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Trans Rights Are Human Rights
Trans Rights Are Human Rights

Transgender History: Timeline of Significant Events

1907 Harry Benjamin Meets Magnus Hirschfeld
1910 Magnus Hirschfeld coins the term “transvestite”
1919 Magnus Hirschfeld founds the Institute for Sexology in Berlin, Germany, which becomes the first clinic to serve transgendered people on a regular basis.
1920 Jonathan Gilbert publishes “Homosexuality and Its Treatment” the story of “H”, Dr. Alan Hart’s 1917 FTM transition
1923 Magnus Hirschfeld coins the term “transsexual”
1931 “Genital Reassignment of Two Male Transvestites”, is published by Felix Abraham, M.D.
1932 Harry Benjamin arranges a speaking tour for Magnus Hirschfeld in the United States.
1932 Man Into Woman, the story of Lili Elbe’s life, MTF transition, and Sex Reassignment Surgery is published.
1933 The Institute for Sexology is raided, shut down, and its records destroyed by the Nazis. Physicians and researchers involved in the clinic flee Germany. Some, unable to escape, commit suicide in the coming years. Magnus Hirschfeld dies in 1935, an exile in Paris.
1938 Di-Ethyl Stilbesterol (DES) is introduced into chicken feed as a means of increasing meat production. Later the drug is marketed to pregnant women to prevent miscarriage, a claim that was never substantiated. The drug causes serious heath problems in the children whose mother’s took the drug while pregnant; endometrioses, cancer, infertility, intersex and possibly transsexuality. (The drug is still available but no longer recommended for pregnant women.)
1941 Premarin®, conjugated estrogens collected from pregnant mares is first marketed in Canada. Two years later it is marketed in the United States.
1949 Harry Benjamin begins to treat transsexuals in San Francisco and New York with hormones.
1952 Christine Jorgensen is “outed” in the American press. She begins a life long effort to educate the public about transsexual people.
1966 Harry Benjamin publishes The Transsexual Phenomenon..
1968 Olympic Commmittee begins chromosome testing of female athletes, effectively banning transsexuals and some intersexed individuals (some of whom were fertile as female, with children) from competition.
1968 Universities begin opening clinics for treating transsexuals; First surgeries performed on non-intersexed transsexuals.
1969 Sylvia Rivera throws a bottle at cops harrassing queers at a local bar… The Stonewall Riots in New York galvanize the Gay & Lesbian community… Transgender people are in the heart of the riot and the organizing that followed.
1970 April Corbet’s (neé Ashley) marriage is annulled and declared to be legally still a man inspite of a legal sex reassignment, leaving United Kingdom post-operative transsexuals in legal limbo, unable to marry as either sex.
1973 Beth Elliott, aka: “Mustang Sally,” becomes vice-president of the Daughters of Bilitis. Soon after, she is ‘outed’ as transsexual and hounded out of the organization by transphobic lesbian separatists.
1973 New York TransActivist Silvia Rivera is followed at a Gay Pride Rally by Jean O’Leary who denounces transgendered people as female impersonators profiting from derision and oppression of women.
1974 Jan Morris publishes Conundrum
1976 Reneé Richards is ‘outed’ and barred from competition when she attempts to enter a womens’ tennis tournement. Her subsequent legal battle establishes that transsexuals are fully, legally, recognized in their new identity after sex reassignment, in the United States.
1976 Jonathan Ned Katz publishes the connection between Gilbert’s “H” and Alan Hart. He also incorrectly characterizes Dr. Hart as a “lesbian,” effectively stealing transgender history.
1977 Sandy Stone is ‘outed’ while working for Olivia Records as a recording engineer. Lesbian separatists threaten a boycott of Olivia products and concerts, forcing the record company to ask for Stone’s resignation. Angela Douglas writes a satirical letter to Sister as a protest of the transphobia in the lesbian community in general and the virulent attacks on Sandy Stone in particular.
1979 Janice Raymond publishes The Transsexual Empire, a semi-scholarly transphobic attack. In the book she cites Douglas’ Sister letter out of context as an example of transsexual misogyny and casts Sandy Stone’s involvment in Olivia Records as “devisive” and “patriarchal.”
1980 Joanna Clark organizes the ACLU Transsexual Rights Committee.
1980 Paul Walker organizes the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association to promote standards of care of transsexual and transgendered clients.
1989 Billy Tipton, a minor, but well respected, jazz musician, dies and is discovered to be female… after presenting as a man since 1933.
1992 Jean Burkholter is ejected from the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival by transphobic festival organizers.
1993 Cheryl Chase founds Intersex Society of North America (ISNA)
1993 “March On Washington” organizers include bisexuals but refuse to include TransGender in the name of the march, angering TG activists that had worked for months to get inclusion
1993 “Camp Trans” is pitched outside of the entrance gate to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival to protest the Festival’s newly publicized “Womyn-Born-Womyn Only” anti-transsexual policy. “Camp Trans” is pitched for three years running.
1993 TransActivists working for many years with Gay and Lesbian activists, successfully pass an anti-discrimination law in the State of Minnesota protecting transsexual and transgendered people along with Gays and Lesbians.
1994 TranGender activists protest exclusion from Stonewall 25 celebrations and the Gay Games in New York City. The Gay Games recinds rules that require “documented completion of sex change” before allowing transgendered individuals to compete.
1994 Several cities on the west coast of the U.S. pass anti-discrimination statutes protecting transsexual and transgendered people.
1995 Transsexual activists protest the stealing of TS/TG History by the Gay & Lesbian community. Efforts by the Ad Hoc Committee to Recognize Alan Hart successfully pressure Oregon’s Right to Privacy (RTP, now known as “Right to Pride”) political action committee to cease using Alan Hart’s old name as an award given out to Gay & Lesbian rights activists.
1996 JoAnna McNamara of It’s Time Oregon successfully convinces Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industry (BOLI) that transsexuals are protected under existing Oregon labor law dealing with discrimination of people with disabilities and medical conditions. This made Oregon the third state to extend employment protection to transgendered people, following Minnesota and Nebraska.
1998 TranGender activists protest exclusion from the Gay Games in Amsterdam. The Gay Games reinstates rules that require “documented completion of sex change or two years of hormones” before allowing transgendered individuals to compete. Loren Cameron, FTM transman, expected to compete, drops out of competion in protest. However, European singer and transsexual, Dana International performs at the Games’ festivities.
1998 Japan allows first legal Sex Reassignment Surgery to be performed on a FTM.
1999 “Camp Trans” is revived to protest at the the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. Post-op MTF transsexuals are allowed to attend the festival, but confrontations with transphobic lesbian separatists occur.
1999 In a Texas court, In Littleton vs. Prang, Christine Littleton, a post-op MTF transexual loses her case against the doctor who she contended neglegently allowed her husband to die, when the doctors’ defence lawyers argue that she was never married to her late husband since her Texas birth certificate, though now amended to read female, originally read male, and thus could not be the widow as the law does not allow “same sex marriage.” Her appeal to a higher court fell on bigoted ears, she was declared to be still male inspite of having taken all of the proper medical and legal steps. Thus, transsexual citizens of the United States joined those of the United Kindom in finding that their legal status is in legal limbo. – 2003

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