A Primary Source: The First, Blonde

The primary source discussed here is a Daily News newspaper article out of New York City from Monday, December 1, 1952. The author is credited as Ben White. On page eight of the paper, the article is titled “Ex- GI Becomes Blonde Beauty” with the subtitle “Bronx Youth Is a Happy Woman After Medication, 6 Operations”, and three large photographs sit below the title, leaving small-fonted text blurbs below. There is a square ad to the right that says “21 Shopping Days to Christmas”. All three photos are of Christine Jorgensen: on the right a full-body portrait of the subject in a dark long skirt, heels, and suit jacket. She smiles beyond the camera, hand outstretched fluidly; then, to the right, a set of two up-close face shots, with Jorgenson in makeup and with long blonde hair in the first, barefaced with larger brows and shorter hair in the second. The text below describes Jorgenson’s medical transformation and her own reasoning for transitioning from male to female, as detailed in a letter to her parents and a transcription of some of the text of the letter is attached. This object pertains to ideas of identity through consumption and media since it is an early example of a coming-out narrative for trans people that both highlights to tropes that persist today while also relating a uniquely subjective account of self-understanding.  Certain descriptions expose a changing technological reality that would come to manifest identities claimed now, and altogether as a literal dialogue about subversive and innate qualities in self, natural existence the simultaneous striving for authenticity through the artificial.

An Acrostic:



  Coming home; that’s what its meant to feel like, I think.


        Holding onto myself is inadequate,

and I’m trying for others,

I think.


                   Repeated explanations and metaphors and exaggerations

of unstable concepts in even less stable  

language that makes me up,

that makes me

  make me up.  

I am afraid to make up the wrong parts,

or forget some part

I used to know.




it up.


 “Those things are all a part of life,

but we do not accept them.”


“It is often that we think of the individuality of each person,

and yet we are all basically the same.”


                                                                                    Naming something yet to be named,

something I’m still naming in me.

Eclipsing me.

Posted: May 19th, 2017
Categories: Uncategorized
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