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!

24 March 2018

Sam Winter (1955 - ) academic

Sam Winter did a BSC in Psychology at the University of Southampton in 1973, a post-graduate certificate in Education at Coventry College of Education, 1974, and an M.Ed at the University of Exeter in 1977.

After working as a teacher and psychologist, he moved to the University of Hong Kong in 1985. He was a lecturer in psychology and then a specialist in cognitive behavioural analysis. He completed his PhD there in 1995.

Shortly after the turn of the century, he became aware of the health needs of trans persons.
“When working in Hong Kong I met a young person who had recently self-identified as a trans girl. She had been thrown out of the family home by her parents, and could not find a job because of her male ID card. She started to use drugs and developed mental health problems. I knew then that I had to change my life to do something to help. I saw the potential of being able to make a big difference in a new and specialised area.”
He changed his speciality to transgender health, and taught gender and sexuality. He was on the editorial board for the International Journal of Transgenderism, and on the board on WPATH from 2009. He was a co-author of the WPATH Standards of Care 7. He was the only established academic in Asia specializing in transgender issues, and was a founder of the TransgenderAsia site. As it says on the site’s home page:
“Some years ago Sam Winter examined the humanities and social sciences literature on transpeople. Of 235 key publications on transgenderism in the period 1992 to 2002 around 41% were European and 48% were North American, a total of 89% from two parts of the world that account for only 20% of its population. Only seven per cent were from Asia”.
Of particular interest, Winter distributed questionnaires to 195 Thai trans woman and to 147 Filipino trans women. The results were published in 2006-7. In both countries more trans women have college or technical education than the general population, but they are mainly unable to get graduate jobs. They work as show girls, in the hospitality trade, etc or are unemployed. In both countries many trans women expect that by age 50 they will have reverted to living as male, even if they are post-op. Most had started hormones as teenagers, and had surgeries in their twenties. The vast majority, 98% in Thailand, and 95% in the Philippines were androphilic.

As Winter came up to age 60, it was made clear that his tenure would expire, even though other professors at the same university continued beyond that age. Over 230 students wrote to the Vice Chancellor urging that Dr Winter be retained, and a Change.Org petition to the same effect gained over 800 supporters. However the University insisted that he go, and in 2015 he became Associate Professor in Sexology at Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia.

He leads a small team in sexology, and teaches at undergraduate and masters levels. He has been involved with the World Health Organization working towards the ICD-11 which moves the diagnosis of “gender incongruence” out of the mental health and behavioural disorder section and into sexual health. With Kavan Wylie he was the co-leader of the series of articles in The Lancet in 2017. He has done advocacy work with Asia-Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) and Global Action for Trans* Equality (GATE).
Winter has published many articles and book chapters. Most of them are behind pay walls – see Scholar Google for the list.

Here are some of his articles that are accessible:
  • Sam Winter & Nuttawut Udomsak. “Male, Female and Transgender : Stereotypes and Self in Thailand”. The International Journal of Transgenderism, 6,1, Jan-March 2002. Online.
  • Sam Winter & Nuttawut Udomsak. “Gender Stereotype and Self among Transgenders: Underlying Elements”. The International Journal of Transgenderism, 6,2, 2002. Online.
  • Sam Winter. “Thai transgenders in focus: demographics, transitions and identities”. International Journal of Transgenderism, 9, 1, 2006: 15-27. Online.
  • Sam Winter, Sass Rogando & Mark King. “Transgendered Women of the Philippines”. International Journal of Transgenderism, 10, 2, 2007: 79-90. Online.
  • Sam Winter. “Lost in transition: transpeople, transprejudice and pathology in Asia”. International Journal of Human Rights, 13, 2-3, 2009: 365-390. Online.
  • Sam Winter & Kyle Knight. “Remember Today That Transgender Kids Are Kids First”. Huffington Post, 11/20/2015.
  • Sam Winter. Of Transgender and Sin in Asia. Online.
  • Walter Pierre Bouman, Amets Suess Schwend, Joz Motmans, Adam Smiley, Joshua D. Safer, Madeline B. Deutsch, Noah J. Adams & Sam Winter. “ Language and trans health”. International Journal of Transgenderism. 2016. Online.
  • Sam Winter. “Gender trouble: The World Health Organization, the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD)-11 and the trans kids”. Sexual Health, 14,5, January 2017: 423-430. Online.
  • Penelope Strauss, Angus Cook, Sam Winter, Vanessa Watson, Dani Wright Toussaint & Ashleigh Lin. Trans Pathways: the mental health experiences and care pathways of trans young people. Summary of results. Telethon Kids Institute, 2017. Online.

LinkedIn     Curtin University    TheConversation    ScholarGoogle      Change.Org

17 March 2018

Daniela Vega Hernández (1989–) singer, actress

Vega was born in Santiago, Chile, with a father who owned a printing business. At age 8, teachers discovered that Vega had an aptitude for opera singing, which led to singing and acting in local productions. This was a safer space away from the all-boys school where Vega was bullied for being ‘effeminate’.

Performing at a Santiago nightclub allowed experimentation with glam and goth. At first androgynous, but increasingly feminine, by age 15 she identified herself as trans, and her family was immediately supportive. Her father later appeared with her on television talk shows.

In 2011 Daniela debuted in La mujer Mariposa, a one-woman stage show based on her own experiences of transitioning. This piece included her singing, and ran for eight years in Santiago. Her first movie role was in La visita, 2015 where she played a trans woman at her father’s wake.

She was approached by film director Sebastián Lelio who was developing a film about a trans woman, but actually did not know any such in Chile (Lelio lives in Berlin). At first she was a consultant to the film, but then it became obvious that she was ideal to play the lead role. The film became Una mujer fantástica (A Fantastic Woman), 2017. The protagonist must struggle against rejection and suspicion after her boyfriend dies.
Vega at Berlinale 2017

The film won much international acceptance including a Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, Best Actress at the Havana Film Festival, and Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. Daniela was also a presenter at the Academy Awards – the first openly trans person to do so.

Later in 2017 Daniela played a cis woman in Un domingo de julio en Santiago (A Sunday in July in Santiago).

“As far as her own identity goes, she has stated that if she were born again, she’d choose to be trans, not cisgender – and that she enjoys unsettling the kind of people who can’t cope with who she is. ‘It actually gives me a physical pleasure to annoy conservatives,’ she smiles. ‘I don’t have to be violent, I don’t have to insult anyone – my mere existence shakes those people up.’ " …" ’In Chile, you can’t legally change your gender identity in a straightforward way. If you want to change the name on your documents, you have to go to court.’ She could easily do that, but refuses to – that would mean recognising political oppression.” (Guardian interview)

IMDB    ES.Wikipedia   EN.Wikipedia   


The Spanish word 'mariposa' means 'butterfly' but it is also used to mean 'queer'.  So La mujer Mariposa can mean either A Butterfly Woman or A Queer Woman.

ES.Wikipedia has a very short account of Daniela's transition: "At age 15, Vega identified herself as a trans woman to her family, who immediately supported her."   While EN.Wikipedia is otherwise almost the same as ES.Wikipedia, even this little has disappeared. 

15 March 2018

Ayta Sözeri (1976 - ) actress.

Sözeri was born in Nuremberg, Germany. In 1982 the family moved back to İzmir (Smyrna).

Ayta had confirmation surgery in her early 20s. She did a business degree at Ege University and then studied Turkish music at Dokuz Eylül University, both in İzmir.

After working as a support vocalist, Ayta started getting acting roles in television and then in films. She has been in 13 television programs and in 5 films.

In March 2018 she was awarded as Best Female Actress In A Supporting Role at the 50 SIYAD (Film Critics Association) Awards Ceremony, for her role in Aile Arasında (Within the Family).

TR.Wikipedia     IMDB

08 March 2018

How did pink become a girly colour?

Things not mentioned in the video below:

In Dutch pinck means little  (cf pinkie finger).  A variety of the flower genus Dianthus  was called pinck-ooghen (little flower).  This was taken into English in the 1570s as a name for the Dianthus.

From this time pink or pinke was used for being at one's zenith, be it health or accomplishment.  'In the pink' meant strong and healthy, and by the sexist conventions of the time was applied mainly to boys and men.  This was reinforced by Thomas Pink, an 18th-century London tailor who specialised in the scarlet jackets used in fox hunting.  Here is an article from FoxHunting World on whether their jackets are pink, red or scarlet.

 "It is the very pink of hideousness and squalid misery"  wrote Charles Dickens in 1845, of an Italian town that he disliked.

"Pure white is used for all babies. Blue is for girls and pink is for boys, when a color is wished."(Ladies’ Home Journal, 1890)

"If you like the color note on the little one’s garments, use pink for the boy and blue for the girl, if you are a follower of convention." (The Sunday Sentinel, March 29, 1914)

"Pink or blue? Which is intended for boys and which for girls? This question comes from one of our readers this month, and the discussion may be of interest to others. There has been a great diversity of opinion on this subject, but the generally accepted rule is pink for the boy and blue for the girl. The reason is that pink being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy; while blue, which is more delicate and dainty is prettier for the girl. In later years the shade of pink has been much improved. Perhaps if we had had the delicate flesh tints when baby layettes were first sold, the rule might have been reversed. The nursery rhyme of‘‘ Little Boy Blue’’ is responsible for the thought that blue is for boys.  Stationers, too, reverse the colors, but as they sell only announcement cards and baby books, they cannot be considered authorities. If a customer is too fussy on this subject, suggest that she blends the two colors, an effective and pretty custom which originated on the other side, and which after all is the only way of getting the laugh on the stork." (The Infants’ Department, June, 1918, p. 161)

In 1922, Thomas Gainsborough's painting Blue Boy was acquired by the US magnate Henry Edwards Huntington for his art gallery in California.  He paid £182,200 (over £6 million today).  This created a huge outcry in Britain where it was a popular favourite in print reproductions.   Huntington hung the portrait in juxtaposition to Thomas Lawrence's Pinkie, and the two paintings were repeatedly associated.  The paintings were used as set decorations for many episodes of the American television show, Leave It to Beaver, (1957-63) which furthered the association.  This brought the association to those who don't read art criticism. 

Smocked pink Polly Flinders baby dresses were popular for girls in the 1940s, as little boy blue sailor suits were for boys. 

Mid-1980s:  pre-natal testing became available and parents, family and friends bought baby clothes specifically for a boy or a girl, rather than just for a baby.

Futher reading:

  • "PINK: A shockingly butch cultural history of the world's prissiest colour".  Toronto Star, Jan 09 2010'. 
  • Jeanne Maglaty.  "When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink? Every generation brings a new definition of masculinity and femininity that manifests itself in children’s dress".   Smithsonian, April 08, 2011.
  • J. B. Paoletti.   Pink and blue: Telling the boys from the girls in America.  Indiana University Press, 2012.   The major book on the topic.   She proposes that gender coding was inconsistent before the 1950s, but the current pink=girl/blue=boy took off after that. 
  • Marco Del Giudice.  "The Twentieth Century Reversal of Pink-Blue Gender Coding: A Scientific Urban Legend?"  Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41, 2012: 1321-3.   Argues against the reversal, and concludes: "Of course, the [Pink-Blue Reversal] PBR is a big stumbling block for biological explanations of gender-color associations; but far from being an established fact, the PBR shows many warning signs of a scientific urban legend. Uncritical acceptance of the PBR may have hindered theoretical and empirical progress in this fascinating area of research."
  • Lucy Waterlow.   "Too much in the pink! How toys have become alarmingly gender stereotyped since the Seventies... at the cost of little girls' self-esteem".  Daily Mail, 10 June 2013.  

ETYMONLINE      EN.Wikipedia   


The Wikipedia article concludes: "The reality is that 'pink for girls, blue for boys' has existed continuously since at least the 1820s, while 'blue for girls, pink for boys' is only recorded between 1889 and 1941." 

Marco Del Giudice attempts a case that attraction to blue or pink is somehow biological.   He is what John Money called biological devout.

Even if there was not actually a blue-pink reversal in the 1950s, it being the case that the two systems were in conflict earlier, we are still dealing with a social construction in that the pink for girls was unknown before the 1820s, and that it did not rule unchallenged 1889 to 1941.

The US is the dominant country associated with the colour reversal.  It is also in the US that the red-blue political colours have been reversed.  Red has been associated with socialism and communism since the French Revolution, and now (only in the US) it is the colour of the plutocratic party.  British viewers find it nicely ironic that Trump frequently wears what looks very much like a Labour Party tie.