Posts in tag

trans history


lgbtiq history brisbane toye de wilde

Happy 80th birthday to our beloved Toye de Wilde

A number of extraordinary people blessed Queensland’s rainbow communities with their presence and efforts over the years. They worked to build a sense of community, to combat unjust laws and to protect us from a plague of biblical proportion. Bill Rutkin OAM profiles a remarkable individual whose efforts benefitted us all, the inimitable Toye de …

murray h. hall january 19

Murray H. Hall: trans political operative shocked New York

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 …

Lili Elbe december 28 man into woman

Birthdays: Transgender pioneer 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 …

Chevalière d'Éon Lani Kaʻahumanu John Addington Symonds

B’days: Chevalière d’Éon, Lani Kaʻahumanu, J A Symonds

Born on October 5: the enigmatic diplomat, spy, and soldier Chevalière d’Éon (1728), writer and activist Lani Kaʻahumanu (1943), and poet John Addington Symonds (1840). Chevalière d’Éon It must indeed be acknowledged that she is the most extraordinary person of the age. We have seen no one who has united so many military, political, and …

Charles Winslow Hall

On this day: Charles Winslow Hall, ‘exposed by illness’

A ship’s doctor noticed Charles Winslow Hall’s chest binding when he fell ill on a trip home to America. Sadly, Charles consequently died, September 29, 1901, before the ship reached Boston and newspapers went to town: Passenger Clad in Male Attire — and Bringing a Wife — Exposed by Illness. Born into a wealthy Massachusetts …

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 …

number 96 andrew mercado march 13

On this day March 13: Andrew Mercado on Number 96

50 years ago today on March 13, 1972, the Australian drama series Number 96 became the first TV show in the world to ever feature a regular gay character. TV historian Andrew Mercado says that despite homosexuality remaining illegal throughout Australia, television audiences embraced the character and Don Finlayson quickly became one of the most …

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. …

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