glbtq: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & queer culture
home
arts
literature
social sciences
special features
discussion
about glbtq
   search

 
   Encyclopedia
   Discussion
 
 

   member name
  
   password
  
 
   
   Forgot Your Password?  
   
Not a Member Yet?  
   
JOIN TODAY. IT'S FREE!

 
  Advertising Opportunities
  Permissions & Licensing
  Terms of Service
  Privacy Policy
  Copyright

 

 

 

 

 
literature

Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-B  C-E  F-L  M-Z

     
Dillon, Michael (1915-1962)  
 
page: 1  2  

In India, Dillon poured himself into meditation and study, eking out a living by publishing essays and small volumes under the name Lobzang Jivaka. These writings sought to render complex, esoteric systems and stories accessible to non-specialist, English-speaking audiences: The Life of Milarepa is a condensed biography of twelfth-century Tibetan monk Jetsun Milarepa; Imji Getsul tells the story of Dillon's months at the remote Rizong monastery in Ladakh; and Growing Up into Buddhism seeks to render Buddhism accessible to young people.

A fellow English convert hindered Dillon's own access to his vocation, however: in Kalimpong, Dillon encountered Sangharakshita, a monk of the Theravada tradition, details of whose identity and painful conflict with Dillon are revealed in Pagan Kennedy's The First Man-Made Man.

Sponsor Message.

Although Dillon embraced Sangharakshita as his mentor, the latter believed that despite his surgeries Dillon remained a woman or a member of a "third sex" and was ineligble for ordination as a monk. Dillon's conflict with Sangharakshita led him to find his way into the Tibetan branch of Buddhism, which had drawn him for several years.

Although he had inherited a fortune from his aunts, Dillon had given away his worldly belongings in the hopes of becoming a monk. Thus, he struggled with poverty and severe malnutrition. Still, he had finally found a home, which he describes in Out of the Ordinary as a milieu in which he could continue to live out the answer he had come to about "the purpose of life in general and of [his] life in particular: to evolve spiritually."

Dillon sought full monastic ordination, but before it could take place, he succumbed to an unknown illness in the hill city of Dalhousie, India on May 15, 1962. He had sent his memoir to his literary agent, John Johnson, just days earlier on his forty-seventh birthday.

Against the wishes of Dillon's brother Robert, who had never accepted Dillon's transition, Johnson sought to publish the memoir, ultimately without success.

Thus in death as in life, Dillon was in transit, striving toward personal transformation and seeking inspiration, as he wrote in Milarepa, with "all those who feel that circumstances weigh against them and that their ends are unattainable."

Cameron Partridge

  <previous page   page: 1  2    

    
 interact  
   
Contact Us
 
Join the Discussion
 
 find 
   
Related Entries
 
More Entries by this contributor
 
A Bibliography on this Topic

 
Citation Information
 
More Entries about Literature
 
 


   Related Entries
  
literature >> Overview:  Autobiography, Transsexual

Transgendered individuals have published autobiographies not only to tell or to clarify the stories of their lives, but also to educate others in an effort to gain greater acceptance for transgender people.

social sciences >> Overview:  Buddhism

Buddhism is unusual among world religions in that it generally expresses neutrality on the issue of homosexuality.

social sciences >> Overview:  Spirituality

Today's glbtq spirituality movements must be seen as part of a long history in which gender-special people were considered sacred to their tribe or family because of their obvious spiritual gifts.

social sciences >> Overview:  Transgender

"Transgender" has become an umbrella term representing a political alliance between all gender variant people who do not conform to social norms for typical men and women and who suffer political oppression as a result.

arts >> Ashley, April

Outed as a transsexual in 1961, the indomitable April Ashley rose from poverty to become a glamorous entertainer and top model who married into the British aristocracy and later became a transgender activist.

literature >> Califia, Patrick

Controversial for defending sadomasochism and pornography, gender outlaw and sexual anarchist Patrick Califia, who recently underwent gender reassignment, is widely admired as a defender of individual freedom.

arts >> Elbe, Lili

Einar Wegener, a male Danish painter of some renown, became Lili Elbe, one of the world's first male-to-female transsexuals to undergo sexual reassignment surgery.

social sciences >> Erickson, Reed

An early female-to-male transsexual, Reed Erickson is best known for his philanthropy, which greatly benefited glbtq causes in the 1960s and 1970s.

arts >> Jorgensen, Christine

Actress, singer, and writer Christine Jorgenson was not the first male-to-female transsexual to undergo sex reassignment surgery, but the publicity surrounding her case enabled her to educate the public about the differences between homosexuality, transvestism, and transsexualtiy.

literature >> Morris, Jan

The talented and prolific Anglo-Welsh journalist, historian, and travel writer Jan Morris was one of the first transsexuals to tell her story publicly in a memoir.


    Bibliography
   

Cowell, Roberta. Roberta Cowell's Story. New York: British Book Centre, 1954.

Dillon, Michael. "Out of the Ordinary." Unpublished Manuscript currently in the possession of Andrew Hewson in London. Ca 1962.

_____. Self: A Study in Ethics and Endocrinology. London: William Heinemann, 1946.

Hausman, Bernice. Changing Sex: Transsexualism, Technology, and the Idea of Gender. Durham: Duke University Press, 1995.

Hodgkinson, Liz. Michael Née Laura. London: Columbus Books, 1989.

Jivaka, Lobzang (pseud. of Michael Dillon). Growing Up into Buddhism. Calcutta: Maha Bodhi Society, 1960.

_____. Imji Getsul: An English Buddhist in Rizong Monastery. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962.

_____. The Life of Milarepa, Tibet's Great Yogi. London: John Murray, 1962.

Kennedy, Pagan. "The English Seeker and His Secret Identity: Michael Dillon in India." www.glbtq.com (May 1, 2008): http://www.glbtq.com/sfeatures/kennedydillon.html

_____. The First Man-Made Man: The Story of two Sex-Changes, One Love Affair, and a Twentieth Century Medical Revolution. New York: Bloomsbury, 2007.

Meyerowitz, Joanne. How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002.

Prosser, Jay. Second Skins: The Body Narratives of Transsexuality. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Partridge, Cameron  
    Entry Title: Dillon, Michael  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2008  
    Date Last Updated May 14, 2008  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/literature/dillon_m_lit.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2008 glbtq, Inc.  
 

 

This Entry Copyright © 2008 glbtq, Inc.

www.glbtq.com is produced by glbtq, Inc., 1130 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL   60607 glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.