Profiles of LGBT people, from the past and today – and celebrating their birthdays! All Birthdays →

Joseph Lobdell

Joseph Lobdell was born on December 2, 1829, in Westerlo, New York. He had a turbulent marriage with a man named George Washington Slater, with whom he had a daughter, Helen, and the couple separated in 1852. He was known for his skill as a fiddle player and his marksmanship. He also published a book, Narrative of Lucy Ann Lobdell, the Female Hunter of Delaware and Sullivan Counties, New York, which addressed his life history, hunting adventures, and religious views. It is unclear when he began identifying as male, though the earliest known record is from 1861, when he married Marie Louise Perry. The couple lived together in Pennsylvania for several years and Lobdell was arrested repeatedly for cross-dressing. In 1879, Lobdell was institutionalized in the Willard Asylum in upstate New York, where his doctor wrote a pathologizing article about his transgender identity. He died on May 28, 1912. His story in his own words is recounted in Gender Benders, 1782-1920, by Jonathan Ned Katz.