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March 27, 2023 64 mins

Margaret talks with Bridget Todd about some trans people in history who lived long, happy lives and accomplished wonderful things.

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Hello, and welcome to Cool People Did Cool Stuff. I'm
your host, Margaret Kiljoy, and each week I tell you
about some of the people I think are cool who
did stuff that I think is cool, like, for example,
Bridget Todd. Oh, I'm so honored to here's that intro
that I could be like included in the Cool People
Who Did Cool Stuff line up. I've decided and I

(00:21):
am the arbiter of cool. What's some of the cool
stuff you do? You've turned the Internet into some sort
of hate machine. Oh we can say that. Yeah, I,
Sophie and I expose the way that the Internet functions
as an Internet hate machine and how it is breaking
our social and political landscape. That is something that I

(00:42):
did with Cool Zone Media. Really excited about it. Yeah.
I like that show, And if you're listening to us,
you should also listen to Bridget show. That's what I'm
trying to get at. Yeah, obviously Sophie is our producer.
How are you, Sophie. I'm wow. I wasn't on last

(01:02):
week because I was an incubus of viral plague, but
I'm back. Yeah. Good, it's so good that we all
have to return to work. Yeah, I actually like my
job too, so too. Yeah good, I'm glad. What I
feel bad for everyone who's listening because their job isn't

(01:22):
talking into a microphone with their friends. I mean my
job is actually I read endless amounts every week, and
my friends call me and say, are you okay? Are
you ever going to call me back? And I'm like,
let me tell you about this guy who died in
nineteen twenty two, ridiculously funny. So normally this show is

(01:47):
not specifically focused on transistory, but I'm really mad about
some shit right now, as a trans person or as
a person who cares about the state of the world
or whatever. In particular, I'm pretty mad about some some
laws that are getting past and some people who are
trying to like do us a murder. So today this

(02:08):
week actually, because it's two episodes in a week, because
people will probably pick it picked up on by now,
we're gonna do is talk about some great transistors of history.
I like transistors. That's a that's a did you come
up with that? No? Okay, So actually it's funny. I
lost like an hour of my life. This is the
thing that my job is weird. I lost like an
hour of my life trying to come up with where
the word transistor comes from, because I've known it for

(02:30):
a while. People say it right, and and it's credited
to CC McDonald, who's this amazing black trans woman who
killed a guy who needed a killing because he was whatever. Anyway,
she probably didn't well, okay, she might have coined it,
but other people have coined it too. Is basically I've

(02:51):
managed to trace it back to this like Christian Theology
trans article where in a footnote someone was like, actually
I didn't come up with it. Someone else did, unnamed
trans man or whatever. But I think what happens is
that every single time a trans person is like our
trans ancestors, they're like a light bulb goes off and

(03:12):
then they say transcestor. That's my best guess. My favorite
thing that you said in that entire thing was a
man who was killed, who need a kid who needed
a killing? Oh hell yeah, we fu with CC Minneapolis
icon like yeah, we we we stand. Yeah. And so

(03:32):
since we're gonna be talking about cool transcestors, that means
we will be tying in let's see cool sex workers
black women breaking class barriers and getting punished for it. Um,
which of course, has never happened anywhere else in history.
Somehow we're going to include more than one reference to tuberculosis.
I didn't even try, and synthesizers. These are some of

(03:53):
the things. Oh, I think I know where you're going
with that last. Yeah, one of them. I think people
are gonna are gonna know. But you know what else
is cool about these three people? All of them live
till old age. Banger. There's a cliche I like the
transagenda as an average life expectancy. So well, let's talk
about some people had an average life expectancy. One of

(04:15):
them still alive. Oh my god, I love that you're
talking about folks who had very long lives and are
still with us. One, so folks can get their flowers
while they're still here to smell them, so we were
not talking about them after they're gone. And then two,
just that, like trans folks deserve to be able to,
you know, have long, fulfilled, brilliant, beautiful lives. It shouldn't

(04:36):
be something that we talk about like, oh, very tragic,
very tragic. You know, Like I love celebrating folks who did,
you know, get to experience the fullness of life, because
we all deserve you know totally. No, it was a
kind of a coincidence. I picked my subjects and then
I was like, oh this rules they survived that. Oh
fuck yeah, and like I got really excited. So so

(04:58):
first I want to talk about Lucy Hicks Anderson. You
ever heard of Lucy? I hadn't heard of this person
until I started doing this research. I have not heard
of Lucy Hicks Anderson. Lucy was the first black trans
person to be convicted in court of impersonating a woman,
and is seen not just as a trans pioneer but
also one of the first people to fight in court
for marriage equality, for like gay marriage and things like that.

(05:22):
More broadly, and as Time magazine wrote about her in
nineteen forty five, they're trying to talk shit in this quote,
but we can all aspire to such words. For three decades,
Lucy Hicks trafficked successfully in both sin and Sufflay. Amazing. Yeah.
I could only hope one day someone says I trafficked

(05:44):
in sin and souflay. I know. I had to look
up with souflay was wait, what does it mean? Because
I was thinking, like, it's like a dessert, okay, but yeah,
it's being used in the like in the way I'm
thinking it's being used. It's not being than some sort
of like you know, oh yeah, no, it's not a metaphor. Okay,
she's a fucking awesome cook. This woman is famous for

(06:08):
several things, and one of them is her cooking. She's
born in Waddy, Kentucky in eighteen eighty six. To get
a sense of how big of a town, Watty, Kentucky
is at the moment, there's four thousand people living there
one hundred fifty years later, which is to say I
tried and failed to figure o how big it was
in eighteen eighty six, but it is not a big place.

(06:29):
She was a signed mail at birth. Ever since she
was little, she insisted on wearing dresses to school. The
family took her to a doctor and they were like,
you know, basically like, I think our kid's broken the
he only wears dresses. But he's a boy, but he's
wearing dresses. And the doctor that they went to in
fucking Watty, Kentucky in the eighteen nineties was like, all right,

(06:52):
let her live as a girl. You know. It's so
funny because people love to sell transphobes love to be like,
oh this new fangled rand stuff. Yeah, there have been.
There's been like gender affirming care and folks who support
it fits forever, this idea that it's like a new thing.
It's so ahistorical. Yeah, no, exactly like and also even like, like,

(07:14):
not everyone we're going to talk about this week was
like accepted by their family, but most of them were
and like, and so the family's like, all right, Okay,
she's a girl whatever, And that's how it's presented. And
I want to believe it, and I have no counter
evidence against it. And I also don't think it's a
coincidence that some of the first trans women we know

(07:35):
about in US history, specifically nineteenth century trans women, were black.
And I started reading, but I didn't fully finish. It
was very theoretical. Talked about to Lose in Quatari a
lot a book about specifically about the black trans experience
in history, And I can't remember the name off the
top of my head, but it's in the script and
we'll find out the name of that book in a
little bit. When she's fifteen, she changed her name to

(07:58):
Lucy and she left home. She stuck around Kentucky for
a couple of years. She's I think she's working as
a domestic most of her life. When she's twenty, she
struck out to Picos, Texas, and she spent her twenties
working as a domestic in a hotel. It's possible, based
on what came later, that she was working in sex
work at this point. I don't know. History like loves
not talking about whether or not someone did sex work,

(08:18):
even when the other thing this person is famous for
is being a madam. So it's like not really, you know,
it's like, oh, we don't know. The records are murky,
but yeah, like we don't specifically know whether or not
she was, you know, sleeping with people for money or
not in her role as a domestic. I don't know.
More power to her either way, you know. In nineteen twenty,

(08:40):
when Lucy was thirty three or thirty four, she married
her first husband, a man named Clarence Hicks. How she
gets the name Hicks. They moved, They get married in
New Mexico, and they moved to Oxnard, California. They're married
for nine years. Oxnard, which probably people who live on
the West Coast think is a perfectly normal name for
a perfectly normal place. It's not. That's not a normal

(09:02):
name at all. Okay, great, okay, good, because it just
means ox nuts to me. Oxnard is a is a
place in California too. This is where we're talking about.
We're talking about the California one. Oh, it's an LA
suburb now apparently, Um, I wouldn't call it that because
from actual Los Angeles. Great, I am an elitist snob.

(09:25):
But um, technically sure some folks that are not from
Los Angeles might refer to it in such way. You know,
I'm also think I'm an asshole, so carry on. I
don't care whether it's a suburb or not of Los Angeles. Oxnard, California,
is named after I looked into the name because I
thought it was funny. It's named after this industrialist, Henry T. Oxnard,

(09:47):
whose family name probably doesn't refer to the testicles of oxen.
Probably he was born a rich asshole into a rich
French asshole sugar plantation family and state of rich asshole
and the sugar industry. I read the next sentence, it's
really funny. Oxnard was a new town, not yet twenty

(10:09):
years old old cow Nuts named in the town after himself.
It was an immigrant labor town buying large, and it
had a rather large population of Chinese, Mexican and Japanese laborers.
It also had a reputation as being a town of vice.
In nineteen forty five, this Times article Time article that
I'm gonna refer to occasionally described Oxnard as quote newly

(10:32):
rich on sugar beets, and it's Chinese and Mexican labors
blew their pay nightly on light ladies, gambling, whiskey and
opium and old cow nuts, which led me to a
bad place to chill. I'm gonna be honest with you mine. Yeah. No,
she had a fucking great time when she moved there.
Bridgets like I've heard of a worst time, honey, yeah, yeah.

(10:58):
And so light ladies in the context is probably short
for red light ladies, a common word for sex workers
in the American West, which leads me to the etymology
of red light district another rabbit hole I fell down.
They have an interestingly contested origin, because America's like, it's
an American word, and the Netherlands is like, we've been
using it for two hundred years longer than that. It

(11:20):
likely originated in the Netherlands in the seventeenth century before
the US so much as existed, and it might have
come from sex workers, Dutch sex workers meeting sailors carrying
red lanterns, and they carried red lanterns as rules so
they didn't have to put on their makeup as well.
I love a lazy lighte haack, you know, I know,

(11:40):
I know, cover a blemish or fuck with a red
light on exact whatever. And the term gets popularized in
the US in Dodge City, Kansas in the nineteenth century
when one of the brothels in the sex work district
was called the red light House Saloon. After that, it's
used all over the West, but apparently and this one
didn't come down through the ages as much. It was

(12:03):
also popular, or maybe more popular, to refer to these
districts instead of red light districts as sporting districts. And
I like that, like out for a bit of sport.
I don't know, actually know that I say it out
loud as sounds worse. Whatever it could be. I could
see it as a euphemism like a little bit of sport,
like yeah, I don't know, I think it works, yeah, totally.

(12:23):
In case anyone listening to this podcast hasn't picked up
on it by now, I'm entirely in favor of the
decriminalization of sex work and the de stigmatization of sex workers.
And the problem that the industry has is their problems
that exist because of criminalization, patriarchy, and capitalism. These are
the problems that many, many people face for a lot
of reasons. Sex work is work. That's my statement on that.

(12:45):
Hell yeah. And then as a final zing, if you
think you don't know any sex workers, it's because you
don't know anyone who trusts you well enough to tell
you that they've done sex work or do sex work.
I'm so glad you brought that up. Thanks. And this
does tie into the story. So Lucy and Clarence they
moved to Oxnard, and she wins a bunch of baking contests,

(13:06):
like right away, and she works as a domestic She
helps rich people watch their kids and shit. So it's like, not,
I don't think it's just domestic as like quotes here. However,
I believe that my read between the lines is at
this point she's definitely doing sex work because she she
saves up enough money during this time to open up
a brothel, and she refers to it as a boarding house.

(13:27):
But it is a brothel and it is a speakeasy,
and she steps into the work that she is born
for being a socialite madam who is a world class chef.
And it's prohibition meaning even more fun as illegal than usual.
And so her brothel speakeasy is raking in the cash
because actually criminalizing things is sometimes means there's just more

(13:47):
money in it. Everyone in town seems to love her.
This is the part of the story that I get
really excited about. She's throwing parties left and right. She's
blowing money on everyone and everything. She's like the classic
like kind of like the gangster who gives back right. Right.
She's as much a local institution as the Oxnard's American
Crystal sugarco Refinery, which is like the main place to

(14:10):
work in town. Right. It's really hard to know how
many people knew she was an assists woman. Later there's
this big reveal and everyone is surprised, and I don't
know whether there's a regular secret or an open secret.
My money's on the comet some combination of the two. Soon,
her loan bordello expands to half a block of buildings.
Each one is painted nicely with window boxes, full of

(14:32):
geraniums and to quote that Time magazine article that doesn't
like her, she wore bright, low cut silk dresses, from
which her slat like collar bones protruded, and she affected
picture hats and high heeled shoes. Her wigs were her pride.
She had a long black wavy one, a short, straight
bobbed one, and for special occasions, a shoulder length of

(14:54):
job in red. Again, they're trying to drag her, but
they're just making her sound awesome and like somebody I
would want to be friends with. I know, I can't
find a negatively, I mean, obviously someone who's like in
charge of a sex work place. You're like, okay, how
are the workers treated? And I have no information, you know,
But like she's a pillar of the community, some sort

(15:16):
of literally, she's six feet tall. She tends neighborhood children,
she helps daughters get dressed up for parties. I was like,
if you're a rich person in town, you're like trying
to hobnob with Lucy. And she's a fantastic cook. All
the rich and powerful women in town like show up
at her house for recipes. And I don't know how
this plays into race. At the time, because I'm aware
of the most of the workers in that town being

(15:38):
non white but also non black, and I don't know.
I assume most of the other upper class people in
this town are not black. I assume they're white, but
I don't know. She prepared the barbecue to welcome the
new Catholic priest to town. That's how in this community
is a new priest is coming to town. Ask the
lady who runs all the brothels to prepare the barbecue.

(16:01):
I mean, a good party is a good party, right,
exactly exactly? That comes up. Yeah, Like she's hell of philanthropic.
She gives away a ton of money to like Red
Cross and the Boy Scouts and other charities. And as
a former girl who was in the Boy Scouts and
my best friend in Boy Scouts also came out as trans.
This is just all tracks from my point of view.

(16:22):
One time she gets arrested, I'm not sure what for,
and the town's leading banker goes to the jail and
pays her bail because she was throwing a dinner party
that night and he didn't want to miss it. A
good party is a good party, I'm saying, if you like,
if you want to get into in a community, like
just be known for your stellar parties. Yeah, I as

(16:44):
someone who is introverted to my core, I am sad
about that truth. But I mean I want to go
to her parties, and I don't usually want to go
to parties, So I think that's a Hey's something. But
you know what other parties a party in spending money
on stuff ads advertisers if the Red Cross advertisers don't

(17:13):
donate to them, I mean, I don't know. Whatever, do
whatever you fuck you want. Time we're back from those advertisements,
I hope that you enjoyed the party of Okay, whatever.
So when World War two hits, she throws extravagant parties
for all the departing sons of prominent families, like she's

(17:35):
a fucking socialite. She also manages to keep her houses
open even as wartime rules like shut down all the
competition across the coast, across the West coast, like because
like during war, they're like like sex work is illegal
at this point in the United States, but it's like
extra illegal during war. So I assume she's bribing people.
That's that's the only thing I can come up with.

(17:58):
But that's another thing. That's not written in the history books.
Whenever people are like and then they were just allowed
to keep doing this, like, yeah, I love how when
it was like, oh, there's no record of how they
were allowed to keep doing this, but they were. Yeah,
usually it's some sort of bribe something or other. Yeah,
there's no paper record of any money changing hands, so

(18:18):
probably it didn't happen. And then one more upstanding citizen
thing about her. When President Roosevelt died in nineteen forty five,
the local paper asked all of the civic leaders for comment,
like the church leaders, the business leaders, and the black
woman who ran the brothels. Of course. Yeah. In nineteen

(18:41):
forty four, she got married again. She was only married
to the last guy for nine years. It was a
long time, but you know, they they did get divorced,
and I don't know the details about why are or anything.
In nineteen forty four, she marries a soldier who I
am guessing is a good bit younger than her. She
is almost sixty and he's a soldier in World War Two,
so he's probably not almost sixty. He's a sergeant. This

(19:05):
guy's name is Ruben Anderson. So now she's Lucy Hicks Anderson.
She's just collecting names, I guess, and she should. She
should have just gone down in history as the ball
or black trans woman who ran all the crime in Oxnard, Californian,
was nice to everyone. That's what I wish was happening
to her now that she's about sixty, but instead didn't done.

(19:26):
Compulsory heterosexuality reared its ugly head. There was an outbreak
of venereal disease among the Navy. They tracked it back
to her Brothels. It's worth noting here that during World
War One, the US pass the Chamberlain con Act, which
basically made it illegal to be a woman, any woman,
any profession with a venereal disease. Oh wow, it was

(19:46):
a crime to have a venereal disease as a woman
in World War One. Specifically, caving an STI counted as
proof in court that you were a sex worker. It
really goes back to what you were saying about all
the fucked up stuff that happened when we criminalized stuff,
where it's just like, Okay, now the problem is way worse.
Thanks everybody, Yeah, totally totally, And it like in their

(20:09):
mind they were like, well, obviously like, no one has
promiscuous sex except sex workers because their lives are weird
and boring. I like, I don't know, I like. And
so fifteen thousand, five hundred women or so are locked
up during the war for having, you know, various diseases.
That sucks. Prostitution had only become illegal across the US

(20:32):
in nineteen fifteen. In nineteen ten, there was a law
pass that basically said sex workers weren't allowed to cross
state lines for any reason. It wasn't until nineteen forty
four that a court decided sex workers were allowed to
cross state lines if it wasn't for sex work. So
that's cool. I guess I'm trying to says the government. No,
I'm not the biggest fan. So an STI is traced

(20:54):
back to Lucy's establishment, and so doctors show up to
inspect every woman in the place, including Lucy. Swears up
and down she runs the place but doesn't personally work there.
But they're like, you know, we're inspecting you. So they
discover her secret. The county's district attorney, it's like, oh, no,
a crime. And the crime wasn't the sex work, which
shouldn't have been a crime, but was but do you

(21:17):
want to guess how they managed to put her on
trial for living as a woman. Oh my god, I'm
sure it's something. It's what is it, I'm sure it's wacky.
I'm sure what is it? Perjury? Oh my god? She
had perjured herself by applying for a marriage license, since
at that time and in the future, at this rate,

(21:38):
marriage in the US is only legal between one man
and one woman or whatever, although optimistically, I bet we'll
get back to where one man can marry multiple women,
which is legal in the US to eighteen eighty six. Also,
it's the fact that they have to go after her
for perjury. It's like, it's so arbiginary, but it's like,
what's the what's the way that we can get around that?
It's oh wait, I know perjury totally. And I've read

(22:00):
some places that another charge was female impersonation, but I
wasn't able to specifically. I've run across a bunch of
people in history who have been charged with like female
impersonation or male impersonation, but I'm not certain about when
that's actually a crime on the books versus that's like
something they round you up for. You know, it seems
to be very different at different times. But yeah, so

(22:22):
they put her on trial and the community she's catered
for for decades just fucking abandons her. And that's the
most depressing part of this whole thing. Her case gets
nationwide media attention, it's mostly negative. She's a spectacle. Time
magazine writes that article about her that I keep quoting,
And then that article, it starts off almost nice, it

(22:43):
genders her correctly until you realize the whole article is
a joke building up to the punchline, like the last sentences,
but Lucy Hicks Anderson is a man, and then it
just ends the fucking article like I literally thought I
found a wrong tran script of it, you know, because
it's like an eighty year old article or whatever cut

(23:03):
off halfway, Like no, right, No, that's the fucking it's
just all punchline. We're all fucking jokes. That's so heartbreaking because, like,
as you've demonstrated, she was this pillar of her community
that everybody wanted to be around until this happened. And
I don't know it, just I do think there's something
about like the way these people that she had really

(23:24):
shown up for didn't show up for her, and like
the importance of community and your neighbors sticking up for
you even when when you're having an awesome party, and
also when like you're being unfairly rounded up for something
that is bullshit. I know, and I'm guessing it's something
that most of those people knew, you know, but they
all like could plausible deniability it until they couldn't, or like,

(23:49):
I don't know and it it. Yeah, the article runs
and they're in time is buried under letters nominating her
for Man of the Year and some articles. Right, she
won Man of the Year, but she did not win
Man of the Year. I forgot who was. Was some
president or something wins Man of the Year in nineteen
forty five. And she ends up with two trials back

(24:11):
to back. We'll get to the second one, and I'm
not entirely certain which events happen at each trial, so
I'm going to stick everything that she does into the
second trial, the federal trial. She's found guilty of perjury
in California after a week long trial, and she sentenced
to ten years probation. But then the government, the federal
government is like oppressing a black trans woman who dared
to cross gender and class lines. I want in on

(24:32):
this action. So the federal government decides to put her
on trial, and they're like, you know what, fuck her
husband too. No one should ever date trends women unless
they steal, you know, because otherwise we'll steal all the
hot people for themselves for ourselves. So they're put on trial,
and her and her husband I think they're straight up
hauled out to DC for the trial. I've like, it

(24:54):
doesn't make sense to me, because obviously they can have
federal trials elsewhere but DC. But I'm under the impression
that this trial is DC and the charge is fraud.
Her husband is a soldier and he's got some government money,
and so does a spouse through the GI bill, but
she wasn't supposed to get it because she is an
evil trans imposter lady. She's also on trial for not

(25:15):
registering for the draft, even though she's way too old
for the draft. She's like in her sixties, no, yeah,
almost sixty. I think at this point she was in
trouble because, to quote the African American Registry's good article
about her quote, failing to register for the draft until
she proved she had been too old to register. So
like they're like, this is my paraphrasing conversation, you didn't

(25:39):
register for the draft. I'm almost sixty years old. Yeah,
but you're supposed to show up and register and then
show that you're too old? Like what the fuck? This
isn't like getting carted at the store. Sorry, go ahead, right, No,
It's just like the level of arbitrary nonsense that they
were using to criminalize a black trans woman is just
so obvious. Yeah, exactly. And I don't know what that

(26:02):
exchange happened. I know that she got arrested for not,
you know, registering for the draft. But but we do
know some of her some of the things that did
happen in court, some things she did say. And again
I don't know whether this is the California trial or
the federal trial, but I'm putting it to this trial.
During the trials, the DC based newspaper The Afro American

(26:23):
ran a front page article about her nightlife queen guilty
of perjury in sex case, and they ran an illustration
to go along with it of a woman standing next
to a sign that says, beware not what you think
it is. So it's that classic trap rhetoric like has
been with us for a fucking long time. Totally. Oh
that so that newspaper I live in DC. That newspaper

(26:45):
is still around. Shit. Really, I have to say I'm disappointed,
but not surprised. I know that is the like that,
that is the stance they took. I'll to say that. Yeah,
they ran it for like two weeks straight. I think
it might have been a weekly, so it might have
just been two episodes, two issues. Not everything's a podcast, Margaret, Yeah,

(27:05):
Margaret thinks they're periodicals. Yeah, I know. I like when
I was like, Okay, this is gonna be better, this
is gonna be better, and then I was like, this
is not It's better than the time article, right, but
that comic is no good. In court, they brought doctor
after doctor, five of them total, who examined her to
expert testify that she was a man, and she denied it.

(27:27):
Every time she refused to answer the question do you
have male sex organs? Which was rephrased a ton of
different ways every time she's just like not answering it.
And when the court asked her what part of her
body she considered feminine, because basically she her argument is
she's like, I'm a woman and They're like, we have
five doctors saying you're a man, and she's like, I
don't care. I'm a woman, you know. And so and

(27:48):
this was as reported in the Afro American. I don't
know whether I believe that this is probably likely because
court transcripts are the kind of things that people can verify.
But when they asked her what part of her body
she considered feminine, she said, for one thing, my chest.
And she opened her shirt and showed her tits to
the jury, which was a masculine chest. Right. She doesn't
she's not on hormones or anything like that. That doesn't

(28:10):
happen for decades more. But she's like, whatever, this is
my feminine chest. And she's fucking right, you know, like
she's a woman and that's her chest. And she said, quote,
I defy any doctor in the world to prove that
I am not a woman. I have lived, dressed, and
acted just as what I am a woman. It's only
petty maliciousness that is trying to cause me heartache and harm.

(28:30):
If they would devote the same amount of energy to
local problems that are hurting the community, it would be
much better. I've lived a good life in a Christian life,
and though I am a Christian, I reverend all religious faiths.
I have lived as a good citizen for many years
in this town, and I'm going to die a good citizen.
But I am going to die a woman. Good for her,
like yeah, yeah, just being like, yeah, there are bigger

(28:53):
problems in society than what's going on with me, Like
why don't you focus on that, assholes? Yeah? Yeah, Like
I mean even if you're like, hey, you run a
crime business, you know, I could like understand, I would
still be annoyed. I would support her, right right, but
like just literally like we think you have a penis? Yeah,

(29:17):
My question would be like, during this trial, how many
what was the breakdown of questions related to Lucy's gender, sex, organs, YadA, YadA, YadA,
versus the criminal enterprise maybe maybe being run you know? Yeah,
no that I don't. I literally don't think it came up.
Doesn't that tell you everything you need to know? I know,

(29:37):
I know. And so her defense in court was that
she probably had hidden organs that would only be revealed
when she was autopsied, which was a kind of a
common way of like being sort of like, hey, maybe
I'm intersex essentially right. And I want to quote see
Riley Snorton's book Black on Both Sides, a Racial History

(29:58):
of transidentity and is the book I was I'm out
earlier that has like really fucking good stuff. Quote in
exchange for an unincarcerated life, Hicks Anderson's Hidden Organs defense
offered up her corpse to be put on indefinite institutional use,
indexing the medical industry sustained practice of experimentation on black
bodies in the United States, and it it just means,

(30:22):
like I mean, thinking about that quote, it's so like,
like how they will disrespect trans folks and particularly black
trans bodies in death, Like how how she had to
offer that up, this incredibly invasive thing that she should
never have to offer up. It's so invasive, like just
the ways that you, I mean, it reminds me so

(30:43):
much of when a black trans person is killed. They
will often like misgender them, use their wrong name in death,
and it's like the disrespect does not end even when
you're no longer here, Like that is nothing that really
gets me. Yeah, no, it it absolutely ties into what's
happening right now. And like and one of the things
that for all of my I'm very concerned about the

(31:06):
rise of anti trans violence and the rise of anti
trans law. But like, overall in the United States, white
trans people are not getting murdered to the same degree
that particularly black and also other people of color trans
people are being murdered, and specifically trans women are being
murdered in the United States, and so like, and I
feel like that always needs to frame when we talk

(31:27):
about trans violence in the United States. I don't know.
And so, yeah, her and her husband are both convicted.
They're facing a maximum of ten years. I'm not sure
how many they got, but they got out less after
less than ten years. They both got sent to a
men's prison. I hope they got to be together. And
he sticks by her through all of this, like good guy,

(31:49):
Sergeant Ruben Anderson. Yeah, she's specifically forbidden from wearing women's
clothes in prison, but they have this problem where it's
like all the clothes she owns and they don't have
a prison uniform for her yet. I don't know, this
is just some nineteen forties shit or something, but she's
like in women's clothes in prison at first, and so
when they get out of prison, they stay together. The

(32:10):
chief of police in Oxnard is like, if you come
back to cow Nuts, we're going to arrest you. So
they moved to Los Angeles, where they lived together for
the rest of her life. She dies before him, which
makes sense because she's probably like thirty years older than him.
But he's a grown ass adult. He could do whatever
he wants, you know. She dies in nineteen fifty four
at the age of sixty eight, and the trail runs

(32:32):
cold after they get out of jail. But it's not
hard to see them happy in Los Angeles in the
fifties and forties, So that makes me happy. So they
so they did have like like they ended like Lucy's
life ended happy in Los Angeles with her partner that
yes exactly. They go through this really horrible thing together

(32:54):
and they go to prison together for being married, and
then when they get out they stay together and just
I don't know, I love it. I like that. I
don't want to cynically then turn into this into ad break.
But it's time for an ad break. So here's some advertisers,

(33:16):
and we're back, and we have one more person to
talk about today, and then we have a third person
we're gonna talk about on Wednesday, and we have a
little bit more detail about Next I want to talk
about a living person, which is tricky because I have
avoided talking about living people on this podcast as much
as possible as like part of the advantage of picking history.
As I'm in, like, and no one is alive to

(33:36):
be mad at how they're being represented, or no one
can like tweet something wild where like I did a
whole episode about how great they are and now they're like, yeah, yeah,
it's like saying something I wish they hadn't said. Yeah,
so that's happened to me. Oh god, yeah, you know,
And there's like no accountability. We can ask from the dead,

(33:58):
So if someone's complicated, you can just be like, well,
they're complicated, they're not going to get better. They're dead.
We can't put them in jail. They're dead. You can't
cancel them. They're dead. Like all we can beat history,
Yeah exactly. We can just look at what was cool
and not cool about all this stuff they did. But
this next person I've wanted to cover. I almost did
a whole last episode just on her, and then I realized,

(34:20):
like a lot of marginalized people, she's really protective about
how she's represented. There's a biography of her out and
she hates it and she talks shit on it, and
I don't want to get shit talked by someone I
have so much respect for. So I'm going to do
a shorter piece about the person who brought electronic music
to the masses, the mother of synthesizers, the first trans
person to win a Grammy, and someone I've looked up

(34:43):
to since I first heard her story. Wendy fucking Carlos. Hell, yes, wait,
I didn't know that Wendy Carlos. I love Wendy Carlos.
I did not know that Wendy Carlos was like um
particular about how her life has talked about and framed.
That is good information for me to have, it is
Clutton know this? Yeah? I discovered it because I was like,
I'm going to do an episod about Wendy Carlos. Is

(35:03):
there a biography? And then the reviews are Wendy Carlos
hates this biography and thinks has declared it all fiction.
And then I'm like, great, I don't have a good
source for I mean, I have enough sources for the things.
I'm mostly going to be talking from her own interviews
and stuff like that on this shorter section. But yeah,
she's still alive. She runs Wendy Carlos dot com, where

(35:24):
she's put up. It looks like a website from the nineties.
It rules. There's like pictures of cats and eclipses and
stuff and like just talking about synthesizers and shit. Oh
my god, she's the coolest. I have to say. A
couple of weeks ago, when it was the Grammys, everybody,
I love Kimpetras. Everyone was like, oh, first trans woman
to win a Grammy. Not true, it's actually Wendy Carlos.

(35:44):
So just FYI A lot of a lot of headlines
got the information and correct. They isn't the actual speech
and correct too. I I don't know. I didn't want
I didn't watch or read the speech, but I did
see a lot of headlines that now, not that I'm
thinking about it, probably quoting the speech which might have
had some incorrect information in it. Anyways, more trans, more

(36:06):
trans people should put Grammys. Oh really, I don't know
to pronounce her name, Anowe who used to perform as
Anthony and the Johnson's wan wanna Grammy, I don't. It
might not have happened before. Well I don't know anyway,
So yeah, yes, I more fucking trans people winning more Grammys.
Fuck yeah. Well, I'm glad that I'm speaking to an

(36:27):
audience who knows who Wendy Carlos is. But she's most
famous now, probably as the person who did the soundtrack
to Tron and the Shining and Clockwork Orange, which means
she's probably not famous at all anymore to most people,
because most people don't spend their time talking about Tron
and the Shining and Clockwork Orange anymore. No they should.
I agreed. Her music is hard to come by because
she owns the rights to it all, which rules, but

(36:49):
she doesn't put it out on streaming platforms or anything,
which is her right. But I'm sad about it because
I used to have switched on box CDs and I
don't anymore, and I don't listen to CDs anymore, and
I don't know. I have a hard life, so Wendy Carlos.
Wendy Carlos was born in a working class family in
nineteen thirty nine in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, which is neither

(37:10):
a rohad nor an island. She was assigned male at
birth but was aware from the age of five or
six or so that she was a girl, and she
was confused as to why her parents didn't realize she
was a girl and we're trying to make her be
a boy. She stole her mother's clothes, she drew pictures
of herself with long hair and lipstick, and in grade
school she was bullied for being a sissy who played
with the girls. This is a very familiar thing to me.

(37:31):
And she went off to Catholic high school and she
had two interests, computers and piano. And this is like
the forties and fifties, which is really early for the
computer thing. Not the piano thing that's been around for
a minute, but the computer thing. When she's in high
school in the forties or fifties, she builds her own
computer red. Yeah, and she's like this picked on kid, right,

(37:55):
But at some point there's this cool thing where like
this happened to me occasionally, and so I'm just projecting,
but where like before I came out as trans the
ways in which I was kind of a sissy sometimes
made macho boys protect me. Oh yeah, and like yeah,
like I had this friend who if you're listening, I
love you, you're great. Were there be like anti fascist

(38:17):
demos in the Nevolens and he'd be like, you can't go,
you're I'll go, I'll go fight the Nazis. You stay here,
you know, and like and so in her high school
she started having some She was a social outcast, but
she had some of the like kind of macho boys
would sort of protect her even though she was like
a boy. You know, I'm making air quotes here. But

(38:39):
she goes to college for music and physics and winds
up a recording engineer, and along the way she deals
with every sapphick trans woman has dealt with ever going
on dates with women and being insanely jealous of them
forgetting to be women. And also in school, she ran
across books about transness that explained her own feelings to
her and it helped. He's a suicidal ideation that was growing.

(39:02):
And I wish I could beat this fact over the
head of all these transfobs organizing against us. We don't
lose ourselves when we discover translus. We find ourselves like,
oh there's a word for that. Oh oh I'm allowed
to do that, you know, right? Yeah, it's so it's
in like reading about um different trans folks in history,
how many of them found like support or community or

(39:25):
like self discovery from books? Yeah, well, I hate to
keep bringing up like all of the horribleness it's happening today,
but like the fact that they're cracking down on books,
it's like it's it's it's not surprising to me. That's
how many of these historical figures are Like, well, you
write about it in a book, and then I didn't
feel so alone, and then I didn't feel so you know,
I understood myself better. And that that we're that folks

(39:47):
are cracking down on, you know, that kind of representation
in books today. It's just like I see just such
a straight line of trying to eradicate transmiss It's just
like so clear to me that that's what they're trying
to do. It's not about any of the smoke screens
they make it about. It's like, we need to make
sure that this is not something that like, we need
to make sure that trans folks do feel alone. It's
not good that they feel, you know, part of a

(40:07):
community or have self discovery or anything like that. No,
that's that's exactly right, and as such a good point
I hadn't quite thought about it, but yeah, like so
many people, yeah, find themselves through books or even just
fucking escape into books, you know, when you're dealing with
horrible fucking stuff in your life. Yeah. So she's a
recording engineer. And then she meets Bob Moog, which is

(40:29):
whose name is not apparently pronounced Moog like I called
it for my entire upbringing. Bob Mog is not the
sole inventor of the synthesizer, but he invented the first
commercially available one, which he called the Mog. Because he's
not an original namer, Bob Moog, he's great. He came
a lossical ship naming. Wasn't not a creative namer. Maybe

(40:53):
when your name's Mog, you're like, whatever, it's a weird
ass name anyway. You know, if I called it the
Killjoy when I invent an instrument, I don't know about that.
You know, that actually kind of flaps though, Yeah, all right,
it actually works all right, all right now I'm just
thinking of the Todd and the Lictorman. Ummm, we we

(41:15):
can skip the last one, okay, okay. So and she
meets him at a trade show. Um. One of her
professors was like, Hey, you should go to this electronic
music trade show, which was like really poorly attended. So
Bob Mog was asleep at his booth and she's like, hey,
I want to see your synthesizer and wakes him up.
And she's really into it, and she's she's not out yet,

(41:35):
she's like living as a boy at this point. Um,
And I'm gonna dead name her because it's relevant to
the story, and you know, her name's Walter at this
point and it's relevant later. So it so Bob is
so she's like, I'm a bi synthesizer from you. Um.
And she's the fourth I believe, commercial like synthesizer player,
like professional synthesizer player in history. And so she buys

(41:58):
one of the first synthesizers from Bob, delivers it to
her apartment personally, they carry it up the steps together.
It's all of these custom made cabinets and shit, and
and then they start working together on synthesizers. Bob is
an engineer who likes music. Wendy is a musician who
likes engineering, and soon her and a few other musicians
it's not like just her and Bob, right, and she's

(42:20):
pretty clear about that. She's not trying to take more
credit than his due. They're consulting with him about what
they need the synthesizer to do, how it might happen,
what can be done, like touch responsive keys, where like
if you press them harder, the noise plays louder. All
that kind of shit. That's her idea, her development, and
all the while she starts writing jingles and sound effects

(42:40):
for TV with it, and she doesn't have much money,
but she wants more synthesizers. And this is a thing
that's affecting a lot of my friends right now, is
gear acquisition syndrome, where you spend all of your money
on gear. You're laughing because I think you either. You
must know some Margaret, Oh my god, it's me yo.
So I okay, this is embarrassing. When the pandemic started,

(43:03):
I'm not even gonna tell you how much money I
spent on synthesizers. I thought I was about to be
the next Daft Puck. I was like, when the pandemic
is over, I'm about to come out of this ship.
I'm about to have an album. Watch out world. When
I tell you that I spent I'm not gonna say
it now. I'll tell you off camera, but like it's embarrassing.
I spent so much money on gear, like teenage engineering.
Need to send me like a Mike sponsored me. But

(43:26):
I cannot play a note. I can't play a link.
I just wanted the gear. I just there's something someone
you're talking about, the gear acquisition. I know the vibe
of like I just want it in my possession. I
want to play with it. I want to tinker with it.
I want to see what I can make happen, even
if it's nothing. I know it very well. Yeah, what
would your DJ name be? Oh? Well, I was at
DJ in college. My name was DJ Coleslaw, So I

(43:48):
have to have to go back to my to go
back to my roots. That's pretty good, Law. That's such
a banger of a name. Thank you. Also would fit
on your knuckles te Tuo. Yeah, brings up all the time.
What are your knuckle tat Mindsey sedition? Um, I don't

(44:11):
even know why I asked. It's again. They almost said doomsday,
and then I like changed my mind. I'm very proud
of myself. Last minute, you're like, whoa sedition? Well, okay,
I'll tell you and only don't worry. No one else
to hear this secret except for everyone's listening. I want
to get my my knuckles tattooed. And I this friend

(44:32):
who was this tattooist, and I was traveling through the
Lens where she lived, and I was like, oh, I'd
love to. She had like a tattoo shop at a
squat and I was like this rules and I was like, well,
you tattooed my knuckles and she's like what, I'm not
going to tatoo your knuckles. That's weird. And I was like,
I really want to tutoo my knuckles and she was
like no. And so then a year later, I was
passing back through Amsterdam and I was like, I want
you to tattoo and I wanted Doomsday. I was going

(44:54):
to get Doomsday tattooed. And then a year later I
no longer want to Doomsday. I wanted Sedition. And I
was passing back to Amsterdam and I was like, we
tattooed my knuckles and she was like, fine, I'll tattoo
your fucking knuckles. And I get there and it's a
language problem, she thought, I meant literally the skin of
my knuckle where it folds. Ah. She was like, oh,

(45:15):
your fingers. You want me to tattoo your fingers. And
to be fair, the word in English for the part
of this is is finger not knuckles, right, It's very literal. Yeah,
so that's how I uh, that's the language issue, is
why I got the better tattooed instead of the worst tattoo.
I'm glad you didn't get the tattoo when you initially

(45:37):
wanted it, when she thought you meant the skin, the
skin of your fingers. Yeah. Yeah, Oh that'd be even
worse if she had tattooed the skin of my fingers
a doomsday Yeah, like real tiny Yeah, totally um. Anyway,
and so she doesn't have much money, and she has
gear acquisition syndrome, much like bridget Todd, and so this

(46:01):
is what Bridgittad should do to get more money. She
basically records a demo of what the synth can do
in order to exchange that work for more synth parts.
And this is her first release. Her first musical release
has the evocative title MOGE nine hundred series Electronic Music Systems.
It's like a textbook. Yeah, it's like twelve minutes log

(46:25):
and there's like a guy talking over it. About all
the stuff that they can do. And at this point
she teams up with another musician assists woman of color,
a jazz singer named and composer named Rachel Elkin Tore,
who agrees to produce for her, and they actually move
in together in Manhattan and become business partners. And they
spend like a decade or two like making music together,

(46:45):
and it fucking rules and she's left out of it.
And Wendy is very like she's left out of it.
And there's like a a page on her website that's like,
she rules, Here's why she's great. In nineteen sixty eight,
Wendy started HRT hormone replacement therapy under the care of
her doctor Harry Benjamin, who was either the first or

(47:05):
the second doctor to do this. There in the running
against each other with a Danish doctor named Christian Hamburger.
Both of them have been doing it since the forties
or fifties, but it was the mid sixties before they're
started being gender affirming clinics in the US. And her guy,
Harry Benjamin, just to tie him into the weird web
of history. Harry Benjamin was born in Germany in nineteen thirteen.

(47:29):
He came to the US as a quack doctor claiming
to have found the cure for tuberculosis, and then he
became a real doctor, and he studied at the Magnus
hirsch Fields Institute for Sexuality in Berlin about transsexuality and
all that stuff. And I think he was involved heavily
in differentiating transsexuality from transvestism, which is to say, people

(47:50):
who wanted what was called a sex change at that
time versus people who wanted to either cross stress or
live socially as the opposite sex. He was also the
person who helped read Ericsson, who, for anyone who listened
last week, reed Ericson was this rich guy who owned
a leopard, who was a trans man, who was just
like a rich, philanthropic, weird industrialist guy who fucking ruled,

(48:11):
who financed all the trans clinics in like the sixties
and seventies. He also helped m Lynn Conway, who is
trans woman who worked for IBM, and it's like the
reason why we have today. Yeah, doctor Benjamin like comes
up all like there's so many people who like shout
out to doctor Benjamin. Yeah. Yeah, And he came so
far from a quack doctor. I mean I'm sure there's

(48:32):
people who are listening who are like, it's still a quack.
But he he made a lot of people very fucking happy,
and he saved a lot of fucking lives. Um that rules.
I didn't know about the IBM connection. I need to
There's going to be more of these episodes. Okay, So
in nineteen sixty eight, something also monumental happened Wendy with

(48:54):
Rachel as the producer. They released an album called Switched
on Bach, which is Bach on synthesizers. And this is
exactly the shit I was into when I was in
high school. Like it was this in Annie de Franco
fucking just maybe some skinny poppy and shit, but mostly
fucking Wendy Carlos switched Tombach and Annie to Franco. Ever,

(49:15):
need to understand the nineties creature I was switched Tombak
is groundbreaking. It's hard to overstate how important this is.
Like now, it sounds like gimmicky, right, you know when
you imagine like and it sounds give me, actually I
love it, but it sounds really like kind of cheesy, right.
It's incredibly complicated to make. The mogue at the time
was monophonic, you can only play one note at a time.

(49:38):
You want to play a chord, too fucking bad, You're
gonna have to record the whole thing three times for
a three note chord, and the whole instrument fell out
of tune constantly, So it's like play a couple measures
and then literally beat the synth with a hammer to
get it back into tune. Which are you aware of
the cliche about every transwoman being annoys me asian? No?

(50:01):
But it tracks. Yeah. I play in two bands. I
do a solo goffy pop project and a metal band.
And one time I played I showed. I showed up
at a show with my keytar and some other keyboards
and someone looked at me and was like, oh, I
didn't know there was a noise show here tonight, And
I'm like I didn't either. I played pop music. They're like,

(50:25):
are you sure you're sure you're not an a noise
band somewhere? Like, oh, I could have sworn. Yeah. Like
the number of like I've I've also literally had people
come up to me like um and just be like
oh hi, and they'll like name some other trans woman
in town, and I'm just like, I think we looked
different from each other. Whatever. Um, I'm sure this is

(50:48):
completely outside of experience a black person in this country.
Oh my god, if I had a nickel for every
time it's like, oh, you're a tall black woman. I
met a tall black woman? Are you here? Yeah, it's
it's I know thee Yeah. So yeah. But I will
say we apparently us transwomen come from a long night
line of noise musicians. When I imagine her playing, I

(51:10):
mean she's actually a regular musician, but standing up and
beating the synth with a hammer, like, Okay, I see
where we got it from. It's probable that Wendy Carlos
was the only person in the world who could have
put together switched on BAK at the time, because it
took a world class musician. You're playing fucking BAK. It
took a world class electrical engineer because you're using prototype

(51:31):
equipment that you have to hit with hammers and fix constantly.
She spends more than a thousand hours recording the fucking thing,
which means only someone with access to a free studio
like her as a sound engineer, could have done it.
All the while she's working forty hours a week at
her day job. And is starting to transition socially and medically,
and to everyone's surprise, it was a hit. This wacky

(51:56):
synth classical album was number ten on the Billboard Top
two hundred and nineteen sixty eight. And she releases under
the name Walter Carlos. But she's already transitioning, and so
this is a major source of tension for her, right
because she does not want to be Walter, but she
has to be Walter in public because she is not

(52:17):
out yet. And so she plays one of the only
apparently two shows she's ever played in her life in
public besides it as a kid, she had to put
on boy drag and go talk about her new huge
pop hit record, like she put on like fake side
birds and used makeup to simulate a beard shadow, and

(52:37):
and this recks her emotionally, like she's like literally like
maybe I'm going to kill myself rather than get on stage.
And that is not stage fright. That is fucking fear
of transphobia. She also wins three fucking Grammys for it.
She wins Best Classical Album, Best Classical Performance with a
like weird subsection that I don't really understand, and Best
Engineered Classical recording. It's only the second classical album ever

(53:00):
to reach platinum status. A million fucking copies of this
cell and with her sudden influx of money, she's able
to get gender affirm in surgery. So in May nineteen
May nineteen seventy two, she goes and has gender affirm
in surgery, and like, we'll talk a little bit more
about that later, but like it it's incredibly important to

(53:23):
her and Rachel, her her collaborator, is one of the
only people who knows about all of this at the time.
So she becomes a recluse, and she spents seven years
or so not making public appearances, and like her friends
like cover for her, and Rachel's constantly covering for her.
People call and be like, oh, Walter, he's uh, he's

(53:44):
in Boston, he's in Rhode Island visiting his family, you know,
like he's just like never home for seven years. And
and she talks about it when she when when she
does come out, she talks about how, um, you know,
she wasn't able to do musical collaboration besides with Rachel
right for like seven years at the when she's like

(54:04):
the new Grammy winning hot classical, you know, person right,
But the success of the album it also pushed the
success of the synthesizer. It's why the Beatles, Emerson Lake
and Palmer Stevie. Wonder all those people started fucking with synths.
And she starts soundtracking because her main thing, she wants
to be a composer. She's like, not a She's kind

(54:24):
of actually a little bit bitter. Doesn't totally happened to me.
If I released a cover album and that was like
my big album, I'd be like a little bit bitter, right,
Hell yeah, I'd be like, hell yeah, I got my
dick cut off. Fuck yeah. But I'd be like, oh,
you know, she uh with a clockwork orange. Her and
Mogue built a vocoder, which is a human synthesizer where
it takes a human voice and it modulates a synthesizer.

(54:46):
Have you played with them in your gear acquisition? They're
so fucking the band Chromio. One of the guys uses
the one, and I'm obsessed, like this is I'm trying
to hold it in. This is very much my shit.
I will nerd out. No, I love it. Yeah, no,
this is I'm very happy that you're the guest for this. Then,
like I I was like, as I was writing all this,
I was like, ah, how And I was like, I

(55:07):
think with bridget I can be pretty nerdy about those.
Oh this is like if you want, if you like I, yes,
this is very much my ship. I'll just leave it
a cool No. I love vocoders. I m I use
them as like training wheels for songwriting because it's like, oh,
that's because I know what note I'm singing because I'm
pressing it on a keyboard. Because what happens, like in

(55:28):
a lot of modern vocoding for anyone who's that familiars,
you sing into a microphone while playing a keyboard, and
your your voice modulates the synth noises. Um, so it
comes out in the note that you're pressing on the keyboard. Um. Yeah,
I fucking And so this is the first use of
a vocoder in recorded commercial music is a clock record.
And to say like, like think about like this is

(55:50):
the thing that trips me up about this is like
we if not for Wendy Carlos, so much of music
just wouldn't fucking exist. Yeah, so much of music that
we love when and like how and and also how
much did we like the fact that transphobia was such
a barrier to Wendy, you know, collaborating with people this
like hot young Grammy winning performer, we missed out, Like

(56:13):
it really obviously was horrible for Wendy, but all of
us missed out on. Like I think about all the
bangers who could have been listening to but transphobia like
prevented us. It's just it's one of those things that
really trips me up. But I'm I'm so grateful for
folks like Wendy who still go out there and create
and do shit. But like, the barrier shouldn't be so high,

(56:35):
the cautionoudn't be so high, and we all lose out. Yeah, no, totally.
That is such a fucking good point. Yeah, because seven
years no musical collaboration and like and when she does
finally come out and start doing any more, she she's
all over the places the eighties and shit right and
like as like pushing a ton of stuff like yeah,
so so yeah, she does the first vocoder and now
her and Rachel, who again the sort of silent partner

(56:57):
alist sometimes as a composer a composer, sometimes it's composing
her own work, and sometimes it's just working as a producer.
And they release a ton of music, and Wendy releases
an ambient album ten years before New age music hits,
three years before Brian Eno supposedly invented ambient music. No
offense to Brian Eno, but he didn't invent ambient music, apparently,
Wendy did. I mean people have probably played ambient music

(57:19):
before this, right, Like, but yeah, music for airport slaps,
but I don't know he didn't he invented it. Yeah, yeah,
And Wendy Carlos manages to get on the fucking Billboard
charts with an ambient album that is two records, one
side of each record for four the four seasons. Like

(57:40):
that's how good she is. She writes music for The
Shining and Tron. After The Shining, Rachel moves away with
her husband it to moves to France, continues her own career.
She composed the soundtrack for Ready Player one as the
most recent example that I found. In nineteen eighty eight,
Wendy co wrote music with weird Al Yankovic my Yankovic,

(58:00):
my favorite straight edge vegan accordionist. And in nineteen seventy eight,
before The Shining, actually she comes out and she comes
out to a journalist named Arthur Bell, who had covered
the Stonewall Riots for The Village Voice. Check out the
four part series on that we just covered. I actually
don't know whether he was the Village Voice. One journalist

(58:22):
of the Village Voice, like did it like brought out
the crowds, was like trap was like in the riots,
like all this shit, And I actually don't know whether
it was Arthur Bell or not. And these were released
in the surprisingly based magazine Playboy, not the Stonewall stuff,
the stuff about about Wendy Carlos. And she says she
picked Wendy. She picked Wendy picked Playboy because it had

(58:45):
quote always been concerned with liberation, and she was anxious
to liberate herself because Playboy had been involved in a
lot of like radical culture stuff. It's a fascinating interview.
I recommend it. She talks about how she had to
essentially she had no sexual interest before transitioning. She largely
doesn't talk much about her public her private life, but

(59:06):
she does during this interview, and I think it's like
kind of fair to talk about in this context. She
had essentially no sexual interest before transitioning, and then afterwards
she had to struggle against her like Catholic guilt. But
she became a sexual person bisexual and became happy about it.
And there's a couple quotes from it that stand out.
One is Playboy asks her, do you have any idea
what would have happened if you hadn't had the operation?

(59:28):
Carlos says, yes, I'd be dead. And there's another one quote,
being a transsexual makes me a barometer of other people's
own comfort with themselves. Those who aren't sexually at peace
with themselves tend to be the most uptight around me.
Others who are really relaxed. I think it's no big deal,
and I really like that certainly. Track Yeah, yeah, and

(59:50):
ever since she's released under her own name, Wendy Carlos
instead of you know, the sort of fake name Walter,
And there was basically no backlash when she came out,
and her only regret was not coming out sooner. Her
parents at the time of her coming out did not
accept her. I don't know if that changed, but overall,

(01:00:11):
you know, she talks about a lot in the interview,
She's like, yeah, some people were dicks about it, but
like overall, like everyone's like, okay, cool, you know, that's
that's interesting. And like a lot of her old friends
were chill with it. And and when she writes about herself,
she focuses on her music. She doesn't write much about
trans stuff. Honestly, the Playboy interview is the main place

(01:00:32):
I can hear her talking about her sexuality and her gender,
and I can't blame her. Sometimes I think that the
fact that I'm trans is like the least interesting and
important part of me. And there's a reason that this
podcast hasn't been like heavily focused on trans stuff. Right
to me, it's just this, it's this thing about me.
It's not something I've done right, So, like, I'm much
more interested in like what people do than who they are.

(01:00:54):
But who we are, of course matters, right because of
the way the world views us. And that's why I'm
talking about her transnis today, is because people are trying
to fucking eradicate us and looking back and seeing ourselves
as parts of history. Important parts of history matter. So so, Wendy,
if you're listening, thank you for paving the way. I
mean it sincerely, um, And if I got anything wrong

(01:01:16):
in here, I'm sorry. That's my piece about Wendy Carlos.
I'm like tearing up this Margaret person a pro like
it's important. It isn't important, like at a time when yeah,
transnis is in the cross hairs, it isn't important to

(01:01:37):
look back and think about like all the important shit like, yeah,
I didn't Wendy Carlos make the Doctor Who theme song?
Like that is like you biquitous in our culture. Fact
check that I want to say that's correct, but definitely
a double check. But like, shit, that is you biquitous
in the culture we would not have if not for
trans folks. And it's like it wasn't it wasn't a
Doctor Who, but it was Ron Great. Okay, um, what

(01:02:00):
Tony Carlos. This sounds like Wendy Carlos. Okay, maybe maybe
that's it. Um, yeah, this is I. I love Wendy Carlos.
I'm so glad you're doing he did this. Yeah, my
heart is full. Yeah no, I was. I was like sending.
I was like, I'm gonna talk about Wendy Carlos is
somebod who doesn't who Wendy Carlos is. And that was
not a problem I ran into. I'm very happy for that.

(01:02:22):
But we should also talk about the cool person who
is bridget Todd before we come back on Wednesday and
talk about yet another cool trans person. The next Wednesday,
trans person literally saved millions of lives and no one's
ever heard of him. Let's let's write that wrong. But
you haven't saved millions? No, no, But what have you done? Huh?

(01:02:51):
What have I done? Well? Working with Sophie and the
incredible team at cool Zone, I made a podcast called
Internet Hate Machine, which she should check out out. It's
about the intersection of online harassment and the ways that
our Internet is, you know, used against marginalized people, black women, transpokes,
Twitter folks, etcetera. Um, and the way that that's like

(01:03:12):
sucking up our political system. UM. I make a podcast
on iHeart called There No Girls on the Internet. You
can check out my uh DC focused news podcast called
city Cast DC. I have another podcast called Beef about
history's juiciest rivalries. Is that it? Yeah? That's yeah. That
one's that one's brand new. Um, thank you, thank you?

(01:03:33):
Next chapter podcasts. Um. Yeah. I'm a failed electronic musician.
I love music. I have a lot of questions about
your musical history, Margaret. Please okay, Sophi, you got anything
to plug well? Is that cool Zone Media and all
the things. Okay, I'll plug. My dark pop project is

(01:03:57):
called Nomadic War Machine. My uh, it's kind of post
punky project with only an EP. It is called the Lathe.
And my feminist black metal band is called Femina School
And all of those are on band camp and you
can listen to the thing that I do besides all
the other things I do. I know you came up

(01:04:17):
with all the titles because they're very good. I did.
I already know, I already know. Hey, we'll see you
on Wednesday. Cool People Who Did Cool Stuff is a
production of cool Zone Media. Or more podcasts on cool
Zone Media, visit our website cool Zonemedia dot com, or
check us out on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or

(01:04:40):
wherever you get your podcasts.
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