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Annotated Bibliography

--Selected readings on transvestism, transsexualism and related subjects

Compiled by JoAnn Roberts & Dallas Denny

Renaissance Transgender Association


Books from

1960's & earlier


The bibliography presented is divided into two major categories: professional and popular publications.  The professional category contains objective scientific research literature, whereas the popular category contains works of a more general nature, some of them very subjective.  Because transsexuals and transvestites cross the line between gender roles, works discussing femininity and masculinity are also included.  Not all of the works listed here present transvestism or transsexualism in a positive manner.  This bibliography is by no means complete and suggestions for additions are welcome.  Please include all pertinent information about any addition you suggest.



Books from 1960's & earlier

Man Into Woman: An Authentic Record of A Change of Sex, N. Hoyer, New York, E.P. Dutton, 1933.

The story of Dane Einar Wegener, recipient of the first recorded sexual reassignment surgery. 

The Transsexual Phenomenon, Harry Benjamin, New York, Julian Press, 1966. 

This book is not only considered the landmark work on transsexualism, but Benjamin's distinction between transsexual and transvestite still stands today. Currently being reprinted by the Outreach Institute and Renaissance.

Transexualism & Sex Reassignment, Richard Green & John Money, (eds.). Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Press, 1968.

This is the first in-depth account of the psychological and physical process of sex reassignment as performed at the Johns Hopkins University Medical Center.  The book includes illustrations from surgeries undertaken in the 1960s.



Books from the 1970's

Understanding Crossdressing, Virginia Prince, California, Chevalier Press, 1971.

A series of papers by Dr. Prince which discuss various aspects of male heterosexual crossdressing.

The Transvestite and His Wife, Virginia Prince, California, Chevalier Press, 1971.

This book examines the relationships between heterosexual crossdressers and their spouses and is the foundation work for the Society for the Second Self (Tri Ess).

Sexual Signatures: On Being a Man or a Woman, Money, J., & Tucker, P. (1975), Boston, Little, Brown & Co.

It cannot be said better than the authors in the first chapter: "This book is a road map to show you where you are now as a man or a woman and how you got there." There is considerable discussion of transsexualism and crossdressing.

Transvestites and Transsexuals: Mixed Views, Deborah Feinbloom, New York, Delacorte Press, 1976.

Contains various chapters on the wide spectrum of gender dysphoria, including the transformation of "Phil" to "Helen."

Emergence: A Transsexual Autobiography, Mario Martino, New York, Crown Publishers, 1977.

The autobiographical account of a female-to-male transsexual, one of the few such accounts published.

Gender: An Ethnomethodological Approach, S. Kessler and W. McKenna (eds.), New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1978.

In the opinion of one scholar this is one of the most intelligent, clinical and empathetic books on the subject.  It includes a lengthy appendix which chronicles the two-year transformation of a male-to-female transsexual.

Mirror Image; The Odyssey of A Male-to-Female Transsexual, Nancy Hunt, New York, Holt, Rinehart Winston, 1978.

A highly personal story about the journey from man to woman by a Chicago Tribune reporter and the story of her relationship with a woman who supported Hunt's crossdressing but who could not accept Hunt's growing urge to change his gender.

Dressing Up, A History of Transvestism and Drag. Peter Ackroyd, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1979.

This is a well written and often entertaining work with very good historical references to famous and infamous crossdressers.  It is somewhat flawed by the author's acceptance of many misconceptions about transvestism and transsexualism.

Mother Camp: Female Impersonators In America, Esther Newton, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1979.

An anthropologist's view of the American subculture composed of female impersonators, both as entertainers and as a minority component of the gay community in the Midwestern United States.



Books from the 1980's

The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male, Janice G. Raymond, Boston, Beacon Press, 1980.

Raymond attacks men in general and male-to-female transsexuals in particular in this challenging and infuriating manifesto.  She sees transsexualism as a harsh dramatization of all the ills of sex role stereotyping in which men "rape women's bodies by reducing the real female form to an artifact, appropriating this body for themselves."  Her most stinging venom is reserved for transsexual lesbian feminists who, Raymond sees as patriarchal imposters in the lesbian community.

Herculine Barbin, Introduced by Michael Foucault, New York, Pantheon Books, 1980.

The memoirs of a 19th Century French hermaphrodite who was raised as a female and was ruled to be a male when in his 20s are presented along with excerpts of report from the the autopsy performed after his suicide.  The book also includes "A Scandal at the Convent," a fictional account of the Barbin story written some years after his death.

Boys Will Be Girls: The Hidden World of the Heterosexual Male Transvestite, John Talamini. University Press of America, Lanham, Md., 1982.

A "unified field" theory of heterosexual male transvestism in which Talamini discusses the phenomenon in an historical, sociological, and psychological context.

Second Serve, Renee Richards (with John Ames), New York, Stein and Day, 1983.

Perhaps the most famous transsexual after Christine Jorgensen tells her story including the numerous setbacks in her quest to become a woman.  She also tells how she decided that she must end her strict privacy and become a public symbol for other transgendered people.

The Uninvited Dilemma, K. Stuart, Lake Oswego, N.Y., Metamorphous Press, (with a separate Research Supplement available from the publisher), 1983.

Using interviews with over one hundred transsexuals, transvestites and homosexuals from the San Francisco area, the author presents a primer on transsexualism, including some observations on gender.

Men In Frocks, Kris Kirk and Ed Heath, London, GMP Publishers, 1984.

An illustrated survey of the various modes of British crossdressing, ranging from Army camp shows during World War II to today's rock musicians.  Dozens of crossdressers are extensively quoted telling their own stories.

Femininity, Susan Brownmiller, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1984.

An examination of what it means to be a woman and to be feminine, both in today's culture and in days past.  Chapters are divided into categories such as body hair, voice, etc.  The implications of each aspect are thoroughly discussed. Includes profusely cited references.

A Finer Specimen of Womanhood: A Transsexual Speaks Out, Sharon Davis, New York, Vantage, 1985.

As an African American woman who was once an African American man, Ms. Davis offers an enlightened and very personal account of her transition.  She has appeared on television and radio to speak on transsexual issues, and is presently president of an AIDS outreach program.

Lovemaps, John Money, New York, Irvington Publishers, 1986.

Dr. Money coined the term lovemaps to describe the mental template that is expressed in every individual's sexuoerotic fantasies and practices.  A large portion of the book deals with paraphilias and their concomitant, distorted lovemaps.  Both transvestism and transsexualism are examined in relation to their respective lovemaps.

Transexualism & Sex Reassignment, William A.W. Walters & Michael W. Ross (eds.). Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1986.

A general overview of transsexualism which the editors hope will achieve a better understanding "of this problem in society."  Chapters address personal feelings, causes of gender dysphoria, psychological issues, endocrine aspects, medical/surgical procedures and ethical and legal aspects.

Venuses Penuses, John Money, Buffalo, N.Y., Prometheus Books, 1986.

A collection of selected reprints from the large body of work by Dr. Money.  Also included is a complete bibliography of Dr. Money's published work.

Conundrum, Jan Morris, New York, Henry Holt and Company, 1986 (second edition).

A highly introspective survey of what it means to be a man and a woman in the 20th century, and why the author, a renowned writer, believes she failed in one role and succeeded in the other.

The Spirit and the Flesh: Sexual Diversity in American Indian Culture, Walter L. Williams, Boston, Beacon Press, 1986.

Native Americans believed that men who crossdressed and performed in the role of women (often while fulfilling male roles) had special spiritual gifts.  The importance these men played in the Native American civilization is recorded here for the first time.

The Homosexual Matrix, C.A. Tripp, New York, Meridan, 1987 (second edition).

Although primarily concerned with homosexuality, Tripp also explores the nature of femininity and effeminacy apart from sexual orientation.

Masculinity and Femininity: A Basic Prespective, June M. Reinisch, Leonard Rosenblum and Stephanie Sanders (eds.), New York, Oxford University Press, Kinsey Institute Series, 1987.

This work looks at the meanings and implications of masculine and feminine behavior from seven distinct but interrelated perspectives: psychobiologic, neuroscientific, evo- lutionary, behavioral, developmental, psychological and cultural.

Sexual Landscapes; Why We Are What We Are, Why We Love Whom We Love, John Money & James D. Weinrich, New York, Scribner, 1987.

The author's particular area of interest in the field of sexology is gender transposition, or "the transposition of masculine and feminine in comparison with the typical pattern."  In this work he posits "a general theory of human sexuality and sexual arousal" and explains "other people's theories."

The Sissy Boy Syndrome, Richard Green, M.D., New Haven, Conn., Yale University Press, 1987.

During what he thought would be an investigation into the origins of transsexualism, the author instead discovered that boyhood effeminacy is often a marker for later homo- sexuality.  But the author does not claim that effeminacy leads to homosexuality. The case histories show that while the two phenomenon are related, they are not connected.

The Wolves of Heaven; Cheyenne Shamanism, Ceremonies and Prehistoric Origins, Karl H. Schleiser, Norman, Okla., University of Oklahoma Press, 1987.

A thorough examination of the hemaneh (half-man, half-woman) of the Cheyenne tribe and their involvement in Cheyenne thought, religion, history and custom. Coming under particular scrutiny is the Massaum ceremony which was last performed in 1927.

Transvestites And Transsexuals: Toward A Theory of Cross-Gender Behavior, Richard F. Docter, Plenum Press, New York, 1988.

Richard Docter has created a milestone work that uncovers new territory concerning cross-gender behavior.  He correctly identifies cross-gender behavior as a dynamic process rather than a static state.  This book also contains important observations about pseudo- or secondary transseexualism.  Docter continues his research toward a "gender" scale.

In Search of Eve: Transsexual Rites of Passage, Bolin, A. (1988), South Hadley, MA, Bergin & Garvey Publishers, Inc.

Bolin's book was long overdue and has unfortunately been under-appreciated by clinicians.  Her doctoral thesis, which grew into this book, was a study of a group of male-to-female transsexual persons in the midwest, whom she observed in a non-clinical setting.  Her findings clearly show the bias and shortsightedness of much of the clinical literature, and some serious problems with a treatment paradigm in which transsexual persons mold themselves to sexist notions or perceived sexist notions of clinicians in order to obtain treatment.

Gender Blending: Confronting the Limits of Duality, Devor, H. (1989), Bloomington, Indiana University Press.

Gender Blending is a psychological and sociological treatise on women who are or who have at some time in the past been frequently mistaken for men.  Although several of the women had flirted with the notion of sex reassignment, none were seriously interested in actually becoming men.

My Husband Wears My Clothes, Rudd, P. (1989), Katy, TX, PM Publishers.

The author explains her reaction to and adjustment to her husband's crossdressing.



Books from the 1990's  

Crossdressing with Dignity: The Case for Transcending Gender Lines, Rudd, P. (1990), Katy, TX, PM Publishers.

Based on a survey of a large number of crossdressers, the author presents results in tabular form, as well as in discussion of the issues of human dignity.  What is most clear and most impressive is that men, as they age, grow more comfortable with their crossdressing and less fearful of exposure.  

The Transsexual's Survival Guide to Transition and Beyond, Stringer, J.A. (1990), King of Prussia, PA: Creative Design Services.

Contains information about the author's transition and general discussion of the obstacles and challenges in store for those contemplating male-to-female sex reassignment.  

My Story, Cossey, C. (1991), Boston, Faber & Faber.

Autobiography of Caroline Cossey, also known as "Tula," the British fashion model whose transsexualism was brutally revealed in News of the World with the headline "Bond girl was a boy."  Cossey tells of her unsuccessful efforts to obtain the right to marry in the UK and her determination to continue her fight until she obtains that right.  

Vested Interests: Crossdressing and Cultural Anxiety, Garber, M. (1991), New York, Routledge.

An examination of the cultural signifcance of crossdressing.  

The Transvestites, Hirschfeld, M. (1991). (Michael A. Lombardi-Nash, translator). Buffalo, NY, Prometheus Books.

This remarkable book, written in 1910, was translated only in 1991.  Had it been available in English earlier, it would no doubt have had a big impact on American thinking about transvestism and transsexualism.  Hirschfeld gives a number of case histories of men and a few women who crossdress.  Some appear to indeed be transvestites, but others seem more likely to have been transsexual. The author examines crossdressing from a variety of angles.  The translator did an excellent job.  

Gender Dysphoria: Interdisciplinary Approaches in Clinical Management, Bockting, W., & Coleman, E. (Eds.), (1992), New York, Haworth Press. (Appears concurrently in Journal & Psychology of Human Sexuality, 1993, 5(4). )

This text provides up-to-date, cutting edge information on hormonal therapy, outcome, and other aspects of cross-gender identity.   

NEW! Accounting for Transsexualism and Transhomosexuality, Brian Tully, Whiting & Birch Ltd (1992), London, ISBN 18-71177-04-9.

The book is a case by case look at the ongoing lives of M2F and F2M transsexuals and their larger relation to society.  It looks at people in a variety of stages and social classes and provides commentary from each of the subjects on different issues.  The study was conducted in the United Kingdom.  It also looks at the pitfalls and shortcomings of modern day psychoanalytical treatment of Gender Dysphoria and also the mistakes of the health care industry.  An interesting aspect is also looking at the traps the patients fall into while going through the process. (Thanks to Alexandrea for this review.)  

The Transsexual's Survival Guide II to Transition and Beyond for Family, Friends, and Employers, Stringer, J.A. (1993), King of Prussia, PA: Creative Design Services.  

Cross-Dressing, Sex, and Gender, Bullough, V.L., & Bullough, B. (1993), Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press.

This is a well-researched and footnoted work, the most complete on crossdressing since Hirschfeld's Die Transvestiten, written in 1910.  In the first half, the authors take a historical approach, examining both crossdressing and notions of gender through the ages.  In the second half, they look at nineteen- and twentieth- century crossdressing phenomena, including transsexualism (but the major focus is on crossdressing).  Several chapters explore the personality of heterosexual crossdressers, and one chapter examines the research on female partners of crossdressers.  A very thorough and insightful work.  

Gender Dysphoria: A Guide to Research, Denny, D. (1994), New York: Garland Publishing.

Very comprehensive annotated bibliography which served as a sourcebook for this list.

Gender Outlaw, Kate Bornstein (1994).

"Kate Bornstein celebrates the power of claiming an identity without getting mired in the tarpits of identity politics.  A breath of fresh air, the best of both worlds, strong enough for a man, yet made for a woman," so says Holly Hughes.  If you wonder where your place is in the grand scheme of things, Kate may just help you find your way.  

Coping With Crossdressing, (3rd Edition) Roberts, J., (1995), King of Prussia, PA: Ceative Design Services.

A balanced look at the issues confronting partners in a committed relationship.  Roberts offers solid advice on negotiating and compromise so that both partners' needs are met.  

Monsieur d'Eon Is a Woman: A Tale of Political Intrigue and Sexual Masquerade, Gary Cates, (1995), Basic Books, A Division of Harper Collins, New York.  

This book clears away a lot of the mythology about the patron of all crossdressing, the Chevalier d'Eon.  Cates contends that d'Eon was not a transvestite because he was ordered by Louis XV to live the remainder of his life as a woman.  The classic tale of d'Eon posing as a female to spy on the Russian court of the Empress Elizabeth is a fiction concocted by d'Eon, says Cates.  Whether you believe Cates or not, the book is extremely interesting.  

Lettin It All Hang Out, RuPaul, (1995), Hyperion.  

"...part autobiography, part how-to manual, RuPaul comes out and comes clean with the full story of his remarkable rise...  RuPaul Andre Charles talks about... his life growing up in a house full of women... an intelligent and colorful self-portrait by an incredibly and articulate soulful man..."  

What Took You So Long: A Girls Journey to Manhood, Raymond Thompson with Kittey Sewell, Penguin Books, London.  

An excellent account of being a FTM who has a hard time, and ends up on the wrong side of the law, in prison.  

A Self-Made Man: the Diary of a Man Born in a Woman's Body, Paul Hewitt with Jane Warren, Headline Books, London.

A diary account of the actual process of transition for an FtM.  

Dear Sir or Madam, Mark Rees, Cassells, London, due December 1995.  

Rees was the first TS in the UK to go to the European Court of Human Rights. Also he is one of the founders of Press For Change the campaign and lobby group on behalf of TS/TG rights in the UK.  He is a great campaigner on behalf of the cause with a very public profileand a leading figure in the UK FtM network.  

Blending Genders: Social Aspects of Cross Dressing And Sex Changing, Ekins R and King D, due Dec 1995, Routledge, London and New York.  
(Thanks to Stephen Wittle of the UK FtM Network for these last four book listings.)  
Changing Sex. Transsexualism, Technology, and the Idea of Gender, Bernice L. Hausman, 1995, Duke University Press.



I believe this book should be added to your list.  It is well written and well documented (although it could use a proper bibliography.)  More to the point, it is also extremely interesting and thought provoking.  Although the book could and likely will be seen as taking a critical view of the "transsexual phenomenon," it is certainly not "anti-trans," as that term would commonly be understood.  Ultimately, it is a fairly original take on the ˇ§ideaˇ¨ of gender, and the ˇ§history ofˇ¨ the idea of gender, and as such should be brought to the attention of those who think about such things -- fools though they may be!  The book is certain to annoy many T people -- "Gender Outlaw" or "Tula, Volume II" it is not -- but, well... that's OK.  (Thanks to Detourn for this review.)


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