Coccinelle: Google Doodle celebrates French actress and LGBT+ pioneer Jacqueline Charlotte Dufresnoy

French entertainer Coccinelle features in today’s Google Doodle – with the actress and singer featuring on the Doodle to celebrate what would be her 91st birthday.
The Google Doodle celebrates singer and entertainer Coccinelle.The Google Doodle celebrates singer and entertainer Coccinelle.
The Google Doodle celebrates singer and entertainer Coccinelle.

Jacqueline-Charlotte Dufresnoy, also known as Coccinelle, was a pioneer for the LGBT+ community and was the first person in her country to undergo gender-affirming surgery.

Today would have been her 91st birthday – here’s what you need to know and why she features on the Google Doodle today.

Who was Coccinelle?

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Designated male at birth, Cocinelle pursuing her sense of being a women, earned the nickname Coccinelle – which means ladybug – in French, after wearing a red dress with black polka dots.

Following her love for the arts, she made her stage debut in 1953 at Madame Arthur, a cabaret venue in Paris, performing a song from the film, before earning a role at Le Carrousel de Paris.

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She travelled to Casablanca to undergo surgery in 1958 saying after the event “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.”

Following the surgery she became a media sensation - and a sex symbol, even inspiring the Ghigo Agosti song titled ‘Coccinella’

Jacqueline Charlotte Dufresnoy activist and LGBT+ pioneer

As well as a successful career as an entertainer, Coccinelle campaigned as an actively for support for transgender people - with her marriage to journalist Francis Bonnet becoming the first union to be officially acknowledged by the government of France, establishing transgender people’s legal right to marry.

She also worked to create the organisation Devenir Femme – which translates “to become a woman – which offered support to those seeking gender reassignment surgery – as well as helping to establish The Centre for Aid, Research, and Information for Transsexuality and Gender Identity.

Coccinelle was hospitalised in 2006 after suffering a stroke. She died on 9 October in Marseille.

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