Tag Archives: france

Another Piece of Recovered History – Coccinelle’s Story

Coccinelle_01
Coccinelle (French for “ladybug”) was born in Paris under the name of Jacques Charles Dufresnoy on August 23, 1931. Having known she was transgender since a very early age, she lived as a boy through her teen years, working a few odd jobs here and there and fighting gender dysphoria. She eventually decided to start transition, and made her debut as a transgender showgirl in 1953 at Chez Madame Arthur. She later performed Le Carrousel de Paris, where she worked with an array of crossdressers and transsexual women (including April Ashley).

In 1958 she underwent her sex reassignment surgery in Casablanca, under the care of the famous Dr. Georges Burou. She returned to the stage and to greater fame, and the first transsexual woman to become a “star” in France. She released several albums of songs, and later wrote several autobiographical works focusing on her life on the stage and her transition. Her first marriage was the first transsexual union to be officially acknowledged by the government of France, establishing transgender persons’ legal right to marry.

Coccinelle was a tireless advocate and activist for transgender persons, and even though she could have gone “stealth” due to her classic cisgender female appearance, she refused to hide who she was. She founded a transgender support and advocacy organization named “Devenir Femme” (To Become Woman), and helped establish the Center for Aid, Research, and Information for Transsexuality and Gender Identity. Sadly, this glowing light of transgender triumph was taken from us on October 8, 2006.
Biographical Information

The piece of history which I am highlighting is a lengthy interview, with photographs, that Coccinelle gave to Confidential magazine for their September, 1962 issue. I have scanned the entire article and placed it here for the purpose of preserving out history. It’s a good read, so please download it and store it somewhere safe.

Coccinelle “How the Sex-Change Operation was Performed on Me” Confidential (1962): 18.

The Transgender Body Count for July

French_Trans_Murder_MyleneMyléne, murdered July 25, 2013

I was asked why I had not been updating Transas City with some of the recent murders of transsexuals, and the reason was, well, they depressed me so much I wanted to avoid focusing on them. But that’s really self-defeating, and the word needs to get out.

July was a harsh month for transgender persons, especially transgender women. Below are reports of 6 transgender women who were murdered or brutally assaulted in just 3 weeks in July.

The week of July 8 (reports vary on what day it occurred), transgender woman Diamond Williams, 31, was murdered after having sexual relations with Charles Sargent, 43. Sargent, for reasons which aren’t completely known, murdered Diamond with a screwdriver and hatchet, dismembered her in his apartment, and dumped her body parts in a field in North Philadelphia. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/07/26/1226773/-Another-dead-transwoman-of-color-this-time-in-Philadelphia-again

On July 21 or 22, Dwayne Jones, a 16 year-old crossdresser or transgender woman in Jamaica was murdered after they attended a party dressed in women’s clothing. When someone at the party outed them as male, a gang of happy partygoers armed with knives and hatchets chased her into the night. Police found her body on the road, with multiple stab wounds and a gunshot wound. http://atlantablackstar.com/2013/08/02/group-jamaica-must-probe-transgender-teen-slaying/

On July 25, Jatupon Ratworabood, a transgender woman, was shot while out clubbing in Bangkok, Thailand. Her murderer alleges she sat between him and his friend while riding on a motorbike, she “molested him,” which in his worldview was punishable by immediate summary execution. http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/361710/transgender-shot-dead-in-khon-kaen

Also on July 25, a French transgender woman reported only as Myléne was brutally murdered with a hammer. The press in France, which is typically unkind to transgender persons, has referred to her as “he” and “male”, a crossdresser, etc. http://gaysportnews.com/2013/07/30/trans-woman-beaten-to-death-with-a-hammer-in-france/#sthash.IPOieIUd.GpOpvnSP.dpbs

On July 29 another transgender woman was killed in Turkey, making four this year, on top of 11 assaulted. Reported only as “Gaye,” she ran her own flower shop and had been in a relationship for 15 years. http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/07/transgender-woman-killed-in-istanbul-fourth-trans-victim-in-seven-months/

On July 30 another transgender woman was shot and remains in critical condition. It is not known in this case if her transgender status was responsible. http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/dncrime/Woman-hospitalized-after-being-shot-inside-Northern-Liberties-apartment.html