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In the mid 1980’s – Vicky Lee first started to discover and explore London’s world of transvestites, transsexuals and drag queens. This was long before the internet and terms like “tranny” or “transgendered”. Back in those days Vicky was a regular at the now defunct, ‘Philbeach Hotel’ , ‘The Roof Gardens on Sunday’ , Ron Storme’s monthly party at a community hall in Bow and also a few nights each week at Madam Jo-Jo’s. In fact if a venue advertised itself (in Time-Out) as “glamorous” or “dressy” – Vicky was there – often to be most disappointed. Everywhere she went the ‘girls’ asked Vicky where else she went, where she got wigs, shoes, clothes, and who she knew who can help with make-up.
in 1992 – After long nights of discussion, in an Earls Court flat owned by (transsexual) Sandra, and shared by (transsexual) Daniel and (transvestite – fetishist) Caroline Eggerton. Caroline and Vicky set about putting every event, shop, service and place to go into a computer. This information was published in a book which was called ‘The Transvestites Guide to London’. This first slim volume, with no pictures or adverts, was sold from club to club from their handbags.
In 1993 – Vicky sold adverts to help finance the printing of the second ‘Transvestites Guide to London’. In addition she obtained pictures which were used in black and white. She also found distributers in addition to her own efforts to sell the book wherever she could.
In 1995 – The annual book became ‘The Transvestites Guide’ as Vicky and Caroline had researched the opportunities nationwide so this edition covered the whole of the UK.
In 1996 – The book changed title again. This time to ‘The Tranny Guide’ as this is what every one was calling it, and at a time ” Tranny” was being used fondly between tranny friends and even in the media. In this edition Caroline added some European listings. At the same time colour was introduced to the picture pages and some adverts.
“Vicky Lee you are the Prophet of Trannydom who came down from Stiletto Mountain in a shower of glitter to bring us commandments engraved in eyeliner” … by Benjamina 2002
“Thanks Benjamina … An exaggeration maybe … but beautifully phrased .. In truth none of this story would have evolved without the patience, love and support of my life partner Lesley who listens to my stories and ideas and helps me make decisions along the way. Steffan’s inspiration, energy and contacts … And my team of paid and volunteer helpers and contributors.. Nothing this complex can be done without teamwork and I have had a great team”.
In 1997 – Caroline’s interest and effort on the project declined due to time involved in other interests. Vicky bought the company and re-launched it as ‘The WayOut Publishing Company Ltd’ becoming director and editor. As technology changed and improved, Vicky added more colour pages to the series of books. Always aiming to inform and inspire she added more and more pages of advice, and articles from fantastic contributors with stunning pictures. Vicky found reporters and researched opportunities worldwide. The internet sped up the communication with contributors but also added pressure to find space for a growing amount of information. The listing grew phenomenally.
In 2002 – In the “milestone” 10th edition Vicky worked hard once more to give the readers something fresh and new. The result was more colour and more articles. UK listings were relatively easy to check with a quick call but with call charges and language, and time differences international listings were hard to check. Furthermore the internet proved to have too many out of date TG information sites that proved worthless. Vicky took the decision to drop international listings in favour of Personal Reports from a growing team of “reporters” with local knowledge and pictures. The reports were colourful but lacked detailed listings, leading to some complaints from overseas and from travelers. Conversely much praise came in for Vicky’s new concept of Personal Profiles which she introduced to the 10th edition. For these profiles, correspondents filled out a questionnaire and supplied pictures. These “Personal Profiles” when compared with each other gave a wealth of detail to the lives of cross-dressers and transsexuals. These Profiles really show that no two people are the same and that TG people may be similar but all different.
In 2003 – Vicky was encouraged to join forces with Pandora De-Pledge to create a quarterly free magazine which was called ‘Utterly Fabulous’. This was very enjoyable to produce from a creative viewpoint. However the project proved un-sustainable in terms of time, effort and finance. The fantastic results of this project are available as seven magazines to download free from this web site.
In 2004 – Vicky visited ‘Southern Comfort’ in Atlanta (the largest week long TG get together in the USA). She was researching how the guide could be improved to win a larger American market. One criticism that was made many time was that the word “tranny” was pretty-much hated by the Americans. Vicky decided to concentrate on creating a well researched international TG travel guide with a strong USA section. This was titled ‘The Transgender AtoZ’ This book had many excellent picture reports but was produced in black and white to keep cost down to suit a low cost high volume guide book. In addition to the book Vicky created a web site by the same name with the facility for subscribers to add listings and review listings interactively.