[Portrait of Edward Prince Richards (later Barbara Ann Richards)]
[Portrait of Edward Prince Richards (later Barbara Ann Richards)]

1941 Photograph of an Intersex Person

[Portrait of Edward Prince Richards (later Barbara Ann Richards)]

Notes: A head-and-shoulders press photo portrait of Edward Prince Richards, an intersex person who petitioned to change his name and to be legally declared a woman. The details of the case are hard to determine, but according to press reports, his request to change his gender and name were successful. He had recently married and explained the action to the judge, "At the time I was still struggling very hard to remain a man, and I did not realize just what I was going through" (quoted in the Burlington Daily Register, 10 October 1941). Richards also reportedly sought to annul his marriage.

The caption affixed to the back (verso) of this original photograph reads in part: "Figure in Strange Case. Attired in a rose-colored hat and gown, Edward Prince Richards, the man who became a women, appeared in court seeking to have his--or her--name legally changed to Barbara Ann Richards. The case was continued until Sept. 11, when Dr. H. Kersten informed the court that he had made only one examination of 'Miss' Richards. Dr. Kersten said that while he observed both male and female characteristics present in 'Miss' Richards, the female apparently predominating, he could not say positively that the change would be permanent... Last November 'Miss' Richards was married to Miss Lorraine Wilcox, 22, who, upon learning the situation, advised her 'husband' legally to establish feminine status."

Richards does not appear much in the literature about trans and intersex people. The only reference I located was in After Eunuchs by Howard Chiang (Columbia University Press, 2018), which says that Richards was born with male and female genitalia and that as Richards got older, female hormones began to become more dominant.

6-1/4 by 8-1/4 inches with slightly larger margins. Original silver gelatin photograph.

Edition + Condition: Image doctored for press use, with background darkened with ink; Some scuffing to image at bottom edge, but generally very good, with a long mimeographed caption attached to the back (verso); various date stamps from 1941 also on verso.

Publication: Los Angeles, CA: International News Photo, 1941.

Item No: #114

Price: $100