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Newsletter - April 2007

APRIL 2007 NEWSLETTER

Lisa O' Connor, M.D., a male to female transsexual, will discuss various topics regarding transitioning and transgender medicine at the meeting on April 7 2007. Dr. O' Connor, an alumna of West Point and a former medical school professor, has recently set up Healthy Transitions, a practice largely devoted to transgenders, be they cross dressers or transsexuals.

The Support Group will also be taking reservations for the Spring Banquet to be held in the Conference Room at Diamond's Riverside Restaurant at 8:00 p.m. on May 5, 2007. Prices for members and non-members are posted on the Calendar of Entertainment Events. Some members have said that they would prefer a Spring Banquet to the traditional December Holiday Banquet. The Support Group did not have a choice. The Church informed us that we could not meet in the building due to the annual church auction. HENCE THERE WILL BE NO MAY MEETING AT THE WASHINGTON CROSSING UNITARIAN-UNIVERSALIST CHURCH. THE BANQUET WILL BE THE MEETING. It was either have a banquet or skip the May meeting. We generally wish to avoid doing the latter if at all possible. After reviewing the matter with the Board of Trustees during the Holiday Banquet on December 3, 2006, it was decided to try a Spring Banquet at a familiar locale. Skipping the December banquet is a little radical, but those who wish there to be Spring Banquets should come out and support the event if the group is to hold them in the future. The last time we held a Spring Banquet, on March 6, 2004, was a success in part because the original Holiday Banquet in December 2003 was postponed due to snow. In March 2004, we had enough diners not merely for the Garden Room, but rather we dined in the larger Wine Cellar. Of course, the year before we did hold a Spring Banquet and we did not make quota for the Garden Room. In 1999, the church told us we had to meet elsewhere for exactly the same reason. That time we elected to have poetry reading by Lee Ann Etscovits in a large upstairs room at what was then the New Hope Inn. That room was a perfect, relaxed setting-casual furniture and a balcony, and a kitchen alcove for preparing food and beverages, combined with a moderate evening with beautiful sunset-but the New Hope Inn only wanted guests for both Friday and Saturday evenings, and a large room like that can be expensive even for just one night. Somehow we were able to work out a deal-I can no longer recall the details, but maybe someone else wanted the room for just Friday, but it became apparent that we could not rely on this sort of solution. With the doubling of annual expenses as a result of the insurance requirements the church has imposed upon us, we certainly cannot afford such a measure at the present time without a large increase in membership. So this is why the board decided that members would obtain the best bargain at a banquet-if we are to have a May meeting at all. If Secretary Judy Woods cannot attend the April 7 meeting, Treasurer Ronnie Dougherty will be taking banquet reservations. I suspect, and I imagine that some long term Support Group members may agree with me, that this problem will crop up every May. It will be a choice of a Spring Banquet or no meeting unless someone can come up with better alternatives.

It has become apparent that many members are not checking the website. Please familiarize yourselves with the site and learn to spot new postings right away. The banquet prices have been posted for several months now. Try to consult the site regularly. Contributors are welcome. See web mistress or any Board of Trustees member.

MARCH 2007 MEETING

Stephanie Battaglino gave a brief summary of the upcoming Transgender 2007, the 21st annual conference of the International Foundation for Gender Education to be held at the Philadelphia Airport Hilton from April 10 to 15, 2007. In lieu of the regular Open Forum Discussion, she provided us a preview of her program "Managing your Transitional Journey- It starts from within," which she will present at 2:00-3:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 12, 2007 at the IFGE (International Foundation for Gender Education, publisher of Transgender Tapestry) convention itself.

Before going into future Support Group programs, please do not forget the Sixth Annual Mazzoni Center Trans-Health Conference, to be held at the Philadelphia Convention Center at 12th and Arch Streets on April 5-7, 2007. The phone number I have is missing a digit, but you may inquire by e-mail at conference@trans-health.org. The conference is open to care providers only on April 5 but will be open to the public on April 6-7, at which time attendance will be free.

UPCOMING PROGRAMS

June 2, 2007-Dr. Christine McGinn, DO, will speak on the pitfalls of transitioning. Dr. McGinn is a postoperative transsexual with a practice in the New Hope area. It is hoped that by having Dr. O' Connor and Dr. McGinn speak a few months apart that members will not only learn something about medical aspects of transgenderism, but also about physicians and clinics providing medical care in the area who welcome transgenders.

July 7, 2007-Sharla DeLawter, a Mary Kay Consultant, Treasurer of the Tri-Ess Chapter Chi Delta Mu (which meets in Hoboken), will speak on color coordination. She will explain the new Mary Kay approach to this topic. I believe Roberta Meluskey last spoke on the older Mary Kay approach to color coordination at a meeting in 1989.

August 4, 2007-Support Group anniversary meeting with annual elections for Support Group Leader, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. An additional program may be scheduled for this meeting.

Suggestions for future programs are welcome. One question right now: Do members want a Holiday Banquet in December? If not, what should the Support Group do as an alternative? Please submit suggestions before the Support Group commits itself to a banquet date, time and room. Carping after the fact is of little value. Contact board members with whatever suggestions you might have.

Jennifer Mae Barnes

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