Being transgender or transsexual.
Gender dysphoria, & gender identity.
Transsexuals in history
Transsexuals in history:
Some transsexual individuals from myth and history:
Venus Castina was a mythical ancient Greek goddess who "reacted sympathetically to
feminine souls locked up in male bodies."
Sardanapalus, an Assyrian king, allegedly dressed in women's clothing and spun
thread with his wives. 1
Some Scythian soldiers were said to have pillaged the temple of Venus at
Ascelon in ancient times. The Goddess retaliated by converting the male soldiers into females
and affecting their descendents in the same way. 2
Philo of Judea (30 BCE to 40 CE)
wrote about transsexuality.
Ovid (43 BCE to 18 CE) was a prolific Roman poet. One of his most famous
works is a play titled Metamorphoses. In it, Teresias -- a male --
becomes Teresa when he hit two copulating snakes with a piece of wood. She was
transformed back into a male by the same process. 1
Emperor Nero (37 to 68 CE)is said to have sought a replacement for his
wife that he had previously murdered. The face of Sporum, a young male
ex-slave, resembled his late wife. So Nero had Sporum transformed into a
woman; he later married her. 2
Gregory Tours (538 to 594 CE) wrote a story about a man who had worn
women's clothing as a child and had continued into adulthood by dressing as a
nun and living in a convent. 1
During the ninth century CE, John Anglicus -- an English scientist -- was
allegedly elected pope of the Roman Catholic Church by an unanimous vote, to
succeed Pope Leo V in 853 CE. However, according to the story, he was actually
Joan, a woman. She gave birth during a procession in Rome and was either
assassinated on the spot or sent to a convent for the rest of her life to
is no such pope in modern official church records. 3
There are records in the 13th century of two European women who dressed in monk's
garments in order to masquerade as males: one was Palagia who wanted to keep her
former life as a prostitute secret; another was a woman escaping from an
unhappy marriage. 1
During the 17th century, Abbé de Choisy,
a genetic male, played as an actress for five months and later became the Ambassador
of Louis XIV to Siam. 2
Chevalier d'Eon (1728 to 1810) was a male French diplomat and mistress to King
Louis XV. He spent the second half of his life as a woman. Eonism, a
term referring to cross-gendered behavior, was derived from d'Eon's name. It
was first used by Havelock Ellis, an early human sexuality researcher. The term is no longer in wide use.
Lord Cornbury was the first royal governor of New Jersey and New York from
1702 to 1708. He is widely believed to have dressed as a woman
during his term in office. However, Patricia Bonomi has written a book
attacking this belief and attributing them to rumors by his political enemies.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.