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!

The Man Who Would Be Janice Raymond



Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.



Review by Katrina C. Rose



Most of us are aware of the concept of ?the big lie?: make sure it, whatever ?it? may be, is repeated enough, and it becomes accepted as true whether or not it has any basis in reality.
Another type of big lie is the assertion of something so preposterous, yet so simplistic, that the perfectly accurate yet equally simplistic response/refutation sounds even more preposterous than the initial lie?necessitating extensively-researched answers presented in laborious, boring academic formats that most people can?t follow and, as such, are ignored.

The Fifth International Congress on Sex and Gender and the Gay Games in Australia



Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.



Text by Katharine Coleman, photographs by Mariette Pathy Allen.
Last September, Mariette accepted an invitation to speak at the Fifth International Congress on Sex and Gender at the University of Western Australia in Perth, Oct. 24-27. We also attended the Gay Games in Sydney and journeyed to Melbourne. The latter was the subject of an article in Tapestry #103; we saved the Congress and Games for this issue.




The Fifth International Congress
on Sex and Gender
Perth is a city of about a million people, set on the Indian Ocean in the far west of Australia, about five hours by air from Sydney. Perth has a reputation as a redneck town, but to us it looked much like downtown San Diego: new, clean and stylish. It has a beautiful location and a balmy climate. If you want to see what Perth was like seventy years ago and what the surrounding countryside still looks like, then go see the film ?Rabbit Proof Fence,? which is showing at art cinemas around the U.S.

Sometimes Your Wishes Do Come True!

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

by Stasha Goliaszewski

Can a male develop breasts because of some natural function or medical problem? Here is the story of one Stasha Goliaszewski. She developed B cup breasts as a result of a medical condition known as Conn?s Syndrome, which put her in the painful, agonizing, excruciating, distasteful, heartbreaking, and overwhelming position of having to choose between possible death or feminization.

How many of us have wished the Boob Fairy would visit us and we would wake up with a nice set? Even a cute B would do. The intensity of the wish may wane, but every time you fill that bra with birdseed or water balloons, it comes back in full force. If only they were real! Well, in my case, it happened. It didn?t happen overnight, but it did happen.

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.

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.

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.?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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