8 MONTROSE VOICE/MAY 5, 1989
<3ln Memory (§i ...
Douglas Dean McNeely finished his
long struggle with AIDS on Thursday, April 27,1989. Doug had been a
resident of Houston for approximately 15 years and is very appreciative of the love and support that he
received here. At Doug's request
we're getting "some nice people together to have some wine". Call
Jana for details. 621-3959 or Rex,
—MICHAEL E. PERONE
Michael E. Perone. Sept. 19. 1947-
April 23, 1989. After a long struggle
with cancer, Mike passed in the early
morning hours on Sunday April 23.
He will be missed and remembered
by many friends. A memorial service
will be held soon at a location to be
announced. For information please
call Tony Dennen at 524-0203.
Born July 19. 1953. died April 16,
1989. Rick was a resident of Houston in the late 70's and early 80's. He
died at his home in Miami Beach
with family. Corinthians 1, chapter 1,
verses 9-20.—Marc and friends
CanYaa Tell WIGHT From WRONG?...
...if so, you
TO SERVE ON
Famed transsexual Christine Jorgensen dies of cancer at 62
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (UPD-Chris-
tine Jorgensen, a former G.I. who
shocked the world in 1952 by acknowledging she had undergone sex-change
surgery, died Wednesday after a 2-year
struggle against cancer. She was 62.
Jorgensen, who in 1986 developed
bladder cancer that eventually spread
throughout her body, died several days
after she was admitted to San Clemente
Hospital, said Jami Piearson, a
spokeswoman for the facility.
Jorgensen, born George Jorgensen in
New York City, startled the nation and
became the instant butt of comedians'
jokes when she made public her then virtually unheard of sex-change operation.
She originally complained about the
publicity as an infringement on her privacy, but turned her notoriety into a career, appearing on stage and writing an
autobiography that was turned into a
Jorgensen took hormones for the rest
of her life to maintain her appearance,
and worried in her 50s that the treatments could cause cancer.
"She was absolutely emphatic about
the public knowing that this (cancer)
was not in any way related to the operation or to any hormone treatment," said
her publicist Chris Costello.
"It was more genetic, because both her
parents died of cancer?' Costello said,
adding that one of Jorgensen's parents
also had been stricken with bladder can
Jorgensen, a one-time photographer,
was 24 when she first heard about sex
"reassignment" experimentation in
Denmark. After two years of saving,
Jorgensen, the child of first generation
Danish immigrants, journeyed to Denmark to undergo the change.
After a year of hormone treatments
and three operations, Jorgensen returned to the United States in 1952. A
family friend leaked her secret to reporters, setting off the furor.
"I have no regrets now over the publicity, but in the beginning I hated it," she
said in the late 1970s.
Costello said Jorgensen, who never
married and is survived by a sister and
two nieces, was stoical about her illness
and "upbeat" until her death. "She loved
life, loved people and wasn't phony or
pretentious," she said.
Actress Dorothy Lamour, a long-time
friend, described Jorgensen as "a wonderful understanding woman who absolutely loved everyone. She gave out so
much love. She was a God-loving woman, one of the finest women I have met."
Jorgensen was banned from television when she returned from Europe after the sex change. "I think they thought
I was going to take my clothes off and
run screaming through the studio," she
once told an interviewer.
She lived to see what once was regarded as a bizarre operation become much
more common, but adverse reactions to
Jorgensen's own sex change continued
years after she returned to the United
In 1953 police in Las Vegas, Nev., said
they would charge her with masquerading if she appeared on stage at the Sahara Hotel in women's clothes.
"Everybody was expected to be normal, but there is no normal," she once
said. "There are places in the world
where people are expected to eat their
next door neighbor.
"I don't know what my life would have
been like" if her sex-change had never
been disclosed, Jorgensen once said.
"But I probably wouldn't have had all
this. It's given me a lifestyle. It's been a
lot of hard work. If I died tomorrow, I
wouldn't think life owed me anything."
She spent 10 years touring with a
nightclub act, then expanded into stage
roles, television talk show appearances
and in the 1970s began lecturing at colleges. She said students asked personal
questions, often inquiring whether she
could have an orgasm. She told them she
She published an autobiography in
1967 and helped produce a movie based
on the book in 1969. She later sued United Artists for $5 million, charging that
the 1970 movie "The Christine
Jorgensen Story" was marketed as a "B-
She said that for the rest of her life she
found that "some men still have a problem with me. I think they see me as a
threat to their masculinity."
She also worked with groups protesting discrimination against homosexuals.
"This is not just a homosexual's problem," she said. "If a law can be created in
Dade County (Florida) against homosexuals, then where will it stop?... You're
opening up the floodgate to discrimination against everybody."
Jorgensen characterized her personal
life as normal. Though never married,
she said she was engaged twice, to
"charming men. I was deeply in love
twice. But I was never in love with anybody I was engaged to. And I was never
engaged to anybody I loved. Isn't that a
perfectly normal syndrome?
"There have been men in my life, but i
never moved in with one, and 1 never let
one move in with me.
"Fundamentally, we are an entity unto ourselves from the moment of birth
until the moment of death. Some people
find this a depressing thought, a lonely
philosophy. But it isn't lonely. It's a lone
philosophy. I am an alone person. Not a
Costello said relatives planned a private memorial service for Jorgensen,
who is expected to be cremated, A public
service will probably be held later,
Costello said, adding (hat a time hasyet
to be planned for the services.