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!


Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #096, Winter 2001.


What is Gender?

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #096, Winter 2001.

The question ?What is gender?? has been answered in many ways by many different thinkers. From all of this a number of things do become clear, or, to be more accurate, a lot of things are seen to be unclear. What do I mean by this?

Well, the basic, simple model embraced in recent times holds that there are two basic aspects to a person?s identity, with one being sex and the other being gender. Sex is described as the biological fact of being male or female, and gender is described as being the social role of being a man or a woman. In the simplistic model, an individual is assigned a sex at birth?his or her ?birth-designated sex??and that assignment matches the behavior and self-identity acquired through acculturation, training, socialization, and personal choice. To put it simply, once the doctor looks between your legs and makes the pronouncement, your role is laid out before you and you continue on that path until death. Sex, we are told, is biological; gender is social.

A Message from Julie Johnson- Chairperson

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #096, Winter 2001.

International Foundation for Gender Education, Inc.

I would like to address the condition of the International Foundation for Gender Education with you, our readers and supporters. I feel it necessary for you to have firsthand knowledge of where we are and where we are going.

IFGE offers a variety of programs. The most visible is our quarterly journal, Transgender Tapestry. While we maintain this journal as a separate program, it is in reality fully integrated with the rest of the organization.

Many people feel that in this day of the Internet Transgender Tapestry is the primary reason for IFGE?s existence. I would ask that you read not only about the magazine, but about our other projects and services, and what we are doing about IFGE as an organization.

An Interview with Randi Elise B.

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #096, Winter 2001.

by Larissa Glasser

Simply put, not many of us associate heavy metal music with transgenderism. Its cultural roots trace to a popularly perceived heterosexism from the male perspective. Surprised?

Despite the genre?s blatant avowal of androgyny, rebellion and empowerment, the average fan of heavy metal music is about as far from the definition of queer as you can get?at least from the queer side of the fence. Despite its outlaw characteristics, metal just ain?t a queer place to be.

Having started with popular bands such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath in the late sixties/early seventies, metal came into full flourish during the eighties?the dawn of Reagan, AIDS, and music censorship by the Parents Music Resource Center. It was under these oppressive circumstances that in the United States heavy metal music began to gain ground in the music collections of predominantly male youths (Beavis and Butthead wear AC/DC and Metallica T-shirts). However, a closer examination indicates an appeal across the gender spectrum. Although heavy metal is still perceived in many circles as misogynist and homophobic, there is a power in this music and outlaw identity that harnesses a commonality with queer and trans culture. Occasionally, you may even run into someone who embodies that.

Aspects of Gender

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #096, Winter 2001.

by Mariette Pathy Allen

June 22, 2001, a warm, humid Saturday, happened to be my birthday. I decided to celebrate by immersing myself in two aspects of life that have always fascinated me: art and gender, so I took the train to Albany. I taxied across the river to Troy, a beautiful, bleak old industrial city often used as a backdrop for historical movies. The artists? reception at Fulton Street Gallery, which lies on a quiet, tree-lined street, was in full swing, making history.

?Aspects of Gender,? the brainchild of Helen ?Montage? Farrell, was as far as I know, the first conference devoted to art made by people of transgender experience. Although some conventions, noteably those organized by transmen, have included art exhibitions and an occasional art-related workshop, art has never been the main subject of any transgender gathering.

Gender Spectrum - Reflections on Transgendered Men and Women in the Islands

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #096, Winter 2001.

by Li Anne Taft

In older cultures, they were highly respected. Today, transsexual men and women are badly mistreated by many, including health care and medical professions, which greatly diminishes the quality of their lives.

?We don?t take blood from mahus,? the receptionist nurse said, as if I had a contagious disease. I suspect it was the blank sex field on my Hawaii State ID or my strong-appearing hands that brought out her biased attitude. As I attempted to explain my transgendered-woman identity, the biomed firm?s director rudely interrupted: ?We don?t take blood from people appearing homosexual,? he said, and asked me to leave. Angered by this bigoted bunch, I left, feeling thankful I was not in need of receiving blood?at least, not at the moment.

Gender Transcendent Priests in South Sulawesi, Indonesia

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #096, Winter 2001.

by Sharyn Graham

The bissu are imagined to be hermaphroditic beings who embody female and male elements . . .

For the past few years I have been conducting anthropological research into ideas and forms of gender in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. While initially I was concerned with men and women, upon arrival I realized that gender in South Sulawesi is much more complex.

Among the Bugis of South Sulawesi, four genders are acknowledged, plus a fifth para-gender identity. In addition to male-men (uranai) and female-women (makunrai) [categories similar to those in Australia], there are calalai, calabai, and bissu. In this article, I will focus on bissu, who act as priests.

Gender, Identity Politics, and Eating Our Own

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #096, Winter 2001.

by Alexander John Goodrum

I come late to organizing as a transgender activist. In doing so, I?ve learned a lot. I?ve learned transgendered people truly are everywhere and not just in New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C. I?ve learned many want to quietly assimilate into the white, heterosexual, middle class status quo that is the dominant culture of our nation. I?ve learned quite a few of us have no wish or desire for such assimilation?that for some of us, our greatest desire is to shake up that dominant culture, to question gender and identity on every level?social, biological, political and personal. I?ve learned that perhaps right at this moment there is a transgendered person?most likely an MTF transsexual or crossdresser, most likely a person of color, being brutally murdered. I?ve learned people much younger than I are coming out as transgendered in ways I never believed possible when I was their age and are challenging not only the status quo, but also calling on ?old? activists like me to take another look around and see the world through their eyes.

To The Editor #96

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #096, Winter 2001.

?Ray for our Writers!

Miqqi: Thoroughly enjoyed your column in Tapestry #94. In fact, I enjoyed the entire issue. Lots of creative, original material. It is a much better publication than the last time I saw it, especially now that the personals are gone.


Making Peace With the Past

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #096, Winter 2001.

by Monica Helms

Recently, my mother sent me a large box full of photos?photos from my past. She sent pictures of me from the age of one month to just before I dropped the bomb on her about being a transsexual, 46 years later. There were black-and-white prints of me as a young child, pictures of my grandparents, grade school pictures, high school pictures, and many of myself with my two boys and my ex. I had to laugh at one in which I stood next to the television at age one; the caption my father wrote was, ?Why don?t you turn on Uncle Milty?? Hmmm. That must have been my first exposure to a transgendered person.

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