Posts in tag

trans history


trixie laumonte

Trixie Laumonte: photos from a 50-year career

During her almost 50-year drag career, Trixie Laumonte was one of Australia’s most visible trans women. 🏳️‍⚧️ She began in entertainment at Les Girls as a 15-year-old. Like many early Les Girls, she carried for a lifetime the lessons she learned there on dance, costume and holding an audience. Even in her later years, when …

bill armitt

Bill Armitt: A trans man in the bush in 1950

After a trip to the Big Smoke to consult Sydney’s leading gynaecologists, trans man Bill Armitt caught a bus back to the bush and disappeared from history. In 1950, 22-year-old Bill Armitt lived in the 100-year-old slab hut where he was born. Home-schooled on a farm 60 kilometres from Goulburn, he grew up with no …

Roman emperor Elagabalus, trans woman

Museum relabels Roman emperor as trans woman

A UK museum has discovered a Roman emperor was actually a trans woman.  The North Hertfordshire Museum will update its display after discovering emperor Elagabalus was a trans woman. The museum will now refer to the emperor with she/her pronouns. Historians and academics have widely debated Elagabalus’s gender identity. According to historical accounts, the emperor …

Yarrabah lesley lampton

Yarrabah defied Fed and Qld govts over trans employee

In 1979, the Yarrabah Aboriginal Council defied both the federal and Queensland governments over its employment of trans woman Lesley Lampton. Yarrabah An Anglican missionary established Yarrabah Mission in 1892. As the Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council website explains, authorities then relocated people to the mission from all over the state. “Members from Aboriginal groups across …

Mr X

1945: When transman Mr X got married

Kiwi transman Mr X and his bride faced a Wellington court in 1945 charged with making false statements under the marriage act. Freak Show A popular worker in a Wellington factory, 30-year-old Mr X lived with an eighteen-year-old female co-worker. They married at the local Registry Office. However, bureaucrats later noticed Mr X shared his …

First trans Miss Netherlands winner

Rikkie Valerie Kollé becomes first trans Miss Netherlands winner

Trans model and actress, Rikkie Valerie Kollé, has won the Miss Netherlands crown, becoming the first trans winner and second openly trans woman to participate in the Miss Universe pageant. The 22-year old Dutch-Moluccan model and actress first became notable for competing in Holland’s Next Top Model, before going on to snatch the Miss Netherlands title. …

Roberta Cowell

1954: Roberta Cowell, pioneer trans woman

In 1954, the Daily Telegraph reviewed Roberta Cowell’s Story, the autobiography of the first British trans woman to undergo gender affirmation surgery. Roberta was also a racing driver, fighter pilot and WWII prisoner of war. “It’s easier to change a body than to change a mind.” Roberta Cowell Another snippet of queercentric news from Australian …

Mr Smith to You Jockey Bill Smith

‘Mr Smith to You’ explores life of gender non-conforming jockey

A chance conversation about Bill Smith led academic Kerry Taylor on a journey to better understand a misunderstood historical figure. Taylor first learned of the little-known true story of jockey Bill Smith (1886–1975) from her uncle, who encountered Bill during his career as a prominent horse trainer. It was well known in the racing industry …

harcourt payne

Harcourt Payne, forced into women’s clothing

Born in England in 1875, Harcourt Frederick Payne lived most of his adult life in Australia, probably arriving in Melbourne at the age of 23. But after the popular Lidcombe widower collapsed in the street at the age of 64, nursing staff discovered he had been assigned female at birth. Harcourt Payne worked in a …

Sylvia Rivera february 19

Sylvia Rivera: Y’all Better Quiet Down

Sylvia Rivera is an icon now, an emblem of the long LGBTIQ+ fight against oppression. But, although much celebrated, she’s still sadly little heard. The petty controversy over who threw the first brick during the Stonewall Riots has tended to obscure much of Sylvia Rivera’s considerable achievements. But Sylvia was accustomed to struggling for recognition. …

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