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Male To Female Gender Reassignment Images Of Angels

This article addresses the history of transgender people in the United States from prior to western contact until the present. Transgender people have been present in the land now known as the United States at least since the early 1600s. Before Western contact, some Native American tribes had third gender people whose social roles varied from tribe to tribe. People dressing and living differently from their sex assignment at birth and contributing to various aspects of American history and culture have been documented from the 17th century to the present day. In the 20th and 21st centuries, advances in sex reassignment surgery as well as transgender activism have influenced transgender life and the popular perception of transgender people in the United States.


Prior to 1800[edit]

Prior to western contact, many[quantify]American Native tribes had third-gender roles.[citation needed] These include "berdaches" (a derogatory term for people born male and who assumed a traditionally feminine role), and "passing women" (people born female who took on a traditionally masculine role). The term berdache is not a Native American word; rather it was a European slur covering a range of third-gender people in different tribes.[1] Starting in the 1990s, LGBT and indigenous activists have promoted the use of the term Two-Spirit to describe gender-variant Native Americans.[1][2] Not all Native American tribes have traditionally recognized transgender people.[3]

One of the first documented inhabitants of the American colonies to challenge binary gender roles was Thomas(ine) Hall, a servant, who in the 1620's, alternately dressed in both men's and women's clothing. Hall is likely to have had an intersex condition, and was ordered by the Virginia court to wear both a man's breeches and a woman's apron and cap at the same time.[4]

Generally, according to Genny Beemyn in a Transgender History of the United States, what few historical accounts of transgender people that exist in early American history are of female to male transgender people, possibly because it was more difficult for male to female people to successfully present as women before the advent of sex-reassignment surgery and hormone treatments. One example she cites is Mary Henly, a female-assigned individual in Massachusetts who was charged with illegally wearing men's clothing in 1692 because it was "seeming to confound the course of nature." [5]


Joseph Lobdell (born in 1829 as Lucy Ann Lobdell), lived as a man for sixty years and due to this was arrested and incarcerated in an insane asylum. He was, however, able to marry a woman.[6]

During the American Civil War (1861–1865) at least 240 people assigned female at birth are known to have worn what was traditionally men's clothing and fought as soldiers. Many may have worn men's clothes because they weren't allowed to fight and this was their only means of participating in the war effort. Some of them were transgender and continued to live as men throughout their lives.[7] One such notable soldier was Albert Cashier.[8]

In 1879, We'wha, a Lhamana of the Zuni people, formed a friendship with anthropologist Matilda Coxe Stevenson in a Zuni pueblo. The Lhamana were third gender people who were born biologically male, but dressed as women and performed traditionally female tasks, as well as serving an important role as mediator in the tribe. Stevenson wrote about We'wha in her diary and her anthropological work; she did not realize until much later in their friendship that We'wha was not a cisgender woman. In 1886, We'wha visited Washington, D.C. with Stevenson and several others, was introduced around town as "an Indian Princess" and met President Grover Cleveland.[9][10]

In 1895 a group of self-described androgynes in New York organized a club called the Cercle Hermaphroditos, based on their wish "to unite for defense against the world's bitter persecution".[11] Jennie June (born in 1874 as Earl Lind), a member of the Cercle Hermaphroditos, wrote The Autobiography of an Androgyne (1918) and The Female Impersonators (1922), memoirs that provide rare first-person testimony about the early-20th-century life of a transgender person. The words "transsexual" and "transgender" had not yet been coined, and June described herself as a "fairie" or "androgyne", an individual, she said, "with male genitals", but whose "physical constitution" and sexual life "approach the female type".[12] In 2010 five sections of her third volume of memoirs (dated 1921 but never published), previously lost, were discovered and published on OutHistory.org.[12]

In 1917, Dr. Alan L. Hart, working with psychiatrist Dr. Joshua Gilbert, was the first documented trans man in the United States to undergo hysterectomy and gonadectomy, in order to live his life as a man.[13] Following his transition, Hart told The Albany Daily Democrat that he was "happier since I made this change than I ever have been in my life, and I will continue this way as long as I live[...] I have never concealed anything regarding my [change] to men's clothing[...] I came home to show my friends that I am ashamed of nothing."[14]

Trans-woman Lucy Hicks Anderson, born Tobias Lawson in 1886 in Waddy, Kentucky. She lived her life serving as a domestic worker in her teen years, eventually becoming a socialite and madame in Oxnard, California during the 1920s and 1930s. In 1945, she was tried in Ventura County for perjury and fraud for receiving spousal allotments from the military, as her dressing and presenting as a woman was considered masquerading. She lost this case but avoided a lengthy jail sentence, only to be tried again by the federal government shortly thereafter. She too lost this case, but her and her husbands were sentenced to jail time. After serving their sentences, Lucy and her then husband Ruben Anderson, relocated to Los Angeles, where they lived quietly until her death in 1954[15]

Billy Tipton (born in 1914 as Dorothy Lucille Tipton) was a notable American jazz musician and bandleader who lived as a man in all aspects of his life from the 1940s until his death. His own son did not know of his past until Tipton's death. The first newspaper article about Tipton was published the day after his funeral and was quickly picked up by wire services. Stories about Tipton appeared in a variety of papers including tabloids such as the National Enquirer and Star, as well as more reputable papers such as New York Magazine and The Seattle Times. Tipton's family also made talk show appearances.[16]

1950s and 1960s[edit]

The 1950s and 1960s saw some of the first transgender organizations and publications, but law and medicine did not respond favorably to growing awareness of transgender people.

The most famous American transgender person of the time was Christine Jorgensen, who in 1952 became the first widely publicized person to have undergone sex reassignment surgery, (in this case, male to female), creating a worldwide sensation.[17] However, she was denied a marriage license in 1959 when she attempted to marry a man, and her fiance lost his job when his engagement to Christine became public knowledge.[18]

Virginia Prince, a transgender person who began living full-time as a woman in San Francisco in the 1940s, developed a widespread correspondence network with transgender people throughout Europe and the United States by the 1950s. She worked closely with Alfred Kinsey to bring the needs of transgender people to the attention of social scientists and sex reformers.[19]

In 1952, using Virginia Prince's correspondence network for its initial subscription list, a handful of other transgender people in Southern California launched Transvestia: The Journal of the American Society for Equality in Dress, which published two issues. The Society that launched the journal also only briefly existed in Southern California.[19]

The Cooper Do-nuts Riot was a May 1959 incident in Los Angeles, in which transgender women, lesbian women, drag queens, and gay men rioted, one of the first LGBT uprisings in the US.[20] The incident was sparked by police harassment of LGBT people at a 24-hour cafe called "Cooper Do-nuts".

In 1960 Virginia Prince began another publication, also called Transvestia, that discussed transgender concerns. In 1962, she founded the Hose and Heels Club for cross-dressers, which soon changed its name to Phi Pi Epsilon, a name designed to evoke Greek-letter sororities and to play on the initials FPE, the acronym for Prince's philosophy of "Full Personality Expression". Prince believed that the binary gender system harmed both men and women by keeping them from their full human potential, and she considered cross-dressing to be one means of fixing this.[19]

Reed Erickson, a transsexual man, founded the Erickson Educational Foundation in 1964. EEF supplied information at no cost to transgender people, family members, and professionals and provided funding for the publication of Richard Green and John Money's edited 1969 text Transsexualism and Sex Reassignment and other books about sex and gender.[21] EEF also funded the earliest symposia for professionals who worked with transsexuals; this eventually resulted in the formation of the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, which is today called the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.[22][23] The work of the EEF would be continued by psychologist Paul Walker in the late 1970s, in the 1980s by Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark and Jude Patton, and in the 1990s by Dallas Denny.[24]

In the late 1960s in New York, Mario Martino founded the Labyrinth Foundation Counseling Service, which was the first transgender community-based organization that specifically addressed the needs of female-to-male transsexuals.[citation needed]

Transgender people also gained some exposure through popular culture, in particular the work of Andy Warhol. In the 1960s and early 1970s the transgender actresses Holly Woodlawn and Candy Darling were among Warhol's Warhol Superstars, appearing in several of his films.[citation needed] The 1953 film Glen or Glenda explored transsexuality and transvestism; though it got bad reviews, it later became a cult classic.[25] It was loosely inspired by the sex reassignment surgery of Christine Jorgensen; posters for the film, also known as I Changed My Sex and I Led Two Lives, publicize the movie as being based on her.[26] In 1968, Gore Vidal wrote the first American novel in which the lead character undergoes sex reassignment surgery, Myra Breckinridge, which was later made into a film.[27]

In 1965 150 gender non-conforming people came to Dewey's Coffee Shop in Philadelphia to protest the fact that the shop was refusing to serve young people in "non-conformist clothing".[28] After three protesters refused to leave after being denied service they, along with a black gay activist, were arrested. This led to a picket of the establishment organized by the black GLBT population. In May another sit-in was organized and Dewey's finally agreed to end their discriminatory policies.[29]

The following year, in 1966, one of the first recorded transgender riots in US history took place. The Compton's Cafeteria Riot occurred in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. The night after the riot, more transgender people, hustlers, Tenderloin street people, and other members of the LGBT population joined in a picket of the cafeteria, which would not allow transgender people back in. The demonstration ended with the newly installed plate-glass windows being smashed again. The riot marked the beginning of transgender activism in San Francisco.[30] According to the online encyclopedia glbtq.com, "In the aftermath of the riot at Compton's, a network of transgender social, psychological, and medical support services was established, which culminated in 1968 with the creation of the National Transsexual Counseling Unit [NTCU], the first such peer-run support and advocacy organization in the world".[31]

Transgender people were also heavily involved in the Stonewall Riots of 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in New York. These riots are widely considered to have begun the LGBT rights movement in America. A transgender woman, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, was a leader in the riots,[32] but was struck on her head by a police officer and was taken into custody. While in prison, she reported that a corrections officer broke her jaw.[33]Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson who went on to found the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) were present during the riots. Though transgender activism began on a larger scale in this period, it was also a period of heavy discrimination for those who were known to be transsexual, a term that was coined by American physician Harry Benjamin in 1957.

1970s and 1980s[edit]

Many support organizations for male cross-dressers began in the 1970s and 1980s, with most beginning as offshoots of Virginia Prince's organizations from the early 1960s.[19] Transgender activist Lee Brewster began publishing the transgender women's magazine Queens.[19] Angela Douglas founded TAO (Transsexual/Transvestite Action Organization), which published the Moonshadow and Mirage newsletters. TAO moved to Miami in 1972, where it came to include several Puerto Rican and Cuban members, and soon grew into the first international transgender community organization.[19]

Another significant event for activism occurred in 1979, with the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights held in Washington, D.C. on October 14. It drew between 75,000 and 125,000[34] transgender people, lesbians, bisexual people, gay men, and straight allies to demand equal civil rights and urge the passage of protective civil rights legislation.[35][36] The march was organized by Phyllis Frye (who in 2010 became Texas's first openly transgender judge)[37] and three other activists, but no transgender people spoke at the main rally.

The 1970s also saw conflict between the transgender and lesbian communities in America. A dispute began in 1973, when the West Coast Lesbian Conference split over a scheduled performance by the lesbian transgender folk-singer Beth Elliott.[38] Elliot had served as vice-president of the San Francisco chapter of the lesbian group Daughters of Bilitis, and edited the chapter's newsletter, Sisters, but was expelled from the group in 1973 on the grounds that she was not really a woman.[19][39] In 1977 some lesbians protested the fact that lesbian transgender woman Sandy Stone was employed at Olivia Records.[39] In 1979 lesbian radical feminist activist Janice Raymond released the book The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male, which she framed as a critique of a patriarchal medical and psychiatric establishment, and which maintains that transsexualism is based on the "patriarchal myths" of "male mothering," and "making of woman according to man's image." Raymond claimed this was done in order "to colonize feminist identification, culture, politics and sexuality," adding: "All transsexuals rape women's bodies by reducing the real female form to an artifact, appropriating this body for themselves .... Transsexuals merely cut off the most obvious means of invading women, so that they seem non-invasive." In this charge, Raymond echoed feminist Robin Morgan's charge at the 1973 West Coast Lesbian Conference, held in Los Angeles, that pre-op transsexual folk singer Beth Elliott, who had performed the previous day, was "an opportunist, an infiltrator, and a destroyer-with the mentality of a rapist."[40] In particular, Raymond mounted an ad hominem attack on Sandy Stone in The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male.[41] Raymond accused Stone by name of plotting to destroy the Olivia Records collective and womanhood in general with "male energy." In 1976, prior to publication, Raymond had sent a draft of the chapter attacking Stone to the Olivia collective "for comment", apparently in anticipation of outing Stone. Raymond appeared unaware that Stone had informed the collective of her transgender status before agreeing to join. The collective did return comments to Raymond, suggesting that her description of transgender and of Stone's place in and effect on the collective was at odds with the reality of the collective's interaction with Stone. Raymond responded by increasing the virulence of her attack on Stone in the published version of the manuscript:

Masculine behavior is notably obtrusive. It is significant that transsexually constructed lesbian feminists have inserted themselves into positions of importance and/or performance in the feminist population. Sandy Stone, the transsexual engineer with Olivia Records, an "all-women" recording company, illustrates this well. Stone is not only crucial to the Olivia enterprise but plays a very dominant role there. The...visibility he achieved in the aftermath of the Olivia controversy...only serves to enhance his previously dominant role and to divide women, as men frequently do, when they make their presence necessary and vital to women. As one woman wrote: "I feel raped when Olivia passes off Sandy...as a real woman. After all his male privilege, is he going to cash in on lesbian feminist culture too?"[41]

The collective responded in turn by publicly defending Stone in various feminist publications of the time. Stone continued as a member of the collective and continued to record Olivia artists until political dissension over her transgender status, exacerbated by Janice's book, culminated in 1979 in the threat of a boycott of Olivia products. After long debate, Stone left the collective and returned to Santa Cruz.

By the late 1970s, despite increasing recognition in medical circles, the battle for acceptance was far from won and some of the reverses of this period included the dissolution of some of the first transsexual advocacy groups including the NTCU, and the loss of support in both gay and feminist circles.[39]:255

In 1980, transgender people were officially classified by the American Psychiatric Association as having "gender identity disorder."[19]

The 1980s saw the founding of a number of newsletters and magazines of central important to trans people. In the 1980s, most of the subscribers to Rupert Raj's Toronto-based publications, Metamorphosis and Gender NetWorker, were Americans. Metamorphosis was founded by Raj in early 1982 as a bi-monthly newsletter. It was a "newsletter exclusively for F-M men" (with an intended readership among their families, wives/girlfriends, as well as professionals and "para professionals interested in female TSism"). By the third issue, the newsletter averaged around 8 pages, whereas in 1986, most issues were 24 pages; the last issue was in 1988. In 1986 transgender activist Lou Sullivan founded the support group that grew into FTM International, the leading advocacy group for female-to-male transgender individuals, and began publishing The FTM Newsletter.[19] Gender NetWorker was founded by Raj in 1988, and lasted two issues. This publication was directed specifically towards "helping professionals and resource providers."[42]

The term "transgender" as an umbrella term to refer to all gender non-conforming people became more commonplace in the late 1980s.[43][dead link][44][better source needed] In 1987 Sandy Stone, an American transgender woman, published the essay "The Empire Strikes Back: A Posttranssexual Manifesto," in response to the anti-transsexual book Transsexual Empire.[45] Her essay has been cited as the origin of transgender studies.[45]

1990s and 2000s[edit]

In 1991 a transgender woman named Nancy Burkholder was removed from the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival when security guards realized she was transgender. After that there were demonstrations against the Festival's women-born-women only policy. These demonstrations were known as Camp Trans.[46] The final Michigan Womyn's Music Festival was held in 2015.[47]

1991 was also the year of the first Southern Comfort Conference. The Southern Comfort Conference is a major[48]transgender conference that takes place annually in Atlanta, Georgia.[49][50] It is the largest,[50] most famous, and pre-eminent such conference in the United States.[51]

Several transgender organizations were founded in the 1990s and early 2000s. Transgender Nation, an offshoot of Queer Nation's San Francisco chapter, was one of the early transgender organizations, lasting from 1992 to 1994.[19]Transexual Menace (sic) was another such group, founded in 1994 by Riki Wilchins.[19] One of its first actions was to hold a memorial vigil outside at the trial of Brandon Teena's killers. In 1995, all the national transgender organizations got together and formed the board of GenderPAC, the first national political advocacy organization devoted to the right to one's gender identity. GenderPAC organized the first National Gender Lobby Day on Capitol Hill the following year, with help from activists Phyllis Frye and Jane Fee. It also launched a Corporate Diversity Pledge of Fortune 500 companies that had added "gender identity" to their non-discrimination policies (since HRC's at that point was only "sexual orientation") as well as a similar Congressional Diversity Pledge. However, GenderPAC saw its focus as also including gender non-conforming gays and lesbians who were discriminated against, causing a split in the organization. In 1999 the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition was founded by a group of experienced transgender lobbyists, who discovered after lobbying Congress in May 1999 that other organizations ostensibly supportive of rights for transgender people had been lobbying against the interests of the transgender community. The Transgender Foundation of America was founded in 2001.[52] In 2003 the National Center for Transgender Equality[53] and the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) were founded.[54]

The LGBT rights group Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), founded in 1972, also became more supportive of transgender people at this time. In 1998 gender identity was added to their mission after a vote at their annual meeting in San Francisco.[55] PFLAG was the first national LGBT organization to officially adopt a transgender-inclusion policy for its work.[56] PFLAG established its Transgender Network, also known as TNET, in 2002, as its first official "Special Affiliate," recognized with the same privileges and responsibilities as its regular chapters.[55]

At this time the transgender community became more visible. A high school teacher in Lake Forest, IL, Karen Kopriva, became the first American teacher to transition on the job in 1998. There was considerable media uproar, but when another teacher followed the next year in a different suburb hardly anyone noticed. The Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1998 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, an American transgender graphic designer, columnist, and activist,[57] to memorialize the murder of transgender woman Rita Hester in Massachusetts in 1998.[58] The Transgender Day of Remembrance is held every year on November 20 and now memorializes all those murdered due to transphobic hate and prejudice.[59] The most prominent version of the Transgender Pride flag was created in 1999 by the American trans woman Monica Helms.[60] The flag was first shown at a pride parade in Phoenix, Arizona in 2000. In 2012 Spokane Trans created their own version of the transgender pride flag. They describe it on their web site as follows: "The top two stripes represent male (blue) to female (pink). The purple represents non-binary and genderqueer people (as the genderqueer flag colors are green, white and purple) the thin white stripe represents all people as well as the "line" trans* folks cross during their transition. Then the female (pink) to male (blue) along the bottom."[61] In 2009 the International Transgender Day of Visibility was founded by Rachel Crandall, also the founder of TransGender Michigan; it is an annual holiday occurring on March 31, dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide.[62][63]

Transgender visibility in the LGBT community also gathered force in the 2000s. In 2002, Pete Chvany, Luigi Ferrer, James Green, Loraine Hutchins and Monica McLemore presented at the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Health Summit, held in Boulder, Colorado, marking the first time transgender people, bisexual people, and intersex people were recognized as co-equal partners on the national level rather than gay and lesbian "allies" or tokens.[64] In 2004 the San Francisco Trans March was first held.[65] It has been held annually since; it is San Francisco's largest transgender Pride event and one of the largest trans events in the entire world.[65] Also in 2004 the book The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism by the highly controversial researcher J. Michael Bailey was announced as a finalist in the Transgender category of the 2003 Lambda Literary Awards. Transgender people immediately protested the nomination and gathered thousands of petition signatures in opposition within a few days. After the petition, the Foundation's judges examined the book more closely, decided that they considered it transphobic and removed it from their list of finalists.[66] Within a year the executive director who had initially approved of the book's inclusion resigned.[67] Executive director Charles Flowers later stated that "the Bailey incident revealed flaws in our awards nomination process, which I have completely overhauled since becoming the foundation's executive director in January 2006."[68] In 2005 transgender activist Pauline Park became the first openly transgender person chosen to be grand marshal of the New York City Pride March, the oldest and largest LGBT pride event in the United States.

Politics increasingly began to include openly transgender people. In 2003 Theresa Sparks was the first openly transgender woman ever named "Woman of the Year" by the California State Assembly,[69] and in 2007 she was elected president of the San Francisco Police Commission by a single vote, making her the first openly transgender person ever to be elected president of any San Francisco commission, as well as San Francisco's highest ranking openly transgender official.[70][71][72][73] In 2006 Kim Coco Iwamoto was elected as a member of the Hawaii Board of Education, making her at that time the highest ranking openly transgender elected official in the United States, as well as the first openly transgender official to win statewide office.[74][75] In 2008 Stu Rasmussen became the first openly transgender mayor in America (in Silverton, Oregon).[76][77] In 2009 Diego Sanchez became the first openly transgender person to work on Capitol Hill, where he worked as a legislative assistant for Barney Frank.[78] Sanchez was also the first transgender person on the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) Platform Committee in 2008.[79][80] In 2009 Barbra "Babs" Siperstein was nominated and confirmed as the first openly transgender at-large member of the Democratic National Committee,[81] and in 2012 she became the first elected openly transgender member of the DNC.[82]

Transgender history also began to be recognized around this time. In 1996 Leslie Feinberg published Transgender Warriors, a history of transgender people.[83] Dallas Denny founded the Transgender Historical Society in 1995 and in 2000 donated her collection of historical materials to the Joseph A. Labadie Collection at the University of Michigan.[84][85] In 2008 Cristan Williams donated her personal collection to the Transgender Foundation of America, where it became the first collection in the Transgender Archive, an archive of transgender history worldwide.[86][87] In 2009 the Committee on Lesbian and Gay History, an affiliated society of the American Historical Association, changed its name to the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History.[88]

Transgender people also made groundbreaking strides in entertainment. In 2004, the first all-transgender performance of the Vagina Monologues was held. The monologues were read by eighteen notable transgender women, and a new monologue revolving around the experiences and struggles of transgender women was included.[89] In 2001 Jessica Crockett became the first transgender female actress to play a transgender character on television, on James Cameron's TV series Dark Angel. In 2005 Alexandra Billings became the second openly transgender woman to have played a transgender character on television, which she did in the made-for-TV movie Romy and Michelle: A New Beginning.[90] From 2007 to 2008 actress Candis Cayne played Carmelita Rainer, a transgender woman having an affair with married New York Attorney General Patrick Darling (played by William Baldwin), on the ABC prime time drama Dirty Sexy Money.[91][92][93] The role made Cayne the first openly transgender actress to play a recurring transgender character in prime time.[91][92][93]

The American transgender community also achieved some firsts in religion around this time. In 2002 at the Reform Jewish seminary Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York the Reform rabbi Margaret Wenig organized the first school-wide seminar at any rabbinical school which addressed the psychological, legal, and religious issues affecting people who are transsexual or intersex.[94] In 2003 she organized the first school-wide seminar at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College which addressed the psychological, legal, and religious issues affecting people who are transsexual or intersex.[94] Also in 2003, Reuben Zellman became the first openly transgender person accepted to the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he was ordained in 2010.[95][96][97]Elliot Kukla, who came out as transgender six months before his ordination in 2006, was the first openly transgender person to be ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.[98]HUC-JIR is the oldest extant Jewish seminary in the Americas and the main seminary for training rabbis, cantors, educators, and communal workers in Reform Judaism. In 2007 Joy Ladin became the first openly transgender professor at an Orthodox Jewish institution (Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University).[99][100] Emily Aviva Kapor was ordained privately by a rabbi she defined as "Conservadox" in 2005, but did not begin living as a woman until 2012, thus becoming the first openly transgender female rabbi.[101]


In the 2010s openly transgender people became increasingly prominent in entertainment. Chaz Bono became a highly visible transgender celebrity when he appeared on the 13th season of the US version of Dancing with the Stars in 2011, which was the first time an openly transgender man starred on a major network television show for something unrelated to being transgender.[102] He also made Becoming Chaz, a documentary about his gender transition that premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network) acquired the rights to the documentary and debuted it on May 10, 2011. Also in 2011, Harmony Santana became the first openly transgender actress to receive a major acting award nomination when she was nominated by the Independent Spirit Awards as Best Supporting Actress for the movie Gun Hill Road.[102] In 2012, Bring It On: The Musical premiered on Broadway, and it featured the first transgender teenage character ever in a Broadway show - La Cienega, a transgender woman played by actor Gregory Haney.[103] That same year singer Tom Gabel made headlines when she publicly came out as transgender, planning to begin medical transition and eventually take the name Laura Jane Grace.[104] She is the first major rock star to come out as transgender.[104] Director Lana Wachowski, formerly known as Larry Wachowski, came out as transgender in 2012 while doing publicity for her movie Cloud Atlas.[105] This made her the first major Hollywood director to come out as transgender.[106]

In the 2010s transgender people also made more inroads in politics. In 2010 Amanda Simpson became the first openly transgender presidential appointee in America when she was appointed as senior technical adviser in the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security.[107] Also in 2010, Victoria Kolakowski became the first openly transgender judge in America.[108] In 2012 Stacie Laughton became the first openly transgender person elected as a state legislator in United States history. However, she resigned before she was sworn in and was never seated. It was revealed that she was a convicted felon and was still on probation, having served four months in Belknap County House of Corrections following a 2008 credit card fraud conviction. It was later determined that she was ineligible to serve in the New Hampshire State Legislature.[109][110][111] Previously, in 1992 Althea Garrison had been elected as a state legislator, serving one term in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, but it was not publicly known she was transgender when she was elected.[112] In 2017, Danica Roem was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.[113][114] She became the first openly transgender person to both be elected to a U.S. state's legislature and serve her term.[115][116][117][118] Also in 2017, Tyler Titus, a transgender man, became the first openly transgender person elected to public office in Pennsylvania when he was elected to the Erie School Board.[119] He and Phillipe Cunningham, elected to the Minneapolis City Council on the same night, became the first two openly trans men to be elected to public office in the United States.[120]Andrea Jenkins was also elected to the Minneapolis City Council that same night, making her the first openly transgender African-American woman elected to public office in the United States.[121]

In 2014 openly transgender people became more visible. That year Laverne Cox was on the cover of the June 9, 2014, issue of Time, and was interviewed for the article "The Transgender Tipping Point" by Katy Steinmetz, which ran in that issue and the title of which was also featured on the cover; this made Cox the first openly transgender person on the cover of Time.[122][123][124] Later in 2014 Cox became the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy in an acting category: Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Sophia Burset in Orange Is the New Black.[125][126][127] She did not win, however.[128] Also that year Transgender Studies Quarterly, the first non-medical academic journal devoted to transgender issues, began publication with two openly transgender coeditors, Susan Stryker and Paisley Currah.[129][130] Also in 2014 a wooden racket used by openly transgender tennis player Renée Richards and the original transgender pride flag created by openly transgender activist and Navy veteran Monica Helms, as well as items from Helms's career in the service as a submariner, were donated to the National Museum of American History, which is part of the Smithsonian.[131] But perhaps the most important change in 2014 was that Mills College became the first single-sex college in the U.S. to adopt a policy explicitly welcoming openly transgender students, followed by Mount Holyoke becoming the first Seven Sisters college to accept transgender students.[132][133]

Following her divorce in 2015, Caitlyn Jenner came out in a television interview as a transgender woman.[134] On June 1, 2015, Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce Jenner) revealed her new name, Caitlyn, and her use of female pronouns officially.[135] Many news sources have described Jenner as the most famous openly transgender American.[136][137][138]

As for political organizations fighting for LGBT rights, in 2012 Allyson Robinson, who graduated West Point as Daniel Robinson, was appointed as the first Executive Director of OutServe-SLDN, the association of LGBT people serving in the military, making her the first openly transgender person to lead a national LGBT organization that does not have an explicit transgender focus.[139] 2012 also saw the country's first government-funded campaign to combat anti-transgender discrimination, held by the D.C. Office of Human Rights.[140]

There were also two firsts for transgender people in sports in the 2010s. Kye Allums became the first openly transgender athlete to play NCAA basketball in 2010.[141][142] Allums is a transgender man who played on George Washington University's women's team.[143][144] In 2012 Keelin Godsey became the first openly transgender contender for the U.S. Olympic team, but he failed to qualify and did not go to the Olympics.[145][146]

Three groups - the Girl Scouts, the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance, and the Episcopal Church in the United States - announced their acceptance of transgender people in this decade. In 2011, after the initial rejection of Bobby Montoya, a transgender girl, from the Girl Scouts of Colorado, the Girl Scouts of Colorado announced that "Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization and we accept all girls in Kindergarten through 12th grade as members. If a child identifies as a girl and the child's family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout."[147] Also in 2011, the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance changed its policy to include transgender and bisexual players.[148] In 2012 the Episcopal Church

Catlin - Dance to the berdache
The 1953 film Glen or Glenda dealt with transsexuality and transvestism.
Gene Compton's Cafeteria Riot 40th Anniversary Historical Marker at corner of Taylor and Turk in San Francisco
Sandy Stone, as transgender engineer of Olivia Records, created controversy in the 1970's; she has been cited as the originator of Transgender Studies.
Parents of transgender children became active in the 2000's
Police chief Heather Fong, Theresa Sparks, and Stephan Thorne, first Transgender San Francisco police officer
Chaz Bono appeared on Dancing with the Stars in 2011
LGBTQ activist and actress Laverne Cox at San Francisco Trans March 2015.

A transgender woman who underwent a vaginoplasty to have her penis turned into a vagina has described in graphic detail what the process was really like.

Jessica, who identifies as a queer woman, had already started hormone replacement therapy and gone all the way to South Korea to have vocal chord surgery to transform her baritone voice when she decided to have a breast augmentation surgery and a vaginoplasty in one operation. 

After her vaginoplasty, which she had near her home in East Bay Area, California, she warned 'there are going to be parts of you that are going to melt off' in an interview with Truth Speak Project.

Scroll down for video 

Melting: A transgender woman has described what it is like to undergo gender reassignment surgery; a video reenactment by the European Association of Urology shows what genitals might look like after the procedure

Jessica, whose partner was also born male and had already had the surgery, said there were elements of her recovery that she was not warned about by doctors, adding that it was 'really scary'. 

She said: 'There are going to be parts of you that are going to melt off...It is really scary. But it’s also perfectly normal and most people recover from that completely as if nothing has happened.

'Basically the furniture down there gets rearranged during the surgery. One of the many things I learned along this journey is that male genitalia and female genitalia aren’t that different. They’re arranged differently, but the individual parts are really similar.

'So vaginoplasty consists of a re-positioning and folding of all these tissues using the existing tissues.

'When that’s done, some of the tissues might not get as much blood flow as they did before, so they get starved of nutrients and oxygen.

'That’s when the surface tissue tends to die off — which is as gross as it sounds. It is really really awful.'

Warning: Jessica, who was born male, said: 'There are going to be parts of you that melt off' after surgery (medical diagram shown)

Although Jessica said she was expecting her vagina to 'look like Frankenp***y' after surgery, it was much worse that she could have imagined. 

At one point she claims she thought she was 'dying'. 

'It’s red, there’s stitches and it’s swollen, you can see the stitch lines. You expect that,' she said.

'What you don’t expect is this yellow-y, clumpy, almost mucus-y, looks-like-someone-sneezed-on-your-p***y kind of residue.

'So you might have a chunk of your inner labia just die off, just fall off, and it’ll just grow right back. It’s hard to believe because when you lose a limb or a toe it doesn’t grow back. But it turns out that your p***y does. It’s strange.

'And it’s gross and it’s funky and it’s awful and you think, "Oh my god, What is happening? My p***y is melting. I’m dying." But it turns out that it is perfectly normal.'

She said doctors should better prepare patients for what will happen following the surgery.

'It’s something doctors should tell patients beforehand. Because you’re already dealing with so many changes, working with so many geographic changes on your body.

Healing: She said she had anticipated her vagina looking 'like Frankenp***y' after surgery, pictured in diagram, but said it was much worse than she expected (medical diagram shown)

'Your clitoris, which used to be the head of your penis, is positioned in a completely different way,' she said.

In the early days after the operation, Jessica said there were occasions when she thought she still had male genitalia.

She said: 'There were times early on when I felt like I could feel my penis. I figured out what was going on though. 

'Basically, my clit was telling me that it was still the head of my penis, that the most sensitive part of it was still there. It took a lot of adjusting and it was pretty weird at first.'

She said she has shown her new sexual organs to cisgender females who have told her the surgeon 'did a great job'. 

Jessica said she has a G-spot and that she has had orgasms - but they are 'very different' to what she experienced before surgery. 

She said: 'I do have a G-spot. In fact, I still have a prostate, even though it’s much smaller than it was because of hormone replacement therapy. But it’s still there and it can still be stimulated. It’s still very enjoyable...

'Orgasms are very different. Oh my goodness. They were different even before my surgery after I started hormone replacement therapy. That’s when I started having more full-body orgasms. 

Icon: Transgender actress Laverne Cox, 31, left, has previously said she was pleased she could undergo gender reassignment in private; transgender model Andreja Pejic, right, also underwent the procedure in 2014

'The sensation wasn’t just concentrated immediately around my genitals anymore. It was more like waves of pleasure throughout my body. 

'So that started happening with just hormones. But then, of course, the surgery changes everything.' 

She added: 'I didn’t think that I would get such good results from my surgery but there they are.

'I definitely experience internal stimulation orgasms and they are different from the orgasms I get from clitoral stimulation. 

'They’re deeper and they’re more intense — always gush from internal orgasms.' 

She said the development of surgery has made experiences for people undergoing the procedure 'a lot better' in the last decade. 

She added: 'Some things are different for trans feminine people who had their surgery ten years ago.

'Doctors have gotten to a point now where they can make a vagina that allows you to come and really gush from internal vaginal stimulation just like a cis-gendered woman does, if that’s something that you’re capable of doing.' 

Jessica paid for her  breast augmentation herself but the vaginoplasty was covered by her insurance as required by California law after a doctor said it was medically needed.

Despite having done so herself, Jessica warned against having both surgeries in one operation.

'I woke up in the recovery room in a world of pain, unable to move,' she said. 'I really underestimated how much the recovery from breast augmentation takes out of you.' 

She said she opted for a full vaginal canal because she wanted to experience penetrative sex and to 'relate to cis-gendered women'.

Content: Jessica said she is pleased with the surgery, pictured above, and said since then she has found she has a G-spot and has had orgasms

Progress: Jessica said vaginoplasty surgery, pictured in diagram, has developed considerably over last decade

She added: 'I had to wear a pad every day and I get it. The struggle is real...I have this newfound respect and empathy for my fellow sisters. I get it now...

'I just had my first p-in-v sex as a vagina-haver and it was different from what I expected. It was more intense than I expected. 

'I had gotten used to the process of dilating my vagina, which I do with a medical phallus one to two times a day, to keep the new vagina from closing up. 

'I’ve been doing that for 9.5 months since my surgery. So having something in my vagina is a normal sensation for me because I experience it every day.

 'There are going to be parts of you that are going to melt off... It is really scary. But it’s also perfectly normal

Jessica, transgender woman

'But having a person inside my vagina was a relatively new experience for me. I’ve had fingers but I’ve never had a penis. 

'It was a little overwhelming, but it was pleasant and fun and I would totally do it again. The person I had sex with was a preoperative trans woman.' 

Transgender model Andreja Pejic underwent gender-reassignment surgery, also known as gender-reconfirmation surgery, in 2014.

Talking about the decision last year the Bosnian model told Vogue: 'Society doesn't tell you that you can be trans. I thought about being gay, but it didn't fit… 

'I thought, well, maybe this is just something you like to imagine sometimes'.

Orange Is The New Black star Laverne Cox said she does not like the focus on gender reassignment surgery - saying she is 'grateful' she could have gender reassignment surgery in 'private' unlike Caitlyn Jenner.

The transgender actress told Entertainment Weekly last year: 'I’m so grateful that I had the luxury of transitioning in private because when you transition in the public eye, the transition becomes the story. 

'I’m always disturbed when I see conversations about trans people that focus on surgery. But I believe Caitlyn will transcend this moment.' 

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