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Thread: Regarding tri-ess

  1. #1
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    Post Regarding tri-ess

    Hello all,

    I feel I must comment on the Tri-ess issue, as many have gotten the incorrect assumption that they are biased and against gay or bi cross dressers, this is not correct.

    Tri-ess was started as a "heterosexual cross dressing support" group. If you recall, many contemporary publications make reference to crossdressers as predominantly straight. This may or may not be a realistic assessment, however the issue is tangential.

    Many crossdressers, when they come out to wives and family, are hit with "Do you to be a woman?" Or transition? The answer is generally no and the issue can cause significant marital stress and even divorce. Such individuals need to prove to spouses that they are straight.

    Tri-ess was formed as a safe group for crossdressers, their spouses and families. The last thing they want is a group of transsexuals talking about who the best transitional surgeon is, hormone levels, and such issues (this is not to deminish transgender people, but a BIG difference between crossdressers and TG people.) Cross dressing individuals need a group to reinforce for themselves and their families the difference.
    Thee were once 47 Tri-ess grops nationwide. Today only14 remain!
    Sadly many of the chapters such as Sigma beta in Oklahoma City were torn apart by infighting with TG Members who wanted to move the focus to TG instead of crossdressing. Rather than form a seperate TG group, a good CD group was destroyed.

    The charter requirements specifically provide the group is directed to heterosexual crossdressers.

    As it is, there are 3 groups in Oklahoma City for Transgender and NONE For crossdressing.

    It's not about discrimination, it's about meeting the needs of a group with different needs.

    Please understand and respect those needs. Yes Tri-ess runs vanilla but it's for spouses and family members including children as well.

  2. #2
    The Anima Corrupt Wen4cd's Avatar
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    This does not sound unreasonable to me. But I can definitely see how it can be a juicy target in today's climate.
    And so we go, on with our lives...
    We know the Truth, but prefer Lies.
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    Live in Decline, be the victim of our own design?

  3. #3
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    I agree.There's nothing 'evil' about having a group pretty much exclusively for heterosexual crossdressers. There is so much emphasis these days put on transexuals that in some ways I think it does a disservice to the crossdressing community.Not disrespect to the trans members here, but most of the media attention is on people who want to or who have transitioned. My wife and I watched a few episodes of Caitlin Jenner, and, in addition to Caitlin being kind of an asshole, it also kind of reinforced the stereotype that every guy who presents as a woman wants to transition, which is the exact opposite of the message I've been trying to get across to my wife lo these many years. There are an awful lot of us in the world who just want to dress as women and interact from time to time with the world as women but who are perfectly happy being men and I think that's a message that gets lost in all the discussions of bathroom rights and trans actresses and gender dysphoria.
    Tri ess has been repeatedly vilified from several corners and I don't think it's all justified. There seems to be a certain tension between the trans community and the crossdressing community....I've seen it here on the forum many times...and if WE as a community can't get along and accept each other and acknowledge and embrace our differences I think it'll be completely unrealistic for us to expect the larger community outside of the gender versatile one to ever come to peace with us.

  4. #4
    Silver Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing that, Wharton. As you point out, Tri-Ess has a very specific mission and charter. While it is true that there are chapters where trans women are accepted, it is my understanding that those members are exceptions, in that they are aware of, and willing to comport themselves in keeping with, that mission and charter. Unfortunately, many prospective or former members who could not, or would not do so were left with a misunderstanding of the reason for the conflict or rejection.

  5. #5
    Isn't Life Grand? AllieSF's Avatar
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    I have heard that story/explanation several times here in the past, i.e. nothing new. All groups eventually have internal disputes or issues that arise as the organization grow, shrinks and changes over time. Also when Tri-Ess was popular, all of today's available online information was limited or didn't even exist. Also, individual members also grow and change over time and their needs also change for social interaction. Since even then and now, most areas suffer a shortage of friendly support groups for all parts of the T spectrum (umbrella term). I heard that these groups had issues as the individual members grew into their own personal roles in life and identity (outgrowing the standards for membership of Tri-Ess) and not having a local alternate more open and less limiting support group to switch to, they discussed, probably argued in some cases, the need to change some of the rigid requirements of Tri-Ess to make it more inclusive. As can be seen by your own statistics, the number of Tri-Ess groups has greatly diminished. Proof that even though there may be a definite need for the exact structure and membership requirements for a support group like Tri-Ess, unfortunately, there were not sufficient numbers to keep the existing groups going. That is the weak point of restrictive membership rules. As I have read here a lot of the still active Tri-Ess groups have greatly relaxed the original requirements to maintain membership numbers and thus their solvency as an ongoing group. Sad, but true. Most people here on this site stay here because this is a very inclusive support forum that welcomes everyone, which lets in more members with varied topics across the board keeping up members interest in the site and thus maintaining and helping to grow the total membership numbers.

  6. #6
    Biker Babe Phoebe Reece's Avatar
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    I was a member of Virginia Prince's Full Personality Expression organization when it merged with Carol Beecroft's Maamselle organization in the 1970's to form Tri-Ess. In the beginning, Tri-Ess was open to all who crossdressed, regardless of sexual orientation or whether they were pursuing transition or not. Problems slowly creeped in from people using Tri-Ess for sexual encounters and as a stopping off place for people pursuing the agendas for full gender reassignment. Those that took over running Tri-Ess after Virginia Prince and Carol Beecroft retired from it, made up rules pushing a heterosexual non-transition membership.

    Every Tri-Ess chapter is different and how they interpret the rules pushed by the national organization may be different. Some strictly follow the rules made up in the 1980's and some don't. Many Tri-Ess chapters have disappeared as a result of a no flexibility attitude by the national organization. The national organization is today largely irrelevant. I am still a member though as I have hopes that some day the national leadership will be replaced with people that have some positive vision for the future. Some individual Tri-Ess chapters can and do flourish. The chapter I am a member of (Sigma Epsilon) is a very vibrant organization. Our focus is on crossdressers and their families. We do not care what a member's sexual orientation is, as we enforce rules against making any sexual advances to another member or their S.O. We have some members who are in the process of transitioning, but we do not kick them out. Those who are transitioning understand that their support needs are different from those of crossdressers. Those individuals are our friends and do not do anything to detract from the focus we have on the needs of crossdressers.
    Phoebe

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    The support group I run is open to crossdressers and their spouses, as well as any other gender diverse people and their loved ones. I don't see why these have to be mutually exclusive. My view is the great unifying thing we all have in common is an outside world that doesn't understand us and is often hostile to us. Whether one takes hormones or not makes little difference to those who really don't like us. We don't push people to transition, nor do we advocate any particular path for those who do, although we are happy to share our experiences.

    I'll be honest - based on what I've seen from local CD groups here in DFW, the lack of sexy-time fun in tri-ess groups likely contributed a good deal to the demise of the group. (I've never attended a tri-ess group, although I know several people locally who are or were members of the group that formed from the tri-ess group here.) Some of the CDs here in Dallas, anyway, well, they get busy, seems like.

    Having a lot of members transition is another reason for the demise of that group, as well as some of the founding members just getting too old. Attracting new blood was apparently difficult. (See prior comment about sexy-time fun.)

    For what it's worth - I don't actually care if someone chooses to transition or not. In fact I don't even really think about it unless someone asks me about transition. If someone tells me their name, and present themselves a certain way, or tells me what they are about, then I simply take them at face value and believe them to be who they say. I don't view any particular way to be trans as superior to any other, although some of them are, for sure, more expensive! I guess my viewpoint is weird or something because I certainly argue about it a lot. But it's really simple - you tell me who you are, I believe you. That's it. If you ask for help, I'll do my best to provide it without judgment.

    I have, more than once, stood up to a trans woman who said rude things about CDs in my group. I don't tolerate bigotry from anyone. I've called them out publically, and worked with them to make them understand they need to be accepting, or be someplace else. I suppose it could happen the other way too - but so far, knock on wood, the CDs who attend my group have been lovely people.

    I really mean it when I say to you folks that I view your identities and expressions as no less valid than my own.

  8. #8
    Senior Member mbmeen12's Avatar
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    I went and goggled site and it looks pretty interesting and informational. I am sure whorton seen something here to write being a only 3 posts member. I will surely explore it's values.Attachment 274140
    Escapism isn't necessarily bad, but is definitely unhealthy in the long term. While helpful in the short term, things will degrade over time. At some point, the escapee will have to face the issue. Things simply blowing over isn't really going to happen in many situations.

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    Gold Member Lana Mae's Avatar
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    I applied for tri-ess membership and never heard a thing from them! Did this more than once and still no reply. So I thought they just dried up! Yes, I am single but could have used them for socialization and learning. Won't even try anymore! I have this forum for now and will continue as long as I can! Hugs Lana Mae
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    Silver Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    You are not alone, Lana Mae, and it's not you. I know of at least one other member here who was misled by a derelict web site for a long-defunct local chapter. It's a common problem (derelict web sites) and certainly not unique to Tri-Ess. And yes, we have this forum, which is both good and bad. Good because it is so accessible to so many. Bad in that is no substitute for the experience of supporting and being supported in person.

    I don't blame you a bit for giving up on them, but if you'd like to find out if your local chapter is truly defunct, PM me and I can find out for you.

    Hugs,


    Kel

  11. #11
    Exploring NEPA now Cheryl T's Avatar
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    Unfortunately in today's climate any organization that focuses on a specific group is targeted.
    Why can't Non-Vets join the VFW, or Jews join the Knights of Columbus (maybe they can I don't know). Just now everyone wants everyone to belong everywhere and sometimes we just need a group that is only for certain aspects of life.
    Wear what makes you feel Confident !

  12. #12
    Silver Member Barbara Jo's Avatar
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    FWIW.....

    I belonged to a TR-ESS chapter in N Jersey in the 'mid '90s
    The unspoken rule and feeling was, they did welcome everyone as long as you dressed more or less conservatively and pretended you were hetero.
    I t was a "don't ask, don't tell" type of atmosphere.

    I stopped going because it seemed that far too may just tried to impress upon each other how much of a man they really were by talking about manly things ... like cars and sports.
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