Lili Elbe Biography
Birthday: December 28, 1882 (Capricorn)
Born In: Vejle, Denmark
Lili Elbe was a Danish transgender woman and one of the earliest recipients of gender reassignment surgery. Born in Vejle, Denmark, and raised as a male child named Einar Wegener, he travelled to Copenhagen in his teen years to study painting at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. There he met and fell in love with fellow student Gerda Gottlieb. After marriage, when he modeled as a woman for his wife’s paintings, Wegener realized his actual gender identity. Soon he began to appear publicly as a woman with Gottlieb’s support. He would get introduced as Lili Elbe, Wegener’s sister. In the early 1930s he underwent four risky surgical procedures to transform his body from male to female. The last of these surgeries involved the transplant of a uterus and the building of a vaginal canal. Unfortunately, Elbe developed an infection post the final surgery and died from complications within three months. The inspirational story of her life has been captured in the book ‘Man into Woman’. Another fictionalized account is documented in the international bestseller, ‘The Danish Girl’. It was later also made into a film in 2015 starring Eddie Redmayne.