March 29, 1927
Busted in Exposition Park on a vagrancy charge after aggressively flirting with passing fillies, licensed chauffeur (read: cabby) Jerry McFarlane was dumped in the men’s tank at the Central Jail, where fellow inmates quickly noticed what booking officers had not: trash-talkin’ "Jerry" was actually Grace Kenny McFarlane, 22, blonde and biologically female.
She was promptly pulled from the cell and plopped in front of an L.A. Times photog, who snapped a pair of mirror image pix highlighting the two sides of fair McFarlane, and a reporter whose all-too-brief interview revealed the unique philosophy of the Jazz Age youth.
"It’s much more fun to be a man. Besides, I get along better, too, and the life is freer and easier." Except, of course, when it lands one in the pokey. "I wish I could get out and get back with the gang. I was going to take a frail out the night I was arrested. It’s lots of fun to take a girl to a dance or a show and not have them get wise." And even more fun, we’d wager, when they do.
For more on the secret homosexual shadow worlds of early 20th century Los Angeles, see Daniel Hurewitz’ Bohemian Los Angeles and the Making of Modern Politics or Faderman and Timmons’ Gay L.A.