Merissa Sherrill Lynn was an active force in the transgender community for many years. Her impact was significant and many transgender people today are living lives made by possible by her work. TCNE is greatly indebted to her work and to founding TCNE. She passed away on December 1, 2017. Please read below for Merissa’s obituary.
via Dallas Denny:
Merissa Sherrill Lynn, TCNE, IFGE, Tapestry Magazine Founder Passes Away (1942-2017).
Merissa Sherrill Lynn was born in Exeter and lived in North Hampton, New Hampshire. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1971 with a BA in Philosophy. She entered the United States Army in 1961 and served with a Ranger Battalion in Germany from 1961-1963. She was honorably discharged in 1964.
Ms. Lynn established a support group and meeting home for gender variant individuals in Waltham Mass at a time when gender variance was little understood and not studied as a visible social norm. She assisted many individuals who were searching for a safe and viable place to express their choice of gender preference. Her home became one of the first national clubs or associations for cross-dressers, transgender both for male and female sexual-reassignment individuals. She established the Tiffany Club of New England as a safe zone for those looking for and needing understanding in their gender search.
From this home she published what was to become an international magazine specializing in information and contacts between social, medical, and businesses communities dealing with the transgender movement [editor: the magazine was called Tapestry]. With many groups around the world reaching out for contact she founded the International Foundation for Gender Education, which acted as a communications network for what was to become a world-wide community. Through this organization she made contact with various other organizations and individuals who were able to make many social and legal changes in the ways people are viewed. These efforts, in combination with the Gay and Lesbian community, opened the door to the many social changes we see today.
Ms. Lynn’s contribution to the understanding of gender variance greatly increased the knowledge and understanding available at colleges and universities worldwide. She was asked to speak at Harvard Medical School and many conferences in the US and abroad. As the director of IFGE, she traveled widely to promote understanding and education about gender viability and inclusion in everyday life. She was honored by many organizations for her knowledge, writings, publications and community organization work. She gave of her time and energies to promote gender acceptance, much of what we see today commonly throughout this country.
After suffering a massive stroke in 1998, Ms. Lynn was unable to devote time and energy to the complexities of the business and moved to Warwick, RI, where she resided for the past 20 years. She passed away at Hope Hospice on Friday Dec. 1, 2017.
Merissa’s legacy is in the help she gave to many who were looking for answers to deeply personal questions. She gave hope and love to all throughout her life. She will be deeply missed by many.
For a detailed history of the transgender community in Greater Boston and of the organizations TCNE and IFGE that Ms. Lynn started, please click to TCNE History.