Annual IFGE Convention

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #102, Summer 2003.

The 17th annual IFGE convention was held at the Philadelphia Airport Hilton Hotel, March 19-23, with more than 170s attendees from around the world.The event kicked off with Ben Franklin (you?ve seen him on television) presenting a letter of greeting from Philadelphia?s Mayor John Street. The first plenary
session was led by Bernard and Terry Reed from the Gender Identity Research & Education Society (GIRES) located in London, England. Dr. Milton (?Please call me Mickey?) Diamond was the featured speaker. Dr. Diamond was brought to us by Ms. Rikki Swin and the Rikki Swin Institute. Dr. Diamond spoke several times to packed conference rooms. When not delivering presentations, Mickey could be found in
discussions with individuals and groups. More than 40 other presenters offered education and personal help
programs to the attendees. Special awards were presented for outstanding community service. On Thursday, Julie Johnson (now past chair of IFGE) presented the Diversity Award to Glaxo-Smith-Kline for their open employment policies, which provide for transition on the job.
Trinity Awards were presented by Moonhawk River Stone (recently elected IFGE Chair) to Dottie Laing, Monica Helms, and Barbara Warren for their long and dedicated service to our community. The Virginia Prince Award was presented to Alison and Dottie Laing by none other than Virginia Prince (now 90 years old!) Alison and Dottie Laing have worked tirelessly for many years for IFGE, Fantasia Fair, Renaissance, and many other trans-community organizations and individuals. Thursday evening, attendees went out for
dinner at one of Philadelphia?s famous restaurants. Friday evening, Cross Dressers International from New York City raised funds for the Philadelphia Shriners Hospital by hosting a gala carnival. This was followed by a round-robin bus to some of Philadelphia?s famous nightclubs. Saturday found everyone dressed in their finest gowns or tuxedos, enjoying the Philadelphia Gay Men?s Chorus and an evening of dancing. Transgender 2003, as have many other IFGE conferences, was organized by Kristine James and Alison Laing.