GALLERY: The New Digital Transgender Archive Keeps Trans History Alive Art

GALLERY: The New Digital Transgender Archive Keeps Trans History Alive

Written by Matt Keeley on July 27, 2016
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Although the transgender community is a major force in queer history, their contributions often get erased. To combat this, the College of the Holy Cross, with 20 other non-profit organizations and universities (including Harvard), created the Digital Transgender Archive, an archive with over 1,400 images including photos of trans people, publications from trans organizations, zines and more. The earliest items come from the 1910s!

We’ve compiled some of our favorite finds from the archive. We’ve only included the covers here, but click any image to read the entire work!

Of course, as history changes — some materials may use language that is no longer acceptable. Likewise, earlier publications tended to conflate transvestism with being transgender. We’ve included the dates to help place the materials in their proper historical context.

travesty, trans zine, transgender, digital transgender archive
Travesty #2: More Musings on Being a Transvestite Metalhead, an Australian zine from 2010.


your rights, International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy, digital transgender archive, trans history
“Your Rights” Workshop Report, a transcript of a speech given at the fourth annual International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy in 1995.


trans history, digital transgender archive, new woman caucus, mtf, transitioning
Brochure for The Second Annual New Woman’s Conference (Sept. 10-13, 1992)


gender issues, 1990s, trans history, digital transgender archive
Brochure for Gender Issues for the 90s: An All-Day Program for Health Professionals, from 1989.


a girl at last, judy, 1975, digital transgender archive, erotica, zines
A Girl At Last by “Judy”, an erotic novella from 1975.


die transvestiten, history, trans history, digital transgender archive
Die Transvestiten: eine Untersuchung über den erotischen Verkleidungstrieb mit umfangreichem casuistischen und historischen Material, a German book from 1910 about transvestism.


outreach institute, our sorority, trans history, digital transgender archive
Our Sorority, Issue 19 from April 1989, a newsletter published by The Outreach Institute.


scotland, tartan skirt, digital transgender archive, trans history
The Tartan Skirt, Issue No. 4 from October 1992, a magazine published by ADF Editorial Services in Scotland.


les girls, trans history, magazine, digital transgender archive, internet archive
Les Girls: Boys Will Be Girls, Vol. 1 No. 3 from 1981, a magazine from Holly Publications for the transgender (then “transsexual”) community.


michigan womyn's music festival, transsisters, transsexual feminism, trans history, digital transgender archive
TransSisters: The Journal of Transsexual Feminism, Issue No. 2 from Nov.-Dec. 1993, featuring a cover story about the controversy over the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival banning trans women.


trans history, pulp paperback, digital transgender archive, k.d.s. publishing
Sex Life of a Transvestite, a pulp paperback from 1964.


dare, men's magazines, christine jorgensen, trans history, digital transgender archive
Dare, Issue #7, Volume 1, a men’s magazine from 1953 with a cover story — not kidding — about imagining what Christine Jorgensen, the first person to have sex-reassignment surgery, would look like in a bathing suit. The article also includes photos of women in swimsuits with Jorgensen’s head poorly pasted on!

Featured image via the Digital Transgender Archive. Photograph by Bob Earl from the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries.

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