My late teens were explosive in terms of gender identity.
This very formative part of my life coincided with discovering designers like Xdress which was a huge moment for me. The idea that there were designers who knew that boys wanted to wear cute panties and made lingerie for people like myself was earth-shattering. I remember going through their very glossy Victoria’s Secret-like catalog with pages of pretty lingerie designed for MY body.
It was like… crossdressing was going mainstream. Like listening to your favorite band, a band that you thought only you knew of, getting played on the radio. It was like that maybe, just MAYBE crossdressing was “okay” and maybe, just MAYBE it was acceptable.
Oh, the naivety of youth.
Oh, the optimism of youth.
I still remember the first cute cami and matching panty set I ordered from Xdress. It was the first lingerie I wore that was designed for my body.
Without hyperbole, Xdress was a significant moment for me. It was around this time when an another huge moment occurred when I saw an advertisement in the back of Rolling Stone for a magazine called ‘Transformation‘. It was a small black and white ad and pretty much the only thing I learned is that it was a magazine about crossdressing.
Another earth-shattering moment. There was a magazine, an entire MAGAZINE for people like me.
(Of course, it was years later when I learned that Xdress wasn’t the first designer to make lingerie for people like myself and that Transformation wasn’t the first publication about crossdressing, but as far as I knew they were indeed the first and only.)
I called a few bookstores in Minneapolis that carried a lot of LGBTQIA+ literature (anyone in the Twin Cities remember A Brother’s Touch??) but was finally able to track down an issue of Transformation.
Aaaand I couldn’t help but feeling letdown.
The magazine was filled with advertisements for questionable estrogen pills and had layouts of very pornographic photos. It wasn’t primarily a pornographic magazine mind you, it did have articles about crossdressing that didn’t always focus on the fetishistic side of all of *this*.
I suppose I had different expectations of something along the lines of Cosmopolitan or something. I thought it would be articles about those who crossdressed, photos of clothes, fashion advice… you know, the kind of things in a lifestyle magazine.
Discovering this magazine was also around the time when I first searched online for the term ‘crossdressing’ and quickly learned that there was a huuuuge kinky aspect to people like myself. Transformation really, really highlighted this aspect.
And please know, I am not trying to be a bitch to the writers and editors of the magazine. The publishing world is not easy and getting even just one issue out is an achievement in itself. I’m sure the magazine had its audience and target demographic and likely some success but this magazine wasn’t for me.
And that’s okay! Not everything is for ME. Not everything is MEANT to be for me. I’m sure this magazine was absolutely a godsend for many people who lived outside the gender binary.
Fast forward a few years I found Girl Talk magazine (not to be confused with a magazine from the UK with the same name). THIS was the magazine I had hoped to find. It was very high quality in terms of photo spreads, absolutely beautiful t-girls, interviews and featured clothes and was just… perfect. Unfortunately the magazine had a very short publication life. But goodness that star shone bright when it did.
Frock, a digital magazine from the UK, was also very well written. I was fortunate to have written for Frock when it was still being published. The editors and staff couldn’t have been kinder. I miss Frock. Tapestry was published for over twenty years with over one hundred issues and was very much ahead of its time.
There will never be a shortage of magazines that sexualize us but if that’s not your thing, we do currently have Transliving, also published out of the UK. This magazine is available in print as well as in digital form. This publication is the highest quality transgender related magazine I have ever seen. High quality printing, beautiful t-girls, and just a really positive vibe cover-to-cover.
There are a few magazines that are written for the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s important and empowering to have representation for those who aren’t cisgender or heterosexual. I do daydream a lot about my femme life and most of my fantasies are about photo shoots or things I want to do en femme. From time to time I am inspired to launch a magazine but even I know that is too ambitious considering everything I have going on.
I know there are probably many other trans related magazines out there, but are there any that I’ve overlooked?
6 thoughts on “Girly Mags”
I do miss Frock. It was the only transgender orienter periodical that i was familiar with and I discovered it only a year or two before it ceased publication.
Now days, your blog and a few others kinda fill that void.
You have forgotten all about the Pretty T Girls magazine which is sent free via -e-mail to anyone who want it. firstname.lastname@example.org
i adored Transformation, it was “the bible” for us. And also “Leg show” !!
I remember “Transformation,” “Girl Talk,” and “Tapestry.” These were sold at the store that went out of business in MN. i also remember “Leg Show.” Good magazines.
In the1960s or so (very pre-internet) Shinders Books and Magazines in downtown Minneapolis tempted us into a back room of plastic-wrapped X-rated magazines, including — FMI (Female Mimics International). Although not really graphically explicit, FMI included international exotica and European “mimics” and “sex change” stars like Coccinelle, Bambi, Virginia Prince, Amanda Lear, Jan Morris, Danny La Rue, et al..
Note: For a.searchable rans-history and detailed trans-biographies, see website: “A Gender Variance Who’s Who” by Zagria.
Many years ago the absolute standard was “Lady Like” by JoAnn Roberts! Has evolved into a digital forum called TGFORUM.