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Something About Harry


NPR reports on the discovery of some early 20th century mugshots:

Widow Annie Birkett certainly didn't notice anything odd when she married Harry Leon Crawford, above, in 1914. So imagine her shock when "Harry" turned out to be a woman: Eugenia Falleni, who had been passing as a man since 1899.

Three years after their marriage, Birkett announced to a relative that she had discovered "something amazing about Harry." Shortly thereafter, she disappeared. Crawford (Falleni) told the neighbors that Birkett had run off with a plumber. Eventually, a charred body was found in a Sydney suburb and belatedly identified as Birkett's. According to the original caption(excerpted below), when Crawford's second's wife was finally convinced of Falleni's true gender, she remarked, "I always wondered why he was so painfully shy ..."

Eerily Beautiful Mug Shots From 1920s Australia [npr]

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  1. Interesting, apart from the vicious transphobia permeating the article, that is.

    Posted by: Charles | Mar 17, 2011 11:22:01 AM

  2. Well, if you must have a man around then I guess it's best that he have his own penis.

    No, I don't want to hear about the wonders of strap-ons. If you spend money for one of those then you don't need the man.

    What about companionship, coversation and intimate moments of affection? Get a dog.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 17, 2011 11:37:41 AM

  3. Well, gotta admit, she did look like a dude.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 17, 2011 12:24:16 PM

  4. Aside from the fact that the person in the photo appears to have committed a terrible crime (and also deceived his wives), it is always interesting to me to see evidence of homosexuality in a time where it was so completely repressed.

    Also it is noteworthy because so many of the arguments from the religious right are always phrased in such a way as to suggest that homosexuality is a modern invention that has only been around for 30 or 40 years, when in fact it has been present in every civilization, society, nation, race and income level for all of recorded history. Certainly sounds natural to me.

    Posted by: Chadd | Mar 17, 2011 12:29:03 PM

  5. Anyone else notice a striking resemblance to Ellen?

    Posted by: Pete | Mar 17, 2011 12:30:57 PM

  6. Can you say screenplay?

    Posted by: hank | Mar 17, 2011 4:15:41 PM

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