womenwhokickass:

Sir Lady Java: Why she kicks ass
She was a  trans civil rights warrior and popular illusionist, whose act consisted of singing, impersonations, and exotic dancing. As she said in the article about her performing for her idol, the late Lena Horne, “Lena is one of the three ladies I pattern my act after. I try to look like Lena, walk like Mae West and dress like Josephine Baker.” 
She was known as the ‘Prettiest Man on Earth’ for her natural 38-24-38 curves. 
Los Angeles had an anti-crossdressing regulation called Rule Number 9, which made it illegal for performers to ‘impersonate by means of costume or dress a member of the opposite sex’ unless they had a special permit issued by the LA Board of Police Commissioners. The LAPD decided to target the bars where illusionists worked, namely Sir Lady Java who had been working in the Los Angeles area for two years, and they told the principal owner of the club that if Lady Java appeared on the Redd Foxx club stage they would lose their license. Her act was dropped, and then she fought back. Rule Number 9 messed with Lady Java’s civil rights and her ability to get paid, so she teamed up with the ACLU (already immersed in civil rights legal work) and fought Rule Number 9. (The Rule was eventually removed, through her work, and the work of others. People owe a lot to her incessant fight.)
She kept up the pressure by initiating a highly publicized October 21 rally which featured 25 people picketing outside the Redd Foxx Club, which got mentioned in the LA Advocate and the November 16, 1967 issue of JET magazine.