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!

18 September 2016

Charing Cross GIC – addendum

There has been an article “Fifty years on: The Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic and the funding of a category without parallel” published at Youth Trans Critical Professionals and again at Gender Trender.

The author is given as “Susan Matthews, UK Academic”, but does not list any academic qualifications.

The article gets off to a very bad start with one error after another.

“It [CXGIC] was founded in 1966”
I have already discussed this. Treating intersex patients, the clinic dates from the 1930s, treating transvestites and transsexuals, from the 1950s.
“at Johns Hopkins Gender Identity Clinic, the world’s first GIC  founded the previous year” [1965]
Actually the UCLA GIC was founded by Stoller in 1964.
“The founding clinician at Charing Cross, Richard Green, came with an impressive academic pedigree, having worked with Money, collaborating on research on boys who demonstrated cross-gender behaviour.”
Richard Green was reported to be in London in 1966 and 1969. He very likely visited the existing Charing Cross clinic, but he certainly had no position there. He is not even mentioned in John Randell’s book. Also the Feminine Boy Project was still in the future: it was done in the 1970s.
“Up until the second half of the twentieth century, the word ‘gender’ referred to grammatical gender, a feature of language not human identity.”
Not this canard again! Obviously Matthews does not read 17-19th century novels. Some examples:
Henry Fitzgeffrey 1620: “Now Mars defend us! seest thou who comes yonder? Monstrous! a Woman of the Masculine Gender.”
Susanna Centlivre, early 18th century playwright reported that theatre managers 'treated her ... in the Masculine Gender'.
George Byron, Don Juan, 1824, having got his protagonist into female dress justifies using female pronouns: 'I say her because,/The gender still was epicene'.
Matthews then writes about John Money, lobotomy, John Money again, Bruce Reimer of course. She does not at all mention the Charing Cross doctors who worked with trans patients in the 1960s, ie. John Randell, Lennox Broster, Peter Philip. Come to that, there is also no mention of a certain Harry Benjamin. For Matthews, it seems, Money alone invented transsexualism!

Matthews writes: “For the Reimer case is open to many different readings. Zoe Playdon attributes the failings of UK gender identity clinics to this history”. This is a remarkable statement in that the details of the Reimer case would not be known for another 20 or 30 years. Certainly there is no mention of it in Randell’s 1973 book.

Matthews seems to think that Money was such an overwhelming influence that Charing Cross followed his lead: “The science of gender emerged from a tiny group centred on John Money and its findings were ethically compromised”. If this were so why cannot it be demonstrated from Randell’s writings?

Here is the bibliography from Randell’s book.

 The only mention of Green or Money is the 1969 anthology, which would be included as Randell contributed a paper to it. However none of Money’s or Green’s writings are listed, nor are they in the index, nor are they mentioned in the text.

In the 1960s the UK was less dependent on US fashions. To take two contemporary examples, that is 1965-7, compare the anti-psychiatry of RD Laing to the Scientology fellow-traveller Thomas Szasz, or the radical difference between the psychedelic music of Pink Floyd and Soft Machine from that which came from San Francisco. John Randell, whatever else we may think of his attitude, was his own man, and no-one has argued that he was a disciple of Money.

Having ignored the history of the CXGIC, Matthews jumps quickly to the 21st century, and as proof of Money’s influence she writes: “Echoes of the founding beliefs are still apparent in a 2011 paper by James Barrett, currently lead clinician at Charing Cross GIC. ‘Disorders of gender identity have probably always existed, inside and outside Europe’, Barrett writes, citing a 1975 study (Heiman).” Heiman is not in her bibliography. Comments about trans people being everywhere are found in every popular survey. May I suggest Oscar Gilbert’s Men in Women's Guise: Some Historical Instances of Female Impersonation, 1926 or many News of the World articles over the decades. To claim this as part of Money’s influence is to show that Matthews does not begin to understand what he had to say.

She spends most of the paper attacking Barrett and the fact that he has said different things at different times. He is wrong when he and other clinicians decide what to do ignoring the patients’ wishes, and he is wrong when he listens to the trans persons who come to the clinic and he accepts their self-diagnosis. “This claim is important, for if trans were a disorder (as in 1966), the work of the clinic would belong in a worrying tradition, one that harks back at the worst to lobotomy and calls up disturbing memories of the treatment of David Reimer. If trans has any links to body dysmorphia, to anorexia, or to self-harm, then it could not be appropriate to medicate or to offer surgery, however acceptable to the patient, however fiercely demanded.”

Having attacked Money for not listening to David Reimer’s self-diagnosis that he was not a woman, Matthews is still not willing to accept the equivalent self-diagnosis of trans persons. She connects trans and trauma: “Perhaps the most important voices are those of transitioners and detransitioners who are now beginning to explore what they see as a relationship between trans and trauma, challenging the constricting logic which demands that the complexity of human experience must fit the constructs of the gender narrative.”

Let us suppose that there is merit in Matthew’s linking of trans and trauma. She undermines her own case by distorting the history of the CXGIC and especially her (how shall we put if) Money-fication of its history and by paying no attention at all to the clinic’s pioneers.

16 September 2016

Charing Cross Hospital GIC: Part II: 1983-Now


1983 Stephanie Anne Lloyd, marketing manager, was referred by a Manchester doctor to Russell Reid at Charing Cross GIC. Afterwards she would create Transformation retail shops for trans persons in Manchester and later London.

Ashley Robin, who had stepped in as the head of the GIC appointed Donald Montgomery as clinical physician in 1984, and retired in 1985.

1985 Christine Goodwin, bus driver, became a patient. She would later win recognition as legally female at the ECHR in 2002.

Two studies were carried out at the GIC by Charles Mate-Kole, Maurizio Freschi & A. Robin.
a) “We presented the results of a retrospective study of 150 patients and a second, randomised controlled study of 40 patients. We studied 150 male transsexuals at different stages of treatment: assessment stage (n= 50); waiting list stage (n= 50); and postoperative stage (n=50). The results indicated a significant reduction in neurotic symptoms and improved social state in transsexuals postoperatively compared with patients at the waiting list stage, who fulfilled the criteria for surgery but were awaiting operation, and assignment to an assessment group.”
b) We “compared two groups of male transsexuals who had been assessed and carefully selected for surgery. They were randomly assigned to one of two groups; the experimental group had their waiting time for surgery brought forward so that they were operated on within three months of fulfilling the criteria, and the control group had to wait for the routine two years before undergoing surgery. All the patients were equally matched for age, social class, number of years of clinic attendance, and several other variables that might affect outcome. The results suggested that after two years of follow up there were significant differences between the two groups on a number of psychiatric and social, variables, showing a significant advantage for the experimental group over the controls.”
11-12 December 1986. International Conference on Gender Identity was held in London. This was really a British conference, but the Clarke Institute, Toronto was represented, and thus the name. It was organised by Charles Mate-Kole, research psychologist at the GIC. “Addresses covered a broad range of themes from the literary style of transsexual autobiographies to the hepatotoxic effect of methyltestosterone, and from the work of the speech therapist in the team to the latest surgical development in phalloplasty which uses a radial artery flap to create the urethra. The present legal disabilities of transsexuals were discussed and an interesting paper on classification clarified the distinction between transsexualism and homosexuality yet noted the curious variants in the relationship of gender identity to sexual orientation.” The Mate-Kole-Freschi-Robin studies were presented.

In 1987 J Bryan Tully completed his PhD thesis, Accounting for transsexualism, based on 204 trans patients, most of whom were seen at Charing Cross GIC, and concluded that “here is a fundamental weakness in the imposition of psychiatric 'syndromes' on gender dysphoric phenomena. Rather, 'gender dysphoric careers' are proposed as fluctuating enterprises in the construction of meanings, some meanings being more fateful and workable than others”.

Grant Williams, consultant urologist at Charing Cross Hospital, wrote to the British Medical Journal in November 1987. “One gender reassignment operation takes the whole of one afternoon in the operating theatre. During that time, I could perform 10 cystoscopies or resect four prostates or do three vasovasostomies. Most people would feel that to pursue gender reassignment surgery in the current climate must be bottom of the list of medical importance. The hospital continues with this, although it is totally against the wishes of the division of surgery." Charing Cross GIC doctors Charles Mate-Kole, Donald Montgomery, James Dalrymple & Steven Hirsch wrote to the BMJ in reply: “He is unaware of studies done in our department, the results of which were presented at a conference in December 1986 at this hospital”. RP Snaith from St James University Hospital, Leeds, pointed out that while surgeons at Charing Cross oppose gender operations, “and this is understandable since this one hospital has undertaken the major proportion of this work for the whole of Britain. This unfair burden should be corrected, as I pointed out, by the establishment of regional services.” Williams resigned from Charing Cross the next year.

1988, James Barrett, joined the GIC

1989 Luiza Moreira/Roberta Close, the Brazilian model, had gender surgery at Charing Cross Hospital.

1990. 20-year old Jackie McAuliffe had a first appointment.

1993 psychiatrist Alfred Hohburger died.

1994 Richard Green, ex-colleague of Harry Benjamin, became Director of Clinical Research, and saw trans persons two days a week.

Donald Montgomery gave a presentation at the Gendys ’94 Conference in Manchester discussing the GIC from the doctors’ point of view. At that time the clinic was getting over 300 referrals a year, 80% mtf, of whom 20% had “some form of gender reassignment surgery within five years”. He presented a typology: “primary core transsexualism, secondary transsexualism, the heterosexual transvestite, the asexual cross-dresser, the female transsexual, the small - the very small - number of patients with a biological component”. He discussed other GICs: “We are by far the biggest in the UK if not Europe, if not the world, I think, in terms of patient referrals. There is a small clinic just for the Leeds/Yorkshire catchment area. Professors Goldberg and Linton used to have a clinic here in Manchester but I think all the Manchester patients are probably being referred to us at the moment. There are occasional psychiatrists scattered around the UK that have an interest in gender identity disorders, without professional back up on the whole. Dr. Christie Brown still has his clinic at Maudsley Hospital but I think it's probably running down rather than increasing. Dr. Dunleavy in Newcastle and his colleagues have a small clinic there. There is also the child and adolescent clinic at St. George's”

Jackie McAuliffe had surgery in 1995. Later she would work as a prostitute in Paddington Green and be featured in a docu-drama based in the area.

2000 The GIC approached James Bellringer to replace Mike Royal as the GIC’s surgeon. Royal provided on-the-job training,

Kelly Denise Richards, serving time at HMP Parkhurst for assault and robbery, was a patient. While still incarcerated, she had surgery and was transferred to a women’s prison.

In December that year it was announced that the number of NHS sex-change operations was set to triple, and that Charing Cross GIC would increase such operations from one to three a week at an extra £1 million per annum. Liam Fox, the Conservative shadow health secretary denounced the Labour Government of pandering to lobby groups.

2001 James Barrett became head of the GIC.












In 2003 the GIC moved into its new premises at 179-183 Fulham Palace Road. It was now part of the West London Mental Health NHS Trust.



2004 Charles Kane, businessman, in detransition, was, unlike his transition, a client of the GIC.

2004 In 2004 as the Gender Recognition Bill was proceeding through parliament, psychiatrist Russell Reid faced a complaint to the General Medical Council that he too easily accepted patients for hormone therapy and surgery. The complaint was brought by four of his colleagues at the Charing Cross Hospital Gender Identity Clinic, psychiatrists James Barrett, Richard Green, Donald Montgomery and senior registrar Stuart Lorimer on behalf of four of his former patients. Reid retired his NHS post the next year. In 2007 Reid was found guilty of Serious Professional Misconduct, mostly for failing to communicate fully with patients’ family doctor (a rule that many doctors are unaware of) and not documenting his reasons for departing from the HBIGDA Standards of Care guidelines sufficiently.

The same year David Batty of The Guardian interviewed the GIC surgeon James Bellringer and was told “The number who express immense gratitude is overwhelming”. However Persia West who researched a report on the needs of trans persons in Brighton and Hove (many of whom had been referred to the Charing Cross GIC) and found “The level of dissatisfaction with the Charing Cross GIC was very high, in essence concerning the time the treatment took and the manner in which it was given.”

2006 The GIC saw 498 referrals.

2011 A proposed conference, Transgender: Time to Change sponsored by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and led by Az Hakeem of the Portman Clinic, and featuring Julie Bindel, but with no input from any trans persons, was cancelled after the Charing Cross team criticized the emphasis of the meeting: “It now appears that the conference comes at trans issues from a very specific agenda, namely, to explore the validity or otherwise of gender diagnoses as medical and psychiatric phenomena. So long as this is the case, we feel we can’t support it.”

US physician Ted Eyton visited the GIC in 2013, and reported that it gets 1500 referrals per year from GPs. This rate has been doubling every five years. Charing Cross GIC gets about 50% of referrals in the UK. This was the same year as the Conservative-Liberal coalition proposed to demolish the main Charing Cross building, and to sell off 60% of the site to private developers.

2014 James Bellringer, who had been doing the majority of vaginoplasty work for Charing Cross Hospital resigned.

2016 The GIC saw 1892 referrals in 12 months.

The West London Mental Health Trust (WLMHT) announced: 
“However, as WLMHT moves forward it is necessary to refocus the services that we provide. The Board has made a decision that the medium-term strategic focus for the Trust will be to develop mental health services, physical care and integration between the two.
“As a result, the Trust has come to the conclusion that patients requiring gender identity services would be better served in the long term by another provider, and has therefore served notice on our contract to NHS England.”
Doctors include:

1933-1965 Lennox Broster, surgeon
193?-194? Clifford Allen, psychiatrist
1950-1982 John Randell, Physician for Psychological Medicine
196? – 198? Peter Philip, surgeon
1982-1985 Ashley Robin, head of GIC
1982-1993 Alfred Hohburger, psychiatrist
1982-2005 Russell Reid, psychiatrist
198?-200? James Dalrymple, Surgeon
1984- ? Donald Montgomery, clinical physician
1985-1990 Charles Mate-Kole, research psychologist
1994- ? Richard Green, Director of Clinical Research
? -2000 Mike Royal, surgeon
2000-2014 James Bellringer, surgeon
1988- now James Barrett, head of GIC from 2001.
EN.Wikipedia   TransActivist    WLMHTGIC
___________

Deborah Blaustein’s University of London thesis sounds quite interesting. Unfortunately I was not able to find a copy.

Re the two Mate-Kole-Freschi-Robin studies: obviously transsexuals who have been granted what they need are less neurotic than those who are frustrated by being kept waiting year after year for no good reason.

For several of the doctors, eg. Richard Green, I was not able to find out when they came and left.
The Wikipedia page on the West London Mental Health NHS Trust does not even mention the Gender Identity Clinic, nor does the Wikipedia page on the Hospital mention recent attempts to close it and sell off the land.

Obviously the attitude of the staff is much better than it was in the 1960s under John Randell who insisted on using birth pronouns and telling trans women that they would always be men. However Persia West’s report shows that there is further to go. The proposal that Charing Cross GIC be discontinued and replaced by local GICs is possibly a good thing, if it is done right. However the track record of the Conservative government since 2010 does not bode well.

14 September 2016

Charing Cross Hospital Gender Identity Clinic. Part I: 1818-1982

The hospital was originally founded in 1818 with royal patronage as the Royal West London Infirmary, located behind Haymarket Theatre. Patient numbers forced a move to a site near the Charing Cross. Doctors were being trained from 1822, and from 1829 this was recognised by the
newly founded University of London. The hospital was renamed to Charing Cross Hospital in 1827. After a major rebuild in 1877, the hospital had doubled in size, and it was further extended in 1902. In 1926 the Royal Westminster Ophthalmic Hospital was merged in.

Pioneering surgery on intersex persons, mainly those with adreno-genital syndrome (now known as Congenital adrenal hyperplasia) was being done by Lennox Broster as early as the 1930s. In 1936 the champion shot-putter and javelin thrower, Mark Weston underwent two operations. Broster said: “Mr. Mark Weston, who was always brought up as a female, is male, and should continue life as such". A similar operation was performed on Mark’s younger brother, Harry, a few years later. In 1938, Broster was co-author of a book on the adrenal cortex and intersexuality.

Because of the wartime bombing, the hospital was in effect moved to Boxmoor, Hertfordshire in 1940.

Broster's work on the Weston brothers was reported in The News of the World, in 1943 after Harry committed suicide. This report attracted patients who would now be regarded as transsexual. However there is no evidence that such persons were accepted, and Clifford Allen, the psychiatrist who worked with him, specifically rejected surgical treatment for ‘transvestites’ (the term then in use).

Charing Cross Hospital moved back to central London in 1947, but it was decided to relocate, although it would take many years before the new building was ready.

In 1950 John Randell was appointed Physician for Psychological Medicine at Charing Cross Hospital, where he worked with Broster. By then ‘transvestites’ were being accepted. Randell wrote up 50 cases of “transvestism and trans-sexualism” for The British Medical Journal in 1959, and his MD thesis for the University of Wales, 1960, discussed 61 mtf and 16 ftm cases. This was one of the first higher degree theses in English on transsexuality.

In 1957 it was proposed to join Charing Cross with the Fulham and West London Hospitals.

Through the 1960s Randell was seeing 50 ‘transvestite’ cases a year, which rose to nearly 200 in the 1970s. By his own figures, he saw 2438 patients (1768 mtf, 670 ftm). He also spent half his time with general psychiatric patients. However he was not in favour of surgery until his patients who had had surgery abroad returned with positive evaluations. Even in the 1960s less than 10% of his patients managed to achieve surgery and only a third of the mtfs of those had vaginoplasty. However most gender surgery performed in the UK was done at Charing Cross.

1965 Lennox Broster died, aged 77.

The future Alice Purnell, a co-founder of the Beaument Society, had been attending the Charing Cross Hospital Gender Clinic under the care of Dr Randell, and in 1966 was offered surgery.  However Purnell married a second wife instead.

Randell contributed a paper: "Preoperative and Postoperative Status of Male and Female Transsexuals" to Richard Green & John Money (eds), Transsexualism and Sex Reassignment, 1969.

The First International Symposium on Gender Identity was held at the Piccadilly Hotel, London, 25-7 July 1969. It was sponsored and organized by the Erikson Foundation and the Albany Trust. Arguments arose between the team from Chelsea Women's who regarded transsexuals as a form of intersex, and the team from Charing Cross Hospital who regarded them as having a psychological disorder. The Symposium did bring together the doctors working in the field. Randell’s name was mentioned several times in the press. The program for the symposium reported the situation in Britain as follows: “The treatment of transsexuals has also been undertaken by specialising teams of psychiatrists, physicians and surgeons but there is as yet no permanent gender identity unit”.

After reading about the symposium in The Times, Mark Rees, one of the future founders of Press for Change, contacted the Albany Trust, which passed him onto Dr Randell, at first at his Harley Street Rooms for a fee, and then at the GIC on the NHS.

One of Randell’s patients was the London school teacher, Della Aleksander, who had surgery with Dr Burou in Casablanca, 1970, and who would organise pioneering gender conferences in 1974 and 1975, and co-produce a BBC2 program on transsexuals in 1974.

1970 was notably the year of Corbett v. Corbett, the divorce trial litigated by Arthur Corbett, the heir apparent to the Rowallan Baroncy, against his estranged wife of seven years, the model, April Ashley. Dr Randell appeared for the litigant and testified that that he “considered that the respondent (ie April) is properly classified as a male homosexual transsexualist”. This opinion contributed to the verdict which redefined legal intersex as intersex, chromosomal, gonadal and genital sex at birth not being concordant, and that psychological aspects not otherwise to be considered. It was ruled that Lady Corbett was not a woman for the purpose of marriage, and the re-issue of revised birth certificates for transsexuals stopped immediately.

Randell published a paper, "Indications for Sex Reassignment Surgery" in. Archives of Sexual Behavior,1971.

The new Charing Cross Hospital, now located in the site of the former Fulham Hospital was formally opened in 1973. Initially it was called Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham, but eventually the ‘Fulham’ was dropped.

In the 1970s when numbers increased, still only 15% of patients achieved surgery. By then Randell was arguing that surgery could be appropriate and that psychotherapy did not work. Even then he restricted surgery to sane, intelligent, single and passable individuals. Passable implied conforming to Randell’s old-fashioned ideas of being ‘ladylike’, that many women had abandoned by the 1970s. Until the end he continued to refer to patients, including post-operatives, by the pronouns of their birth gender, and would tell a trans women, accepted for surgery, that ‘you’ll always be a man’.
By 1971 journalist/historian Jan Morris had been accepted in the program at Charing Cross, but withdrew as they insisted that Jan and her wife be divorced.

The future singer and actress, Adèle Anderson became a patient in 1973, the year that Randell’s one and only book, Sexual Variations, came out.

The model and Bond-girl, Caroline Cossey/Tula, was a patient of Randell, and was approved for surgery in 1974. Unlike other patients, Tula found him to be ‘absolutely charming’ (perhaps because she passed so well).

Rachael Padman arrived in England in 1977 as a Cambridge physics PhD student, and was quickly accepted at the Charing Cross GIC, and put on oestrogens.

Randell wrote an article, “Transsexualism and its management”, for the Nursing Mirror, also that year.

Rachael Webb, then a lorry driver, but who would become notorious in the press in 1983 when she used a £2,000 loan, available to all council employees, to pay for her operation (others used it as a deposit for a mortgage), became a patient at the GIC in 1978.

A 1979 episode of the BBC Inside Story documentary series was “George”, directed by David Pearson, about a pre-op transsexual. There was sufficient interest that this was expanded into a ground-breaking documentary, A Change of Sex, 1980, which followed the social and medical transition of Julia Grant (George) and also provided a snapshot of the Charing Cross Hospital Gender Identity Clinic. Randell is the unnamed doctor who shocked most reviewers by his attitude.



In 1980 the News of the World (12/10/80) claimed that Randell and his surgeon, Peter Phillip, had made London the ‘sex-change capital of the world’.

1981 Bülent Ersoy, Turkish singing star, had gender surgery at Charing Cross.

1982 John Randell died of a heart attack aged 64. Ashley Robin, who had retired after a heart attack, stepped in and became head of the GIC. Russell Reid became a consultant, and Alfred Hohburger joined, at first on a honorary basis.

Rachael Padman had GIC approved surgery in October, and her Cambridge PhD thesis was approved while she was in hospital.

  • L. R. Broster, Clifford Allen, H. W. C. Vines, Jocelyn Patterson, Alan W. Greenwood, G. F. Marrian, and G. C. Butler. The Adrenal Cortex and Intersexuality. London: Chapman & Hall Ltd., 1938.
  • “Two Sisters Turn into Brothers”. The Star, 25 August 1939.
  • “Were Once Sisters: Death Brings Strange Fact to Light”. News of the World, 2 Aug 1943. Reprinted in George Ives (ed Paul Sieveking). Man Bites Man: The Scrapbook of an Edwardian Eccentric. Penguin Books, 1981: 40.
  • John B. Randell. "Transvestitism And Trans-Sexualism: A Study Of 50 Cases". The British Medical Journal. 2, 5164, 1959: 1448-1452.
  • John B. Randell. Cross Dressing and the Desire to change Sex, MD Thesis, University of Wales, 1960.
  • R. J.Minney. The Two Pillars of Charing Cross: The Story of a Famous Hospital. London: Cassell, 1967.
  • John B. Randell. "Preoperative and Postoperative Status of Male and Female Transsexuals" in Richard Green & John Money (eds), Transsexualism and Sex Reassignment, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1969.
  • Program of the First International Symposium on Gender Identity: Aims, Functions and Clinical Problems of a Gender Identity Unit. 25, 26 and 27 July 1969. PDF
  • John B. Randell. "Indications for Sex Reassignment Surgery". Archives of Sexual Behavior, 1:2, 153-161, 1971.
  • John B. Randell. Sexual Variations. London: Priory Press. 1973.
  • John B. Randell. Transsexualism and its management, Nursing Mirror, 45-47, 1977.
  • David Pearson (dir). A Change of Sex. With Julia Grant. BBC TV. 1980.
_______________________

Charing Cross (51°30′26″N 00°07′39″W) denotes the junction of the Strand, Whitehall and Cockspur Street, just south of Trafalgar Square. It was the location of the most expensive of the Eleanor Crosses erected 1291-4. The cross was destroyed by order of Parliament in 1647, and after the Restoration, an equestrian statue of the first Charles Stuart was raised on the spot, and is still standing. A replacement cross was commissioned in 1865 by the South Eastern Railway Company and is still found in the forecourt of Charing Cross Railway Station. The site of the original cross is the official centre of London, and distances to/from London are to/from Charing Cross. The fact that Charing Cross Hospital later moved to Fulham complicates the issue.

The Wikipedia article on Boxmoor does not mention that it was the wartime location of Charing Cross Hospital.

The WLMHT GIC web site says: “The West London Gender Identity Clinic at Charing Cross Hospital (CX GIC) is the largest and oldest clinic of its type, dating back to 1966.” But what happened in 1966? Lennox Broster’s work with intersex persons dates back to the 1930s, and John Randell’s with transvestites and transsexuals dates to the 1950s. On the other hand the 1969 symposium reported “there is as yet no permanent gender identity unit”.

03 September 2016

Nochmen Tenenbaum (1911–?) army sergeant

Nochmen Tenenbaum served with distinction in the Polish Army in the early 1930s. He earned medals after saving several persons from drowning, and was promoted to sergeant.

A year later in 1936, after physical and psychological changes, and leaving the army, Tenenbaum, still in male clothing, arrived at a maternity home in Warsaw and requested a room, stating that he was about to give birth. A 4 kg child was born. The father was an artist.
  • “Nine-Pound Child Born to Ex-Soldier A Year after “he” Changed “his” Sex”. Daily Mail, 7 August 1936. Reprinted in George Ives (ed Paul Sieveking). Man Bites Man: The Scrapbook of an Edwardian Eccentric. Penguin Books, 1981: 41.
  • “Soldier Shocks Doctors, As He Becomes Mother”. Daily Mirror, 10 August 1936. Online.
------
The anti-sodomy laws in Poland had not been enforced since independence in 1918. They were officially repealed in 1932.

The Daily Mirror story contains the comment: “Although there are many authentic cases of sex changes on record, this is believed to be the first time in the history of medical science that the metamorphosis was so complete that reproduction was possible”.   This in 1936!

Most likely, Tenenbaum was female-born, had transitioned (without hormones, which was the only option at the time) in order to serve in the army, but had been sexually compromised and become pregnant. We know nothing of him after 1936.

30 August 2016

Audrey Tang 唐鳳 (1981 - ) Perl programmer.

++ original October 2010; revised August 2016.

Táng Zōnghàn 唐宗漢,  who later took the English name Autrijus Tang, was born in Taiwan, learnt the Perl programming language at 12, dropped out of school at 14, founded a business at age 16 and by the age of 19 had worked in California as a software entrepreneur. 

In 2005 she transitioned and changed her Chinese name to Táng Fèng 唐鳳 and her English name to Audrey Tang.  Her parents backed her unconditionally. 

She has done pioneering work especially in Perl, Haskell and open source programming. She has translated related textbooks into Chinese. She is a proponent of autodidactism and individualist anarchism.

In 2014, Tang announced her retirement as an entrepreneur, and devoted her time to internet public welfare projects in Taiwan such as g0v.tw and the vTaiwan platform, as well as working on a contract for Apple.  

In August 2016 Audrey was named a minister without portfolio to mange digital information for the Taiwanese government.

*Not the Malaysian jazz musician

  EN.Wikipedia      pugs.

25 August 2016

as if the last several decades had never happened

In May 2011, I wrote about Albert Cashier, a trans man combatant in the US Civil War.   

That war has become noted for the large number of born-female persons who served as men on both sides.  The same phenomenon has not been as documented for the Franco-Prussian War or the Crimean War, both also in the mid-nineteenth century.    It is generally assumed that such cross-dressing was not possible in the Great War, 1914-18, and later, as medical inspections of new recruits became common (however see Julie Wheelwright's Amazons and Military Maids: Women who dressed as men in pursuit of life, liberty and happiness for several who did so anyway).

Most such persons were temporary transvestites, who, if they survived, reverted to living as women after the war.   There has been some debate about how many should be considered transgender, but there is considerable agreement that Albert Cashier is the strongest candidate in that he never reverted, never used his girl name again, and was outed only at the age of 70 in 1914 when he was taken into the State Hospital and coerced into female clothing.   He died a few months later.

Albert Cashier is frequently mentioned as a trans man pioneer, and is featured in Wheelwright's book, in Richard Hall's Patriots in Disguise: Women Warriors of the Civil War, and has a book-length biography, Lon P. Dawson's Also Known As Albert D.J. Cashier.    

Cashier's girl name was Jennie Hodgers.

 
So it was with some surprise that I, this week, received an email from one Elizabeth Martins advertising a US Civil War novel by a John William Huelskamp. She writes:
"I’d like to introduce you to Jennie Hodgers, one of the few known women to dress as a man and fight in battle during the Civil War. It was only later on in life that Jennie’s true identity was discovered (otherwise, she would have been dismissed from battle). This begs the question: how many more women fought in battle that have gone unrecognized?"
I have bolded 6 errors in this introductory paragraph.  Martins continues her misgendering, and insists again that Cashier's "true identity" was as a woman.
"Jennie’s story is a classic Civil War story. Move over Scarlett O’Hara – this story is true." 
For some reason I have never though of Scarlett O'Hara as a trans man!!


Obviously Martins never read my article on Mr Albert Cashier.   She does include a passing reference to the LGBTQ community - which again she obviously does not understand.   

She also says that Huelskamp is "fighting to erect a memorial in her [that is Jennie Hodgers, Cashier's girl name] honor in Chicago". While a memorial to Albert Cashier would be quite welcome, one to Jennie Hodgers would be divisive and create a lot of conflict. Remember the 10-year struggle in Portland, Oregon, to get Alan Hart honoured as Alan and not by his girlname.

In previous decades books such as this that ignore the trans identity of historical persons were quite common.   It is very disappointing that it is still going on.   Whether one regards it as impertinent, arrogant, naive or willful ignorance.

23 August 2016

Alice Lyman Miller (1944 - ) intelligence analyst, academic

Harold Lyman Miller grew up in rural western New York state, where as a young teenager he would take a dress when fossil hunting in the wild.

Then he put away childish things and set out to prove his manliness. He played high-school basketball, chased girls, did a BA in Oriental Studies, 1966 at the then all-male Princeton University, and a PhD in history at George Washington University, DC, 1974, and married.

A fluent Mandarin speaker, Miller worked as an analyst of Chinese foreign policy at the Central Intelligence Agency 1974-1990. His second wife was also a CIA analyst. They had a son and a daughter.

From 1990-2000 he worked as professor of China studies and for most of that period, director of the China Studies Program at the School for Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University (which, unlike the rest of Johns Hopkins, is located in Washington, DC).

Not until he was 52 did Miller catch an episode of the Phil Donahue show on TV about transsexuals and realize that was what he was. He also discovered the book True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism by Mildred Brown. Miller discussed his feelings with his second wife, and started wearing female clothes.

Approaching 60, Miller got a new position as a visiting fellow at the conservative think tank, the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, and also as senior lecturer at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

At the urging of the wife, Miller consulted local gender counselor Judy Van Maasdam, the co-ordinator at Stanford’s Gender Dysphoria Clinic. Alice, as Miller became, underwent 250 hours of electrolyis and in total spent over $100,000 transitioning. She was able to transition on the job in both positions. Both institutions had had previous employees transition.

Alice had surgery at the Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, California in August 2007.

In May 2015, Alice gave a talk on transition at the TEDx event at Stanford University.

*not Alice Miller the child psychologist
  • Harold Lyman Miller. Factional Conflict and the Integration of Ch'ing Politics, 1661-1690. Phd thesis, George Washington University,1974.
  • H. Lyman Miller. Science and Dissent in Post-Mao China: The Politics of Knowledge. University of Washington Press, 1996.
  • Alice Lyman Miller. "Some Things We Used to Know About China's Past and Present (But Now, Not So Much)". Journal of American-East Asian Relations. 16, 1, 2009: 41-68.
  • Alice Lyman Miller & Richard Wich. Becoming Asia: Change and Continuity in Asian International Relations Since World War II. Stanford University Press, 2011.
  • Tracie White. “Transition Point: The Unmet Medicak Needs of Transgender people”. Stanford Medicine, Spring 2012. http://sm.stanford.edu/archive/stanmed/2012spring/article7.html.
  • Stacy Trevenon. “The importance of being Alice: Moss Beach woman embraces transition”. Half Moon Bay Review, June 24, 2015. www.hmbreview.com/community/the-importance-of-being-alice/article_2a66a04c-1aa9-11e5-af30-af09569bfe4b.html.
EN.Wikipedia     HooverInstitute    
_____________________________

The EN.Wikipedia article on Alice has no mention at all of her gender change despite the fact that she is quite open about it. Nor does it list her first two books.  The page was written by the now blocked author Occultzone

Amazon has H Lymon Miller and Alice Miller as two separate authors.

It is ironic that Miller spent 10 years at Johns Hopkins University without being aware of its pioneering gender clinic.