Christine Jorgensen: A Personal Autobiography.Christine Jorgensen Christine Jorgensen (May 30, 1926 – May 3, 1989), a noted photographer, was born George William Jorgensen, Jr. in The Bronx, New York City, USA, and is famous for having been one of the first persons to have sex reassignment surgery — in this case, male to female. : A Personal Autobiography * Introduction by Susan Stryker * Cleis Press * $14.95
Before hormone replacement therapy Hormone Replacement Therapy Definition
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the use of synthetic or natural female hormones to make up for the decline or lack of natural hormones produced in a woman's body. , the Internet, and the Jerry Springer Show, there was Christine Jorgensen, transsexual trans·sex·u·al
A person who strongly identifies with the opposite gender and who chooses to live as a member of the opposite gender or to become one by surgery.
1. Of or relating to such a person.
"I looked into a sea of faces ... then heard a roar of voices shouting my name," she wrote in her best-selling 1967 memoir, describing her return to the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. from Denmark after her gender reassignment surgery Gender Reassignment Surgery Definition
Also known as sex change surgery or sex reassignment surgery, gender reassignment surgery is a procedure that changes a person's external genital organs from those of one gender to those of the other. . "I thought for a moment that I had entered Dante's inferno, as flashbulbs exploded from all directions and newsreel cameras whirred."
Jorgensen wasn't the first person to seek gender reassignment when she went under the knife in 1952, but for millions of newspaper readers, she might as well have been. Her transformation made international headlines, and for decades she was the best-known transgendered transgendered adjective Relating to a person who has undergone genital/sexual reassignment surgery Transgender health issues Hormonal therapy, cosmetic surgery, fertility options–eg, egg and sperm banking. See Sexual reassignment. Cf Transsexual. person in the world.
Long out of print, Christine Jorgensen: A Personal Autobiography has remained a vital, if hard to find, resource for those questioning their gender. The book has recently been rereleased by Cleis Press, complete with previously unpublished photos and a new introduction by historian Susan Stryker. It's just one of a growing number of testaments from people who have not just ventured the journey between genders but have also lived to tell about it.
Even as transgender transgender or transgendered
Transsexual. narratives multiply, Jorgensen's story still compels. As a boy Jorgensen struggled with feelings of wrong, less he could barely acknowledge, let alone identify. The doctors he visited were baffled, so he experimented with self-administered estrogen and eventually went overseas in search of a new identity.
Ironically, Jorgensen never really lived as an ordinary woman. Shortly after her initial surgery the media learned of her existence--tipped off, some said, by Jorgensen herself--and she was famous from then on as the woman who was once a man. She capitalized on this dual identity in a long-running nightclub act, traveling the world and meeting Judy Garland, Truman Capote, and other celebrities. As Stryker notes, "parts of her story seem little more than lists of which famous and important people she lunched with during any given week ... and which tasteful ensembles she wore while doing so."