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Podcast: Secret on the high seas

Photo / The Lip

A story of transgender, betrayal, and murder.

Eugene Falleni was a hard-drinking, foul-mouthed deckhand on a South Seas sailing ship.


By all accounts he loved the sailor's life. Physically, he was a small man, fine-boned and handsome. 

But he pulled his weight, no matter how tough the task.

The only thing his fellow crew members found strange about Eugene was his extreme shyness around nudity. He would wait until the rest of the sailors were in bed before he'd wash and undress.

He had a secret. And something went badly wrong for him on a South Pacific voyage in 1897.

“It would be more than 100 years before the term gender dysphoria would be coined but she didn’t need it to understand the truth about herself.”

Listen to the full episode from the podcast series The Lip by journalist Megan McChesney.