Misty Memories Part 500: The Time I Met Christine Jorgensen

"A lot of people who sing can't sing," Christine Jorgensen told me in 1981, "but at least I admit it!"

The groundbreaking transsexual had come in from her home in Laguna Beach, California to make her New York cabaret debut.

Her act consisted of saucy impersonations of Marlene Dietrich and Tallulah Bankhead in between sincere renderings of "Welcome To My World," "You'll Never Walk Alone,' and naturally, "I Enjoy Being A Girl."

And even if she couldn't sing for shit and her act was a bit of a mess, she was pretty delightful.

In person too.

"I was the first big 'Gee whiz' story," Christine reminded me about her 1952 transitioning in Copenhagen, which sent shock waves throughout the world.

"I got more print written about me than any other single human being in the history of newspapers.

"That's pretty wild when you compare it to Roosevelt and Churchill and WWII.

"It's pretty nerve-wracking.

"At the beginning, one newspaperman said, 'If you don't like the publicity, why don't you go away and change your name?'

"I said, 'My dear, I just did'."

By any name, I loved her--especially when she told me she still was getting treated with curiosity "in the Bible Belt, where they get very religious about all kinds of things.

"They get morality issues into almost everything, from orange juice down!"

Nope, they'll never transition.

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >