Lili Elbe

Lili Elbe
Lili Elbe 1926.jpg
Lili Elbe in 1926
Born Einar Magnus Andreas Wegener
(1882-12-28)28 December 1882
Vejle, Denmark
Died 13 September 1931(1931-09-13) (aged 48)
Dresden, Germany
Nationality Danish
Other names Lili Ilse Elvenes

Lili Ilse Elvenes, better known as Lili Elbe (28 December 1882 – 13 September 1931), was a Danish transgender woman and one of the first identifiable [1] recipients of sex reassignment surgery. [2] Elbe was born Einar Magnus Andreas Wegener [3] and was a successful painter under that name. She also presented as Lili (sometimes spelled Lily) and was publicly introduced as Einar's sister. After successfully transitioning in 1930, she made a legal name change to Lili Ilse Elvenes [4] and stopped painting altogether.

The name "Lili Elbe" was made up by Copenhagen journalist Louise "Loulou" Lassen. [5] Lili died from complications involving a uterus transplant. [6] [7] [8]

Her autobiography, Man into Woman, was posthumously published in 1933. [9]

Elbe's year of birth is sometimes stated as 1886. This appears to be from a book about her, which has some facts changed to protect the identities of the persons involved. Factual references to the life of Elbe's wife Gerda Gottlieb indicate that the 1882 date is correct since they clearly married while at college in 1904, when she would have been just eighteen if the 1886 date were correct. [10] [11]

It is likely that Elbe was an intersex person, [12] [13] [14] [15] although that has been disputed. [16] Some reports indicate that Elbe already had rudimentary ovaries in her abdomen [6] and she may have had Klinefelter syndrome. [17][ better source needed]

Marriage and modelling

Lili Elbe c. 1920

Wegener met Gerda Gottlieb while they were students at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, [18] and they married in 1904, when Gottlieb was 19 and Wegener was 22. [10] The two of them worked as illustrators, with Elbe specializing in landscape paintings, while Gottlieb illustrated books and fashion magazines. They both traveled through Italy and France, eventually settling in Paris in 1912, where Elbe could live openly as a woman, and Gottlieb a lesbian. [10] Elbe received the Neuhausens prize in 1907 and exhibited at Kunstnernes Efterårsudstilling (the Artists Fall Exhibition), at the Vejle Art Museum, and in the Saloon and Salon d'Automme in Paris. She is represented at Vejle Art Museum in Denmark. [19]

Elbe started dressing in women's clothes after filling in for Gottlieb's absentee model; she was asked to wear stockings and heels so her legs could substitute for those of the model. Elbe felt surprisingly comfortable in the clothing and began identifying as a woman. [19] Over time, Gottlieb became famous for her paintings of beautiful women with haunting, almond-shaped eyes dressed in chic fashions. In 1913, the unsuspecting public was shocked to discover that the model who had inspired Gottlieb's depictions of petites femmes fatales was in fact Gottlieb's spouse, "Elbe". [10]

In the 1920s and 1930s, Elbe regularly presented as a woman, attending various festivities and entertaining guests in her house. One of the things she liked to do was disappear, wearing her modeling fashions into the streets of Paris in the throngs of revelers during the Carnival. [20] [21] Elbe was introduced by Gottlieb as Einar Wegener's sister when she was dressed in female attire. [2] Only her closest friends knew once she had transitioned.

Other Languages
العربية: ليلي إلب
български: Ейнар Вегенер
català: Lili Elbe
čeština: Lili Elbe
Cymraeg: Lili Elbe
dansk: Lili Elbe
Deutsch: Lili Elbe
español: Lili Elbe
Esperanto: Lili Elbe
euskara: Lili Elbe
فارسی: لیلی البه
føroyskt: Lili Elbe
français: Lili Elbe
galego: Lili Elbe
한국어: 릴리 엘베
Հայերեն: Լիլի Էլբե
Bahasa Indonesia: Lili Elbe
italiano: Lili Elbe
עברית: לילי אלבה
Latina: Lilia Elbe
latviešu: Lili Elbe
lumbaart: Lili Elbe
Nederlands: Lili Elbe
polski: Lili Elbe
português: Lili Elbe
română: Lili Elbe
русский: Лили Эльбе
svenska: Lili Elbe
Tiếng Việt: Lili Elbe