National Transgender Library and Archive Collection, 1977-2001 (majority within 1990-1999)
Using These Materials
- Some parts of the collection are closed until 2050. See box list for details.
- Denny, Dallas, 1949-
- 28.5 Linear Feet (20 boxes)
- Caitlin Moriarty
- Scope and Content:
The paper and printed portion of the collection is organized into 9 series. The first 5 are organizations with which Dallas Denny was involved or interacted. These series are: I. American Educational Gender Information Service, II. Human Outreach and Achievement Institute, III. Outreach Institute for Gender Studies, IV. Atlanta Pride Committee, and V. International Foundation for Gender Education. The remaining paper series are: VI. Conferences, VII. Miscellaneous Publications, VIII. Shuttle Harry Benjamin, and IX. Photographs (unidentified). Boxes 5 through 14 contain ephemera, memorabilia, photographs, videotapes, computer media, and audio tapes. An item listing is provided in most instances. Boxes 15 through 19 contain correspondence that was processed at a different time than the rest of the collection. For this reason, and because the materials are somewhat different than the rest of the collection, it has been kept separate. The correspondence is organized into 5 series: I. Correspondence, Individuals A-I (Closed), II. Correspondence, Individuals J-Z (Closed), III. Correspondence, 1989-July 1995, IV. Correspondence, August 1995-December 1998, and V. Miscellaneous. The AEGIS files are divided into nine parts based on delineations present in the original file structure. These represent the activities and governance of the organization. Correspondence files are most often organized chronologically within a folder, except for the General Mailings. A larger collection of correspondence can be found further on in the collection. The Survey folders contain survey responses in regard to the experiences of transgendered individuals with therapy and their familiarity with the Standards of Care. Some of the responses included identifying information; these have been removed and replaced with photocopies that have such information blacked out. The Human Outreach and Achievement Institute is the predecessor to the Outreach Institute for Gender Studies and therefore the original host of Fantasia Fair. However, for the sake of continuity, the Fantasia Fair materials for 1992 and 1993 are housed with the rest of the Fair materials in the Outreach Institute series. Most materials within the Miscellaneous Publications series are housed in individual folders; however, a couple folders have multiple publications because they dealt with the same topic area. Boxes 7 through 11 contain a variety of objects, memorabilia, and paraphernalia. In most cases the items are listed individually within the main box divisions. Further description is provided for some items in interior boxes as needed. Box 10A contains photographs that have been divided into sections based on the envelopes and order in which they were found. Only a few of the sections had identifying information and this is reflected in the finding aid. Beginning with Box 15, this portion of the collection consists mainly of correspondence. It includes 4 linear feet of correspondence and 0.5 feet of miscellaneous materials. Correspondence, written by and to Denny, is separated and arranged by name or date, depending on the quantity of communication between Denny and a particular individual. Denny maintained regular correspondence with several people over extended periods of time. Because of the sensitive nature of the subject matter, several people signed only their first names. Thus, several folders in the "Correspondence by Name" section are filed under the first name. The greatest portion of the correspondence is from transgender and transsexual individuals seeking information and advice. Many of these individuals are isolated from others with a common experience and, therefore, turned to AEGIS and Denny as their strongest (if not only) source of support. The correspondence, which ranges from discussion of hormones to coming out to family members, reveals not only the services that AEGIS offered, but also the emotional and physical needs of the transgender community. Individuals' letters are extensive and offer a glimpse into the day-to-day struggles of those who identify as transgender. Women and men write about cross-dressing, surgery options, experiences in other countries, living without surgery and many other issues. Because of the sensitive and personal nature of these letters access to them is restricted until the year 2050. Correspondence also include letters written between Denny and AEGIS board members and other leaders in the transgender community. Denny's involvement with other organizations and in organizing events reveals how important AEGIS was within the MTF community. Also of interest are correspondence between Denny and various other organizations. The gender community is a diverse group that does not always see eye-to-eye and tension arises occasionally between cross-dressers and transsexuals, male-to-females and female-to-males, etc. Letters from and to a heterosexual cross-dressers group and a female-to-male organization reveal Denny's on-going attempts to raise awareness of and reach an understanding with these groups.
- Biographical / Historical:
Dallas Denny founded the American Educational Gender Information Service, Inc. (AEGIS) in September 1990 in response to the lack of credible and reliable information about and for transgender and transsexual individuals. AEGIS was incorporated in 1992 and became a non-profit organization in 1994. The organization served as a clearinghouse for information about transgender issues. In that role, AEGIS provided self-published and other materials to transgender individuals, families of transgender people, allies, doctors with transgender clients, and others seeking information. AEGIS publications included Chrysalis: The Journal of Transgressive Gender Identities and the AEGIS membership newsletter, Transgender Treatment Bulletin. The organization maintained the National Transgender Library and Archive (NTL&A), one of four such repositories in the world. This repository held a variety of materials relating to the transgender and transsexual condition. The Transgender Historical Society, formed by AEGIS, funded and watched over the NTL&A. AEGIS also served as an advocacy group for all transgender and transsexual people. In the organization's words, they "promote[d] nonjudgmental treatment and depathologicalization…in an atmosphere of respect and toleration." The organization provided referrals to and information about support groups and professionals that could offer assistance. AEGIS, a member organization, was run by a Board of Directors headed by Executive Director and founder Dallas Denny, Chair Marisa Richmond, Ph.D., and Vice-Chair Gianni Eveling Israel. The other Board members were Delia van Maris, M.D., Alison Laing, Jason Cromwell, Spencer Bergstedt, Esq., Jessica Xavier, Gwen Smith, Angela Wensley, PhD, and Andrea Bennett, Esq. The organization also maintained a thirty member Board of Advisors. AEGIS sought out alliances with other transgender and sexuality-focused organizations. As members of the Congress of Transgender Organizations, an alliance formed among AEGIS, the Outreach Institute of Gender Studies, and the Renaissance Education Association. AEGIS also worked with the International Foundation for Gender Education, Tri-Ess, the Southern Comfort conference, and the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. Dallas Denny maintained a presence in or interacted with many of these organizations. In 1998 AEGIS merged with It's Time, America! to form Gender Education and Advocacy (GEA). The new organization sought to educate people about and advocate for transgender and transsexual issues and maintain the functions and goals of the two original organizations. GEA also intends to update materials once under AEGIS care and distribution.
Dallas Denny practiced psychology in Tennessee from 1980 until 2000. She is a prolific author and popular speaker on transgender issues and has authored three books on transsexualism. She was the editor and publisher of Chrysalis: The Journal of Transgressive Gender Identities. Denny now edits the journal Transgender Tapestry and is a founding board member of Gender Education and Advocacy. Denny was also involved with Tulafest, a celebration for Carolyn "Tula" Cossey, a transsexual author, held on Sunday, March 6, 1994. Gianni Eveling Israel is a gender specializing counselor in San Francisco who co-authored Recommended Guidelines for Transgender Care and was the Regional Director for West Coast AEGIS.
The Human Outreach and Achievement Institute (HOAI) was founded in 1975. Its aims were to create programs (seminars, workshops, publications, events, and public appearances) to promote education and personal growth among the gender community and professionals and educate the general public about the gender community as well. HOAI disbanded in September 1993 and transferred all assets and supplies to the Outreach Institute for Gender Studies (OIGS). The purposes of OIGS are to: "1) undertake such acts as it deems necessary to serve the educational and other needs of all persons who have a desire to wear the clothing of the other biological sex, or who wish to live as members of the gender generally associated with the other biological sex, and 2) to undertake educational activities to assist the general public and helping professionals to understand crossdressing and gender dysphoria." OIGS annually sponsors Fantasia Fair (or Fanfair), a yearly meeting that includes activities such as seminars, workshops, a fashion show, talent shows, boutiques, and other social events. Fanfair began in 1975 under the sponsorship of HOAI and is held in Provincetown, RI. The Atlanta Pride Committee (APC) was originally called the Atlanta Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee, Inc. It changed its name to the Atlanta Pride Committee, Inc. in 1995. The purpose of APC is to "promote unity, visibility, and self-esteem among lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered persons and to promote a positive image in the Atlanta area and throughout the Southeastern United States through community activities and services." Its missions are to "provide lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered persons with programs and activities which enhance mental and physical health, provide social support, and to foster in Atlanta and the Southeast an awareness of the past and present contributions of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered persons through an annual Pride Celebration." The International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) is an educational foundation that sponsors conferences, conventions, and the Virginia Prince Lifetime Achievement award.
- Rules or Conventions:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard