1968 Transgender News

Standard Disclaimer: This page is a listing and links to news items regarding transgender persons from 1968. It is ordered by date of appearance in the news, not the date of the event. Note that the text summaries are not transcripts.

April 11, 1968. Portland Oregonian, page 39

A brief note mentions that Gore Vidal’s book Myra Breckenridge (which contains a transsexual protagonist) may be made into a film.

July 9, 1968. Baton Rouge State Times

A brief portion of a much larger legislative report notes that the Louisiana Senate discussed a bill allowing transsexuals to change their birth certificates. The article notes that several “playful” Senators offered joke amendments to the bill, obviously making fun of transsexuals.

August 21, 1968. Washington DC Evening Star, page C6

A substantive interview of Christine Jorgensen is published, where she talks about her life since her watershed public transition in 1952. For some reason, what I found most interesting about the article was that she claimed to be working on a Danish cookbook. I loved the photograph with the article, and will try to find a much better one.

November 21, 1968. Dallas Morning News; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, page 18; Trenton New Jersey Evening Times, page 2

The Milwaukee Journal paper has a large article, with a poor photograph, of Dawn Pepita Langley Hall. (the Dallas Morning News has a similar article, sans photograph) Formerly known as “aristocrat” Gordon Langley Hall, Dawn is in the news because she intends to marry her “Negro butler-chauffeur.” Misgenderings occur in the article as well, which is definitely a product of its time. She is noted as a biographer of celebrities such as Princess Margaret, Jacqueline Kennedy, and Ladybird Johnson and her daughters, and it is noted that she is working on her own biography. The Trenton New Jersey Times carries similar information, but also contains a humorous account of how she met her husband to be:

She recalls that at their first meeting he was wearing “high boots, plaid pants and a yellow sweater, and looked very mod.” But she thought no more about it, she says, until “that night he forced entry into the house dressed in dirty old overalls, with his mechanic’s cap over his eyes, and his arms full of flowers. He had bought every flower he could find. He was a very brave young man. He told me ‘I’ll never leave you again.'”

It also contains a related article where a surgeon from Johns Hopkins Medical Center is interviewed, where he says:

“After exhaustively reviewing the available literature and discussing the problem with people knowledgeable in this area, I arrived at the conclusion that these people need help and deserve help.”

November 22, 1968. Baton Rouge Advocate, page 6A

A brief note reports that a New York judge has allowed a transsexual woman who transitioned in Morocco to have their birth certificate gender changed.

December 27, 1968. Springfield Massachusetts Union, page 34

This article is an anti-transgender article, which quotes entirely from Dr. Charles W. Socarides of Manhattan, who believes that transgender persons are just:

… “severely disturbed homosexuals who haven’t made it, and who are determined to excape[sic] their problems through a medical miracle. The operations, he added, are “pathetic and unscientific.”

This article is indicative of some of the post-Benjamin backlash which began to grow as transgender social rights headed towards the dismal 1970’s.

Return to the Transgender Newsbank.

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