Okay, I know that we tend to do this post-absence mea culpa thing pretty often, so I’m going to go ahead and surprise you. I’m NOT sorry that it’s been so long since I posted. I’m not NOT sorry, but I’m also not sorry. Understand? GOOD. Because dammit, I am a real person (debatable) with real shit to do (equally debatable). I am not a historical-sex-scandal-blogging machine, here.
But I’m still pretty damn good at bringing you the secks, AMIRIGHT!?
What was so special about young Alan, you ask? Hmm oh I don’t know maybe just uhh Alan was sort of maybe AMERICA’S FIRST OFFICIAL TRANSGENDERED PERSON! Which sort of sounds like Fox’s next reality TV venture. Anyway, you thought we were all old Hollywood lesbians and promiscuous writers, didn’t you? Well consider your expectations subverted. BOOM.
Alan L. Hart was born
a poor black child Alberta Lucille Hart in 1890. Now the going has been, and realistically, still is tough (but FABULOUS!) for the gays and the transgendered here in the good ol’ US of A. And this is 2011. But imagine, IMAGINE WITH YOUR BRAIN WRINKLES, wanting to do a li’l gender swaparoo at the turn of the motherfucking 20th century. Holy crow, that’s a shit ton of anxiety to deal with. Especially when, like dear Alan, this desire manifests pretty early in your childhood and you’ve got supportive parents who let you dress like a boy when you’re visiting the family farm and do boy things like kill animals and eat dirt. When I say they were supportive, I’m not kidding – his grandparents’ obituaries from 1921 and 1924 (when Al was an oily preteen) list him as a grandson. Which is sort of adorable in a really forward-thinking kind of way, but also became real fucking problematic when the Hart clan decided to ship him off to the local school, where he had to start going by Lucille and dressing like a girl again.
Lil’ Lucy/Alan spent the rest of his school days writing essays under the pseudonym “Robert Allan Bamford Jr.,” which is a comically specific choice for a fake name. I would probably have gone with something more badass. Like Don Draper. Or Bert Macklin, FBI. Or just Danger. Now that’s fucking boss. But hey, to each his (or her – I don’t really know how to handle the pronouns while I explain this transitional time and I feel a little red state about it) own.
College was good for Al – he could wear his dude suit full time, and even picked up a slam piece named Eva Cushman. As in CUSHMAN for the PUSHIN’!!!!!!!!1 But in all seriousness, they were in love and transferred from Albany College (now Lewis & Clark) to Stanford together. Al went on to go get his medical degree, too, and was a skosh annoyed when they issued the degree in his lady name. Mostly because if he wanted to get any job anywhere as his man self, his employer might, oooh, I don’t know, check out the cred. And the cred would have a lady’s name on it. Which is why he had to switch back to ladygear for a while after graduating to work at the Red Cross in Philadelphia – once again illustrating that the “post-grad” “job market” in the “real world” is Siberian-motherfucking-cold.
At this point, Alan (who is still going by Robert at night and Lucille by day) is understandably in need of some advice. So he goes to a psychiartist and is like, “Listen dude, I’m really having A TIME. And I think that getting rid of my extraneous lady bits will help me alleviate the situation. Gotta hysterectomy guy you can recommend? And how do you feel about eugenics?” Now you might be thinking that Al’s shrink laughed at him until he and his unwanted uterus slinked off the velvet fainting couch in shame. And given the pre-established early twentieth century cultural context, you’d be right. But Al was one smart tranny. And he talked his very modern psychiatrist into giving the okay to America’s first removal of healthy organs as a result of gender misidentification! YAYYYYY FOR SWEET AL!!!!!!1
That’s right, ladies. Snip snap, bye bye ovaries. Score another one for the dicks.
I just want to interrupt this brilliant prose with an observation: he went from Alberta to Lucille to Robert and then settled on Alan? Couldn’t he have just hit that ending “a” with a little Liquid Paper, gone by Albert from the beginning, and called it a day? I mean, swapping genders seems like a lot of fucking work. Take the short cuts when you can, Al.
Anyway, post-surgery (which – I’m not trying to be gross, really, I swear – but SHIT, that must have been fucking medieval) (and not in a cool JAF way) (more like in a final-scene-of-Braveheart kind of way) Al met a fine woman with a fierce name – Inez, how fucking sexy is that? – and they got MARRIED! And moved to get away from the whole “everyone here knows I was a certified lady until my recent gender reassignment surgery” problem.
But then the shit hit the fan – someone outed Al as recently de-ovaried, and Inez, with her ethnic-ass name, left him soon after. RUDE.
Hey. Shhh. I know you’re a little upset. You’re really rooting for Al. Trannies always finish last. I get it. But don’t worry, because not only did Al go on to marry a fine, probably really open-minded young woman, he also got like a hundred master’s degrees from like a hundred respectable research institutions and became an extremely prominent and well-respected professor of public health. But I think his biggest personal victory came after WWII when hormone therapy got a lot safer and more accessible, because then he could pop some HGH and grow a beard. I don’t know about you, female readers, but if I was a former lady who wanted to be a badass gentleman, I’d be really fucking excited about having facial hair. And getting to use one of those old-fashioned straight razors! And having a dope set of mutton chops a hundred motherfucking years before they were hipster-cool! And being able to wear ascots and shit! AND NEVER HAVING TO SHAVE YOUR LEGS AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!1
We’ve suddenly come to a weird place and I’m not the least bit embarrassed about it.
So here’s to dear, sweet Alan Hart whose manly perseverance eventually led to great personal contentment and probably a lot of very awkward pre-coital discussions. I speak on behalf of all the ladies of the world (you’re welcome, girlfriends) when I say that while we were sad to see little Lucille go, we’re glad that Alan achieved personal peace. And we’re so goddamn jealous of the no leg-shaving thing.