“Transing” Gender in the 19th Century: Female Husbands and Their Wives | Newberry

“Transing” Gender in the 19th Century: Female Husbands and Their Wives

Wednesday, November 3, 2021



Dr. Jen Manion Amherst College
Newberry Teachers' Consortium

Those assigned female who “transed” gender, lived as men, and married women in the eighteenth and nineteenth century US and UK were described as “female husbands.” They persisted in living as men despite tremendous risk, violence, and punishment. When husbands were outed as being assigned female, the press reported such accounts enthusiastically and frequently, exposing dynamic, contested, and varied stories of love, courage, and loss. Readers of all ages from nearly anywhere might learn about the lives of female husbands and their wives in their local paper, making them some of the earliest true queer pioneers. We will explore the meaning and usage of the phrase “female husband” as well as the changing terminology used over the years to describe people who lived gender variant lives and/or engaged in same-sex intimacies and relationships. We will examine historic newspapers rich resources for teaching a wide range of LGBTQ histories in the classroom.

Cost and Registration Information 

Registration for all NTC seminars opens Friday, September 10, 2021 at 8 a.m. (Central Time). Registration instructions and pricing information can be found here. Once open, registration for this seminar will be available through this link. For more information about NTC purchases, please contact Cate Harriman, Teacher & Student Programs Coordinator, at harrimanc@newberry.org.

A link to the assigned pre-readings for the seminars, as well as instructions for accessing virtual seminars, will be distributed to participants via email.

If you believe you are registered for this seminar but have not received an email confirmation or reminder, please contact Teacher Programs staff at teacherprograms@newberry.org.