As Einer Wegener, her birth name, she established a fairly successful career as a painter. She married Gerda Gottlieb in 1904 and moved to Paris, where Elbe could live openly as a woman and Gottlieb as a lesbian.
About Lili Elbe
Danish painter who became one of the first recognized people to under sex reassignment surgery, transitioning from a man to woman. She was believed to have been born intersex.
After transition and becoming legally a woman, her marriage to Gottlieb was made invalid. She then entered a relationship with Claude Lejeune, but died shortly after.
Friends and colleagues
Her story was the subject of David Ebershoff's novel The Danish Girl, which was adapted into a movie by the same name starring Eddie Redmayne.
She underwent sex reassignment surgery in 1930, which was highly experimental at the time, although she was not the first to undergo it. She died in 1931 following complications from a uterine transplant.