trying to say that we can’t definitively claim dr. alan l. hart was a historical trans man because he identified as a lesbian at one point in his life is invalidating and disingenuous.

hart recognized he was a boy from the time he could verbalize it, tried both successfully and unsuccessfully to live as a boy in his youth, actively sought out hormone replacement therapy, and underwent a hysterectomy in 1917 (making him the first trans man in america to do so). he disliked when his first wife would try to talk him into wearing feminine clothes and acting more like a woman. he valued his transition and always described himself as a man.

these experiences aren’t and shouldn’t be precluded by the fact that hart lived out a portion of his life as a lesbian. i get that it’s not always easy to recognize if you’re not a trans man yourself, but many trans men once were wlw before coming to the realization that we were men and that we did want to pursue some form of transition. that part of our gender history where we were wlw is important because it helped shape us into who we are today, but it doesn’t irreconcilably muddy the waters of our manhood.

identity evolves as we come into our own. hart knew himself to be a man and fought against discrimination, non-consensual outing, and harassment so that others would see him as a man. there’s no need to take that away from him or from the trans men who look up to him as a role model