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Man Enough To Be Woman: The Autobiography of Jayne County

Man Enough To Be Woman: The Autobiography of Jayne County

by Jane County, Rupert Smith (With), Jayne County

Life story of the queen of shock 'n roll—the world's first punk transsexual.


Life story of the queen of shock 'n roll—the world's first punk transsexual.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The saga of a true rock & roll eccentric, by turns mindlessly rambling and hilariously brash, this autobiography offers a raw and raunchy tour of the transsexual side of the underground music scene of the last 25 years. Jayne County (n Wayne Rogers in rustic Dallas, Ga.) came to prominence as a proto-punk chanteuse in the New York glam rock scene of the early '70s. Her concerts came across as a kind of gross-out theater of the absurd, complete with prosthetic body parts and portable toilets. Here, County recounts 30 years of heartbreaks and cat fights, brushes with more famous peers like David Bowie, Johnny Rotten, Debbie Harry and Sting and countless performances, tours and style changes. She tells of arriving penniless in New York in time to partake of the Stonewall riots and Woodstock; camping around New York with Warhol divas like Candy Darling and Jackie Curtis; making the nascent U.K. punk scene as Wayne County and the Electric Chairs ("we must have played every fucking toilet in England"), and bottoming out in Berlin's sleazy transvestite demimonde. County has cross-dressed much of her life, taken hormones and had her nose done, but never did undergo a total sex change ("I'm used to my little friend by now, and quite honestly I'd rather save up the money for a facelift"). (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
The memoirs of a '70s punk/drag sub-icon whose unique trajectory across the counterculture has supplied her with great troves of decadent gossip as well as novel insights into life as a transsexual.

County, née Wayne Rogers, grew up a "sissy boy" in small-town Georgia and adopted flamboyant habits of makeup and dress while still in his teens, in the mid-'60s. Moving to New York City, County established a niche on the hippie edge of the gay community—in the summer of 1969 County both rioted at the Stonewall and grooved at Woodstock. While working menial day jobs, he was soon sharing an apartment with Warhol drag superstars Holly Woodlawn and Jackie Curtis, whose outrageous personalities and talents are the subject of some delightful, seamy anecdotes. Under Curtis's influence County adopted an extravagant, absurdist approach to cross-dressing that would be an important vehicle in an ongoing transformation from "him" to "her." County acted in surrealist theatrical farces like the Warhol-sponsored Pork and DJ'ed at Max's Kansas City, where she began performing with a rock band in 1972. When punk exploded, County started making records, performing, and rubbing shoulders with Sid Vicious and the Clash. But strained by her amphetamine use and tensions within her band, County's odd career in rock had largely collapsed by the end of the '70s (after a hiatus, she has returned today to recording and performing). County discusses with disarming forthrightness the ambiguities of gender and her decision to forgo sex-change surgery (she does take female hormones). And she avoids both self-pity and backbiting, recalling frankly even her stint as a prostitute in '80s Berlin and London.

County's lively memoir illuminates the original intermingling of gay and punk subcultures that's experiencing an energetic resurgence today.

Product Details

Serpent's Tail Publishing Ltd
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.50(d)

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