Category: History

Historical Perspective on Diva’s Closure

| Apr 8, 2019 | Reply

Ms Bob Davis digs into the history of the recently closed transgender friendly San Francisco nightclub, Divas. It was a favorite spot for members of the transgender community to hang out, take in some drag performances and mingle with other segments of the greater queer community. From it’s beginning in one spot to the fight with local residents to move to a much larger venue nearby Ms. Bob dishes the history of Divas.

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Lavern Cummings, The Sophisticate of Song

| Mar 4, 2019 | Reply

Classic female impersonator Paul Lavern Cummings passed away in Las Vegas, Nevada in March of 2018 after being severely injured in an auto accident. Back in 1999 TGForum ran an interview with Cummings that was conducted by TGF contributor Ken Spaulding. Since it’s been almost a year since Cummings’ death we dip back into the TGForum Archives and bring you that 1999 interview.

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I Almost Made a Mistake

| Feb 25, 2019 | Reply

Suzzie gives a transgender history lesson that features Roberta Cowell and April Ashely. She tells their stories and explains how she relates to them. They were contemporaries who took the path to gender transition. Suzzie also contemplated making that move but then she turned away from GRS and made a deal with a cisgender woman. Read her tale of three transgender women and see if you think Suzzie came out ahead.

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Remembering Alison Laing

| Jan 28, 2019 | Reply

Dallas Denny met Alison Laing at a gender conference in 1991. That meeting turned into the decades long friendship of two transgender activists. In this post Dallas brings you some photos of Alison at work and play and she writes about her memories of those times.

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Review: Merissa Sherrill Lynn: Her History as She Wrote It

| Jan 14, 2019 | 2 Replies

In the past few years a lot has been said about “missing emails.” Today we have a Page Pundit Review by Sophie Lynn about a book that has been made out of the decidedly not missing emails of Merissa Cheryl Lynn. Ms. Lynn was one of the pioneers in the trans movement back in the late ’80s and ’90s. She passed away in 2017. She founded the “Tiffany Club” near Boston, and eventually formed the International Foundation for Gender Education. Around 2008 and 2009 she wrote a lot of emails to a friend about her history in the movement. That friend has compiled those emails into the book Sophie reviews today.

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The Car Hop in the ‘50s

| Jan 14, 2019 | Reply

Former TGForum contributor Bobbi Swan passed away last month. During her time as a contributor she wrote a column titled Maidhood. Her first foray into the world of maid dressing wasn’t about maids per se. Bobbi extolled the charms of the Car Hop. Those were the young women who took orders and delivered food and drinks to patrons of the drive-in restaurants that got popular after WW II. We suspect it was the Car Hop costume that drew Bobbi’s praise. Take a step back, both in the TGF Archives and into the post war world, with Bobbi Swan.

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Retro Review: The Man in The Red Velvet Dress

| Jan 14, 2019 | Reply

In 1996 JoAnn Roberts, one of our founders, reviewed a book titled The Man in The Red Velvet Dress. It was written by Justine Sahnjay under the name J.J. Allen. The book stirred controversy for a few things. Prime among the complaints was a broad definition of what made a crossdresser: “. . .any person who wears clothing of the opposite sex.” JoAnn found that objectionable along with a couple of other points but overall she felt. . . well, you’ll have to read her review and see.

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A Special Cut of the David de Alba Documentary

| Dec 31, 2018 | Reply

A few months ago David de Alba sat down in front of a camera and talked about his life as a female impersonator. The filmmakers sent David a link to a rough cut of all the footage that was shot that day in his home in Las Vegas. Now you can view the interview right here on TGForum. A must for David de Alba fans.

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Drag in the Cinema: The Late Sixties

| Dec 24, 2018 | Reply

Years ago on TGForum Laurie Sheril did a series of articles on drag in the cinema. She started back in the days of silent film and worked her way forward in time to the ’90s. Today we dip into the TGForum Archives to bring you her thoughts on films from the late 1960s. More examples of feminine disguise being adopted by secret agents, hapless heroes, and just regular guys.

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Retro Rerun: Crossdressing in Mad Magazine

| Dec 17, 2018 | Reply

Brittany’s Cartoon Corner was a regular feature on TGForum on the 1990s. Brittany scoured the comic book world for examples of crossdressing and any hint of a transgender character. Today we bring you two of her columns married together into one article on crossdressing humor in Mad Magazine. These appeared in September and November of 1997.

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Tribute to David de Alba’s Late Partner Paul W. Ryner

| Dec 10, 2018 | Reply

On 10 December 2017  Paul Ryner, David de Alba’s long time partner and “the wind beneath his wings, passed away. He will always be loved and remembered by family, friends but most of all his devoted life partner Heri (aka David de Alba). This is a tribute to commemorate the one-year anniversary of his passing […]

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Retro Rerun: The TGSF Cotillion 1999 Pictorial

| Dec 3, 2018 | Reply

We dig into the TGForum 20th century archives and present one of Cindy Martin’s outstanding pictorials from those golden days of yesteryear. Set the Wayback Machine for 1999, San Francisco USA. Prepare yourself for Cindy’s pictorial collages of the year’s big event, the Transgender San Francisco Cotillion.

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Far Different Times

| Nov 5, 2018 | Reply

Lou Reed sang in Sweet Jane, “Jack is in his corset, Jane is in her vest, And me, honey, I’m in a rock ‘n’ roll band. Huh. Riding a Stutz Bear Cat, Jim, Ya know, those were different times.” And times were different for LGBTQ people before and during World War II. Jack could only wear his corset in the privacy of his home. There was no internet to let people know they weren’t alone. Even into the 1960s and ’70s the difference was evident. And there were no “trigger” words, PC designations, and little understanding of those who were different. Susan Grant lived through it and writes about what it was like.

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(Transgender?) History Lesson

| Oct 29, 2018 | Reply

Back in 1997 Shirley Bassey sang a song called History Repeating. That’s the subject of Sophie Lynne’s post today. Not the song but the idea that if you wait long enough what has happened once will happen again. We don’t mind when the things that happen are nice and pleasant, but there are many examples of things that are evil and diabolical. With the current state of transgender rights Sophie is afraid that history may indeed be repeating.

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Drag in the Cinema — The Early 1960s

| Oct 29, 2018 | Reply

Years ago on TGForum Laurie Sheril did a series of articles on drag in the cinema. She started back in the days of silent film and worked her way forward in time to the ’90s. Today we dip into the TGForum Archives to bring you her thoughts on films from the early 1960s that featured characters in drag.

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