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Kane-Demaios, J. Ari (1936-) | Special Collections & Archives

Name: Kane-Demaios, J. Ari (1936-)
Variant Name: Ari Kane, Joseph DeMaios

Historical Note:

Joseph Ariadne "Ari" Kane-Demaios (1936-) was born and raised in New York City. Ari is touted by Playboy magazine as the very definition of an Androgyny, meaning that Ari is comfortable portraying both genders in society. During his childhood, DeMaios cross-dressed just one time, which his parents found out about, prompting him to cease all gender experimentation until later in life. DeMaios went on to receive a Bachelor's of Science degree in Biophysics, Mathematics and Chemistry at City College, New York in 1958 before commencing graduate work at New York University and the University of Buffalo. From 1966-1968, DeMaios taught overseas at St. Stephen's School in Rome and at the American College of Switzerland in Leysin. During this time, DeMaios was able to cross-dress again for Fastnacht in Munich and Mardi Gras in Naples. DeMaios eventually quit teaching, returned to the U.S., and went into designing. He later opened a travel agency, in addition to working as an educational consultant and realtor.

In 1971, DeMaios became the leader of the Boston Gamma chapter of Tri-Sigma and officially came out as Ariadne "Ari" Kane. The chapter was later renamed the Cherrystone Club. In 1974, the event known as Fantasia Fair aka Fan/Fair was conceived by Ari and several other members of the Cherrystone Club including Betty Ann Lind, Betsy Shaw, and Linda Franklin. The first fair was officially held in 1975 in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Fan/Fair offered individuals, particularly cross-dressers, transvestites, and transsexuals a safe place to express themselves. The Outreach Institute for Gender Studies, founded by Ari, was the main coordinator and overseer of the fair until March of 2001 when its Board of Directors decided to hand over management to Real Life Experiences, Inc., headed by Dallas Denny. The fair has played host to a number of events including the Fan/Fair Follies, the Fantasia Fashion Show, and an awards banquet. In addition to these events, the fair has continuously featured various workshops and seminars designed to help attendees embrace gender experimentation and succeed in their overall lives. These workshops include, but are not limited to, hair and make-up tutorials, gender theory, and even special programs tailored to spouses and partners.

In conjunction with the opening of Fantasia Fair, Ari founded the Human Outreach and Achievement Institute, later renamed the Outreach Institute for Gender Studies in 1996. Through her work with the institute, Ari wrote numerous articles, attended various conferences, and coordinated workshops in order to stress the importance of sex and gender studies. From her work with the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, to the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, and the International Foundation for Gender Education, Ari continuously gained attention and appreciation for her work. Ari was even asked to appear in 1980 on the Phil Donahue Show and the David Suskind Show in 1982. Furthermore, she founded the Theseus Counseling and Consulting Service in 1985 in order to offer counseling, instruction, and health care resources specializing in gender and/or sex related services.

Sources: "A Gender Variance Who's Who: Ariadne Kane (1936 - ) teacher, activist"; "Personal Profile, Fantasia Fair 1980 Participants"; "Personal "Five Questions With... Ariadne Kane"; "History of Fantasia Fair, Looking Back At The World's Longest Running Annual Transgender Event"; "Kane-DeMaios, J. Ari. Papers of J. Ari Kane-DeMaios, 1970-2005: A Finding Aid."; Fantasia Fair Participants' Guide, October 2017; Fantasia Fair # 29 Participants' Guide, October 2003.;
Note Author: Zagria; Boyd, Helen; Peimer, Laura

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