Monday, November 23, 2020

Another Pioneer Has Passed Away

We lost another trans woman who blazed the way for us.
Jan Morris, Celebrated Writer of Place and History, Is Dead at 94
In more than four dozen books, Morris explored foreign lands, her own Britain and her experience as a transgender woman.
New York Times
By Jonathan Kandell
November 20, 2020

Jan Morris, the acclaimed British journalist, travel writer and historian who wrote about history’s sweep and the details of place with equal eloquence and chronicled her life as a transgender woman, died on Friday in Wales. She was 94.

Her son Twm Morys said in an email that she died in a hospital near the village of Llanystumdwy, where she lived. He did not give the cause.

As James Morris she was a military officer in one of Britain’s most renowned cavalry regiments and then a daring journalist who climbed three-quarters of the way up Mount Everest for an exclusive series of dispatches from the first conquest of that mountain, the world’s highest.
Then she began her journey in to gender transition.
It was in the early 1960s that Ms. Morris met with a prominent New York endocrinologist, Dr. Harry Benjamin, an early researcher on transgender people.

He advised her on a slow process of transition that began with heavy doses of female hormones — some 12,000 pills from 1964 to 1972, according to the writer’s own calculations. Ms. Morris wrote, “I was about to change my form and apparency — my status, too, perhaps my place among my peers, my attitudes no doubt, the reactions I would evoke, my reputation, my manner of life, my prospects, my emotions, possibly my abilities.”
She complained that her transition had distracted from her writing accomplishments. “I do object to it being dragged in, for example, when I write a book about the British Empire,” she said on “CBS Sunday Morning” in 2000. Nonetheless, she repeated on the program her prediction that the headlines on her obituaries would read: “Sex-change author dies.”
A beautiful woman died, a woman with a spirit of adventure and skills to write about it.

When I was coming out an exploring the world outside the closet I came across her book ‘Conundrum’ but I never finished it, she didn’t write style that I liked, it was too British and too high brow for me.

We own a lot to her and those who broke trail before us.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting. I'd been hoping someone on T Central would. RIP Jan Morris.