Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sad News...

TGF Founder JoAnn Roberts has passed away
TG Forum
Angela Gardner
Jun 10, 2013

JoAnn was 65-years-old. She is survived by her wife Jaini, daughter Brie and sister Donna.

JoAnn was diagnosed with lung cancer in February of this year. She went through a round of chemotherapy treatments and they appeared to be successful in stopping the cancer in her lungs and liver. Radiation treatments were begun last month to eradicate a tumor on her spine but were halted last week when it was determined that the cancer had spread again. JoAnn opted to go into hospice care and she passed away peacefully on Friday evening, June 7, 2013.

JoAnn, like many of us, had been attracted to women’s clothing since she was a young boy in the Philadelphia, Pa. area. She was living in California in the 1970s when she saw Virginia Prince on a television talk show discussing her organization for heterosexual crossdressers, the Society for the Second Self (Tri-Ess). JoAnn was shocked, amazed and delighted to learn that there were other men who felt the way she did about dressing up.
In 1987 JoAnn proposed to our circle of CD friends that we start an organization to raise awareness, provide support and educate about transgender issues. It would be a legitimate organization with a 501 [c] 3 nonprofit status. Alison Laing, Trudy Henry, Melanie Bryant and I were among the group she got together to discuss and then create The Renaissance Education Association, Inc.. (Later renamed The Renaissance Transgender Association, Inc..)
Many of our pioneers are passing away, those that had lead the quest for equality back in the 60s and 70s are in ill health. Leslie Feinberg is in a hospice, from Leslie’s blog,
I suffered with tick-borne diseases for 35 years without treatment. In the five plus years since I have been in treatment, I have been diagnosed with late-stage Lyme along with serious coinfections including Babesiosis, Protomyxzoa Rheumatica, and Bartonella. My 20-year pattern of periodic immuno-suppression has become chronic for quite some time.

My body is failing so fast that I can’t undergo more diagnostic and treatment attempts. It is difficult for me to swallow, walk, breathe, talk and write. This sharp decline, evidenced in labs and in life, has forced me to set up home hospice care quickly.
Leslie is an activist and author, ze is best known for zer book “Stone Butch Blues” which was a ground breaking book in 1993. I saw Leslie once when ze gave a talk at Post University in Waterbury, ze reminded me of the great oracles in history. Ze was passionate when it came to equality.

Another activist who is in ill health is Kate Bornstein, she has lung cancer, Huffington Post said last year,
She is a groundbreaking author, performer and "advocate for teens, freaks and other outlaws" whose books, like My Gender Workbook and Gender Outlaw, have been critical to furthering gender theory over the last 20 years.

Sadly, the self-described "queer and pleasant danger" was diagnosed with lung cancer in August. Doctors thought Bornstein had been cured after surgery, but in February they discovered that the disease had returned. The good news is that the cancer appears to be curable. The bad news is that the cost of treatment is astronomical, even with Bornstein's health insurance plan.

To make matters even worse, her treatment is more complicated than most because she has suffered from another kind of cancer -- CLL, or Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia -- for over fifteen years.
I saw Kate Bornstein’s monologue a couple of times up at UMass at Amherst, she gave an amazing performance talking about her life’s journey.

We are coming to the end of an era, those who gave their heart and soul so that we can walk with our head held high are in the twilight of their lives.

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