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!

Eunuch of the Sun

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

by Tucker Lieberman

It?s not surprising that almost every culture has a form of sun worship. What does it mean ?to worship,? really, but to humbly adore an awesome beauty in recognition of our dependence on it? The sun is a natural object for adoration. It causes crops to grow and provides light by which to see. Beyond human reach, it reminds us of our dependence and ignorance. It symbolizes egalitarianism as it shines equally and without hesitation on people of all colors, shapes, sexes, and characters; paradoxically, it can also symbolize judgment, as if it were a fierce, all-seeing eye. Its heat can yield pleasure, or a slow death. And its daily death in the west and resurrection in the east symbolizes eternal life.

From the Bridge

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

Sex and Marriage... and Mr. Bailey

A word from the Chair of the IFGE Board of Directors

The challenge in writing a quarterly column is that one is forever locked in a time warp? needing to say something relevant to the current events of, in this case, July ?03, when the world will have danced for four or five more months and set itself in a completely new arrangement by the time this is read. Not only will those July events seem distant, but my words, perhaps, archaic.

Gallery Night

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

by Caryl King

Opening the Country?s First GLBT History Museum
By 6:00 pm downtown San Francisco is starting to quiet down. The population density has dropped dramatically in the last hour as corporate cubicles closed for the night. It?s happy hour, time for cocktails, sunsets, and Satie on the piano. But when the elevator doors opened, everyone was smiling like New Year?s Eve in June. It was opening night for the International Museum of GLBT History. The inaugural exhibit, ?Saint Harvey: The Life and Afterlife of a Modern Gay Martyr,? movingly filled the gallery. The crowd was dressed San Francisco elegant, sporting everything from jeans and leather to ties and gowns. And that was just the men. Actually, diversity of style describes everyone. A rainbow of genders and sexes made it a grand night for GLBT History.

Gender Spectrum: Reflections on Transgendered Women and Men in the Isles

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

This column was previously published in DaKine.

Making a Difference Against Prejudice

By Li Anne W. Taft

Transgendered men and women
can fight intolerance and injustice by helping others better understand TG-related issues and lifestyles.

My angry words flew out. ?Get out of here?just leave me alone!?

The panhandler jumped back in surprise. He had offended me by his rude question: ?What, you male or female?? My explosive reaction provoked another angry response. ?You f??- queer!? he threw back at me.

I gave him stink eye. As he shuffled away, I felt my anger subside and a feeling of disappointment snag me.

This guy had been confused by my transgender appearance, I reasoned, and my shouting had only increased his fears and squashed his desire to talk with me.

To The Editor #104

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

Closet is just too kind a word for solitary confinement, being buried alive and running from the truth. Oh, yeah, the cell is nicely appointed, as much as I could make it, but it still has those damn bars, forged from fear and hardened by loneliness. You wake up one day and the hellacious marriage is finally over, the kids are grown and moving on with their lives. You just turned 56 years old and realize you?ve never done much for yourself all these years. Your account is seriously in danger of being overdrawn.

What?s a girl do with such a serious case of the down-home blues? Why, she goes on a bodacious shopping spree, right? A liberating exercise after having been oppressed for countless years in that department. A veritable kid in ye olde candy shoppe! But even that began to grow old after a while. You know the feeling, all dressed up, but nowhere to go. Or so I thought at the time. Little did I know. But don?t kid yourself: breaking out is a learning process in and of itself.

On Inequality, Activism, and Writing a Good Political Letter

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

by Divinity

In the spring of 1930, Mahatma Gandhi began his civil disobedience campaign in India. Although close to 60,000 Indians were arrested and tens of thousands beaten and killed by the British during the protest, Gandhi remained a proponent
of nonviolence. He claimed he was an average man, but his promotion of human rights and unwavering gentleness of spirit propelled him into the public spotlight, where he was acknowledged
as the world?s greatest man of peace. This is still his legacy today, long after his assassination.
A similar cry for human rights was seen in 1969 during the Stonewall ?Riots,? which were a reaction to continued police harassment of gays and drag kings and queens at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. Stonewall led directly to the current movement for equal treatment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights in all areas of life in the United States. Although the instigators of the Stonewall incident were perhaps somewhat less ?civil? than Gandhi and his followers, the results were basically the same: although grudging, slow,
resisted, and fraught with difficulty, gradual recognition by authorities and many in the general public shows that just maybe the protesters? complaints were legitimate.

Playing with Barbies?:The Role of Female Stereotypes in the Male-to-Female Transition

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

by Julia Dudek ? April 20, 2003

Regardless of one?s biological sex, the pervasive awareness of being a woman may or may not match the societally defined stereotype of woman. For a male-to-female transsexual, this contrast is magnified to desperate proportions, creating havoc in the minds of the women struggling, despite their indisputable male genetics, to prove their place on the pink side of the gender
spectrum. Many transwomen have described feeling female in their earliest childhood memories, and, in response, longing to lead a feminine lifestyle. Bound day after day by social restraints that encourage a ?normal? existence, closet transsexuals suffer from a tragic and incurable case of mistaken identity, producing the desperation to correct these ?technicalities? to ensure a harmonious existence in accordance with the allowances of a cruel society.

Poetry #104

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

Poems by Jane C.
Jane writes, ?For many years I have written as a tool for catharsis. Now I feel I would like to share some of my work, and hope it might be helpful to another person.?

Ride With Us!

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

by Deborah Greenway

We are in Salt Lake City, Utah, one of the more conservative cities in America. Not only that, but the powers that be here can be somewhat intrusive, as well?yet our transgender group, Engendered Species, has thrived here, probably because of our uniqueness rather than in spite of it.
In the past, I?ve seen many who, in their aloneness in a culture that promotes obedient, sheep-like behavior, have convinced themselves that their lives as transgendered were worse than worthless. I?ve also seen some who grew to the place where all of God?s creation had value, and the immense worth of a justly motivated individual in the world is hard to contain.

Rite of Passage

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

by Melynda Jill

I have a good friend named Jan, a married woman. We met online eight or nine years ago; we struck up a conversation in an AOL chat room and were soon writing each other short notes almost every day. At the time, I was married and presenting as male. I was still in denial, refusing to confront and come to terms with the gender issues which had dogged me since childhood.

Jan and I lived three states away from each other. We corresponded for several months before her family, on vacation, passed through the area where I lived. Jan and I met for coffee. We had planned on talking for half an hour or so. Instead, we spent more than two hours together.

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