Abstract

Edward De Lacy Evans, born female, lived as a man for twenty-three years between 1856 and 1879, in the colony of Victoria, Australia. The "imposture" was discovered when s/he was admitted to a lunatic asylum, and this attracted substantial press when it was revealed that Evans had married three women and was father to a young daughter. Evans's three marriages made sexual desire between women a prominent topic of discussion. This article explores the episode for what it reveals about contemporary understandings of gender and sexuality. Although in recent years attention has focused upon the disruptive potential of cross-dressing, sex impersonation, and gender ambiguity, this article focuses upon the ways in which those who wrote about Evans "managed," "neutralized," and "normalized" a potentially confronting example of gender and sexual transgression.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2036
Print ISSN
1042-7961
Pages
pp. 53-77
Launched on MUSE
2010-03-25
Open Access
No
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