CampKC.com – by Jamie Tyroler
Occasionally organizations exist for a while with very little fanfare or even notice. Kansas City Crossdressers and Friends was one of those organizations. The group had been around in one form or another since the mid 1980s and lasted almost 20 years. Originally an organization for straight men who crossdressed, KCCAF expanded to welcome everyone who was under the transgender umbrella: crossdressers, drag queens, transsexuals, transgenderists. This made the organization one of the most progressive in the Kansas City area.
In mid-December KCCAF announced that it was terminating operations. Over the past 20 years or so, people have driven from Wichita, Topeka, Lawrence, Manhattan, Springfield, Sedalia, and many other towns where transgender people were looking for support and a community. During the several years that I was active with the organization, I had the opportunity to meet an amazing group of people. They came from all walks of life, and they ranged in age from the early 20s to retirees. I?ve met people who lived in Kansas City, the suburbs, small towns, and farms?and people of different ethnic and racial groups.
KCCAF did something that is relatively unique for transgender support groups; it allowed significant others or spouses to attend meetings. For a brief period of time, there was even a separate support group for spouses?people dealing with fairly rare circumstances and often feeling isolated from what is often an extremely important part of their partner?s life.