Once a Girl, Now a Boy

On This Day – 14 January 1888

ONCE A GIRL, NOW A BOY. A STRANGE STORY FROM DUBLIN.

“There resides in a fashionable part of Kathmines, Dublin, a family consisting of a mother, who is a widow, two or three sons, and three young ladies’ sisters — at all events they were supposed to be so. The family were held in the highest respect, and until an incident we are about to relate occurred their household was undisturbed by any out-of-the-way occurrence. Two of the young ladies were prepossessing in appearance, and gifted with many accomplishments. The third — the eldest, we believe — was not devoid of good looks either, and possessed a certain amount of musical culture, which was displayed effectively at numerous reunions, parties, and evening assemblies about the neighbourhood. She also developed a remarkable talent for drawing. She was frequently met with at social assemblies and places of entertainment, and was admired everywhere for her good looks and accomplishments. She was an admirable tennis player, and was altogether an agreeable figure in the set in which she moved. About a couple of months ago it was announced that she was about to proceed to London to complete her studies in the South Kensington School of Art, and naturally the news caused some interest among her acquaintances. She came back at Christmas, and many ladies who were acquainted with the family called at their house to see her. What was the astonishment of the visitors when the mother calmly announced that her “daughter” was a boy, and then the quondam Miss —— entered the room dressed in masculine attire, having completely abandoned the character which she or he (as we must now call him) had been so long assuming of a girl. The incident gave rise to great perturbation among the acquaintances of the family, and, as a result, no little unpleasantness has occurred. Those who knew the young gentleman as Miss are extremely astonished at the turn affairs have taken. They find it hard to believe that such a deception could have gone on for years without any suspicion of the real circumstances being entertained. The young man has been regarded as a girl from his infancy. He went to school as a girl, entered society as a girl, dressed as a girl, and behaved as a girl so that the sudden announcement of his true position in society has naturally caused some commotion among the acquaintances of the young man.”