Michael Melsheimer

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Michael Melsheimer during a filming (at that point, he was suffering from advanced Emphysema)

Michael F. Melsheimer (August 21, 1942, Jacksonville, FL - July 15, 2010) was a self-identified MAP, Teen Boy Lover, former YMCA director[1] and cofounder of B4U-ACT with Russel Dick - a Social Worker. Having been known as "lek" for some time on BoyChat and the LifeLine chat, Melsheimer had faced legal troubles and experienced the "sexual offender treatment" system firsthand. He was praised upon his passing in 2010,[2][3] and was also described as stubborn and cantankerous in character - particularly towards the end of his life.[4] These characteristics, and his history in the system likely motivated the decision to set up B4U-ACT. In 2009, we documented Melsheimer's attempts to obtain information about the tax-exempt status of Perverted Justice in our webmagazine.

B4U-ACT remember him as so:

He spent his career working in the social services sector. In 1993, he moved to Maryland to seek mental health services from Dr. Fred Berlin in his effort to live authentically and productively as an "out" MAP. Through his volunteer work at a state psychiatric hospital, he met Russell Dick, then a social worker at the hospital, who went on to become the Director of Social Work. As the two of them became close friends, they became convinced of the need for a non-profit organization to promote the understanding and humane treatment of minor-attracted people within the mental health field. In 2002, Mike launched a one-man campaign which incessantly challenged the Maryland Mental Hygiene Administration (as it was called at that time) to identify a single mental health practitioner or agency in the state that publicly advertised services for "persons like myself" before they broke the law. His dogged persistence resulted in a small annual grant from the state to establish and maintain B4U-ACT, develop a hotline to connect MAPs with therapists in Maryland, and sponsor workshops for practitioners. Mike also successfully procured from the IRS the 501(c)3 status for the organization. Mike's advocacy work was not limited to MAPs. His volunteer work at the Maryland state psychiatric hospital involved championing the rights of the patients there. He also received local media coverage for calling public attention to safety issues at the low-income housing complex for senior citizens in which he lived. After serving as Director of Operations for B4U-ACT for seven years, Mike's deteriorating health forced him to step down, but he continued to influence the organization's vision and direction by participating in its events as much as he could.[5]

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