In the summer of 1966 there was a trannie riot in San Francisco’s Tenderloin at Compton’s Cafeteria.
Transsexual, drag queen sex workers and those who Viviene Namaste and Mirha-Soleil Ross addressed as “Gender Trash” in their short lived publication rioted. They were sick and tired of being exploited and bullied by the pigs. Sick and tired of being arrested for existing. Arrested for obstructing the side walk while sitting in a restaurant eating.
That riot is the forgotten Stonewall.
Out of it came the first organization by and for transsexuals and from that organization grew the many things that made San Francisco a mecca to go to in order to go through the process.
This organization first met at Glide Memorial Church and was called COG for Change Our Goal. It was aimed at helping people who were living the most marginal of all possible lives to both achieve the physical change and in the process gain the tools to move into main stream society.
I met some of the sisters and they were pretty far sighted visionaries in what they wanted to accomplish.
By 1969 when I started the process the original group had splintered with a very strange couple, the Durkins forming something called CATS (California Association of Transsexuals. Jerry Durkin was a troll and Louise was this bizarre hulking giant with flaming red hair and a ship’s propeller tattooed on her massive forearm.
They were the first trans group I managed to connect with just after getting hormones from the Center for Special Problems. Now I was very hippie girl from Berkeley cute and naive. Jerry the troll got me to give him a blow job in exchange for information regarding how to find the real support group, Louise had conveniently stepped out to score some wine with some money I gave for that information.
Fortunately this encounter with predatory frauds did not discourage me and I used the information to contact the other group where I met some of the real pioneers. Two years later I was co-running the center they started.
Then there was Angela Douglas who bore a great deal of resemblance to some of the modern frauds and self-aggrandizers. He (I use he because in spite of getting SRS from Dr Brown, the Butcher of Trailer Parks in Mexico lived most of his life after the 1970s as a man and died as a man) was the founder of something called TAO (Transsexual Action Organization)
He was the freakazoid trannie darling of the West Coast underground press during the early 1970s making all sorts of claims of his accomplishments that tended to not hold up under close examination and fact checking. He claimed to have been in the band Love for one thing. Upon close examination he came off as a serious head case and not one who wold come down from his personal trip were he to go drug free for a while.
There were some things I do believe he did although I cannot prove. He hated the National Transsexual Counseling Unit. He claimed he was CIA and that we were cops, that Jan was a drug dealer and that I was a communist. He used his his poison pen to spread lies and rumors about our organization.
Later when the Sandy Stone affair with Olivia Records could have been a minor incident he threw gasoline on the fire that was based on the allegations of a few people some of whom may have been deep stealth WBTs trying to prevent people from suspecting them by being the first to cast stones.
Anyhow Angela Keyes Douglas wrote the infamous letter that became the basis for half the things claimed by Janice Raymond. It could have been read as satire but people in the movement were rather humor challenged at that point and so a letter to Sisters (an LA feminist publication) was taken seriously. Especially when it made the misogynistic claims that WBTs were superior to Women Born Female and that gradually through artificial birthing processes women born female would be eliminated.
In his later years he would send long rambling letters filled with incoherent threats and fantastic accusations to anyone who mentioned his bullshit on line.