EERST DE LONGREAD LEZEN? DEZE VIND JE HIER.
At the mention of transsexuality in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), the first –if any– figure that comes to mind is shot-putter Andreas Krieger. In the GDR, sports were a source of national pride. However, it turned out that many East German successes were the result of a state-sponsored doping regime, which had far-reaching medical consequences for athletes. One such athlete was Krieger, formerly named Heidi and assigned female at birth. Krieger was the 1986 European women’s shot-put champion. The extensive doping with anabolic steroids amplified Krieger’s confusion about is already uncertain sexual identity. He had genital reconstruction surgery in 1997. Krieger’s story inadvertently frames transsexuality as a distressing consequence of performance-enhancing drug abuse under an oppressive regime that was only interested in achievements. This is unfavorable, because whilst Krieger’s is the most famous case of transsexuality in the
GDR, it is at the same time an exceptional story. Perhaps, without the doping, Andreas would have simply been a part of the neglected history of transsexual figures in the German Democratic Republic.
The main question of this thesis is ‘What are the similarities and differences between transsexual experiences in the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany during the period of 1945-1990, and how do these experiences fit within the broader gay and lesbian history of their respective countries?’