In 1952, Christine Jorgensen appeared in The New York Daily News after her return to her native United States from Denmark, where she underwent sex reassignment surgery. The paper incorrectly stated that Christine was the first recipient of this surgery (two other trans women had undergone the procedure two decades previously). She was, however, the first trans person to undergo hormone replacement therapy. After her first surgery Christine wrote to a friend: “Remember the shy, miserable person who left America? Well, that person is no more and, as you can see, I’m in marvelous spirits.”
Christine was a sensation in her home state of New York. She used her newfound fame as a platform on which to advocate for transgender people. Complications in her personal life arose when Christine was blocked from marriage to a man because her 1926 birth certificate listed her sex as male. This prompted her later influence on other trans people’s decisions to change their assigned sex and names on birth certificates. As an advocate and spokesperson, Christine spoke publicly about her experiences. She was also not one to take offensive comments lightly, once walking off The Dick Cavett Show live.
Throughout the 70′s and 80′s Christine also performed as an actress and entertainer. In one act she sang a song entitled “I Enjoy Being a Girl” at the end of which she changed into a Wonder Woman costume. She was also known for her direct nature and great wit. Christine died in 1989 at the age of 62. Just before her death she said she had given the sexual revolution “a good swift kick in the pants.” She was inducted into the Legacy Walk in 2012.
I was curious to hear her sing and it was recorded!