Christine Jorgensen: Transgender Woman

Christine Jorgensen was a famous transsexual woman who preferred to be referred to as being a transgender woman:

1979:

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Newsday article reprinted in the Winnipeg Free Press, 1979

The article reads:

As a young man, Jorgensen experienced strong emotional attachments to two male friends, but she says those feelings were never expressed. She admits now that she wasn’t entirely candid in the book. She did have “a couple” of homosexual experiences before she went to Europe to seek a medical solution to her problem, but they only reinforced the feeling that she wanted to relate to men as a woman, not as another man. “If you understand trans-genders,” she says, (the word she prefers to transsexuals), “then you understand that gender doesn’t have to do with bed partners, it has to do with identity.”

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The article goes on:

Many of her friends are gay, she says. She knows other trans-genders but none are within her circle of intimates.

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1985:

Christine Jorgensen states the following:

I am a transgender because gender refers to who you are as a human.

CJ

The Leader-Post Regina reprint of mass-media article, Wed., Dec. 18, 1985

11 thoughts on “Christine Jorgensen: Transgender Woman

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  2. ill accept that.but using it as an umbrella term is taking it out of the original authors intended use.much like ‘transpeople’ link before. using it as all inclusive to describe what are clearly different forms of existence, which is stated, is merely for the ease of the ignorant. in that all they see is “other”. also something i can see useful,but currently it is not allowing for discussion of differing needs and ability threw out the… what are now ‘subgroups’. relegating post-op transexuals (or in jorgensons own words,the true transgender) to be confined, by and to, the highest abilitys of the fetishist.

    • t.but using it as an umbrella term is taking it out of the original authors intended use.much like ‘transpeople’ link before.

      Gha!!! Seriously… didn’t I just get through whining to you about how frustrating it is to have folks constantly make these assertions? LOL!

      I’ve not asserted anywhere that she’s using the term in the exact way that folks are using the term 30+ years later. Rather, I’m tracking the etiology of trans jargon… something that hasn’t been done very well if I’m able to turn up things like this that (apparently) nobody knew about.

      If anything, this helps to explain why so many transsexuals began using this term. Mix Jorgensen’s push to reject “transsexual” in favor of “transgender” (which began in earnest back in the 1970s) with the fact that non-transsexuals were also using this term to explain their experiences for decades, it makes for a much more reasoned (and less hyperbolic, more mundane) explanation than all of the unsourced internet memes floating around about colonization, conspiracies and Borgs. Remember, the term “transgender” was being used as an umbrella term in print as early as 1974.

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