Gloria Swanson -- "The Glamor Queen of Hollywood"

Gloria Swanson — “The Glamor Queen of Hollywood”

Gloria Swanson -- "The Glamor Queen of Hollywood"

Gloria Swanson — “The Glamor Queen of Hollywood”

My birth forename was “Gloria” — shhhhh….  Now that I’ve told you, I’ll have to twist your knickers if you repeat it!!

Can you begin to imagine a worse name being given to a girl child who would identify as lesbian and then transition from female to male??

An obituary for Gloria Swanson, the “Glamor Queen of Hollywood” was printed in the New York Times in April of 1983 (emphasis mine):

Gloria Swanson, a symbol of enduring glamour who was perhaps the most glittering goddess of Hollywood’s golden youth in the 1920’s, died of a heart ailment yesterday in New York Hospital. She was 84 years old.


Through the 1920’s, Miss Swanson was Hollywood’s top box-office magnet. At premieres, thousands struggled for a glimpse of her, and fans deluged her with 10,000 letters a week. Her flamboyant gowns and innovative coiffures and even her chin mole were copied by millions of women, though few could hope to achieve the sophistication, charm and beauty of the petite actress.


Noted for her extravagance, Miss Swanson earned $8 million from 1918 to 1929 and spent nearly all of it.


The beauty of the 4-foot-11-inch actress, who had large blue eyes and brown hair, defied the standard criteria. Her profile was called too chiseled, her nose a ”ski slide,” her teeth too big and her chin too strong. Yet the total effect was stunning.


Their most sensational production was ”Male and Female,” based on Sir James M. Barrie’s play ”The Admirable Crichton.” Its setting gave De Mille an opportunity to depict cave-man love scenes on a desert isle and Miss Swanson coyly bathing in a sunken marble bathtub.


Recalling the giddy era of Hollywood’s youth, she remarked: ”We lived like kings and queens, and why not? We were in love with life. We were making more money than we ever dreamed existed, and there was no reason to believe that it would ever stop. We had just fought the war that was to end all wars, and everyone believed there was nothing but peace and pleasure ahead.”


In 1950 she made perhaps the most spectacular return in film history in ”Sunset Boulevard.” William Holden played her cynical young lover and Erich von Stroheim was her protective servant.


The actress was married six times. Most of the marriages were brief and, in an interview, she said, ”The mess I made of marriage was all my fault. The trouble with me is that I’ve always been too independent.

What an icon to live up to with the same forename!!!  The last thing I wanted was feather boas and glamor.  Yet it was her images I saw on TV growing up.  If the name itself wasn’t bad enough in being connected to this standard of glamor, how many young children can correctly pronounce a 3-syllable name?  So one schoolmate started the trend of calling me “Glooey Baby” — coulda slapped her!

But yes, I’ve always been a little “too independent,” and that was the strength that helped me transition from female to male.  Now I’m a mostly-ordinary guy in a t-shirt with an ordinary name: Terry.    No feather boas and glamor — just sneakers and jeans.

In my most recent instance of disclosing to someone that I am transgendered (this week), the fellow looked me up and down quizzically and asked, “Are you thinking of changing from male to female?”  Greater compliment could be paid to no man who’s been on my journey.  Here’s why:

A rare "selfie" of me from yesterday...  If you met me on the street, would you guess I'd been born female?

A rare “selfie” of me from yesterday… If you met me on the street, would you guess I’d been born female?

If you want to see a longish clip of Gloria Swanson from This Is Your Life (1957), here you go:

I shall end with a tribute to my birth name:

And this:

Peace on earth and mercy mild…

And this:


Favorite e.e. cummings quote…

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Dog Dharma is written by a human who loves dogs and who believes dogs have attained enlightenment. The human behind Dog Dharma came from humble origins, has faced many trials, enjoyed many adventures, and taken a path less traveled. He claims no special privilege or expertise, and remains humble. Dog Dharma‘s author has learned a few things along the way, and has much yet to learn. He has been told by many people that he has a talent for writing, and aspires to write a book, but is a little too lazy and disorganized, so his blog will suffice for now. He opens a window into his life in the hope that some of his words may be of comfort, some may be a beacon or warning, and perhaps he will connect with like-minded souls. Everything shared comes from a place of openness and honesty, but with no claim that he possesses the Truth. People and places mentioned should be taken as pseudonyms. In many cases, details may be an amalgamation of actual events disguised to protect the “innocent.” Nothing written is to be taken as actual fact, but as the author of Dharma Dog‘s limited understanding. From the mouths of the Beatles: In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make
This entry was posted in bisexual, FTM, gay, Gloria, lesbian, MTF, name, names, naming, peace, transgender, transgendered and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Gloria

  1. Gloria Swanson aside, it’s a strong name. Glory! Seems fitting for you. (except – not at all, since you are not female 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

    • DogDharma says:

      I hadn’t thought of it that way, a new interpretation! Thank you! I was told by my mom that my dad picked the name. Typical of her, she wondered if it was “an old girlfriend’s name”? He reportedly said he “just liked it,” which I’m absolutely sure is true since he never did a unkind thing in his short life. Well, except for choosing THAT name. 🙂 I liked your post on sh*tty Christmas cards, needed it today. ‘Tis the season to be a Grinch. Let the New Year begin!!


  2. Terry’s a great name, but certainly not denoting something ordinary. The Terry I know in real life is an accomplished Astrophysicist (and someone that I greatly hope to emulate in many ways).

    Liked by 1 person

    • DogDharma says:

      Thank you, galacticexplorer. Picking the name “Terry” was actually my first step toward transitioning, before I started all the rest. I couldn’t tolerate the “G” name anymore. Since I was working and still looking like a lesbian, I was forced to choose an androgynous / unixsex name. “Terry” was my favorite on the list. I had really wanted to be “Glenn,” and for a short while, wondered if I could get away with it, since Glenn Close pulled it off. Decided I better go with “Terry,” and Terry I’ve been for ~16 years.

      So happens I live near NASA – Goddard in Greenbelt. I have a friend who used to be an astrophysicist there, but his name is Stephen. Not *the* Stephen, of course, but a very nice guy. He helped me rake my leaves one time.

      I’ve also had the great honor and pleasure of getting a private tour at the Astronomy Library at the University of Helsinki given by an old lesbian Finnish friend who was a trailblazer in the old days of the Sappho list-serve!!

      I’m glad you have an extraordinary “Terry” to emulate. I’m very happy to be ordinary, because Emc² makes my head hurt!!! But I marvel at how strange and magnificent the cosmos is. Who’d a-thunk my blog would be read by a Galactic Explorer!!

      Thank you for reading and commenting!!


      • 😀 You are quite welcome! Well, now it seems I have another Terry to emulate since, while you’ve been Terry for 16 years, I’ve only been Evan for 8 months. I’m looking forward to feeling ordinary, even if I am also a galactic explorer (to be honest, I’m more of a solar system explorer since my research is on the earth’s magnetic field and the solar wind, but I digress.) Have a great holiday season!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. DogDharma says:

    Nice to meet you, Evan! Now THAT is a nice name! I’ll forgive you for being a solar system explorer if you can dry my tears over the fact that Pluto was deemed “not a planet.” If we were going to get rid of one of the nine, shouldn’t it have been Uranus? Seriously… 🙂

    I won’t ask you to explain love in terms of the earth’s magnetic fields — I promise!!

    Thanks again, and thanks for making me smile!


  4. Pingback: What’s My Name? (Gotta Laugh, Gotta Love…) | Dog Dharma's Blog

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