In my research for my book, Oklahoma Bad Girls, I encountered numerous stories of women masquerading as a male for one reason or another.  I learned that many cities (such as Oklahoma City) had laws and ordinances prohibiting that with fines and jail time possible). The reasons were varied and it is impossible to label all such cases as evidence of alternate lifestyles. The young women often did it because they did enjoy the freedom of male attire (did they burn their corsets, I wonder?) and opportunities denied them as females.  Some, it is true, sought to live a life as a man for other reasons - often marrying as a person of another gender.

One of the stories I discovered was mentioned in the Oklahoma of December 22, 1906 and recounted a story out of Phoenix.  A"Nicholai (Nicholas) Dereylan" was said to have died, post-death, it was revealed that "He" had been a "She" and lived many years as a man.

Death records from Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona verified the death of one "Nicholas C. De Raylan", a female about 33 years of age, who had died December 18, 1906 of pulmonary turberculosis, born in Russia.  A burial permit was issued Dec, 23, 1906 by J.M. Burnett, Coroner for Greenwood Cemetery to Mohn and Drsicoll, undertakers.

Fast forward and members of the community in Phoenix discovered this story, arranged for a tombstone, and recognition of the unique presence of a transgender individual in their midst at such an early time. The article at AZ Central , "Transgender Man Given Back His Identity" highlights the effort of these citizens to clarify the situation. (https://www.azcentral.com/picture-gallery/news/local/karinabland/2019/11/18/transgender-man-given-back-his-identity-phoenix-cemetery-nicolai-de-raylan/4224296002/).

The memorial at Find-A-Grave for "Nicolai Konstantinovich De Raylan.. 1873-1906, is located at https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/172411509/nicolai-de_raylan

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