The Voice - December 2011
The PrideCEnter Voice Winter Edition 2011
Senior Health Expo Pg.6 Community Day Pg.4 Breast Fest Pg.7 Founders Reception Pg.11 Center Launches Face 2 Face: Relevant Q-munity Conversations Feedback Forum Focuses on Brainstorming for the Future The Pride Center is looking for help as it plans for the future. The Center recently hosted “Feedback Forum,” the first event in a series called “Face 2 Face: Relevant Qmunity Conversations.” This ongoing series of dialogues brings together community members to discuss relevant issues in an open, safe space. Events in the series may feature interactive activities, panels of influential community members or controversial topics. Each event will invite and encourage those present to join in the conversation. Initial meetings, focus groups and events in the coming months will provide the Center the opportunity to listen and learn from the community. Through productive, interactive exercises, participants will share their passion and priorities for the future. Over fifty people attended the recent kick-off event including a large proportion of seniors. This number included 41 participants, seven staff members and three social work interns. Organizers structured the event’s fun exercises to focus on proactive brainstorming. Executive Director Paul Hyman shared that “voicing different opinions is often productive to overall understanding but can be counterproductive when it focuses on problems.” “Feedback Forum” provided participants the opportunity to respond to two separate but related surveys. The first survey sought feedback on the Center’s current programs and services and what should be continued. Top responses included the Center’s provision of a safe haven for LGBTQ people, the creative HIV/AIDS services including confidential testing, the PALS Project and the LIFE and CHOICES programs, seniors programs, the flea market, volunteer opportunities and the computer lab. The second survey sought feedback on what future programs and services the Center should pursue. Participants evaluated who should organize these programs, how they would be funded, what challenges they might face and how individual respondents could be involved. Cont’d On Page 3 Pride Center to Spearhead LBT Women’s Health Directory Aqua Foundation for Women Funds Community Collaboration Project Aqua Foundation for Women recently funded the Pride Center’s application to create a health directory for Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender (LBT) women. The Tri-County LBT Women’s Health Initiative will develop an online, searchable data base directory. This Initiative will help provide necessary tools for LBT health consumers to access healthcare without fear and social stigma by accessing culturally competent providers. “Aqua Foundation for Women chose the Pride Center because of their standing in the community, dedicated management team and well thought out plan for creating the directory,” says Robin Schwartz, Executive Director of Aqua Foundation for Women. The Initiative represents true community collaboration. The specific proposal grew out of long-standing discussions, planning and development with Women in Network (WIN) and SunServe. The three organizations will partner collaboratively with both Arrow and Blast to develop, organize and market the resource. “We’re honored to help organize a vast tricounty effort to provide this vital support resource for women's health,” says Kristofer Fegenbush, Deputy Director of the Pride Center. “We’re collaborating with dynamic groups and leaders who have dedicated years of energy, passion and service to the health of LBT women. All of us are committed to improving access to healthcare for women. We all are thankful to Aqua for backing this vision with their dollars.” The online directory will contain healthcare practitioners in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties including gynecologists, primary care physicians and mental health professionals who work with LBT women patients. The Initiative will establish a vetting process to ensure that providers demonstrate standards of evident cultural competency. After collecting, organizing the information, the Initiative will create a creative, user-friendly website to search the directory. The directory will include information on insurance accepted by providers and free and low-cost health providers. Women will have the opportunity to provide personal testimonials and feedback on any healthcare providers they visit through the website. “This directory is vitally needed within the LBT women’s community,” according to Denise Spivak, President of Women in Network. “LBT women often do not seek out medical care, for reasons that include discrimination, lack of understanding and lack of insurance. Having a resource that says to the community ‘these medical professionals understand and will treat you with care and respect’ speaks volumes and hopefully will make a profound difference in the way that LBT women view health care.” The Initiative also will focus on establishing and implementing a creative, inclusive marketing plan. Collaborating organizations want LBT women throughout South Florida to learn about and utilize the directory – including women who may not regularly access LBT publications, social groups, businesses or organizations. “The creation of a health directory for LBT women has been discussed for many, many years in our community,” says Schwartz. Cont’d On Page 3 2 A Letter From Paul Hyman Executive Director of Pride Center at Equality Park Among the Center’s volunteers, participants, members and staff, I am struck by our shared commitment to community service, the dignity and value of all people, healthy human relationships and organizational functioning, competence and integrity. As another year ends, we look back on the challenges that made us stronger, as well as our shared successes in achieving the work of our mission. Every day we encounter examples of the Pride Center’s impact on peoples’ lives. I am deeply moved by the stories of our clients and participants. Here are just a few examples: - John was homeless, unemployed and alone. A regular user of our free computer cyber center, he completed online training, conducted an online job search, started a new job and rented a room. - Diego wasn’t feeling well for several weeks and came to the Center for testing. When he learned that he was HIV positive, he “freaked out” at the news. A Center volunteer helped Diego obtain a case manager and primary care appointment as well as navigate him through the complex social security disability system. - Recently divorced from his wife of 45 years, Ed attended our weekly, Tuesday morning Coffee and Conversation events for seniors and connected with a friend he hadn’t seen in more than 30 years. It turns out that they have more in common than they initially realized. - Jennifer, 16, was kicked out of her parents’ home when she came out as a lesbian. On Jennifer’s request, the Center’s staff contacted Jennifer’s parents, invited them to the Center to become more educated about sexual orientation and connected the family with a skilled psychotherapist resulting in Jennifer’s return to her family’s home. There are many ways that we need to 2040 N. Dixie Highway, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33305 be more effective, as well. There is pain in our community that is deeply troubling. After 30 years of battling the HIV/AIDS pandemic, compared with national average, Florida has a greater number of people living with HIV/AIDS and who are victim to HIV-criminalization and being arrested because Florida’s laws are outdated and not based on modern day science. Florida falls short in its HIV/AIDS care, treatment and prevention programs. Florida bans evidence-based programs like syringe-exchange programs, despite the fact that they are proven to decrease the number of new HIV and Hepatitis-C infections. Florida ignores the realities of LGBT youth who are most at risk of infection by failing to establish a minimum state standard for sex education, inclusive of LGBTpeople. Florida fails to have a strategy to effectively reduce the number of HIV infections, reduce health disparities or improve access to care and health outcomes for people living with HIV. Florida has the greatest number of people on a waitlist to access HIV medications through the state’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). Among LBT women, there is an epidemic of deadly breast cancer that may relate to hormonal differences between women who do and do not reproduce. Additionally, insufficient levels of LBT cultural competence among medical professionals, compromises access to care for many LBT women. LBT sisters were at the forefront during the onset of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which affected disproportionate numbers of GBT men. It is time for a call to action in support of our LBT sisters in the Thanksgiving Food Drive Mail Correspondence to: P.O. Box 70518, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33307-0518 (954) 463-9005 • Fax (954) 764-6522 Email: info@PrideCenterFlorida.org Website: www.PrideCenterFlorida.org face of such a devastating and enduring legacy of breast cancer incidence and death. During the new year, in an effort to better understand and address the needs of our community, we will invite you to attend our newly begun series called “Face-2Face: Relevant Q-munity Conversations,” an ongoing series of community dialogues at The Pride Center. Face2Face aims to make a difference by bringing an inclusive array of community members together to discuss relevant, sometimes controversial issues, in an open and safe space. Each event will feature a panel of community members who will initiate a conversation then encourage and invite the audience to join in. Please join us! Your support of our programs and services in our state-of-the art facility really matters. Please take the opportunity to support our work in your year-end giving plans. The “Donate Now” tab on the right side of our website’s home page (www.PrideCenterFlorida.org) is eager to accept your credit card donation. Happy holidays and thank you for your support. We couldn’t do it without you. The Pride Center’s Varsity Club and Women in Network collaborated on a Thanksgiving Food Drive to benefit Poverello Food Bank. They collected more than 2,400 pounds of food. Many local residents experienced a happier, healthier holiday because of their work. Board of Directors Richard Stoll, Esq, President Ilene Berliner, Vice President Rick Shapiro, CPA, Treasurer Jim Walker, Secretary Ted Adcock Mitchell Bloom Robert Boo Chris Caputo Irwin Drucker Brenda Hartley Jack Johnson George Kling Lea P. Krauss, Esq, P.A. Donn Rubin Pride Center Staff Paul Hyman, MBA, LCSW, Executive Director, phyman@PrideCenterFlorida.org Kristofer Fegenbush, MSW, Deputy Director, kfegenbush@PrideCenterFlorida.org Janet Weissman, Business Manager, jweissman@PrideCenterFlorida.org Jorge Gardela, Health Outreach Director, jgardela@PrideCenterFlorida.org Frank Gurucharri, PALS Project Manager, fgurucharri@PrideCenterFlorida.org Samantha McCoy, Customer Service Coordinator, smccoy@PrideCenterFlorida.org Jeff Grigsby, LIFE Coordinator, jgrigsby@PrideCenterFlorida.org Magno Morales, CHOICES Coordinator, mmorales@PrideCenterFlorida.org Listron “Blue” Mannix, Minority Testing Initiative Manager, bmannix@PrideCenterFlorida.org Andres Santofimio, CRCS Counselor, asantofimio@PrideCenterFlorida.org Emilio Aponte, RESPECT Coordinator, eaponte@PrideCenterFlorida.org Albert Taylor, Health Coordinator, ataylor@PrideCenterFlorida.org S.F. Makalani-Mahee, Data Entry Specialist, smakalani-mahee@PrideCenterFlorida.org Michael Childers, LIFE Goes On Coordinator, mchilders@PrideCenterFlorida.org Daniel Dardenne, Testing Specialist, ddardenne@PrideCenterFlorida.org Shanna Ratliff, Information Analyst, sratliff@PrideCenterFlorida.org Cindy Shaw, Administrative Specialist cshaw@PrideCenterFlorida.org Charles Dickey, Health Counselor, cdickey@PrideCenterFlorida.org Yamil Cruz, Health Educator, ycruz@PrideCenterFlorida.org Gary Sheppard, Testing Specialist, gsheppard@PrideCenterFlorida.org Clarence Collins, Facilities Assistant, ccollins@PrideCenterFlorida.org Clifton Squire, Maintenance Technician, csquire@PrideCenterFlorida.org The Pride Center Voice Editor: Bob Kecskemety Design: Jarrett Terrill, Creative Director Production Manager: Kristofer Fegenbush Contributing Writers: Paul Hyman, S.F. Makalini-Mahee, Listron “Blue” Mannix, Bob Kecskemety, Kristopher Fegenbush, Samantha McCoy, and Michael Childers Photographers: Dennis Dean, Steven Shires, Luis Jimenez, Alex Quintero, Jorge Gardela, Samantha McCoy 3 Face 2 Face Cont’d Several categories of responses emerged, including: • Seniors’ services including calls for intergenerational get-togethers, emergency medical response resources and programs to reduce isolation and loneliness. • Creative programming including the improvement of existing programs like Pride University and the provision of new programs including parenting, sexual recovery, health referral, veterans and families/couples. Social opportunities including hosting movie nights, dances, music and • art exhibits. • Youth outreach – a passion for many seniors present. • Center infrastructure including paying off the mortgage, reviewing the mission statement and increasing creative fundraising. The Center will continue to promote upcoming events, focus groups and meetings in this series throughout 2012. “This was a great first step in a long, purposeful process,” says Deputy Director Kristofer Fegenbush. “We’re structuring these conversations to pursue positive outcomes, healthy interpersonal communication and respect for our diverse backgrounds and beliefs. I can’t wait to see where this takes us as a community and as a Center.” Women’s Health Directory Cont’d “Aqua Foundation for Women is proud to lead the charge and provide funding for this important work. The Pride Center along with WIN, Arrow, SunServe and Blast are the perfect collaboration to make this project a success. There is no doubt that having access to the information in the directory will save lives.” The Pride Center, and collaborating organizations, have already begun developing resources to collect and organize the information for the directory. They will reach out to the community throughout coming months to contribute to the success of the project. “The creation of an effective tri-county resource will require the collective efforts of everyone in our community,” says Fegenbush. “Spread the word to your friends and family! If you know culturally competent healthcare providers for LBT women, let us know. If you want to help collect and collate information, let us know. If you want to help market the directory creatively, let us know. We have to work together to get this information to women who need it.” In The Community And Beyond: An Update On HIV Testing at the Pride Center The Pride Center Testing (PCT) staff and volunteers have worked vigorously throughout the years and is overwhelmed with pride with their accomplishments. According to recent testing data released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, a total of 47,161 people have gotten tested for HIV/AIDS in the state of Florida from January 1st through June 30th, 2011 and PCT has contributed 1,705 to that number -- a little over 3%. As of November 30th, 2011, PCT has tested 3,155 people in the community and is aiming to reach a goal of 3,400 by the end of 2012. PCT has extended their services to the local universities, health fairs, a gentlemen’s club, a homeless shelter and drug recovery centers. They hope to continue to expand and serve the community which they love and in return have gotten immense support. PCT is always seeking men, women and transgenders to volunteer as Testing Counselors and Outreach workers. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Listron “Blue” Mannix at email@example.com. Pride Center Testing offers a free, confidential rapid HIV testing and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 4:30 p.m. at the Equality Park campus on Dixie Highway in Wilton Manors. For additional information, please email FreeHIVTest@pridecenterflorida.org or call (954) 566-3553. Elton John AIDS Foundation Funds Pride Center Program $50,000 will Enable the PALS Project to Expand Health and Prevention Services The Pride Center recently received a $50,000 grant from the Elton John AIDS Foundation to fund “LIFE Goes On,” a program of its well-known PALS (Positive Action for Living Safely) Project. The renewed funding will allow PALS to build on this year’s education programming. want to reach a broader, more diverse audience in terms of age, race, gender and ethnicity. We plan to fold more social activities and services into our drop-in living room. The BUDDIES Program will be expanded and continue to provide one on one support to those who need it.” For the first time in 2011, the Elton John AIDS Foundation funded “LIFE Goes On” to upgrade PALS’ service to the community through peer education, wellness seminars, provider training and a drop-in space. The Center saw an array of first-time events and services grow from this funding, including a BUDDIES program for people newly infected with HIV and a presentation series that included events such as Happy Hiney Health, Becoming Mr. Right, Sex Esteem and Healthy Happy Hour, a holistic health workshop. New education and coaching opportunities have allowed community members to develop behavioral health skills to enhance and protect their health and the health of their partners. Through this funding, LIFE Goes On will focus on six areas of service. First, they will enhance their existing PALS Partners Program that trains, certifies and supervises peer facilitators in specific skills to work in the community. Second, they will expand the Health BUDDIES program that provides social support, one-on-one coaching and service linkage to people newly infected with HIV. Third, they will continue the popular Health and Wellness Self-Management Series, offering cutting-edge, engaging workshops for the community. Fourth, they will upgrade the Peer Power Prevention and Support training events, peer-led workshops and support groups that focus on health enhancing topics. Fifth, they will provide Community Collaboration events to strengthen the cooperative network of services with other organizations and agencies in South Florida. Finally, they will improve the Living Room, a drop-in center that provides education resources, web access, social opportunities and personal encouragement. “I’m really excited to serve the community for another year,” says Michael Childers, LIFE Goes On Coordinator. “We plan for next year’s programming and presentations to be as dynamic as this year’s and to focus on topics no one else is talking about. We “Previously the PALS Project at the Pride Center provided HIV prevention and health promotion primarily to men already infected with the HIV virus. The Elton John AIDS Foundation allowed PALS to finally expand its HIV prevention to include those men who are risk but not yet infected,” says Frank Gurucharri, PALS Project Manager. “In addition, the Foundation has given us the opportunity to collaborate with numerous HIV/AIDS service organizations, youth programs, and both local and national businesses. Thank you, Sir Elton, you have allowed us to better serve more of our community.” For years, the Pride Center’s PALS Project has offered health education, wellness empowerment, risk-reduction counseling, service linkage, and emotional and practical support to the nearly 9,500 gay and bisexual men living with HIV in Broward County. Among its diverse array of services, PALS offers two well-known workshops: the five-week CHOICES program and the 17week LIFE Program. PALS helps men lead safer, richer lives. “The creative, passionate work of the PALS Project is more vital and needed than ever,” says Kristofer Fegenbush, Pride Center Deputy Director. “We live in a time of waiting lists for HIV medications and cuts to HIV care staffs and services. At the same time, Broward County unfortunately is a national leader in new HIV cases. The staff and volunteers who work with PALS represent a network of resources, support, service linkage, coaching and education that save lives daily. We're thankful the Elton John AIDS Foundation is investing in our capacity to continue and expand our service to so many people.” PALS’ LIFE and CHOICES programs are funded by the Florida Department of Health, Bureau of HIV/AIDS. 4 Community Day at The Pride Center On October 29, this community and family outreach day was a powerful collaboration with the Broward Sheriff’s Office which filled our campus with food, fire trucks, a mobile unit, a bounce house, a SWAT team and bomb squad, a K-9 team, family fingerprinting and more. There was also a packed children’s costume contest which was a collaborative effort with South Florida Family Pride. Groups at the Pride Center For further information call Samantha McCoy at 954-463-9005. Visit www.pridecenterflorida.org Calendar of Events for meeting room assignments. WEEKLY RECURRING MEETINGS • AA – Attitude Adjustment Group, Recovery, Monday - Friday, 7 - 8 a.m. • AA – Candlelight Meditation Group, Recovery, Tuesdays, 8:30-9:30 p.m. • AA – Each Day a New Beginning, Recovery, Daily, 9-10 a.m. • AA – Northeast Group, Recovery, Mondays 8:30 - 9:30 p.m. • AA – Sober, Proud and Gay, Recovery, Fridays, 8:30 - 10 p.m. • AA – Pride Meeting, Recovery, Daily, 5:45 - 6:45 p.m. • Coffee and Conversation – SAC, Social/Seniors, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m. - 12 noon • Gay Bridge Club, Fun, Monday & Friday, 1 - 4 p.m. • Gay Catholics Group, Spiritual, Tuesdays, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. • Gay Hearts, Social, Sunday, 1 - 3:30 p.m. • Man2Man Talk, Social, Monday, 7 - 8:30 p.m. • Monday Night Women's Group, Social, Mondays, 7:30 - 9 p.m. • Mary Kay for Men & Women, Social, Wednesdays, 7 - 9 p.m. • Narcotics Anonymous Rainbow Group, Recovery, Wednesdays, 8 - 9 p.m. • New Path Narcotics Anonymous Group, Recovery, Monday/Tuesday/Thursday, 7 - 8 p.m. • New Path Narcotics Anonymous Group, Recovery, Saturday/Sunday, 4 - 5 p.m. • Overeaters Anonymous, Recovery, Sundays, 12 noon - 1:30 p.m. • Overeaters Anonymous, Recovery, Fridays, 7:30 - 9 p.m. • Quick Tricks Duplicate Bridge Club, Social, Tuesdays, 6:30 - 10 p.m., Thursdays 7 - 10:30 p.m., Saturdays, 12:30 - 4p.m. • POZ Attitudes Here and Now, HIV Support, Wednesdays, 7 - 9 p.m. • Positive Connections, HIV Support, Tuesdays, 6:30 - 8 p.m. • SAGE Men’s Social, Social/Seniors, Wednesdays, 1 - 3 p.m. • Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA), Recovery, Fridays, 7 - 8 p.m. • Senior Exercise Class Health, Senior, Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 10:15 - 11:15 a.m. • Senior Exercise Class Health, Senior, Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. • Senior Gay Men’s Support Group, Support, Mondays, 11 a.m. - 12 noon • Smart Recovery, Recovery, Thursdays, 6:30 - 8 p.m. • Toastmasters, Educational, Mondays, 7:15 - 9:15 p.m. • Women's Non-Competitive Basketball, Social, Saturdays, 3 - 5 p.m. • Pride Center Young Adult Group, (23-35 yoa), Support, Thursdays, 8:30 - 9:45 p.m. BI-WEEKLY RECURRING MEETINGS • Ballet & Opera Group, Educational, 2nd & 4th Sunday, 1 - 4 p.m. • Bereavement Group, Support, 2nd & 4th Sunday, 2 - 4 p.m. • Bisexual Connections, Support, 1st & 3rd Wednesday, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. • Broward Anti-War Coalition, Support, 1st & 3rd Wednesday, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. • Double Winners, Support, Wednesdays, 5:45 - 6:45 p.m. • Games Day, Social, 2nd & 4th Tues, 1-4 p.m. • Lovers & Friends, Closed, 2nd & 4th Sunday, 1 - 4 p.m. • POZ Long-Term Survivor, Gay Men/HIV Support, 1st & 3rd Thursday, 6:30 - 8 p.m. • Senior Games Day, Social, 2nd & 4th Tuesday, 1 - 4 p.m. • Spirituality Think Tank, Spiritual, 2nd & 4th Thursday, 7 - 8 p.m. MONTHLY RECURRING MEETINGS/EVENTS • AVER (American Veterans for Equal Rights), Open to all Vets, 2nd Tuesday, 7:30 - 9 p.m. • Big Men’s Club: Chubbies & Chasers, Social, 3rd Saturday, 1 - 4 p.m. • Pride Center BINGO, Open to Public, 2nd Saturday, 7 - 10 p.m. • Dolphin Democrats, Monthly Meeting, 2nd Wednesday, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. • Lavender Speaks, Social, 3rd Thursday, 7:30 - 10 p.m. • Pride Center Memorial Garden Club, Educational, 3rd Wednesday, 7 - 9 p.m. • Pride Center Flea Market, Open to Public, 1st Saturday, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. • Primetimers, Open to Public, 1st Sunday, 2 - 4:30 p.m. • SAGE Computer Club, Educational, 2nd Wednesday, 4 - 6 p.m. • SAGE Movie, Social, 3rd Monday, 4 - 6 p.m. • S. F. Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf, Support, 1st Sunday, 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. • TERI Monthly Meeting, 3rd Monday, 6:30 - 8 p.m. • Transgender Support Group, Support, 3rd Friday, 7 - 8:30 p.m. • Women in Network, Social, 1st Wednesday, 7 - 9 p.m. 5 FINANCIAL HEALTH SERVICES INSURANCE BUSINESS DIRECTORY Above, see some of our valuable supporters. To become a Business Founder, please contact Paul Hyman: firstname.lastname@example.org 954-463-9005 MEDIA / DESIGN 6 Smart Ride 8 The Pride Center organized many groups at Equality Park including Women in Network (WIN), Church of the Holy Spirit Song and Camp 4 Health to unite together for the SMART Ride 8. This team represented a true community cooperation. Over two days in November, the team cycled 165 miles from Miami to Key West. They joined hundreds of others working together to raise awareness and much-needed funds to serve those impacted by HIV/AIDS. 100% of funds raised benefit HIV/AIDS service organizations. World AIDS Day Pride Center staff and volunteers walked in solidarity through Wilton Manors at the World AIDS Day Candlelight Vigil. Executive Director Paul Hyman delivered an impassioned, challenging call to action. The community continues to combat stigma and advocate for vital services for people living with HIV/AIDS. Senior Health Expo The Center hosted its annual Senior Health Expo on October 22 with various LGBTQ-friendly medical, professional and financial services that benefit seniors. This event was in collaboration with the Florida Assisted Living Coalition, SAGE and the Annie Appleseed Foundation. Over 30 exhibitors participated in this event and more than 200 people attended. Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner In the spirit of sharing and Thanksgiving, the Center invited the community to bring a dish to share. The Center provided 150 meals and a welcoming place to join together in Thanksgiving. In addition to the family-style sit-down meal, community members had the opportunity to share that for which they are thankful. 7 Breast Fest The Pride Center organized a creative day of celebration and education about breast health. Wilton Manors City Commissioner Julie Carson presented a Breast Cancer Awareness Month proclamation to the Pride Center. Over 75 people attended this event. Exhibitors included Care Resource, Broward Health, American Cancer Society and Gildaâ€™s Club. There were also gynecologist speakers and the John W. Nick Male Breast Cancer Foundation. Included in the event was the Breast Cancer Awareness fire truck and live performances by The Brass Knuckle Bombshells Burlesque Troupe. Evening In Paradise A new fundraising event on Saturday, November 5 benefited the Pride Center. Held at the beautiful home of Board Member Jim Walker and his partner, Lee Rubin. Evening in Paradise raised over $50,000. Irwin Drucker and Joe Guerrero co-chaired the party of the season alongside Lee and Jim. Over 70 individuals and businesses formed the host committee. Guests enjoyed open bar, food, music and entertainment. 8 Leather Pride Event On Thursday, October 2, in observance of Leather Pride in Fort Lauderdale, the Pride Center hosted the opening reception for the Leather Archives & Museum’s art exhibit, “Behind Closed Doors”. This event, part of The Leatherman’s Academy opening, warmly welcomed diverse members of the leather community to the campus of Equality Park. 9 Finding Mr. Right (Not Mr. Perfect) On September 8, the Center held a workshop entitled “Finding Mr. Right, Not Mr. Perfect” as part of the PALS Project’s “LIFE Goes On” program. Licensed psychotherapist, Richard Mayora led 70 participants through discussion and exercises that evaluated obstacles to finding healthy partnerships, taught simple skills to overcome social phobias and examined behaviors that prevent intimate connections with others. Regular Testing and Being Informed Can Save Your Life By Savier Arroyo My name is Savier Arroyo, I’m a 26-year old Hispanic male. When I was younger, I used to attend the youth goup meetings at the old Gay and Lesbian Community on Andrews Avenue which is now the Pride Center at Equality Park on Dixie Highway in Wilton Manors. Regularly appearing at the meetings was a Youth AIDS Testing Specialist who would inform the members about safe sex practices and urged us to get tested regularly. Though I should have, I admit I never really paid much attention to what he had to say – until I had a scare. After one of the meetings, I asked the Testing Specialist if I could be tested. Although it was “Becoming Mr. Right” On September 22, the Center presented “Becoming Mr. Right,” an interactive workshop that explored perceptions of self that block people from finding fulfillment. Our PALS Project’s “LIFE Goes On” program and presenter, Richard Mayora led 80 participants through a series of exercises designed to identify distorted thinking about selfimage and to devise a plan for esteem-building activities. Although I moved to a different state, whenever I visit South Florida, I am always compelled to visit the Pride Center and get tested once again and get updated on the latest sexual already late in the evening and the Center was about to close, I felt compelled to ask based on my situation. The tester led me upstairs and he conducted the rapid test. While we were waiting for the results, he reminded me to always use a condom, ask my partners about their status and, if all else fails, treat everyone as if they’re positive. After waiting for 20 minutes (which seemed like hours), my results were negative and five years later, I am still negative. And though I am always uneasy with the process, I still get tested about every six months. In the past year, I met a great guy and I encourage him to get tested along with me. health information. I’m very appreciative how they always treat me with respect and understanding. To this day, I’m proud to say, “Somos negativos.” 10 Courage To Change The Continued Journey of Self Discovery By Bishop S.F. Makalani Mahee I recently attended the 13th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance commemorating the violent deaths of transgender people across the world and I was absolutely blown away by the keynote address given by U.S. Congressman Alcee Hastings. Hastings’ impassioned words as he reflected on the change he has seen in South Florida, and particularly Broward County, as it has transitioned from segregated to progressive and the price paid by the oppressed and their oppressors. I got once again felt that oppression, in all of its forms, is inter-connected and that our actual fear of change is the very link to all forms of oppression. I write this for my beloved, family, friends and community as I am reflectively headed toward my 40th year on this planet and taking stock of what I desire for the next part of my life. I now realize that I can no longer live in the fear that has kept me from fully expressing myself as a transitioning transgendered man. Transitioning from a black feminist dyke to Black trans-man – who is still a feminist – isn’t something that many who know me saw coming. But, as my dad said, “who would really be surprised?” I have often said that being born female-bodied, raised in a single-parent household in an environment that lacked strong male representation but was rich in strong female role models, probably saved my life. Because of the tenacity of the womyn while growing up, I knew I could carve my own path which leads me to a fuller understanding of myself. My family is not losing the experience of me as a daughter/sister, my womyn sister/friends are not losing the experience of me as a feminist womyn and the community is not losing the experience of me as a “strong dyke,” but the new experiences of my now manifesting self would value the opportunity to be known as the man I feel blessed to be becoming. My Dad told me he felt that for himself “it’s not about who shows up at the table, but what they bring to the table.” Phil Wilson a leader I so value said, “People can’t love us if they don’t know us” and Congressman Hastings concluded his address that night with a call for “guts.” So, I answer the call of these men who I hold dear to have the guts to let people know who I am by bringing my fullest self to the table. May we all manifest courage for change. Founders List Platinum Level ($10,000 and above) Anonymous (2) Embassy Suites Hotel – Fort Lauderdale Hotspots! Magazine / Peter Clark James Laird Michael Trost Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation Diamond Level ($5,000 – $9,999) Anonymous (1) Arthur Smith, Esq. Dale Russell and Jan Carpenter David McLaren DC Allen and Ken Flick George Castrataro / Law GC Jim Stepp and Peter Zimmer The Kenneth S. Hollander Charitable Foundation Ron Ansin and Jim Stork Richard Schwarz and Tom Massey Slammer c/o Michael Horne South Florida Agenda & Mark Media Will Spencer / CAMP Inc. Gold Level ($2,500 – $4,999) A Celebration of Friends, Inc. AIDS Healthcare Foundation c/o Mark Martin Al Cicotti and Kevin Palombo / American Tax and Insurance Bayview Cadillac Bill Greeves and Robert Hubbard Bob Young City County Credit Union Coffee and Conversation Darren Frankenberger Darcy Beeman / Edward Jones Dave Litty /Agel Independent Diplomat Pharmacy Dolphin Democrats Doug Candler Doug Tinklepaugh and James Rickard / Pinnacle Constructors, LLC Ellen Krider / RBC Wealth Management Herbert Reis and William Coffey J. Alan Shemelya Jay Wilkinson, MD. Jeff Stirling / Sterling Tax and Accounting Maria Kondracki and Jim Dwyer Mark Budwig and Nick Scalzo / S.MarkGraphics Maura Lane and Ilene Berliner, Board Vice-President Metro Media Works / Chris Caputo Lisanne Cattoretti and Nicole Mannarino, Board Treasurer Robert Pavlick Ron Ansin and Jim Stork Ronnie Pryor / Source Salon Ted Emery Times Ten Creative c/o Lary Arnet and Keith Hasting Tracey Cramer / Ameriprise Victor Flores / Fast Printz Silver Level ($1,200 – $ 2,499) Anonymous (2) Adam Harpool Allied Kitchen & Bath Anthony Molluso and Bill Volbrecht Anthony Timiraos and Arthur Crispino Aseracare Home Health / MaryAnn Sannasardo, RN, BSN Bears of South Florida Best Buy Bill Linehan Boardwalk / Victor Zepka and Jim Kolkana Brenda Hartley / Bank United Bret Johnson and Adelio Orlando Brian Farley and Ron Alose Broward House Bruce Bogan / Planet Press Copy This Bruce Borger Bruce Lane Bruce Presley and Chris Hedlund Business & Professional Group – BPG Cal Harrison Carol Moran / New Moon Bar Carlos Perez Varela / The Peninsula Assisted Living Carmine Martorilli and Robert Poster Dr. Charmaine Johnson-Leong, DDS Charles Prather and Jack Johnson, Board Member Charles Walker Chris Dunham / Dunham Insurance Services Chuck Loring Church of the Holy Spirit Song Cliff Pettit and Chip Matza Cole Wolford, MD and Steven Schmidt Craig Benoit / Challenges Treatment Center Dan Michael Daniel J. O’Flaherty and Mario Flores Daniel Pye and Peter Mangone Dave Starkey and Arianto Sumargo Dave Stubbins David Bebbington David Guzman, Board Member David King c/o Hospice of Broward County David McConnell David Moon and Eugene Smith Dennis Fitzkee and Bernie Langeluttig Dominick Destefano and Mark Freeman Don Barlow Don Kramer Donald Croxton and Douglas Pew Donald Lucas Downtown Events Ed Garcia Designs Ed Nicholas and Chris Griswold / Eastside Property Management Edwin Mayer and Didier Moritz Enbar Cohen Eric Reivik and Andy Harrison / PC Lauderdale Forest Trace – Luxury Resort Adult Community Foxtail Landscape Solutions c/o Michael Haigh Fred Berger and Ken Merrifield Fred Goodyear Fred Wahl Gables Wilton Park Apartments Gary Farmer Jr. Gary Kempler Dr. Gary Richmond and Vernon Appelby Geph Scarr / Scarr Insurance Gerald Byers and Rudy Wengenroth Gerald S. Hirschtritt / Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate George Douglas and Ray Wieder George Kling, Board member Glenn Goldberg Greg Dudzek and Jayant Goyle Greg Hardy and Rick Soloway / Solutions Insurance Services Greg Moore and Allan Barsky Hal Feldberg Hans Hochkamp and Joseph DeBacco Irwin Drucker, Board Member Dr. J. Michael Heider and Thom Carr / Ultimate Smile Dental Jack Schlossberg James Burroughs James Gigliello James Jagielski James A. Johnson Jared Falek Jason Burns and Nathan Brunner Jason King and AJ Alegria Jeff & Mei Sze Greene Foundation, Inc. Jeff Maisonette and David Feinberg, Board Secretary Jeffrey Gross Jeffrey and Belinda Shover Jim Doan and Ron Norwood Jim Pierce / Pierce Aire, Inc. Joanne Hayes / BugJuice Media Joe Guerrero Joe McConnell Joe Pallant and Danny Selvin John Bolton John Jovanovich and Paul Holoweski John Leyden and Tom Valentine John Ramos and Tim Caldwelll Jorge Ajuria, MD Julia Landis and Shawn Fanshier Ken Kalederian Ken Keechl and Ted Adcock, Board Member Ken Moore and Hector Valdes Ken Tewel and Ron Duran Kent McIntyre and John Tambasco Kevin Murdoch and Drew Miller Lawrence Gordon Law Office of Cal Steinmetz Law Office Of Gregory W. Kabel Lea P. Krauss Esq, Board Member Lee Rubin and Jim Walker Lynn Corning / KL Corning, Inc. Lyons, Snyder & Collin, P.A. Mark Gordon and Aldo Buono Marc Grossman Mark Halacy and Tom Pollock Mark Kasper Mark Ketcham and Werner Lutz Dr. Mark Schweizer and Robert Voelker Mark Turner and Chuck Nicholls Mase Varley / Gecko Plumbing, Inc. Mayor’s Jewelry c/o Mick Howard and Brian Jackson Michael Preihs and Khoi Luong Michael Dane / Senior Living Finders Mike Dager and Harvey Shapiro Mitchell Bloom and Paul Wardell Dr. Neel Amin and Tom Macek Neelie Sacharow Neill Hirst MD and Greg Hughes Norman Berkowitz Northern Trust Bank Norton C. Lyman and Kimeo Sato Paul Alpert Paul Hyman and Bill Bracker Paul Jennings Paul Rubenstein Peter Hardy-Smith and Steven Devito Randy Grant and Bruno Trambusti Regions Bank c/o Charles Lane Richard Nolan and Robert Pingpank Richard Safaty / Freedom Travel Richard Sargent and Peter Genovese, MD Richard Stoll, Esq., Board President Robert Boo, Board Member Robert Collier, M.D. and Charles Hunziker Robert Joshua / The Joshua Tree Robert Kuhn and Steven Geyer Rodney White and Michael Williams Rose La Femina / Akerman – Senterfitt Rosie’s Bar and Grill Royce Willie Russell Sassani MD and Michael Schneider/Take Shape Plastic Surgery PA Stephen Banigan and Bill Van Scoy Stephen Cox / Networkx Stephen Driscoll and Robert Tocci Stephen Gerben and Robert Buckley Steve Barnard Steve Harmon and Donn Rubin, Board Member Steve Shires Photography Steven and Thomas Begert-Clark Steven James / Tower Entertainment Steven C. Lowensten / Five Dollar Fund of the Community Foundation Sumner T. White Ted Schultz Terry Stone and Mike Bush The Pride Institute c/o Fort Lauderdale Hospital Group Rev. Thomas Millner and Raymond Garassino Tim Marshall / Copy Source Tim Singer and Richard Cascarelli TD Bank Tom Runyan / Runyan Law Firm, P.A. Tyler Healis Will Mazza and Shawn McCormack / King’s Cup Dr. Will Richardson / Natura Dermatology W. Lynn McLaughlin and David Webb William Cudequest William Thornton and Adam Kratochwill Join the Pride Center’s Founder’s Circle! Support the programs and services of the Pride Center. For more information, please contact Executive Director, Paul Hyman. PHyman@PrideCenterFlorida.org 11 Founders Reception at Richardson House Wilton Manor’s historical Richardson House hosted our October thank you reception for financial supporters of the Center. The funds donated by Founder’s Circle members underwrite vital programs and services to the community. Photo credit: Steven Shires National Latino AIDS Awareness Day The Pride Center hosted the second Latino HIV/AIDS Leadership Summit on October 13 and 14. More than 140 community leaders were present and ready to obtain the skills and tools needed to integrate new HIV/AIDS treatment information into their existing services. The Summit was organized by a partnership between Latinos en Acción of Broward County, the Pride Center and the Florida Department of Health with the Capacity Building Assistance Program at the Latino Commission on AIDS. The main goal of the Summit was to increase Latinos’ access to medical care and become a partner in making decisions in the provision of their healthcare. Local community members engaged program managers and HIV/AIDS providers in an open conversation about the needs in HIV prevention, care and advocacy in our Latino communities. The Summit was held in recognition of National Latino AIDS Awareness Day 2011. 12 Sex Esteem What blocks us from having great sex? On November 14, presenter Angelo Pezzote helped a group of 30 men answer that question with his Sex Esteem workshop, organized and sponsored by the Centerâ€™s PALS Project. Angelo guided participants through different exercises aimed at exploring the different reasons we let external issues and influences stop us from discovering true intimacy with a partner.