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Mark Ethan Smith’s affidavit for legal name change, 1981

Photo by Kevin Grady/Radcliffe Institute

Photo by Kevin Grady/Radcliffe Institute


Mark Ethan Smith self-defines as “a biological female living as a person without regard to sex.” Smith was born Marcia Ellen Bazer in 1940 and has lived an eclectic life, writing poetry in Greenwich Village; traveling to Mexico, Honduras, Thailand, and Afghanistan; founding a commune in California; studying medicine; and volunteering at a hospital in Kabul. Smith’s first marriage, to Francis Xavier Smith in 1960, ended in divorce. In 1981, Smith filed for a legal name change from Marcia Ellen Smith to Mark Ethan Smith. This affidavit, required years later for a passport application, details the reasons for the name change.

Mark Ethan Smith Papers, Schlesinger Library

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