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Behold Dianna is a limited series podcast produced by Borderland Pride for the 2021 Trans Day of Visibility.

The 12-episode series retells the story of Dianna Boileau (1930-2014), who grew up in Fort Frances and went on to become one of the first Canadians to receive gender-confirming surgery.

With the assistance of author Felicity Cochrane, Dianna published a biography in the 1970s, entitled Behold I Am A Woman. While it is now out of print, we were able to secure a copy, and several episodes of the podcast consist of dramatized readings from the book, performed by members of Fort Frances Little Theatre.

The remainder of the podcast consists of reflections from present-day LGBTQ2 people with ties to Fort Frances and the Rainy River District, as well as audio from an interview Dianna gave to the CBC in 1972.

The podcast can be streamed (for free) on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and BuzzSprout.

Below, we have compiled related media about Dianna and her story. Please review the episode notes of the podcast for further information and content warnings.

Related Media

Behold, I Am A Woman

by Dianna, as told to Felicity Cochrane

Pyramid Books, 1972

Full text available online and in PDF

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Photos from Behold, I Am A Woman

by Dianna, as told to Felicity Cochrane

Pyramid Books, 1972

Available in PDF

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Toronto Star

March 27, 2016

"The woman who was trans before her time"

by Katie Daubs

Full text available online and in PDF

Globe and Mail

September 16, 1970

"Canada's first sex-swapper asks for understanding"

by Kathleen Rex

Full text available in PDF

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Chatelaine

November 1971

"The Canadian Man who became a Woman"

interview by Felicity Cochrane

Full text available in PDF

CBC

May 29, 1972

"Dianna: Canada's first sex change patient"

interview (unaired) by Margo Lang

Video available via CBC online archives

Other Newspaper Articles

June 16, 1962: "Woman Driver, 32, Found to Be Male", Globe and Mail

July 21, 1962: "Man Dressed as Woman; Lawyer, Magistrate in Conflict", Globe and Mail

 

September 7, 1962: "Dressed as Woman, Man Acquitted, Sobs", Globe and Mail

 

February 8, 1963: "Dressed as Woman, Man Goes on Trial", Globe and Mail

 

February 12, 1963: "All-Male Jury Acquits Driver in June Death", Globe and Mail

 

April 23, 1970: "Identity concealed; Sex-change surgery is first for Canada", Globe and Mail