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Coccinelle (entertainer)

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Coccinelle (23 August 19319 October 2006) was born Jacques Charles Dufresnoy and was a French transsexual actress and entertainer. Hers was the first widely publicized sexual reassignment case in Europe, where she was a national celebrity and a renowned club singer.

Early life and careerEdit

Born in Paris, she took the stage name Coccinelle (French for ladybug) when she entered show business, making her debut as a transgender showgirl in 1953 at Chez Madame Arthur. She later became a fixture at the famous nightclub Le Carrousel de Paris, which also featured regular acts by other famous transsexuals such as April Ashley. In 1958, she traveled to Casablanca to undergo a vaginoplasty by Dr. Georges Burou. [1]

Media sensationEdit

She was instantly rendered a media sensation upon her return to France as a woman, reconfigured with a look and stage act based on the prominent sex symbols of the day. Historian Joanne Meyerowitz noted that "the more sexualized MTF showed up in the sensationalized press in the stories on Coccinelle." [2] In 1959 she appeared in Europa di notte by director Alessandro Blasetti. That same year, Italian singer Ghigo Agosti dedicated the song “Coccinella” to her, provoking widespread consternation and controversy. A biography called Reverse Sex came out in about 1962. [3] Coccinelle appeared in the 1962 film Los Viciosos and was the first French transsexual woman to become a major star, when Bruno Coquatrix splashed her name in red letters on the front of Paris Olympia for her 1963 revue "Cherchez la Femme". She later appeared in the 1968 film Días de Viejo Color.

Activism and later lifeEdit

Coccinelle also worked extensively as an activist on behalf of transgendered people, founding the organization "Devenir Femme" (To Become Woman), which was designed to provide emotional and practical support for those seeking sexual reassignment surgery. She also helped establish the Center for Aid, Research, and Information for Transsexuality and Gender Identity. In addition, her first marriage (she had three husbands total) was the first transsexual union to be officially acknowledged by the state of France, establishing transgendered persons' legal right in that country to marry. [4] Her 1987 autobiography Coccinelle was brought out by Daniel Filipacchi. [5] Coccinelle was hospitalized in July 2006 following a stroke and died that October at Marseille. [6]


Coccinelle No 1 (President Records No 38." cda 1052)

  1. Tu t'fous de moi [You don't care about me]
  2. L'Amour a fleur de coeur
  3. Prends-moi ou laisse-moi [Take me or leave me]
  4. Tu es là [You are there]

Coccinelle No 2 (President Records No 12" cda 1052)

  1. Je cherche un millionnaire [I'm looking for a millionaire]
  2. Avec mon petit faux-cul [With my little false bottom]


  1. Conway, Lynn. Georges Burou. via Retrieved October 16, 2006.
  2. Meyerowitz, Joanne. How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-00925-8
  3. Costa, Mario (c. 1962). Reverse Sex. (trans. Jules J. Block) Challenge Publications
  4. Guyot, Jean-François (October 10, 2006). Décès de Coccinelle, pionnière de la cause transsexuelle et meneuse de revue.
  5. Coccinelle (1987) Coccinelle par Coccinelle. Editions Filipacchi, Paris. ISBN 2-85018-586-8
  6. Bonjour, Richard (October 12, 2006). Coccinelle s’est envolée. [Ladybird has flown away].

External linksEdit

it:Coccinelle (artista) he:קוקסינל

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