International Foundation for Gender Education

Materials from The International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) are a part of The Rikki Swin Collection.  

International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) was a non-profit advocacy organization founded in November 1986 by Merissa Sherill Lynn. It was established to promote understanding of transgender people.The IFGE developed out of an earlier organization, the Tiffany Club, which was officially founded 1978.

The IFGE operated as a communication medium, an outreach and educational tool, and a unifying factor for transgender people. It provided support and channeled funds and information, and it provided educational information to trans people, to persons directly affected by them, to professional communities and to the general public. The IFGE published Transgender Tapestry and special topic publications, held an annual "coming together" convention, and provided a speakers bureau and library on transgender issues.

UVic Transgender Archives holds IFGE records (part of the Rikki Swin Institute collection) including material created by Merissa Sherrill Lynn and Betty Ann Lind in their roles within the IFGE organization, IFGE administrative records, articles and collected publications, correspondence, newsletter collection, a complete run of Tapestry, and resource materials.

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Betty Ann Lind

Betty Ann Lind was born in 1931. She was an original board member of IFGE and served the organization for a number of years in various capacities, including on its Programs and Nominations Committees. She was also involved in Reluctant Press Publishers and the editor of My Sorority, an early transgender newsletter.

Lind was the founder of the Delta Chi Tri-ESS (Society for the Second Self) chapter of Washington, DC in the early 1970s, the predecessor to the TransGender Educational Association of Greater Washington (TGEA). She died in Washington, DC, in 1998.

UVic Transgender Archives holds IFGE records (a part of the Rikki Swin Institute collection) including material created by Betty Ann Lind in her role within the IFGE organization.

Merissa Sherrill Lynn

Merissa Sherrill Lynn joined Fantasia Fair staff in 1976 and took a leadership role in the Cherrystone Club in Boston. Merissa hosted the first meeting of Tiffany Club in 1977 and was its director for the first nine years. She helped found the Transgender Tapestry journal (formerly TV/TS Tapestry Journal) and Tapestry Publications and was its Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief.

In 1986, Lynn founded the International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE), an American non-profit transgender advocacy organization devoted to promoting acceptance for transgender people. The first IFGE convention was held in Chicago in March 1987. She founded the "Coming Together – Working Together" convention and was its Director. She was IFGE Director until 1995 and subsequently was granted honorary board membership for life. Lynn lectured publicly for 15 years, appeared many times on television and radio, and has written many educational articles, including The Directory of Terms, a standard booklet for the Educational Resources Committee of the IFGE.

UVic Transgender Archives holds IFGE records (a part of the Rikki Swin Institute collection) including material created by Merissa Sherrill Lynn in her role within the IFGE organization.