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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
April 27, 2007

At age 12, TransFamily is leaving its parents home

Cleveland--Karen and Bob Gross were honored for their work founding and running the TransFamily group at an open house on April 21, celebrating the organizationís move to its new temporary home at the Cleveland LGBT Community Center.

The couple formed TransFamily a dozen years ago after their daughter began transitioning into their son. In 1995, many of the resources now available readily on-line or through other LGBT organizations had yet to be created, so Bob and Karen started the group to help others by helping themselves, as they are fond of saying.

The group has met in the Gross home in South Euclid ever since.

About 75 people gathered at the center to see the organizationís new home, which is intended as a transitional one until TransFamily can afford a space of its own.

Attorney Randy Barnabee emceed the brief program, which saw Jake Nash, the eventís organizer, presenting the award to Karen and Bob Gross.

In addition to the plaque honoring them, TransFamily also gave another to the center, one that will travel with the organization to any new home it has in the future. With a photo of Bob and Karen Gross on it, it will ensure that everyone who attends TransFamily meetings and events knows where the group came from and who started it.

The Grosses were also presented with an award from People of All Colors Together-Cleveland, whose co-chair Mike Kelley found TransFamily meetings heartwarming and educational.

He often speaks of attending a meeting at Nashís behest and, in the course of his first attendance, becoming so disabused of his misconceptions of the transgender community that he expanded the focus of what was then Black and White Men Together-Cleveland, making it more inclusive.

Cleveland Ward 14 Councilor Joe Santiago also attended the event and presented Bob and Karen with a city council proclamation honoring their work. Ted Wammes from the Community Relations Board and representatives from the Detroit Shoreway Development Corporation were also in attendance to welcome TransFamily to the neighborhood.

For more information about TransFamily, go to The website includes a number of online groups for trans people, their spouses and families, as well as other resources for transgender people and their loved ones.



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