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Calpernia Sarah Addams (born February 20, 1971) is an American author, actress, musician and spokesperson and activist for transgender rights and issues.[1]

Calpernia Addams
Calpernia Addams.jpg
Calpernia Addams, at 2009 Outfest Legacy Awards
Born (1971-02-20) February 20, 1971 (age 48)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California
OccupationActress, author, musician, activist, spokesperson
Years active2002–present

Early life

Addams grew up in Nashville, Tennessee.[2] She served as a Hospital Corpsman with the Navy and United States Marine Corps.[3][4] During her last year in the military, she came out as a transgender woman.[5] Addams chose the name "Calpernia" from the William Shakespeare play Julius Caesar (a variant spelling of Caesar's wife Calpurnia) and its appearance on a tombstone in the film The Addams Family.[5]


Addams and Andrea James at the Out and Equal Workplace Summit

In 2002, she formed Deep Stealth Productions in Hollywood with Andrea James.[6] Deep Stealth creates educational and entertainment material around gender-identification issues and the experiences of differently-gendered people. Addams and James coached Felicity Huffman for her Academy Award-nominated performance as a transgender woman in the film Transamerica.[7]

At the Sundance debut of Soldier's Girl, Addams met Jane Fonda, whose son Troy Garity had played Winchell. Fonda suggested Addams mount an all-transgender production of The Vagina Monologues.[5] The production was to contribute funds and help raise awareness of violence against women; it became the subject of the 2006 documentary film Beautiful Daughters.[8]

A reality television series entitled Transamerican Love Story, featuring Addams choosing among eight suitors, debuted February 11, 2008 on Logo TV.

In April 2008, Addams performed alongside Fonda, Glenn Close, Salma Hayek, Alicia Keys, and others in a tenth-anniversary production of The Vagina Monologues at the Louisiana Superdome.[5][9]

In May 2008, PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) chose Addams as PFLAG's spokesperson for their educational campaign, This Is Our Love Story.[10] Addams said, "I hope This Is Our Love Story will help young transgender people as they come out. By seeing the happy, confident woman I've become, I hope I can act as a role model for these young people at a critical moment in their development."[11] Addams writes a blog on gender issues for Psychology Today.[12]

Addams has released a single entitled "Stunning", available on iTunes. Addams co-produced the song "The Vagina Song" by Willam Belli, from his debut album The Wreckoning, and made a cameo in the song's music video.[13][14]

In 2015, Addams appeared in the international premiere of "Trans Scripts"[15] a new play by Paul Lucas at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. The production received 24 four- and five-star reviews, a Fringe First Award,[16][17][18] a High Commendation from Amnesty International [19] and was shortlisted for the Feminist Fest Award, the Best of Edinburgh Award, and the Holden Street Theater Award.

Personal life

In 1999, while working as a performer, Addams began dating PFC Barry Winchell. Word of the relationship spread at Winchell's Army base where he was harassed by fellow soldiers and ultimately murdered.[20] Winchell's murder and the subsequent trial resulted in widespread press[4] and a formal review of the U.S. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) military policy, ordered by President Bill Clinton.[21][22][23] The case became a prominent example used to illustrate the failure of DADT to protect LGBT service members.[4] Addams' and Winchell's romance and the crimes of their abusers are depicted in the film Soldier's Girl, released in 2003. Addams was portrayed by Lee Pace. A subsequent The New York Times article, "An Inconvenient Woman", documented the marginalization and misrepresentation of transgender sexuality even by gay rights activists.[4][24]


  • Calpernia Addams, Mark 947: A Life Shaped by God, Gender, and Force of Will (Writers Club Press, 2002). ISBN 0-595-26376-3

See also


  1. ^ France, David (May 29, 2005). "An Inconvenient Woman". The New York Times Sunday Magazine. Retrieved January 30, 2007.
  2. ^ Addams, Calpernia (2002). Mark 947: A Life Shaped by God, Gender, and Force of Will. Writers Club Press.
  3. ^ Abcarian, Robin (July 29, 2017). "California Journal: A sailor in transition is rocked by President Trump's anti-transgender tweets". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d France, David (May 28, 2000). "An Inconvenient Woman". The New York Times. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d Jonny McGovern, Linda James, Martin Beauchamp (March 11, 2008). "Gay Pimpin' with Jonny McGovern" (Podcast). Retrieved March 11, 2008.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ "Deep Stealth Productions celebrates 5-year anniversary" (Press release). Deep Stealth Productions. October 3, 2007. Archived from the original on September 5, 2008. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  7. ^ Stewart, Jenny. "Moving beyond Wisteria Lane: An interview with Felicity Huffman". Retrieved August 13, 2008.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Moylan, Bryan (February 10, 2006). "V for very tame". Houston Voice. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  9. ^ "The V-Day Event Of The Decade | V to the Tenth". Archived from the original on February 15, 2015. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
  10. ^ "PFLAG: Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays". May 19, 2008. Archived from the original on April 8, 2014. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
  11. ^ Santoscoy, Carlos (June 5, 2008). "Calpernia Addams on Love & Transgender Rights". On Top magazine. Retrieved September 13, 2008.
  12. ^ "Calpernia Addams". Psychology Today.[dead link]
  13. ^ Belli, Willam (October 25, 2010). "The Vagina Song". YouTube. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  14. ^ James St. James (October 27, 2010). "The Vagina Song". World of Wonder. Archived from the original on February 6, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  15. ^ "Trans Scripts". Trans Scripts.
  16. ^ "Scotsman Fringe First Winners 2015". August 27, 2015.
  17. ^ McElroy, Steven (August 28, 2015). "Edinburgh Festival Fringe Offers Stories That Are More Personal, Less Political" – via
  18. ^ "2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival Awards".
  19. ^ "Edinburgh Festival: Freedom of Expression Award 2015".
  20. ^ U.S. v. Fisher, 58 M.J. 300 (U.S. Armed Forces Court of Appeals June 17, 2003).
  21. ^ Black, Chris (December 13, 1999). Pentagon to review 'don't ask, don't tell' policy. CNN
  22. ^ Becker, Elizabeth (February 2, 2000). Pentagon Orders Training to Prevent Harassment of Gays. The New York Times
  23. ^ Pear, Robert (December 12, 1999). President Admits "Don't Ask" policy Has Been Failure. The New York Times
  24. ^ Clines, Francis (December 9, 1999). "Killer's Trial Shows Gay Soldier's Anguish". The New York Times. NYTimes. Retrieved February 23, 2008.

Further reading

  • Jonathan Ames (ed.), Sexual Metamorphosis: An Anthology of Transsexual Memoirs (Vintage, 2005). ISBN 1-4000-3014-5

External links