Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935)


Hirschfeld was a German Jew and physician. He was one of the initial activists to fight for the legitimisation of homosexuality and is seen as a pioneer of sexology. He believed that the male/female binary gender system must be abolished to allow radical individualism to emerge. People, he believed, contained a combination of male and female traits.

In 1919, in Berlin, Hirschfeld founded the Institute for Sexology which became an internationally recognized centre for sexology research. It is accredited with carrying out the first sex change operation and the concept of transgenderism is traced directly back to Hirschfeld.

Hirschfeld has been extremely influential in the field of research and set up ‘The Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation’ which fights for the human rights of sexual minorities.

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