Autobiography of an Androgyne




As to my own feminine characteristics, I have been told by intimate associates form boyhood down to my middle forties—when this book goes to press—that I markedly resemble a female physically, besides having instinctive gestures, poses, and habits that are characteristically feminine. My schoolmates said that I would make a good-looking girl and that kissing me was “as good as kissing a girl.” When I was fourteen, one of them remarked that my calves were “as shapely as those of a girl.” My associates in college have remarked how much I was like a woman in form and manners, though they never showed evidence of a suspicion that I might be an invert. They were probably ignorant of the existence of this human sport. “He blushes like a woman,” was said of me. Later, in my fairie days, my associates would remark that my hands felt like a woman’s, and that my skin in general was as soft as a woman’s. They said that my voice, especially when singing, had a feminine timbre. The voice is one of the chief criteria by which to determine abnormal sexuality. I fancy that I can diagnose a man sexually simply by hearing him sing. For example, a male invert, as well as the closely related “eunuch by birth” or anaphordite, is likely to sing a tenor which is hardly distinguishable from an alto.




Further, all my life down to my early thirties, my decidedly virile associates in school and business have babied me. Indeed in some respects I have never ceased to be a baby mentally I have wept and sobbed a great deal all my life. Up to my early thirties, I yearned to be called “Baby” by decidedly virile males, and to have them treat me as a baby and a weakling. All through my open career as a fairie, I conducted myself with intimates in the same way as a baby of two years towards its mother. When I have seen an infant nursing, I have seized with a desire for fellatio cum viro of about my own age, and have sometimes even experience an attack of babyish actions, as panting or cooing in satisfaction, or swayed the head or other parts of the body, a sort of natural graceful dance of these parts. I seem to have retained many of the instincts of the babe which are normally outgrown; only these instincts—the feeling of dependence, the looking for protection, the yearning to be held in the arms and fellatio (in its etymological sense)—were, after the age of four, no longer directed to the mother, but to stalwart males around my own age.




These reveries in bed were accompanied by an orgasm, but I never had any inclination toward solitary onanism. Though knowing the difference between male and female pudenda, I did not until later, about my fourteenth year as I remember, know their function, reproduction. As I lay abed, I would wish and pray that my pudenda might be changed to those of a girl, largely with the thought that I might be enabled to receive boys. I knew what went on between some boys and girls, but I did not know that anything ever resulted from the act. The fact that I was a boy—or rather that my body was that of a boy, because in mind I was thoroughly a girl—occasioned me an immense amount of regret and chagrin, and continued to do so down to the age of forty, as I approached which age, my sexual life was retreating more and more into the background, so that I became rather indifferent as to my physical and physical sex.

I have been doomed to be a girl who must pass her earthly existence in a male body. How dreadful it is to a young woman to have a slight growth of hair on lip or cheeks! Only one mark of the male! How much more dreadful for a young woman to possess almost all the male anatomy as I do! How I have bewailed my fate! During my early teens, being in a frenzy sometimes over it, I would meditate taking my father’s razor and castrating myself in order to bring my physical form more in accord with that of the female sex to which I instinctively yearned to belong.

Once during the wishes and prayers spoken of above, I reached my hand down and momentarily believed I had been miraculously provided with a cunnus [vagina]. It is my present impression that my hand came in contact with the scrotum, and that it was my first perception that I had such an appendage. Possibly this indicates late descent of the testicles. As I remember it, up to about my thirteenth year, I never knew there was a scrotum on any male. All my intimates of early childhood had been fully dressed, and thus this organ was concealed.




It was during my seventeenth year that I first became fully conscious that my unwilling craving for fellatio was deeply rooted, and not to be outgrown; that my feeling for my schoolmates was the procreative instinct, in me misdirected. The realization that I was different constituted from nearly all other males, and such an individual as during the whole history of the human race—so far as I was then acquainted with the history of the phenomenon—has been abhorred, reviled, and regarded as the lowest of the low, a monster of wickedness, and an outcast, was accompanied by the bitterest sorrow, causing me about once a week to go forth at night to a lonely quasi-abandoned graveyard, throw myself on the grass-covered graves, and write in an agony of tears and monas, and beseech my Creator by a miracle then and there to take away my perverted instinct and make a virile man of me. These season of anguish would exhaust me mentally and physically for twenty-four hours afterward. This was the beginning of three such melancholy years as few are called to pass through, and I meditated suicide repeatedly.


Large frame counted for a great deal, as also large and well-developed membra virila. Variety exists as much in the latter as in respect to frame. There is often an inverse proportion between the two.

I much preferred the rough to the gentleman, and the profane boozing libertine to the morally upright. I have always been strongly attracted by disregard for personal danger. When reading accounts of exploration and adventures, I have sometimes fallen in love with the adventurer. For example, I fell in love with a noted artic explorer while reading his book, as well as with the kayak-men who courageous deeds he describes. To me tattooing has always been the mark of supreme masculinity. It was a habit with me to seek for it on my beaux, and if found, I would rave over it, osculate it, kneel before the young blood in adoration and call him all the glorious idealizing names I could think of. That one of my eight hundred beaux with whom I would have chosen to live out my life in daily comradeship was by far the most tattooed of all, and he did actually live with me for several months when I was forty years of age, besides being my “adopted son” for nine years. But it was not the tattooing alone that attracted me. In practically every manly charm, he stood supreme.

After an hour or so spent with a companion, it was painful to say good-by and I generally hoped for another meeting. But subsequently to my apprenticeship just described, I generally had the same companion only once, or at most several times, as it was a long time, if ever before we saw one another again. I usually felt for my companions a non-sensual wifely love in addition to he mere sexual attraction which wifely was transformed into a rental love after I had reached my middle thirties and my associates were ten or more years younger than myself through my life as fairie, I always longed to have a young man live with me as my husband. If this had been practicable, monandry would possibly have been sufficient, as it proved to be in my early forties. But until long after the close of my open career, I was reluctant to reveal my identity, and was also deterred by the fear of blackmail.




I again started toward town, and soon met another soldier, who happened to be in a maudlin condition. Because of this, I thought I had nothing to fear, and accosted him in such a way to disclose my nature immediately without first sounding to see if he was of a compassionate nature. Though not at all offended, but laughing at what he considered an amusing experience, and expressing his willingness, he demanded five dollars, and said that unless I handed it over, he would take me before the captain of his company. This was said merely to frighten me, but in my greenness, I fully believed be would do it. thoroughly alarmed, I started off on a run. The soldier staggered after, crying, “Catch him! Catch him!” In a moment there were three other soldiers and a constable in pursuit. I was caught, the constable took me in hand, and asked what it was all about. Before any one else could reply, I addressed the five supplicatingly:

“I am ashamed to tell it, but I am an urning. I simply asked this soldier to do me a favor, to which he certainly did not object, because he only laughed. I have not done anything wrong or criminal. I only proposed something, and then he said he would take me before his captain unless I paid him five dollars. I became frightened and ran away. I pray you, have mercy on me, and let me go. If you knew what a sad life I have had, you would feel sorry for me. I have felt like committing suicide a thousand times. I am not willingly what I am. It is my misfortune and not my fault that I am an urning. If you are ever capable of compassion, let my fate move you to pity. Please let me go and don’t arrest me!”




The soldiers soon went on their way, and the constable conducted me in the direction of the lockup. He acted toward me as if I was a low criminal, while I continued to supplicate him to let me go. As we came nearer the lockup, in my highly excited condition over the fear of disgracing my family, who lived only four miles away, and the prospect that if my secret was disclosed, I could never see any of my loved ones again, I thoughtlessly declared I would not go any farther, which casued him to rap my head with his club.

I was locked up for the night. Through nervous shock, I did not sleep a wink. Only to the few is it given ever to taste such a night of misery as I passed. “I, whom all think the purest and most pious of men, being arrested!” I meditated. “I, the last one whom anybody would have expected ever to be arrested! But God’s will be done.. Am I to be the one to disgrace my family? Hitherto I have been the scholar, the litterateur, the only collegian of my father’s family, and have by my achievements in learning brought the most honor on my father’s house of all his children. I shall also be the one to bring the deepest disgrace upon it.”

The following morning I was sentenced to three days in the lockup. As the village of my incarceration was only four miles from my home, and I was known at least by sight to some if its inhabitants, my father evidently soon learned of my disgrace, notwithstanding that I had sought to conceal my identity. Although he never mentioned the episode, he soon began to treat me regularly with extreme bitterness, as if he wished I had never been born. I was the only one of his children to whom he manifested any such spirit, notwithstanding I was the brightest of them.




I wish here to emphasize the fact that there would be no risk of the spread of homosexual practices through the removal of the legal penalties attached to them and the consequent removal, at least in large part, of the practice of our adolescents in beating up and torturing androgynes because the latter are outlaws. Almost exclusively, those addicted by birth to these relations—regarded by the normal males as highly unaesthetic—and largely irresponsible for their conduct, can alone occasion these so-called “crimes.” What is the use then of laws against practices really harmless to society and to the adolescent—while perhaps harmful to the invert to the same degree that marital relations are harm to a wife and mother—and occasioned alone by those who are driven by an innate impulse, often uncontrollable? The law does not imprison deaf-mutes for being born with abnormal inner ears, why should it imprison members of this other congenitally defective class? The invert asks only for the same standing before the law accorded all other men. But as law and custom always make special exemptions for the congenitally defective, perhaps it would be right to show special mercy to the invert.