In the 1940s, a Trans Pioneer Fought California for Legal Recognition. This Is How She Won.

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“I decided that I was, in every essential way, a woman, and I was determined that in justice to myself I should petition the court for feminine status.”

— Barbara Ann Richards

“I do know how cruel, how insensitive even adults can be about a boy whose strength and energy isn’t up to their preconceived notions of what it should be,” she told Sensation. Although her mother protected her, her father—whom Richards called a “most unhappy man”—began pushing back. Richards’ father enrolled her in all-boys private schools, with the hope that the “association might influence me.” But Richards was miserable there. She didn’t get along with the other kids.


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