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Newsletter - May 2008

MAY 2008 NEWSLETTER

MAY 3, 2008 PROGRAM

The New Jersey Support Group, Inc. will hold its May Buffet at the same location where we held the Holiday Banquet in December 2007. Those of our members who also belong to the Saturday Night Regulars (SNR) know right where it is. Members are encouraged to bring food, though the group will provide certain items as we did before. Our vice president has graciously agreed to donate the changing room. Charge will be $20.00 per person. The buffet site is unfortunately unmentionable as it is the meeting site of another transgender support group. Please contact us by e-mail or leave a voice mail message at 206-600-7860 should you wish directions or have any other questions. Watch the website for further announcements.

Personal notes

Members should note that our treasurer has recently been hospitalized and released. The mother of our Open Forum facilitator died on April 18. We will observe a moment of silence at the May Buffet. The facilitator and her father are still both ill. It would be difficult to send get well wishes, but please be mindful of their suffering and that of their relatives. We thank our Vice President for updates on their conditions.

OUTSIDERS REACHING IN

More and more non-transgenders are contacting us by voice mail or e-mail to express a desire to attend our meetings. In addition to the journalism students mentioned in last months newsletter (who never showed up-too far to travel-but two interviewed me by phone), recent contacts include a couple with a young transgendered child, and two counselors, one who deals with transgendered adolescents and the other who is treating a wife lost in transition. Some support group are allowing persons other than transgenders and their significant others to participate and become members if they truly have an interest in transgenderism and wish to promote it. We must decide which of these we can admit while preserving membership confidentiality. I say which not if, for if we decide to admit none, I fear we may die on the vine.

We were at one time a Renaissance chapter (and affiliate, our desired status). Outreach was a basic duty of all such organizations. Now I gather the Renaissance Speakers Bureau is a mere memory. We are not going to be able to use the rights we have gained in the state if we and similar organizations do not reach out and let outsiders reach in.

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. Watch future announcements for further details. 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 combing film and Open Forum? Think about it. I have several candidates for feature films should we choose to show one.

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 Estee 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

Still open. Suggestions 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.

Jennifer Mae Barnes, President

April 23, 2008