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OCTOBER 2000



Sunday Oct. 29, 2000 (Starting at 6pm)
The Usual Halloween Party Place, In Standish
Call Trey at: 207-642-6023


DRAG SHOW

A small affair, on October 29, 2000 at "Blackstones", in Portland at 8pm.


From The Desk Of The President...
This fall will mark nearly a year since we stopped meeting in
Brunswick, an all-time low for TransSupport and its membership.

On the upside, there is a weekly meeting place, here in Portland,
that is cost free and has plenty of parking nearby, in the Old
Port. We meet at the Speak Out Project's "Charlie Howard Library"
Saturday pm (you MUST r.s.v.p. by Thursday to attend), 5ish or
when I get calls to meet individually.

I've been interviewing prospective members nearly every month...
although not with alot of luck getting them to a meeting. We
have several transgender persons, besides myself, who are now
meeting... 2 are f-m and 2 are m-f.

On a personal note, I had to go to the Fenway Clinic, in Boston,
to get hormones, this past month.

STOP GENDER/SEX DISCRIMINATION
Our TV-Channel 4 public service call-in talk show, is now planned
for shortly, before I go into my next hip replacement surgery, in
March.

I am working with JoAnne Southworth, a former TransSupport
male-to-female transsexual, to get us a transgender clinic started
at Maine Medical Center... starting with adult psychiatry, which
is headed by Dr. Cindy Boyack (871-6086).

If you would like to see MMC, medically with therapists, serve our
community, call Dr. Boyack and let her know. Too many of us have
had to go to Boston/Vermont for medical and psychiatric services!
Call me or Jean Vermette of MEGRESS, if you need references.
Antoinette


Jean Vermette of MEGRESS

I'm going to do something now that I usually try very hard
NOT to do. I'm going to try to convince you folks to spend
some money, not on me, but for some very VERY good causes.
I'm very unpolitical and, trust me, very unappreciative of
having people always asking me to donate to this cause or
that cause, not because "the cause" is unworthy in some way
but simply because my own finances are fairly limited and if
I gave to everyone who asked for money I wouldn't be able to
keep a roof over my head or food in my mouth.
Still, every now and then a "cause" or two will come to my
attention that I feel really screams for support, and most
often that "cause" is something that is going to affect me
very directly. Right now there are two such "causes" that
I've become aware of that are going to have very direct
affects on all of us within the transgendered community
right here in Maine (as well as the non-transgendered
community here in Maine), and they are causes which are
going to affect us whether we are out-and-about post-op
transsexuals, whether we are quietly-in-the-closet
married heterosexual crossdressers, or whether we are
somewhere in between.
The reason I'm going to ask folks to donate money to these
"causes" is because that's actually the easiest thing that
we can do to help them. We don't have to set aside time
from our busy schedules, we don't have to be visible in any
way as T-people, we don't even have to let anyone know that
we've helped these "causes"; we can just whip out our check
books, quickly write a donation for $10, $20, $100, or
whatever, and be done with it and go about our business.
How much more American can that be?

The first "cause" is the case of Christie Lee Littleton, a
long-time post-op MTF transsexual from Texas who quietly
became the woman she always knew she was, who followed all
the rules and regulations set out by the state of Texas to
legally change her sex status, who was legally recognized
as a woman by every state and federal government agency,
who legally married a man she loved very much (and who
knew all about her post-op status), and who supported and
cared for him when he became ill.
When her husband, Jonathan, died from what Christie felt
medical malpractice, she sued the doctor for his wrongful
death, only to have the doctor's insurance company argue
that because Christie had been born male she was still
male and that her marriage was invalid because Texas does
not recognize same-sex marriages. Surprisingly, with little
investigation or consideration, the court overturned
decades of well-established Texas law and agreed with the
insurance company. So did the appellate court and the supreme
court in Texas when she pursued the case. In essence, all
the Texas courts have invalidated her previously legally-
recognized seven-year marriage and overturned much of
their own heterosexual family law practice at the same time,
not to mention making it legally impossible for intersexed
individuals (those folks who are born with characteristics
of both sexes) to get married at all! The case is now being
taken to the United States Supreme Court, with the support
of a battery of "out" transgendered lawyers.

You may ask: "How does this affect me?"

By overturning its own well-established family law and
decades of law for the legal recognition of post-op
transsexuals, the Texas courts (based purely on
assumptions and prejudice) have clearly set a
precedent which could be used by court systems all
across the country to invalidate, at will, the
marriage status of ANYONE if they feel that the
ends support it. Right now it happens to be a
transsexual, because they are scared of any
possibility of "same-sex" marriage, and because
they think the public will support them (in Texas,
judges are elected rather than appointed). That in
itself is a terrible precident for all of us who
happen to be transsexual and who are being told that
no matter what pain and tribulation we go through
to attain wholeness in life, our basic humanity is
never going to be recognized by the law.
More telling, though, is that the same logic can
(and eventually will) be used as an excuse to
interfere with "normal" heterosexual marriages in
the future. What will happen when insurance companies,
corporations, and/or the government decide that the
easiest way to avoid the liability and responsibility
they have to a married couple, or otherwise remove
some of the couple's legal rights, is simply to ask the
court to have the legally-sanctioned marriage
invalidated for some reason or other (against the wishes
of the legallay married couple)? That is exactly the
precident that the Texas court has set, and it is
something which ALL of us, no matter what our sex,
sexual orientation, or gender identity, should be
fighting tooth and nail. If you would like to learn
more about the Christie Lee Littleton case, you can do
so at http://christielee.net

Not surprisingly, the effort to guide this case through
the U.S. Supreme Court costs money, and Christie Lee,
who is a hair-dresser by profession and who has now had
not only her husband but all of her communal marriage
property and insurance benefits taken from her (because
the law now says she was never actually married), does
not have the financial resources to pay for it. The
above-mentioned transgendered lawers are working mostly
pro-bono, and the Texas Human Rights Foundation is
providing what funding it can, but more money is needed.

Tax-Deductible contributions can be snail-mailed to:
THRF
c/o Alan Levi, Treasurer
2501 Oak Lawn Avenue, #285 LB-14
Dallas, Texas 75214

Please say "Thank you for supporting Christie Lee" along
with your contribution.

Alternately, a contribution can be made to the Transgender
Fund, another non-profit group which is working to advance
the issues of the transgender community in the U.S., and
they will see that it gets used for the same purpose. A
contribution can be sent to:
TG Fund
PO Box 2132
Southeastern, PA 19399-2132

Mark your contribution to: Littleton Legal Fund. Their
web-site (if you want to know more about them first) is:
http://www.tgfund.org

The second "cause" I'm urging everyone to support is the
VOTE YES ON 6 effort that is being launched right here in
Maine. This is the latest effort of many many grass-roots
organizations here in Maine to get a basic civil rights
law passed that will protect Maine's GLBT citizens from
discrimination in the areas of housing, employment,
credit, and public accomodation; and I am urging all of
you to support the effort not only by voting "YES" on
initiative question # 6 in November, but also by sending
the organizing committee some money. If you're like me,
you may not like to do phone calling, or want to put up a
sign in your yard, or feel like going door-to-door to
talk with your neighbors about the issue. Well, that's
OK, there are other folks who ARE willing to do those
things, but making those phone calls, and printing those
signs and bumper stickers, and gathering those voter
lists, all cost money. If you're not willing or able to
support your own basic civil rights with your time and
effort, you can at least support them by providing some
of the money that keeps those people going who ARE putting
in the time and effort! The web site for the YES ON 6
campaign can be found Here on the web.
Snail-mail donations in any amount can be sent to :
Yes on 6
PO Box 1852
Saco, ME 04072

Trust me, folks, these two "causes" need your financial help,
and YOU need them to help protect your basic human rights.
Remember, if you aren't willing to do "something" to protect
your own civil rights, then you have no place expecting others
to do it for you, and you will have no cause to belly-ache
when the homophobic and transphobic people of the world
decide that it's your turn to be picked on. Give what you
can, but give something.

Love, Jean Vermette, megress@tds.net
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"The Greatest Art is to Lead an Ordinary
Life in an Extraordinary Manner."
Buddhist Proverb
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