Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tapestry and Other Publications

Tapestry Issue 49 (1986)
During my first days of coming to understand being transgender I would read as many of the publications that I could find.  The one that seemed to be the most thought provoking and enlightening was Tapestry published by the International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE).  It had many contributing writers including Virginia Prince. 

I do not believe the IFGE still exist, although well funded at one time.  

What was most interesting about Tapestry was that it went main stream. It was available in the magazine section of Barnes & Nobel and Borders. No small accomplishment for the early 1990's and early 2000's.   

I always enjoyed browsing IFGE's book selection that was a fixture in the vendor area of our transgender conventions. Curating the many publication and books on being transgender was a worthy endeavor. Their library was extensive. I hope the library still exist somewhere.   

I believe that the infighting that happened in many of our early transgender groups caused IFGE's demise. I have seen is happen time after time in our groups because, in my callus observation, “men attempting to emulate but not behaving like ladies”. Women’s groups thrive on cooperation and the betterment of the cause. Man’s groups fail due to egos and power struggles. Sometimes you can put a man in a dress but cannot change the overall behavior. I have seen both sides.

If anyone has a better feeling of what happened to IFGE please let us know. Dallas Denny, a writer of dozens of articles for transgender community magazines and newsletters gave her side of the story. From 2011 see it here.  

Tapestry was a part of my early transgender experience. It let me know I was not alone and provided information on groups and conventions. Tapestry and other publications/newsletters had article written by individuals that were living my ultimate dream; to be out in the real world, being accepted and enjoying myself. Tomorrow I will write more on one person that provided just such encouragement and became my role model.  


Thanks to a note from Katy a few weeks back letting me know that many of our early transgender publications are available to read. Tapestry, LadyLike and many more. As she said: 

They are a treasure trove of cartoons, stories and ads that reflect the changes our community has seen over the past 20 years or so. You will be up all night going through them.

And yes, I was up all night reading. You too can binge read - search and enjoy.   


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Michelle. Thanks for the comment and I did see that. The last entry was 2012.

  2. Groups thrive or fail for many reasons and while I would not discount your theory that you can dress a man in woman's clothes but cannot always make a woman out of a man I think there are other reasons. I wonder about a lack of broad mindedness. While claiming to be liberal their practices of rigid dogma tend to exclude more than they include. Often those in power in groups take a 'my way or the highway' approach to group think.
    It is sad when an organization that did good for many can no longer survive.
    Of course I have another theory and that is that the need for the group was no longer as important. Today you can get almost everything you need from the internet, including from blogs such as yours. Additionally, with acceptance by the civilian population it has become more comfortable and less fearsome for many to emerge and join society at large thereby lessening the need for alternative places and sources to express oneself. I have recently commented about the demise of gay bars. In my neck of the woods there were four primarily LGBT places that I could go where I felt safe and accepted. They have all closed within the past 3-5 years. The need for LGBT establishments has lessened now that LGBT people can freely and safely go to many main stream bars, restaurants, etc.