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Ivan, You’re Busted! (2000)

Ivan, You’re Busted! (2000)

©2000, 2013 by Dallas Denny

Source: Denny, Dallas. (2000, Summer). Ivan, you’re busted! Transgender Tapestry, 90, pp. 9-10.

When I became editor of Tapestry the office staff passed on to me a packet of correspondence which included several strange letters which seemed to me to be written by the same hand. “Oh, that’s Ivan,” they said. “He’s been sending us letters for years.” Ivan was their pet name for the letter writer. And so, I came up with this. IFGE never received another letter from him.


Ivan, You’re Busted!

By Dallas Denny


For some years now IFGE has been getting letters from someone in Florida the staff affectionately call— because they must call him something— “Ivan the crossdresser.” Ivan sends letter after letter to Transgender Tapestry, each time signing a different name and south Florida home town. There are enough similarities among the letters to tip off the watchful letters editor, but from time to time across the years an “Ivan” creation has found its way into our letters column, no doubt to the masturbatory delight of the letter writer. No more, Ivan! You’re busted!

Here’s what we know about Ivan:

  • He sends us lots of letters, sometimes only days apart, and often at holiday time.
  • He sends letters to other publishers also, and occasionally manages to get one printed.
  • His “letter writers” are from different towns, all in Southern or Central Florida.
  • He usually poses as a youthful transgendered person between ages nine and 14, born male but living female, or as the female relative (often the grandmother or the older sister) of a transitioned transgender child, or even, occasionally, as a male. Ivan is particularly fascinated with grandmothers; his grandmothers often pay for the transgendered child’s hormones.
  • He never sends more than one post from the same “person.”
  • He uses a typewriter with variable typefaces, which he changes to make it seem as if his pages come from different machines.
  • He varies the stationary he uses, but occasionally gets careless and reuses a particular design.
  • He makes grammatical mistakes which are consistent from letter to letter.
  • He consistently uses old-fashioned words like “adorable” and “darling” to describe girl’s clothing and crossdressed young boys, respectively.
  • He often concludes his missives with points of advice to “other” young transgendered folks and their parents.
  • The subjects of his letters often crossdress for the first time after seeing a young boy crossdressed on television, often on a holiday.
  • His “writers” often mention that a young boy cannot possibly transition without the help of an adult female. Females often coerce the child into crossdressing and always support the transition.
  • The young transitioners are often named Billy, Jimmy, Bobby, or go by some other diminutive.

Following are some excerpts from Ivan’s letters.

1 February, 1997
Sunrise, FL

My big sister buys your magazine for me. She buys it at the big book store in Sunrise near the mall…. I am just turned 14 and I have been crossdressing since Christmas 1995. I can do this every long weekend, school holiday breaks, and in the summertime. Last summer I spent a whole month living as a female and I never had such a nice summer…. I couldn’t do this without female help.


21 February, 1997
Hillsboro Beach, FL

My young grandson is a budding “TG,” something I must acknowledge took me some time to get used to…. It would be a wonderful service to the sisterhood for some magazine or organization to provide a forum for darling youngsters…. Marge is now 13 and Grandma has given her an added birthday gift. I am paying for her female hormone therapy and have also established a medical and educational trust for her future support.

Karen Deutsch (Marge’s Grandmother)


21 February, 1997
Fort Lauderdale

I am a young (58) grandmother just discovering the delights of helping to raise a new 14-year-old granddaughter. Yes, that darling child is now living with me as a female! … Thankfully, my daughter-in-law confided in me early on and let me be a part of Jimmy’s new life.

Louise D.


This letter included a clipping Ivan had managed to get into the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, in which he wrote:

I got started being a girl on Halloween. Mom put an old dress on me and a mask and I was supposed to be a bag lady. She put powder in my hair to make it gray. Then for fun I asked my auntie if I could see how I would look in a pretty dress like my cousin wears to church.

Edith, age 11


Spring Break, 1997
South Beach, Miami Beach

Last year we returned home unexpectedly to discover our 12-year-old son Bobby wearing his sister’s clothes, the two of them carrying on like sisters. They confessed they had gotten the idea from watching a television talk show and both found it to be fun.


4 April, 1997
Somewhere South of Orlando

I am just turned 13 and I have been dressing up in nice girl’s clothes since the Christmas of 1995. My mom and Auntie Meg and Grandma and Cousin Kathy are all helping me to transition…. My grandma paid for me to start on female hormones for my birthday present…. No boy who never tried crossdressing can know what it is like and how it feels to see yourself all prettied up so’s you can be a daughter and a granddaughter. A boy needs to have the help from some adult female in his family to get it right from the start.


12 April, 1997
Tampa, FL

I am a TG boy 14 1/2 years old. I have been dressing and living as a girl now for almost 3 years. Last summer was my first time to be female the whole school vacation. I never had so much fun! That was when my grandma agreed to pay for my female hormones and all that. She said since I was determined to be her granddaughter, I should look like a young lady and not like a monster.

28 October, 1997
South Florida postmark

My 9 year-old grandson is presently living with me as another granddaughter! … His female gender preference was established innocently enough, dressing in his cousin’s parochial school dress etc. for Halloween 1994…. That Christmas he asked Santa for some nice girl’s clothes of his own…. We have met one TG youngster who was crossdressed against his will at age 9, but family pressures have gotten him to accept and now enjoy a female self.


3 December, 1998
Pembroke Pines, FL

No boy can transition alone. We all need loving, caring adult female teachers in our families…. So, please get somebody to write an article for your magazine showing how a distant grandma or auntie can offer a safe and loving home for that special boy in their family who is really a girl at heart…


22 December, 1997
Boynton Beach

I am the 17-year-old sister of a 14-year-old TG brother. We have an older sister, 28, who is a nurse and lives with my grandmother in the Nashville area. I have recurring bouts of shame and guilt because the three of us more or less coerced Billy into his makeover and kept him in it for the whole summer of ’96. Billy had been visiting at Grandma’s house when we saw a television talk show makeover of a darling 12-year-old boy who wanted to live as a girl…


14 January, 1998
Pembroke Pines, FL

I am writing to you to settle a disagreement between me and my mother. She says it would be deceitful for her to subscribe to your magazine because she is not a sister. She is a female. She says if just anybody could get a personal, you would have a real bunch of idiots writing in to spoil your magazine on purpose…. I am a 13-year-old TG boy and I have been living as a girl for the past three years. Mom got me interested in wearing girl’s clothes when I was 9 and I liked it right from the beginning. My mom liked it too, because a daughter can be closer to a mom than a son can.


12 February, 1999
Lauderdale by the Sea

I am writing as a confused and befuddled aunt with a commitment to help out a younger sister and her preadolescent son. Sis refers to Michael (now “Millicent”) as her “T-Son,” though I have no inkling as to what she meant by that.


19 June, 1999
Coral Springs, FL

I used to be “Billy” but now I am “Betty”…. I started crossdressing when I was 9 for Halloween and my mom and sister liked having another girl around the house and so did I!


20 June, 1999
Imperial Point, FL

Thanksgiving 1996 we watched a movie in which the boy actor had to be crossdressed. Me and my girl cousins teased my brother Timmy that Grandma could make him even prettier than that boy. Timmy finally said, “Okay.” He would try it just to shut us up from always teasing him.

Even Timmy was surprised at what a pretty girl he made. He liked all that attention. He said any boy would feel all excited being made over and wearing all girls’ clothes for the first time.


30 September, 1999
Pembroke Pines, FL

Christmas 1955 my girl cousins and I teased our younger brother into letting Grandma do a makeover on him. Dressed in their pretty clothes, he made an adorable little girl. He willingly remained in female clothes for the rest of the day…. He must have enjoyed it as much as we did, for a month later he asked our mom if he could be a pretty girl some more.