SCUA

Connie Jean

Connie Jean Diaries
1976-2007 (Bulk: 1976-1983)
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 596

Little is known about Connie Jean, a gender non-conforming woman assigned male at birth, other than that she was living in Lansdowne, in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, in the late 1970s and 1980s. For at least a decade, she was involved with, and lived with, another transgender woman, “Dick,” who had a wife and children before the two met. In her late 30s or early 40s in 1976, Connie Jean began venturing into public dressed as a woman, and after being stopped by police in April 1976, wrote “now they have my name and all the information on me knowing that I am a TV and cannot stop from doing it because I love it.” She later wrote that she wished Dick “was all female and not part woman when he has on all the clothes” adding that “it would be nice if he had all the equipment that a real woman has.” Both she and Dick apparently considered gender reassignment surgery in the early 1980s.

The two diaries (Feb.-July 1976 and July 1979 through Aug. 1983) and photographs in this small collection offer insight into the lives of a gender non-conforming woman and her partner in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The earliest entries consist of cryptic indications of whether she was staying at home on a given day or venturing into numbered “areas” marked on a map (not present), but by April 1976, the entries become much richer. The diaries make frequent reference to Connie Jean’s desire for dressing as a woman, her struggle to appear in public, and her support for Dick’s transition.

Acquired from Benjamin Katz, Jan. 2009 (2009-024)
Subjects
  • Transgender people--Pennsylvania
Types of material
  • Diaries
  • Photographs

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