Jacqui Grant and Carmen at Rupe's 75th birthday celebration. The legitimacy of the setting up of a charitable trust in memory of the late Carmen Rupe, and of at least one person associated with establishing the trust, have been questioned by one of Carmen's oldest friends. In a long posting on a Facebook profile established well before Carmen's death in Sydney in late December and operated on her behalf by Sydney woman Pindi Hurring, Hokitika-based 'Tranny Granny' Jacquie Grant has publicly questioned the motives and involvement of a woman understood to have been Carmen's neighbour, Kelly Glanney. A statement released mid-last week announcing the formal establishment in Sydney of the Carmen Rupe Memorial Trust provided Glanney's name and contact details for enquiries and said that she was "Carmen's neighbour and former legal guardian" who "lead (sic) the team working to establish the charity envisaged in Carmen's will." It also says that Glanney directs the Trust's advisory committee. In the Facebook posting, made around the same time the Trust announcement was made and in which it says its Deed of Settlement was finalised on March 1st, Grant questions whether Glanney was sufficiently close to Carmen to be involved in the Trust or its objectives. "For some time now I have been concerned at the controversy, innuendo, and evasiveness surrounding the proposed Trust in our friend Carmen’s name, and the involvement of the person called Kelley Glanney in the formation and establishment of the CRMT," says Grant. She says she never heard Carmen ever mention Glanney during all the twenty years Glanney is said to have been Carmen's neighbour. "The question I have heard the most often during Carmen’s illness and eventual death was 'Who is this Kelly Glanney person?' The most people I heard ask were the very people who actually should have known, her long term closest friends. If I was asked that once I was asked a hundred times over the three day period of the Tangi." Grant says that Glanney was not at Carmen's birthday celebration in October last year, a major milestone in Carmen's declining months. She says that when she asked Carmen at the celebration who Glanney was the frail transgender icon "giggled and said 'Kelly who?'" As for the Carmen Rupe Facebook profile through which Carmen's friends and those interested in her life and well-being were kept appraised of her progress, especially as she herself became increasingly debilitated, and which is still operating as a tribute site, Grant claims that Glanney has tried to have it shut down. GayNZ.com Daily News understands from sources close to Glanney and Pindi Hurring, who still manages the Facebook profile, that relations between the two are strained. Grant also accuses Glanney of insensitivity at the funeral to "the same Trans Sisters who had not long finished dressing and doing Carmen’s make-up." And she is questioning whether Carmen even made a wish in her will for a trust to be set up and whether there was sufficient public consultation around the Trust's objectives." She says she has asked for documentary proof of Carmen's wishes as said to be in her will but this has not been provided. Grant is critical of rapidity with which the Trust was established "with only minimum consultation and little or no representation from the Trans community." "I strongly feel advertising on a few Facebook pages asking for input is not now and never will be adequate consultation to decide what parameters and objectives are needed for a publicly funded body like the CRMT. One must consult extensively with the proposed beneficiaries," Grant says. Of the three of six proposed trustees named so far Grant says that Glanney "has manipulated and fallen out with all Carmen’s old and genuine friends, the same people who were to be the Trustees of the CRMT, only to replace them with unknown attorneys and accountants. The social worker I do not know so cannot make comment there." "Given the level of upset on both sides of the Tasman from Carmen’s friends and acquaintances regarding the actions of Kelley Glanney towards many in the Trans community over this affair I call on Kelley to stand down from the Trust and for the Chair to put all business of the CMRT on hold until the one year anniversary of Carmen’s death when, after the unveiling in line with Maori protocol, a Hui could be held to look at advancing it at that time," Grant requests. She ends the posting: "All I want to know is just who is Kelley Glanney?" GayNZ.com Daily News contacted Glanney late last week but has not yet received a formal response to Grant's questions and allegations. You can discuss this New Zealand gay community news story in the GayNZ.com Forum.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Tuesday, 27th March 2012 - 7:42pm
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