Before the golden age of the Internet, a common strategy people employed to find roommates was to place ads in the local newspapers. The Berkeley Barb offered this service as well, although it was far more well-noted for its columns upon columns of sex ads (which many trans people also advertised in regularly). This document shows a roommate hunting ad from a “24 yr. old transsexual” looking to share an apartment with “another transsexual, transvestite, or female.” An interesting feature is that the person placing the ad, Diana, does not specify the gender of any transsexual roommates she might find–whether that is because she would be okay with both trans men and trans women, or because trans women were so overrepresented in the trans community at the time she didn’t feel the need to state, or whether she thought it would be obvious in the context of her gender, there’s no way to know.

Two other interesting facts: the decision to look for an apartment near UC Berkeley suggests that the writer might be a student (probably a grad student, given her age). Secondly, out of all of the “Pad Ads,” she is the only one who specifically states “Not a sex ad,” pointing once again at the hypersexualization and fetishization of trans people and particularly trans women.