Harry Allen (trans man)

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Harry Allen
Harry Allen Boston Post April 30, 1900 page 15.jpg
Born Nell Pickerell
1882 (1882)[1]
Died (aged 40)[1]
Seattle, Washington
Other names Harry Livingston
Occupation Ranch hand, bronco buster, longshoreman, bartender, boxing second, hotel clerk
Known for Early Pacific Northwest transgender man
Children One 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]


  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