The Third Sex

From 1930 to 1932, in the final years of the German “Weimar” Republic, a magazine was published called, “The Third Sex,” subtitled as “The Transvestites” (in German, Das 3. Geschlecht1 — Die Transvestiten). This was the first known magazine to be directly marketed towards what we would now call transgender people (the word transvestite at that time more closely matched what we call transgender). This magazine features stories by trans people who were newly experiencing life as their true gender identity in interwar Germany’s increasingly progressive culture. Some were openly trans but many still lived in the closet. This magazine provided a platform to share experiences and dream of a life of being fully authentic. Interestingly it also mirrors a lot of prevailing views about the need to pass and gatekeeping about who “true transvestites” were. This magazine was one of several published by Friedrich Radzuweit, a prominent and wealthy advocate for LGBT rights alongside other periodicals marketed toward lesbians and gay men.

  1. The term Geschlecht translates to both “sex” and “gender” as they were traditionally viewed as the same concept.