BLOGROLL: Katz on Mary Jones, Gender, Slavery, and TransHistory | OutHistory

Jonathan Ned Katz analyzes the case of Mary Jones/Peter Sewally a sex worker of African descent arrested in 1830s New York:

Sewally’s court testimony of 1836 provides us the earliest American evidence of a supportive link between female prostitutes and a man who, at least sometimes, had sex with men. The newspaper reports of that time also documented the judge and jury’s response to Sewally. They punished him quite severely for a theft accomplished via a masquerade, and they had a good laugh at his and his white victim’s expense. The paper’s need to maintain a respectable level of discourse meant that Sewally’s sex acts with men were given less explicit coverage than were his cross-dressing and theft….”

Read: The “Man-Monster” by Jonathan Ned Katz · Peter Sewally/Mary Jones, June 11, 1836 ·

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