A recent archealogical dig in Siberia turned up the earliest evidence of trans-sexualism. Cavemen were found encased in the arctic tundra dressed in female clothing, mainly mammoth and other exotic skin bikinis instead of their more normal male attire. The theory is that this group of early cross dressers were caught in some calamity ( possibly an avalanche or rock fall ) thet didnt allow them time to get back to their drab clothing. Many stone age cross dressing implements were found including lip paints made from dried ochre roots. Many of these early trannies also had dyed hair using primitive bleaching and dying compounds. This is the earliest ever find indicating cross dressing. The next most recent is a bronze age find in Northern France discovered three years ago......

I am joking of course but read on and you will see there really is nothing new in cross dressing and transvestisism. I complied this little history just out of personal interest and I hope at some point to write up a complete history of trannies.

Changing gender and dress are very ancient behaviours. Early recorded incidents of cross-dressing include the 7th century BC Assyrian tablet showing King Assurbanipul getting into drag. Customs and rituals associated with cross-dressing are very much older. The priests of the ancient earth goddess Ishtar of Babylon dressed as women to appease the deity.

And heres Akhenaten (larger figure) and Nefertiti ( smaller figure )... look at their bodies it's obvious his gender preferences...they had 7 daughters and ...MAYBE...King Tut was their son. He is very important person in religious history. He was the first person who believed that there was just one God, and named Him Aten ( the Circle) maybe Moses took his theory about the "only God" from this egyptian king.

There are many accounts throughout the ancient Near East of priests attached to goddesses donning female apparel. In the case of the priests of Attis, consort to the earth goddess Cybelle, in the kingdom of Phrygia, they also castrated themselves because according to their mythology, the god had removed his testicles whilst sat beneath a pine tree.

In Babylon, an annual ritual involved young men slicing off their genitals and flinging them into nearby houses as they ran bleeding and in great pain through the streets of the city. In return for this sacrifice, women's clothes were handed to them and thereafter they spent their time at female tasks.


With so much cross-dressing and gender swapping going on in Near Eastern civilisations in deference to their gods and goddesses, it is little wonder that the Hebrews, fearful of their more powerful enemies, and with a solitary masculine god Jehovah, introduced the Deutronomy law 22:5. This made donning the clothing of the opposite sex 'an abomination before the Lord, your God'.

Greek mythology is full of incidents of cross-dressing or gender changing, a clear indication of the bisexual and androgynous minds of the ancient Greeks, especially when the supermen of their legends, like Achilles spent some time in female drag.
The strongman of Greek mythology, Hercules, was obliged to live as a serving maid to Queen Omphale as a punishment for killing the catamite Iphitus.
Many of the deities were cross-dressers or bisexual, most notably Hermaphroditus, after whom the modern term for a biologically androgynous person comes from.
The young god Dionysos once disguised himself as a woman to enter the kingdom of the warrior women, Amazons, in order to conquer them.
There was the mortal man Tiresias, changed into a woman as punishment for killing a snake. Ten years later the Goddess Hera asked Tiresias how she liked being a woman, she replied that she enjoyed sex ten times more than as a man. On hearing that Hera promptly changed her back into a man.

One of ancient Greece's most adventurous and controversial personalities, Alcibiades was a disciple of Socrates, and is one of the characters in Plato's Symposium. Extremely good-looking, very wealthy and always living according to local custom wherever he was: on horse in Thessaly, constantly drunk in Thrace or taking ice-cold baths in Sparta, he was subject to much gossip, admiration but also animosity. Well known for his cross dressing parties in Athens where guests were routinely dreesed as female and engaged in all sorts of riotous sex acts, today he would doubtless be successful on the web as a porn tranny.
Take a ,look at hom on the right - while drunk interrupting a symposium now is that female body language or what ?


Some of the Roman Emperors themselves enjoyed cross-dressing and a few went even further. In his youth Julius Caeser apparently lived as a girl in the court of the King Nicomedes. Later he was referred to as the 'Queen of Bythenia' who it was said was 'every woman's man and every man's woman'.
Caligula turned up at banquets dressed as Venus. However he believed himself divine and therefore might be expected to imitate the deities, but his choice of the Goddess of Love was an interesting one. In the end his own guards thought he went too far and assassinated him whilst attending gladitorial contests.

 
Coin with Nero on oneside and his wife on the other or maybe even his TV lover.....
Nero killed his wife in a fit of rage and then in deep remorse for her loss, sought a companion who closely resembled her. He found a young male slave, Sporus, closest to the ideal, had him castrated by his surgeons and the two were formally married, with the young man acting as the wife. Later he married a gladiator and this time he was the wife, screaming like a deflowered virgin on their wedding night.


Eliogabalus was a particularily tragic figure in Roman history. He married his slave and thereafter became the wife 'delighted to be called the mistress, the wife, the Queen of Hierocles'. He even offered half the empire to any surgeon who could refashion his genitals into a vagina. Obviously, Eliogabalus was a true transsexual and lived well before his time, but the Romans weren't amused and four years into his reign he was assassinated.
Another Roman emperor said to have cross-dressed was Tiberius, who, by all accounts dressed as a female for sexual escapades on the Island of Capri.
Domitan and Hadrian took as lovers' female impersonators from the stage.

Claudius introduced the Phrygian ceremonies to Rome, allowing men to take part in a chance to publicaly dres as women. The harvest ritual of Saturnalia alreadt incorporated dancing in which both sexes cross-dressed as a form of disguise magic and this continued into Christian times as a remnant of Europes pagan past. It eventually became the medieval Feast of Fools, April Fools Day, in which not only common men and women cross-dressed but the king became a beggar and the beggar became a king for the day.
Ritualised cross-dressing continued to play a part in harvest festivals of northern and western Europe as late as the 18th century when puritan evangelism finally stamped it out.


CHEVALIER d'EON (1720-1810): France's most open (and Louis XIV's favorite) dragster had adventures galore in petticoats, spying on Empress Elisabeth of Russia (who was herself obsessed with cross-dressing).
Diplomat, writer, spy, and Freemason, a member of the elite Dragoons and one of the best swordsmen France, see the picture below of him fencing in drag - 'go on repeat what you said about me being a fairy'

Her true gender was a source of speculation and provoked public bets in the late 18th century. Generally it was believed that d'Eon was born female, but he had started to dress as a man in his childhood, and changed back from "a bad boy into a good girl" when his secret was revealed decades later. After his death it turned out that he was a man who had dressed as a woman. D'Eon is often called the patron saint of transvestites.
"Let us then live the life of children of God, and let us stop simply usurping that name. God makes clear whenever he pleases that he is the master of heart. He alone can change us;he alone must be glorified for our change; for allowing us to overcome prejudices from birth and habit." (from 'Extrait de l'Epître de la Chev. d'Eon à Madame la Duchesse de Montmorency-Bouteville à Versailles mai 1778', from Monsieur d'Eon is a Woman by Gary Kates, 1995)

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I think this goes hand in hand with the discussion posted in the Lady group about Shirabyoshi. Highly respsected, educated females, performing dances to the Gods dressed as males. On another Japanese note, Kabuki theater forbids female actors. Therefore the female roles are played by men.

Interestingly enough, Kabuki got its start as an all female act. It was not until later that it did a 180 to all male.

Women’s kabuki, called onna-kabuki, was banned from the stage in 1629 for being too erotic. Following onna-kabuki, young boys performed in wakashu-kabuki, but since they too were eligible for prostitution the shogun government soon banned wakashu-kabuki as well. Kabuki finally settled with adult male actors, called yaro-kabuki in the mid 1600’s. Male actors played both female and male characters. The theatre was as popular as ever, and remained the entity of the urban lifestyle even until modern times.

 

I wish I could find some reliable information on trans-gender people in Native American culture. I've read some things here and there but they weren't cited well so I wondered how accurate it was.

 

In India

In the culture of South Asia, hijras or khusra in Punjabi and kojja in Telugu are physiological males who adopt feminine gender identity, women's clothing and other feminine gender roles. Hijras have a long recorded history in the Indian subcontinent, from the Mughal Empire period onwards. This history features a number of well-known roles within subcontinental cultures, part gender-liminal, part spiritual and part survival.

In Hindu contexts, hijras belong to a special caste. They are usually devotees of the mother goddess Bahuchara Mata, Lord Shiva or both. Hijra culture draws upon the traditions of several religions.

Hijras and Bahuchara Mata

Bahuchara Mata is a Hindu goddess with two unrelated stories both associated with transgender behavior. One story is that she appeared in the avatar of a princess who castrated her husband because he would run in the woods and act like a woman rather than have sex with her. Another story is that a man tried to rape her so she cursed him with impotence. When the man begged her forgiveness to have the curse removed, she relented only after he agreed to run in the woods and act like a woman. The primary temple to this goddess is Gujarat and it is a place of pilgrimage for hijras, who see Bahucahara Mata as a patroness.

Hijras and Lord Shiva

One of the forms of Lord Shiva is a merging with Parvati where together they are Ardhanari, a god that is half Shiva and Half Parvati. Ardhanari is especially worshipped in North India and has special significance as a patron of hijras, who identify with the gender ambiguity.

Hijras in Ramayana

In some versions of the Ramayana, when Rama leaves Ayodhya for his 14-year exile, a crowd of his subjects follow him into the forest because of their devotion to him. Soon Rama notices this, and gathers them to tell them not to mourn, and that all the "men and women" of his kingdom should return to their places in Ayodhya. Rama then leaves and has adventures for 14 years. When he returns to Ayodhya, he finds that the hijras, being neither men nor women, have not moved from the place where he gave his speech. Impressed with their devotion, Rama grants hijras the boon to confer blessings on people during auspicious inaugural occasions like childbirth and weddings. This boon is the origin of badhai in which hijras sing, dance, and give blessings.

Hijras in the Mahabharata

In the Mahabharata, before the Kurukshetra War, Aravan offers his lifeblood to goddess Kali to ensure the victory of the Pandavas, and Kali agrees to grant him power. On the night before the battle, Aravan expresses a desire to get married before he dies. No woman was willing to marry a man doomed to die in a few hours, so Krishna assumes the form of a beautiful woman called Mohini and marries him. In South India, hijras claim Aravan as their progenitor and call themselves "aravanis."

In Tamil Nadu each year in April and May, hijras celebrate an eighteen-day religious festival. The aravani temple is located in the village Koovagam in the Ulundurpet taluk in Villupuram district, and is devoted to the deity Koothandavar, who is identified with Aravan. During the festival, the aravanis reenact a story of the wedding of Lord Krishna and Lord Aravan, followed by Aravan's subsequent sacrifice. They then mourn Aravan's death through ritualistic dances and by breaking their bangles. An annual beauty pageant is also held, as well as various health and HIV or AIDS seminars. Hijras from all over the country travel to this festival. A personal experience of the hijras in this festival is shown in the documentary India's Ladyboys, by BBC Three and also on the television series Taboo on the National Geographic Channel.

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.

 

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.

 

Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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