Transliving International is the world's leading magazine and support group celebrating gender diversity.
The group amplifies the voice of all gender-diverse and trans-people regardless of how they define themselves.
Transliving is a not-for-profit support group and lifestyle magazine, established in 1980 published for everyone on the transgender spectrum.
Transliving started life in 1980 as 'TransEssex' (also known as 'The New TransEssex'). One evening, at one of Ron Storme's famous Porchester Hall Drag Balls in London, Stacy met a gay man named Gordon who was organising a regular meeting for Essex-based transvestites (TVs) and transsexuals (TSs). A suitable venue was found. Just like that, TransEssex was born.
TransEssex became a self-help group for TVs and TSs, providing social contact via group meeting and membership. Members could seek advice or support via a dedicated helpline and would receive their quarterly newsletter via mail. This set-up is not dissimilar to that of Transliving today.
I remember the first meeting in June 1980. Seven people attended. My goodness how things have grown since then. Gordon got tired of the whims of TVs and defied me to keep it going; telling me I could never do it. I was more determined than ever to make the Group work. It has been very hard but most worthwhile.
The Group's first newsletter was called Tweenie.
Gordon called it 'Tweenie' after the middle maids in 'Upstairs, Downstairs', and those in the middle."
In 1989, it was renamed Narcissus (The Woman in You) and put under Tony Hamilton's editorship. A few short years later, in the early '90s, the newsletter received a 'face-lift' and emerged as a colourful glossy lifestyle magazine called Reflections International. Early issues carried this simple tagline, 'The TV & TS Magazine' – however in 1997, issue 14 introduced a new, grander one, 'The World's Finest TV/TS Magazine'. The aesthetic transformation affected the cover price: from £4 (Narcissus in 1989) to £6, £7 and £10 (Reflections in 1995, 1997 and 1999). But, that aside, it is unquestionable that these publications are the precursors of the magazine we all love today.
The metamorphosis did not stop there.
A lot happened in 1999 - the Group was renamed 'TransLiving' and became affiliated to the human rights advocacy group, 'Liberty'; the magazine was renamed TransLife International (ISSN 1469 1019) edited by Michael Jessop, and Shane came on board as an editorial assistant and membership secretary.
As we entered the new millennium, we found that some 'T' words had fallen out of favour. We bid goodbye to 'trannie or tranny’ (regarded as an offensive slur), 'transvestite and transvestism’ (seen as a medical disorder) and 'transsexual' (being trans is about gender identity, rather than sexuality). Henceforth, 'transgender' and 'cross-dresser' would be the PC terms. In keeping with this, the magazine tagline was replaced with 'The World's Finest Transgender Magazine'; although 'TV TS TG' remained visible next to 'Cris', the cover-girl of issue N°1.
In 2005, when issue N°17 was released, it bore a new name – Transliving International (ISSN 1746 8329). 'CD' was added to the tagline. A year later, on the cover of issue N°21, the tagline had evolved yet again. This time it was 'The World's Largest Transgender Magazine', and it survived for 13 years. In 2018, issue N°60 was relaunched with a completely new look. The size of the magazine moved from A4 to a smaller handbag size, making it more user-friendly. In addition, this revolutionary issue saw a new and more inclusive tagline, 'Celebrating Gender Diversity'.
Adapted from 'And Transliving Was Born' by Warren Christopher Hallett [Transliving International Magazine, Issue 69].