11 Remarkable Transgender People from History

Alan L Hart. Google Images

Alan L Hart

Alan Hart was the first female to male gender transition in American history. Born as Lucille on October 4, 1890, Hart and her mother moved to his grandparent’s farm in Oregon when he was two. There, the young Hart found he much preferred dressing as a boy and playing with her male cousins to girl’s games. Her grandparents tolerated and accepted this and while on the farm, Hart was free to be himself.

However, once at school, Hart had to express himself as a female.  When he finally began to write, in school and for local publications, he chose a male pseudonym and shied away from traditional female subjects.

 In 1917, Hart obtained his medical degree- as a woman. Sympathetic staff suffixed his internal records with his chose name ‘Robert”. However, to the outside world, he was Dr. Lucille Hart, leaving Hart with no choice but to present as a woman for employment. However, Hart was still looking for a way to be ‘himself’. He approached Dr. Joshua Gilbert of the University of Oregon and asked him what could be done to stop menstruation and remove any possibility of pregnancy.

Gilbert, after accepting Hart was not mentally ill, determined that Hart was primarily male and to continue living as a woman would be detrimental to his well-being. So he approved the first ever hysterectomy of a healthy womb and Hart had procedure over the Christmas 1917-18 vacation.

It was sufficient to allow Hart to change his sexual identity and name from female to male. Hart did, however, keep the middle initial ‘L’ in memory of Lucille. The identity change allowed Hart to marry Inex Stark later in the year. Hart then settled down with his wife and a new medical practice.

However, he was outed as transgender, and the couple was forced to move. Inex eventually left Hart, and in 1925 they divorced, with the court issuing a no-contact order against him. Later that year, he re-married to Edna Ruddick,  who proved to be a more durable partner. After the Second World War, the development of synthetic testosterone enabled Hart to grow facial hair and deepen his voice. Alan Hart continued to forge a career in medical research, pioneering the use of X-ray in the treatment of TB, as well as a successful second career writing novels. He died in 1962.