Lucy Hicks Anderson: The First Black Transgender Person To Fight For Her Rights And Marriage In Court In 1945

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Lucy Hicks Anderson (born Tobias Lawson) lived life as a woman in Oxnard, California from 1920 until 1945, but it was later discovered that Hicks was biologically a male. Today she would be identified as being transgender, but during those times that word did not exist and the lifestyle certainly was not approved. Anderson never referred to herself as a transgendered woman, but insisted publicly that a person could be of one sex and belong to the other.


Anderson was born Tobias Lawson in Waddy, Kentucky. In high school Anderson insisted upon wearing dresses and wanted to be called Lucy. Her mother took her to a physician, and the doctor advised her mother to raise Lucy as a girl. Anderson left school at the age of fifteen to work as a domestic. In her twenties, she decided to move west and settled in Pecos, Texas where she worked at hotel for 10 years. She later married Clarence Hicks in Silver City, New Mexico and later moved to California. She continued to work as a domestic, saved her money and purchased property near the center of town. She later opened up and operated a brothel. Lucy later divorced her husband in 1929 and in 1944 married Reuben Anderson, a soldier stationed at New York.

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It was discovered that Lucy was biologically a man, and the Ventura County district attorney decided to try her for perjury. The district attorney accused Lucy of perjury when she signed the application for marriage license, swearing that there were no legal objections to the marriage. Lucy challenged the courts and the authority of physicians who insisted she was a male.


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Lucy Hicks Anderson born Tobias Lawson Lived Life As a Woman for 25<a Href=httpshowafricacomcategoryafrican celeb profiles> Years<a> Before the Truth Was Later Discovered Pic Credit Year of Women in History


It was reported that she told the courts, “I have lived, dressed, acted just what I am, a woman.” Regardless of her testimony, the courts found her guilty, but the judge put her on probation rather than send her to prison. Unfortunately, that was not the end, since Lucy had received allotment checks as the wife of a member of the U.S. Army, the Federal government prosecuted her along with her husband Reuben Anderson for fraud in 1946; they both were sentenced to prison. Once Lucy was released from prison to she tried to stay in Oxnard but the local police would not allow it. So, she moved to Los Angeles and remained there until she died.

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