IFGE promotes acceptance for transgender people. We advocate for freedom of gender expression and promote the understanding and acceptance of All People: Transgender, Cis-gender, Transsexual, Crossdresser, Agender, Gender Queer, Intersex, Two Spirit, Hijra, Kathoey, Drag King, Drag Queen, Queer, Lesbian, Gay, Straight, Butch, Femme, Faerie, Homosexual, Bisexual, Heterosexual, and of course - You!

Veni, Vidi, Vestibule

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #102, Summer 2003.

by Lacey Leigh

Attending a gender convention such as Southern Comfort Conference can be an empowering
experience. For three or four magical days, the normally closeted transgendered individual finds
caring company, strength in numbers, and abundant opportunities for open and joyous expression
of gender.

Some never leave the refuge of the conference hotel, preferring to enjoy the comfort and support of peers while taking in the myriad discussions, seminars, and workshops. Those who are a touch more adventurous sally forth with like-minded friends to savor the exhilarating experience of public social interaction. They learn to mingle with the unenlightened public and are often surprised at the absence of the dreaded disfavor so often imagined. They utilize municipal transportation, engage in conversations with non-TGs at coffee shops and nail salons, and perform personal outreach at delicatessens and Kinko?s copy shops.

What a Difference a Year Makes!

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #102, Summer 2003.

First Event and My Emergence as Sylvia

by Sylvia Jane Wojcik

This above all: to thine own self be true...

- Shakespeare's Hamlet, I, iii

We each arrive at self-awareness in our own way and in our own time. We can?t always pin down why some of us bloom more quickly than others. Guilt, self-denial, fear, misunderstanding, and more play into it, until something happens that gives us the courage to break out and go for it. I guess what?s most important is that we eventually do emerge rather than stay confined in that dark closet. Taking a long time to come out is mere inconvenience compared to the real tragedy of living an entire life without ever having known fulfillment.

What?s in a name? Some terms used in the Discussion of Sex and Gender

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #102, Summer 2003.

by Milton Diamond, Ph.D.

Language is fluid. The use and meaning of words change constantly. In most cases, the new
is incorporated with the old, so confusion is rare. The field of sexology, however, seems to have a particularly difficult time keeping up with all the shifts in terminology and usage. This is probably related to the multitudes of words used in sexual contexts, the double entendres that accompany many words, and the symbolic and socio-political nature of much that accompanies language. But there is obviously more to this. And if the terminology is confusing for those dealing with it daily, how much more difficult is it for those who come upon it only occasionally?for instance, reporters, historians, and laypersons?

Why my daughters can at last be our bridesmaids

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #102, Summer 2003.

After more than three decades of governmental hostility towards British transsexuals, there?s good news. Recent decisions by the European Court of Human Rights have forced the U.K. government to grant certain rights to transsexuals. The battle is far from over, but things are at long last looking up. This is primarly due to the efforts of the pressure group (i.e., lobbying organization) Press for Change, of which Stephen Whittle is a principal. ?Ed.

20 Years Made All the Difference for an Unknown Number of Transgender People - Including Me!

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #102, Summer 2003.

by Catherine Lynn Andrews

The difference between those born in the mid-1940s and those born in the mid-1960s is an important one. Until recently, the existence of the older group was relatively unknown (to me anyway), as they were not vocal and just blended into the larger transgender community. The realization that this was a significant group came to me during a late evening discussion on Wednesday at the 2002 IFGE conference in Nashville. As I sat at a table in the bar enjoying the music of Donna Frost, a new acquaintance approached me. We had met earlier in the day and had spoken briefly at the social. "Can we chat for a moment?" she began, as she slipped into a chair across from me. "I have a feeling we have something more in common than crossdressing." She was elegant and well-mannered, with an easy feminine presence that seemed to come toher naturally. "Of course," I replied, mustering all the casual response I could as I concealed my concern that she was implying I appeared to be a deviant of some kind. "Let me tell you about myself," she began.

2002 Transgender Day of Remembrance - A Success

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #102, Summer 2003.


The 4th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, held November 20th, 2002, was an event on a scale never before seen in the transgender community. In over 90 different locations across the world, transgendered people and their supporters took a stand against anti-transgender violence.

Events were held in eight different countries?Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Israel, Italy, Spain, and the United States. In the U.S. alone, events could be found in 31 states and the District of Columbia, stretching across the country from Massachusetts to California.


Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #102, Summer 2003.

This year has seen the release of a book that is destined to have the gay and transgender communities up in arms. It?s called The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science and Psychology of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism. The imprint is Joseph Henry Press, a division of the National Academies Press, and the author is one Michael Bailey, a sexologist.

POETRY - Petroleum


Wherefore weave with toil and care

The rich robes your tyrants wear


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