1 “Ad Captandum Vulgas,” Alta, May 9, 1866; “A Question of Dress,” Eve ning Bul-
letin, May 12, 1866.
2 “A Man in Woman’s Attire,” Call, December 14, 1874; “Jottings about Town,” San
Francisco Chronicle, December 15, 1874.
3 “In Female Attire,” San Francisco Call, April 16, 1895; “Masqueraded as a Woman,”
San Francisco Examiner, April 16, 1895; “Th e Female Impersonator,” San Francisco
Call, April 17, 1895.
4 San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Revised Orders of the City and County of San
5 See Eskridge, Gaylaw, 338– 41; Eskridge, “Law and the Construction of the Closet.”
6 See “California Penal Code Section 185,” Statutes of California (1873– 74), chapter
614, section 15; New York Laws (1845), chapter 3, section 6. Th e absence of federal
or state cross- dressing laws is perhaps not surprising, as during the nineteenth
century municipal law played a far more central role than federal or even state law
in regulating everyday social and sexual life. See Friedman, A History of American
Law; McDonald, Th e Pa ram e ters of Urban Fiscal Policy.
7 See Kennedy and Davis, Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold; Boyd, Wide- Open Town;
Feinberg, Stone Butch Blues; Nestle, A Restricted Country; Cain, “Litigating for
Lesbian and Gay Rights”; Eskridge, “Challenging the Apartheid of the Closet”;
Whisner, “Gender Specifi c Clothing Regulation”; Silverman and Stryker, Scream-
ing Queens; Duberman, Stonewall. Although I have not found any specifi c reference
in legal documents to the rule requiring three items of clothing, nineteenth- century
cross- dressing laws were still on the books in the 1950s and 1960s, and police appear
to have used the rule as an enforcement guideline. See Duberman, Stonewall.
8 Th e legal historian William Eskridge is the only scholar to have published signifi -
cant information on cross- dressing laws, documenting the wave of local orders
that swept the country during the second half of the nineteenth century. See
Eskridge, Gaylaw, 338– 41.