The Society for the Second Self, Inc. Tri-Ess or The Society is the international, nonprofit, volunteer organization that provides accurate informational and educational resources about Crossdressing and Crossdressers for the purpose of promoting understanding, acceptance, tolerance and a constructive public and self-image. The Society seeks to identify and meet the needs of both the Crossdresser, most often a heterosexual male, and 'her' wife or other female partner in a committed relationship with the Crossdresser.
As an all volunteer organization, our programs, activities, services and assistance are provided with understanding in a knowledgeable manner that demonstrates a personal interest and a caring concern. The Tri-Ess educational and informational resources are also made available to educators, researchers, mental and physical health care professionals, employers, clergy, law enforcement and public officials, vendors, and the general public. The Society supports, participates in, and sponsors academic research on the subject of crossdressing.
Crossdressers are blessed with an additional facet to our personalities. As we accept our dual, masculine-and-feminine, "bi-gendered" gift, and seek to understand and explore it, the result is a very fulfilling broadening of our entire personality. The act of crossdressing is associated with several behaviors, each with different motivations. For the "Crossdresser", our occasional adoption of a complete feminine persona and total gender role presentation is an outward personal expression of our inner feminine feelings. We dress appropriately in emulation, rather than in mockery, of femininity. This is about gender expression, not sexual preferences and orientations. We cultivate our complete feminine image, with lingerie, makeup, wig, padding for breasts and hips, as well as feminine clothing, shoes and accessories and even a femme name. Crossdressers are found in every society. It is unfortunate that men dressing and behaving as ladies, for personal expression, remains a misunderstood phenomenon in many cultures.
The Tri-Ess philosophy , as articulated by Jane Ellen Fairfax, the current Chair of the Society's Board of Directors, can be expressed in the acronym FIBER:
F - Full personality expression, in a blending of both our masculine and feminine characteristics.
I - Integration of our masculinity and femininity to create a happier, more complete person as we use our enhanced understanding of ourselves in our daily lives.
B - Balance between masculinity and femininity in our total personalities.
E - Education of Crossdressers toward self acceptance, education of our families toward understanding, education of society toward the acceptance of Crossdressers as ordinary people with a special gender gift.
R - Relationship building in the context of Crossdressing.
Tri-Ess Chapters are designed to be the local arms of a support, education and outreach team with the parent organization and a local gathering of Tri-Ess members. Like the parent organization, the chapters focus their work on heterosexual crossdressers and their spouses, partners and families. Tri-Ess and its chapters work together to make the world a happier place for crossdressers and their families.
For Tri-Ess national bylaws refer to http://tri-ess.org/bylaws.htm
and for national policies refer to http://tri-ess.org/policy.htm