Category: Transgender History

Reflections on the NYC Pride March – by Angela Stephanie Haddow

| Jul 8, 2019 | Reply

Guest Contributor Angela Stephanie Haddow reports on the New York City Pride March and reminds us all of the history of LGBTQ rights in the USA. As she marched through Manhattan proudly being herself she thinks about how the fight for rights began and while the advances, evidenced by participation in the Pride March by public officials and businesses, have been great there are still miles ahead on the road to full equality in the eyes of society.

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Jim Jefferies Show Features Thai Trans Women

| Apr 15, 2019 | Reply

The Jim Jefferies Show on Comedy Central traveled to Thailand for a segment on the transgender women there known as “ladyboys.” The segment was part of Jefferies’s  April 9, 2019 show that focused on LGBTQ rights. In the segment, which you can watch below, Jefferies interviews three transgender sex workers and a transgender rights activist. […]

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Obituary: Alison Laing

| Jan 28, 2019 | 3 Replies

After a long battle with cancer, Alison Laing, a founding member of The Renaissance Education Association, Inc., board member and then executive director of IFGE, director of Fantasia Fair, author, and wine expert, passed away peacefully on January 22, 2019 at the Elizabethtown Masonic Village in Pennsylvania. She was surrounded by loved ones. Dallas Denny worked with Alison’s daughter to write this obituary. Many thanks to Dallas.

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Remembering Alison Laing

| Jan 28, 2019 | Reply

Dallas Denny met Alison Laing at a gender conference in 1991. That meeting turned into the decades long friendship of two transgender activists. In this post Dallas brings you some photos of Alison at work and play and she writes about her memories of those times.

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A Special Cut of the David de Alba Documentary

| Dec 31, 2018 | Reply

A few months ago David de Alba sat down in front of a camera and talked about his life as a female impersonator. The filmmakers sent David a link to a rough cut of all the footage that was shot that day in his home in Las Vegas. Now you can view the interview right here on TGForum. A must for David de Alba fans.

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Tribute to David de Alba’s Late Partner Paul W. Ryner

| Dec 10, 2018 | Reply

On 10 December 2017  Paul Ryner, David de Alba’s long time partner and “the wind beneath his wings, passed away. He will always be loved and remembered by family, friends but most of all his devoted life partner Heri (aka David de Alba). This is a tribute to commemorate the one-year anniversary of his passing […]

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Random Notes From an Older Bi-gendered Person

| Oct 15, 2018 | 4 Replies

in September our contributor Pauline Estelle reached the age of 83. She has been dressing up for many, many years and enjoys being a girl as much today as she did way back when. Today Pauline has assembled a random collection of thoughts and opinions she has gathered over the years. She likes the term “bi-gendered” instead of “crossdresser.” Likes having a large bosom, and bemoans the loss of the ability to wear high heels. See what other thoughts and opinions she expresses and read her post.

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Drag in the Cinema — Some Like It Hot

| Oct 1, 2018 | Reply

Years ago on TGForum Laurie Sheril did a series of articles on drag in the cinema. She started back in the days of silent film and worked her way forward in time to the ’90s. Today we dip into the TGForum Archives to bring you her review of a holy relic of crossdressing — the Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis classic film Some Like It Hot.

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An Interview with David de Alba — en español!

| Sep 24, 2018 | Reply

There are dozens of interviews with The Cuban Legend, David de Alba that have been conducted in English. David’s cousin Mario Jimenez came to visit David in Las Vegas and conducted the following interview in Spanish.

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Time Marches On, But So Does Fun

| Sep 10, 2018 | 1 Reply

Suzzie has been participating in the crossdressing scene since before it was a scene. She’s been dressing up and going out for fun for 75 years. At one point, while attending a get-together at The Tiffany Club in New England she saw someone in a wheelchair dressed in male attire except they wearing a lady’s shirt. She noticed the way the buttons worked. His name was Bill and he was an older man who Suzzie surmised was unable to fully crossdress but still attended the group’s meetings. That was the first time she noticed that time marches on, and one day she might be that person. But even though adjustments had to be made Suzzie is still living the crossdressing life and having fun.

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Ed Wood and More ‘50s Drag in Cinema

| Sep 3, 2018 | 2 Replies

Years ago on TGForum Laurie Sheril did a series of articles on drag in the cinema. She started back in the days of silent film and worked her way forward in time to the ’90s. Today we dip into the TGForum Archives and pull out her article on characters dressing in drag in the post war ear. First she talks about the angora sweater loving fetishist Ed Wood then goes on to write about Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis and other who dressed up in ’50s films. Learn more in this Retro Rerun from the Archives.

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Drag in Cinema — The War Years

| Aug 6, 2018 | 1 Reply

Years ago on TGForum Laurie Sheril did a series of articles on drag in the cinema. She started back in the days of silent film and worked her way forward in time. Today we dip into the TGForum Archives and pull out her article on characters dressing in drag during World War II. From college boys in chorus girl outfits to Jimmy Durante doing a French Apache dance in drag, Laurie covers the plentiful drag to be found in those films. Learn more in this Retro Rerun from the Archives.

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Finocchio’s, Howard Huges, and Pussy Kat

| Jun 18, 2018 | Reply

Susan Grant is one of the lucky ones who got to patronize the legendary Finocchio’s nightclub in San Francisco back in 1958 when men were men and and men were women onstage. She visited the club while she was in the Navy and Finocchio’s was on the Navy’s “Off Limits” list. That only made her want to check it out more. She returned to visit the club 30 years later and found that it no longer the same experience. Today she writes about the club and passes on a juicy bit of information on what may have happened after Howard Hughes visited Finicchio’s.

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Drag in the Cinema, The Early Years of Sound

| May 14, 2018 | Reply

In the 1990s TGForum had an expert on drag in movies who wrote a series of articles for us. Laurie Sheril was her name and she covered the instances of movie crossdressing through the different historical periods of film-making. We’re bringing her series out of the archives as a Retro Rerun beginning with her article on drag in the early years of the talkies.

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Me, Mona, and Leo

| Apr 23, 2018 | Reply

Every few years the theory pops up again that the subject of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting Mona Lisa was actually da Vinci in drag. If not actually da Vinci some claim it was one of his male models decked out in feminine attire. Either way the only supporting evidence is thin. Susan Grant thinks that she may have a deeper insight on the subject. Today she explores it thoroughly and all she asks is that you pay attention to the hands, not that mysterious smile.

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What/Who Really Started the LGBT Movement?

| Mar 26, 2018 | Reply

Before there was a word describing people who are drawn to the clothing and behavior of the opposite sex the only places they could go to indulge their need was the shady, often illegal homosexual bars. The transgender people back in the day would find refuge in places like the Stonewall Inn in New York City. But the problem with going to those bars was that since they were most often illegal the police would show up, arrest everyone and shut the place down. Then one night LGBT people came out of the shadows to say “enough!” Susan Grant takes a look at the Stonewall Riot.

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Classic Female Impersonator Lavern Cummings Passes Away

| Mar 26, 2018 | 1 Reply

Paul Lavern Cummings, a contemporary female impersonation performer of David de Alba’s, passed away in Las Vegas, Nevada last week as the result of an auto accident. He was born on August 17, 1927. David de Alba wrote the following tribute before Paul/Lavern passed away and Paul/Lavern picked the photos we present above. For more […]

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Liz — A CD Inspiration and Con-Artist

| Feb 26, 2018 | Reply

It’s a story that seems like a crossdressing fantasy but it really happened. A con man who was living as a woman started a bogus automobile company in California while he was on the run from charges of counterfeiting and bail jumping. He was so confidant of his female identity that she risked the public eye to head the bogus car company and court investors. Even though she wasn’t that convincingly female. It all happened back in the 1970s. Guest contributor Susan Grant tells you all the details of this amazing story.

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The Road Not Taken: Part lll The Way It Was

| Jan 8, 2018 | Reply

Linda Jensen is writing a series about her first foray into the TG world. With acknowledgement to the poet, Robert Frost, she has called it The Road Not Taken. Why? After a short time immersed in that world LindaI veered off the path that leads many to gender re-assignment and a life different than they could have expected if they had remained living a male life. While Linda was on that road it became a trip she will never forget. Today’s post sets the scene talking about what it was like for trans women in Toronto in the ’60s.

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Christmas? Humbug!

| Dec 25, 2017 | Reply

When it comes to Christmas cheer Sophie Lynne has nothing to say but “Bah. Humbug!” It’s not that she’s a Scrooge. It’s just that for her Christmas was never a time for all the good cheer and joy that is commonly presented a product of the season. Far too often the season is just about moving product and making the bottom line bigger at the end of the year. Also, Sophie works in retail and at Christmas time that can be even more stressful than during the rest of the year. In this Christmas day blog Sophie gives you some more reasons she’s not a fan of the season and she provides some historical facts about the day.

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David de Alba at Finocchio’s

| Nov 27, 2017 | 2 Replies

David de Alba is The Cuban Legend. He began his career in female impersonation in Chicago clubs after a friend noted how much he resembled Judy Garland and did his makeup for a Halloween Ball. Soon David was practicing singing in Garland’s voice and working in the clubs. Then came a move to San Francisco and his years on stage at the famous Finocchio’s club. For the whole story of David’s life in dresses and heels read this article republished with permission from the Newsletter of the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society.

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Sex Change and the Popular Press

| Oct 2, 2017 | Reply

Joanne Meyerowitz is professor of History and American Studies at Yale. She is the author of How Sex Changed: A History of TransSexuality in the United States. She wrote a series of articles that were published on TGF in 1998 that presented the history of “sex change” before Christine Jorgensen made headlines as the “first” person to have a “sex change.” Since this is all three parts of her series be prepared to spend some time reading this fascinating history.

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A Video Interview with David de Alba

| Aug 28, 2017 | 3 Replies

Earlier this year legendary female impersonator and contributor to TGForum David de Alba was interviewed for Celebrity Radio by Alex Belfield. Belfield is a syndicated radio host who produces interviews with celebrities around the world and is based in England. He traveled to Las Vegas to interview the Cuban Legend and we present the interview here, […]

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1998: New Year’s Eve At The Queen Mary

| Aug 21, 2017 | Reply

New Year’s Eve 1998 saw Linda Jensen in Los Angeles ready to go to the big party at the Queen Mary club. She had the dress, and she had a plan for the evening. She made special arrangements to be in the City of Angels for the New Year’s party and then she remembered she forgot to bring earrings to match the dress. Fortunately the Jim Bridges Boutique was on the way. Step back to the lat ‘90s and visit the now closed but fabled Queen Mary with Linda in this Retro Rerun.

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David de Alba Interview with the Late Aleshia Brevard

| Jul 31, 2017 | 1 Reply

Aleshia Bravard, a trans woman who got her start in show business working as a female impersonator before having GRS in 1962 passed away on July 1 of this year. After her surgery she returned to her home state of Tennessee and got a degree in the arts from Middle Tennessee State. She then worked as a theater professor and eventually returned to California to pursue and acting career with appearances on numerous shows from The Red Skelton Show to The Partridge Family, Night Gallery and many more. In 2001 she wrote her autobiography and did a sequel in 2010. Before she passed away our own David de Alba did an in-depth interview with her. We present it here with David’s permission.

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Book Review: Founding Mothers, The Women Who Raised Our Nation

| Jun 26, 2017 | Reply

Gina Vizavi reviews Cokie Roberts’ 2004 book, “Founding Mothers The Women Who Raised Our Nation.” The book is a compilation of personal letters between people from the earliest years of our nation. The letters tell the story of women who were considered the property of their husbands and were excluded from participation in higher learning, or government. Roberts ties the letters together with clarifications, context and often times humor. The book opens a window on what it was like to be a woman in those days.

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