference is just published.

One of the good things about this list is that most people on have not yet been featured in either GVWW or Wikipedia.   I, of course, certainly disagree with who is on the list, who is not and the rankings - but lets put that aside.  

2013 list.

Trans persons included:

 2 Paris Lees, journalist

 13 Kate Stone, scientist.  GVWW 

18 Rebecca Root, actress

24 James Morton of the Scottish Transgender Alliance

36 Natacha Kennedy,  Lecturer, Goldsmiths College, co-chair of Camden LGBT Forum, sits on LGBT Labour’s national committee and is a founder member of London Trans Diversity and the Trans Teachers’ Association.

47 Isabella Segal, accountant.

58 Jane Fae, journalist GVWW 

65 Jay Stewart, Co-founder of Gendered Intelligence

68 Jess Key, head of UK Trans Info

74  Juliet Jacques,  columnist and blogger,  blog longlisted for the 2011 Orwell prize.  WIKIPEDIA

86 Asif Quaraishi, the UK’s first Muslim drag queen.

87 Juno Roche, primary schoolteacher

89 Cat Burton, British Airways pilot

92 CN Lester, musician, writer, activist.

93 Ayla Holdom, RAF pilot

94 Antonia Belcher, building consultant

96  Sarah Brown, previously Cambridge Councillor.   WIKIPEDIA  

98 Stephanie Hirst, radio presenter

Supplementary lists.
National Treasures

April Ashley         GVWW        WIKIPEDIA

Stephen Whittle                       WIKIPEDIA

Paul O'Grady/Lily Savage     GVWW       WIKIPEDIA

George O'Dowd     GVWW      WIKIPEDIA

Alice Purnell          GVWW

Roz Kaveney          GVWW 

Ones to Watch

Kellie Maloney, boxing promoter, UKIP candidate    WIKIPEDIA 

Michelle Ross, CliniQ for trans sexual health.

Naith Payton, first-person piece in The Sun   

Sophie Green, artist & illustrator  

Nicole Gibson, model   

08 November 2014

Carol Marra (1992 - ) model, actress

Marra was raised in Belo Horizonte, and was an androgynous child often taken for a girl. She moved to Rio de Janeiro where her parents paid for her to take a degree in journalism.

After working for TV Globo, Marra found work in fashion on the production side, still dressing androgynously. A photographer whom she had been working with approached her and asked to do a photo-shoot. He showed the photos to a lot of people, and Carol, by now dressing as female, was invited to participate in the Minas Trend Preview, a fashion show that happens right before Fashion Rio and São Paulo Fashion Week.

This led to more work, including in Paris. She also acted in a production of Jean Genet's play The Maids. She has been in two television mini-series and was the first transsexual featured in Revista Trip magazine.

She has recently been seen in the company of a parliamentary advisor, who has endured the ribaldry of his colleagues, and has a supporting mother. Carol has been postponing transgender surgery because because of her busy schedule, but has met with Dr. Marcio Littleton in Rio, and had counselling.

03 November 2014

Laxmi Narayan Tripathi लक्ष्मी नारायण त्रिपाठी (1979–) dancer, activist.

Laxmi was born in Thane, Maharashtra, the eldest child of seven of Brahmins from Uttar Pradesh. Laxmi was a sickly child suffering from double pneumonia, typhoid and asthma, was taunted at school for being feminine, and was sexually abused by a relative.

By the second standard Tripathi was fascinated by the Bharatanatyam dance, its costumes, jewellery and make-up. She also became with a hijra artist, Shabina Frances. Unusually her family supported her study of dance and theatre, and Laxmi took an arts degree at Mumbai's Mithibai College and a post-graduate degree in Bharatnatyam. She drew comments on the street:
"I was comfortable with myself; so what others said never bothered me. That was the time when I was a queen, an epitome of sexuality, and I had many boyfriends. All this while I found I was very feminine".
She became a celebrated dancer, and also worked for LGBT causes:
"There were many hijras who died on my lap in the hospital because they didn't get medical attention on time".
In 2002 Laxmi became a founding member of the Dai Welfare Society, which works for hijra and other trans persons. In 2008 Tripathi was voted to represent the Asia Pacific Sex Workers Network and in this capacity spoke at the UN Civil Society Task Force at the UN General Assembly. In 2010 she launched the Indian Super Queen beauty pageant.

Laxmi has starred in several television shows including the reality show Bigg Boss, and in three documentary films. She has adopted two children.

She was one of those who had petitioned for India to recognize a third gender, which was achieved in April 2014 by the Supreme Court, which was in time to permit trans persons to vote in the 2014 national elections. The court also ordered that employment and education quotas be established for trans as for other minorities.


Laxmi is the name of the goddess of beauty and fortune who is also the wife of Vishnu.  However the name was decided by the Vaishnavist family before Laxmi was born and thus is not a name taken at transition.

31 October 2014

Deborah Bershel (1954–) doctor.

Roy Shelton grew up Jewish in Flushing, New York. He trained as s doctor at the Georgetown University School of Medicine on a US Army scholarship. He married Alison Berkowitz in 1981 and changed his name to Roy Berkowitz-Shelton. He served with the US Army in Germany until 1987, and he told Alison about his desire to crossdress, but he repressed it.

They had a son in 1985, and a daughter in 1988. Bershel opened a general medical practice in Newton, Boston, and Alison became his office manager.

Not until 2004 did Bershel tell Alison that he felt that he was a woman, Deborah. Bershel started visiting a gender therapist who suggested that it be Deborah who attended the sessions. Bershel read and identified with She’s Not There by Jennifer Finney Boylan. Alison went with Deborah as female for a cross-dressers' weekend on Rhode Island.

Deborah started laser hair-removal and voice training. In 2006 she had facial surgery, sent letters to the patients, and set up a website. Most of the patients stayed, and the synagogue was accepting. Her parents were accepting, but Alison, after living with Deborah for a few months asked Deborah to move out. Their daughter stopped speaking to Deborah.

Deborah met and formed a new life partnership with Berni, lesbian and a psychiatric social worker. Deborah had genital surgery with Dr Pierre Brassard in Montréal in 2007, and Berni accompanied her. At that time she had three trans patients. That number later grew to about 50. Dr Bershel attended the WPATH meeting in Oslo in 2009, had testified at the Massachusetts State House re discrimination suffered by transsexuals, and in 2010 gave a presentation at the First Event Transgender Conference.


Margaret Wente used Deborah’s story to align herself with the Blanchardian-dichotomy school.

28 October 2014

Black Parrot Tea Shoppe Hobo-Hemia, raided 1923

In February 1923 the Charles Street Police Station in Manhattan was paying special attention to Greenwich Village. Deputy Inspector Joseph A. Howard and Captain Edward J. Dempsey of the Charles Street Station, and a party of ten detectives visited each tearoom and cabaret.

Detectives Joseph Massie and Dewey Hughes of the Special Service Squad were assigned to the Black Parrot Tea Shoppe Hobo-Hemia, 46 Charles Street, to witness what they had been informed would be a “circus", and arrested five women and eight men.

However on closer inspection, Ruby Bernhammer 21 from West Hoboken, New Jersey, did not meet their definition of a woman. Bernhammer was charged with disorderly conduct for giving an indecent dance, and they gave her name as 'Harry'.

Another arrested was Arthur C. Budd also 21 who worked as a female impersonator in “The Lady in Ermine” at The Century Theater under the name Rosebud.

The next day the local magistrate dismissed charges against all but the proprietors of the Black Parrot. Rosebud lost his job at The Century Theatre, but was working again the next year.
  • "Village Raid Nets 4 Women and 9 Men: Detectives Thought They Had Five Females, but Misjudged One Person by Clothing”. New York Times, February 5, 1923: 17.
  • "Board Ship to Get Big Liquor Agent". New York Times, February 6, 1923: 23.
  • "Cabaret" column. Variety, February 15, 1923: 30.
  • Chad Heap Slumming Sexual and Racial Encounters in American Nightlife, 1885-1940. University of Chicago Press,2009: 353.
  • "Mae West: Rosebud". Mae West, July 26, 2008.
IBDB(Arthur C Budd)   

In contradiction to the New York Times, Variety claimed that the one “togged up in complete female attire” was Rosebud.

26 October 2014

24 trans persons from Wales/Ireland/Scotland who changed things by example and/or achievement.

  1. Christian Davies (1667 – 1739) soldier from Dublin. EN.WIKIPEDIA
  2. Anne Bonny (1698 – 1782 ) Irish cross-dressing pirate. EN.WIKIPEDIA

  3. Lavinia Edwards (1809 – 1833) Irish actress in London. GVWW
  4. Edward de Lacy Evans (1830 – 1901) from Waterford, labourer and husband in Melbourne. GVWW

  5. John Coulter (1834 – 1884) labourer at Belfast Harbour. GVWW
  6. Murray Hall (1841 – 1901) from Govan, Glasgow. Businessman, Tammany Hall politician in New York. GVWW EN.WIKIPEDIA

  7. Albert Cashier (1844 – 1915) from Clogherhead, County Louth, fought in US Civil War, then labourer in Illinois. GVWW EN.WIKIPEDIA

  8. Raymond Browne-Lecky (1881 – 1961) Warrenpoint, County Down, aristocratic thespian GVWW

  9. Ewan Forbes (1912 – 1991) Aberdeenshire doctor, Baronet and landowner. GWVV EN.WIKIPEDIA
  10. Jan Morris (1926 - ) Pwllheli, Gwynedd journalist, travel writer and historian. GVWW EN.WIKIPEDIA

  11. Alga Campbell (192? - ) from Dublin, co-founder of the Beaumont Society and the one who suggested the name.
  12. Stephanie Anne Booth (1946 - ) She and her husband own Transformation shops, a chain of hotels in North Wales. Stephanie was leader of Llangollen Chamber of Trade and Tourism. Featured on BBC Wales. GVWW EN.WIKIPEDIA

  13. Jo Clifford (1949 - ) major Scottish playwright. GVVV.
  14. Nicole Dolder (195? - ) Edinburgh software engineer, actor, director GVWW.
  15. Rebecca De Havalland (1958 - ) Dublin celebrity hair dresser, model. AMAZON newsarticle

  16. Lydia Foy (1947 - ) dentist in County Kildair, appealed to Supreme Court. GVWW EN.WIKIPEDIA

  17. Louise Hannon (1961 - ) Dublin business development manager awarded more than €35,000 after employment discrimination. Vice-Chair of Transgender Equality Network Ireland. GVWW

  18. Sarah Stafford (1968 - ) farmer in Donegal. GVWW
  19. Martine Cuypers (1970 - ) Chair of Transgender Equality Network Ireland. Also Classics professor at Trinity College, Dublin. GVWW
  20. Orlaith O'Sullivan (197? - ) Dublin editor, writer, Campaigns and Advocacy Manager for Transgender Equality Network Ireland. GVWW

  21. Panti Bliss (197? - ) from County Mayo, major Dublin drag queen who regularly hosts Dublin Pride and whose January 2014 comments on Irish homophobia went viral. EN.WIKIPEDIA.
  22. Jasmine Goode (1976 - ) burglar from Rhyl, Denbighshire. GVWW

  23. Lauren Harries (1978 - ) from Cardiff, antiques retailer, television personality. GVWW EN.WIKIPEDIA

  24. Broden Giambrone (1982 - ) from Toronto, Chief Executive of Transgender Equality Network Ireland. GVWW

23 October 2014

Pequeña P. (1982 – 2009) performer.

Juan Atum from Gualeguaychú, Entre Rios, descended from a family of clowns, became famous on Argentinian television as Pequeña P. She competed with Florencia de la Vega for boyfriends, appeared in the show at El Angel, and had a small part in the film Fantasma de Buenos Aires

From 2003 she lived with Miguel, a taxi-driver, and was also having an affair with a policeman.

At the age of 27 her body was found hanging by her boyfriend. He was initially charged but the case was dismissed for a lack of evidence, and Pequeña was ruled to be a suicide who should be interred without an autopsy. However Juan's mother did not accept this verdict, and registered a complaint.

This resulted in a forensic investigation which found that Juan had been struck in the face and stomach before death, and that neither the electrical cord nor the scarf that it was proposed that she had used to hang herself would have borne her weight. There were also calls on her phone after she had been found dead, one to a nephew of a former president.

A few weeks later the Gualeguaychú police found the decomposed remains of Ramón "Rony" Galante who also was a travestie using the name Gisela, and also cleaned house for Atum.

Three years later when her sister and mother attempted to retrieve her body from the Gualeguaychú Judicial Morgue, it was found to be missing. The sister Alejandra Atum was threatened by phone several times for persisting in her inquiries.
Blog     CineNacional


As with International Chrysis and Sir Lady Java, we have a male name and a performance name but not a female name.   This could be a defect of reporting, although I consulted more than the 5 articles listed above.   It could be that Pequeña P. thought of herself mare as gay than as female, as was common until fairly recently.

20 October 2014

Karine Espineira (1967 - ) activist, author.

Espineira was born in Santiago, Chile, with a Chilean father and a French mother. After the US-backed Pinochet coup in September 1973, they fled to France.

In 1987 Espineira was involved in a serious road accident and expected to die, and ended up needing over 30 operations over several years.

From 1988 to 1992 Espineira did a degree at the University of Grenoble in letters and communication, and started a doctorate at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, but dropped out to deal with personal issues.

As Karine she went to Paris and became involved with the Association du Syndrome de Benjamin that had just been founded by Tom Reucher, Diane Potiron, Hugues Cariou and others. Another participant was Maud-Yeuse Thomas who became Karine's life partner. Karine started psychiatric interviews as part of the official French transition protocol, but as Tom Reucher as done earlier, she was repelled by the excessive pathologization, and by the surgical failures. She did keep seeing a psychiatrist on the official team, but negotiated hormones, and in 1998 has surgery with Dr Michel Seghers in Brussels. She was able to obtain a changed Chilean birth certificate.

Karine and Maud-Yeuse joined the anti-essentialist, anti-psychiatry, queer-theory group organized by University of Lille sociologist, Marie-Hélène Bourcier, and also LesboTrans.

In 2001 Karine and Maud-Yeuse moved to Marseille and became a social activist. In 2008 Karine published La transidentité: de l'espace médiatique à l'espace public. In 2012 Karine, Maud-Yeuse and Arnaud Alessandrin published La Transyclopedie: Tout Savoir Sur Les Transidentites, a history-cum-encyclopedia of transgender in France. In 2014 Karine obtained a PhD at the University of Nice – Sophia Antipolis in Information Science and Communication.
Blog    Amazon.FR     WorldCat

Présentation de la transyclopédie : extrait by QueerDays

17 October 2014

Erika Ervin (1977–) paralegal, personal trainer, model, actress

Ervin was raised in California by a tall family of Dutch-German descent. By age 14 Ervin was 5"9'/1.75m, and finally grew to 6"8'/2.03m. Ervin's mother was a nurse who died from AIDS after an accidental needle-prick.

After working in a law office for six years, Ervin transitioned as Erika in 2004, but was rejected by her family. Erika's first boyfriend introduced her to fitness training and she studied with the National Academy of Sports Medicine to become a personal trainer. She also did session wrestling with men.
Erika appeared in the documentary Trans/Formed in 2007, and therefore technically outed herself.

A fitness client introduced her to the world of Amazons, and this led to international tours as Amazon Eve. In Australia in 2009 she was discovered by the magazine Zoo Weekly, and featured in the November edition. In Japan she became known as Babezilla. This resulted in modeling work for Harper's Bazaar and in fashion shows in Milan, and in 2011 Amazon Eve became the Guinness World Record World's Tallest Professional Model.

She started acting, but mainly was offered parts as aliens or monsters because of her size. There were rumors about her gender, and she was fired from a television show. However the Daily Mail ran an article on Amazon Eve merely about the difficulties that tall women have finding men, and how she had finally found a 6"4'/1.93m boyfriend.

Amazon Eve had a small part in the pilot of the sitcom Family Tools (the remake of White Van Man), and a regular part in the supernatural drama Hemlock Grove, where the cast found out that she was trans. Swedish actor Bill Skarsgård was very supportive and encouraged her to come out, which she did on Sweden's TV3 in 2013.

The producers of American Horror Story: Freak Show thought that it would be too difficult to find a 7 foot/2 meter woman so they posted a casting notice for a male actor. “I auditioned for the part as a guy. ... I slicked back my hair, no makeup, flannel shirt, bound my breasts, dropped my voice, and walked in — and nailed it.” The producers were delighted when they found that indeed they had a woman for the role, and renamed the character to Erika's performance name: Amazon Eve.

Ericka campaigns to end child abuse, and for LGBT rights and for those who suffer from AIDS.
IMDB   EN.WIKIPEDIA   Website   Guinness