Christine Jorgensen – The first transgender individual to become known – Tragedies & Triumphs – Celebrating the History Of The LGBTQ Community Through the Years – A virtual art exhibit

tragedies and triumphs

Christine Jorgensen –
The first transgender individual to become known
(May 30, 1926 – May 3, 1989)

Christine was the first American transgender woman to become widely known in the United States for having sex reassignment surgery.

Jorgensen grew up in the Bronx, New York City. Shortly after graduating from high school in 1945, she was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II.

After her military service, she attended several schools and worked; it is during this time she learned about sex reassignment surgery. Jorgensen traveled to Europe, and in Copenhagen, Denmark, obtained special permission to undergo a series of operations beginning in 1952.

christine jorgensen

Christine returned to the United States in the early 1950s and her transition was the subject of a New York Daily News front-page story.

Christine Jorgensen First Transgender to become known 23

She became an instant celebrity, known for her directness and polished wit, and used the platform to advocate for transgender people.

She also worked as an actress and nightclub entertainer and recorded several songs.

She became an instant celebrity, known for her directness and polished wit, and used the platform to advocate for transgender people. She also worked as an actress and nightclub entertainer and recorded several songs.

The publicity following her transition and gender reassignment surgery became “a model for other transsexuals for decades. She was a tireless lecturer on the subject of transsexuality, pleading for understanding from a public that all too often wanted to see transsexuals as freaks or perverts

… Ms Jorgensen’s poise, charm, and wit won the hearts of millions.”

◦After her vaginoplasty, Jorgensen planned to marry labor union statistician John Traub, but the engagement was called off.

◦The couple were unable to obtain a marriage license because Jorgensen’s birth certificate listed her as male.

◦In a report about the broken engagement, The New York Times reported that Knox had lost his job in Washington, D.C., when his engagement to Jorgensen became known.

Jorgensen said in 1989, the year she died, that she had given the sexual revolution a “good swift kick in the pants.”

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