In February 1918 Alan L. Hart was a talented, up-and-coming 27-year-old intern at San Francisco Hospital. Hart, who stood at 5’4″ and weighed about 120 pounds, mixed well with his colleagues at work and afterward—smoking, drinking, swearing and playing cards. His round glasses hemmed in his pensive eyes, a high white collar often flanked his dark tie, and his short hair was slicked neatly to the right. Though the young doctor’s alabaster face was smooth, he could deftly go through the motions of shaving with a safety razor. A photograph of a woman, who he had told colleagues was his wife, hung on his boarding-room wall.

Hart grew up female but, since childhood, had secretly identified as male and was attracted to women. Though she covertly dated several women throughout college, she largely kept her feelings hidden. Then one day, plagued by a phobia that was unrelated to her gender identity or sexual orientation, she sought help from her University of Oregon Medical School professor. After two weeks of deliberation, Hart revealed her entire life story.

Peter Boag.

“When uncovering the story of someone from the past, especially someone from the early 20th century—someone who, today, we would identify as transgender,” says Peter Boag, a history professor at Washington State University and an award-winning LGBT historian, “we have to remember that, although the trans identity is recent in history, people often forget that trans people lived in the past. Uncovering the story of any trans person is not just something that affirms trans people’s existence today. It rewrites our history.”

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Scientific American