2023 Transgender Pioneer Award Recipient
The Board of Directors of International Transgender Education Organization is happy to announce the 2023 recipient of the distinguished Transgender Pioneer Award.
When Angela Gardner chanced across a copy of Tapestry magazine in a Philadelphia bookstore, her life changed. She began corresponding with none other than JoAnn Roberts, and, through, JoAnn, met other transgender people. In 1987, JoAnn, Angela, Alison Laing, Melanie Bryant, and Trudi Henry launched the open transgender support organization Renaissance Education Association. Although it was at first a local group, Renaissance quickly became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with chapters and affiliates throughout Pennsylvania and in other northeastern states. For more than a decade, Renaissance published Transgender Community News, a first rate news packed monthly newsletter which grew for a time into a glossy magazine with a color cover. Angela served as the leader of her local chapter and on the board of directors, and eventually was named Executive Director. She not only published the newsletter/magazine, but for several years wrote a monthly column called Diva of Dish. Thirty five years after its launch, Renaissance is still active.
In the midst of her work for Renaissance, Angela worked as an editor for JoAnn’s publishing company, Creative Design Services, where she edited CDS’ magazine Ladylike. When JoAnn, Cindy Martin, and Jamie Fenton created the online electronic news and support service Transgender Forum (now TG Forum), Angela became a contributor. When JoAnn bought out her partners, Angela became editor. She has published a new issue every week for more than sixteen years.
Angela says “…my experiences within the transgender community have allowed me to grow in ways I could not imagine when I was sheltered in my apartment experimenting with wigs and makeup attempting to become Angela. That person had no idea that exploring femininity would have me one day walking the halls of Congress on Lobby Day or speaking about transgender issues at many universities and overseeing an academic conference devoted to crossdressing, sex, and gender.”
The Transgender Pioneer Award will be presented on October 21, 2023 in Provincetown during Transgender Week.
The Pioneer Award is the transgender community’s longest established award. It is honors lifetime achievements of those who have changed the world so trans people could come together in safety and comfort. We meet in Provincetown, Massachusetts each year to honor their work and thank them for all they have done for us.
For more information on the Transgender Pioneer Award and a list of past recipients, visit http://transweek.org/pioneer-award/.