A discovery of a very extraordinary nature was made at Poplar, where two women had lived together for six and thirty years, as man and wife, and kept a public house, without ever being suspected; but the wife happening to fall sick, and die, a few years before she expired, revealed the secret to her relations, made her will, and left legacies to the amount of half what she thought they were worth. On application to the pretended, she at first endeavoured to support her assumed character, but being closely pressed, she at length owed the fact, accommodated all matters amicably, put off the male, and put on the female character, in which she appeared to be a sensible well-bred woman, though in her male character she had always affected the plain plodding alehouse-keeper. It is said they had acquired in business money to the amount of £3000. Both had been crossed in love when young, and had chosen this method to avoid further importunities.
Source: “Historical Chronicle: July 10.” The Gentleman’s Magazine (July, 1766): 339.
Memorial for Stormé DeLarverie | May 29, 2014
Storme, early activist in the LGBT movement, was honored by hundreds who turned out for her memorial service in Greenwich Village 5/29/2014. Her identity incorporated her own mixed race, her career as a male-impersation MC of the Jewel Box Review & protector of all those who were vulnerable to unfair physical abuse.
— Filmed by Randolfe Wicker
Enduring examination after arrest, 1870
[In Fanny & Stella, McKenna] describes Dr James Paul’s strange obsession with the bodies of sodomites. [Paul] was a doctor commissioned by the Metropolitan Police to examine the illnesses and injuries of the police officers as well as the criminals in his jurisdiction, and he was trained by a doctor who also had an obsession with sodomy.
Dr Paul did not neglect to go into the most explicit detail in describing his physical examination of Fanny and Stella. McKenna quotes Dr Paul’s examination of Stella: ‘I examined Boulton [Stella], and found him to be a man…. The anus was dilated, and more dilatable, and the muscles surrounding the anus easily opened’ [McKenna]. Of Fanny, McKenna quotes Dr Paul as saying, ‘[t]he anus was very much dilated…and dilatable to a very great extent. The rectum was large, and there was some discoloration around the edge of the anus, caused probably by sores’ [McKenna] …
29th April 1870: An excited crowd looks on as Ernest Boulton and Frederick Park in full drag leave Bow Street Magistrates’ Court the morning after their arrest at the Strand Theatre. Thomas Ernest Boulton [Stella] and Frederick William Park [Fanny] were arrested the 10th of April 1870, in London for public lewdness.
The arrest of the flamboyantly dressed Miss Fanny Park and Miss Stella Boulton precipitated a sensational show trial that shocked and titillated Victorian London in equal measure. For the alluring Fanny and Stella were no ordinary young women. Far from it. In fact, they were young men who liked to dress as women. As the trial of ‘the Young Men in Women’s Clothes’ unfolded, Fanny and Stella’s extraordinary lives as wives and daughters, actresses and whores were revealed to an incredulous public. Neil McKenna
T.C. Jones, [ October 26, 1920 – September 21, 1971 ]
T.C. Jones was known for his impersonations of stars such as Tallulah Bankhead, Judy Garland, Katharine Hepburn
Jones danced in two Broadway shows in the mid-1940s before beginning his career as an impersonator in 1946 in a stint with the Provincetown Players. “One night… another of the players brought me some… material that was hilarious. The only catch was that it more or less required a woman to deliver it. He suggested I do an impersonation.” He moved to the Jewel Box Revue in Miami, performing impersonations of Bankhead, Hepburn, Edith Piaf, Claudette Colbert and Bette Davis.
Jones’s portrayal of Bankhead brought him to the attention of theatrical producer Leonard Sillman… Sillman was strongly advised not to cast Jones but stated, “I never think of T. C. as a female impersonator, as a man imitating a woman. T. C. on stage is simply an extraordinarily talented woman.”
Jones made a number of television appearances, including portraying a homicidal transvestite with a penchant for strangling nurses in “An Unlocked Window”, an Edgar Award-winning episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hourin 1965, and another killer transvestite in “Night of the Running Death”, a 1967 episode of The Wild Wild West.…
"An Unlocked Window", Alfred Hitchcock Presents, 1965
One of the earliest broadcasts depicting a queer fictional character on television.
Dewey’s, pre-Stonewall fight for equality, Philadelphia, 1965
In 1965, the management of the Dewey’s at 219 S 17th Street near Rittenhouse Square (now Little Pete’s) made it clear that they would refuse service “to a large number of homosexuals and persons wearing non-conformist clothing.” Modeled on the current African-American civil rights protests, on Sunday, April 25th, more than 150 protestors, black, white, trans, lesbian and gay staged a sit-in, an amazing thing to do in Philadelphia in 1965, four years before the Stonewall riots. Police arrived and three of the protestors who refused to leave were arrested. They were young; two males and a female.
Journalist and activist Clark Polak and the Janus Society, a local gay rights group, were notified. Over the next week, in support of the protestors, they distributed some 1,500 leaflets outside the restaurant [photo, above].On Sunday, May 2, they staged a second sit-in. This time, when the police were called, they spoke with the protestors and simply left, declining to take any action at all, [see photo, bottom, of the police at Dewey’s in 1965]. The management agreed to end the discrimination and the protestors left, having staged the first successful gay rights sit-in in the country. This marked an important step in the struggle for LGBT people to lay claim to the right to public space in 1960s Philadelphia.