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JoAnn Roberts: On My Mind (2006)

JoAnn Roberts: On My Mind (2006)

©2006 by JoAnn Roberts

Source: Roberts, JoAnn. (2006, Fall).  On my mind. LadyLike, p. 46.

“On my Mind” was JoAnn Roberts’ column as publisher of LadyLike. Here she remembers and eulogizes a number of transgender community publications, including Transgender Tapestry. I was editor of Tapestry from 2000-2008.




On My Mind Page (PDF)


On My Mind

By JoAnn Roberts


I received an email from my good friend Dallas Denny a few days ago. Dallas and I go way back to the days when Dallas founded AEGIS (the American Educational Gender Information Service). She asked for my help in formalizing AEGIS and I became Chair of its board for a while. Dallas put out Chrysalis as AEGIS’s house publication. At the time, Chrysalis was at the cutting-edge of transgender dialogue. Dallas published many new and “subversive” ideas in Chrysalis.

As with many other tg-publications, Chrysalis could not find a large audience and AEGIS had to stop bleeding money to print it. Eventually AEGIS and Chrysalis moved online, but Dallas had squarely established herself as one of the tg community’s critical thinkers.

So, it was not a big surprise (at least to me) when the International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) asked several years ago if Dallas would take over the reigns as Editor of Transgender Tapestry, IFGE’s house publication. She said “Yes”. This was great for both IFGE and Dallas. She would have a public voice again and IFGE strongly needed a new editorial direction for Tapestry. Under several previous editors, the IFGE mag has lost most of its cache with the community.

I was pleased because now the tg community had two solid magazines for itself, Transgender Tapestry for the really serious stuff, and LadyLike for the not-so-serious stuff.

Alas, all was not well for long in transgender-magazine land. The email I received from Dallas was to inform me that she had resigned as Editor of Tapestry. She cited the age-old money problems (IFGE only put out two issues in the last two years), talk about a move to, or satellite office in, Washington, D.C., and editorial interference from the board. She’d had enough and resigned. She is looking into starting a new magazine, maybe hard print, maybe online, maybe a bit of both.

Dallas was always her own woman and I’m not surprised she resigned, just a bit sad.

It’s harder now then ever to start up a magazine, especially in this community. When I first started putting out LadyLike, the only other non-sexual magazine on the market was the TV-TS Tapestry from IFGE. Soon after I started LadyLike, Kymberleigh Richards in California started Cross-Talk. What made Cross-Talk different was that it was published monthly. Also coming out of California was Crossdresser’s Quarterly, published by Danielle Moran, a well-known crossdresser in southern California. Neither survived the late 1990s.

In the late 1 980s, a social friend, Robyn Dormer, started publishing another magazine called En Femme. Robyn called on her contacts and friends in the New Hope, Pa., area for content. En Femme was published bi-monthly.

About two years into the run, Robyn had some serious financial difficulties and offered to sell En Femme to me, which I bought. Eventually I changed the name and format to International TranScript. I managed to put out five issues before I had to kill it and stop bleeding money from LadyLike to publish it.

Also around at that time was a magazine called Dragazine which was fabulous. But it, too, folded in the 90s.

In the very late 90s, Gina Lance, another southern Cal-gal (what is it about the LA area?) started Girl Talk. Now, Girl Talk had all the “right-stuff”, great design, all color, great-looking t-girls and great production values. But, they eventually failed too and CT is now gone.

There have been a few other tg-related magazines that were too transient to even mention here.

What finally killed all of these magazines (except Tapestry which has always had money problems) was a combination of a lack of sufficient distribution, lack of response from the tg community, and the Internet.

So, here we are in 2006. LadyLike is the last woman standing, so to speak. There is no other non-prurient, sex-but-fun tg magazine out there. Why we’ve survived is a topic for another discussion but I can tell you that LL has seen a decline, too, due to the Internet.

We’ll keep putting LL out as long as it makes economic sense for us to do so. Hell, we’re going to celebrate our Twentieth Anniversary next year!

What I need from you, our readers, is photos! We are dangerously low on photos. So, even if you have a photo album posted online, consider sending us some photos for the magazine. There are a lot of people who can’t access your photos online but they will see them in LadyLike. Contact me at <> and I will give you the low-down on what we need in digital photos for the magazine. It’s different than posting online. We also still can use glossy wet-film photos, too. Send them to our post box.

We usually choose our profile girl from the photos we receive. Who knows! You could be on the Twentieth Anniversary cover of LadyLike.

Stay frosty —JoAnn Roberts