Finding aid to the Lynn Edward Harris papers, 1917-2009 Coll2012.137

Finding aid prepared by Joseph R. Hawkins
Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California, 90007
(213) 741-0094
askone@ONEarchives.org
(c) 2012


Title: Lynn Edward Harris papers
Identifier/Call Number: Coll2012.137
Contributing Institution: ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 7.3 linear feet. 3 archive boxes + 2 archive binder boxes + 2 archive cartons + 2 archive shoeboxes + 1 oversize flat box.
Date (bulk): Bulk, 1965-2000
Date (inclusive): 1917-2009
Abstract: Photographs, legal documents, manuscripts, personal and business correspondence, lecture notes, videotapes, audiotapes, clippings, scrapbooks, floppy disks, memorabilia and other material from actor, lecturer and intersex person, Lynn Edward Harris (1950- ). Born intersexed, Harris was raised female despite being born with ambiguous genitalia. The collection documents Harris throughout his life, including his transition to living publicly as male, and the subsequent public speaking engagements and legal challenge to the California Court's refusal to allow him to legally change gender.
creator: Harris, Lynn Edward, 1950-

Biography

Lynn Elizabeth Harris was born in the City of Orange, California on September 13, 1950. Harris was born with ambiguous genitalia and is what is today referred to as intersex, or in more dated terms, "hermaphrodite." Harris was identified as female in a birth certificate, and was subsequently raised female without medical intervention. Through puberty, Harris did not menstruate, grew facial hair and had an altered voice; but continued to present as female. Harris wore women's clothing and a padded bra to appear more feminine, and went on to compete in and win local beauty pageants, including Costa Mesa Junior Miss in 1968. Upon graduation, Harris left to be an actress and model in Los Angeles. Harris also worked in retail beauty sales, office work, and later occasionally with prostitution.
In 1973, Harris began undergoing tests and exploratory surgeries. A team of doctors diagnosed Harris with Stein-Leventhal Syndrome or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Although doctors informed Harris that physical features would further masculinize over time, Harris reacted by increasing efforts at feminization.
Six years after the diagnosis, and after counseling, Harris decided to begin living as a male. He bought male clothes, let facial hair grow, and changed his middle name from Elizabeth to Edward. Four years later, he applied to have his birth certificate re-issued after having difficulty using his female California-issued identification card. The petition was initially rejected because of a lack of supporting medical evidence. However Harris persisted and eventually the court allowed him to have his birth certificate re-issued and to have his name legally changed. As such, Harris' case is a legal precedent for those wanting to change their legal sex without surgery. After his legal battle Harris became a spokesperson for intersex rights, gave lectures, and appeared frequently on national television and radio programs.
By 2008, Harris was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Sources:
Box 2, Folder 7, Lynn Edward Harris Papers, Coll2012-137, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
"Interview With the Hermaphrodite: The many faces of Lynn Harris," OC Weekly, October 7, 1999,
"Born True Hermaphrodite - Pictorial Profile," Angelfire,

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition Information

A portion of the collection was donated directly by Harris, 2008. The remainder of the collection was forwarded from the West Hollywood Library, where Harris had sent it in 2008.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder #, or item name] Lynn Edward Harris Papers, Coll2012-137, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

Processing Information

Collection processed by Joseph R. Hawkins, December 2012.

Scope and Content

This collection comprises photographs, legal documents, manuscripts, personal and business correspondence, lecture notes, videotapes, audiotapes, clippings, scrapbooks, floppy disks, memorabilia and other materials from actor, lecturer, and intersex person Lynn Edward Harris (1950- ). The bulk of this collection is related to Harris' personal life and the complications related to his intersex status, as well as his career as an actor, talk show spokesperson, and amateur writer.
The Personal Materials Series consists of Harris' resumes and work portfolios, vital records and legal documents, scrapbooks, school report cards and yearbooks, personal correspondence, clippings, medical records and other personal material. The Writings series consists of Harris' manuscripts and related material--including, notably, multiple versions of Harris' autobiographies such as "I, the Hermaphrodite," and "More Lives Than One." The Lectures, Articles and Research on Intersex Issues Series consists of materials related to Harris' public speaking engagements and lecture "A Path of Androgyny," as well as many journal articles and books of which Harris was the co-writer or subject of research. The Photographs Series consists of hundreds of photographs of Harris throughout his life, from his childhood years raised as female, through his later years when he began living publicly as male. The Audiocassettes and Videocassettes Series contains VHS tapes of Harris' various talk show appearances and audiocassettes of Harris' interviews and lectures. The Trophies and Memorabilia Series comprises awards Harris received in speech contests and pageants such as Costa Mesa Junior Miss Pageant; as well as other memorabilia, including buttons, ribbons, a sash, and an inscribed silver cup.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in the following series:
Series 1. Personal material
Series 2. Writings
Series 3. Lectures, articles and research material on intersex and transgender issues
Series 4. Photographs
Series 5. Audiocassettes and videocassettes
Series 6. Trophies and memorabilia

Separated Materials

The following periodicals have been separated from the collection and placed in the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives' Periodicals Collection:
Boy's Own, 1998-2003 (6 issues)
GenderFlex, Vol. IV, Issue 23 (1994)
"Guidelines for Transsexuals," Erickson Educational Foundation, September 1976
Hermaphrodites with Attitude, Intersex Society of North America newsletters, 1994-1999
The ICTLEP Reporter, the newsletter of the International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy, Inc., November 1995-January 1996
ONE Magazine, March 1959
Our Sorority, An Outreach Publication, Issue 16 (September 1987)
Outreach Beacon, Spring 1987 and Spring-Summer 1988
Renaissance, Volume IV, No. 3 (October 1979)

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Gender identity
Intersex people
Intersex people--Identity
Transgender people
Transsexuals

 

Personal material Series 1. 1917-2009

Series Description

This series comprises Harris' resumes and work portfolios, vital records and legal documents, scrapbooks, school report cards and yearbooks, personal correspondence, clippings, medical records and other personal material.

Arrangement

Yearbooks from Harris' mother and grandmother have been placed at the end of this series. The remaining folders are arranged chronologically.
Box 1, Folder 1

Baby book 1950-1952

Box 1, Folder 4

Grade school report cards 1956-1958

Box 4, Folder 1-6

Scrapbooks and material found loose 1960-1986

Physical Description: [6 folders]
Box 1, Folder 5

Costa Mesa Savings Harbor Hi-Lites newsletter 1963-1964

Box 1, Folder 6

Costa Mesa Savings, clippings and correspondence 1964

Box 1, Folder 7

Junior high school yearbook, "The Golden Years" 1964

Box 1, Folder 8

High school report cards 1965-1968

Box 1, Folder 9-10

High school yearbooks 1965-1966

Physical Description: [2 folders]
Box 1, Folder 11

High school diploma 1968

Box 4, Folder 7

High school graduation, correspondence and momentos 1968

Box 1, Folder 12

Junior Miss Pageant 1968

Box 1, Folder 13

Orange Coast College report cards 1968-1969

 

Resumes, portfolio and vitae 1968-2001

Box 1, Folder 14

Legal documents, resume, and before-and-after photographs (photocopied) 1968-1994

Box 1, Folder 15

Theatrical resumes 1978-2001

Box 1, Folder 16

Work and publicity 1978-1981

Box 1, Folder 17-18

Writing samples and day job resumes 1993-2000

Physical Description: [2 folders]
Box 2, Folder 1

Headshot Undated

Box 2, Folder 2

[Modeling portfolio] publishing company; International Security Conference tabloid papers Undated

Box 4, Folder 8

Masquers Club 1972-1978

Box 1, Folder 19

Psychological profile and self observation 1976-1986

Box 1, Folder 20-24

Correspondence 1979-2005

Physical Description: [5 folders]
Box 5

Driver's licenses and identification cards 1980-2000

Box 1, Folder 25

Decree changing name 1983

Box 1, Folder 26-27

Fan mail 1986-2005

Physical Description: [2 folders]
Box 1, Folder 28

Cedars Sinai Medical Center research study 1995

Box 1, Folder 29

Personal website printouts 1999

Box 1, Folder 30

OC Weekly cover story 1999

Box 1, Folder 31-35

Medical records 2005-2009

Physical Description: [5 folders]
Box 2, Folder 3

Sheet music Undated

Box 2, Folder 4

Voice modulation exercises Undated

Box 1, Folder 2

Grandmother's high school yearbook 1917

Box 1, Folder 3

Mother's high school yearbook 1944

 

Writings Series 2. 1964-2004

Series Description

This series comprises Harris' writings--manuscripts, floppy disks, and related material--including multiple versions of Harris' autobiographies such as "I, the Hermaphrodite" and "More Lives Than One." This series also includes Harris' fictional and short works, as well as poetry. Note that additional magazine and journal articles co-written by Harris can also be found in Series 3: Lectures, articles and research material on intersex issues.

Arrangement

Harris' long-form manuscripts and related material are at the beginning of this series. The remaining folders are arranged alphabetically.
Box 2, Folder 6

"Bring Your Own Body" manuscript 1971

 

"I, the Hermaphrodite"

Box 2, Folder 7-11

Manuscript 1986

Physical Description: [5 folders]
Box 2, Folder 12

Copyright materials 1986

Box 2, Folder 13

Certificate of Copyright 1986

Box 2, Folder 14

Manuscript outline and synopsis 1986

Box 2, Folder 15

Synopsis of memoirs 2003

Box 2, Folder 16

Manuscript information, page list and titles list 1986

Box 2, Folder 19

Memoir, untitled Undated

 

"More Lives Than One"

Box 2, Folder 20

Incomplete manuscript circa 1970-1986

Box 2, Folder 21-23

Manuscript 1986

Physical Description: [3 folders]
Box 2, Folder 24-26

Manuscript [second copy] 1986

Physical Description: [3 folders]
Box 2, Folder 27

Equator Books 2004

 

"Of Pyramids, Points, & People"

Box 2, Folder 17

Manuscript 1977

Box 2, Folder 5

"The Beginning" 1997

Box 2, Folder 18

"Oh, Liberate Me from Women's Lib" manuscript 1976

Box 2, Folder 28

"Wrap Your Postage with Dreams" manuscript 1976

Box 4, Folder 9

Contracts 1972-1980

Box 3, Folder 1

Copyrights 1976-1986

Box 3, Folder 2

Correspondence, incoming 1981-2003

Box 3, Folder 3

Correspondence, outgoing 1988-2002

Box 8

Floppy disks Undated

General Physical Description note: 9 floppy disks (3 1/2 in.).
Box 3, Folder 4

Flyers 1980

Box 4, Folder 10

Letters of reference 1980-2001

Box 3, Folder 5

Poems Undated

Box 3, Folder 6

Publishers, agents, and production companies 1980-1999

Box 3, Folder 7

Rejections 1976-1977

Box 3, Folder 8

Reviews of Laguna Beach and Century City readings 1976

Box 3, Folder 9

Short works and plays 1964-1967

Box 3, Folder 10

Writing samples 1979

 

Lectures, articles and research material on intersex issues Series 3. 1967-2005

Series Description

This series comprises clippings, correspondence, manuscripts, journals, pamphlets, television transcripts, promotional material, slides and research material documenting Harris' public speaking engagements on intersex concerns, as well as the many journal articles and books of which Harris was the writer, co-writer, or subject of research. In particular, this series includes material used for Harris' lecture series, "A Path of Androgyny."

Arrangement

Folders related to Harris' lecture on intersex issues are at the beginning of this series. The remaining folders are arranged chronologically.
 

Lecture and speaking engagements

Box 3, Folder 11

Clippings, one-woman show 1977

Box 3, Folder 12

Conferences and seminars 1984-1999

Box 3, Folder 13

Correspondence 1984-2003

Box 3, Folder 14

"A Path of Androgyny" lecture flyer 1985

Box 3, Folder 15

"A Path of Androgyny" lecture material 1985

Box 3, Folder 16

Press releases 1985

Box 5

Slides for lecture circa 1950-1985

General Physical Description note: 47 slides: b&w, col.
Box 3, Folder 17

Speaking engagements 1967-2000

Box 3, Folder 43-49

Clippings and photocopied articles on intersex concerns circa 1975-2005

Physical Description: [7 folders]
Box 3, Folder 50

Pamphlets 1979-1989

Box 4, Folder 11

Television and radio correspondence, guest appearances 1988-2003

Box 3, Folder 51

Television talkshow transcripts 1988-1997

Box 3, Folder 18

Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, article by Ronald Wong Jue 1988

Box 3, Folder 19

"Intersex: A social dilemma" Social Issues Resources Series 1988

Box 3, Folder 20

Annotated articles and research notes 1988-2000

Box 3, Folder 21

Data News, by Lois M. Rodden 1993

Box 3, Folder 22

Journal of Sex Research, article by Milton Diamond 1995

Box 3, Folder 23

"Intersex Awakenings," Chrysalis, correspondence for article by Lynn Edward Harris 1995

Box 3, Folder 24

International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy paper 1995

Box 4, Folder 12

Institute of Gay and Lesbian Education 1995

Box 4, Folder 13

Research notes and clippings 1995-2000

Box 3, Folder 25

Unidentified notes 1995

Box 3, Folder 26

Gender Blending, by Bonnie Bullough, Vern L. Bullough and James Elias 1995

Box 3, Folder 27

Gender Shock, by Phyllis Burke 1996

Box 3, Folder 28

Sexually Stigmatized Communities, by Chuck Stewart, correspondence 1996-1999

Box 3, Folder 29

Personals: Portraits of Real People and Their Personal Ads, by Michael C. Smith 1998

Box 3, Folder 30

Tail Spins Magazine 1998

Box 3, Folder 31

Intersex Society of North America, HWA Quarterly articles by and about Harris 1998

Box 3, Folder 32

University of Warwick, thesis by Tracey Lee 1998

Box 3, Folder 33

Astrology thesis by Simon Wickham-Smith 1998

Box 3, Folder 34

Gires Directory correspondence 1999

Box 3, Folder 35

"A Paradox in Pants," Taygetos anthology submission, by Lynn Edward Harris 1999

Box 3, Folder 36

Anthology submission by Lynn Edward Harris for book edited by Chuck Stewart 1999

Box 3, Folder 37

Articles by Milton Diamond 1999-2000

Box 3, Folder 38

LA Weekly 2000

Box 3, Folder 39

Stop Hate Educate correspondence 2001

Box 3, Folder 40

Manuscript and correspondence with Milton Diamond 2001

Box 3, Folder 41

Photocopied pages from Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides 2002

Box 3, Folder 42

Untitled book by Chuck Stewart 2004

Box 4, Folder 14

"The Comparison of Androgynes" article Undated

 

Photographs Series 4. 1950-2007

Series Description

This series includes photographs, negatives, a slide, and some related correspondence. The bulk of the photographs documents Harris throughout his lifetime, from his childhood years raised as female, through his later years when he began living publicly as male. This series also includes Harris' numerous modeling and acting headshots from the 1970s.

Arrangement

Photos of unidentified people have been placed at the end of this series. The remaining photographs are in approximate chronological order.
Box 5

1950-1969

Box 5

1970-1979

Box 6

Modeling and acting portfolio circa 1970-1979

Box 6

1980-1989

Box 6

1990-2007

Box 6

Unidentified people circa 1960-2005

 

Audiocassettes and videocassettes Series 5. 1979-2000

Series Description

This series contains VHS tapes of Harris' various talk show appearances, as well as audiocassettes of Harris' interviews and lectures.

Arrangement

This series is grouped by format and arranged chronologically.
 

Audiocassettes 1979-1995

Box 8, Item 10

Lynn Harris speaking on androgyne Undated

General Physical Description note: 1 audiocassette (35 min.)
Box 8, Item 11

Lew Irwin Show, Earth News Radio, Lynn Harris interview January 29, 1979

General Physical Description note: 1 audiocassette.
Box 8, Item 12

Earth News Radio, Lynn Harris interview January 29, 1979

General Physical Description note: 1 audiocassette.
Box 8, Item 13

Lew Irwin Show, Earth News Radio, Lynn Harris interview January 29, 1979

General Physical Description note: 1 audiocassette.
Box 8, Item 14

APRT 3rd Annual Conference, A Case of Androgyny, Ronald Wong Jue, Ph.D. and Lynn Harris October 8, 1983

General Physical Description note: 1 audiocassette.
Box 8, Item 15-17

Carol Hemingway Show KGIL, Lynn Harris interview November 28, 1988

General Physical Description note: 3 audiocassettes.
Box 8, Item 18-21

Michael Jackson Show, KABC Talkradio AM 790, Lynn Harris interview December 7, 1988

General Physical Description note: 4 audiocassettes.
Box 8, Item 22-23

International Congress on Gender, Cross-Dressing and Sex Issues. Session II: Legal Issues, Lynn Harris, Louis Swatz, Ph.D. and Stephen Whittle February 25, 1995

General Physical Description note: 2 audiocassettes.
Box 8, Item 24

Lynn Edward Harris, Whittier College April 26, 1995

General Physical Description note: 1 audiocassette.
 

VHS videocassettes 1989-2000

Box 7, Item 1-2

Mix Master Sally, AM LA, Geraldo, Donahue 1989

General Physical Description note: 2 videocassettes (VHS).
Box 7, Item 3

Interview AM LA ABC TV February 2, 1989

General Physical Description note: 1 videocassette (VHS).
Box 7, Item 4-5

Sally's Show (Jesse Raphael) April 27, 1989

General Physical Description note: 2 videocassettes (VHS).
Box 7, Item 6

Geraldo Show, CBS July 27, 1989

General Physical Description note: 1 videocassette (VHS).
Box 7, Item 7

Donahue, "Roundtable of Sexual Oddities" October 10, 1989

General Physical Description note: 1 videocassette (VHS).
Box 7, Item 8-9

Donahue Show November 27, 1989

General Physical Description note: 2 videocassettes (VHS).
Box 7, Item 10-11

Montel Williams Show April 24, 1992

General Physical Description note: 2 videocassettes (VHS).
Box 7, Item 12

Lynn, #252, profile (1) circa 1993

General Physical Description note: 1 videocassette (VHS) (20 min.).
Box 7, Item 13-14

Dish, Episode 63; Lynn Harris Special Guest 1994

General Physical Description note: 2 videocassettes (VHS) (27:30).
Box 7, Item 15

Strange Universe Show #2072 November 11, 1997

General Physical Description note: 1 videocassette (VHS) (28:30).
Box 7, Item 16

Doc Talk Show #2 November 5, 1999

General Physical Description note: 1 videocassette (VHS).
Box 7, Item 17

Maury, "My Secret Destroyed My Family!" September 29, 1999

General Physical Description note: 1 videocassette (VHS).
Box 7, Item 18

The Leeza Gibbons Show February 28, 2000

General Physical Description note: 1 videocassette (VHS).
 

Trophies and memorabilia Series 6. 1950-2000

Series Description

This series contains trophies Harris received in speech contests and pageants such as Costa Mesa Junior Miss Pageant; as well as other memorabilia, including buttons, ribbons, a sash, and an inscribed silver cup.

Arrangement

This series is arranged alphabetically.
Box 10, Item 1

Button: "Cal State Fullerton, Lesbian Gay Bisexual Association (LGBA)" Undated

Box 10, Item 2

Button with photograph of Lynn Edward Harris Undated

Box 10, Item 3

Graduation cap 1964

Box 10, Item 4

Ribbon: "Los Angeles, Presenter, Facilitator" Undated

Box 10, Item 5

Ribbon: "Participant, Southern Orange County Junior Miss Pageant 1968" 1968

Box 9, Item 1

Sash: "Costa Mesa Jr. Miss 1968" 1968

Box 10, Item 6

Silver cup: "Lynn Elizabeth Harris Sept. 13, 1950" 1950

 

Trophies

Box 10, Item 7

"1968 Costa Mesa Junior Miss Pageant 1st" 1968

General Physical Description note: 1 trophy.
Box 10, Item 8

"California District Exchange Clubs; Search for Talent Finals, Runner-up Fresno" June 22, 1967

General Physical Description note: 1 trophy.
Box 10, Item 9

"Lynn Harris; Costa Mesa Christmas Decorations 1967, Miss Tinsel" 1967

General Physical Description note: 1 trophy.
Box 10, Item 10

"Newport Harbor; Search for Talent 1967, 1st Place--Senior" 1967

General Physical Description note: 1 trophy.
Box 10, Item 11

"Superiority in Dramatic; Lynn Harris" May 27, 1966

General Physical Description note: 1 trophy.