Who is Renaissance for?
Renaissance provides peer support for adults exploring their gender identity. We welcome anyone who considers themselves transgender, whether they identify as a crossdresser, transsexual, transgenderist, intersexed, or are still discovering who they are, as well as their spouses, friends, and interested professionals. We have members across the entire transgender spectrum, with diverse backgrounds, occupations, and ethnicities. Renaissance is a non-profit educational organization under section 501[c](3) of the tax code. The Delaware chapter is one of 6 chapters of Renaissance around the country.
What’s your purpose?
We are here to help each other understand and express our gender identity, to gain self-acceptance, to reach out to others like ourselves, and to educate the professional community and the public at large about transgenderism.
What do you do?
We support transgender people through a variety of education, outreach, and social activities.
What can I expect?
We seek to provide a safe, secure, and supportive environment to all, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, or religion. Our meetings provide a place for our members to share their experiences and problems, and to obtain advice and encouragement. They are not a place for unaccompanied minors or mere curiosity seekers. We are not a dating service. The use of alcohol or drugs, sexual activity, and disruptive conduct are strictly prohibited at our functions.
When and where do you meet?
Our regular meetings are held on the second Saturday of each month at 8:30 pm at the First Unitarian Universalist Church on Halstead Road in Talleyville, Delaware. The doors open at 8:00 pm. Ample parking is available behind the church. The entrance to our meeting room is clearly marked and for our exclusive use.
How should I dress?
There is no dress code other than appropriate public attire. Facilities for changing clothes are available. No prior interview is required, and we will respect your desire for privacy. You may remain as anonymous as you wish. All we ask for is a name by which to call you. If someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, just say something like “I’m sorry, but I’d rather not say.” All personal information you provide is kept strictly confidential to chapter officers. You do not have be a member to attend, although after your first meeting, we do ask that you become a member, or donate $5 per meeting.
What does it cost?
Chapter dues help defray our expenses, such as meeting room and post office box rental, printing and postage, and refreshments. Our dues are $35 per year. Your membership begins when we receive payment. Each member receives our monthly newsletter, Delaware Renaissance. However, if you do not wish to receive mail, we will honor your request. Dues alone, however, are not enough to sustain the chapter. Everything we do is through the volunteer efforts of our members. We depend on the continued financial support of our members and friends to operate, but we will not turn anyone away for their financial hardship.
Are there other Renaissance groups in this area?
There are three other chapters in the region neighboring Delaware: Greater Philadelphia (King of Prussia, PA), Southeastern Pennsylvania (Mountville, PA), and Lehigh Valley (Bethlehem, PA). Members of each often attend meetings of the other chapters. Although each group has its own individual character, they all subscribe to the Renaissance mission of support, education, and outreach. Other chapters are located in New York and Louisiana.
What if I’ve never been out?
For many of us, attending our first group meeting was our first step toward understanding and self-acceptance. Nevertheless, that first time out can produce some anxiety. We understand, and we try to make everyone feel at home, regardless of their experience in public. It’s entirely normal to feel a little nervous about meeting a new group of people. We’ve all experienced it. New friends are waiting to meet you, and there’s a new world of gender expression to explore. All of our chapter activities are completely voluntary. You will never be asked to participate beyond your own comfort level.
How I can learn more?
If you’re still not sure if Renaissance is for you, give us a call at (302) 376-1990 (voice mail), write to us at Delaware Renaissance, PO Box 5656, Wilmington, Delaware 19808, e-mail us at the address at the top of this page, or browse the Renaissance National web site at www.ren.org. The information on this web page is also available in our brochure, which can be downloaded here. You really have nothing to fear and so much to gain!