A soft-spoken transvestite wanting nothing more than to live as a hausfrau, Charlotte von Mahlsdorf instead was caught up in the most harrowing dramas of 20th century Europe, surviving both the Nazis and the Communists. I Am My Own Wife is her exquisitely written autobiography where she reveals her lifelong pursuit of sexual liberty. The memoirs of a transvestite Berliner, the story of the wonderful Gründerzeit museum, a look at German culture from the point of view of a permanent outsider, Charlotte’s tale, like her life, is a surprising and provocative weave of sex, politics, and history.
With the success of a new play about Charlotte, hailed by The New York Times as the "most stirring new work to appear on Broadway this fall," her story is reaching an entirely new readership of enthusiastic theater fans.
Von Mahlsdorf was also the subject of a documentary, I Am My Own Woman (1993), directed by Rosa von Praunheim.