Becoming a Woman: A Biography of Christine Jorgensen

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $6.88
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 80%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (13) from $6.88   
  • New (4) from $26.78   
  • Used (9) from $6.88   


Discover the remarkable woman behind the legend.

Discover Christine Jorgensen’s remarkable, inspirational journey to become the woman she always knew she should have been. Becoming a Woman: A Biography of Christine Jorgensen provides fascinating insights about the woman who opened doors—and minds—on behalf of sexual minorities. This book chronicles Christine’s drive, ability to solve problems, immense determination, and just plain luck as she transformed herself into her true gender—and reveals facets of her personality previously undisclosed by other biographies of her life.

Christine Jorgensen was a major contributor to the unfolding of the so-called sexual revolution in America. Becoming a Woman: A Biography of Christine Jorgensen is the story of one courageous individual overcoming personal and social barriers, enduring the difficult compromises that needed to be made, and the ultimate realization of goals. This revealing warts-and-all biography tells Christine’s real story while examining the history of transsexuality in western societies, the medical intervention provided to her, and insightful profiles of Alfred C. Kinsey, Georges Burou, Harry Benjamin, and Christian Hamburger. The appearance and characteristics of cross dressers are also discussed, as well as their lifestyles are contrasted with transsexual persons. This biography serves to illustrate the challenge to lessen discrimination against all LGBT persons—and the struggle that still lies ahead.

Becoming a Woman: A Biography of Christine Jorgensen explores:

  • the supportive and high functioning family in which Christine grew up
  • Jorgensen’s struggle with homosexual feelings deemed unacceptable by society
  • Jorgensen’s young adult years while presenting as a man
  • the steps in his/her transsexual self-identification
  • Jorgensen’s determination to redefine himself/herself through medical intervention
  • why Dr. Christian Hamburger in Copenhagen took an interest in Jorgensen’s case
  • the previously unrevealed story of Jorgensen’s revelations to a news reporter that led to international headlines
  • how Jorgensen developed a profitable nightclub act
  • the conflicts that accompanied the writing and publication of her autobiography
  • Jorgensen’s love/hate personality characteristic and its effect on personal relationships
  • much more!
Becoming a Woman: A Biography of Christine Jorgensen is eye-opening, thought-provoking reading perfect for transsexuals and prospective transsexuals; those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or as cross dressers; mental health professionals; sociologists; educators; students; social workers; civil rights attorneys; and cultural anthropologists.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Becoming a Woman: A Biography of Christine Jorgensen offers a more studied examination of the state of transsexuality than most biographies offer....An excellent guide for college-level holdings specializing in alternative social issues." - Diane C. Donovan, The Midwest Book Review
Library Journal

In 1950, George Jorgensen boarded the ship Stockholmfor Scandinavia and returned to the United States in 1952 as Christine Jorgensen. This was the first sex reassignment surgery covered in sensational fashion by the world media. In his biography, Docter (psychology, emeritus, California State Univ., Northridge) writes with great insight about the life and social history surrounding this remarkable woman. In 1967, Jorgensen (1926-89) published a ghostwritten autobiography; Docter's biography fills in what was left out, discussing her supportive family; her life in Copenhagen with her doctor, Christian Hamburger; and the revelations to the press that made her an international sensation. Docter includes a valuable discussion on the appearance and characteristics of cross dressers contrasted with transsexuals. This biography is a fascinating companion piece to Jorgensen's autobiography. Ideally, both books should be available to readers in order to understand the woman and the psychological and social aspects of transsexuality. Endnotes and photographs amplify the book's value. Recommended for all libraries with anthropology, GLBT, psychology, and women's studies collections.
—Lisa N. Johnston

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560236672
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 2/28/2008
  • Series: Sexual Minorities in Historical Context Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 355
  • Sales rank: 1,503,118
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Vern Bullough. Acknowledgments. Introduction C. Jacob Hale 1. Christine, 1988 2. The Jorgensens 3. Elementary and High School 4. RKO Pathé and Military Service 5. Hollywood, 1947 6. The Male Hormone 7. The Transsexual Decision 8. Copenhagen and Christian Hamburger 9. Medical Intervention 10. A New Name, a New Gender 11. Ex-GI Becomes Blonde Beauty 12. Behind the Headlines 13. Return to New York 14. The New York Post Takes Aim 15. Denmark, the Travel Film 16. Developing an Act 17. On the Road 18. The Marriage License 19. Exit Betty Walton 20. Summer Stock 21. Autobiography 22. The Christine Jorgensen Film 23. Retirement and Illness 24. The Final Year
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)