Can you even imagine coming to terms with gender issues in Victorian England? The courage it must have taken to embrace your true spirit. Frederick Park and Ernest Boulton were two Victorian gentleman who either were cross-dressers or Transgender individuals. They would dress in women clothes and go to public society events.
In April, 1870, they were arrested coming out of The Strand Theatre in London. Mail Online reports:
"When two glamorous women departed The Strand Theatre in London on 28 April 1870 after a show, passers-by were startled to see them being arrested by police officers.
The women, who had been flirting openly with male members of the audience all evening, had also, unbeknown to them, been the object of the officers' attention throughout the play.
Producing a warrant card and apprehending the ladies, the arresting officer said: 'I'm a police officer from Bow Street, and I have every reason to believe that you are men in female attire and you will have to come to Bow Street with me now.'
The officer was correct in his belief. The 'women' were Fanny and Stella, a pair ofmiddle-class gentlemen with a predilection for cross-dressing - and their subsequent court trial for being transvestites scandalised Victorian England.
And now their extraordinary tale has been chronicled in a new book by writer Neil McKenna, author of The Secret Life Of Oscar Wild, entitled Fanny & Stella and published by Faber on 7 February."