Badass Black Women History Month:
Celebrating 28 Black Women Who Said,
“Fuck it, I’ll Do It!”
Day 23: Lucy Hicks Anderson
Badass Lady Law Breaker
Lucy Hicks Anderson was born in Waddy, KY, but her year of birth is unknown. What is known, is that from 1920 until 1945 she was constantly harassed and prosecuted for living as a woman. While the term “transgender” did not exist at the time, She insisted publicly that a person could appear to be of one sex, but actually belong to the other.
According to Lucy’s own testimony, when she started school, she insisted on wearing dresses and started calling herself Lucy at a young age. Her mother took her to a doctor, and, amazingly, the doctor advised her mom to raise her as a girl. Lucy quit school at 15 to start working and eventually moved to Texas when she was in her twenties. In 1920, Lucy married Clarence Hicks and moved to New Mexico and, finally, Oxnard, California.
Lucy would continue to work as a maid, but eventually saved enough money to buy property at the center of town. She operated a brothel, divorced her husband and remarried a soldier in 1944. Around this time, it was discovered that Lucy was born male. The Ventura County district attorney decided to try her for perjury, believing she had lied on her marriage license by saying she was a woman.
Lucy challenged the authority of doctors who insisted she was male. Reporters state that Lucy said, “I defy any doctor in the world to prove that I am not a woman. I have lived, dressed, acted just what I am, a woman.”
She was still conviced and sentenced to probation for ten years. The harassment would not end there, however. Because Lucy was married to a soldier, she received allotment checks from the Army. The Federal government then decided to prosecute both Lucy and her husband, Reuben, for fraud. They were found guilty and sentenced to prison. After Lucy’s release, she tried to go back to Oxnard, but was told by the local police chief that she had to leave town or risk further prosecution. Lucy decided to live the remainder of her life in Los Angeles and continued to live her life the way she wanted.