Unique Transgender publications donated to UTSA Special Collections
In February 2017, UTSA Special Collections received a treasure trove of unique items in a donation from the Digital Transgender Archive (DTA). “The purpose of the DTA is to increase the accessibility of transgender history by providing an online hub for digitized historical materials, born-digital materials, and information on archival holdings throughout the world.” Because the DTA does not maintain physical materials on-site, after they digitize donations they find a suitable home among their contributing partners for the materials. In this instance, K.J. Rawson of the DTA contacted UTSA Special Collections as a possible repository for these items. Ten issues of Female Mimics magazine including the 1963 Premiere Issue are a jewel of the donation. The magazine was the first “glossy publication to focus on cross-dressers.” Issues now held in UTSA Special Collections date from 1963 through 1967.
Two issues of Drag magazine from 1973 offer a glimpse into transgender culture and concerns during the 1970s. Drag was published four times a year and was the “official voice of Queens Liberation Front, a homophile organization founded in 1969 and based in New York City.”
The third serial in the donation is Lady Like which was published by Creative Design Services in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. According to the editorial staff, “LadyLike is the first publication of its kind to be printed with a fresh approach. A balance of information and entertainment, more fact than fancy, in an open and airy format. LadyLike is a quarterly magazine dedicated to the principles of beauty, fashion and style, but not entirely restricted by them.”
All three publications contain content that was revolutionary at the time each was published. Articles about sex reassignment surgery, hormone therapy, homosexuality, and often, explicit images filled the pages and in the case of LadyLike, the serial bore the words “Adults Only.”
Seven informational self-help books for cross dressers and those they love round out the donation.
These printed materials are of great value to scholars researching transvestism, the evolution of trans-identities, and gender fluidity. With LGBTQ+ materials as a collecting priority for UTSA Special Collections, the publications are a welcome addition as we strive to represent the diverse identities of marginalized populations.
The serials and books will be cataloged and made available for research in the very near future. An online guide for the materials will include links to digital versions that are part of the Digital Transgender Archive.
 Accessed on the Digital Transgender Archive [https://www.digitaltransgenderarchive.net/about/overview], March 17, 2017.
Accessed on queerty.com [https://www.queerty.com/get-acquainted-female-mimics-premiere-drag-queen-glossy-magazine-1963-20170205], February 27, 2017.
 Drag: A Magazine About the Transvestite, edited by Lee G. Brewster (Queens Liberation Front: New York City, NY), 1973.
 LadyLike premier issue, (Creative Design Services: King of Prussia, PA), 1987.