Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Kay Gould - Escape Pioneer

Kay Gould - Tapestry Issue 53 (1988)
Love this Photo!

I was aware that I was a transgender person long before there was the internet, AOL chat rooms and blogs. I seriously thought I had to be the only person on this planet with this mind set. In 1962 I read about one other person and this allowed me some solace. Finally I found magazines that addressed my interest and I devoured every word. Many published irregularly and were difficult to find. These were baby steps to understanding and accepting myself. 

In these publications there was one name I found regularly and she quickly became my hero. The person, Kay Gould

This was well over 40 years ago and I could not wait to read about her outing; what I now call "ESCAPES”. In her own words from Issue 57 of Tapestry:

As a person who travels about 150-200 days a year, I have been fortunate enough to visit most of the areas in which the cross dressing (CD) and transsexual (TS) culture exists. In fact, I always try to structure my personal schedule to be in as many cities as possible where events are taking place.

Kay placed tasteful personal ads in these publications where she stated she was "Attractive, outgoing and loves to date. Kay said she was very accomplished, and frequently travels dressed; enjoys high fashion, good music, and friends."   

From the photographs, her self description was correct and write/travel Kay did. I was impressed with her numerous stories of dinners out, visiting places as Kay and travels. There were beautiful details. How could anyone be so brave? How could anyone be so forthright?  Could I ever do something like that?  How I envied her style. There would be nights I would fantasize and dream about doing the things Kay was doing.

Much of the courage that I have today came from reading Kay's adventures.  

Courageous pioneers like Kay are needed. They make the impossible seem possible. They challenge all of us to know that our prisons are self-made and escape is not just possible, necessary.

Kay, if you are still out there somewhere or anyone knows more details on Kay's life please comment. Also if anyone has any of the older publication with "Kay's Way" stories please scan and send. I would love to publish these again. Still relevant - Courage and fun never goes out of date.  

Thank you Kay for blazing a trail for all of us and helping us see that Escapes are possible. A gender escape pioneer.  


  1. I sent you a message. I am Kay's sister. Kay is no longer with us (2014) and, alas, I was estranged from her at the end -- nothing to do with her but everything to do with him!

  2. Kay was my father and a married man who spent all these travels lying to his children and wives, leafing a double life and neglectful in his fathering. Do not admire this as he lived in shame and used others in his first life so that he could have this secret life for over 4o years.

  3. "Kay" was my father, and not a good one, as this secret life of his destroyed our family. He was married and "dating"?! All those trips he took were "business trips" to his family, who he neglected, while still married. Do not admire him, for he lived in shame in his reality. He treated me, his spitting image daughter, with disdain and jealousy, as I was him in female form.

  4. Wow, this post brings back memories. Like Rhonda, I enjoyed reading about Kay's adventures in Tapestry, The Transvestian and a few other publications lost to time. Kay too, was one my inspirations to get out of the closet and enjoy being a woman.This was before the Internet changed everything in the trans community. Kay wrote about her travels around the country as a trans person. I loved the tales of traveling en-femme on commercial air lines. No ID was required in those days, as long as you weren't packing a gun or knife, you would clear the security checkpoint. She seemed to go everywhere and write about it. Trans meetings, dates, fetish/SM parties, etc. It gave me the knowledge, in the pre-Internet world that there were people like me.

    I wrote to Kay through one of the many ads she had in the publications of the day and we exchanged a few letters and phone calls. We met finally in 1991 at a housewarming party she threw at an apartment she had taken as a pied-a-terre in Washington, DC and later at a few fabulous and memorable fetish parties. Unfortunately, shortly after I met her, she withdrew from the scene. The beginning of her disappearance from the trans & fetish scene actually began at the housewarming party. I went out with friends after the party and then returned to the apartment to pick up a bag with some clothes (T-girls do not travel lightly). I was given my bag and quickly ushered out by a friend in a serious and concerned moo. In the weeks that passed, I learned a story that matches the earlier comments. Kay's life was an extra-curricular activity she hid from her family - and they were not pleased.

    I lost track of Kay after a few more meetings at parties as my T-life expanded in the next few years. The Internet brought a means to communicate that was far better than snail mail and a PO Box. I went to new events and met many new people and had a wonderful time.

    I'm sad to hear of Kay's passing and remember my encounters with her fondly. We in the trans community often speak of the need to be true to our authentic self. Kay's story is a reminder being true to yourself does not relieve you of the basic human requirement to be true and honest to our friends and family and others.