What is Tri-Ess?
Tri-Ess is a educational, social and support group for heterosexual crossdressers, their spouses or partners and their families. We support both crossdressers and their spouses. We believe that we are blessed with an additional facet to our personalities. If we accept our cross-gendered side, and explore it, we will find a broadening of the entire personality, which can be very fulfilling. We dress in emulation, rather than in mockery, of femininity. The Tri-Ess philosophy can be expressed in the acronym FIBER:
- F - Full personality expression in both its masculine and its feminine aspects. We do not wish to destroy our masculinity, but to soften its harsher aspects, and be all we can be.
- I - Integration of masculinity and femininity to create a happier whole person.
- B - Balance between masculinity and femininity.
- E - Education or crossdressers and their families toward self-acceptance; education of society toward accepting crossdressing people.
- R - Relationship-building in the context of crossdressing.
Based on this concept, Tri-Ess engages in the following:
- 1. Publication of the quarterly magazine, The Femme Mirror. The Femme Mirror covers crossdressing from every conceivable angle. Stories of coming out, events in the gender community, articles by wives, "how to" articles, news from our chapters, treatises on crossgendered law, articles on religion, and scholarly articles about the "why's" of crossdressing - all are published in the Mirror, along with poetry and even cartoons!
- 2. Publication of the Sweetheart Connection, a quarterly newsletter by wives and for wives.
- 3. Publication of the Membership Directory, with profiles and pictures (optional). Many crossdressers feel alone, and many live far from any chapter. To meet a sister in correspondence can be a very rewarding experience.
- 4. Publication of brochures and pamphlets on crossdressing.
- 5. Tri-Ess has about 30 chapters nationwide. Our chapters are social gatherings where members can enjoy programs and the company of others like themselves. Some chapters meet in hotel rooms, others in homes. Some meetings are held at sympathetic businesses or restaurants. The main chapter meetings are crossdressing occasions. some chapters have an additional meeting where the members enjoy activities "en-homme". These non-crossdressing meetings are an excellent way to bring out timid new members and apprehensive wives.
- 6. Every November Tri-Ess stages the Holiday En Femme. Participants enjoy outings, attend educational seminars, and generally have fun. Holidays are held in cities where we have chapters. In November of 1995, the event was held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, near the site of a Winter Olympics. There was a hunting lodge atmosphere, and some really breath-taking excursions.
- 7. Tri-Ess presents the annual Spouses' and Partners' International Conference (SPICE), a non-crossdressed event - the only event in the gender community specifically for wives.
- 8. Tri-Ess provides a voice of advocacy for crossdressers and their families. Last year we had an outreach booth at the National Association of Social Workers convention in Nashville. This year, we had a booth at the first International Conference on Gender Research, and event Tri-Ess also co-sponsored. Our leaders have appeared on radio and television, teaching the public about crossdressing. Our chapters participate in outreach by taking before Crisis Hotlines and police departments, and university classes.
- 9. Tri-Ess is a member of the World Congress of Transgender Organizations, and of the International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE), the umbrella organization for all types of transgendered people. About 35% of IFGE Board of Directors are Tri-Ess members. Tri-Ess works hard for a community of transgendered people.
- 10. Four our new members, we have a Big Sister Program. New members have the option of being assigned a correspondence Big Sister, who will support them through their first year of membership.
- 11. For those far away from chapters, we have a Pen Pal program. A number of our sisters have promised to respond to all correspondence.
- 12. We are expanding internationally, with a Sisters Across the Sea Program, building communication between Tri-Ess chapters and similar organizations abroad, and encouraging international correspondence.
I hope this gives you a thumbnail sketch of Tri-Ess. I will be most happy to answer any questions you have about our organization. If you wish to provide a mailing address, I'll be most happy to send some brochures your way. I hope to hear from you soon. May you enjoy your web-crawling and stay healthy, happy, and pretty.
Jane Ellen Fairfax
Chair Tri-Ess Board of Directors