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From Female to Male: The Life of Jack Bee Garland

By Lou Sullivan, 1990

“Jack Bee Garland, who was assigned female at birth, was born in San Francisco and was a rebellious tomboy. He escaped from a convent school at 15 through a brief marriage to his brother’s friend. In 1897, he was arrested in Stockton, CA for impersonating a male. Pretending to be mute, he used the name Babe Bean. […] Dressed as a soldier, he followed the regiments where he served as a Spanish language interpreter, war correspondent, and nurse. After almost a year in the Philippines, he returned to the U.S. and published “My Life as a Soldier” in the San Francisco Examiner in 1900. When San Francisco passed a law banning the wearing of opposite sex clothing in 1903, he took on his chosen name Jack Bee Garland. Thereafter, he devoted himself to working with the American Red Cross and other charitable organizations. He served as a medic in the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake and worked as a social worker serving homeless men for the remaining three decades of his life. On September 19, 1936 Garland collapsed on the sidewalk and died at age 66 of peritonitis in San Francisco. His colorful life and gender fluidity proved inspiring to transgender activist Louis Sullivan, who wrote From Female to Male: The Life of Jack Bee Garland in 1990.” -Legacy Project Chicago

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