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Newsletter - June 2008

JUNE 2008 NEWSLETTER

JUNE 7, 2008 PROGRAM

The Rev. Charles Stephens, pastor of the church in which we meet, will speak on transgenderism and Unitarian-Universalism. This program is intended to be part of a series on denominations in which a large number of clergy signed petitions for transgender non-discrimination.

THE 2008 MAY BUFFET

A great time was had by all and the Support Group made money! All present felt that a buffet in a motel is more enjoyable than going to a restaurant. When I arrived at about 5:00 p.m., one member was already heating the dish she was going to offer us. Then more members arrived and we began decorating the premises. We had dinner at the usual time, but once we finished at around 9:00 p.m., we did not have to leave, as we probably would in a restaurant. We stayed on talking until after midnight. Some persons contributed decorations, some brought food, and some simply brought their company. There were some very original recipes, such as succotash salad and a yam casserole (the contributor thought we were having turkey, but we had chicken since supermarket only offer turkey around Thanksgiving and Christmas.) One member bought a bottle of wine. There was a prize (jewelry, not a vibrator as some suggested), and trinkets like crazy straws, small slinkies and even puzzles. We wonder why more people did not come. There was plenty of food, and since about the same number showed up as in December, most diners took something home. Perhaps we have two groups in the Support Group, those who like buffets and those who prefer restaurants. We will have to size up the situation before the December Holiday Banquet. It will be difficult to cater to both, and at least we make money with buffets, this time a lot more (ca. $160.00, making up the deficit of the April 5, 2008 meeting.) The buffets are keeping us in the black, and all those who attended the buffet would prefer another one, despite the fact that some simply contribute their company, while others bring food and provide labor and materials to decorate the premises.

UPCOMING PROGRAMS

I am going to preface the program listings with informal statements on our program advertising policy. These statements were in part engendered by cancellation of the April program.

For security reasons, only two persons have the passwords to edit the website, the web mistress and myself. I am the one who ends up doing a lot of the posting. I had some ambitions for the website, but little time to realize them. I realize that the fact that I often do not post upcoming meeting notices until the week before the meeting makes some members and speakers unhappy. Any speaker who feels that her/his talk would benefit from more extensive publicity earlier should contact me immediately. I generally write up a short notice under the rubric of Upcoming Programs months in advance. Speakers are advised to check such short notices for accuracy.

Nonetheless, we do want to improve publicity. The web mistress has raised this issue several times. Though we wish to continue to exercise caution in posting photos, we do wish to spiff up the website with some graphics. Those appearing therein must express their consent by signing a model release form. Please consider this and communicate your ideas to the web mistress in particular.

Any changes we undertake in program announcements will apply equally to all speakers. This is out of fairness. Though speakers have differing qualifications, and some talks are long remembered while others are quickly forgotten, we are grateful all who have expended the time and effort to entertain and enlighten us, and thus publicity notices are of relatively equal size, with some variation. We also adhere to membership confidentiality provisions in our bylaws. And though we are grateful for information from speakers regarding themselves and their presentations, we reserve the right to edit publicity materials submitted by speakers or to compose our own publicity materials.

JUNE 2008 MEETING

The Rev. Charles Stephens, pastor of the church in which we meet, will speak on transgenderism and Unitarian-Universalism. This program is part of a series designed to acquaint members with the views of denominations which signed petitions favoring the passage of transgender anti-discrimination legislation. The focus will be on their views of the role of transgenderism in their respective denominations, methods for promoting transgender tolerance, and on finding welcoming congregations for those who are religious.

SNR PICNIC-JUNE 28

The Saturday Night Regulars, also known as Sigma Nu Rho, will hold its annual picnic at our regular meeting place on June 28, 2008. Charge per person will be $10.00. See our vice president for further details.

JULY 2008 MEETING

Can you believe it? A vendor recently wanted to speak on July 5, but had to switch to a different date due to other commitments. I suggest we do the following. Why not make the most of the fact that we rent two rooms? Why not show a feature film in one room and have a social evening or all night Open Forum in the other-or even combining film and Open Forum? Think about it. I have several candidates for feature films should we choose to show one.

Since I started writing this newsletter on May 23, it has become apparent that the film festival put on by my NOW chapter was such a success that the chapter plans to show films year around. I have offered the use not only of many DVDs and VHS videos I have on women's issues, but also my transgender collection. Though the chapter now boasts of two regular transgender members, a postoperative transsexual and myself, transgender programs do not seem to be quite relevant to their needs. But numerous transgender films in my collection may interest NOW members. We will see.

I accumulated a collection of transgender films with the intent of promoting interest in them within the transgender community. I had planned to will them to a national transgender organization, or even donate them inter vivos. But no one seems to be interested in them. Too bad. My NOW chapter, if enough members vote for films in my collection, may show them in homes. And they will raise funds (not for film admission, of course, but dues for the gathering). And we will not. If my NOW chapter decides to show any of my transgender collection, I will see if I can obtain permission for Support Group members to participate, if any wish to. The problem is, the showings are held in private homes, and the residents might want to become acquainted with any transgenders who come. But even if NOW does allow Support Group members to attend, money paid will go to the benefit of the NOW chapter.

I guess part of the problem is I participated in Endless Mountains Girls. I learned to get out and engage in all sorts of activities en femme. Right now I can disclose my transgender status under numerous circumstances. Some people cannot be this open and have legitimate fears. But I think that others might get out more. Sometimes I wonder if some people do not fear transgender enfranchisement simply because it threatens the coziness of the closet. Some people like the closet. They are reminiscent of women who used to ask what they would do if they were liberated. They feared life without male guidance. It seems to me that there should be some house where we could show transgender films and have another type of fund raiser. Well, it will be a great irony if NOW benefits from my collection and the Support Group can, or will, not. I may consider this in redrafting my will.

AUGUST 2008 MEETING

Election night. Prove that a sucker is born every minute and run for office! We reserve the right to schedule a short program for the remainder of the evening.

SEPTEMBER 2008 MEETING

Betty Ajamian of Artistry Cosmetics will speak on adapting cosmetics to changing seasons and weather conditions. She will also be available for individual color coordination consultations. In the past, the Support Group has tended to invite Mary Kay consultants to speak, but the Support Group cannot endorse any particular brand. An Este Lauder representative has spoken to the group, and we may invite representatives from this firm, or from Mary Kay, Artistry and other cosmetics firms to speak in the future. I consider cosmetics programs to be mixed educational/vendor functions because the more you pass, the less transphobes are likely to harass. And skin care is a big element in passing.

OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 2008 MEETINGS

Negotiations are going on, but these months are still open, so suggestions are welcomed.

DECEMBER 2008 MEETING

A holiday banquet of some sort. Think it over. Do we want another buffet, or are we ready to go back go a restaurant? If we do, it will cost more, and we are not subsidizing banquets any more.

One problem we must consider in a future buffet is that of diners who have special dietetic requirements. It is a good bet that if a certain individual cannot or will not eat certain foods, most people in the Support Group know nothing about this. Please tell us your needs and we will try to accommodate you.

I apologize for the lateness in posting this newsletter. On Wednesday, June 4, a storm knocked out phone service in my apartment, and the earliest service could be restored was Friday, June 6.

Jennifer Mae Barnes, President

May 23, June 3 2008


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