Subfonds 4 - International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) fonds

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International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) fonds

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  • 1986 - 2002 (Creation)
    International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE)
    IFGE also accumulated publications with dates prior to 1986
  • 1986 - 1991 (Creation)
    Lind, Betty Ann
  • 1986 - 2002 (Creation)
    Lynn, Merrissa Sherrill

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Physical description

60 cm of textual records and graphic materials

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Name of creator

(1986 - present)

Administrative history

The International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) is a non-profit advocacy organization founded in November 1986 by Merissa Sherill Lynn. It was established to promote understanding of transvestitism and transsexualism. The IFGE developed out of an earlier organization, the Tiffany Club, which was officially founded 1978. In 1986, the IFGE took over the international services and the Tiffany Club was reformed into a local support group serving the New England area. IFGE elected a board of directors, which took office at first IFGE convention in 1987.

The IFGE operates as a communication medium, an outreach and educational tool, and a unifying factor for the transvestite and transsexual (TV/TS) community. It provides support and channels funds and information to TV/TS groups, and it provides educational information to TV/TS people, to persons directly affected by them, to professional communities and to the general public. The IFGE publishes the TV-TS Tapestry Journal and special topic publications, holds an annual "coming together" convention, and provides a speakers bureau and library on TV/TS issues.

The IFGE is managed by a board of 21 members plus a number of alternates elected from the TV/TS Community at large. Members of the board serve as officers or coordinators on IFGE committees. Each committee in turn works with local organizations on specific projects. The administration is based in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Name of creator

(1931 - 1998)

Biographical history

Betty Ann Lind was born in 1931. She was an original board member of IFGE, and served the organization for a number of years in various capacities, including its Programs and Nominations Committees. She received the Virginia Prince Award, the Outreach Institute for Gender Studies’ Achievement Award, and Miss Fantasia Fair. She was also involved in Reluctant Press Publishers and the editor of My Sorority, an early transgender newsletter.
Lind was the founder of the Delta Chi Tri-ESS chapter of Washington, DC in the early 1970s, the predecessor to the TransGender Educational Association of Greater Washington (TGEA)
She attended the second Fantasia Fair, held in Provincetown Massachusetts, in 1976. She became a member of the Board of Director to the Fair's sponsor, the Outreach Institute in 1982 and later in 1985 became the Fair Coordinator and served in that capacity until 1991. She died March 4, 1998 at Sibley Hospital, Washington, DC. (Source: Betty Ann Lind obituary

Name of creator

(1976-2002 [fl.])

Biographical history

Merissa Sherrill Lynn joined the Fantasia Fair staff in 1976 and took a leadership role in the Cherrystone Club in Boston. Merissa hosted the first meeting of Tiffany Club in 1977 and was its director for the first nine years. In 1978 she developed a long-range plan with the intent to build an international service network. She founded NACD Inc. (National Association of Cross Dressers), an investment corporation in service to the trans community, and was responsible for acquiring the community’s first group housing and retreat. She helped found the TV/TS Tapestry Journal and Tapestry Publications and was its Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief.
In 1986, Lynn founded the International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE), an American non-profit transgender advocacy organization and devoted to “overcoming the intolerance of transvestitism and transsexualism brought about by widespread ignorance.” The first IFGE convention was held in Chicago in March 1987. In 1988, she became the second recipient of the IFGE’s Dr. Virginia Prince Award. She founded the “Coming Together – Working Together” convention and was its Director. She was IFGE Director until 1995 and subsequently was granted honorary board membership for life. Lynn lectured publicly for 15 years, appeared many times on television and radio, and has written many educational articles, including The Directory of Terms, a standard booklet for the Educational Resources Committee of the IFGE. She travelled to Trinidad, Colorado for sex reassignment surgery in July 1991. In 2002, she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Tiffany Club’s annual transgender conference, “First Event.”

Custodial history

Scope and content

International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) fonds is comprised of the following series which include material created by Merissa Sherrill Lynn and Betty Ann Lind in their roles within the IFGE organization: administrative records, articles and collected publications, correspondence, newsletter collection and resource materials.

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