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 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 history of marginalized communities is elusive, imperiled and best preserved by the community itself."
Ms. Bob DavisFounder, LLTA
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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 www.tgforum.com. I have presented lectures on trans history at conferences such as the 2nd International Congress on Crossdressing, Sex and Gender, California 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