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Lynn, Merrissa Sherrill, 1942-2017
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Merissa Sherrill Lynn was born Wade Southwick. Merissa joined Ariadne Kane’s Fantasia Fair staff in 1976 and took a leadership role in the Cherrystone Club in Boston. Merissa hosted the first meeting of Tiffany Club in 1977 and was its director for the first nine years. In 1978 she developed a long-range plan with the intent to build an international service network. She founded NACD Inc. (National Association of Cross Dressers), an investment corporation in service to the trans community, and was responsible for acquiring the community’s first group housing and retreat. She helped found the TV/TS Tapestry Journal and Tapestry Publications and was its Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief.
In 1986, Lynn founded the International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE), an American non-profit transgender advocacy organization and devoted to “overcoming the intolerance of transvestitism and transsexualism brought about by widespread ignorance.” The first IFGE convention was held in Chicago in March 1987. In 1988, she became the second recipient of the IFGE’s Dr. Virginia Prince Award. She founded the “Coming Together – Working Together” convention and was its Director. She was IFGE Director until 1995 and subsequently was granted honorary board membership for life. Lynn lectured publicly for 15 years, appeared many times on television and radio, and has written many educational articles, including The Directory of Terms, a standard booklet for the Educational Resources Committee of the IFGE. She travelled to Trinidad, Colorado for sex reassignment surgery in July 1991. In 2002, she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Tiffany Club’s annual transgender conference, “First Event.”
Lynn passed away December 1, 2017 in hospice care.