WELL-KNOWN gender activist, artist, musician, poet and author, Bruce Laker/Phaedra Kelly, of Ryde, died at St Mary’s Hospital on February 7, aged 65.

Bruce David Laker, was born in 1955 and raised on the IW.

After an early marriage and divorce, he developed his gender fluidity and went on to create the term and notion of Gender Transiency.

As Phaedra, she attended drag balls, corresponded with transvestites and transsexuals the world over and founded the International Gender Transient Affinity (IGTA), which aided Amnesty International in its first sexual minorities case.

Several books quote her saying: “It’s about a discipline of duality with an open mind, without changing sex with hormones, with pills, with injections or surgery, living one’s dualism as much as possible.”

In 1983, Bruce met Vanda, who was to become his fiancee and later, second wife. They made national headlines (in less enlightened times) when they got married at the IW Register Office and Bruce, as Phaedra, wore a wedding dress.

Bruce/Phaedra was also a published author and had written The Naked Transient, several fictional novels and three poetry collections, mounted several sometimes controversial exhibitions of paintings and appeared on stage with the band Ecurbrekel.

She was also a familiar sight at the Island’s carnivals over the years and was one of the Islanders included in an Arts Council-funded Hidden Heroes of the IW exhibition.

A frequent correspondent to the County Press letters pages, she often told Islanders her views on everything from free speech to spirituality.

The funeral service will take place at the IW Crematorium tomorrow (Friday) at 2.15pm.