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ahart

Portland, Ore.

Dr. J. Allen Gilbert office
610 SW Alder Street, 7th floor

In 1918, a young woman named Alberta Lucille Hart, who had graduated from Albany Colleg (now Lewis & Clark University) the University of Oregon Medical College, consulted a psychiatrist named Dr. J. Allen Gilbert in this office building about the possibility of surgery to become a man. She had already been presenting as a man and had pursued several affairs with women during her university career.

In 1920, Dr. Gilbert wrote a report of his treatment of “H” in a monograph in the Journal of Nervous and Medical Disease. After consultation with Gilbert, Hart underwent a hysterectomy, cut her hair, and began to live exclusively as a man. Amazingly, Gilbert concluded that “if society but leave her alone, she will find her niche in the world and leave it better for her bravery.”

Hart (1890-1962) was a pioneering transgender person, who not only assumed male garb and took on a male identity but legally married a woman “of decided physical attractions,” according to Gilbert. “Women of normal sex life,” wrote the psychiatrist, “felt themselves attracted to her because of her aggressive male characteristics.” Dr. Alan Hart became a leading physician in the field of tuberculosis detection, and practiced in Oregon, Idaho, and Connecticut. In addition, he also wrote three novels, the best known of which is Dr. Mallory (1935), set on the Oregon coast.

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