Manning the Gender Barricades

Inside Higher Ed - In True Sex: The Lives of Trans Men at the Turn of the 20th Century, Emily Skidmore describes how manhood in that day was as much a moral status as a sexual category, writes Scott McLemee.

The digital-humanities aspect is hardly the most interesting thing about Emily Skidmore's True Sex: The Lives of Trans Men at the Turn of the 20th Century (NYU Press), but it's the whole project's sine qua non. Without the ability to search the text of dozens of newspapers across decades of publication, the author, an assistant professor of history at Texas Tech University, would likely have been able to find just a few of the 65 individuals who, identified as female at birth, lived as men in United States between 1870 and 1930. In almost half of the cases, they were described in the press as either married or planning to marry. Often the discrepancy between biology and personality came to light only after death.

Read the story here.