10 Gender-Bending Magazine Covers, 1895-Present

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In his latest wonderful stunt, James Franco — who, despite being avowedly hetero, famously loves to play gay and is a student of queer theory — has shown up in full, Fellini heroine drag on the cover of the transgender fashion magazine Candy. On the heels of Lady Gaga’s (sorry — “Jo Calderone’s”) transformation for the cover of Vogue Hommes Japan over the summer, it’s tempting to think these gender-bending photo shoots have set a new trend.

But there’s nothing new about drag magazine covers. In fact, we found examples involving everyone from k.d. lang to Richard Nixon to Gary Cooper, with the oldest dating back to the 19th century. Check out our 10 favorites after the jump.

James Franco, Candy (Fall Winter 2010/2011). Photographer: Terry Richardson

Lady Gaga as Jo Calderone, Vogue Hommes Japan (September 2010). Photographer: Nick Knight

Neil Patrick Harris applies lipstick, New York (September, 2009)

Andre J. (with Carolyn Murphy), Vogue Paris (November, 2007)

Brooke Shields, The Advocate (April 25, 2000). The accompanying story features a photo of Shields looking even more butch, at the wheel of a motorcycle, snuggling up to… the more traditionally feminine version of herself.

k.d. lang (with Cindy Crawford), Vanity Fair (August, 1993)

Boy George, Cosmopolitan UK (December, 1984)

Richard Nixon, Esquire (May, 1968). Cover by George Lois.

Gary Cooper as The Texan by Norman Rockwell, Saturday Evening Post (May 24, 1930). Read more about it here.

Puck, 1895. Caption: “Goodness me, Kitty! Don’t stand there with your hands in your pocket that way – you don’t know how ungentlemanly that looks!” Read more about it here.