MARGARET BULKLEY AKA DR. JAMES BARRY

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Margaret Bulkley began living as Dr. James Barry at 18 years old, presumably to pursue a medical degree from Edinburgh University - a privilege only available to men at the time. After graduating, Barry joined the army and rose through the ranks to one of the highest army medical posts. Barry is credited with performing the first successful cesarean section operation in the British Empire in which both mother and child survived. 

Barry was known for outspoken outrage about unnecessary suffering, sanitary conditions and overall well-being of soldiers and civilians, especially the poor and under-privileged. Barry went so far in demanding conditions be improved that, on several occasions, Barry was arrested or demoted for these behaviors. 

While little is known about Barry’s personal life, it has been noted that Barry was particularly close with a beloved pet poodle named Psyche. 

Little is also known about Barry’s gender identity - whether living life as a man was a disguise to allow entry into the army and medical field, or whether Barry truly identified as male. Barry never allowed others in the room while changing clothes, and left specific instructions "in the event of his death, strict precautions should be adopted to prevent any examination of his person" and that the body should be "buried in [the] bed sheets without further inspection.” Many believe this is strong evidence that Barry was a transgender man who wished to be remembered as such.

Barry’s instructions were not honored, and the post-mortem discovery of both female anatomy and the presence of stretch-marks (suggesting childbirth - likely due to a childhood sexual assault) were a shock to the community. Whether a woman in disguise or a transgender man living his true identity, clearly Dr. James Barry was a boss ass bitch. 

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