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Georgia Transgender Oral History Project: D

Denny, Dallas

Interviewee: Dallas Denny
Interviewer: A.C. Panella
Date of interview: May 1 and 24, 2023

Dallas Denny (she/her) has been a leader in the transgender rights movement since the 1980s. Her work as an advocate,  writer, editor, and community builder have played a significant role in the advancement of rights for transsexual and transgender people in North America and around the world. She lives in the greater New York Metropolitan Area.

Abstract, May 1, 2023:
Dallas Denny discusses how language has evolved over the decades regarding trans topics, noting that she identifies as both transsexual and transgender. She reflects on coming to understand her gender as a young adult in Nashville, Tennessee, where she experienced gatekeeping around medical transition in the 70s-80s. Of particular note, Dallas talks about the Society for the Second Self, or Tri-Ess, a support group aimed at heterosexual crossdressers that excluded transsexuals. She recalls various interactions with Tri-Ess’s founder Virginia Prince, a controversial figure in trans and crossdressing communities. Eventually, Dallas moved to Atlanta, where she attended and eventually began running the Montgomery Medical and Psychological Institute’s gender support group. While in Atlanta, she started Atlanta Gender Explorations support group and launched a nonprofit clearinghouse called the Atlanta Educational Gender Information Service (later named the American Educational Gender Information Service), or AEGIS. Throughout the interview, Dallas expresses the significance of various newsletters and publications relating to trans topics, including Transgender Tapestry, Transvestia, and her own publication Chrysalis. She also talks about the origins of trans conferences such as Fantasia Fair (now TransWeek) and Southern Comfort. 

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