1959 Transgender News

Standard Disclaimer: This page is a listing and links to news items regarding transgender persons from 1959. It is ordered by date of appearance in the news, not the date of the event. Note that the text summaries are not transcripts.

January 27, 1959. Baton Rouge State Times Advocate, page 7B

It’s reported that a 16-year-old Indian in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has undergone a sex change from a girl to a boy. He reports that he knew he needed to be a boy 2 years prior, but kept the fact secret out of shyness.

March 31, 1959. Omaha Wolrd Herald, page 31

Christine Jorgensen is seeking a marriage license to wed Howard J. Knox, 33, a statistician from Waukegan, Illinois. The marriage application was delayed due to a lack of paperwork regarding Knox’s divorce.
Christine Jorgensen and Howard Knox

April 1, 1959. Boston Daily Record, page 5

Further reporting upon the delay of Christine Jorgensen’s marriage to Howard Knox over the missing divorce certificate from Knox’s former marriage.

April 5, 1959. Portland Oregonian, page 6

In sad news (which would be repeated untold times until marriage equality became a reality in the United States), Christine Jorgensen’s application to wed Howard Knox has been denied, due to her having a male birth certificate. Although Jorgensen would attempt once more to marry, she eventually became grudgingly resigned to single life due to discriminatory laws in the United States.

May 28, 1959. Dallas Morning News, page 8

In a badly spelled and possibly garbled report, a 4-year-old girl from Palmi, Italy, is said to have undergone a sex change to become a boy – just 2 years after her older two sisters did the same. Although information on this event is highly limited, it is possible the girls suffered from a familial intersex condition.

November 13, 1959. Marietta Georgia Journal, page 2

It’s announced that Charlotte McLeod, age 34, has married Ralph H. Heidal in Miami, Florida.

November 14, 1959. San Diego Union, page A3

More information is given on the recent marriage of Charlotte McLeod to Ralph H. Heidal. It’s clarified that their marriage was on October 11, 1959. Charlotte McLeod is said to have worked as a secretary in Miami for 6 weeks, and then she had a job demonstrating cosmetics in a Miami Beach shop.
Charlotte McLeod Married

December 29, 1959. Baton Rouge State Times Advocate, page 24

In theatre news there is a brief report on two plays currently running in London, and one in New York, dealing with the topic of sex changes. One play in particular, “Goodbye Charlie,” deals with the a supernatural situation in which a notorious rake is shot by a jealous husband, dies, and returns to life as a beautiful girl who is pursued by men. Very notable about the play is that the title character is played by Lauren Bacall, and apparently played to “perfection.”

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