Yvonne Cook-Riley is truly a pioneer of the Transgender movement. She worked with advocacy organizations in the early 1990s to incorporate the word “transgender” and its associated concepts, and that effort took off into the “transgender movement” that we see today.
She became involved with others in what we would now call the transgender community in 1981 and started organizing support groups in 1983. In 1985, Yvonne became active with the International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) and served that organization in numerous capacities, including Director of Operations, Treasurer, and a Member of their Board of Directors. She appeared on dozens of television talk shows, over 200 talk radio shows in the late 1980’s and 90’s and made eight appearances on behalf of IFGE at the American Psychiatric Association’s national conferences. Yvonne helped in the establishment of other conferences in the U.S., such as Southern Comfort, Texas Tea Party, California Dreaming, and Be All. Also, she has been involved in numerous other trans-related organizations, including Blue Ridge Pride, Kindred Spirits, and Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA).
Yvonne Cook-Riley’s dedication to the Transgender movement has been recognized many times, including the Outreach Institute’s “Outreach Medal” in 1991, the IFGE’s “Trinity Award,” also in 1991, and the IFGE Virginia Prince lifetime service award in 1995.