Aleshia Brevard, a model and entertainer who in the early '60s became one of the first Americans to undergo SRS, has died. She was 79.
As noted in Austin Mutti-Mewse's obit, Brevard had been a popular female impersonator at Finocchio's in San Francisco (pictured at left, pre-SRS), where she says Marilyn Monroe caught her act before the icon's death in 1962. Brevard was in character as Marilyn, one of many glamourpusses she portrayed.
Via The Daily Telegraph:
“It was only when the lights went up I noticed her wiggle,” Aleshia Brevard later recalled. “I screamed in excitement. She blew me a kiss. Recounting that night in her diary, Marilyn wrote that watching Aleshia Brevard was like seeing herself on film.
Brevard began her transition in the 1950s, inspired by Christine Jorgensen (1926-1989), undergoing SRS in 1962 with money earned at Finocchio's. She went back to school and then did time as a Playboy bunny and eventually an actress, with appearances in The Love God? (1969), The Female Bunch (1971) and others.
She became an acting instructor in her later years, and married four times — twice to men who did not know she was trans.
Brevard came out as trans in the memoir The Woman I Was Not Born to Be: A Transsexual Journey (2001) and wrote several other works, including a 2013 novel.
RIP to a chick who certainly didn't have it easy, but who didn't let that stop her.