Cross Dressing

Joe Carstairs, Part 1

Marion Carstairs, who preferred the name Joe, was an early 20th-century heiress who bucked traditional gender roles and for a time, hid her wealth from even her closest friends. She also became a very successful speedboat racer.

Upset with the prospect of a demotion, the Chevalier d'Eon published his diplomatic correspondence. Worried that d'Eon might reveal the King's Secret, Louis XV desperately negotiated d'Eon's return -- with one catch: the Chevalier had to become a woman.

Recently, London's National Portrait Gallery acquired a portrait of the Chevalier d'Eon, the first oil painting in its collection to feature a man in women's clothing. Learn how Louis XV's underground foreign policy led d'Eon to acquire a female identity.