Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Shades Of Dr. Alan Hart

First off, do you know who Dr. Alan Hart was?

He was a doctor back around the turn of the Twentieth century, it is believed that he was transgender (because we will never know what he thought I don’t like to label anyone trans. He could have lived as a man in order to be a doctor and marry the woman that he loved).

Over in England another doctor faced the same bias as Dr. Hart did.
Secret transgender Victorian surgeon feted by Historic England
Dr James Barry, who concealed the fact that he was a woman throughout successful medical career, recognised by Historic England
Dr James Barry ‘was the most hardened creature I ever met’, according to Florence Nightingale.
The Guardian
By Mark Brown Arts
Tuesday 25 July 2017

Dr James Barry, who concealed the fact that he was a woman throughout successful medical career, recognised by Historic England

He died in 1865 and his gravestone reads simply “Dr James Barry, Inspector General of Hospitals”. However, he was one of the most renowned of all Victorian surgeons, and because he was born Margaret Ann Bulkley, he holds an important place in the UK’s transgender history.
[…]
The listings shine a light on fascinating stories and people, not least Barry, who hoodwinked the military and medical establishment by masquerading as a man and rising to the top of his profession.

Because women were barred from most formal education and most professions, he had no way of fulfilling his dreams without the pretence. Barry enlisted in the army soon after graduating from Edinburgh University and served around the world. In 1826, he carried out a successful caesarean section in Cape Town – an operation not performed in Britain until 1833.
As I mentioned, we really do not know if Dr. Barry was trans or not. Just because he lived as a man does not mean that he was trans. Just as Dr. Hart, the language and society doesn’t give us many clues. Were they trying to escape the bias against women that barred them from practice medicine or was it because they were lesbians or was it because they were trans we will never know definitely.

But the fact that they both married woman surely shows that they were LGBT but where on the spectrum we will never know.

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