Earliest transgendered person?

Surely people discovering that they’re a man trapped in a woman’s body (or vice versa) isn’t unique to the 20th century.

Did, say, the ancient Egyptians have this too? What about Rome? What did they do about it? What are the oldest writings on the subject?

A brief history of transsexual surgeries.
A history of transsexuality in the United States.
Sexual ambivalance: Androgyny and hermaphroditism in Graeco-Roman antiquity.

Excavated Hermaphrodite Figures from Karanis and Terenouthis

Not the first, but Christine Jorgensen made quite a splash in 1952.

I remember reading (sorry, this was before the Internet) about some tribes of Native Americans which allowed some men to live as women. These TGs dressed as women, did women’s work, and went to bed with other men. The men they went to bed with lived in traditional male roles.

I remember reading also about a culture which had an extremely macho standard, and some males who couldn’t take the pressure to be ultramasculine would cut off their own testicles or penis or both, run down the street with the bloody genitals in their hands, and thus proclaim that they were opting out of the male society. And that this was regarded as taking the EASY way out. Again, this was before the internet, and I don’t have any cites. Just stuff I remember reading about.

In American and England, at least until very recently, it was VERY common to lock up anyone who was not considered normal. The person could be locked up at home, or put away in an insane asylum. So, Society wouldn’t see Crazy Uncle Joe, who preferred to be called Josephine, and who loved to wear silk dresses. Nowadays we tend to try to mainstream people who are different from the norm, but this was not always the case. Sometimes mainstreaming works, and sometimes it doesn’t, but the practice and applications are a topic for a GD thread or two.

The people Lynn is referring to were known as berdaches and/or two-spirited. The most famous of these was We’wha–pictures here: http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/dept/history/lavender/wewha.html
More info on We’wha: http://www.bridgebuilding.com/narr/ewe.html
And other info on the role of berdaches in Native society: http://hermaphrodite.arriba.net/twospirit.htm

The first person known to have had transsexual surgery was Lili Elbe (1886–1931), who underwent several surgeies in Dresen in the late 1920s/early '30s.

She was by no means the first person to have the surgery; hers is just the first name we know of. The condition has existed forever—but corrective surgery has only been available since the mid-20th century.

There are also the Hijra of India. People born male but identifying themselves as female.

This site states that they have over 4,000 years of recorded history. I don’t find very much about that history. Does anyone know about or have a good cite for it?