Merissa 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 and served with a Ranger Battalion in Germany from 1961-1963 and 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. With many groups around the world reaching out for contact she founded the International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) 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 now commonly known as LBGT, opened the door to the many social changes we see today.
Ms. Lynn’s contribution to the understanding of gender varience 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.
Suffering a massive stroke in 1998, Ms. Lynn was unable to devote time and energy into the complexities of the business and moved to Warwick, RI where she has resided for the past 20 years and finally passed away at Hope Hospice on Friday Dec. 1, 2017. Her 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.
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Merissa S. Lynn
July 7, 1942 - December 1, 2017
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