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!

22 October 2017

Advice Manuals II 1981-2000


Canadian (auto)biographies
Hoax biographies
(auto)biographies that are almost unobtainable
French and Belgian (auto) biographies and Histories
Biographies with the pre-transition name in the title 
Advice Manuals 1957-1980
Advice Manuals 1981-2000
Advice Manuals 2001-2017
There are many advice manuals for different types of trans person. This list is necessarily incomplete.

Inclusion in this list does not imply that I endorse the contents of any item.

This middle period is notable for the scarcity of publications in the 1980s.   This is the period following Janice Raymond’s diatribe against any form of transgender.   Even writer sympathetic to trans persons such as Liz Hodgkinson and Dave King felt obliged to cite Raymond.   It was also the period after the closure of the Johns Hopkins Gender Identity Clinic, and the legal persecution of doctors such as David Wesser.   And, of course, the coming of AIDS. 

There is recovery in the 1990s.   Most of the authors are associated with the trans peer groups of that time. 

Part II 1980-2000


  • Louis Sullivan. Information for the female to male cross dresser and transsexual. Ingersoll Gender Center. 1st Ed Janus Information Facility.


  • Yvonne Sinclair. Transvestism within a partnership of marriage and families. Transvestite/Transsexual Social Group.


  • Joseph Doucé. La Question transsexuelle. Paris: Luminière et justice.


  • The Brussels Experience. Ingersoll Gender Center.


  • Morgan Holliday & Peter Hawkins. The Morgan Mystique: Morgan Holliday's Essential Guide to Living, Loving and Lip Gloss. Holliday Productions.
  • Peggy J Rudd. Crossdressing With Dignity: The Case for Transcending Gender Lines. Pm Pub.
  • Joanne Altman Stringer. The Transsexual's Survival Guide: To Transition & Beyond. Creative Design Services.
  • Jennifer Anne Stevens. From Masculine to Feminine. Inland Book Co.


  • Dallas Denny. Deciding what to do about your gender dysphoria: Some considerations for those who are thinking about sex reassignment. (AEGIS transition series).
  • Dallas Denny. Deciding what to do about your gender dysphoria: Some considerations for those who are thinking about sex reassignment. (AEGIS transition series)
  • JoAnn Roberts. Coping With Crossdressing: Tools & Strategies for Partners in Committed Relationships. Creative Design Services.


  • The Trinidad Experience. Ingersoll Gender Centre.
  • Jed Bland. The Dual Role Transvestite: a Unique Form of Identity. Derby TV/TS Group.
  • Jed Bland. The Secret Wardrobe. Derby TS/TV Group.
  • Joanne Altman Stringer. The Transsexual's Survival Guide II: To Transition & Beyond for Family, Friends, & Employers. Creative Design Services.


  • Jed Bland. The Gender Paradox: What it Means to be a Transvestite. Derby TV/TS Group.


  • Jed Bland. Transvestism: Four Monograms. Derby TV/TS Group.
  • Dallas Denny. Identity Management in Transsexualism. Creative Design Services.
  • Sheila Kirk, M.D. Hormonal therapy for the male-to-female transgendered individual. IFGE.
  • JoAnn Roberts. Art & Illusion: A Guide to Crossdressing. 4 volumes. Creative Design Services.


  • Sheila Kirk & Martine Rothblatt. Medical, Legal and Workplace Issues For The Transsexual. Together Lifeworks.


  • Mildred L Brown & Chloe Ann Rounsley. True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism : for Families, Friends, Coworkers, and Helping Professionals. Jossey-Bass.
  • Vernon Coleman. Men in dresses : a study of transvestism/crossdressing. European Medical Journal. 
  • Vernon Coleman. Crossdressing: The Path to Male Emancipation. European Medical Journal.
  • Sheila Kirk, M.D. Masculinizing Hormonal Therapy for the Transgendered, Together Lifeworks.
  • Sheila Kirk, M.D. Feminizing hormonal therapy for the transgendered. Together Lifeworks.


  • Alison Laing. Speaking as a Woman. King of Prussia, PA: Creative Design Services.
  • Alison Laing. Speaking as a Woman. VHS 45 mins.
  • Veronica Vera. Miss Vera's Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls. New York: Main Street Books.


  • Kate Bornstein. My Gender Workbook: How to Become the Kind of Man or Woman You Always Thought You Could Be...or Something Else Entirely. Routledge.


  • Vicky Lee. The Tranny Guide. Enfield: Wayout Publishing Co. 336 pp 2000

21 October 2017

Advice Manuals I: 1957-1980


Canadian (auto)biographies
Hoax biographies
(auto)biographies that are almost unobtainable
French and Belgian (auto) biographies and Histories
Biographies with the pre-transition name in the title 

Advice Manuals I: 1957-1979
Advice Manuals II: 1980-2000
Advice Manuals III: 2001-2017

When I first started this encyclopedia in 2007 I included a bibliography of books up to that date. Since then the field has exploded and my bibliography became increasingly out of date – although I did include most of the new books for each year in my year-end review each year. I have now taken down the old bibliography, and bit by bit am rebuilding it.

Advice manuals Part I: 1957-1980

There are many advice manuals for different types of trans person. This list is necessarily incomplete.

Inclusion in this list does not imply that I endorse the contents of any item.

In this early period the genre is not defined. The book by Prince, Roberts and Salem are completely different, although some trans women would have read all all them, as there was nothing else at the time.


  • Virginia Prince.  An Introduction to the Subject of Transvestism or Femmiphilia (Cross-Dressing). Foundation for Full Personality Expression.




  • Michael Salem with Leo Wollman. How to impersonate a woman; a handbook for the male transvestite. New York, M. Salem Enterprises.
  • Michael Salem. How to Impersonate a Woman. VHS. US 60 mins. Michael Salem. The video of the book.


  • Paula Grossman. A Handbook for Transsexuals. Broadview Enterprises Inc.

12 October 2017

Leynon (192? – 195?) performer

Leynon, from Mexico, was a well-known performer in US female-impersonation nightclubs in the 1950s. When Perry Desmond was hired for a first chance as a performer at New Orleans’ My-O-My Club in 1956, Leynon stepped in to help Desmond with make-up and costume.

Desmond records that she was viciously murdered in a transphobic hate crime in Mexico a few years later.

  • Perry Desmond & Dr. R. L. Hymers. Perry: A Transformed Transsexual. Impact Christian Books. 2004: 31-2.

Queer Music Heritage.

24 September 2017

Hanan Al Tawil حنان الطويل actress (1966 – 2004)

Tareq, born and raised in Egypt, was an actor, but felt wrong in the body, so went to Europe for the operation. On return she took the name Hanan Al Tawil, and announced from the stage that she had become a woman.

She was given a small part in the film Abboud Alal Hodood (Abboud on the Borders), directed by Sharif Arafeh. Arafeh then cast her as a school-teacher in Al Nazer (Headmaster).

She moved to comedy theatre, and to straight drama. In the play Hakim Uyoon (Ophthalmologist) she was cast as a young wife suffering from a negligent husband. Her family were quite accepting of her new self.

Hanan died at age 38, possibly from suicide. She had been frequently mocked and harassed, and took it badly.

El Cinema     IMDB


IMDB often becomes quite deficient, the further that it moves from Hollywood.   It lists only one film for Hanan: I Want my Right, 2003.  El Cinema list 6 films.

20 September 2017

Jayne Thomas ( 194? – 2002) psychologist

Jay Thomas grew up in a small town in Indiana, and as a teenager was a national swimming champion.

Despite feeling wrong as a boy, Jay married a woman at age 17, however she had great difficulties with her husband’s transsexual inclinations. Thomas moved to the Los Angeles area and worked as a consultant for movie and television productions and as an engineer psychologist for Hughes Industries, an aircraft development company.

A second wife was more supportive of the trans aspects, and they traveled together as two women. Thomas had children with both wives.

When the second wife passed on in 1985, Thomas felt free to transition. Thomas had been working as a consultant at a large Los Angeles banking firm, and was able to continue there as a woman.

Afterwards she gave counseling to other transsexuals, in accordance with the HBIGDA Standards of Care. In 1988 she took a part-time position in the Psychology Department at the Santa Monica College, where she was a well-regarded teacher who shared her background with the students. She also worked part-time at the Los Angeles Mission College.

With Kate Bornstein, Jayne appeared on the Geraldo television program “Who’s Sorry Now” about post-surgical regret. Kate and Jayne were there in contrast as successful and happy transsexuals.

Jayne was a speaker at the first New Women’s Conference in Essex, Massachusetts in 1991: her talk was reprinted in The Journal of Gender Studies.
“I've made the comment on more than one occasion that I'm a hell of a lot more comfortable with the masculine part of myself now, in female form, than I ever was when I was in male form. I couldn't be androgynous as a male. I can now. Because being male doesn't threaten me now”.
Jayne also gave lectures and presentations at other colleges. From this came the VHS tape Gender Identity: Variations of Expression. At one college presentation, after Thomas spoke of her gender history, an Iranian woman said:
"I knew there was something different about you. I knew it! Women don't walk around the way you do. Women aren't as assertive, as bold as you. Women your age wouldn't generally stand here like this and make a presentation."
Jayne’s son, an aspiring thespian had become involved in dance as a form of creative expression. Jayne met his teacher and also took the course, and found it useful in expressing a new gender. She and the teacher wrote this up and it was included in the Gender Blending anthology edited by the Bulloughs and James Elias.

During the spring semester, 2002 Jayne suffered a stroke and went into a coma. Despite medical care, she died a few months afterwards
  • Jayne Thomas. “Putting Gender Issues in Perspective: The Whole You”. Journal of Gender Studies, 14,1,Winter-Spring 1992: 3-19. Online.
  • Kate Bornstein. Gender outlaw: on men, women, and the rest of us. Vintage Book, 1995: 81.
  • Jayne Thomas & Toby Green. Gender Identity: Variationsof Expression. VHS Tape, 1995.
  • Loren M. Wingert, CPA. “Coming Out: Transitioning Successfully On the Job”. Transgender Tapestry, 78, Winter 1996: D3. Online.
  • Jayne Thomas & Annette Cardona. “The Use of Dance/Movement in the Adjustment to a New Gender Role” in Bonnie Bullough, Vern L. Bullough & James Elias. Gender Blending. Prometheus Books, 1997: 405-412.
  • Daniel Harju. “Teacher Fights For Her Life: SMC instructor shared perspectives on human sexuality and personal life experiences”. Corsair, 84, 11, 13 November 2002. Online.
  • Jeffrey S Nevid & Spencer A Rathus. Psychology and the Challenges of Life, Binder Ready Version: Adjustment and Growth. 13th Edition. Wiley, 2016:404-5, 407.

Melanie Yarborough

17 September 2017

Noor Talbi نور طلبي dancer, model, actress (1969 - )

Noureddine Talbi was born in Agadir, and was raised in Hay Mohammedi, outside Casablanca. Talbi was good at languages and also a teenage athlete and won gold medals in the 110 and 440-metre hurdles at the national level, but was more interested in dancing, which was done at first in the family setting, and in imitation of the dance sequences in Egyption films.

Talbi left for Spain at 18, and then France where she found work on the fashion catwalks. Her name was now Noor (shortened from Noureddine, a unisex name that means ‘light’ in Arabic).

Back in Morocco she founded her own fashion brand … but she still wanted to dance. She studied oriental dance under renowned choreographers. Initially she was snubbed, as are all artists initially, and there were rumours about her gender history. However she persisted, and performed at shows, charity galas, weddings.

Her sister acted as her manager – until she got married. Noor has adopted a child. She sent her mother on the Hajj in 2002, and wants to go herself.
“I am a strong believer; I pray five times a day, I am very close to God."
Noor became one of the best known oriental dancers in Morocco. She also dances the kabuki, the hindi, the woolof and the charqi. She can speak French, English, Spanish, Italian and three Arabic dialects: the Moroccan darija, the Lebanese and the Egyptian. She is 1.85m (6'1"), a full 2 metres in heels. She had surgery in Egypt.

She has starred in films, headlined weddings for the rich, and is a regular at big events such as the Marrakech International Film Festival, run after by the paparazzi. She teaches dance in Rabat and Casablanca, and has performed in the US, Australia and Japan.  However she chooses not to work with LGBT activists despite being asked.

However Morocco refuses to reissue her identity card, and state television continues to ban her.
'If I wasn't such a strong woman, religious, humanly and social, another might have killed herself'.

FR.Wikipedia       IMDB

14 September 2017

Sylvia Rivera Part V: Later Years

Part I: beginnings
Part II:  GAA & Weinstein Hall
Part III: Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries
Part IV:  Other activities to 1973
Part V:  Later years

Sylvia retreated to Tarrytown on the northern edge of New York City where she worked as a food services manager with the Marriott Corporation. With her husband Frank she bought a house, but they lost it after taking up crack.

She was discovered by David Isay for his radio program, Remembering Stonewall which was broadcast on the 20th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in 1989. She was then interviewed by Martin Duberman and featured in his book, Stonewall, as a major participant.

Allyson Allanta, Sylvia, Ivana Valentin at Stonewall 26.
She joined the executive of the Stonewall Veterans Association.

She took it badly when Marsha was found dead in the Hudson River off the West Village Piers in 1992. In 1995 she herself attempted suicide by walking into the river.

From 1997 Sylvia lived at Transy House, the home of Rusty Mae Moore and Chelsea Godwin (who had been in the earlier S.T.A.R.). She was an alcoholic at this time, but after discussions with Rusty and Chelsea, she went cold turkey. She renewed her political activism, giving speeches concerning the need for unity among trans persons, and their position at the forefront of the GLBT movement.
Sylvia took up with a trans woman Julia Murray, and they became a couple.

She was active in New York’s Metropolitan Community Church, where she became the director at the food pantry.

Lee Brewster died in 2000, and Sylvia wrote an obituary, but none of the gay papers would print it.

Later that year she went to Italy for the Millenium March (the first WorldPride), and was acclaimed as the Mother of all gay people.

In 2001 she revived STAR (this time with T=transgender) and they fought for the New York City Transgender Rights Bill and for a trans-inclusive New York State Sexual Orientation Non Discrimination Act. They also agitated for justice for Amanda Milan, a trans woman who had been killed on the street 20 June 2000. Sylvia still had to fight with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the Empire State Pride Agenda (ESPA) who were neglecting trans issues. She was still negotiating with ESPA on her deathbed.

She died in 2002, with Julia at her side, of complications from cancer of the liver at age 50.

In her honor: MCC New York's queer youth shelter is called Sylvia's Place; In 2005, the corner of Christopher and Hudson Streets was renamed Rivera Way; the Sylvia Rivera Law Project is dedicated
"to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination or violence".
*Not known to be related to Birdy Rivera, or René Rivera (Mario Montez).

Sylvia is included in the 2002 anthology GenderQueer, and this is very appropriate, and in retrospect was timely as she died the same year. She had been on external hormones as a teenager, but discontinued. Unlike Virginia Prince, who also discontinued hormones and abandoned her intention to gain surgery, Sylvia remained positive about those who continued the journey:  In her article she says:
“I thought about having a sex change, but I decided not to. I feel comfortable being who I am. That final journey many of the transwomen and transmen make is a big journey. It’s a big step and and I applaud them, but I don’t think I could ever make that journey. Maybe it comes of my prejudice when so many in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s ran up to the chop shop at Yonkers General. They would get a sex change and a month, maybe six months, later they’d kill themselves because they weren’t ready. Maybe that made me change my mind.”

In 1970-2, Sylvia corrected those who who referred to her as a 'drag queen', and preferred the word ‘transvestite’. However in her essay for GenderQueer, she used ‘drag queen’.  This of course creates some confusion with respect to the 1973 pride march in that the Club 82 performers were drag queens in a very different sense.

Sylvia was lucky in those who wrote about her: Arthur Bell, David Isay, Martin Duberman; and it is the media construction resulting from these three writers that is most of her legend.  So let us return to the question raised in Part I:  was she actually at the first night of the Stonewall riots?  Arthur Bell was in Europe with his lover Arthur Evans that summer, and says nothing about Stonewall in his book, Dancing the Gay Lib Blues, 1971, although he publicized her trial for soliciting signatures on a petition for gay rights, and later her involvement in StarHouse.   It is presumably the fame resulting from this that led David Isay and Martin Duberman to include her in their accounts of Stonewall.   On the other hand the carefully researched book by David Carter and Stephan Cohen conclude that she was not there.   If so, why did she say that she was?    Perhaps she did not want to disappoint them?  In her final writing, the essay in GenderQueer, she carefully says that 'we' (that is street queens) were at Stonewall, but does not say that 'I' was.  If she were not, it was rather bold of her to be on the executive of the  Stonewall Veterans Association.

It does not matter if Sylvia were not at Stonewall.  Her actions as recounted in this series justify her place in history in either case.

I mainly followed Stephan L. Cohen. The Gay Liberation Youth Movement in New York: 'an Army of Lovers Cannot Fail'.   This is certainly the best book on Sylvia and on New York gay lib in the early 1970s.   I got it from the library, but it is a shame that, being published by Routledge, it is so expensive.   The hardback is US$130/C$167/£110.00; the paperback:  US$43/C$57/£35.
  • Arthur Bell & Sylvia Rivera. “Chris: Gay Prisoner in Bellevue.” Gay Flames, Nov. 14, 1970: 1, 2, 7. Online.
  • Arthur Bell. “STAR Trek: Transvestites in the street.” Village Voice, July 15, 1971, 1, 46.
  • “March on Albany”. Drag, 1,3, 1971 : 30, 32-3. Online.
  • Arthur Bell. Dancing the Gay Lib Blues: A Year in the Homosexual Liberation Movement. Simon & Schuster, 1971: 60-5, 88, 113-5, 118-120, 122-3, 145-6, 157-8, 176, 191.
  • Sylvia Rivera. “In a World of Darkness.” Come Out 2, No. 7b, Spring/Summer 1971, 17.
  • Sylvia Lee Rivera. “Transvestites: Your Half Sisters and Half Brothers of the Revolution.” Come Out 2, No. 8, Winter 1972, 10.
  • “Drags and TVs Join the March”. Drag, 3,11, 1973: 4-11,44. Online.
  • Rey “Sylvia Lee” Rivera. “The Drag Queen” in Eric Marcus. Making History: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights, 1945-1990 : an Oral History. HarperPerennial, 1992: 187-196.
  • Martin B Duberman. Stonewall. Plume, 1994: 20-24, 65-71, 117,122-8, 182-3,,190-3,195-6,198,201,202-3,235-9, 246, 251-5, 259, 262-5, 282, 287, 280, 282, 285n10, 300n40, 308n46, 313n83-4, 314-5n94.
  • David Isay, with photographs by Harvey Wang. Holding On: Dreamers, Visionaries, Eccentrics and Other American Heroes. New York : W.W. Norton, 1995. Contains a chapter on Sylvia.
  • Leslie Feinberg. Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue. Boston: Beacon Press. 1998: 96-7, 106-9.
  • David Isay, with a photograph by Harvey Wang. “Sylvia Rivera”. New York Times Magazine. June 27, 1999. Online.
  • Michael Bronski. “Sylvia Rivera: 1951-2002: No longer on the back of the bumper”. ZMag. April. 2002.
  • Sylvia Rivera. “Queens in Exile, The Forgotten Ones”. In Joan Nestle, Clare Howell & Riki Wilchins (eds). GenderQueer: Voices from Beyond the Sexual Binary. Alyson Books 297 pp 2002.
  • Dora Francese (dir). Sylvia, rimembri ancora? Scr: Adi Gianuario, with Sylvia Rivera. Italy 21 mins 2001.
  • Bebe Scarpinato & Rusty Moore. “Sylvia Rivera”. Transgender Tapestry, 98, Summer 2002: 34-8. Online.
  • “Sylvia Rae Rivera”. Stonewall Veterans.
  • Paul D Cain. “David Carter: Historian of The Stonewall Riots”. Gay Today, 07/01/04.
  • Victoria I. Muñoz. "Fabulous Resistance: Carmen Miranda, Sylvia Rivera, and Queer Latinidad" National Women's Studies Association Conference. 2005.
  • Stephan L. Cohen. The Gay Liberation Youth Movement in New York: 'an Army of Lovers Cannot Fail'. Routledge, 2008: 2, 8-9, 35-6, 37, 38, 39, 40, 56-8, 89 -92, 93-4, 96, 97-8, 101-7, 108, 109-118, 119, 121-137, 140, 141, 143, 144, 145-6, 148, 152, 153154-9, 161-2, 196, 197, 244n6, 245n19, 255n270