Dec. 4, 1911: Man Arrested for ‘Masquerading in Female Attire’

Note: This is an encore post from 2006.

Dec. 4, 1911

Clarence Westfall, 22 years old, was taken into custody at San Pedro yesterday afternoon when a boat from San Diego docked. He was arrested for having masqueraded in female attire and was taken to the Central Police Station, where he told a story that nearly resulted in his being liberated. When the police received the report from the station at San Pedro, however, that Westfall, in posing as a woman, had endeavored to be assigned to a woman’s stateroom, he was locked up.

He said he was frequently obsessed with the desire to don women’s clothing, do fancy work and generally “act like a girl.” He had about convinced the detectives that he was a fit subject for alienists to examine when he was recognized as a former prisoner. He was locked up on a charge of vagrancy.

A random discovery too good not to share.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1908, 1911, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Crime and Courts, Fashions, LAPD, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Streetcars and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Dec. 4, 1911: Man Arrested for ‘Masquerading in Female Attire’

  1. aryedirect says:

    Milton Berle would have been in jail for eternity had the San Pedro cops seen him perform in drag.


  2. Eve says:

    May I just note here that Ed Wood’s “Glen or Glenda,” while being hilariously badly written and acted, is still, to this day, the only film to accurately and sympathetically differentiate between being gay, a transvestite, and transgender?

    Pretty damn impressive for 1953–plus, Bela Lugosi in a dungeon!


  3. Benito says:

    “if you’re lonely enough and drunk enough, everybody’s a girl!” — Jon Cryer in Two and a Half Men


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