Posts in tag

trans history


Bill Smith transgender jockey

Revisiting Bill Smith, Australia’s first transgender jockey

North Queensland jockey Bill Smith lived life to the full, and on his own terms. But on his deathbed, ill health forced the 88-year-old to reveal a secret. Bill Smith was Australia’s first transgender jockey. However, in 1975, neither he nor society possessed the language to describe his racing career in those terms. I lived …

Bill Smith australia's first transgender jockey

Bill Smith, 1886 – 1975, Australia’s first transgender jockey

Successful far northern jockey Bill Smith never caused much of a commotion in life. But just before his death at the age of 88, ill health forced Bill to reveal a secret to medical staff. Bill Smith was Australia’s first transgender jockey.  A headstone on his grave now declares him ‘Australia’s first female jockey’. Although …

Dr Walter C. Alvarez march 22

On this day March 22: Dr Walter C Alvarez

In his March 22, 1966 Newsday column, Dr Walter C Alvarez wrote about watching his father’s ducks as a kid. He learned from those fowl that sexual and gender diversity occurred naturally. “Long years ago, when I was a boy, my father had several Mandarin ducks in our yard. I can remember my wonderment when …

Marcella Di Folco march 7

On this day March 7: Marcella Di Folco

Actor, then activist, and finally politician, Marcella Di Folco was born March 7, 1943. After acting in movies for directors like Federico Fellini and Roberto Rossellini, she transitioned. Elected a municipal councillor in Bologna, she became the first open transwoman elected to public office in the world. Marcella Di Folco’s film career began by accident. …

Sylvia Rivera february 19

On this day February 19: Sylvia Rivera

Sylvia Rivera died on February 19 2002. She’s an icon now, an emblem of the long LGBTIQ+ fight against oppression. Although much celebrated, she’s still sadly little heard. Sylvia Rivera whored on the streets of New York from the age of 10. Just to survive. Her father deserted his family while she was still a …

dana international diva eurovision 1998 february 2

On this day February 2: Viva la Diva, Dana International

Dana International, born February 2 1969 in Tel Aviv, won Eurovision 1998 with the infectious pop anthem ‘Diva’. Dana continues to perform, record and also advocate for LGBTIQ+ rights, frequently appearing at Pride events. Scroll down to check out the red hot 2018 version of ‘Diva’. Dana International wanted to become a pop singer from …

Continental Palace Hotel january 29

On this day January 29: Saigon’s Continental Palace Hotel

On January 29 1973, the Austin American-Statesman published an article about Saigon’s Continental Palace Hotel. The headline promised titillation: Ex-Picturesque Saigon Bar Gathering Place for Freaks. Who then were the freaks? “Assorted prostitutes, transvestites, lesbians, homosexuals, pimps, beggars and bums.” The good old days Ah yes, the good old days. Terrible as the language seems …

murray h. hall january 19

On this day, January 19: Murray H. Hall

On January 19 1901, the New York Times reported the death of businessman and political operative Murray H Hall. Hundreds of Hall’s acquaintances reacted with shock to the revelation that Hall would have been designated female at birth. Papers around the world reported how Murray H. Hall ‘fooled’ the canny politicians of New York’s infamous …

madhu kinnar january 5

On this day January 5: Mayor Madhu Kinnar

On January 5 2015, Madhu Kinnar became mayor of the industrial city of Raigarh in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. She was then India’s only openly transgender mayor. Madhu Kinnar left school after eighth grade. As a member of the Dalit community, she had limited employment options. Previously known as ‘untouchables’, Dalits traditionally work in …

Lili Elbe december 28 man into woman

On this day December 28: celebrating the birth of Lili Elbe

Lili Elbe was born on December 28 1882. Designated male at birth, she later became one of the first people to undergo gender confirmation surgery. Before her death in 1931, Lili asked a friend to edit her diaries and notes into a biography, later published as Man Into Woman: An Authentic Record of a Change …

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