For several years the IFGE convention was managed by a group called TransEvents. While IFGE focused on its nuts and bolts educational mission, TransEvents, founded by S. Kristine James and Alison Laing organized and ran the convention.
IFGE is the International Foundation for Gender Education, one of the oldest national gender groups in existence. It publishes Transgender Tapestry magazine and is the creator and presenter of the Trinity and Virgina Prince Awards honoring the transgender community heroes and sheroes.
It has come to my attention thanks to a Phyllabuster I recently received that a split occurred a few months ago between IFGE and TransEvents. As of yet no one knows why, but I'll have to contact my sources inside IFGE to get their side of it and hopefully hear from someone representing TransEvents as well.
The official IFGE convention has already been scheduled for February 2-8 2009 in Washington, D.C.
But that split will lead to an additional transgender convention in 2009. The TransEvents folks are putting on what they are entitling Transgender 2009-The Liberty Conference that will take place in Philadelphia from April 30-May 2.
If I had to pick one, the IFGE event appeals to me on multiple levels. I am a Trinity Award winner who enthusiastically supports the education mission of IFGE, and I occasionally write pieces for publishing in the pages of Transgender Tapestry magazine. Supporting this conference helps IFGE continue that mission.
Being in the Washington DC metro area gives me the opportunity to hit Capital Hill while I'm there to lobby the new 110th Congress on an inclusive ENDA and hare crimes issues. But conversely, since those bills haven't been filed yet, until I get a bill number and actually see how it's worded, it's hard to lobby for a bill you haven't seen yet.
The Philly event would allow me another opportunity to visit the city, hang out with Dionne, engage in more stimulating discussions with her and chat with Alison Laing again.
But judging by the separate conferences for this year, unless some behind the scenes conversations are taking place between the two parties I'm not cognizant of, it looks like the IFGE-TransEvents split may be a permanent one.