Monday, October 3, 2016

October 3 - Christine Jorgensen

Christine Jorgensen

Christine Jorgensen (born George William Jorgensen, Jr.) was the first person widely known in the United States to have undergone sex reassignment surgery. Jorgensen was born in the Bronx in 1926 and was drafted into the Army in 1945 to fight in World War II. Following a discharge a year later, Jorgensen made the decision to transition. She traveled to Denmark in 1950 to begin hormone therapy, where she remained for two years and underwent several operations to supplement the hormone replacement. While in Copenhagen, her story was picked up by The New York Daily News, making her an overnight sensation (though not necessarily in the most positive ways). Jorgensen returned to America in 1953 and became a spokesperson for trans people, publicly challenging the idea of gender as a binary system. Though frequently the butt of jokes in the 1950s, Jorgensen used her newfound fame to tell her story and the stories of those like her. She later became an entertainer, author, and educator, lecturing at colleges up until her death in 1989.

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