Woman I Was Not Born To Be: A Transsexual Journey

Front Cover
Temple University Press, Feb 15, 2001 - Social Science - 249 pages
Told with humor and flair, this is the autobiography of one transsexual's wild ride from boyhood as Alfred Brevard ("Buddy") Crenshaw in rural Tennessee to voluptuous female entertainer in Hollywood. Aleshia Brevard, as she is now known, underwent transitional surgery in Los Angeles in 1962, one of the first such operations in the United States. (The famous sexual surgery pioneer Harry Benjamin himself broke the news to Brevard's parents.)

Under the stage name Lee Shaw, Brevard worked as a drag queen at Finocchio's, a San Francisco club, doing Marilyn Monroe impersonations. (Like Marilyn, she sought romance all the time and had a string of entanglements with men.) Later, she worked as a stripper in Reno and as a Playboy Bunny at the Sunset Strip hutch.

After playing opposite Don Knotts in the movie The Love God, Brevard appeared in other films and broke into TV as a regular on the Red Skelton Show. She created the role of Tex on the daytime soap opera One Life To Live. As a woman, Brevard returned to teach theater at East Tennessee State, the same university she had attended as a boy.

This memoir is a rare pre-Women's Movement account of coming to terms with gender identity. Brevard writes frankly about the degree to which she organized her life around pleasing men, and how absurd it all seems to her now.

What people are saying - Write a review

The Woman I Was Not Born To Be: A Transsexual Journey

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Best known for her roles in B movies (one of her more memorable was as a Pussycat in Don Knotts's The Love God) and her work as a drag-show entertainer, Brevard (n Alfred Crenshaw) never felt at home ... Read full review

The Woman I Was Not Born to Be: A Transsexual Journey

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Best known for her roles in B movies (one of her more memorable was as a Pussycat in Don Knotts's The Love God) and her work as a drag-show entertainer, Brevard (n Alfred Crenshaw) never felt at home ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2001)

Aleshia Brevard continues to be active in theater as an actress and director.

Bibliographic information