Francois Timoleon (1644 - 1724), who became the Abbé de Choisy, was an early 18th century French libertine, courtier, priest and diplomat. One of the most colourful characters of his day, Choisy’s claims to fame were legion, including the fact that he liked to wear women's clothes and sport an extravagant coiffure; and he partook of an embassy sent by Louis XIV to King Narai of Siam. Choisy wrote one of the first transvestite literary works, The Transvestite Memoirs of the Abbé de Choisy, and he also wrote a lively account of his travels to the east, Journal of a Voyage to Siam 1685-1686.

There is no indication that de Choisy continued to cross-dress during his visit to Siam except for one unattributed claim (by Peter Ackroyd in his book Dressing Up: Transvestism and Drag: The History of an Obsession) that “it is reported that 'to a feast in honour of the French visitors, de Choisy went gorgeously arrayed in a feminine evening gown, make-up and jewelry. The Siamese thought it was a European custom of some sort'”. This quote has been reproduced in Marjorie Garber's otherwise well-researched study of transvestitism, Vested Interests. The report would seem to be spurious: I have been unable to find its source or to substantiate it from other texts. It appears that Ackroyd made it up.

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