Virginia Charles Prince

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Virginia Charles Prince's Geni Profile

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Arnold Lowman

Birthplace: Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Death: 2009 (96)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Charles Leroy Lowman and Elizabeth Hudson Lowman

Occupation: transgender activist, who published Transvestia magazine and started Society for the Second Self for male heterosexual cross-dressers
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Virginia Charles Prince

From Wikipedia:

Virginia Prince (November 23, 1912 – 2009) was an American transgender activist, who published Transvestia magazine and started Society for the Second Self for male heterosexual cross-dressers. She later adopted the pseudonym "Virginia Charles Prince" and preferred female pronouns.

Early life

Prince was born Arnold Lowman on November 23, 1912, in Los Angeles California. At around the age of twelve, Prince began cross-dressing, first using her mother’s clothes. During her time in high school, Prince began cross-dressing more frequently and found herself passing as a girl in public.

Trans Terminology, Crossdresser Identity and Controversy

Through many of her writings, Prince has been considered a major pioneer of transgender community. Her long history of literature surrounding issues of crossdressing and transvestism has been rooted in Prince’s desire to fight against ignorance, intolerance and bigotry. Notably, in her 1967 “The Expression of Femininity in the Male” (under the pseudonym “Virginia Bruce”), Prince discusses the psychiatric links between cross dressing and sexual deviation that were common of the time. Prince firmly rejected these associations, and was also strongly opposed to the notion that true transvestites are psychiatrically disturbed.

In other works, Prince also helped popularize the term 'transgender', and erroneously asserted that she coined transgenderist and transgenderism, words which she meant to be understood as describing people who live as full-time women, but have no intention of having genital surgery. Prince also consistently argued that transvestism is very firmly related to gender, as opposed to sex or sexuality. Her use of the term “femmiphile” related to the belief that the term “transvestite” had been corrupted, intending to underline the distinction between heterosexual crossdressers, who act because of their love of the feminine, and the homosexuals or transsexuals who may cross-dress. Prince’s idea of a “true transvestite" was clearly distinguished from both the homosexual and the transsexual, claiming that true transvestites are “exclusively heterosexual... The transvestite values his male organs, enjoys using them and does not desire them removed.”

By the early 1970s, Prince and her approaches to crossdressing and transvestism were starting to gain criticism from transvestites and transsexuals, as well as sections of the gay and women’s movements of the time. Controversy and criticism has arisen based on Prince’s support for conventional societal norms such as marriage and the traditional family model, as well as the portrayal of traditional gender stereotypes. Her attempts to exclude the inclusion of transsexuals, homosexuals or fetishists from her normalization efforts of the practice of transvestism have also drawn much criticism.

Prince died in 2009.

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Virginia Charles Prince's Timeline

November 23, 1912
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Age 96