Harry Allen (trans man)

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Harry Allen
Harry Allen.png
Nell Pickerell

1882 (1882)[1]
Died (aged 40)[1]
Seattle, Washington
Other namesHarry Livingston
OccupationRanch hand, bronco buster, longshoreman, bartender, boxing second, hotel clerk
Known forEarly Pacific Northwest transgender man
ChildrenOne child, a son born March 30, 1898, in Seattle, WA[2]
Parent(s)Robert P. Pickerell, Jennie Gordon

Harry Allen or Harry Livingston (1882–December 27, 1922) was an American Pacific Northwest transgender man who was the subject of ongoing sensationalistic local and national newspaper coverage from 1900 to 1922.[3] The newspapers covered his petty crimes associated with life on the margins of society such as prostitution and alcohol offenses, though he was given disproportionate media attention due to his unapologetic rejection of a female gender assignment and his refusal to conform to social demands that he dress and behave according to female norms.[3][4] These titillating and exploitative stories — "great police blotter copy" — consistently referred to him with feminine pronouns and used his birth name, Nell Pickerell, even while also reporting that Allen did take offense at this, and was outspoken in his insistence that he not be, in modern terms, misgendered.[3] His name had been Harry Livingston from around 1900 until 1911, and then Harry Allen after.[5][6]

Newspaper articles[edit]

  • "In Male Attire; "Harry Livingston" Says She Will Wear Them. A Masquerading Girl Gave the Police a Good Run Last Night. May Go to Nome.", Seattle Daily Times, p. 7, April 20, 1900
  • "This Girl Refuses to Wear Skirts; Nellie Pickerell Acts, Talks and Dresses Like a Man, and says She Ought to Have Been One", Boston Post, p. 15, April 30, 1900
  • "Goes By The Name Of Harry; Nell Pickerell and Her Peculiar Mania; She is Ashamed of Her Sex— Arrested This Morning on the Charge of Theft", Seattle Daily Times, p. 5, October 12, 1901
  • "Suicide Ends the Love Affair", San Francisco Call, 91 (26), December 26, 1901
  • "Police Briefs", Seattle Daily Times, p. 7, January 9, 1902
  • "Nell Pickerell In Court; Her Trial for Throwing a Spittoon at a Saloon Man Is Continued", Seattle Daily Times, p. 14, August 4, 1902
  • "Girl Tries To End Her Life; Pearl Waldron Falls in Love With Notorious Nell Pickerell", Seattle Daily Times, p. 3, November 4, 1903
  • "Shoots Herself In The Chest; Pretty Young Woman of Seattle Attempts Suicide", San Francisco Call, November 5, 1903
  • "Nell Pickerell Again", Seattle Daily Times, p. 17, July 10, 1904
  • "Nellie Pickerell Arrested. Woman Dressed in Male Attire Is Again Sent to Jail", Seattle Daily Times, p. 10, July 21, 1905
  • "Police Baffled By Silence Of A Nervy Young Woman; Female After Month's Imprisonment; Refuses to Tell What She Knows About Big Robbery", San Francisco Call, 99 (83), February 21, 1906
  • "The Notorious Nell Pickerell in Town", The Ellensburgh Capital, Ellensburg, Washington, p. 3, February 13, 1900, retrieved July 31, 2014
  • "Nell Pickerell Again in Jail", Seattle Daily Times, p. 11, October 23, 1907
  • "Nell Pickerell in a Tacoma Strongbox; Girl Who Insists on Wearing Men's Clothes is Believed to be Member of Dangerous Gang", Seattle Daily Times, p. 1, January 21, 1908
  • "Nell Pickerell Tended Bar in Montana Town; Seattle Woman Appears in Men's Clothes Because She Says Her Features Make it Possible", Seattle Daily Times, p. 5, April 27, 1908
  • "How Catherine Madden Fell Victim to Strong Drink; Why Nell Pickerell Will Not Wear Women's Clothing", The Spokesman-Review, October 22, 1911, retrieved July 31, 2014
  • "Nell Pickerell Returning to Jail", The Spokesman-Review, p. 3, November 15, 1911, retrieved July 31, 2014
  • "Nell Pickerell Denies Her Sex; Woman Who Dresses in Male Attire Starts Story She is a "Real Man"; Rumor Causes Sensation; Sheriff Stone Brands Statement an Untrue Fabrication Result of Liquor", The Spokesman-Review, p. 4, November 22, 1911, retrieved July 31, 2014
  • "Trousered Woman Bites Policeman", Seattle Daily Times, p. 2, July 22, 1915
  • "Nell Pickerell Stabbed", Seattle Daily Times, p. 5, September 27, 1916
  • "Nell Pickerell is Stabbed by Father; Woman Who Masqueraded Here is as Man Hurt in Row With Parent at Seattle", Spokane Daily Chronicle, p. 13, September 28, 1916, retrieved July 31, 2014
  • "Nell Pickerell Asks for $50 Pay For Services", Seattle Daily Times, p. 19, July 1, 1917
  • "PICKERELL — Funeral services for Nell Pickerell will take place from the Butterworth mortuary, 1921 First Ave., Saturday, Dec. 30, at 4 p. m. All friends invited. Cremation.", Seattle Daily Times, p. 15, December 28, 1922
  • "Nell Pickerell is Dead; Masqueraded as Man, Attracting Attention Here", Seattle Daily Times, p. 11, December 28, 1922


  1. ^ a b Washington State Death Records - Nell - Robert P. Pickerell - Jennie Gordon, Washington State Death Records
  2. ^ "King County Auditor, Birth Register, 1891-1907 - 206.Tif - Nellie Pickerell". Washington State Archives, Digital Archives. Retrieved 2018-03-01.
  3. ^ a b c Berger, Knute (June 30, 2014), "Meet Nell Pickerell, transgender at-risk youth of yesteryear; She lived a century ago - as a man. But Nell's story rings true today, and parallels the experience of many Northwest street kids", Crosscut.com, archived from the original on December 24, 2014
  4. ^ Boag, Peter (2011), Re-dressing America's Frontier Past, University of California Press, pp. 23–58, ISBN 9780520270626
  5. ^ Mackie, John (February 24, 2017), "This Week in History: 1906 The notorious Nell Pickerell returns to Seattle", The Vancouver Sun
  6. ^ "Wears Male Attire; Odd Occupations Pursued by Miss Nellie Pickerell", Rochester Weekly Republican, June 7, 1900