1886 - 1954

Born in Waddy, Kentucky in 1886, Lucy Hicks Anderson insisted on wearing dresses to school. While Anderson was a child her concerned mother took her to a doctor who suggested that she allow her child to live as a female. By age 15, she changed her name to Lucy and left home. Lucy Lawson married Clarence Hicks in 1920 and divorced him in 1929. Working as a domestic, she saved her money and eventually owned and operated a brothel in Oxnard, CA. In 1944, Lucy Hicks married Reuben Anderson. But in 1945, when an outbreak of venereal disease in Oxnard was said to have originated from Hicks’s establishment, the employees were ordered to undergo a medical physical examination where it was revealed that Lucy was assigned male at birth. Upon discovery, the Ventura County District Attorney voided the marriage and arrested Lucy for perjury, justifying the charge by saying she had signed the marriage license stating there were “no legal objections to the marriage.” Both Lucy Hicks Anderson and her husband were tried by the federal government. During her perjury trial Lucy Hicks Anderson insisted that a person could appear to be of one sex but actually belong to the other, saying, “I defy any doctor in the world to prove that I am not a woman.” She told reporters, “I have lived, dressed, acted just what I am, a woman.” She was placed on ten years probation as an alternative to prison. However, her troubles were not over. When the government concluded that Lucy had been illegally receiving Anderson’s allotment checks as the wife of a member of the U.S. Army, the couple was tried and convicted of fraud. After her release from prison, Lucy Hicks Anderson was banned from moving back to Oxnard. She relocated to Los Angeles where she lived until her death in 1954.


Gender Female

Sexual Orientation Straight

Gender Identity Transgender

Ethnicity African American Black

Nations Affiliated United States

Era/Epoch Interwar Period (1918-1939)

Field(s) of Contribution


Culinary Arts


Original Biography Author
Owen Keehnen
Biography Edited By
Victor Salvo
Resources Coordination
Carrie Maxwell