A matter of trust – Kelly Glanney speaks

by • April 2, 2012 • Home Page, Home Page Slider, NewsComments (18)175

As a 24-year-old transgender woman, Kelly Glanney was metaphorically “five minutes in a frock” when she escaped from darkly intolerant Perth to the Emerald City of Sydney in the late 1980s.

Glanney was still dealing with the maelstrom of transitioning and hormone treatment when she met Kiwi legend, the late Carmen Rupe. In those early years, Carmen was an inspiration and mentor for her.

“In those first couple of years I made and lost four close friends,” says Glanney. “The transgender community has a high rate of attrition – HIV, suicide, drug problems – and Carmen helped me through that. Meeting her, someone with such dignity and gravitas… as she started telling me about the 1950s and ’60s, it actually really inspired me.”

They became neighbours and good friends and since Carmen’s death, Glanney has been the driving force behind a team of people involved in carrying out one of Carmen’s dying wishes – to set up a charitable trust in her name that, among other things, aims to protect and extend the rights of transgender people, and educate the public about the adverse affects of transphobia.

Although Glanney is not a trustee of what will be named the Carmen Rupe Memorial Trust, she has become the focus of an online attack campaign that centred around Carmen’s Facebook page. Glanney was the subject of a number of allegations – potentially defamatory – about her personal character, all of which she has refuted.
The level of vitriol reached such a level that Facebook last week shut down the page at the request of Carmen’s family, a move that elicited further protest as Carmen’s profile had been a hub of memorabilia that is thought to have been lost in the deletion.

As a key member of an advisory group that will make recommendations to the trust’s board and “do the legwork” to get projects off the ground, Glanney assures that there are a number of legacy activities already in the making.

“There will be a website. We have been collecting a large quantity of pictures and press clippings that people have donated or emailed to us. We have a feature-length documentary in the making, and there’s all kinds of footage that will be part of a web archive of people telling stories about Carmen.

“Because all of the profits from the documentary are going into the trust, we’ve already got broadcast rights for a whole range of content.”
Glanney wants the trust to be about more than Carmen’s memory. She wants to empower others in her community to be part of Carmen’s legacy of charitable work. All of the people involved with the trust, including a prominent Sydney law farm, are working without financial compensation or fringe benefits.

“One of the things Carmen and I really connected on is how empowering it is to be involved in charitable work. To get a sense of your own self-worth by doing things for others. Carmen was involved with many organisations, from the Wayside Chapel, fundraisers for ACON, Telethon back in New Zealand…

“What we’re setting up is a service organisation specifically for transgender people and their friends, similar to Rotary, but with a more strategic focus. We want to create a positive message about transgender people and their friends coming together to do these things in Carmen’s name, and in so doing perpetuate her legacy and focus on the things she cared about.”

During a series of public consultations earlier this year, advertised widely in gay media and through support groups such as The Gender Centre in Sydney, Glanney realised just how many different communities felt they had a stake in Carmen’s legacy – and navigating that has been a difficult task.

“I had showgirls claiming Carmen as their own; I had transsexuals saying she’s a transsexual and that cross-dressers shouldn’t be a part of this. I had some Maori saying she’s more important than the Maori queen.”

In order for the trust to ultimately achieve its aims and meet Australia’s stringent rules around charitable trusts, Glanney says that the level of corporate governance has to be set high.

Having said that, she acknowledges the fractured relationships and bad press in New Zealand’s gay media caused by the Facebook fallout in recent months and hopes these will be repaired over time.

“Obviously some people will remain opposed to what we’re doing, but ultimately the trust is not just about a group of people who perceive themselves as Carmen’s best friends in the last years of her life. And I know that out there in the mainstream there is massive goodwill.”

| Chris Banks
| NB: Thanks to the reader who alerted us to the details of who took the above photo of Carmen. Photo by Fiona Clark from her photo essay book Go Girl.

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18 Responses to A matter of trust – Kelly Glanney speaks

  1. Jacquie Grant says:

    “Obviously some people will remain opposed to what we’re doing, but ultimately the trust is not just about a group of people who perceive themselves as Carmen’s best friends in the last years of her life. And I know that out there in the mainstream there is massive goodwill.”

    This is one of the most offensive things I have ever read in NZ Gay media. Glanney came from the UK in the 80′s and lived in the USA. Claims went to Harvard at that time. Must have left Harvard at about 14 years old. Child Genius obviously.

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  2. Jo Brinkley says:

    As a member of the New Zealand Human Rights Tribunal I believe the above comment is beneath you. What relevance is there in mentioning Kelly Glanney’s country of origin and educational status, whatever that may be.

    You say in an interview for GayNZ.com (http://www.gaynz.com/articles/publish/34/article_482.php)
    “If you could have one wish granted what would it be? That all people could get on together regardless of race, religion, or sexuality, that we would stop hurting each other so much”

    We all must learn to walk the walk….. not talk the talk.

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  3. Darian Zam says:

    Again, I must point out that this was never about Carmen’s Facebook “page.” It was Carmen’s personal profile. There is a huge difference in those two things – the way they are set up and what happens to a personal profile in the advent of death. Yet this misnomer continues to be perpetuated in news reports. Carmen now has a page at https://www.facebook.com/MemoriesOfCarmenRupe if this had been done properly in the first place probably a lot of the drama would have been avoided.

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  4. Jacquie Grant says:

    Brinkley because it destroys the myth Glanney perpetuates that she was Carmen’s best friend and long term neighbor, Even though Glanney lived in the same block she was no more than a passing acquaintance, as evidenced by the lack of Carmen’s old friends coming forward as knowing her she is an opportunist,
    Glanney said : ““Obviously some people will remain opposed to what we’re doing, but ultimately the trust is not just about a group of people who perceive themselves as Carmen’s best friends in the last years of her life.” To relegate Carmen’s old friends to the scrap heap and use that description beggars belief it also denies Carmen many of her old friends.

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  5. Max S says:

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  6. Maxwell says:

    This trust has never consulted in the way it says and Glanney has had far too much to say (which makes me wonder why the others involved have said little or nothing!!!). Her ‘stories’ are riddled with too much contention and innuendo. I question her credentials to the position of Director and I ask what qualifies her to be the best candidate for this role? I believe she should be transparent and come out and provide her professional qualifications to allay these concerns. Given she “went to Harvard” there should not be a problem providing these!!

    It concerns me why Ms Rupe’s oldest friends are not supporting Glanney – could it be the fact that she has left them out of every consultation process? Could it be because they are the very people who have voiced concerns and could very well expose some of her claims?

    Did Glanney apply through a selection criteria and process? Was there a panel who assessed and determined her ability and ‘credentials’? Perhaps it’s time these very matters were looked into carefully by an independent…. How was she appointed?

    Throughout this debacle it is evident that people are not complaining about the trust as such but about Glanney!!! about her behaviour and her treatment of Ms Rupe’s friends.

    In hindsight and with all this speculation and unrest surrounding Glanney’s involvement and decision making I don’t agree or believe her to be the best candidate to represent the Carmen Rupe Memorial Trust and she should step down and allow for a fair and proper process to take place. A selection process should have been compiled to appoint people to this role in a fair, clear and transparent manner which has not happened to date?

    One has to wonder whether this is indeed in the interest of Ms Rupe or perhaps some ‘person’ more intent on ‘paddling their own waka’ and using the media to achieve some sort of icon status.

    In my view she is and has always been the problem not the solution!!

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  7. Pindi Hurring says:

    So many lies in this story. I meet Carmen for the first time yesterday in 1968. I have kept in contact with her over the years living a 5 minute walk from her since she moved to Riely st 20 years ago. Never meet or heard of Kelly.
    Another site run by (John) who never meet or knew Carmen, set up by Darian Zam who was never a friend of Carmens, thats just as strange.
    I once again say in public, Kelly has been trying to blackmail me to hand over the original Carmen FB site since January. She warned me what would happen if I did not hand it over & its happened, nothing to do with family or a letter, its called CONTROL just like Darian & his mate setting up a new FB. Pindi Hurring

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  8. Jacquie Grant says:

    It is true that Pindi was asked by Carmen to start and run the page for her, it is also true that Pindi was put under a huge amount of pressure to hand over the password for the page this started before Carmen passed away and I actually discussed it with Carmen at the time of her Birthday she was very clear she wanted Pindi to carry it on. I mentioned this at her Tangi when I once again witnessed first hand the pressure coming onto Pindi.
    Pindi was under a lot of pressure over this and we were all advising her to stand firm, I guess in the end she lashed out I for one didn’t blame her it was unfortunate but inevitable.
    I can confirm that Darian and John were friends of Carmen.
    Jacquie

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  9. Pindi Hurring says:

    Thank you Jacquie for understanding the pressure I was under even on the day of the Tangi, just wish the late Carmens family did.
    I do have to disagree with you on the John who never meet Carmen till the Tangi & Darian who took photos of Carmen, where not friends of Carmen.
    I just don’t know how Kelly can give this interview with so many untruths about her life & connection to Carmen. I have seen time & time again the media just publish with no investigation on the material.

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  10. John Ake says:

    Facebook is often used by fans, to establish fan clubs.

    To state the obvious, it’s possible to set up a fan page for any number of dead celebrities and personalities.

    Current there is “MEMORIES OF CARMEN RUPE” facebook page.

    It makes little or no difference as to who established it, or currently administers it.

    What’s worth noting though, is that such a facebook page as mentioned above, “WILL NOT” be used to make unproven allegations of any kind … against anyone.

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  11. Darian Zam says:

    Last time I checked there is no rule against starting a fan page for someone. Unless you are making defamatory allegations and abusing your privileges. It’s really no concern of anyone, especially if they just have an axe to grind. End of discussion. Just move on.

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  12. Pindi Hurring says:

    I believ John & Darian are so into their own issues that they miss the point I was making. Yes everyone has a right to start a fan page but its how they start it. Darian stop making your silly abusing allegations & just do what you say MOVE ON !

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  13. Pindi Hurring says:

    What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists, is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.
    Robert Kennedy
    I believe gayexpress is giving a onesided point of view, strange how only my comments are hidden. as the late Carmen would say, sit down time will take care of all things. X

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  14. Editor says:

    Hi Pindi, your comments are being hidden by low ratings that visitors to our website give, not by express.

    Hannah Jennings-Voykovich
    Editor

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  15. Darian Zam says:

    It became apparent quite quickly what the real problem is, as evidenced by comments above – which speak for themselves completely.

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  16. Pindi Hurring says:

    @ Darian your delusional just like Kelly & John.

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  17. Stuart Baanstra says:

    One thing is certain. Transgender and intersex people have been left behind by the broader gay and lesbian community. They fail to understand that TI people have gender issues, not sexuality issues.

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  18. Darian Zam says:

    I reiterate – it became apparent quite quickly what the real problem is, as evidenced by comments above – which speak for themselves completely. Keep slinging mud publicly, Pindi – for everyone to see. One would think you had done enough damage already and perhaps learned your lesson. Apparently not. Why don’t you and Kelly Glanney make a few bulk bathtubs of jelly, hire a boxing ring and settle it between the two of you? You are both as pitiful as each other.

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