LGBTQ* History You Should Know

(and probably never heard of)


According to historian Allan Berube, “Jeanne Bonnet grew up in San Francisco as a tomboy and in the 1870’s, in her early twenties, was arrested dozens of times for wearing male attire. She visited local brothels as a male customer, and eventually organized French prostitues in San Francisco into an all-woman gang whose members swore off postituion, had nothing to do with men and supported themselves by shoplifting. She traveled with a special friend, Blanche Buneau, whom the newspapers described as ‘strangely and powerfully attached’ to Jeanne. Her success at separating prostitues from their pimps led to her murder in 1876.”

(Text from:

Witt, Lynn, Sherry Thomas, and Eric Marcus. Out in All Directions: the Almanac of Gay and Lesbian America. New York: Warner, 1995.  p175)


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