Fifty-eight years ago today The New York Daily News broke the Christine Jorgensen story.
She wasn’t the first, which she was often credited with being.
She may have been a role model for some, although not for me.
I found her ghost written autobiography to be self-censored, expurgated and of marginal relevance when it finally came out.
Docter’s book would have served many of us better because it didn’t white wash as much.
Mostly though the published stories of Christine Jorgensen and others made it seem like life after SRS would be far easier.
The difficulties in obtaining new identification, something that was a struggle even in the 1970s weren’t mentioned.
She died in 1989 she was only 63.
The glaring headlines made the lives of transkids both easier and harder. Easier in that Christine’s story let us see the possibility of changing sex but also gave the bullies new taunts to hurl at us.
If she had lived she would be 84. I can’t help but wonder what she would have thought about the hordes of transsexual and transgender people bravely living their lives in all the many different ways we do these days.
I met her on a couple of occasions, first at the San Francisco Premiere of the excretable film version of her book.
Later I photographed her speaking at a benefit for the Los Angeles Gay Community.
She was more involved with advancing the LGBT/TQ than most people think and was friendly with a number of the gay rights pioneers.