Today, Tuesday 23 August, the iconic Google Doodle is remembering LGBTQ+ pioneer Jacqueline Charlotte Dufresnoy on what would have been her 91st birthday.
Dufresnoy, perhaps better known by her stage name Coccinelle, was a singer, entertainer and activist who was the first French person to undergo gender-affirming surgery.
This is everything you need to know about her.
Who was Jacqueline Charlotte Dufresnoy?
Dufresnoy was born on 23 August 1931 in Paris, who has spoken about being uncomfortable with the fact that she was assigned male at birth from a young age.
She once said: “As a boy aged four, I knew I was different. I was a girl, really, but nobody could see it.”
Dufresnoy reportedly started hormones in 1952, and began wearing wigs and dresses in her childhood.
As a teenager, she picked up the nickname that she would later adopt as her stage name - after wearing a red dress with black polka dots to a fancy dress party, she was called Coccinelle, which means ladybug in English.
In 1953, she made her debut at Chez Madame Arthur, a drag cabaret venue, performing a song from the film Premier rendez-vous. She then bagged a spot at Le Carrousel de Paris, a popular music hall with a number of other transgender performers.
Five years later, in 1958, Dufresnoy underwent gender reassignment surgery after learning of a doctor in Morocco that performed the procedure “by chance”.
She said: “It was by chance on tour in 1958 that I learned that a gynaecologist was performing surgery in Morocco that made a man a woman.
“So I went to Casablanca to meet the doctor who was going to rectify this error of the nature of which I was a victim.
“Finally, I was going to be a real woman, in perfect harmony, inside and out.”
After the surgery, Dufresnoy said: “Dr. Burou rectified the mistake nature had made and I became a real woman, on the inside as well as the outside.
“After the operation, the doctor just said, “Bonjour, mademoiselle”, and I knew it had been a success.”
Reflecting on the surgery, she said: “When journalists found out, I was on the front page of all the magazines, which made the surgeon a fortune and propelled me to superstardom.
“I was the first French person to have a sex-change. Incredible, but true.
“It meant I could no longer be arrested by the vice squad for impersonating a man.”
In France at the time, it was illegal to wear clothing not associated with your assigned gender.
After the operation, France amended its laws to allow details on birth certificates to be changed following sex reassignment surgery, and Dufresnoy legally changed her name to Jacqueline-Charlotte.
She became a media sensation when she returned to France after her operation, and would go on to become the first transgender French woman to become a major star. She travelled the world as a performer and singer for 25 years, and for 10 years appeared in cabaret in Germany.
Her career as an actress also continued to grow, appearing in films like Europa di notte (1959), Los Viciosos (1962) and Días de viejo color (1968).
For seven months between 1963 and 1964, she performed the Cherchez la femme revue at the Olympia in Paris.
She was extremely outspoken about being transgender, and lived with a refusal to hide this part of her identity. In 1987, she released her autobiography, Coccinelle, that explored her gender, transition and career on stage.
Her last public performance was in 1990, and she later moved to Marseilles where she ran her own cabaret from 2002 to 2005.
Was she married?
Dufresnoy married three times over the course of her life - first, to French journalist Francis Bonnet in 1960 in a Catholic wedding ceremony. In order for the wedding to go ahead, Dufresnoy had to get rebaptized as Jacqueline.
Her first marriage actually established a legal precedent for transgender people’s right to marry in France, and it was the first union featuring a transgender person to be officially recognised by the French state.
She and Bonnet’s marriage was later dissolved in 1962.
Dufresnoy then married Mario Costa, a Paraguayan dancer, in 1963 until he passed away in 1977.
Finally, she married fellow transgender activist Thierry Wilson in 1996, with whom she remained until she died.
The pair got together when Dufresnoy was in her mid-60s and Wilson in his mid-20s, and their wedding ceremony was aired live on French television.
After her death, Wilson recalled in an interview how Dufresnoy knew that the media would go wild over their relationship due to their age difference, and welcomed the idea.
He said: “Oh but how she loved a scandal.”
Whilst she was with Wilson, Dufresnoy founded the organisation Denvir Femme, which aimed to provide help and support for transgender people trying to access gender affirming surgeries.
She also helped to organise the Centre for Aid, Research and Information for Transsexuality and Gender Identity.
When did she die?
In July 2006, Dufresnoy was hospitalised following a stroke - she later died on 9 October that year in Marseille, at age 75.
Her funeral was held at the Eglise Saint-Roch de Paris, where Father Philippe Desgens told mourners: “All the children of God have a place in the church.”
He added: “By her marriage in church after her operation, and during her whole life, Coccinelle showed her faith.”