Prince, Virginia

Identity area

Type of entity

Person

Authorized form of name

Prince, Virginia

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Bruce, Virgina
  • Prince, Charles
  • Lowman, Arnold

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Description area

Dates of existence

1912 - 2009

History

Virginia Prince was born in Los Angeles on 23 November 1912, and began crossdressing at the age of twelve. Prior to transition Prince attended Pomona College and earned a PhD in pharmacology from the University of California at San Francisco in 1939, and later lectured there in pharmacology. Prior to transition, Prince married in 1941, later divorced and married a second time in the late 1940s. The couple founded a grooming products business.

In 1960 Prince founded <i>Transvestia</i> magazine, published six times per year. <i>Transvestia</i> was edited by Prince until 1980 and then sold to Carol Beecroft. It folded within two years and was replaced by <i>Femme Mirror,</i> which is still published. In 1961 Prince started the first transvestite organization, the Hose & Heels Club, which in 1962 became the Alpha Chapter of the Foundation for Full Personality Expression (FPE or Phi Pi Epsilon). FPE became the Society for the Second Self (Tri Ess or Tri Sigma) in 1975. Membership was restricted to heterosexual male crossdressers.

Prince’s career in transgender education activism began in 1961 when she was prosecuted for distributing obscene materials through the US Mail because she had exchanged sexually explicit letters with another crossdresser. She was given probation and was forbidden to crossdress. Prince’s lawyer requested permission for her to crossdress for the purpose of educational presentations. Prince began living full-time as a woman in 1968, at the age of 55. Prince published a number of important works on crossdressing, amongst them The Transvestite and His Wife (1967) and How To Be a Woman Though Male (1971). While Prince’s stance on crossdressing in relation to gender identity has been controversial, her work raised societal awareness and fostered a sense of community. Virginia Prince died at home on May 2, 2009. Virginia Prince was also known as Virginia Bruce, Arnold Lowman, and Charles Prince.

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Los Angeles

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  • EAC

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