LLTA Awarded $3,000 Grant for HVAC Upgrades

GOOD NEWS!! The St. Francis Lutheran Church Endowment in San Francisco awarded Louise Lawrence Transgender Archive a $3,000 grant to install HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) just in time to protect our valuable holdings from the summer heat. This is their second grant to LLTA and Louise thanks them for their continued support.

St. Francis Lutheran Church of San Francisco has a long history of LGBT social activism. In 1990 they ordained two lesbian pastors, flying in the face of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, who cut them loose from the national church. But St. Francis stuck to their mission and in 2009 the national church approved gay clergy and invited the Duboce Triangle congregation back into the fold.

This year’s successful grant was skillfully written by volunteer fundraising chair Carol Kleinmaier. When St. Francis invited Ms. Bob to talk about the impact of the 2017 grant, Robyn Adams, LLTA’s design diva from SecretFanBase created the flyer to distribute to members of the congregation. We’re including it here, not only for its beauty, but also to serve as a mini newsletter of Louise’s recent activities. Thank you, Robyn and Carol.

Currently LLTA is open to researchers by appointment only. With the grand opening planned for August, Louise need volunteers. If anyone near Louise’s Vallejo, CA home wishes to help organize the archive, refurbish the garden, plan or volunteer at the event, please, send Louise a message.

Louise thanks YOU!

Upcoming Ms. Bob Lectures

Though Louise’s Archive isn’t open yet, we’ve been active ever since the collection came out of storage earlier this year.

Louise has two projects about Casa Susanna, a Catskills hunting lodge that served as a cross-dresser’s resort in the 1960s & 70s.

Ms. Bob presented, “In Their Own Words: Voices from Casa Susanna,” at University of Victoria’s, conference Moving Transgender History Forward in March.

We’re in discussion with director Isa Bonnet, whose upcoming film, for ARTE, a French/German television network, is about Casa Susanna.  Several years ago, LLTA provided Isa with information and photographs for her Casa Susanna Ph.D. thesis.

Ms. Bob will present “Do the Clothes Fit? – Searching for Transgender Identity in Archival Images of Cross-Dressing,” at Solano County Pride Center and City College of San Francisco this year.  Sonoma State University in 2019.

“How Do You Know What You’re Seeing?” by Ms. Bob will be included in Introduction to Transgender Studies by Ardel Thomas, Harrington Park Press, Columbia University.  The textbook includes two LLTA photographs and full color reproduction of LLTA’s logo.

We’re planning the grand opening for early June.   Details will follow joyfully.

Donation Perks Available

Louise knows you are giving out of the goodness of your heart and because of your commitment to preserving trans history, but some prizes for your donation can’t hurt, right?

All donations will receive an LLTA sticker
$25 – LLTA Button
$50 – Sticker + Button

Additional Perks available while they last. Please specify in the PayPal comment when you make your Donation which you would like, or just email us a followup message.

$75 – Rea Bourbon record (3 available)
$75 – Divine: Born to be Cheap/The Name Game
45rpm record in white sleeve with color foldout jacket featuring four photos of Divine.
$75 – Psycho Beach Party: A New Comedy by Charles Busch
Theatrical program for the original, off-Broadway production, 1987. Made into a film in 2000. Original title, “Gidget Goes Psycho.”
$75 – Lady Like magazine #17, Jo-Ann Roberts, editor, 1993
$75 – Lady Like magazine #38, Angela Gardner, editor, 1999
Influential 1990s community publication famous for, “exploring & expressing femininity.”
$100 – Female Mimics: vol. 5, #4, Fall 1974
$100 – Female Mimics: vol. 6, # 2, Spring 1975
$100 – Female Mimics: vol. 7, # 2, Spring 1976
Later issues of crossdressing’s first glossy-cover, standard size pictorial magazine. Published by Goldstripe/Jenifer Jordan.
$100 – If You Can’t Lick ‘em, Join ‘em: Part One, Down to Defeat; a novelette
One of the few fem-dom fantasies published under Virginia Prince’s imprint, now rare. Chevalier Publications, 1978.

$100 – The Case of Accidental Murder!
Frank, a transvestite, goes undercover as Francis to investigate a possible murder. Published under Virginia Prince’s imprint, now rare. Chevalier Publications, 1970s.

$250 – Man Maid Doll
The Man-Maid Doll by Patricia Morgan as told to Paul Hoffman (one available) “The strange story of a man who was turned into a woman.” Rare, hard cover 1973 trans autobiography, published by Lyle Stuart.

$250 – Her Favorite TV: no. 1
Classic little book of crossdressing fantasy, the adventures of a young, married transvestite stockbroker. Illustrated by Eneg, aka Gene Bilbrew
Published by Mutrix Books, 1960s.

$250 – Inside/out
Short autobiographies of 16 transgender people, mostly students, published in response to an assault on a transgender woman in a City College bathroom, 2004. One of only 300 first edition copies.

$500 – San Francisco Coronation 2005: Four Decades of History & Tradition.
Retrospective program book published by the Imperial Council of San Francisco, illustrated throughout.

$500 – Stilletto: vol. 7, #1, January, 2014
Published by Transgender/Intersex Justice Project for incarcerated transwomen of color. Article about Major!, the documentary about Stonewall survivor and TGI Justice founder Miss Major Griffin-Gracy. A very difficult magazine to find.

$750 – TV/TS Tapestry Journal & Transgender Tapestry
Broken run of 9 issues, #70, 72, 74, 75, 77, 78, 108, 110, 114 (1995-2008)
Widely respected publication of the International Foundation for Gender Education.

$1,000 – Drag: a magazine about the transvestite
Broken run of 10 issues, #5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 15, 16, 18, 22 & 25 (1972-1975)
Official Organ of the Queens Liberation Front
Edited by Lee G. Brewster, art direction & cover drawings by Vicky West.
The most inclusive national publication of the early trans community.

Finishing Touches Benefit Fundraiser November 30th

Join us for our “Finishing Touches” Benefit, November 30th at the SF GLBT History Museum.

FINISHING TOUCHES BENEFIT
Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2017

performances by
SHAWNA VIRAGO, transgender songwriter
BIRDIE-BOB WATT, Thrillpeddlers mainstay
JOSHUA RAOUL BRODY, keyboard stylings
Ms. BOB will present highlights from LLTA’s collection
And special guest emcee
DR. CAROL QUEEN, co-founder of the Center for Sex & Culture

GLBT History Museum
4127 – 18th St. near Castro St.
7:00 – 9:00pm
$20.00 donation at the door/sliding scale

Can’t make it to the show? No worries! You can donate here.




Your donation to the construction and maintenance of the LLTA is tax deductible thanks to our partnership with the GLBT Historical Society of San Francisco. Please help us carry out our mission to preserve our transgender history.

Your donation to the construction and maintenance of the LLTA is tax deductible thanks to our partnership with the GLBT Historical Society of San Francisco. Please help us carry out our mission to preserve our transgender history.

A Message From Ms. Bob on the Finishing Touches Campaign

Now Accepting Online Donations





Thanks to the San Francisco GLBT Historical Society you may now make online tax deductible donations to the Louise Lawrence Transgender Archive. Construction is almost finished on the archive space but much of that work has yet to be paid for. Thankfully, our construction team is generous and patient, but we need to get them paid as soon as possible. Please help if you can.

Premiere of The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson

Producers Sara Ramirez, LA Teodosio, Joy Tomchin and director David France discuss their film at the Piedmont theater in Oakland, CA. June 25th, 2017. Photo by Robyn Adams

We recently attended the Frameline Premiere of The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson. As archivists we were blown away by the research the filmmakers did and the archival gems they unearthed.

They uncovered unseen footage of Marsha and Sylvia Rivera, including the full speech/rant that Sylvia gave at the 1973 NY gay freedom day when they were trying to minimize the queens. Sylvia plays a huge and heartbreaking role in the film.

The story of the re-investigation into Marsha’s death 20 years later touches on all the forces that work against these women even today, from the justice system, economic conditions, racism, class differences, transphobia, and the epidemic of murders of transwomen of color.

The documentary is set to stream on Netflix later this year and we are thrilled that such a large audience will be exposed to this transgender history. It inspires us to continue our work preserving and discovering our transgender past.

San Francisco Trans Femme Cross Dresser 1961

The only clue to understanding this photo is the beer. Regal was a San Francisco brewer that stopped producing about 1961. The young girl in the center has carefully executed her feminine persona. Her gown glimmers with an elegance absent from the rest of the bar. It fits provocatively. Her hair is her own. She’s committed to being seen as trans, even though her elegant toilette was against the law at the time.

Crossdressers 1930s

The LLTA has two small photos (2.25″ X 3.5″) of these jolly cross-dressers. They’re wearing the same outfits in the other photo, but without the coats. In this image they’re lifting their skirts to expose their gorgeous gams, which are neither shaved nor stockinged. The taller model on the right lifts her skirts to mid-thigh in both mages. It might be possible to date the photo by the car, which looks like it’s from the 1930’s or 1940’s. The pose and public setting incline me to think this is a lighthearted masquerade and not a statement of identity, though we can never be really sure what’s going on in another person’s head.

Ella Sheilds, Male Impersonator and Drag King

Ella Shields (1879-1952) was one of the most famous male impersonators in both American vaudeville and English music hall. She began performing with her sisters in 1898. Six years later she went solo, performing in women’s clothes as The Southern Nightingale. The story goes that one night in an English music hall, when one half of a two-man act was sick, she filled-in and the audiences loved her. She was most famous for the song and dance routine “Burlington Bertie from Bow”, written by William Hargreaves, her first husband.