Open Letter to IFGE
For Immediate Release
19 September, 2011
Chrysalis Quarterly Journal
Open Letter to The International Foundation for Gender Education, Inc.
I am grievously, and with good reason, concerned for the well-being of the Winslow Street Fund. I fear it is being plundered by what remains of the International Foundation for Gender Education.
Last fall at Fantasia Fair two trustees of the Winslow Street Fund came to me—separately—and told me they were concerned about the fund’s well-being. They had no idea how much money—if any—was left in the fund’s bank account. Worse, they had heard rumors IFGE was drawing down the fund.
Two months ago one of the trustees told me she had been retroactively fired by Ms. Leclair. You know, like Dean Wurmer’s double-secret probation in the film Animal House: fired in secret and told about it nearly two years later. I confirmed this with the second trustee. Sure enough, the IFGE Board of Directors held a special meeting in August 2009 and dismissed the entire board of trustees—without telling the trustees about it. That was so outrageous it spurred me to write this press release. When guardians get fired, it’s time to watch the piggy bank.
For those who might not know, the Winslow Street Fund was founded in the mid-1980s as an untouchable resource for the transgender community. Designed to last in perpetuity, it was administered by IFGE and controlled by the Fund’s own board of trustees, which made conservative investments to grow capital and award small sums (less than $5000 or so) to community organizations for projects deemed worthy by the board.
The amount in the fund varied with the financial climate and the number of awards, but was generally within shouting distance of $100,000.
This was the state of affairs for some twenty-five years. But it is no longer the case.
At this time the retroactively fired Winslow Street trustees, members of the previous Board of Directors, and the community at large have no idea if IFGE has been using the Winslow Street Fund as a resource to fund its internal operations and how much money, if any, is in the Fund.
I fear the Winslow Street Fund is in danger of coming to a sad end. And so:
I hereby call upon IFGE, and specifically upon Executive Director Denise Leclair to inform the transgender community of the state of the Winslow Street Fund, and specifically to answer these questions via a press release:
- What is the balance in the Winslow Street Fund?
- When was the last Winslow grant to another organization?
- Has IFGE borrowed against the fund in this century?
- If so, was the money paid back? Was interest collected?
- What safeguards are in place to protect the fund?
I moreover call upon Ms. Leclair to take immediate and decisive steps to fiscally and administratively separate the Winslow Street Fund from IFGE, making certain the Fund has a board made up of trusted and honest community members who will safeguard the Fund’s monies.
If IFGE has withdrawn money from the Winslow Street Fund, I urge Ms. Leclair to do whatever is necessary to return all funds.
I ask others in the community to contact IFGE and ask these same questions.
Editor, Chrysalis Quarterly
IFGE’s Contact Information
781-899-2212 or 781-899-5703 Voice