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Dianna: Canada’s first sex change patient

The Story

Though she was born male, Dianna knew she was in the wrong body from a very young age. At 17 she started dressing and living as a woman, and in 1970 she underwent surgery to complete the transition. She was Canada's first person to undergo sex reassignment surgery, and in this 1972 interview, using her first name only to protect her parents' identities, she tells CBC interviewer Margo Lane about the process of becoming a woman.

After this interview was filmed in May 1972, it was deemed too controversial for broadcast. It and other segments on sexuality, abortion, pornography and feminism were taped for a never-aired CBC series called All About Women.        

Medium: Television
Recording Date: May 29, 1972
Program: All About Women (unaired)
Host: Margo Lane
Guest: Dianna Boileau
Duration: 11:01

Did You know?

• Dianna was born in Winnipeg and, according to the Globe and Mail, moved to a new town with her adoptive parents so that she could live as a girl.    

• Dianna's transition was complete after two surgeries in April and June of 1970, and she met a curious group of TV, radio and print reporters in September of that year. According to the Globe and Mail, her press conference began with a prepared statement in which she asked the people of Canada for understanding and that there were "many other male transsexuals waiting in the wings."





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