Charlotte McLeod was the second transsexual American woman of the modern era, having had her sexual reassignment surgery (SRS) in Denmark in 1953, the year after Christine Jorgensen did. When Charlotte arrived in Denmark she discovered that the furor over Christine’s surgery had led to a moratorium on new SRSs, unless the process of conversion had already started. Charlotte, near-suicidal with gender dysphoria and not to be deterred, performed a self-castration on a kitchen table (with the help of an unnamed doctor). After bleeding nearly to death over the next two weeks, Charlotte was finally admitted into the Danish program and was given her SRS.
Charlotte returned to the United States in early 1954, and although she was welcomed as a minor celebrity, she never achieved the success of Christine – and was quoted at times saying jealous, catty things about her predecessor. Later in life Charlotte wrote an autobiography, which is incredibly rare and which I have not been able to find. My Transgender Newsbank has many articles on Charlotte, but still much of her life is unknown.
There are two archival photographs of Charlotte McLeod on the page linked below, both originals from 1954, which I’ve purchased recently and added to the museum. Enjoy.