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!

26 October 2016

Another 4 trans persons with a more famous kin

See also  6 trans persons with a more famous kin

Monica Jay was born in Berlin, but lived in London most of her life. She ran a Montessori nursery school. She and her husband had three children, but after a divorce she took in lodgers. Later she had an affair with her tenant, Gerald/ine Tilson, a manager in an electronics firm, who was a transvestite who introduced her to the trans subculture. She wrote up the experience as Geraldine: For the Love of a Transvestite, 1986, and it was later turned into a film Just Like a Woman, which turned Geraldine into an American. Monica became a phone counsellor for the Beaumont Trust, and for the Transvestite/Transsexual Support Group. Amazon   TGTapestry   IMDB   EN.Wikipedia Monica also presented a paper, “Women and their widely differing reactions to their cross dressing partners” at the 1990 Gendys Conference.

Linda Nichols, from Boston, of Greek and French descent, was a lesbian separatist, but also a femme with long hair who wore sexy dresses. Nichols joined the US Army at age 29, and became butch, cut her hair to a crew cut and started wearing male clothing. He then started taking hormones and decided in a full change to Les Nichols. Les had surgery from Dr Biber in 1989, but insisted that he not lose any sensitivity at all, so Biber left his vagina intact. Later that year he met Annie Sprinkle at a New York FTM party organized by Johnny Science. They flirted but waited two weeks for his penis to finish healing. They became lovers and a film of their love-making was made by Johnny Science. Hustler   IMDB
Robyn Deane, Richmond, Virginia, was, pre-transition, a husband and father to three, and brother-in-law to Bob McDonnell, Governor of Virginia 2010-14, a right-winger opposed to gay marriage etc. Deane and McDonnel had, met when they were 22 and began dating sisters from a large Northern Virginia family.   Washington Post 
Jack Strano, webpage, a trans butch musician, San Francisco, the life partner of Shar Renour, who is author of The Femme’s Guide to the Universe    SFGate .

23 October 2016

René Goupil (1903 – 1973) transformiste

René Goupil started out as a window-dresser, and then, from 1932, became a minor music-hall performer in Paris.

Late in 1933, he became director of the cabaret Le Fiacre, rue Notre-Dame de Lorette, where he also performed as clown and prankster, and evolved his act as a transformiste (female impersonator), a dame act featuring a character called Odette, and then O’dett.

A year later, he bought the theatre L'Abbaye de Thélème, place Pigalle, and turned it into a cabaret which he called 'La noce (The wedding)'. Goupil’s act mocked celebrities, and featured an old woman taking pratfalls, losing her glasses etc. O’dett became one of France’s best known transformistes. Mistinguett, friend of showbiz transvestites, was also a friend of O’dett.

O'dett and Charpini
Goupil was as out as a gay performer could be in the 1930s. In 1936, he recorded Le Tsoin-tsoin. The song was a play on the name of the town Bouffémont, in the Val d'Oise. The song kept returning to lines ending in the nonsense term tsoin-tsoin: “Il passe ses journées entières à Bouffémont - tsoin-tsoin” “Son seul plaisir dans la vie, c'est Bouffémont-tsoin-tsoin”. (See below.)

O’dett was in the 1937 French film, Cinderella. In 1938, Goupil renamed l’Abbaye de Theleme as 'Chez O’dett '. Edith Piaf performed here after the murder of her manager and mentor, Louis Leplée.

In January 1940, O'dett appeared as the star of a review at ABC, where he mocked Adolf Hitler as crazy. With the German occupation a few months later he prudently withdrew to the Zone libre of southern France, and when the Germans took over that in November 1942 he moved to Monte Carlo even though it was occupied by the Italians.

He returned to Paris after the Liberation, and by 1948 was performing again. In the 1960s he became an antiques dealer.
  • Martin Pénet.  “L'expression homosexuelle dans les chansons françaises de l'entre-deux-guerres : entre dérision et ambiguïté”. Revue d’histoire moderne et contemporaine 4, 53-5, 2006: 106-127. Online.
  • Luc Sante. The Other Paris. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015:134.
FR.Wikipedia      DuTempsdesCerise

Bouffémont is a homonym of ‘bouffé mon’. ‘bouffé’ is to eat extravagantly, perhaps excessively; ‘mon’ is ‘my’; and ‘tsoin tsoin’ is nonsense like ‘dong’.  YouTube

‘Bouffémont-tsoin-tsoin’ thereby becomes ‘ to eat and eat my dong’ - a suggestion of fellatio.

There does not seem to be any connection between ‘bouffé’ and the English restaurant word ‘buffet’ which is actually derived from a French word for side table.

O’dett never became a performer at Madame Arthur which opened in 1945, although he was only 42 at the time. As was the style between the wars, O’dett’s act was more what we would call cod drag or dame drag rather than glamour drag, although probably no more so than that of Floridor or Maslova, the original Madame Arthur stars.  And remember that across the channel, England's most popular female impersonator was Old Mother Riley.   Madame Arthur and then Le Carrousel was altered dramatically in 1951 when Coccinelle arrived. We should remember that Coccinelle was born in 1931: she was 28 years younger than O’dett. A new generation was arriving.

21 October 2016

Nicky Kiranant (1983 - ) air hostess

Chaiya was the seventh child in an impoverished farming family in Lampang, Thailand. Chaiya was observed as effeminate and admired the local kathoeys but was warned that parents of kathoeys lose face. Chaiya helped plough the rice fields and looked after the water buffalo.

At age 15 Chaiya had an ID card, and moved to Bangkok. There he initially lived with his sister. He befriended kathoeys, took an evening class and found work in a travel agency, where he worked on a tour bus.

Chaiya took courses at Chandrakasem Rajabhat University, and entered and won the Miss Le Flore ladyboy beauty contest. From university Chaiya was able to get work as a flight attendant with PB Air, even though he had never been on an airplane before. Passengers commented about a female being allowed to wear the male uniform, and one wrote to the airline complimenting them on their open-mindedness. Chaiya was then requested to wear the female uniform.

This went well, and Chaiya started to dress female in her private life as well. She consulted doctors, and, for the first time, took female hormones. She obtained approval from the executive of the airline, and the operation was performed 31 December 2005. Although there were problems with internal bleeding and closure, they were dealt with.

She asked the airline executive for permission to enter the 2006 Miss Tiffany Universe contest held in Pattaya. They not only agreed: they sponsored her. She was featured in the media as a promising candidate, and became known as Nicky. The airline was complimented for its open-mindedness. She phoned her parents, and they came around to acceptance.

Like all other sao oraphet song in Thailand, Nicky still has a male ID card. This has prevented her from obtaining jobs at other airlines after PB Air went out of business in 2009.

Despite her media celebrity, Nicky was initially stealth with her boyfriend.

Nicky has since been employed by PC Air, which has also employed three other kathoey air stewardesses including the 2007 Miss Tiffany Universe winner, Thanyarat Jiraphatpakorn.

Nicky’s account in the Aldous/ Sereemongkonpol Ladyboy anthology does not name PB Air, and neither EN.Wikipedia nor TH.Wikipedia on PB.Air mention their sponsorship of Nicky.

The story of PB Air requesting that Chaiya wear the female uniform is in her own account in the Aldous/ Sereemongkonpol Ladyboy anthology, but is not repeated in the Bangkok Today or the Samui Holiday accounts.

15 October 2016

2 photographs from The Other Paris

The Other Paris by Luc Sante, 2015 is a recent book that tells many interesting anecdotes about Paris, but has very little to say about its trans traditions.   Homosexuality is stuck in as the last part of the chapter on prostitution, and trans only passingly within that.

However it does contains two photographs of interest.

Note: the word 'pederast' was used in French without necessarily implying intergenerational relationships.

12 October 2016

Transgender Lexicons: Raven Usher

This is the first of a series on lexicons.
  •  Raven Usher. North American Lexicon of Transgender Terms. GLB Publishers 2006.
Raven Usher (1982 – ) is a writer and transgender activist in Boise, Idaho. She was editor of Diversity magazine. She has a wife and three children. She explains: “I put this together during the time I was flexing my activist muscles”.

Why “North American”?

Presumably to avoid getting into European and Asian terminology, although there are entries for “Katoey” (“trans-variant people as the third sex. Originated in Thailand”) and “Ladyboy” (“Very young male to female pre-op TS. Term originated in Thailand”).

But on the other hand terms that reflect North America are missing. There are no Mexican terms such as “Muxhes”, “transformista”, “maricón” or “Los 41”. Likewise there are no terms from Quebec such as “travelo” or “travestie”, nor any from the New York Ball scene such as “realness” or “throwing shade”.

There is only one aboriginal term, the Lakota term “winkte”, but she does not tell us that it is Lakota. There are entries for “two-spirit” and ‘berdache’, but Usher does not seem to know that following the First Nation/American Native convention in Winnipeg in 1990, “two-spirit” replaced ‘berdache’ because it was offensive. She actually claims that ‘berdache’ is “Originally a Native American term”, when it fact it is derived from a Persian word for a boy-prostitute that was imposed by Europeans ignorant of the two-spirit traditions.

Words that have since gone out of fashion

None of the definitions acknowledge that word usages change over time, and this is most apparent in “tranny” which Usher simply defines as: “abbreviation – ‘transgender’ See also: t-gurl”. Of course the term had not yet been demonized in 2006, but should not the definition stress that even more than transgender, “tranny” is a bringing together of transsexual, transvestite and drag. The variant form “transy” is not mentioned at all, and the now fashionable variant “trans” is not said to be a variant of ‘tranny’. In fact ‘trans’ is defined as “abbreviation - A gender variant person”. Is this different, if so, how?

Usher also uses 'transgendered', but then most of us did back in 2006.

Sexual orientation

Usher has an entry for “sexual orientation”: “The sex a person is sexually attracted to. Sexual orientation is not a factor in determining transgenderism.” There are also entries for “heterosexual”, “homosexual”, “bi-sexual”, “straight”,  "gay", “fag”, “asexual”. Some might say that these are not needed if they are not a factor. However most importantly e.g “heterosexual” is defined as “a person who is sexually attracted only to people of the opposite sex”.

But we are dealing with trans persons - which sex is opposite?  An apparent gay man will usually become a heterosexual woman after transition. So is Usher doing as Blanchard and others do (to great annoyance) and defining sexual orientation with respect to birth gender whether it is changed or not. This issue is ignored, and the words “androphilic” and “gynephilic” that many of us use to get around the problem are not in the lexicon at all.

Cis and drag

The various ‘cis’ terms, although they have been around since the 1990s, are not included, and “genetic boy”, “genetic girl” are used despite the objections that have been raised against them. Usher is emphatic that drag queens and drag kings are not transgender, but offers no other term for the many trans women and a few trans men who went though drag performance and later completed a full transition.

Femmophile and fetish

There is an entry for “femmophile”: “A heterosexual male with a strong love of the feminine but may or may not be transgendered. See also: trans-variant”. Is this Virginia Prince’s ‘femmiphilic”? Why the spelling change? Of Prince’s jargon terms only “second self” is in the lexicon, but not ‘male woman’, ‘dual personality’ ‘girl within’, ‘whole girl fetishist”. So why a slight variation on one Princian term?   Or to take a different approach, if the term is not Princian, why are gay transvestites not allowed to be femmophilic.

There is also no mention at all of autogynephila. The closest approach is fetish: “aka ‘sexual fetish’ A person who wears particular pieces of clothing of the a gender other than their own for sexual gratification. Fetishes are not transgendered”.


The only non-binary pronouns given are ze/hir. For some reason Usher refers to ze/hir as "Spivakian" without explaining what that is. I had to look it up: however Spivak’s proposed pronouns are e/eir.  Ze/hir is more associated with Leslie Feinberg.


The final entry in the lexicon is: “50% rule: Statistic that states, '50% of all transsexuals will die by their early thirties. A small number die from violence, disease or other common causes. Most commit suicide.' ” No citation is given for this claim. Even if it were true, it would be necessary to explain that those who commit suicide do so because of transphobia. This entry like this without citation and explanation should not be in a lexicon.

There is an ideology in this lexicon.  That is not necessarily a bad thing, but it should be admitted in an introductory essay.

The lexicon is available on Kindle for less than $1.

 The Inland Revenue Service Library has acquired a printed copy.  I wonder what they make of it?
Amazon    Blog

09 October 2016

The Rudy-Donald drag show.

I have featured this clip before, but it has a topical resonance again.

30 September 2016

A short history of male pregnancy

This is a convoluted tale consisting of three strands:

1. Doctors attempting to establish whether a cis man or trans woman could get pregnant with an ectopic pregnancy. The theory for how to do this was in place by 1985, but if any such pregnancy has been brought to term, it is not known to the public

2. Frauds and performance by cis men.

3. Trans men have quietly, and then less quietly, been getting pregnant all along, often with no aid at all from doctors.


John Fubbister from the Orkney Isles was part of a Hudson’s Bay expedition that canoed 1800 miles up river arriving at Pembina Post on the Red River (in the future North Dakota) for Christmas. There Fubbister gave birth and was outed. AKA Isobel Gunn: EN.Wikipedia


Nochmen Tenenbaum (born 1911) army sergeant, Warsaw, gave birth in 1936. GVWW

Early 1960s

David Kirby of Oxford University transplanted mouse embryos into the testes of male mice. See Teresi & McAuliffe, 1985.


Cecil Jacobsen of George Washington University Medical School transplanted a fertilized baboon egg into the abdomen of a male baboon. The embryo attached itself to the omentum (which hangs in front of the intestines). The embryo developed healthily, but was aborted after four months. This was done without external hormones. The embryo produced the hormones that it needed. However the results were never published. See Teresi & McAuliffe, 1985. See also EN.Wikipedia and book and film about Jacobsen. Jacobsen was a pioneer in amniocentesis, but later in life was convicted of using his own sperm in in vitro conceptions.


Leo Wollman flew up to Toronto for the release of Dianna Boileau's autobiography. He rather dominated the event and predicted that transsexual women would be able to become pregnant within 10 years. This never came to pass.


  • Novel: John Varley. The Ophiuchi Hotline. Dial, 1971. A science fiction novel set the future when alien technology enables persons to change sex and be fertile. Men become women to have a child, and then switch back. EN.Wikipedia


  • Film: L'Événement le plus important depuis que l'homme a marché sur la Lune/ Niente di grave, suo marito è incinto/ A Slightly Pregnant Man, with Jacques Demy (dir), Marcello Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve. France, Italy 92 mins 1973. IMDB EN.Wikipedia . A driving instructor becomes pregnant, and hormones in chickens are deemed to be the reason. He becomes a model for paternity clothing.


  • Film: Rabbit Test, Joan Rivers (dir), with Billy Crystal, Roddy McDowell. US 84 mins 1978. IMDB EN.Wikipedia. A comedy about a sexually inexperienced man who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a daughter.


Margaret Martin, a NZ cis woman, then 29 gave birth to a healthy girl in May, eight months after her hysterectomy, thereby establishing that ectopic [outside the womb] pregnancies were safe and feasible. Her gynaecologist, Peter Jackson told journalists that this proved that pregnant men were therefore possible. See Teresi & McAuliffe, 1985.


Six trans women requested admission to the in vitro fertilization clinic at Queen Victoria Medical Centre, Melbourne. Their request was turned down. See Teresi & McAuliffe, 1985.


  • Dick Teresi & Kathleen McAuliffe. “Male pregnancy”. Omni, December 1985, 8: 50-56 and 118. PDF Influential and inspiring article that summarized the work done to date. Afterwards Teresi got Bob Guccione, founder of Omni and Penthouse to put up $500,000 for Jacobsen to arrange a male pregnancy, but they then considered the mortality rates and dropped the idea.

Early 1990s

Trans man, Oleg (born 196?) Moscow: Four months into term his sperm-donor died suddenly of a leukaemia-related blood disorder. Oleg’s doctor feared that the baby would also be sick, and convinced him to have an abortion. Before they could try again, his wife died of a congenital heart defect. Oleg was considering getting pregnant again, as a way of honouring his wife’s memory. Discussed in David Tuller. Cracks in the Iron Closet: Travels in Gay & Lesbian Russia. Faber & Faber 1996: 161-4.


Edwin Bayron, 32, Phillipines, a midwife, claimed to be hermaphroditic and six-months pregnant. He was able to fake the results of an ultrasound scan and two urine tests, such that the chief gynaecologist at the Bukidnon provincial hospital supported the claim. However this was a deceit resulting from his wish to marry his boyfriend. News article.

Intersex Karl Holzer, living as male, 31, Frankfurt, Germany, gave birth to boy in June. Weekly World News.


  • Film: Junior, Ivan Reitman (dir), with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito. US 109 mins 1994. As part of fertility research, a male scientist agrees to become pregnant. IMDB EN.Wikipedia Based on the theory in the 1985 Omni article. 


  • Sam Dylan More. "The Pregnant Man - An Oxymoron". Journal of Gender Studies. 7, 3, 1998: 319-328. This article studies nine German trans men who have been pregnant, and found that they had to engage in significant identity and body work to mitigate the impact of societal pregnancy scripts. 


Matt Rice (born 1964) San Francisco, twice a lover of Pat(rick) Califia. Pat had undergone a hysterectomy some years before, but Matt had stopped taking testosterone because of related migraines. With the aid of sperm donated sexually by three male friends, Matt became pregnant, and as a bearded man attended birthing classes. Meanwhile Califia started transition. The son, Blake (born 1999), is autistic, and Matt is raising him alone. 2000 article by Califia in Village Voice

Lee Mingwei Taiwanese man in New York who exhibited his pregnancy. ”Curiously, the Web site has been up since 1999, and Mr. Lee is apparently still pregnant! Either the poor man has been in labor for nearly a decade (talk about a rough delivery!), or the story is a fake. Of course, Mr. Lee doesn't exist; the Web site is a hoax created as performance art by an artist named Virgil Wong.”



  • Meryl Rothstein . "Male Pregnancy: A Dangerous Proposition". Popular Science, 07.31.2005. Online.


  • Film: Jules Rosskam (dir). Transparent. US 61 Mins 2006. A documentary about 19 trans men who have been pregnant and are now raising the child. IMDB


Thomas Beatie, (born 1974, completed top-surgery transition 2002, married 2003) Arizona, with an infertile wife, became pregnant via donated sperm and a syringe. He wrote an article for The Advocate about the experience, and was profiled in The Washington Post. He became a media sensation, and did an hour-long interview on Oprah. He gave birth to a daughter June 2008, a son June 2009 and a second son July 2010. Mr & Mrs Beatie were divorced in 2012-4 in a case that tested legal definitions of gender. EN.Wikipedia Not the first pregnant man, but the first publicised.

  • Film: Pregnant Man, Elizabeth Mcdonald (dir), with Thomas Beatie. US TV 2008. IMDB 


  • J Wallace. “The Manly Art of Pregnancy”. In Kate Bornstein & S Bear Bergman (eds). Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation. Seal Press, 2010: 188-194.


Yuval Topper (born 1988), Israel, top-surgery 2009, gave birth to a son in December 2011. Gay Star News. And a daughter in 2014. Jews News 

Trevor MacDonald (born 1985) Manitoba, top surgery in early 20s, gave birth to a boy in 2011, and a second child in 2014. He was helped by La Leche League Canada, the breastfeeding support group. He applied to be a LLLC coach but was rejected as he does not regard himself as a mother. However LLLC set up an internal review and a year later expunged gendered language from its requirements. He founded in 2012 "Birthing and Breast or Chestfeeding Trans People and Allies which has 1700 members, and in 2014 formed a research team with funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research . The Star   EN.Wikipedia 



AJ Kearns (born 1974) Melbourne, started transitioned at age 35. His wife had birth complications with their first child, so AJ postponed transition to give birth to their second child in 2012. The couple have since separated. Daily Mail


Kayden Coleman (born 1985) Philadelphia, and his husband gave birth to a daughter in 2013. NY Daily News
  • Damien W. Riggs. “Transgender men’s self-representations of bearing children post-transition”. In F. Green. & M. Friedman. (eds.) Chasing rainbows, Demeter Press, 2013. PDF


  • Alexis D Light, Juno Obedin-Maliver, Jae M Sevelius, Jennifer L Kerns. “Transgender men who experienced pregnancy after female-to-male gender transitioning”. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 124, 6, Dec 2014: 1120-7. Abstract News article


  • Eve Shapiri. Gender Circuits: Bodies and Identities in a Technological Age. Routledge, 2015: 236-242.
  • Television: “From Daddy’s Tummy” Janine Cohen (dir), with AJ Kearn. Australian Story. AU ABC 30 mins 2015. IMDB


Even Hempel (born 1981) US, gave birth to a boy in Spring 2016. People

Henry Steinn, (born 1997) Iceland, gave birth to a baby girl April 2016. Pink News 

Fernando Machado , Ecuador, pregnant by his trans wife, gave birth in June 2016. Daily Mail

Rafi Daugherty (born 1983) Denver, gave birth to a daughter. JTA
  • Trevor MacDonald. Where's the Mother? Stories from a Transgender Dad. Trans Canada Press, 2016.
EN.Wikipedia(male)     EN.Wikipedia(transgender)

There is also a book The Pregnant Man by Roberto Zapperi, Harwood, 1991, translated and revised into English by Brian Williams (original Uomo incinto, Cosenza, 1979). This book is not listed in Amazon. It is not about attempts or success of pregnancy in life, but in folklore and in psychoanalysis. It appears that he is totally ignorant of queer studies, but cites Freud, Ferenczi and Devereux instead as the latest research.


So is a pregnant trans parent a mother or a father? Trans women with children are divided: some insist that they are mothers to their children, while others talk of their duties as a father, and allow their children to call them ‘Dad’. However trans women parents are, almost all, parents before transition. The trans men whom we list above had done most of transition before they became pregnant.

There are three factors:

1. Fathers impregnate, mothers gestate.

2. Mothers produce a single or a small number of DNA units surrounded by protein (eggs); fathers produce a large number of motile DNA units without protein and which cannot divide, but have a tail (sperm). Fish species of the Syngnathidae family, of which the best known is the seahorse, are said to exhibit male pregnancy. So why do we not regard the gestating parent as a mother? It is because it produces sperm, and receives eggs from the other sex.

3. Gender identity.

Obviously (1) and (2) would make a pregnant trans man a mother, however the current social construction is that (3) trumps (1) and (2). A valuable tenet of second-wave feminism was that gender is a social construction, and that received gender roles should be deconstructed. The more advanced position is that sex, as well as gender, is socially constructed. Male pregnancy is a step further and challenges the historical cultural baggage that we inherited along with the basic biology of making babies. The queering of everyday life continues.