Personality Explorer

Is Christine Jorgensen Transgender?

The controversial question, “Is Christine Jorgensen transgender?” caused quite a stir when her story broke in the New York Daily News. On December 1, 1952, the newspaper ran a story titled, “Ex-GI Becomes Blonde Beauty” about the surgery, which removed her male genitalia. The procedure left her without a vagina. Her former supporters felt betrayed, but she defended her actions, saying she never regretted her decision to change.

She underwent surgery and was initially diagnosed as a male, which led to a psychiatric diagnosis. She also traveled to Denmark, where she met Dr. Christian Hamburger, who told her new life as a female. The procedure was successful, and Christine was able to return to her original gender. In the late 1950s, she developed a show and went on to lecture about her new life. She eventually retired to South California, but died of lung and bladder cancer at the age of 61.

A transgender historian and critical theorist, Susan Stryker, produced a film on Jorgensen. She also gave a lecture at Yale University in 2010 about the film. Her research focuses on the representation of transgender people in cinema. Professor Claudia Kalb’s book, Being a Woman, Is She Transgender?, also includes a chapter about Jorgensen.

 

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