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

Finding aid prepared by Joseph R. Hawkins, (c) 2012

Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Summary Information

Repository
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Creator - Creator
Harris, Lynn Edward, 1950-
Title
Lynn Edward Harris papers
Collection no.
Coll2012.137
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1965-2000
Date [inclusive]
1917-2009
Extent
7.3 linear feet., 3 archive boxes + 2 archive binder boxes + 2 archive cartons + 2 archive shoeboxes + 1 oversize flat box.
Language
English
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.

Preferred Citation

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

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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, gregstacy.wordpress.com/2006/11/25/interview-with-the-hermaphrodite-the-many-faces-of-lynn-harris

"Born True Hermaphrodite - Pictorial Profile," Angelfire, www.angelfire.com/ca2/BornHermaphrodite

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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.

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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

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
(c) 2012
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California, 90007
(213) 821-2771
askone@usc.edu

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.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Joseph R. Hawkins, December 2012.

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Related Materials

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)

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Controlled Access Headings

Subject(s)

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

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Collection Inventory

Series 1:  Series 1. Personal material 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 Folder

 Baby book 1950-1952 

1 1

 Grade school report cards 1956-1958 

1 4

 Scrapbooks and material found loose 1960-1986   [6 folders]

4 1-6

 Costa Mesa Savings Harbor Hi-Lites newsletter 1963-1964 

1 5

 Costa Mesa Savings, clippings and correspondence 1964 

1 6

 Junior high school yearbook, "The Golden Years" 1964 

1 7

 High school report cards 1965-1968 

1 8

 High school yearbooks 1965-1966   [2 folders]

1 9-10

 High school diploma 1968 

1 11

 High school graduation, correspondence and momentos 1968 

4 7

 Junior Miss Pageant 1968 

1 12

 Orange Coast College report cards 1968-1969 

1 13

 Resumes, portfolio and vitae 1968-2001 

Box Folder

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

1 14

 Theatrical resumes 1978-2001 

1 15

 Work and publicity 1978-1981 

1 16

 Writing samples and day job resumes 1993-2000   [2 folders]

1 17-18

 Headshot Undated 

2 1

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

2 2
Box Folder

 Masquers Club 1972-1978 

4 8

 Psychological profile and self observation 1976-1986 

1 19

 Correspondence 1979-2005   [5 folders]

1 20-24
Box

 Driver's licenses and identification cards 1980-2000 

5
Box Folder

 Decree changing name 1983 

1 25

 Fan mail 1986-2005   [2 folders]

1 26-27

 Cedars Sinai Medical Center research study 1995 

1 28

 Personal website printouts 1999 

1 29

 OC Weekly cover story 1999 

1 30

 Medical records 2005-2009   [5 folders]

1 31-35

 Sheet music Undated 

2 3

 Voice modulation exercises Undated 

2 4

 Grandmother's high school yearbook 1917 

1 2

 Mother's high school yearbook 1944 

1 3

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Series 2:  Series 2. Writings 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 Folder

 "Bring Your Own Body" manuscript 1971 

2 6

 "I, the Hermaphrodite" 

Box Folder

 Manuscript 1986   [5 folders]

2 7-11

 Copyright materials 1986 

2 12

 Certificate of Copyright 1986 

2 13

 Manuscript outline and synopsis 1986 

2 14

 Synopsis of memoirs 2003 

2 15

 Manuscript information, page list and titles list 1986 

2 16
Box Folder

 Memoir, untitled Undated 

2 19

 "More Lives Than One" 

Box Folder

 Incomplete manuscript circa 1970-1986 

2 20

 Manuscript 1986   [3 folders]

2 21-23

 Manuscript [second copy] 1986   [3 folders]

2 24-26

 Equator Books 2004 

2 27

 "Of Pyramids, Points, & People" 

Box Folder

 Manuscript 1977 

2 17

 "The Beginning" 1997 

2 5
Box Folder

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

2 18

 "Wrap Your Postage with Dreams" manuscript 1976 

2 28

 Contracts 1972-1980 

4 9

 Copyrights 1976-1986 

3 1

 Correspondence, incoming 1981-2003 

3 2

 Correspondence, outgoing 1988-2002 

3 3
Box

 Floppy disks Undated   9 floppy disks (3 1/2 in.).

8
Box Folder

 Flyers 1980 

3 4

 Letters of reference 1980-2001 

4 10

 Poems Undated 

3 5

 Publishers, agents, and production companies 1980-1999 

3 6

 Rejections 1976-1977 

3 7

 Reviews of Laguna Beach and Century City readings 1976 

3 8

 Short works and plays 1964-1967 

3 9

 Writing samples 1979 

3 10

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Series 3:  Series 3. Lectures, articles and research material on intersex issues 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 Folder

 Clippings, one-woman show 1977 

3 11

 Conferences and seminars 1984-1999 

3 12

 Correspondence 1984-2003 

3 13

 "A Path of Androgyny" lecture flyer 1985 

3 14

 "A Path of Androgyny" lecture material 1985 

3 15

 Press releases 1985 

3 16
Box

 Slides for lecture circa 1950-1985   47 slides: b&w, col.

5
Box Folder

 Speaking engagements 1967-2000 

3 17
Box Folder

 Clippings and photocopied articles on intersex concerns circa 1975-2005   [7 folders]

3 43-49

 Pamphlets 1979-1989 

3 50

 Television and radio correspondence, guest appearances 1988-2003 

4 11

 Television talkshow transcripts 1988-1997 

3 51

 Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, article by Ronald Wong Jue 1988 

3 18

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

3 19

 Annotated articles and research notes 1988-2000 

3 20

 Data News, by Lois M. Rodden 1993 

3 21

 Journal of Sex Research, article by Milton Diamond 1995 

3 22

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

3 23

 International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy paper 1995 

3 24

 Institute of Gay and Lesbian Education 1995 

4 12

 Research notes and clippings 1995-2000 

4 13

 Unidentified notes 1995 

3 25

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

3 26

 Gender Shock, by Phyllis Burke 1996 

3 27

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

3 28

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

3 29

 Tail Spins Magazine 1998 

3 30

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

3 31

 University of Warwick, thesis by Tracey Lee 1998 

3 32

 Astrology thesis by Simon Wickham-Smith 1998 

3 33

 Gires Directory correspondence 1999 

3 34

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

3 35

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

3 36

 Articles by Milton Diamond 1999-2000 

3 37

 LA Weekly 2000 

3 38

 Stop Hate Educate correspondence 2001 

3 39

 Manuscript and correspondence with Milton Diamond 2001 

3 40

 Photocopied pages from Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides 2002 

3 41

 Untitled book by Chuck Stewart 2004 

3 42

 "The Comparison of Androgynes" article Undated 

4 14

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Series 4:  Series 4. Photographs 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

 1950-1969 

5

 1970-1979 

5

 Modeling and acting portfolio circa 1970-1979 

6

 1980-1989 

6

 1990-2007 

6

 Unidentified people circa 1960-2005 

6

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Series 5:  Series 5. Audiocassettes and videocassettes 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 Item

 Lynn Harris speaking on androgyne Undated   1 audiocassette (35 min.)

8 10

 Lew Irwin Show, Earth News Radio, Lynn Harris interview January 29, 1979   1 audiocassette.

8 11

 Earth News Radio, Lynn Harris interview January 29, 1979   1 audiocassette.

8 12

 Lew Irwin Show, Earth News Radio, Lynn Harris interview January 29, 1979   1 audiocassette.

8 13

 APRT 3rd Annual Conference, A Case of Androgyny, Ronald Wong Jue, Ph.D. and Lynn Harris October 8, 1983   1 audiocassette.

8 14

 Carol Hemingway Show KGIL, Lynn Harris interview November 28, 1988   3 audiocassettes.

8 15-17

 Michael Jackson Show, KABC Talkradio AM 790, Lynn Harris interview December 7, 1988   4 audiocassettes.

8 18-21

 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   2 audiocassettes.

8 22-23

 Lynn Edward Harris, Whittier College April 26, 1995   1 audiocassette.

8 24

 VHS videocassettes 1989-2000 

Box Item

 Mix Master Sally, AM LA, Geraldo, Donahue 1989   2 videocassettes (VHS).

7 1-2

 Interview AM LA ABC TV February 2, 1989   1 videocassette (VHS).

7 3

 Sally's Show (Jesse Raphael) April 27, 1989   2 videocassettes (VHS).

7 4-5

 Geraldo Show, CBS July 27, 1989   1 videocassette (VHS).

7 6

 Donahue, "Roundtable of Sexual Oddities" October 10, 1989   1 videocassette (VHS).

7 7

 Donahue Show November 27, 1989   2 videocassettes (VHS).

7 8-9

 Montel Williams Show April 24, 1992   2 videocassettes (VHS).

7 10-11

 Lynn, #252, profile (1) circa 1993   1 videocassette (VHS) (20 min.).

7 12

 Dish, Episode 63; Lynn Harris Special Guest 1994   2 videocassettes (VHS) (27:30).

7 13-14

 Strange Universe Show #2072 November 11, 1997   1 videocassette (VHS) (28:30).

7 15

 Doc Talk Show #2 November 5, 1999   1 videocassette (VHS).

7 16

 Maury, "My Secret Destroyed My Family!" September 29, 1999   1 videocassette (VHS).

7 17

 The Leeza Gibbons Show February 28, 2000   1 videocassette (VHS).

7 18

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Series 6:  Series 6. Trophies and memorabilia 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 Item

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

10 1

 Button with photograph of Lynn Edward Harris Undated 

10 2

 Graduation cap 1964 

10 3

 Ribbon: "Los Angeles, Presenter, Facilitator" Undated 

10 4

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

10 5

 Sash: "Costa Mesa Jr. Miss 1968" 1968 

9 1

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

10 6

 Trophies 

Box Item

 "1968 Costa Mesa Junior Miss Pageant 1st" 1968   1 trophy.

10 7

 "California District Exchange Clubs; Search for Talent Finals, Runner-up Fresno" June 22, 1967   1 trophy.

10 8

 "Lynn Harris; Costa Mesa Christmas Decorations 1967, Miss Tinsel" 1967   1 trophy.

10 9

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

10 10

 "Superiority in Dramatic; Lynn Harris" May 27, 1966   1 trophy.

10 11

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