Tag: History

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Early Media Impressions of TGs — Footprints From The Past

| Apr 9, 2018 | Reply

Today we dig into the past for a Retro Rerun from the 1990s archives of TGForum that takes you much further into the past. Journey now with contributor Andee W to Victorian London when there were magazines that published letters from readers. Letters that discuss the same subjects that you can find in internet chat rooms today. Men would write in and extoll the virtues of dressing in female garb. Or they would write about being forced into a corset and skirts. Andee W dug up several letters from those magazines and presented them to TGF readers in a feature called Footprints From The Past.

Read More

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.

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Dina’s Diner 12/18/17

| Dec 18, 2017 | Reply

Dina Amberle is always working in the Diner kitchen to whip up something tasty as a treat for TGF users. Today she has a mix of ingredients that will surely please the most discerning palette. First she stirs in some 10-year-old internet makeup whizzes who happen to be boys. Then she adds some trans history with Flawless Sabrina and Harlow. After that cools down for a few minutes she blends in some speculation on the existence of ladyboys in Vietnam back in the day, and then spices things up with “elevated” drag and an androgynous model from Holland. Oh! And a beautiful wedding gown. Take a seat at Dina’s Diner and get ready for another satisfying repast.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

David de Alba Interview with the Late Aleshia Brevard

| Jul 31, 2017 | 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.

Read More

David de Alba on Stage in Vegas

| May 8, 2017 | 2 Replies

David de Alba is that last performing female impersonator from the legendary Finocchio’s in San Francisco. In honor of David’s birthday on May 20 we present three videos of his gift to his fans, his August 2016 show in Las Vegas. David sings as Liza and his own stage character Boy Chic. He also tells stories of his time at Finocchio’s. If you are a David de Alba fan, or would like to become one, you won’t want to miss seeing these videos. Happy birthday, David!

Read More

Last Day to Contribute to the Trans Archive!

| Apr 3, 2017 | Reply

The Indiegogo campaign to establish the Louise Lawrence Trans Archive ends today. Many people have donated to support the establishment of this great source for information on trans history. If you would like to have a part in preserving trans history go to the campaign page and make a donation. Pictured here are three people […]

Read More

Last Day to Contribute to the Trans Archive!

| Apr 3, 2017 | Reply

The Indiegogo campaign to establish the Louise Lawrence Trans Archive ends today. Many people have donated to support the establishment of this great source for information on trans history. If you would like to have a part in preserving trans history go to the campaign page and make a donation. Pictured here are three people […]

Read More

Transmissions: Our trans legacy

| Feb 20, 2017 | Reply

Trans people have been around since ancient times. In the recent past of the last 100 years society in the west did not want to acknowledge the existence of trans people. Only in the last 15 – 20 years have we begun to get more attention and recognition as legitimate human beings, not oddities and aberrations. But the very fact that people in the past had to hide their true nature and “pass” as typical members of the straight world means that much of our history has been erased. Some people have been working to save as much of our past as possible. One of those is Ms. Bob Davis. Ms. Bob has a vision for a trans history archive. Learn more about it in an article from The Bay Area Reporter by Gwen Smith. Reprinted with permission.

Read More

New Trans Archive Seeks Funding Online

| Feb 6, 2017 | Reply

Transgender historian Ms. Bob Davis has announced the founding of the Louise Lawrence Transgender Archive and launched a crowd fundraising campaign on Indiegogo. The Louise Lawrence Transgender Archive (LLTA) will house an extensive and varied collection of transgender archival materials. LLTA will make hundreds of publications, thousands of photographs, theatrical programs and recordings, now in […]

Read More

New Trans Archive Seeks Funding Online

| Feb 6, 2017 | Reply

Transgender historian Ms. Bob Davis has announced the founding of the Louise Lawrence Transgender Archive and launched a crowd fundraising campaign on Indiegogo. The Louise Lawrence Transgender Archive (LLTA) will house an extensive and varied collection of transgender archival materials. LLTA will make hundreds of publications, thousands of photographs, theatrical programs and recordings, now in […]

Read More

Perpetual Change — Good Bye . . . and Thank You!

| Jan 16, 2017 | Reply

Pamela DeGroff has labored away in the humor and music departments of TGForum since the early days of this publication. All told she has been with us for 18 years. Today she posts her final Perpetual Change music column. We thank her for all those contributions over the years and wish her luck in all future endeavors. Pamela will be gone but not forgotten. You can always read her columns from the past few years right here on TGF. Just use the search box and look for Perpetual Change. And now and then we may bring back some of her older contributions from the original TGF as Retro Reruns. Thanks Pamela!

Read More

Interview With David de Alba

| Jan 16, 2017 | Reply

Since I moved to Las Vegas, I have had the greatest opportunity to become acquainted with the world-famous singer and theater performer, David de Alba. David is renowned for his female impersonations as a legendary ensemble member at San Francisco’s Finocchio Club; and even in retirement, David performs two shows a year here in Las […]

Read More

The Rise and Fall of the Weimar Transvestites & the Threat to Our Own Trans Community

| Nov 28, 2016 | 7 Replies

Dallas Denny takes us back to the days of Germany’s Weimar Republic, a socially liberal, progressive democratic government that ruled Germany after World War I. During that time trans people became bolder and began to be seen out and about in public places. The good times ended when Adolph Hitler was elected chancellor and his National Socialist party came to power. Dallas feels that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it and she finds chilling similarities between the fall of the Weimar Republic and what is currently happening in the U.S.A.

Read More

The Rise and Fall of the Weimar Transvestites & the Threat to Our Own Trans Community

| Nov 28, 2016 | Reply

Dallas Denny takes us back to the days of Germany’s Weimar Republic, a socially liberal, progressive democratic government that ruled Germany after World War I. During that time trans people became bolder and began to be seen out and about in public places. The good times ended when Adolph Hitler was elected chancellor and his National Socialist party came to power. Dallas feels that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it and she finds chilling similarities between the fall of the Weimar Republic and what is currently happening in the U.S.A.

Read More

Retro Rerun: I Remember the St. Charles

| Nov 21, 2016 | Reply

Have you ever wondered how Linda Jensen got her CD name? Do you want to know how she discovered the crossdressing world and when that was? The answer to the last question was in the late ’60s. Linda wrote all about it, and some of the story is a bit risque, on TGForum back in 1998. We bring the article back now as a TGForum Retro Rerun. Step back in time and learn how Linda first made contact (intimate contact) with the drag community at a club in Toronto called the St. Charles.

Read More