The goal of the Louise Lawrence Transgender Archive (LLTA or simply Louise) is to increase the understanding of transgender people and encourage new scholarship by making transgender historical materials available to students, scholars and the public.

The archive is named in honor of Northern California transgender pioneer Louise Lawrence, who began living full-time as a woman in 1942, first in the Berkeley, CA, then San Francisco.  She, along with Virginia Prince and others, published the first incarnation of Transvestia in 1952.  Louise’s address book was the initial subscription list and she was instrumental in developing the trans community’s connection to pioneering sex researchers such as Alfred Kinsey and Harry Benjamin. MORE BIOGRAPHICAL INFO HERE

"The history of marginalized communities is elusive, imperiled and best preserved by the community itself."

Ms. Bob DavisFounder, LLTA

"I think this
is our Denise....."

Discovering Forgotten Scrapbooks of Trans History

Feminine Presentation

Masculine Presentation

Professional Female Impersonators

Professional Male Impersonators

Trans Activism

With gratitude for the support of:

Horizons Foundation
LEF Foundation / California
Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
Small Change Foundation
St. Francis Lutheran Church Endowment
LLTA is a sponsored project of the GLBT Historical Society


Your donation to 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.


Research Resources

Support for the LLTA: Videos from Susan Stryker, KJ Rawson, Julia Serano

Recent Posts / View All Posts

Join Ms. Bobbie Davis for a virtual screening of Casa Susanna December 13

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Ms Bobbie Davis of the LLTA will be a speaker on a panel discussion following a virtual showing of the acclaimed documentary Casa Susanna. She will be joined by trans…

Reopening and Open House

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WELCOME BACK LOUISE! The Louise Lawrence Transgender Archive (LLTA) will reopen on Friday, March 31, 2023, which is both Day of Transgender Visibility and the one-year anniversary of the day…

News About Denise

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The GLBT HISTORICAL SOCIETY honored the Louise Lawrence Transgender Archive with a featured article about our transgender scrapbooks in their 2021 annual report.  The scrapbook were compiled by a trans…

Louise Warmly Welcomes You

A Message from Ms. Bob Davis

Founder and director of Louise Lawrence Transgender Archive

For over 35 years I have been fascinated by the history of my trans community, the people who formed it and those who preceded it.  The first transgender magazine I bought was the premiere issue of Female Mimics International in 1979.  By the early 1990s I had accumulated a rich trove of transgender history, information that many in the community wanted to see.  I began to share the archive by writing history columns for trans community publications such as Lady Like, Transgender Community News and Transgender Tapestry.  Many of these articles are available at the Transgender Forum archive  I have presented lectures on trans history at conferences such as the 2nd International Congress on Crossdressing, Sex and GenderCalifornia Dreamin’, and Fantasia Fair (2014). By 2000, scholars of transgender history had begun requesting access to my archive because of its depth and the rarity of its holdings.

The LOUISE LAWRENCE TRANSGENDER ARCHIVE is the next logical step, a community-based institution that will make this important collection available to scholars and the public.  The history of marginalized communities is elusive, imperiled and best preserved by the community itself.  The LLTA will preserve transgender history and encourage its study.

An Interview with Ms. Bob with David Perry’s 10 Percent Show