Men as Women — Women as Men

The Third Sex Issue 2, article 1 (September 1930)

Translator’s note: This article talks about the tradition of cross-gender casting in plays. It then mentions a few historical people who were possibly trans. I’ve left this out to focus on an interesting bit at the end:

Recently, the number of cases in which women appear as men has increased so much that it is impossible to list all cases here.

In all of these people the longing to put on clothes of another gender could be traced back to transvestism1. There are, of course, many men and women who only cross-dress in order to commit crimes more easily. On the other hand, in various large cities, especially in Berlin, there are men who work in prostitution in women’s clothing and who are wrongly referred to as transvestites. The large crowd of transvestites have nothing to do with “also-transvestites2” and turn away with disgust and indignation from those people who make transvestism contemptible and ridiculous.

  1. Ger. Transvestismus, Transvestism. Here, the author is clearly distinguishing Hirschfeld’s concept of “Transvestite” as a gender identity versus simply “cross-dressing.” 

  2. Ger. Auchtransvestiten, lit. “also transvestites”