J. Allen Gilbert: "Homosexuality and Its Treatment," October 1920

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The Life of Alberta Lucille/Alan Hart

Adapted from Jonathan Ned Katz, Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A. (NY: Crowell, 1976)

The spare, unemotional language of Portland, Oregon, psychiatrist J. Allen Gilbert enhances the power of a report which reads with the interest of fiction. Here, in vivid detail, is the account of "H" (whom research has identified as Alberta Lucille Hart/Alan Hart), born on October 4, 1890 (though this report says 1892).

Hart spent her youth in Albany, Oregon, graduating from Albany College in 1912, then attended Stanford University and medical school.

Although Dr. Gilbert does not distinguish between his own writing and his subject's, he indicates that his article is based on a chronological "auto-biography" written by "H" herself. Gilbert's report begins:

"H," or Alberta Lucille Hart, the subject of Gilbert's history, at Albany College, Oregon, 1911.[1]
LUCILLE HART. The remainder of the Junior class are justly proud of their "agitator." She is very active in the Student Body affairs and is a famous debator. We hesitate to mention it, but we fear that her dreams of blessed spinsterhood will be only dreams. She "appreciates" tennis and all athletic sports, but her use of English is "fierce;" this is the source of daily trial and concern to Miss Irvine's soul. In the words of -"With all her faults, we love her still."[2]
The patient who served as the subject of the following history applied to me for psycho-analytic examination and treatment for a phobia which had been troubling her ever since childhood. For manifest reasons, her name is withheld, but will be designated as "H." Age, 26. Unusually high grade of intelligence, alert, ambitious and, all in all, decidedly of the higher grade of humanity, when judged by the customary standards.

The psychoanalysis, with reference to her phobia, was unusually successful in disclosing the underlying cause. H had no idea of revealing her homo-sexuality when she came for treatment for the phobia. Psychoanalysis revealed only too plainly that her phobia was really an old association which indelibly associated her phobia with a step-father, who was distasteful to an extreme.

The psychoanalysis revealed other side lights which were a thorough surprise to both H and myself. She proved to be a splendid subject for both the hypnoid and word-association method. A very few tests with each made it perfectly plain that there was some sexual affair at the bottom of her difficulties. I decided to put my suspicions at her rather bluntly and observe the effect. Consequently, I said, "Even our short investigation up to this point seems to indicate that the whole trouble is connected in some way with sex."

As chance would have it, she was not eyeing me at the time that I said it, though she usually looks one squarely in the eye during conversation. At the mention of the last word, "sex," like a flash her eyes met mine; there was a momentary hesitation with a quick reassertion of self-control; and, very adroitly the conversation was changed and carried along until she could leave without abruptness, and she closed the consultation.

Judging from her manner of leaving, I feared that I had offended her and suspected that there would be no further interviews on the subject. However, after the expiration of about two weeks, she came to the office again.

[Space added to facilitate reading.]

She entered the consultation room with manifest uneasiness, and, as she started to talk, her eyes wandered here and there as if in search of something on which to rest. Hesitation and embarrassment were manifest. Finally, she met the issue squarely. She explained that since she last saw me she had had quite a struggle to bring herself to disclose a fact which was not known, except to a very few intimate friends, as will be seen from the following history. She made up her mind that this was her chance to meet the difficulty and correct it, if possible; at least, to do the best for the condition that could be done. She then recited in somewhat disconnected and fragmentary form the following facts, which she later wrote out as an autobiography in chronological order at my request....[3]

Personal History.-H was born Oct. 4, 1892 [1890 is the correct year of Hart's birth]. Healthy infant of 10 pounds. Good health during infancy except for an attack (probably broncho-pneumonia) at 15 months, which resulted in complete recovery. After death of father in August, 1892, removed with mother to the farm home of maternal grandparents.

Very active child as soon as she was able to walk. Played with and teased small dog a great deal as a baby--would love the dog at one time, and later run after him with a stove poker to torment him. Not afraid of strangers after age 11/2 years. Always would go to men before women. When away from home insisted on being with father rather than mother. First public appearance at 4 years, no fear at all. From first showed much initiative. When in house imitated. whatever mother did, outside always played "horse and wagon." When mother would talk to her about father being dead and how they were left alone, she would always say that she would grow to be a man and take care of mother. Also insisted on sitting on the right side of the buggy when driving with mother, giving 'as a reason that she was the "man" of the family. Up to the age of •four seemed to like dolls; these dolls were all girl dolls except one rag doll; always played hospital with them for patients or at taking them somewhere. Never played very much with dolls after this except in hospital game. Learned alphabet by herself from building blocks before age of 3. Between three and four, got so she could read Sunday School papers. Slept with mother till her second marriage. Even when very young, she always wanted pockets on her clothes. About 5 or 6 years began to like women and "make up with" them sooner than men. Mother says she never noticed anything unusual about child except her activity and inclination to pays' games, up to age of 6 or 7. H's first clear memory is of standing at window looking across road while grandmother curled her hair. She always remembers a large volume of bible stories with lurid illustrations of which she was fond. Vague correlated memories of the trip to P-at age of 4-trip on train, large stores, street cars, new blue suit with gold braid, etc. Hazy memories of large dog, Bruce, of whom H was very fond, also of trips to barn and animals seen there. Very much interested in horses. Some time before age of 5, had some firecrackers which child enjoyed very much.

Mother married second time when child was 41/2 years old, H disliked this man, and has unorganized memories of his courting her mother and of her own resentment at losing her mother's company. Remembers preparations for wedding, the ceremony, and the supper afterwards, Went to live in a small town with mother and stepfather. Lived beside a small canal and played with a boy of the same age who lived across canal. In a tit of anger one day, H threw a kitten down stairs and killed it. Disliked stepfather, would play rough noisy games with him, but absolutely refused to allow him to dress or undress her. Vague memories of going with parents to various social functions. Vivid memory of Xmas celebration with tree at church, a Santa Claus, and presents. Also saw her first corpse at a funeral, but got no impression of horror.

When H was 5 years old, her maternal grandmother suffered a nervous breakdown, and Mr. and Mrs. B. with the child moved back to farm to care for her. They lived there until H was 10 years old. During early part of this period H showed some jealousy as before for stepfather; as child grew older, other interests crowded it more into the background. Severely ill for 3 or 4 months at age of 7 with whooping cough-recovery good and general health better afterward. Child . taken regularly to church and Sunday school and became rather ultra-religious. Slept in same room with mother and stepfather, and used to wonder what they were doing when the love demonstrations became too audible. Grandmother's inordinate fear of chimney fires caused a dread of them in H's mind also-she used to pray to avoid them. H was not allowed to attend the country school but studied irregularly at home. Very dull in arithmetic and spelling, but loved to read. Spanish-American war stimulated child's interest" in history and geography. Intensely interested in Civil War; for several years by aid of wooden guns, it was the favorite game. Grandfather read single tax, politics and current events to child who was much interested in Presidential campaign of 1896, and in its issues. Child had no fairy stories or literature of that type. H read a great deal, e.g., Sunday school magazines, novels, biographies, travels, adventure stories. She dramatized the books read and acted them out as far as possible. Volume of H. M. Stanley's African travels was a favorite; the pictures of naked savages and the stories of hunts and battles were enjoyed especially. Began to wonder about sexual matters. Read the "family Doctor Book" and looked up many words in dictionary. Read "Pilgrim's Progress" about this time; this resulted in the child's becoming afraid of the dark for the first time; she concealed this fear so well that the family never suspected it.

Was a very active child. Did a boy's work about the farm, milked the cows, learned to ride and drive horses. Very fond of grandfather, whom she followed everywhere. Liked to listen to the men who came to the place, discussing politics, agriculture, etc. Always played at barn or in tool house unless confined to the house by stormy weather, when "store" or "hospital" was the favorite game. Never played house or at being the mother of dolls. At the age of 7 H refused to play with dolls with small girl visitor unless as head and father of the family. Spent all money earned for pocket-knives which she lost rapidly. Often recited in public and won several prizes; enjoyed these appearances greatly. H was an obstinate independent child who resented anything that smacked of "bossing." Undemonstrative and shy about showing feelings-although very affectionate underneath. Family had a large number of cats. H was fond of these animals but had a streak of cruelty which made her often beat them. Forced by isolation to play almost wholly alone. Developed self-reliance, e.g., having chopped a finger off with a double bitted ax, H dressed wound herself and said nothing about it to the family.

Always regarded herself as a boy, and thought she would be a boy if only the family would cut her hair and let her wear trousers, which she earnestly besought them to do. Always liked to wear boys' clothes and felt most natural in them often wore overalls in summer. Had a marked aversion to undressing downstairs before the family; those present being mainly women. Enjoyed hearing maids talk of their admirers and social pleasures. Remembers distinctly the pleasure derived from reading love scenes in novels, which, later, she would always dramatize with self in role of hero opposite the girl then admired. Much given to day dreaming, which always concerned love affairs with herself in the masculine part and the achievement by herself of fame and fortune. Indifferent to her own clothes but enjoyed looking at shirts and collars, etc. Made collars and cuffs out of pasteboard which she wore in the effort to look as much like a man as possible. Being married as a man was a favorite imagination-visualized herself as kissing and making love to these women of her dreams. Exact nature of the sex act was not yet clear in her mind, all information thus far having been derived from reading, stolen glimpses of forms of men and women, and observation of animals about the farm. Was desperately "in love" with each of a series of maids employed about the house; wrote long effusions to them which she usually tore up, but which she now and then gave to the object of her affections. H would have been glad to kiss these girls and come in physical contact with them, but was always afraid to do so.

Dislike for stepfather persisted. His teasing child with a pop-gun and the association of him with her first hearing the report of a shot-gun produced a phobia for that sort of a noise which still persists at the age of 26. (This phobia was her reason for first consulting me. Psychoanalysis revealed its underlying cause with unusual promptness and success.) However, H was still fond of adventurous stories and listened eagerly to those told by men returned from eastern Oregon and the Klondike, wishing that she too might do those things.

Possessed a very disagreeable temper and when in a rage would throw herself upon the floor, hold her breath, froth at the mouth, kick, etc. This temper persisted with little attempt at control until H was in her 'teens.

From 10-12, H lived on a fruit farm with mother and stepfather. No illness of note. Still noisy and active. Picked prunes, milked, cared for horses, rode bicycle, played in very high and dangerous swing, etc. Hated all sorts of housework and would never do any unless compelled. Fond of farm animals; never afraid of them. Only went into town on rare occasions; preferred the farm. Still religiously inclined. Often seriously thoughtful when alone, and never lonely although alone a good deal. Careless about appearance; comfort and convenience came first. Dislike for stepfather still marked; very fond of mother, although undemonstrative.

Still read a great deal-travel, adventure and love stories. Especially fond of "Tom Brown's Schooldays" and "Tom Brown at Oxford." Still dramatized all she read; especially the love scenes. Not studious in school. Always fond of teachers. Inclined to idealize women teachers and visualize love scenes with them. Liked to talk to them and wait on them but never told them of her erotic feelings or made any attempt at physical contact. Crude drawing of intercourse circulated at school amused, H greatly, though it horrified the girls. No interest in boys like other girls had. Was leader and champion of girls vs. boys when disagreements arose; almost choked to death one especially obnoxious lad in such a fight. Liked to play "Black Man" and "Crack the Whip," etc. Was noted for being rough in play. Was not afraid of the dark now and used to be sent home as escort with a maid who lived at some little distance from H's home. Greatly admired two rather fast young college men who visited at the home, and tried to ape them in manner and actions; attempted to make a cigarette of leaves and paper and smoke them. Liked older people better than children, men more than women. Still followed men about over the farm and helped with work of the farm.

Had a girl chum of same age who lived across the road, with whom she played almost all the time-s-but toward whom she never had any sexual inclination. By age 12 had a fairly complete knowledge of sexual reproduction. Conducted personal anatomical research by aid of chum, and studied "comparative anatomy" on available animals. Cut peep holes in the back wall of the boys' toilet at school to further the discoveries. Still slept in the same room as mother and stepfather began to understand what went on. Periods of erotic excitement began and soon became frequent and noteworthy. Erotic day dreams about other girls of her own acquaintance with whom she fancied herself in love-herself always in the role of the male. Also had these dreams concerning purely imaginary women. Never spoke of these day dreams to anyone. Never made any attempt at physical contact with any of these girls, although the mental picture of it caused intense excitement. H's romancings always stopped short at marriage and did not go on to a home and children. By age of 12 was familiar with physical appearance of both sexes. When H heard mother and stepfather having intercourse at night, she vaguely resented such treatment of her mother and yet experienced an intangible, pleasant excitement at the thought of the relation so near at hand.

Two women dominated this period. (I) Nell P., who was about 16 at the time, fair, blue-eyed, very attractive, with beautiful auburn hair. The attraction for her persisted for several years even through infatuations for others. H visualized many love scenes with her, always ending in marriage. When Nell P. once spent some weeks in H's home, she delighted to wait on her and be near her. H would have liked to touch her and kiss her but was afraid. (2) H admired Olga P., her teacher, a little later during this period. She was about 21 or 22, tall, and dark. H often dreamed of being a boy-pupil of Miss P. end about 18 or 20 years old, so that in any time of physical indisposition of Miss P., H could relieve her or take her to the Doctor or, finding her with a sprained ankle, carry her home a la "Tom Brown at Oxford." Dreamed over many love scenes with this girl.

Family moved to town so that H could have better school advantages. Entered seventh grade. H was "green as a gourd," thin, poorly dressed, and unattractive. Seat-mate was tall, dark, good-looking and very scornful of H. D. B., who was small, slight and dark, was kind to H on this first day of school and so won her heart. Town children annoyed H by making fun of her clothes and calling her the living skeleton. Consequently, H shrank into her shell and began to have some interest in her work and study at home. She rapidly became the best pupil in her class. An elderly woman, Mrs. C., who lived in the same block was kind to H, would talk to her and hear her troubles. H used to read a great deal in Mrs. C's Encyclopoedia Britannica. This association lasted with H till she was 18 years old. A "gang" of girls played on a vacant hill near H's home and H wished greatly to join them but was not permitted to do so. Took a long walk with her mother on Sunday afternoons. The religious routine for the years from 12-18 included two church services. Sunday school and Christian Endeavor Society every Sunday, with family worship once or twice daily besides. H gradually came to know the girls of the neighborhood a little and play with them somewhat. Joined in outdoor games whenever possible, often sneaking away from home to do so. Some spasmodic interest in collecting butter-flies, bugs, beetles. Purchased a piccolo with her own earnings with which she made day and night hideous. Schoolmates ridiculed sun-bonnet that H was forced by her mother to wear until H wore fascinator or felt hat all summer rather than the despised bonnet. Mother tried to coddle her and dressed her too warmly-i-consequently she took cold easily. Always active and lively. Menstruation began at I2 years-irregular at first, but not painful. Thyroid enlargement came on about twelve years and persisted till 16 when it disappeared-never any symptoms except swelling. Upon entering the eighth grade, H met a teacher who had a profound influence over her till after she graduated from high school. Miss B. was small and dark with piercing black eyes. H admired her for her ability and respected her greatly but had no sexual inclination for her at all. Passed into high school with the highest grades in her class.

By this time H was deeply infatuated with D. B., who had affected her sexually from the first. However, H did not suspect the nature of the affection. She liked to be with D. B. as much as possible and was always quick in her defense either physically or verbally. H would spend hours alone with D. B. whenever it was possible, ensuing in such a state of nervous excitement that violent exercise came as a relief. Always wanted to love her and kiss her, but never dared to do so. Never embraced D. B. or spent a night with her in all the years they were together. At this time H began also to build air castles of life with D. B. as husband and wife. In these dreams H was a doctor and they had a beautiful home. H loved to visualize a whole evening in this home-e.g., return from the office, dinner with D. B., long evening spent at home love-making or out driving, followed by retiring together and intercourse. These dreams always left H in great excitement. She enjoyed visualizing the sexual act with herself always in the active role, and every possible variation of place and posture. Without instruction from anyone, she began to masturbate at the climax of these dreams. H even derived savage pleasure from the thought of indignities offered D. B. by herself, e.g., inspection of H of her perineum, forcing her to urinate, etc., in her presence. But she was always overcome by love and pity afterward and in her dream would apologize to D. B. For some unknown reason, H's mother objected to her association with D. B. and so much of their companionship had to be clandestine in real life. This objection was transformed in H's dream life into an active persecution of D. B. as H's wife against which H valiantly defended her. She thought D. B. the most attractive girl in the world and was plunged into despair when a small quarrel deprived her of D. B's company. In vacations H spent as many afternoons and evenings with D. B. as possible, reading to her, talking, or kodaking. Wrote stories and novelettes to read to D. B. in the hope of hearing her praises.

In high school H soon came into prominence. Took great interest in all student activities and had a great deal of responsibility in them. Was student body officer, executive committeeman, manager of H. S. paper, on debating team, etc. Wrote for school paper and in various essay contests with considerable success. The teacher, Miss B. was H's guide and adviser in these undertakings. H admired certain boys very much but never thought of them in a love relation. She played ball on evenings and Saturdays with the boys of the neighborhood until 18 years of age. Began to take interest in physical culture and to take cold baths and systematic exercise. This resulted in rapid physical improvement and increased strength.

H formed definite habit at this stage of dreaming aloud to herself after retiring concerning the romances that occupied her mind; these dreams were accompanied by definite erotic excitement. At 15, she became infatuated with a married woman living across the street who was about 25 years old, tall, fair, and attractive (Mrs. S.). She had just lost her six-year-old daughter and liked to talk to H of the child, religion, etc. For more than a year H spent as much time with her as possible, and wrote a "novel" with Mrs. S. as heroine opposite herself as hero. Never touched Mrs. S. or kissed her or had any physical intimacy whatever. A certain peculiar perfume used by Mrs. S. always appealed to H. H visualized a portion of the novel she wrote in her day dreams in bed every night; marked voluptuous excitement accompanied these dreams, also masturbation at times. After about a year, Mrs. S. moved away and H did not see her again for 10 years, although she always remembered her with fondness.

All this time, D. B., although somewhat in abeyance, retained her hold on H's affections and now reigned again supreme. Always kept up her school work and retained her prominence in school life. Cared but little for social pleasures and never went to parties where boys were present because she did not "get on" socially with them, did not like them, could not talk "small talk" like other girls, and knew the boys did not like her. Was but little interested in clothes and permitted her mother to select them, wearing whatever was provided. Showed absolutely no interest in household matters and absolutely 'refused to cook and sew. Intensely interested in athletics, especially football, in Which she became an expert as to rules and records. Was an omnivorous reader of history, politics, current events, and novels. Enjoyed public speaking and debating greatly. When D. 'B. was forced to stay out of school by illness, H painfully made a written translation of a large part of Cesar for her.

At 17 years, for some months H dreamed of courting and marrying a young teacher in the high school, Mrs. P. The most intimate details of love-life and home life .were visualized with intense erotic excitement. At times during all these episodes H would return to the old dreams of D. B. There was always the warmest affection between them which resulted in much time spent together and many gifts from H. At 17 H spent an afternoon alone with Nell P., now married, who was then pregnant for the first time. She found that the girl had all the old attraction for her but rather resented the fact of her pregnancy and the pain it would entail her.

An injury at age of 14 had resulted in dysmenorrhoea which was treated and relieved about this time. Amount of flow began to decrease slightly and gradually. Health good, abundant energy, never tired, masturbation never carried to excess. Began to show more interest in clothes but had marked preference for tailored things and clothes and ties.

D. B. still foremost in dream life. H spent much time with her and had for her a very real devotion. Was extremely jealous of boys and men who showed D. B. attentions. H went to a few parties during her last year in high school but was not very popular except as a clown for purposes of entertainment. Took great pleasure in showering gifts upon D. B., who was very poor. H was generous and extravagant in money matters. D. B. once told H that she would have married her had she been a man. Still H never embraced D. B. or spent a night with her or masturbated in her presence.

About this time, H met a distant cousin, Henry, who was attentive to her for some months. Enjoyed being with him and even did a certain amount of "spooning" though she did not enjoy the latter.

Twice during this period H met attractive girls with whom she was thrown for a few weeks and to whom she was definitely attracted. Separation occurred in both cases, however, and after a few months H thought but little of them.

During this period, H began to have some control over her temper so that paroxysms of earlier years gradually ceased. Family would not give her an allowance so she had only what money she could pick up herself. Began working in spare time and vacations for a photographer; developed a violent interest in this work and became quite successful as a scenic. photographer, in which line she continued till the age of 22. When scarce of cash, would steal what was necessary from mother's or grandfather's pocketbooks; never liked this and was glad to quit it so soon as possible. Also took music lessons on the mandolin for four years and became moderately good performer. Was graduated from H. S. in June, 1908, with second rank in class.

H entered local college in 1908. Knew no one there and so studied and worked hard all the first year, going out but little until spring. Took usual college course. Discovered a decided liking for physics, economics, philosophy and allied subjects. Took second place in local oratorical contest. Came into father's estate in spring and went wild over the joy of spending money. Became popular because of the money-spending. H was aware all year of an attraction to a classmate, E. C., but had not had an opportunity to know her well. Acquaintance followed an accident in the spring. E. C. was short, dark, brown-eyed, attractive though not very pretty, and very popular with both boys and girls. During the last five weeks of this year, H was with her almost constantly, although nothing more than ordinary lovemaking and kisses passed between them. At the same time H was going about somewhat with E. C.'s brother, though she cared nothing for him. H worked all summer at photography except for a few weeks spent at E. C.'s home in the mountains. While they were apart, H wrote E. C. violent, daily love-letters. During H's second year in college the intimacy ripened and she spent much money on gifts for E. C., mainly candy, flowers and jewelry. Also took her driving or automobiling several times weekly. They attended a great many public functions together. H never went to dances or to parties where she would have to be much with men. H spent at least one night a week with E. C. Their relationship progressed to more intimacy-there was much kissing and love-making, and also some actual sexual experiences, during which H had E. C. manipulate her. Mutual masturbation was resorted to at times. There was no thought of shame on either side. E. C. seemed devoid of passion but very anxious to give H pleasure. H possessed more sexual knowledge than the average woman, but knew nothing of psychopathy and did not realize that her own condition was abnormal; it always seemed perfectly right to her. H always played the role of lover toward E. C. During the first night they spent together (at the close of H's freshman year) neither slept at all; H made violent love to E. C. with constant kisses and caresses but no actual sexual advances; E. C seemed half-stunned and did not respond very warmly but neither did she resist. After the eight weeks' separation during vacation H was wildly excited at seeing E. C. and could hardly wait for the privacy of a bedroom before embracing her; she spent the night thus, which only served to increase her passion. However, H did not masturbate in E. C.'s presence. During the second year, when they practiced mutual manipulation, H derived great pleasure from this contact with E. C, though the latter seemed to care very little for the manipulation of her own person. H also liked to caress and fondle E. C.'s body but this never seemed to gratify her greatly. It gradually came about that E. C. did most of the active manipulating till a certain stage of excitement was reached by H and involuntary spasmodic movements began on her part. H really loved E. C. very tenderly and very passionately. Saw her first light opera with E. C., which produced pronounced though inhibited sexual excitement.

H was a better student than E. C. and delighted to aid her in her work. She also furnished her money to live on and cared for her in every possible way. H was active in all student activities; leader of Women's Debating team, first associate on college team, college representative in State Oratorical contest, manager of College Annual, etc. Active in Y. W. C. A. also, although she had a private conviction that the Christian religion was a fraud. Was a leader in many strenuous college pranks. Active in sports, e.g., tramping, tennis, hunting. In vacations did commercial photography in the mountains, camping and traveling with a 'pack-horse. Became more fastidious personally and in her dress, but still delighted in strictly tailored clothes. Now began to wear shirts, collars and ties-also to wear suits almost wholly, keeping the coat on when indoors. Also began to take week-end trips to a neighboring city where-always with E. C. in tow-she "took in" theaters, comic operas, vaudeville, cafes, etc.

During this time H had no other affairs. D. B. had become a stenographer and gradually they drifted apart, although still warm friends when they met. There was one young woman on the faculty for whom H entertained a sort of idealizing passion which never came to light in any way. For her other friends, H had a genuine unsentimental affection. Her relations with the men of the college were frank, friendly and unsentimental. H's family opposed the social life of the school, so that much "sneaking out" and deception were necessary for H. Clashes with mother were frequent as she resented H's growing independence and tried to dictate to her as a child. H never made her mother a confidante, and during this period began to have an actual physical aversion to her and regard her as, an enemy.

In 1910 H decided to enter -- University. Since E. C.'s parents could not afford the expense, H took her with her at her own expense, since the separation would have been unbearable.

H entered premedical department at -- University; also took up work in economics and philosophy. Was active in Social Service Club, Physiology Club and Philosophy Club. Leader of Women's Glee and Mandolin Clubs and founded first Women's Debating Club. Was officer in women's dormitory. Refused Greek letter election because E. C. was not bidden by the same sorority. Did a lot of outside reading in economics, philosophy and psychology. Did considerable investigation of social service work in 8-. Worked hard and received very high grades in studies. H became intimate with a small group of girls who represented almost every type and line of work; liked them all very much but had no love affairs with any of them. Devoted to E. C.-rarely went anywhere without her. E. C. went now and then to dances with men; H was jealous but still wanted her to have a good time and so permitted it. H enjoyed caring for E. C., paid her bills, bought her clothes, and showered her with gifts and luxuries. Went to the city almost every week-end, usually taking E. C. along. Became very fond of the theater, operas and concerts. Met people in S-- who frequented cafes, and with them began to go to late suppers, cabarets, and drink and smoke. Often went down in the tenderloin, dance-hall district. There H met a dancing girl who had not yet become a professional prostitute; this girl was big-hearted, young and attractive; she and H became quite intimate for a few months; H used to visit her in her apartment. There was a definite sexual attraction on H's part, also some experiences in tribadism. H also met a married woman about 8 years her senior who was small, dark, witty-a cripple from childhood; the warmest friendship sprang up between them, which still persists 7 years later; there never has been any trace of sexuality in it. First rift now came between E. C. and H. E. C. insisted upon H having a completely feminine wardrobe for formal occasions, to which H submitted with rather poor grace. Still insisted on extremely tailored things for all other times. Also E. C. did not approve of H's smoking, drinking and going to fast cafes. However, H persisted in doing these things, attempting to placate E. C. afterwards by handsome gifts. E. C. did not approve of H's extreme democracy and disregard of convention, e.g., scolded her severely when she carried lumber and materials for some shelves in their room out from the saw-mill and through the campus to the Hall. Consequently, the passion of this partnership subsided somewhat; until ordinary lovemaking and kissing constituted almost all of their relationship. The summer between these two years was uneventful for H, being spent partly in scenic photography and partly visiting the family. Last year in college much like the former one. Status remained almost unchanged between E. C. and H, except that H now met with financial reverses which worried her greatly. Seemed impossible for the "firm" to get along with less than $300-350 per month. H concealed the true situation from E. C. and went on living as lavishly as ever to her [sic]. The personal relationship was now well regulated; there was always kissing and loving and once or twice weekly sexual relationship, during which E. C. would manipulate H and give her orgasm and definite relief. It is doubtful whether E. C. ever had an orgasm.

When graduated, H was deeply in debt and greatly embarrassed financially. Abandoned plans for medical education temporarily. Spent the summer at commercial photography.

At the end of this period H was a strong, well-built young person of great vitality. She had done. considerable rowing, motoring, and swimming, and had become an adept in camping in the open. Very fond of music and the theater. Showed rather a talent for comic "stunts" such as are used in glee clubs. Addicted to late hours, theaters, midnight suppers and revelry; drank and smoked freely also. Relations with men were still of friendly, frank, unsentimental type; liked to work with men but socially cared only for women.

Intercourse with man undertaken by H at 2 I years out of pure curiosity. Man was normal and potent. H states that there was some slight physical pleasure but that the mental disgust was so great as to render the whole affair so obnoxious that she left unceremoniously at 3 A.M. This disgust was due, H considers, to the fact that she cared nothing for the man and that sexual relations without love have always seemed vulgar and loathesome to her.

In September, 1912, H obtained position as agent for library of Children's books with which she had fair success and at which she worked until February, '9'3. H met W. H. about September 20, at which time she was greatly worried over her financial troubles and treatment by E. C. E. C. upbraided her severely for getting into debt, for drinking, smoking, and being unconventional, etc. This had led to marked coolness between them. An attempt by H at suicide was accidentally discovered and frustrated. H was at once attracted by W. R., who was 12 years older than she. W. H. was small, very fair, with soft brown eyes; she was very intelligent and well educated, came of a prominent Southern family, had been reared in wealth, and had traveled abroad extensively. The attraction was mutual. They spent as much time together as possible during the fall. W. H. had always been very popular with men and was engaged when she met H. This was soon broken off, however. Tacit lovemaking began in a few weeks. They made several trips during the fall to P-- where they went to shows and cafes, drank and celebrated generally. Finally, in December, 1912, while spending the night with W. H., quite without premeditation and hardly realizing what she did, H proposed that they plan to live together permanently and have a home; to this W. H. assented at once. H was stunned and miserable when daylight came to discover to what she had committed herself, as she felt bound in honor to E. C. However, she could see no way of escape from her dilemma. W. H. was intensely jealous of E. C. and now set about separating E. C. and H, which she accomplished during the winter and spring. H; now wrote only occasionally to E. C. and these not love-letters. W. H. was also very jealous of H because she and her friends were younger than herself. Hand W. H. spent much time together-together practically every night after February, when H secured work in town' where W. H. was located. The sexual nature of the relation was recognized by both. The method used was tribadism and that in excess. However, this only seemed to have a good effect on H, who had boundless energy and strength and gained steadily in weight. W. H. assumed management of H's salary, so that H was able to pay many old bills. First, H was in a real-estate office, and then was accountant and general utility man in a wholesale and retail meat business. In her spare time she did typewriting, polished floors, waxed furniture, painted woodwork, built furniture and window-boxes, etc. With economy, gradually got most of the debts paid, but had no estate left for professional education. During spring, W. H. had guest I. C., an attractive red-haired girl who was a remarkable pianist. H thought her very sweet and attractive. During the summer, H spent every week-end with W. H. Also spent one week at E. C.'s home only to find all the old attraction gone. Had a furious reckoning with W. H. for this visit. Hand W. H. spent about two weeks at shore in September, during which time they became reconciled and returned to former status. H borrowed some money through W. H. and entered medical school in the fall of 1913. Plan then was to establish a permanent home together after H was started on her profession. H found in this relationship that bodily contact and rhythmical motion sufficed for her own complete pleasure. W. H. enjoyed the sexual relation as much as did H. A night rarely passed without gratification. H's attitude was entirely masculine. Each felt that the inability to have a family of their own was the only drawback, so they planned to adopt a boy and a girl. There was an engagement ring to signalize the contract. Spent almost all their time together in lovemaking. H always attended to all business matters when they were together and both considered her position as absolutely masculine. Often the mere sight of W. H. or her belongings would produce intense excitement in H, who always ardently welcomed contact with W. H. Sometimes she would allow W. H. to assume initiative in lovemaking, but this always resulted in such intense excitement for H that she would seize W. H. and go on to the orgasm without waiting. W. H.'s attraction for H was almost purely sexual.

H was the only woman in her class and had a rather severe initiation. Much interested in work, studied hard, seldom went out. Forced to practice rigid economy. Lived with a woman several years older than she in an apartment; they were good friends but there never was a trace of sexuality in the friendship. At first was very lonely for W. H. and went to see her every two weeks. Then I. C, began to be very kind to H and they saw a good deal of each other. H always thought of 1. C. as inferior mentally, but companionable and lovable. Liked to go to the theater with her and lounge before the open fire in the evenings in I. C.'s home while she played. H took to spending almost every Saturday evening and Sunday with I. C.; this lasted all winter and spring. Between them there was lovemaking and kissing, which I. C. seemed to enjoy greatly. This caused sexual excitement in H but there was never any actual relationship between them. H took the masculine role here so completely that 1. C. often said going about with her was exactly like going with a man. H assumed the small gallantries and courtesies of men. H often dreamed after retiring of courting and marrying I. C.; also visualized actual intercourse with her as a male; this was accompanied by. sexual excitement and masturbation. W. H. was extremely jealous of 1. C.; wrote much about her to H; they had many "scenes" over it. H now began to resent W. H.'s holding her so strictly to account and distrusting her in general; her ardor for W. H. had now cooled markedly, except when in actual physical contact, when sexual excitement would always occur.

E. C. was in the same city as H in May, 1914. H had not written to her all winter, but when they met there was a complete confession of everything on H's part and a reconciliation. In the next month, W. H. and H completely broke off their relations; W. H. felt very bitter over this. H spent most of the summer working in the mountains, was with E. C. a good deal; everything seemed to have settled back to the old level between them with moderate sexual indulgence.

In spring of 1914, a male fellow-student made advances to H in a laboratory in the college. This was a complete surprise to H, who was very angry and departed hastily. Further advances were always repelled though sometimes pressed with considerable violence by [the] man. H is a friend of this man, likes .many things about him, finds him mentally congenial, but is always disgusted when he attempts contact or familiarity. The man is bestial and outspoken in his passion. H is a friend of his wife and disapproves thoroughly of his neglect of his family. H does not believe that any relation between them now would be possible.

During second year in medical school, there was complete reunion between E. C. and H. The former was working in another locality, but H wrote ardent daily letters and visited her at Xmas. H saw a good deal of 1. C. too, but there was nothing more serious than "spooning." In the spring of 1915 I. C. left the city; H has not seen her since and does not correspond with her. During the year H met also E. H. c., who was a tall, fair, stylish girl with plenty of energy and life and a decided fondness for men. They became warm friends and were closely associated for several months. There were a number of men who used to come to their apartment for "dutch feeds" and "beer parties"; these were always jolly, unsentimental affairs totally devoid of any illicit happenings. There was then no trace of the sexual that H was conscious of in her friendship for E. H. C. But, in September, 1915, H visited E. H. C. in her home and found herself extremely jealous of a young man who was paying marked attention to E. H. C. Since then H has felt a strong attraction to E. H. C. but has always inhibited it so there has never been more than a goodnight kiss between them. There exists between them a genuine friendship outside a sexual basis. On one occasion when they were discussing which of them should do a certain errand, E. H. C. said, "Db, you go do it, you're more like a man than I am. anyhow."

H spent a part of the summer with E. C. and began to realize that they had drifted so far apart that she would never be able to feel for E. C. the same passionate love as formerly. However, she thought it best to go on in the same relation with her if possible. The sexual part of the relation had been largely superseded. To H's consternation, when she spent Thanksgiving and Xmas with E. C. she found her society dull and boresome and very little attraction left. Companionship was impossible because they had different ideals and viewpoints and standards. Many things about E. C. that had once been attractive H now thought childish and silly.

During the following school year, there were only two transient flirtations-one with a girl whom H treated professionally and another with a waitress. During May a visit with E. C. brought H almost to the verge of distraction; she could no longer care for the girl and yet E. C. loved her and begged for the old love in return. They parted after a week's visit in uncertainty. E. C. heartily disapproved of H's manner of dressing, her freedom with men, her disregard for conventionality, her drinking, swearing and smoking. During the ensuing summer H wrote to EO' C. only a few times and these were not love letters.

In May, 1916, H met Mrs. D. at a boarding house where she had moved. Mrs. D. was a beautiful young woman, who was unhappily married. She had one child, a boy 2 years old. Her husband had gone to another city to locate, and she was to join him later. H felt at once a very strong attraction for Mrs. D. but avoided her, fearing to get entangled with her. Forced to spend a night with her by circumstances, H succumbed to temptation and made violent love to the lady who-much to H's surprise-responded warmly. Afterward Mrs. D. confessed to attraction to H as soon as they met. One evening, before anything had passed between them H sat beside her on the couch with her hand On Mrs. D.'s ankle. H was at the time feeling an intense sympathy for her. Mrs. D. later said that she purposely remained on the couch for a long time so as not to disturb this contact, finding it enjoyable. After one week's ardent lovemaking-during which no sexual relations were established, although both were sexually excited-H left for a distant city for a summer's work. While there she wrote daily ardent love letters to Mrs. D., and received almost daily ones in return, in which the expressions of love were more restrained though unmistakable. While in this city H heard many lectures by Emma Goldman and became much interested in anarchism. In the fall, when H saw Mrs. D. again, she was more madly than ever in love. They spent four days together in the country early in the fall that were packed full of most ardent, tender love. Even yet, however, there had been no intercourse between them, though both became highly excited. During the autumn, they were much together, H's infatuation increasing all the while. An elderly wealthy man who had divorced his wife also became interested in Mrs. D. The most intense jealousy existed between H and this Mr. R. Mrs. D. at H's instigation set about securing a divorce now, and this was accomplished at Xmas. During October and November actual sexual relations were established between them; these occurrences were infrequent, about once in two weeks, and accompanied by the most passionate excitement and orgasms in each. They were prefaced by all the arts of lovemaking that H knew-kisses, caresses, fondling of the body, titillation, etc. The modus operandi was the traditional one between the sexes except that the hand was substituted for the membrum virile. During this excitement, Mrs. D. would call H "Dear boy" unconsciously. Mrs. D. professed to find complete gratification and much more enjoyment than with her husband. H proposed going to an eastern city together, where she could establish herself in practice and Mrs. D. could engage in some business until they were on their feet; after that she proposed to support Mrs.D. and her child and let her live her own life if she would see H several evenings a week and spend a night with her now and then; H did not ask to be allowed to live with Mrs. D. However, Mrs. D. decided she could not do this and "threw H overboard" shortly after receiving her divorce. It is noteworthy that B., Mrs. D.'s child, was very fond of H but that he was also jealous of her relations with his mother and noted the caresses and kisses that passed between them when he was about. During the spring Mrs. D. left the city and H saw her only once after their break until May, 1917. In the meantime Mrs. D. had become engaged to the elderly man, Mr. R., whom she wanted for his money.

H had been frantic all fall with the fear of losing Mrs D., neglected her work to be with her, spent all her money on taking her about to all functions possible. She also began to drink rather heavily. In January, after there was no hope of Mrs. D.'s doing as she wished, she began to drink more heavily than ever and became sunken in the depths of despair. She considered suicide very seriously, brooded incessantly over Mrs. D.'s faithlessness, neglected her work, came very near running away from everything to parts unknown. Vowed never to love another woman. Spent all her time in incessant activity; went about to all the shows, etc., and was never alone when she could help it. Moved into a residential hotel to be near some friends of hers. At this hotel, saw a very attractive young woman in whom she knew she could get interested; consequently, fearing another heartbreak she avoided this girl sedulously. In May Mrs. D. returned to the city. H saw her a few times; by this time she had acquired enough self-control not to go off her head during the interviews. The physical charm of the woman was as potent as ever, but H found that she could not respect Mrs. D., who was planning to marry a man whom she did not love, for his money. Mrs. D. also confessed that she loved H very sincerely but did not have the "nerve" to face the criticism that would follow the union; she said her friends and associates had already ridiculed her severely on H's account. However, each time H saw her there was mutual lovemaking and, upon one occasion, sexual relations. When they parted in June, Mrs. D. wept and said her heart was broken. H has not seen her since.

H was graduated from medical school in June with the highest honors in her class. She at once took up hospital work....

H had known for some time that she was "not like other girls," but her condition seemed So natural to herself and she was so strong and healthy that she gave the matter but little thought. However, her mode of dressing-men's coats, collars, ties, tailored hats, English shoes, etc.-made her conspicuous and the object of so much criticism and conjecture as to make her very uncomfortable. When her skirt was hidden in any way, she was often mistaken for a man.

During her second year in medical school, H found out through perusal of various professional books her true condition. At first she was plunged into self condemnation and misery, but very soon came to take a saner view and face her problem as best she could. In the spring of 19I 7 she consulted a physician-psychiatrist who tried psychotherapy to no avail.


From early youth H has had the habit of saying such things as "The other fellows and I," "What could a fellow do?"

H has always enjoyed managing things, buying tickets, checking baggage, paying bills, tipping servants, carrying packages, opening doors, etc., for women she is with.

Ability to Pass for a Man

1, H was in the habit of wearing men's Clothes to masquerade parties, etc., when in college. Always looked well and natural in them. Was once almost ejected from a girls' party when masking in a wig and dress-suit.
2. In the Course of her photographic work in mountains H always wore men's clothes, and would often pass with many people for a boy. Had an actual fist fight with one old man who thought her a boy.
3. Wore men's clothes on a long motor trip in 1916. Was mistaken by many for a young man until the long hair came into evidence.
4. Mistaken for a man in Y. W. C. A. gymnasium and hastily ejected before error was discovered.
5. Photographs taken of her in her usual clothes in 1917 have been taken for those of a man by numerous people who did not know her. Her friends have commented on the masculinity of the pictures also.
6. A close friend in 1917 remarked to H on her boyishness of voice and action, saying that the combination of an adult mind with such youthfulness was most unusual in a woman 26 years old. The same lady resented H's way of looking at her extremely low-necked waist and said she would leave the table if H did not stop it.
7. H, upon seeing a crowd of men standing on a corner on a very windy day laughing at the women who were trying to cross the street, resented their amusement and yet had an impulse to do the same thing.
8. Waitress at H's hotel in 1917 said that she would fall in love with H if only she were a man.
9. H made a pleasure trip in 1917 with a young woman friend; she registered at the desk of a hotel as "Miss -- -- and Dr. H." There was considerable difficulty in persuading this functionary that everything was all right.
10. Many kodak pictures of H have been exhibited as those of a man without being questioned.


As is well known, such a history renders the prognosis rather gloomy, so far as correction of the difficulty is concerned. However, we 'decided not to evade the issue but avail ourselves of whatever means we could command. Suggestive therapeutics in the hypnoid state proved unavailing. Complete hypnosis was also resorted to without satisfactory results. It was impossible to induce the deeper stages of hypnosis.

A number of things militated against the efficiency of suggestive therapeutics, chief of which was her own mental attitude with reference to the female sex as a whole. At the start, she entered with a will into the correction of the difficulty, if such were possible. One day, when she came to the office, she said she had been thinking the affair all over and- would like to ask several questions before continuing treatment further. The main query in her mind was as to whether correction of the difficulty as psychologically pathological would deprive her of her masculine ambitions and tastes with a consequent substitution of the characteristics common to the female. She had an utter loathing of the female type of mind. It can readily be seen that no predictions could be offered or promises made to such a query. Failing to get any definite assurance as to what would constitute success in the treatment we were undertaking, her enthusiasm waned and she_absolutely refused to run any chances of losing her general masculine psychological characteristics in exchange for any benefit that might be derived from a proper orientation of herself as a female sociological unit Hi the social world of sex. It can be readily seen that it was not only impossible to make any definite predictions as to what suggestive therapeutics might accomplish, but the circumstances of the case threw one into a somewhat confused state of mind when he tried to figure out just what results were desirable and to justify the application of suggestive therapeutics in such: a psychological muddle. I am free to confess that the case presented the most difficult problems of any that ever entered my office. What to do for the girl or what to advise her to do offered a riddle, the solution of which is still unsettled to a large degree. With apologies for the treason to the underlying principles of psychotherapy involved in the mental attitude with which I undertook the treatment, "just as I expected," suggestion was a failure.

After treatment, aimed at the pathological condition as such, proved itself unavailing, she came with the request that I help her prepare definitely and permanently for the role of the male in conformity with her real nature all these years. This suggestion fairly bristled with difficulties.

Physical examination revealed predominance of the female type with deviations sufficiently marked to attract attention. The whole tendency of dress was toward male attire, retaining,' however, the skirt as the trade mark of femininity. She was repeatedly taken for a man when the skirt was hidden from view. Male hose supporters, male socks, pajamas for night dress, tailored suits which would afford numerous pockets, male type of hat, and even the cane were adopted, not as artificial concessions to mere personal idiosyncrasy, but as natural components of her normal make-up. The hips, while relatively larger than would conform to the strictly male type, still fell short of the average female contour. The breasts, when in standing position, presented nothing to suggest deviation from the female type, except, possibly, an unusual flabbiness. However, on lying down, they flattened out and practically disappeared. Palpation revealed complete absence of any glandular tissue in the upper halves of the breasts. Patient says they are undergoing atrophy. Vaginal examination revealed practically normal conditions in the pelvis. However, digital examination caused an unusual amount of pain and the process produced disgust as well as pain and distress. The clitoris was abnormally large and patient stated that, at times of sexual excitement, it presents turgescence and throbbing to the point of distress. Menstruation was always painful and has been gradually decreasing in duration. Now lasts from two to three days.

After long consideration, she came to the office with her mind made up to adopt male attire in conformity with her true nature arid try to face life under conditions that might make life bearable. Suicide bad been repeatedly considered as an avenue of escape from her dilemma. Preliminary to the adoption of male attire she came to me with the request that I remove her uterus with two definite ends in view, viz: (I) to relieve her of the dysmenorrhoea and the inconvenience of dealing with the flow in male attire, and (2) to sterilize her. Inasmuch as pregnancy was a very remote possibility sterilization assumed less importance than the other item, though both ends were obtainable by the same process. Between the two operations of oophorectomy and hysterectomy there is but one choice, for reasons too well known. She realized and urged the" advisability of sterilization of herself as well as of any individual, afflicted as she was. Sensible to the extreme, she accepted her condition as one of abnormal inversion and was ready to face the affair on its merits. After long hesitancy and deliberation on my part, the only rational course seemed to be the adoption of the procedure, which was accordingly carried out. Hysterectomy was performed, her hair was cut, a complete male outfit was secured and having previously identified herself with the red cross, she made her exit as a female and started as a male with a new hold on life and ambitions worthy of her high degree of intellectuality.[4] Having an "M.D." degree she applied for and was appointed to a position in a hospital where she "made good" in every way until she was recognized by a former associate under the operation of that fanciful law of chance which threw one of her former intimate associates across her track. Then the hounding process began, which our modern social organization can carryon to such perfection and refinement against her own members.

Destructive criticism is always easy. Let him who finds in himself a tendency to criticize offer some constructive method of dealing with the problem on hand. He will not want for difficulties. The patient and I have done our best with it.


The above history has been withheld to date in order to give opportunity for any further developments that might be essential to the completeness of the picture as a whole. The case has now settled down into what may be looked upon as a permanent adjustment to existing social conditions, so far as that is possible. Her natural male instincts carried her into associations with the female sex and positive attractions were unavoidable. Women of normal sex life felt themselves attracted by her because of her aggressive male characteristics. One, to whom she is now married, fell in love with her because of her psychological characteristics.

Legal aspects of the affair were taken up with the most competent legal advice obtainable. Being in time of war, the chance of the draft came up as a strong possibility. This was arranged to meet the requirements of the law and precautions were taken to afford relief in case of embarrassing. complications. The illegal aspects of male attire in public were also met by legal authority and the final step of marriage was taken in order to complete the picture of normal life, so far as such is possible under the conditions detailed above. This feature of the affair was the most doubtful of the whole program and it received my protest, though I must confess that my protest was indefensible except on grounds of a prejudice and a habit of thinking begotten of long years of conformity to social dogmata, most of which are indefensible. At any rate, it was done-possibly for the best. There are certainly numerous and rational arguments in defense of the procedure.

In the interest of brevity, let it be stated that she is now married to a normal woman of high degree of mentality and decided physical attractions. All parties to the deal were fully cognizant of all the facts involved before entering into the contract and they now have a home apparently happy and peaceful based upon psychological attractions with such ministration to the physical as existing conditions can render possible.

She is now practicing her profession in a neighboring state in male garb, making good as a man and known only as a man. In fact, from a sociological and psycho. logical standpoint she is a man.

If society will but let her alone, she will fill her niche in the world and leave it better for her bravery in meeting the issue on the merits of the case as best she knew. Instead of criticism and hounding, she needs and deserves the respect and sympathy of society, which is responsible for her existence as she is.[5]

Historical Research Discloses H's Identity as Alberta Lucile Hart

While a detail or two have apparently been altered to disguise the identity of "H," the basic authenticity of this narrative is assured by recent investigation, based on the information supplied in' Dr. Gilbert's article. Research has established that "H" was Lucille Hart, a junior at Albany College in Oregon, and an editor of the college yearbook of 1911, which includes several photos of her, a brief description (reproduced), and lists her as a debater in a local oratorical contest.

Alberta Lucille Hart, from Albany, Oregon, is listed in the Stanford University register for 1911-12; she is registered in a physiology class, and at a dormitory. In 1916 she is listed as a summer-school student from Portland in Actinography [a branch of biochemistry dealing with muscle contraction] Clinical Medicine," at the Stanford School of Medicine.

Stanford records confirm that Alberta Lucille Hart's birthday was October 4, the same month and day as that of "H"; the year listed is not, however, 1892, the year of "H's" birth, as given by Dr. Gilbert. Despite this last discrepancy, the evidence clearly establishes the identity of "H" beyond all reasonable doubt.



In 1976, Jonathan Ned Katz wrote:

Dr. Gilbert's account raises many issues. First, despite the confusion of Dr. Gilbert and "Hit herself about her sexual nature, "H" is clearly a Lesbian, a woman loving woman. Dr. Gilbert's final statement that H is now married to a "normal" woman would be laughable if one did not know the difficult preceding history. The marriage involves two women, one of whom has had a hysterectomy and passes for a male-two women living and loving together, two lesbians.

In 2012, Katz writes:

In my earlier research on Hart I made the mistake of trying to claim Hart as a lesbian. Now I think it's more important to try to understand how Hart identified her or himself at different times in her/his life cycle.

In 1976, Katz wrote:

Despite Gilbert's comment about an "abnormally" large clitoris (the same value judgment made about Lucy Ann Lobdell in the early 1880s), Gilbert's physical examination is not reported to have revealed other than a perfectly formed, if not "average" female. It is also clear from Gilbert's report that "H" does not identify herself as of the male gender. She does not wish to possess a male body; she wants to play "the role of a male," not be male. It is not the male's penis she covets, but the male's socially given power. Her decision as a young girl to be the "man" in the family expressed her wish to care for and take care of her own mother, another woman.

In 2012, Katz writes:

I think we need to inquire more carefully than I did earlier, and provide evidence, about how Hart experienced her/himself.

EDITORIAL STAFF Eva Cushman, Frances Chase, Buena V.Bicknell, Lucille Hart, George Ihida, Grover C.Birtchet[7]

In 1976, Katz wrote:

In order to do this she "regarded herself as a boy"-but only in the sense of "wanting pockets on her clothes" (a poignant sign of "masculinity" mentioned twice by Dr. Gilbert), in wearing short hair end trousers, in playing boys' games, in reading adventure stories and fantasizing herself as the romantic, dashing hero, in hating housework and "small talk," in being inquisitive about the world, an active, "obstinate, independent child," in having "masculine ambitions," in loving and wanting to be loved by another female.

Clearly, too, "H" could only perceive her own situation in the world in heterosexual terms, according to the traditional heterosexual model of male-female husband-wife relations. She found no alternative, no way of transcending this socially dominant model.

According to her report, "H" had "no thought of shame" about her first active sexual relations with women. Shame came later, she says; it was learned--from such sources as medical textbooks in which she read about her "true condition." It is noteworthy that this shame only come to her as on adult; so prevalent and widely accepted today is the idea that all important feelings are acquired and set in childhood. It is noteworthy, too, that if her analysis with Dr. Gilbert did not itself create her feeling of shame about sexual relations with women, it clearly intensified it. This story represents one more example of the pernicious treatment of gay people by the medical profession. "H" entered therapy to cure a specific, minor phobic, she ended by having a hysterectomy.

It is precisely the late-created shame "H" felt, and her analysis itself, that motivated her request to be sterilized. Since there was obviously no likelihood of "H" becoming pregnant, her desire to be sterilized clearly expresses her need to neutralize guilt about sexual relations with women, to legitimize for herself her socially unsanctioned relations. Despite her history of sexual relationships with women, "H" apparently still needed to come to terms with feelings about the impropriety of two women having sex. Although her hysterectomy was in a sense voluntary, the social pressures to which she was subjected suggest that in another and just as true sense it was socially coerced. Notable also is the complicity here of an even rather benign, sympathetic, undogmatic psychiatrist in his patient's own strange move to be sterilized--a move that may be characterized as justification by punishment, a psychic ploy gay people have sometimes in the past adopted to legitimize themselves. There is a macabre irony in this not unkind doctor's falling readily into the sadistic role offered him by his patient.


  1. Photo and caption from the Albany College yearbook, 1911
  2. Photo and caption from the Albany College yearbook, 1911
  3. The deleted section summarizes the periods of "H's" life, and relates her grandparents', father's, and mother's histories.
  4. In a sentence deleted from an earlier section (original publication, p. 317), Dr. Gilbert says of "H": "In August [1918] she underwent a complete physical examination, with subsequent laparotomy in which the uterus was removed. After the operation she assumed male attire." The excision of the uterus is now generally referred to as a hysterectomy. An oophorectomy involves ovary removal, and hormonal effects, an even more radical operation.
  5. . J. Allen Gilbert, "Homosexuality and its Treatment," Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease (Lancaster, Pa.}, vol. 52, no. 4 (Oct. 1920), p. 297-322.
  6. The former Albany College is now Lewis and Clark University, Portland, Ore. The Takenah, the Albany College yearbook (Albany, Ore.: Albany College, 1911), includes three photographs and several written references to Lucille Hart. A brief description of Hart and two photos, one as a member of the junior class, the other a baby picture (both reproduced here), are on p. 18-19 of the Takenah. A description of the junior class (p. 20) says that it had dwindled from seventeen "Freshmen" to three "Juniors," all women: "[Lucille] Hart, [Eva] Cushman, [Katherine] Stuart." These women include "the most graceful dancer, the most expert mandolinist, and the finest soprano soloist in the college." Hart is said to preside over all the class meetings. "They have also decided--as a part of their duty to the world and the rising generation--to discard all rats and artificial puffs, and to adopt the dress-reform style of clothing. They have not yet worn their new costumes in public, though they contemplate doing so soon." P. 51 presents a photograph of the "Editorial Staff" of The Takenah (reproduced), including Lucille Hart and Eva Cushman. Dr. Gilbert's report mentions that "H" was active at Albany College as an oratorical debator, a manager of the "College Annual," and as a leader of the Women's Mandolin Club. Dr. Gilbert's report describes "H's" sexual-affectional liaison at Albany College with a young woman "classmate" whose initials are given as "E.C." This is no doubt the Eva Cushman whose pictures and description appear in The Takenah (pages, 18-19, 20, 51). A letter to Jonathan Ned Katz from the Stanford University registrar's office dated Dec. 3, 1975, verifies that Alberta Lucille Hart was born on Oct. 4, but not in 1892. She was in attendance at Stanford University during the first and second semesters of the academic year 1911-12. The Leland Stanford Junior University: Twenty-first Annual Register; 1911-12 ([Stanfold], Calif.: Published by the University, '9'2, p. 26) lists Alberta Lucille Hart, from Albany, Ore., as registered for Physiology 66, and living at 2 Roble (a dormitory) . "Summer School Students, 1916," Stanford University. Department of Medicine. Annual Announcements for 1917-18, p. 98 lists "Hart, A. Lucille, Actinography, Clinical Medicine, Portland, Ore." The Stanford University registrar's office verified information obtained elsewhere, but did not give out additional data.
  7. From the Albany College yearbook, 1911
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