Gender Queer History: Calamity Jane

I was up late (as usual) and a movie about Wild Bill Hickock was on, with Ellen Barkin playing Calamity Jane.
Calamity Jane started wearing men’s clothes in 1870, when she was 28. She said: “Up to this time, I had always worn the costume of my sex. When I joined Custer*, I donned the uniform of a soldier. It was a bit awkward at first, but I soon got to be perfectly at home in men’s clothes.”
About two years before that, she was described as “extremely attractive” and by another observer as a “pretty, dark-eyed girl.”
She “set herself apart from other women in that she could work and socialize with hard and tough frontiersmen: from digging for gold, drinking in bars, cussing and dressing like a man, she was mostly accepted by them.”
Interesting to me – she slept with men. Wow: a butch het woman, the kind that Judith Halberstam says don’t matter.
Calamity Jane
* It was probably not Custer, as there was no record of him being where she was at that time.
I found the above bits and a more complete biography about her at this website.

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