Fund raising nights at 274
helped to build 2 French

Party nights at 2 French Place were great fun

Yvonne always welcomed newcomers at the Drag Balls

Why yet another website about transvestism?

Well I think it's about time that what I achieved in the 1970s and 80s deserves to be recognised and it serves as a reminder to those who were there at the time just how exciting it was to be a tranny during those years. This website is also about the history of the TV/TS Support Group that operated in Islington and Shoreditch from 1976 to 1992.

Many trannies these days have little idea of what I achieved in the 1970s and 80s when the climate in this country was very different to what it is now. Trannies were often the subject of ridicule if they were found out or “read” on the street. Nowadays, there are transvestites and transsexuals in soap operas and appearing on television shows, so much so that they’ve become quite commonplace. There were very few venues to visit as a tranny in the early 70s and 80s, now you’re spoilt for choice. Information on the subject was difficult to find whereas today there’s all the information you need on the Internet.

The only organisations of note, dealing with transvestism were the TV/TS Support Group at 274 Upper Street, Islington and the Beaumont Society, which worked out of a Box Number and had been going since 1961.

The Beaumont had an unfortunate image of twee twin-sets and pearls and was considered a bit fuddy-duddy. Although some of the members gave invaluable help and support to others it was mainly a meeting place for married and older transvestites in members’ homes. They had no central meeting place (and still have no central meeting place today).

The TV/TS Group had a more forward looking appearance and appealed to those who were younger and unashamed of being transvestite or transsexual. It encouraged by meeting each weekend without rules and regulations. People came and members were encouraged to enjoy being a transvestite and both transvestites and transsexuals were offered help and advice.

For too long, a myth has grown up about who actually brought up transvestites in the 70s and 80s. The truth is the TV/TS Group played the major role and I was the co-ordinator from 1972 until 1988.

So what did we achieve?

  • I ran the only regular venue in London, three nights a week, every weekend for around 16 years.This was on the streets, not in a private house by private invitation but open to anyone who wanted to walk in.

  • I also began the first national telephone support line for transvestites and transsexuals and offered countless thousands of transvestites support who needed reassurance whilst truly creating a safe venue, not in a house sheltered by private invitation but on the street where we didn’t know who would walk in next.

  • I also opened the first ever 5 day a week office dealing with countless enquiries about the subject.

  • In 1984 I wrote, and the group published, the first really helpful book on transvestism entitled "Transvestism Within A Partnership Of Marriage and Families".

  • The Group produced a successful magazine, The Glad Rag.

  • I appeared on countless television and radio programmes, newspaper and magazine articles to get across our point of view: that transvestism needn’t be a stigma and that you weren’t the only one in the world.

  • I ran two boat trips on the Thames in the summer of 1982, casting off from the Embankment.

  • In 1985 I turned the Group into a registered charity with a view of opening the first ever venue run by trannies for transvestites and transsexuals anywhere in this country. The Group also became a member of the National Council of Voluntary Organisations.

  • The group meeting place produced a surplus of monies on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, which built up a deposit of cash that was used to help build 2 French Place when the group closed down at 274 Upper Street.

And at 2 French Place?

  • I opened the first ever venue run by trannies for transvestites and transsexuals anywhere in this country in 1986.

  • In 1987, the Group ran the first ever TV/TS conference in Cloughton, Scarborough making a huge profit for the Group.

And all this without one penny of funding from Local or National Government.

Why should all this go unrecognised? Why should all this effort go forgotten just because it was in the 1980s? That's why I've created this website.

Yvonne Sinclair, 'imself.

Yvonne Sinclair