Transgender History: A Love Story

So I’m making a zine about transgender history. There are a lot of things I want to accomplish in this one, so I’m going to make it double-sided.

I was inspired by Leslie Feinberg’s book Transgender Warriors. I wanted to use a similar style, sharing trans history through my own process of researching and discovery.

This zine will focus on

  • a few highlights of gender non-conformance/androgyny/transgender in the past
  • trans involvement in stonewall (Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P Johnson, STAR)
  • positive images of trans* people in the media today (Hedwig, Athen’s Boys Choir, Laverne Cox, Leslie Feinberg)
  • my personal trans* heroes (Jen Dean, Venus De Mars, and Antonio)
  • transmisogyny
  • and include a little shoutout about CeCe

I really want to try and be aware of the kinds of bodies, genders, representations, assumptions I make when using images and stories of trans* people. I want these stories to really show a range of identities and expressions, ages, styles, communities, etc.


When I first started learning about transgender history, the only common stories I knew of trans* people were from pop culture and the media. The ways we see trans people portrayed is so limited. Pop culture is full of “hilarious” men in dresses (Mrs Doubtfire, Some Like It Hot) or criminal sexual deviants (the crying game, silence of the lambs).

But there is so much legacy of transgender people throughout history who were powerful, respected members of their communities, leaders, shamans, honored, revered.

And what about all the living, breathing, everyday people in the world who are loving, kind, creative, intelligent, beautiful people, who happen to be trans?

So in making this zine and looking for images, I tried to brainstorm some important historical moments (I was heavily influenced by Feinberg’s text, and so I mention a variety of mythical figures/gods/goddesses from Greece, Rome, Egypt, etc who are known for their androgyny, balancing the masculine and feminine, etc). Finding all of these images was not so big of a deal. It was SO MUCH HARDER to find images of incidentally transgender people, just looking happy and healthy and in their own contexts, not a pride parade or march. I ended up using really hilarious keywords in my google image search, like: happy transgender, trans people having fun, trans love, gender variant, transgender, androgyny, sacred androgyny, transgender anarchy…. i found some good images that I probably won’t use in the zine, and some other really ridiculous ones…

i like these:

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i will probably not use this hippie shit:


i unfortunately ended up totally mutilating my copy of transgender warriors, and a few other books…because apparently i’m too lazy to scan pictures, i just want to cut them with scissors.

i also came across a few good articles, this one on understanding transmisogyny:

this awesome zine, out of the closets and into the libraries:

Click to access outoftheclostets.pdf

trans oral history project! didn’t even know about this:

really beautiful art/autoethnography project about queer Native American community:


art by: Grace Rosario Perkins


I thought of so many people I wanted to include in this zine… I still could down the line. I want to sort of bookmark them here: Justin Vivian Bond, Isis from ANTM, Zackary Drucker, Carmen Carrera, Lauren Cameron, Amos Mac, Kate Bornstein, DavEnd, Sasha Fleischman…more on this soon!


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