This Needs To Be Said… By Joanne Law
This might ruffle a few feathers and I might have a few people not talking to me but I have to do this.
23 years ago a few people got together who had a common interest, cross-dressing (the word that we used back then). We met at a private residence, watched Star Trek and drank beer. We even became a Tri-Ess chapter.
We were there for the support and new friendships. We were there for new folks looking for information. A few years later we changed our name to Gender Mosaic, got rid of the Tri-Ess chapter and started to put our name out there via PTS, our only resource back then. (FYI there are only 3 paid members from the original group still with Gender Mosaic.). Gender Mosaic became a group of transfolk. We didn’t isolate any community member whether they were TS, TG. CD or whatever; a mosaic of people who challenged their birth record. Over the years the group became larger and we had to relocate to a bigger venues. I remember having 45 to 50 people attend a social. Now on a good night maybe 6 or 7. Gender Mosaic is a halfway house for the trans community. People came and stayed, and became part of our executive. Thank you. Others stayed for a few meetings never to return because Gender Mosaic did not provide the venue they were looking for. I have personally seen over 500 people pass through the halls of Gender Mosaic, or through our phone line and a meeting for coffee later. Where are they now? We were there to guide people, relate information, and to some, to start another group. Right On.Gender Mosaic is not the only voice in the transgender community. There are transfolk who are not members of Gender Mosaic and who, by attending important meetings, making the awareness of transfolk a notable entity. Just because we have been around for a long time in name only does not make us the authority.I have read the emails and listened to the bickering of people who want everything now and their way. I am just getting sick of the way people are fighting for their own interest and not the interest of our community. Yet they use Gender Mosaic as a sounding board to vent their anger and some are not even members. Yes we were there for the first time because we had a phone number and a web sight and there was someone to really talk to. We have received requests to do a particular topic and when we do no one shows up. Or, the person wanting the request does not want to facilate that evening.
Recently we canceled our annual Casino Night. The coordinator wanting to do the event, “a regular to our socials”, noticed a decline in participation over several months and canceled, not because she wanted to but because the work involved, like renting the equipment, setting up the casino tables and teaching the rules of each table, was not worth her time for only 6 or 7 people. Who would run the tables and who would play the games? The crowd would be awful thin, and the fun would be lost.Some people have said that I was the anchor in keeping Gender Mosaic alive with active participation and energy and having fun at the same time. I might also be the fall of the group too. I have lost interest with the constant degrading of the initial concept of Gender Mosiac. A place to call our own. It is not a place to separate the crossdressers or Transsexuals. With these terms I don’t belong. I identify as A Transgender Woman.
As of the Annual General Meeting this February 2005 the Gender Mosaic phone line 819-770-1945 will either be call forward or a new line installed to a new home. I have notified the president of my decision. Its up to the new board now. I have dedicated my time to the phone line over 10 years and I have enjoyed answering the calls. Some times it can become very busy other times slow. Some of the call came from outside North America looking for a resource. I will also remove my name from all records relating to the Gender Mosaic executive except my membership which I cherish. My last 25 years of my visible outreach will still be there, but my active participation of 16 years with Gender Mosaic is coming to an end. I am not going away because I love my community; It has made me who I am to-day. You will still see me at the meeting just as an interested member with some history of our community. I am just changing directions in my commitment.
As Joanne and I are both lifers, we speak are minds without fear (well used to be..Pending)
We all need to get to the point where we do not fear any one.