Monthly Archives: January 2018

Added to Transas City: Female Mimics Magazine


Female Mimics magazine has evolved over its publication. When the first issue was released in 1963, the magazine covered transgender, crossdressers, and gender non-conforming persons from a standpoint that I would describe as somewhat admiring, somewhat intrigued, and somewhat fetishization. The early issues are peppered with stars from transgender history, such as Christine Jorgensen, Bambi, Shalimar, and Coccinelle. Also featured are clubs and venues where transgender persons may be found, such as Chez Madame Arthur and the Jewel Box Revue. Click here for a quick link to the collection.

The magazine is most interesting to me because it highlighted many transgender persons and clubs that I had never even heard of in passing, which has given me new avenues for research and cataloging. A task which will never end. But also note that magazines such as these gave hope to thousands of closeted transgender persons, who could read and live vicariously through the photos and stories contained within their pages. They also provided guides for where isolated and lonely transgender persons could meet others just like themselves.

In later issues the magazine turns to more of a fetishist bent, but I’ve still decided to host all the ones I have copies of. I own no paper copies of these except for the premiere issue, which I hope to scan in very high resolution soon. The rest of these came from the Digital Transgender Archive, of which Transas City is a part.

Necessary Changes to Transas City

As I’ve been updating the site with more of my archival materials (I still have less than a third posted so far), I’ve had to also make some necessary changes in the site.

When the site first started in 2012, there was a dearth of transgender information available locally to our community on how to transition legally in Kansas and Missouri. To help folks out with the legal aspects of transition, I consulted a local attorney and received information from transgender persons who had gone through the transition process, including my own experiences in Kansas, and I created the Kansas and Missouri transition pages. Which helped numerous people over the years.

Unfortunately, time passed and the information on the site became stale. I sought out legal help again from 3 different attorneys who frequently work with transgender persons in the KCMO area, and all three refused to help me in any way. Even when I asked for just general guidelines and how-to’s, they either said they didn’t want to get involved, or in one case said “why should I post information on your site that will make me lose business, Una?” I guess I have to credit her mercenary honesty.

I made a second effort this last fall to get updated information, but was unable to find a single attorney or paralegal willing to donate even a couple of hours of time to help me. While several persons who had gone through the process recently were kind enough to offer their help, what I needed was a more authoritative legal guideline that was more generic.

Thus, in the interest of only providing accurate information, I have been forced to remove the pages.

There will be continued reorganization and updating of the site in the coming months, which will move the focus more towards community history, science, social, and ethnic resources for us. The site receives between 300-800 hits every day from humans (meaning, non-bots or web crawlers), and can top 10,000 in a day when a newsworthy article is posted. Clearly the information here is valued by some, and I’m going to continue to focus on my strengths.

Please note too that if you have an idea for something to host on the site, please contact me at transascity@gmail.com. Also, if you have any sort of trans-focused event you want publicized, send that to us and not only can we post about it here, but we can tell folks about it on the radio for free.

Zelma Rawlston, Drag King from the 1800’s

I’ve added two photos of a new addition to Transas City: Zelma Rawlston, who played the role of a “swell young man” in many plays and productions. Her image in male dress caught the imagination of audiences in the 1890’s-1910’s, and she appeared on music sheets, playbills, and in many magazines and newspapers. One of the photos, showing her in 1897, is an original document that I acquired and which has now entered the Transas City collection.

Based upon historical evidence it’s most likely that Zelma was gender non-conforming, rather than being transgender. But as we know, gender non-conformity is a vital part of the overall transgender awareness and experience throughout society, and many gender non-conforming persons are valued and cherished for their bravery via their public presence.

Click this link to visit the new Zelma Rawlston page on Transas City. 

A 247-Year-Old Addition to Transas City: The Chevalier D’Eon

Several weeks ago I posted photos from the incredibly rare book from 1771 that I purchased in England. The book featured a unique story about the Chevalier D’Eon, a famous transgender person who lived from 1728-1810, and and how they underwent an examination by a jury of noblewomen to “prove” whether their physical sex was male or female. I’ll provide a spoiler and say that the result was “epicene,” which means “having characteristics of both sexes, or being of indeterminate sex.”

The Chevalier D’Eon and their incredible story has influenced transgender research and history even into the mid-20th century, with the Chevalier even being mentioned during the recent production of Casa Valentina.

I’ve finally made the high-resolution scans available; it took more time than I thought because scanning a 247-year-old book without breaking the spine is tricky. I have a page set up now with a brief introduction, the frontispiece of the book, the woodcut of the Chevalier, and the two pages of text scanned in high resolution. As usual, there are no watermarks, no alterations, and no copyrights. Please download and take these images to keep them safe!

The Updates are Starting: A Very Special Christine

Hello everyone, the updates are returning. I’ve been very ill for some time, but I’ve also been steadily ferreting out and collecting rare transgender history to share with you all. I have several items scanned and processed to share with you all, but I’m going to kick off this series with a very special photograph of Christine Jorgensen. It’s one of my favorites, despite the poor condition of the photograph in the lower left-hand corner. I like this photograph because it’s autographed, she’s happy, and it’s not a press photograph or reprint – this is an actual private photograph she took with “Frank,” whom I have not been able to identify. The signature reads “To Frank – Thank you for letting me join your Harem. Christine.” Please click on the link below the image to see the high-resolution scan.

High-resolution version.

You can find more Christine Jorgensen photographs and media on our Christine Jorgensen page.