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Johnny Science Papers
1948-2000 (Bulk 1988-1998)

Fales Library and Special Collections

Collection processed by Rhyannon J. Rodriguez, 2012.

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on July 26, 2021
Description is in English.

 Finding aid was updated by Anna McCormick to add comic books previously separated from the collection.  , August 2019

Biographical Note

Johnny Science (b. January 13, 1955) was a musician, make-up artist, and LGBT community leader. Born Susan Elaine Greengras, she first began experimenting with theatrical make-up as a child in Englewood, New Jersey. During 1977 - 1980, Susan studied psychology at Fairleigh Dickensen University and began specializing in gender and transsexuality.

She first began to adopt the surname "Science" while leading a band of the same name and art directing at New York nightclub Max's Kansas City in 1980. It was also during this time that Susan began to advocate for lesbian S&M by occasionally performing with leather implements. After passing as a man during these performances, Susan began making serious inquiries about surgical transition and began taking testosterone.

As a man he answered to a few different names: Johnny Armstrong, Daniel Austen, and John Grant. Johnny became a special effects make-up apprentice and began networking with the "Female-to-Male" community in 1984. In 1987, he was a facilitator and guest speaker at the International Foundation for Gender Education Annual Symposium in Massachusetts, provided "male make-over" techniques, led a discussion of "passing" strategies, and began doing make-up for performance artist Diane Torr. In 1989, Johnny founded the F2M Fraternity and produced its newsletter Rites of Passage. Between 1991 - 1992, Johnny founded The Drag King Club, began to coordinate "Drag-King-for-a-Day" workshops, and collaborated with artist Annie Sprinkle to produce her film "Linda/Les & Annie: A Transexual Love Story." Johnny continued to provide make-up services and represent this community in mainstream media by appearing on the Howard Stern Show, the Phil Donohue Show, and the Joan Rivers Show, to name a few. In 1993, Johnny began producing and hosting a weekly television show for the Manhattan Public Access Television Station called "That Show with Johnny Science / The Drag King Club."

Johnny's desire to pass as a gay male led him to evolve from the lesbian S&M community to the male S&M underground. In the late 1990s he was a member of the Gay Male S&M Activists (GMSMA) and president of the Metro NY Chapter of the National Leather Association. He founded The Jovian Gentlemen, a gay male social group that connected younger and elder males. He passed away in 2007.