From Attitude magazine.

Born in Germany in 1891, Dora Richter became a trans pioneer in the pre-Nazi era – but her exact fate remains unknown.

This article marks Transgender Awareness Week (13-19 November) ahead of Transgender Day of Remembrance on Saturday 20 November.

Hollywood might have you believe that the first trans woman to undergo gender reassignment surgery was Lili Elbe. That was certainly the impression I got from watching Eddie Redmayne in the not uncontroversial The Danish Girl back in 2015.

A few weeks before Lili had her surgery, the lesser-known Dora Richter had undergone the same procedures.

Dora was born into a poor farming family in 1891 in the Erzgebirge region of Germany. From all reports, she always identified as female and deeply disliked wearing men’s clothes. Her family allowed her to live as a female but this was clearly not enough – when she was six, she tried to give herself a DIY version of the operation she would later have: attempting to remove her penis with a tourniquet.

When she grew older, Dora – also called Döchen (little Dora) – moved to Berlin. Using her birth name, Rudolph, she worked as a male-presenting waiter or cook, in upmarket hotels during the summer season. For the rest of the year, she’d live as a female.

Although Berlin was soon to be the LGBTQ capital of Europe, Dora was occasionally arrested for the ‘crime’ of cross-dressing – transgender people were considered to be transvestites at the time – and served time in a men’s jail.

Finally, a sympathetic judge released Dora into the care of German physician and early sexual rights activist Magnus Hirschfeld, who ran the Institute of Sexual Research. She was even given special permission to wear women’s clothing.


Dora lived and worked there as a woman, being paid as a housekeeper, for more than 10 years.

Despite Germany now being the liberal Weimar Republic (created after the Kaiser’s abdication following defeat in the 1914-18 war), it was still difficult for anyone to get a job if their gender didn’t match the one they were assigned at birth, so the institute employed a number of former ‘patients’.

Dr Ludwig Levy-Lenz, who joined the institute in 1925, is reported as saying: “It was very difficult for transvestites to find a job… we knew this and were willing to employ [them].

“We did everything we could to give such people a job. We had five maids, all of them male transvestites and I shall never forget the sight when I happened to go into the kitchen. The five girls sat close together, peacefully knitting, sewing and singing old folks songs.

“They were the most hard-working and conscientious domestic workers we ever had and never did a stranger visiting us notice anything…”

Finally, in 1922, Dora had the first of her surgeries. Under the auspices of Dr Erwin Gohrbandt at the Charité Universitatsmedizin, she underwent a surgery called an orchiectomy in which the testicles are removed. The surgeon also began studying the effect reduced testosterone had on Dora’s anatomy.


Another doctor at the institute, Felix Abraham, wrote: “Her castration had the effect – albeit it not very extensive – of making her body fuller, restricting beard growth, making visible the first signs of breast development and giving the pelvic fat pad… a more feminine shape.”


However, Dora had to wait nine more years before having her penis removed and being offered a vaginoplasty, becoming, as far as any surviving records show, the first person to have what was then referred to as a ‘sex-change’ operation. The procedure, which in Dora’s case was carried out by two doctors, including Levy-Lenz, involves the construction of a vagina.

It was this experimental but highly successful operation – with the following publicity – that attracted Lili Elbe to the institute.

Anyone who has seen The Danish Girl knows that Lili’s story did not end happily. Dora’s was at least as tragic.

In May 1933, some four months after Hitler came to power, a mob made up of right-wing students and possibly SS stormed the institute. They seized all Magnus Hirschfeld’s records and ransacked the building. Hirschfeld had already fled the Nazi terror and was living in France.

But Dora was still there – and was never heard from again. It is presumed she was killed in the attack, although it is possible she was arrested and died in custody. It’s not known just how many people were murdered after the institute’s records fell into the hands of the Gestapo and the police.

Although a small number of ‘sex-change’ operations still took place during the rest of the 1930s and 1940s, the Nazi persecution and the Second World War set back transgender – not to mention gay – rights by a generation. However, Dora’s bravery and determination shines like a beacon in those very dark times and she remains a transgender icon.

Her character appears in a 1999 German film about Magnus Hirschfeld whose title translates as The Einstein of Sex but her story deserves a much wider audience.


I find it fascinating that men of science were openly exploring transvetitism and transsexualism at the beginning of the 20 th century – one hundred years ago.

How clever, open and truth seeking of them – when even today many people are so closed minded on the topic.

We are still at the beginning of knowing all there is to know about the complexities of gender, sexual orientation and their psychological roots.

It does NOT HELP when church people promote and insist upon medieval and biblical understandings of this vast area of human knowledge and inquiry.

The first thing we must do when it comes to gender issue is to LISTEN and listen nonjudgementally.

We must also be guided by the scientific and medical professionals in this area.

And, most of all, as Christians, we should have COMPASSION.

“Never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his mocasins”.

“But for the grace of God, there go I”.


Lydia Annice Foy is an Irish trans woman notable for leading legal challenges regarding gender recognition in Ireland. In 1992 Foy had sex reassignment surgery, and began a 20-year battle to have her birth certificate reflect her gender identity. In 2007 the Irish High Court ruled that the relevant portions of the law of the Republic of Ireland were incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, but by February 2013 the law had not been changed and she began new legal proceedings to enforce the 2007 decision. As of 15 July 2015, Ireland has passed the Gender Recognition Bill 2014.

Dr Foy, painted the mini portrait below to thank me for my support.


It’s now an epidemic among teenage girls in England. They want to escape from being a girl rather than becoming a man. Both sexes think the other has it easier. The girls don’t won’t to become traditional men with qualities of leadership or courage or stoicism they just want to cover their body’s in trousers and cut their hair. What do the boys want? Do they want to live as a woman or as a glamorous impersonation of a woman with an eye for heterosexual men ? « Wotcher Mates »


Bishop Pat thank you for highlighting important concerns that are dear to me. I gained a daughter I never had in 2013, Lola. I worry sick about what the future may hold for her. We have come along way in Trans rights but it is still not a safe place for the trans community. My husband could not accept our son transitioning to Lola and left me and our three youngest sons. I pray that he will one day accept fully and love his daughter as I do. I understand his pain and heart ache also, but love for our daughter should supersede that. Unfortunately Lola suffers from bad mental health and is currently an inpatient at a local vicinity. Trans issues are more than just physical issues and have real deep rooted problems that we need to look at holistically. Thank you for the awareness and continued good work.


@ 7:17am

God only knows where it came from, the world’s gone mad it’s all that woke shite and PC rubbish. You’re born male or female end of, What an insult to Almighty God that these numpty’s think they can choose their gender, complete and utter madness.


God is more insulted when people don’t use their imagination to devise solutions to human suffering and their hearts to reach out.


Good morning Pat, I am Tammy, a trans woman and would like to thank you for this piece on your blog. My own experience of being trans and Christian are not good at all.


These are strong, determined and single minded people. We should, and I do, respect them.says:

The transgender / transexual debate is multi-layered and complex. I don’t fully understand or appreciate all the nuances. All I can go on are my own experiences of working with / experiencing transgender / transexual people. Of course, like most gay men I have come across the screaming trannies and stage acts that you get around gay venues / bars / clubs, which can be amusing, but are really just an act. More seriously, I have worked with someone who was transgender / transexual from male to female, and I have to say that this woman was one of the most professional and capable persons I have ever worked with. She had transitioned while working, and I think that says something about her and about the organisation she worked for during that time that was flexible and imaginative enough to allow her to do this while working. Her colleagues also, for the main part, were very supportive. In my local town there is a young man, with a beard, who works behind the counter of a shop, who wears a dress. It attracts a good deal of attention and ridicule, I imagine. However, in both these cases, when I reflect on them, what strikes me more than anything is the courage of these individuals, who must have a desire and drive to express themselves as they wish to be. They have to put up with all sorts of things from all quarters, and still they persist. That takes conviction and courage. I’m not sure I would have enough of either to carry it through. So, when I see or hear of someone who is part of the transgender / transexual community, my first reaction these days is one of respect and admiration for their courage. These are strong, determined and single minded people. We should, and I do, respect them.


I don’t fully understand it either. However, I am prepared to give them the freedom to do what they want to make themselves happy and whole, even by surgical means. Who am I to deny that to them, or to judge them ?


For somebody who feels they are a woman trapped in a man’s body, that must be an uncomfortable and frightening feeling. Invasive even? Maybe they see the surgery as a way to heal those feelings of pain?
Isn’t that what surgical procedures are for, to heal pain and various kinds of suffering?
I believe you have to look at these things objectively and with love and respect for the individual a d their dignity and choices which are made of sound mind.


It happened. They was no longer allowed in parish ministry after the gender realignment was complete. The private settlement was rumoured to be not insignificant.


me @ 6.26

I changed ‘He was’ to ‘they was’… I neglected to update ‘was’ to ‘were’ in my haste. I was somewhat distracted by choosing the personal pronoun.


Wasn’t there a drag queen minister from Liverpool who disappeared and turned up in the Midlands? Didn’t somebody say she had an cracking pair of legs on her?
Isn’t her girly name, Precious?


The pictures on yesterday’s blog of the new canons in Birmingham are totally OTT. Why does a diocese have to make such a big thing out of an Office that is antiquated and belonging to a bygone era? In our diocese of Clogher, there’s no fanfare about new canons. They just are told that they’re now a canon and to go to the next meeting. No pomp and ceremony. Ah, Clogher is such a great diocese.


First time anybody has said that about the Diocese of Culchie.

PS has anytone told Mgr O’Reilly? He’s never out of the purple.


The Irish are really, really bad at liturgy and have been, both before and after the Council. I would not look to Ireland for examples of good liturgy, and especially not in a backwoods diocese such as Clogher.


The unmistakable plodding of an owl gossip. To paraphrase Shakespeare:
To whit, to whoo, a merry note,
while greasy Bela doth keel the pot.


But didn’t +Joseph Clogher erect a magnificent liturgical in the cathedral, the architectural jewel of the province!


@9:44 am I would appreciate if this response, published yesterday, is repeated. For me, it makes an important point all too frequently missed by contributors.
What a wonderful set of photographs of an important occasion in the Archdiocese of Birmingham. Priests called to the office of canon wholly deserve their installation to be dignified and reverent. So lovely to see all the working bishops attending and especially good to see Bishop Emeritus Bishop Kenney demonstrating his commitment to the Archdiocese. He added that extra special touch to the service, Wonderful!


Some years ago, I read about one overtly masculine man who hoped to meet and settle down with a woman once he transitioned.
It didn’t make sense to me as he was attractive enough as a man to meet any number of women.


Men prancing around in dresses, I would be more concerned for the kids seeing it, they are impressionable, will create serious social economical problems down the road..


When I was a housekeeper I caught the Priest in bed with a very well known drag queen. There are segments of society (men) who find trans women (pre op) very attractive but still claim to be straight. In Thailand a lot of trans women and indeed cis women are forced into sex work and exploited and I truly feel sorry for these girls, beautiful souls.


Like many people, I find myself in two minds about transgenderism. While wholly respecting transgendered people’s legal and moral rights, I think it raises a number of questions about recent social change. The acceptance of contraception and the reduction in the size of families, as well as reductions in child mortality and the growth in divorce, have changed the importance and nature of family life. The traditional nuclear family emphasised (and emphasises) the dyad of sexual difference and its necessary centrality both to reproduction and social life. To take one example, the only extraordinary thing about Queen Victoria having nine children was that they all survived into adulthood.
In the past, having a family was not so much the choice or the default as a social necessity. That is no longer the case and the traditional importance of sex as a personal characteristic has receded, being now often merely incidental to individuals’ idea of themselves, or their hopes and dreams. “Gender” thus captures the Zeitgeist better than “sex” much of the time.
That is not to say that either sex or gender is not real. They are both real but they are not the same thing. Most of us (the cis-gendered) identify our gender (if we have ever thought in those terms) with our sex, even if we behave or live in a more stereotypically masculine, feminine or non-conforming way. This is perhaps where the difficulty lies.
We use both gender and sex in our relationships with others. On a personal level, this is not usually a problem as we can navigate these relationships (eg a fairly feminine man such as I will not usually, if ever, go to football or rugby matches and men of that sort will not generally frequent poetry recitals or obscure light opera). Yet, in the more public arena, we must use rougher cues, where we have less power or choice over those with whom we have to do. This can take place at work (where the law provides a good deal of protection) or in private, where lines are yet blurrier.
It is hard to say where the line should or could be placed in such situations, but we would all benefit from a clearer idea of sex and gender (don’t must of us take those words for granted?). Where does a gay man draw a line (if he does) with transgendered men who may be sexually attracted to him? How do natal women ensure their safety and privacy when some perverts exploit transgendered people’s rights to enter their safe spaces? I cannot pretend to have the answer to these questions, but they are real questions and they defy cant or simplistic solutions. We must be honest, patient and compassionate.


I often wonder why men decide to become priests 🤔. They are all repressing something. Asexual? Transsexual? Homosexuality? Paedophile?


12.39: None of these apply in my case not in the majority if priests I know. Provide clinical research to back up your premise. All too easy to create a narrative of lies and false theories.


My son told me at 10 he was trans Cus he wanted to be cool. He is now 24 and married with 2 kids. It was a phase


It usually is a phase. My daughter did the same thing and she cringes now when she looks back on that time. It’s consequence of the whole “woke” thing- my truth is THE truth. Blah! Nonsense.


Pat how poignant you do a blog like this. My son told me last week he is trans and I haven’t stopped crying. I put on a brave front for him but secretly I have started self harming again. I can’t believe what he is putting us through.


I understand. Its a very hard thing to go through. Just trust in God, listen to your son and everything will work out. If you need to talk, I’m here.


My all time favourite Eurovision song was Israel 1997, Diva by Dana International. Fantastic Pat, are you a fan yourself?


Pat what are your views on clergy going to gay bars or nightclubs? Would it be worthwhile me reporting this or would it be acceptable?


1.28: These issues have been covered extensively. You should MYOB.. What idiotic questions. Do you say your prayers? Mirin7c questions. Go to the Gardai…😋🤣😂😁🤣😃🤣..


Our priest was at the Kremlin at Halloween dressed as Marie Antoinette with his friend and doesn’t think that we know about it.


I saw that so I did! Mind you, he hadn’t the figure to be Marie Antoinette- more like Giant Haystacks. Needs to lay off the pork pies so he does xx


I don’t know how trans people find partners. A straight man wouldn’t be attracted to a man, even if he was dressed as a woman, and a gay man wouldn’t be attracted to a woman, even is she was dressed as a man.


2.17: That’s a disgusting question to ask Pat. He’s not someone to be bribed. Are you looking to sell lies to some gutter journal, you scummy piece? Go to the daily mirror. What a piece of filth you are! Pat is wise to avoid your ilk.


Trans health issues here are atrocious. My daughter had to attempt to cut off her own penis in order to force surgery in Brighton.


So many fantasists on here today with nothing to do but pretend to be trans. Interesting how so many with trans kids coming out of the wood work and taking the piss.


3.02: I agree with you. Too many comments today are makey up. All fantasist making fun of an issue which is painful for many.


I know it’s not the same thing but ab ordained Abbot transforms into a kinky man interested in gay saunas and outdoor sex


Wrong way round: Rawhide Purcell is a kinky man who put on a monastic habit and later an a boy’s pectoral cross.

Kitty Kirby of Silverstream is the same: this is a man who was living a gay lifestyle (an open secret) before/during/after his formation as a priest and religious. With Kirby, however, it seems worse, as he is a fake mystic whose “revelations” in the personas of Christ and his Mother are read all over the world by credulous Catholics.

With them and countless other clergy and religious, the inner man is an out of control, self-loathing homosexual; the outer pious layer is a total sham, and a covering for all sorts of covert gay shenanigans.

The fact that neither Purcell nor Kirby have given a public defense against the things that have appeared in this blog and elsewhere tells you just about everything you need to know about their utter hypocrisy.

NOVEMBER 15, 2021
Why is the Vatican Assailing Contemplative Life?
” The future of contemplative orders in the Catholic Church is under siege, not by the oft-bemoaned vocations crisis, but by Archbishop Josè Rodrìguez Carballo, the secretary for the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. In 2018, Carballo released Cor Orans, a series of regulations on women’s monastic orders. Cor Orans is the practical implementation of Pope Francis’ 2016 Vultum Dei Quaerere. While women’s orders globally were required to conform within one calendar year, Cor Orans has proved so toxic to authentic monastic life that many monasteries have applied for exemptions, only to be met with silence, delays, and retaliation.
While much can be said about Cor Orans, it is essentially a planned obsolescence program for contemplative monasticism, designed by a bishop who has, time and again, announced that such a vocation has overstayed its use….”



We’re there pics of the Brum Canons on yesterday’s blog?

I didn’t see them and can’t find them.

Why were they on the blog?

The newly ordained canons (are you ordained a canon? Or made a canon?) were fine examples of abstinence and self denial – a good feed would do them both the world of good – God love em.

Their mummy’s looked v proud of them and they looked even prouder- being a canon in Brum makes you a Big Smell and Mervyn Towers welcomed them into the exclusive club.

John Gilbert was a canon of yhe Brum chapter – whatever happened to him.
There is a rumour that he was going to be made the cathedral dean but that went tits up because the caca hit the fan – all v hush hush – don’t mention the war or Canon John Gilbert though – astonishingly he’s gone off the radar and he’s rather like the Scarlett Pimpernel as too is Eddie Clare – oh Brum Brum what dark secrets do ye hide?


I remember Gilbert as a young priest swishing around St Chad’s Cathedral in his purple cassock when he was MC for Couve de Murville. He has always been somewhat effeminate. Mervyn was clucking around the new canons, in the same way he used to cluck around handsome seminarians at Oscott. Walker Is po-faced. Evans looks like he is on day release from an assisted living facility. That he became a bishop is incredulous.


What do people think of the trans and woke lobby hounding Kathleen Stock from her job as philosophy professor at Sussex University for having the temerity (opinion) that differed from theirs – her view – she is a married lesbian- is that gender is either male v female essentially and biologically and that if a man is born a man and transitions to a female his gender remains make but his transition can and should be pastorally accommodated and should be protected from discrimination and abuse.
I think Prof Stock is entitled to hold a view that is at odds with the trans and woke lobby and be afforded the full protection of the law.
The interesting question is what would happen if a priest wanted to transition to a nun – oh the writs will fly!!


An overwhelmingly sad issue Pat,above all else I think.
We know the difficult situation with women who are very masculine in appearance and orientation and live their lives as lesbian. Similarly we know of the effeminate guys who are gay and completely happy living their lives as gay men. I understand that about 1% of people are born like this….essentially trapped in the wrong body, caused by hormonal issues during pregnancy.
Its not fully understood.
I find it very ,very sad that people struggling ,want and have a desperate desire, to undergo risky surgery in order to become the gender they in fact believe they are. I’m struggling to know what is this deep need to change their body ,while so many others ,like I’ve referenced above don’t.
What is the difference?
How can the need be so acute?
I’m simply an amateur trying to understand. It must be horrendous actually.
In all cases love and support must be truly be our first reaction.


It’s not possible to change gender it is possible to have surgery and hormone replacement – clarity please this conflation isn’t helpful because gender is genetic and to do with chromosomes and DNA which is integral and immutable – gender is gender orientation/surgical preference, vanity or deep psychological need are completely different ideas and reality.


Bishop Pat, Paul Bayes and Paul Nener are very evil and sadistic monsters. They are truly despicable.
I have just been made privy to something heartbreaking — which you yourself may, or may not, be aware of.
Thank the good Lord their days of causing misery to victims of clerical abuse are coming to an end. Truly wicked.


Sorry, I was addressing Bishop Pat on te matter of Bayes and Nener, I did not mean Bishop Pat was evil as well. He’s a good man.


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