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Adventure Biography Drama Humanities Nonfiction Social Sciences

Triple Jeopardy

By Angela Douglas, 1983

The autobiography of transgender activist Angela Douglas. Born in 1943, Angela Lynn Douglas came out and began to live as a woman in 1969. She started her career as an underground writer for the Los Angeles Free Press that same year and wrote hundreds of articles and columns for The Berkeley Barb, The Advocate and Bay Area Reporter (both gay publications), and Everywoman (a woman’s paper). Throughout her youth, she performed with a number of bands across the U.S. and (during her later school years) Tokyo, Japan, including “The Casinos”, “The Red Devils”, “The Nomads”, “The Charades”, “The Sovereigns”, and “Euphoria”.

In 1970, Douglas formed a liberation organization called TAO, or the Transsexual Action Organization, with the purpose of supporting and amplifying transsexual people and voices. She also put her passion for organizing and writing into the publishing of two magazines, Mirage and later Moonshadow, which printed from 1972 to 1980. Both magazines had a similar intention to TAO, aiming to bring together transsexual people as a community in a time when transsexuals were persecuted, abandoned, and alienated from heterosexual and homosexual communities alike. Mirage in particular was a place where transsexual writers and artists of any medium could have a safe space to express and share their work. In a TAO information page in Moonshadow, it says, “…the TAO was instrumental in placing a transexual rights demands in the platform of the California Peace and Freedom party– ‘The right to determine the uses of one’s body, as in sex change operations and others.’” TAO especially worked to aid those transsexual women who were taken advantage of, or often left out of feminist causes or women’s liberation.

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