New York: Health Knowledge, 1968. Magazine. 72p., includes covers, 8.5x11 inches, b&w photos of female impersonators dressing up, performing and relaxing, services and resources, ads, stories, mild wear, magazine in stapled color pictorial wraps, small inked $1.50 on cover. Cover girl is Ricky Renee. Color photo section. Also a section. Also a section on Parisian lesbians in male drag. "Female Mimics", the first large-format magazine that catered to the transgender community, represents an important stage in the development of that community. By breaking with the digest format, FM offered a far more compelling vision of crossdressing, focusing on professional impersonators and the venues where they were featured. "Certainly," note Bob Davis and Carol Kleinmaier in AEGIS 2/1, "the editors wanted straight and closeted people to feel as safe reading the magazine as they were at these shows. The audience had to feel secure in their heterosexuality and protected from the 'freaks and queers' on the other side of the footlights or in the photos. Thus, in these early issues, there is no sex mentioned, not even implicitly." FM also covered drag balls - like the club performances, easy to photograph - and amateur impersonators, but had little information on transsexuals. The overall effect of emphasizing photos over text is, as Davis and Kleinmaier note, to "make the ball queens creatures of fantasy, not real people," a trend that still continues in current magazines. Nonetheless, FM represented an important step in the development of positive transgender identification. (Inventory #: 208918)
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