Calpernia Addams

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Calpernia Addams
Actress Calpernia Addams
Born (1971-02-20) February 20, 1971 (age 52)
Nashville, Tennessee
Nationality American
Occupation author, actress and activist
Calpernia Sarah Addams (born 20 February 1971) is an American author, actress and activist in the transgender community.


Addams was born and raised as a boy in Nashville, Tennessee in a strict Christian fundamentalist household. After enlisting in the United States Navy as a teenager and serving four years as a field medical combat specialist stationed first in the Middle East during the Gulf War and later at Adak, Alaska, Addams returned to Nashville and began performing as a showgirl in a transgender revue. She began competing in pageants, as well as playing fiddle in traditional music bands. During this time she began her transition to living as a woman full-time.

The 2003 film Soldier's Girl is based on an event in Addams' life. In 1999, she was dating an Army private named Barry Winchell, who began enduring harassment on base from fellow soldiers when rumors of the relationship began to circulate. After months of taunting and pressure, Winchell was murdered in his sleep over Fourth of July weekend, and two fellow soldiers were later convicted of the crime.

Actress Calpernia Addams

Addams was thrown into the national spotlight after the murder, which raised issues about the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy regarding sexual orientation. The media scrutiny she endured convinced Addams of the need for more positive portrayals of her community. She moved to Hollywood in 2002 and, with Andrea James, co-founded a production company known as Deep Stealth Productions, which was devoted to trans issues in entertainment and media. She continues to work as an actress and activist, and has been honored with several awards for her ongoing work in fighting the violence and discrimination faced by the LGBT community.

Her 2002 book, Mark 947, was excerpted for an anthology of notable trans autobiographies in 2005.


  • Calpernia Addams, Mark 947: A Life Shaped by God, Gender, and Force of Will (Writers Club Press, 2002). ISBN 0595263763
  • Jonathan Ames (ed.), Sexual Metamorphosis: An Anthology of Transsexual Memoirs (Vintage, 2005). ISBN 1400030145
  • David France, "An Inconvenient Woman," New York Times Magazine, 28 May 2000, page 24 ff.

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