I'm JoAnn Roberts
...the owner of Creative Design Services and publisher of LadyLike Magazine and Transgender Forum.
Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I'm a crossdresser, divorced and remarried with two adult children. My first spouse knew and accepted my crossdressing. We divorced in 2002 for reasons other than that. My children know all about JoAnn and accept this part of me. My current spouse not only accepts JoAnn, she encourages me to express myself more. Yes, I am very lucky!
I got very serious about my trans-nature in 1980 and by 1987 had co-founded the Renaissance Transgender Association with Angela Gardner, Alison Laing, Trudy Henry and Melanie Bryan. Today, Renaissance is a great source of educational information for the transgender community.
Two years before creating Renaissance, I had started a small business called CDS to help buy some clothes and maybe go to a CD event or two, now and then. I wrote my first book, Art & Illusion: A Guide to Crossdressing in 1985 and put it up for sale in October of that year. Janet Green in San Jose bought the very first copy (and it was sold over a BBS that is now long gone). Little did I know then what CDS would eventually become. I published nearly a dozen books, a dozen videos and used to publish LadyLike magazine and International TranScript.
CDS went online on the Web in September of 1994, thanks to the kindness of Tina in Norway. I started designing this site in December of 1994, and it went online in mid-April 1995. The purpose was to provide a complete Online Resource Guide for the transgender community. In January of 1996, I entered into a partnership with Cindy Martin and Jamie Faye Fenton. Together we started 3-D Communications, Inc., and our goal was to develop the largest transgender resource on the net. We created Transgender Forum, a weekly e-zine and resource guide. Both Cindy and Jamie have left 3-D and I absorbed all of 3-D's assets into CDS in 2006.
I had been very active in community politics, but not so much of late. I've served as the head of Renaissance twice, initially as its first Managing Director and then as Chair of the Board for its 10th Anniversary in 1997. I was Chair of the board of the American Educational Gender Information Service (AEGIS) from 1992 to 1996. I was elected to the International Foundation for Gender Education board twice and last served in 1994. I was a co-founder of the Congress of Transgender Organizations (CTO), the Transgender Alliance for Community (TAC), GenderPAC, and lastly the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC). I also authored the original Bill of Gender Rights in 1990, which was later expanded into the International Bill of Gender Rights. I'm one of three people credited with coining the term "transgendered community". The other two are Phyllis Frye and Kymberleigh Richards.
Lest you think I'm some stuffy old fart, those are really pictures of me (albeit some number of years ago) and I'm definitely part Drag Queen. I believe you can be pretty and have brains too. I love performing onstage at my Beauty And The Beach weekends in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. It gets in your blood. Do it once and you're hooked! I hope you'll try to visit with us at one of the weekends.
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