I began researching and reading about transvestism (crossdressing) in the 1960s at university libraries. I think sometime in the mid 1970s I recall seeing ads in Penthouse magazine from Tri-ESS, in addition to articles and letters from crossdressers. During the 1970s, I was stationed overseas, serving in the US Navy, and did not respond to the Tri-ESS ads, but in 1980, I was assigned to shore duty in Norfolk, Virginia and wrote to Tri-ESS for information. Tri-ESS referred me to a local chapter in Norfolk, Virginia.
By the late 80s, the information highway was upon us, and we soon learned we were not alone in our desire to crossdress.