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M A G A Z I N E SUMMER 2014
MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF A NEW ERA
September 5-7, 2014 YOUâ€™RE ABOUT TO HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE! Join a group of other fun, adventurous people leaving Burbank Airport on a flight to Sacramento and a luxury bus ride to a camp, for the start of an amazing whitewater rafting adventure down the American River. This summer itâ€™s an ALL NEW Rapid Quest sponsored by Wells Fargo. Your trip costs are paid (except for a small registration fee) so you can concentrate on your fundraising for the Los Angeles LGBT Center's homeless youth & senior programs. We make it easy for each participant to raise at least $1,250 with our sample email messages and customized web tools. Early registration is only $99. Sign up today to lock in this low price!
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On Hire Ground
CENTER’S YOUTH GAIN VALUABLE CAREER SKILLS
A POWERHOUSE COUPLE INVESTS IN THE CENTER
Starting a (R)evolution
IT’S A BOLD, NEW ERA FOR THE CENTER
MEET THE CENTER’S NEWEST BOARD MEMBER
A Capital Vision
Why I Give
SETTING OUR SIGHTS ON A NEW SITE
A SPECIAL COLUMN FROM NBA PLAYER JASON COLLINS
GETTING REAL ABOUT SEX
subscriptions Vanguard is published quarterly by the Los Angeles LGBT Center, a nonprofit corporation. 1625 N. Schrader Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, Voice 323-993-7400 • TDD 323-993-7698. Copyright 2014, Vanguard. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA. Publication of the name, quotation or photograph of a person in articles or advertising is not an indication of the sexual orientation or the HIV status of such person. Moving, getting duplicate mailings or wish to be removed from the Vanguard mailing list? Call us at 323-993-7620 or visit lalgbtcenter.org/newsletter
OUR FUTURE! Lorri L. Jean, CEO
What does it mean to be an LGBT organization today, as we make progress towards legal equality at breakneck speed? What does that progress portend for the future of LGBT organizations? If we achieved full equality under the law tomorrow, would it mean that LGBT organizations are no longer necessary? These are the kinds of issues that my colleagues and I around the country are thinking and talking about a lot these days, in part because media are often posing the question: “Now that you have marriage equality, is there still a need for LGBT organizations?” A local version of that question is “Do we really still need an LGBT center in a city as progressive as Los Angeles?” These are legitimate questions for movement leaders and supporters to ponder. For those of us who plan strategically for the long term, which is certainly true of the Center’s board and staff, they’re especially important. And, I think our Center is better positioned than most to have an educated perspective on these issues. First, since our founders began providing services in 1969, we’ve been around longer than virtually every other LGBT organization. Second, we live in a state whose laws have provided virtual legal equality for years (I say “virtual” because while we’ve had registered domestic partnerships, we didn’t have marriage permanently until a year ago). As to the question of equality, it’s important to remember that LGBT people are a long way from having full legal equality in the United States (with protections for transgender people lagging much farther behind). Even if the freedom to marry was the law of the land, we still aren’t protected from discrimination under federal law. In fact, the only federal law to protect LGBT people that is even under serious consideration is the current version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, deeply flawed because of its broad religious exemption. Plus, it applies only to discrimination in employment. What about federal protection in other areas like housing and 4
public accommodations—the kinds of protections that other minority groups enjoy? Don’t LGBT people deserve the same protections as everyone else? Regardless, in terms of assessing the likely impact of legal equality on the lives of LGBT people, one need only turn to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Act prohibits all discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex and national origin. It became law one year after the Equal Pay Act which was designed to stop wage differentials based on sex.These vitally important laws were passed 50 years ago. But did they put an end to race discrimination? Do African-Americans have actual equality today? Are women paid equally? The answer to these questions is an indisputable NO. Legal equality is a crucial step in the progress of any social justice movement, but it does not result in actual equality. Clearly, no matter what the laws say, changing society takes time. So, too, will it take time for LGBT people to actually be treated as equals when the day finally comes that we have managed to achieve full legal equality. But we needn’t go back 50 years or look to other oppressed groups to see what the impact of legal equality might be on LGBT people or organizations. Nationally, in the last 20 years, we’ve made enormous progress in state and local laws prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people. During that time, the number of LGBT community centers in the country has nearly tripled. Here in California, which was the first state to legalize domestic partnerships between same-sex couples (in 1999), we achieved virtual legal equality in 2003 when California laws added protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. During this same period, the visibility of LGBT people in the media has been unprecedented. The impact of this breathtaking progress upon the Center has been the exact opposite of a diminution in demand for services. Instead, it’s as if our success and increased visibility have made LGBT people more willing to come to the Center for help than ever before. In fact, we’ve seen a virtual EXPLOSION in this regard. Several years ago, we welcomed people at a rate of 25,000 client visits every single month.Today we’re serving our community at a rate of more than
42,000 client visits every month! This staggering number includes almost 3,000 visits by LGBT youth and more than 2,200 visits by seniors, all seeking our help; 11,500 people who come to The Village for everything from an evening with Liza Minelli to meeting with a 12-step program; almost 17,000 medical and mental health visits (including the pharmacy); and thousands more in our other programs. Plus, we receive more than 6,200 calls every month for information and referral! Based upon this experience and what we’ve seen with other social justice movements, I believe that it will be decades—after full legal equality is achieved—before the Center will see any significant reduction in demand for our services. Fundamentalist religious leaders and their followers continue their attacks against us and, in some parts of the country, have successfully slowed our advances toward full equality. The same is true for some arms of the Republican Party. Late in April, the Maine Republican Party adopted a platform opposing the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in spite of the fact that marriage has been legal in Maine for more than a year.
of our most vulnerable populations: youth and seniors. Moreover, by moving our headquarters to the new campus, it will enable our McDonald/Wright Building to become entirely a health and medical center, with room to meet growing demands (some attributable to Obamacare). By raising capital dollars to purchase and build the site, rather than leasing more space and paying ever-increasing rental costs, we will create a permanent organizational asset.We’ll also be able to continue operating with a lean overhead rate, meaning that the vast majority of non-capital donations will continue to go directly to services. Even if we end up carrying a mortgage for a portion of the costs, it will be FAR cheaper than leasing comparable space. No one in the LGBT world has ever dared to create something like our new project. It should be no surprise that the Los Angeles LGBT Center is the organization to conceive of something so groundbreaking. Our 45-year history is replete with pioneering accomplishments both in building programs and the structures to house them. And there isn’t a community of donors anywhere in our movement that is as visionary and generous as ours. They enabled us to succeed with the very first capital campaign ever done in the LGBT world. We then shared our experiences with others who wanted to raise money for their buildings, helping them to succeed, including the New York LGBT Center and the Human Rights Campaign.
Unlike organizations focused, for example, on pro-LGBT legislation, whose work will mostly be done once equal laws are firmly secured (which is unlikely to happen nationally), service organizations like the Center will still be necessary to assist those harmed by a society that continues to treat LGBT people poorly. It will remain important to provide high “When we’ve succeeded, we not quality health and social services to our only will have the capacity to serve community in a safe and accepting enviso many more members of our ronment. Many LGBT people are most community who need us the most, comfortable coming for care to a place we will have created an example they know understands them.
This will be our third capital campaign in 22 years. Already our truly amazing and generous supporters have broken all records for LGBT capital campaigns. I’m thrilled to tell you for the world of what the LGBT that before we went public with the Sadly, I have no doubt that conservacommunity and our allies can do campaign late in May we have topped tive religious parents will continue to the $19 million mark! In addition, never when we set our minds to it.” expel their LGBT children.We also before in the Center’s history had a know that LGBT seniors for several genliving donor made a seven-figure gift erations will continue to be far less likely (although, a handful have passed this than their straight counterparts to have mark in cumulative giving). As a result of this campaign, so far kids or grandkids who can help care for them.Transgender people will we have SEVEN pledges at or above $1 million, led by Honorstill need access to culturally competent medical, mental health and ary Campaign Chair Anita May Rosenstein and the Wilbur May employment services. Many LGBT people will continue to grow up Foundation. internalizing messages of shame and rejection and will need help to accept themselves in healthy ways. In fact, the momentum of client visits to the Center is increasing at ever growing rates. For example, we are regularly experiencing “all-time highs” in the numbers of homeless youth who seek our help each day and people who come to our health center each month. In an effort to respond to such demand, and at the urging of government funders, the Center has been growing by leaps and bounds, far surpassing the 20 year growth trends that we used several years ago to project our space needs.Today, we are virtually out of space in all of our facilities.We’ll soon have 500 staff! To accommodate them all, we’ll almost certainly have to lease space before our new building opens. The new facility we’re building (see story on p. 15) will not only be historic, it will make possible a truly unprecedented range of services in one campus location—the most comprehensive range of programs and services specifically for LGBT people that are available anywhere. Most important, it will enable dramatic expansion of services to two
And it’s a good thing, too, because this is a huge project. Our costs are estimated to be $35-$40 million (excluding the $35 million in government and developer funding streams for the multigenerational affordable housing complex). Our dream is to raise enough money to be mortgage free on our part by the time the campaign pledges are paid.To get there, of course, we have a great deal of work to do, all while continuing to provide the life-changing and life-saving services for which the Center is so well known.With our success—to date—in developing an inclusive name and a stunning new logo, we’re well on our way. When we’ve succeeded, we not only will have the capacity to serve so many more members of our community who need us the most, we will have created an example for the world of what the LGBT community and our allies can do when we set our minds to it. Thank you to everyone who will support us in this exciting and historic endeavor. I’ll look forward to celebrating with all of you at the ribbon cutting in 2018! Summer 2014
DUO Longtime Center supporters Daniel Fast, M.D., and Tom O’Brien are like two peas in a pod—and it’s not just because they’ve been together as a couple for 25 years. When they began dating in 1989, they discovered their mutual admiration for the Center. Each of them had been a generous supporter of the organization for several years, spanning as far back as 1979. “In 1973 I visited Los Angeles for the first time and decided to check out the Center. At the time, it was known as the Gay Community Services Center located on Wilshire Blvd.,” Fast recalls.“The Center was much smaller— taking up only two floors of a small building. How they managed to fit all those services into that teeny building was amazing!” Three years after his visit, Fast moved to L.A. to begin his psychiatric residency at the University of Southern California, where he became actively involved with a professional association for gay doctors. Many of the group’s members referred their patients to the Center, which by then had moved to Highland Ave. “Even during its early years, the Center has always been well managed, which convinced me to start supporting it financially,” says Fast. “To me, the Center is like a family home doing great things for all walks of life. I’m proud that my money is invested in one of the most generous places I know.” O’Brien was introduced to the Center in 1987 shortly after moving to Los Angeles. Ed Gould—the namesake of The Village at Ed Gould Plaza—invited him to be a guest at his 6
by Gil Diaz photograph by Matthew Baume
table for the Center’s Anniversary Gala that year. O’Brien was astounded by the vast array of services the Center provided to the gay community, prompting him to become a donor. “Whenever I give my money to the Center, I know I’m helping so many people, of all ages, who have a variety of needs,” says O’Brien, a vice president at E! Entertainment.“By supporting the Center, I’m helping the entire L.A. community. I believe in strengthening my neighbors—whether or not they identify as LGBT—and even if I’ve never met them.” The pair credit the Center’s stellar leadership for steering it in the right direction, especially after the AIDS crisis began. Many gay men were dying with nowhere—or no one—to turn to for help except, says O’Brien, the Center. “At the time, we couldn’t rely on government to take action, so the Center redefined itself and embraced a much larger mission,” says O’Brien. “The Center developed spectacularly into what it is today by taking care of the LGBT community.” The couple—who legally wed in July 2013—is so enamored by the Center that they promote it whenever they can.This year they signed up to be table hosts for the annual Get Centered! Luncheon, an annual event in which people who have toured the Center are invited to learn more about its program and services. “When you take a Get Centered! Tour and meet some of the homeless youth who are staying in the Transitional Living Program, their perseverance really knocks you out,” O’Brien says.“You realize the Center is the one place where they can become stronger.” Now with more than 450 staff members and 3,000 volunteers, six facilities, and more than 42,000 client visits each month, the Center has evolved significantly since the early ‘70s. With deep appreciation, this dynamic duo continues to support the Center as Gold Circle and Circle of Life donors. “Many members of the LGBT community don’t realize there’s a great number of youth—not to mention LGBT immigrants—who need our support more than ever,” says Fast.“For every kid who’s kicked out of his or her home simply for being gay, bisexual, or transgender, the Center will be here for them. And we will be here for the Center.”
Tom O’Brien (left) and Daniel Fast (right) photographed in their home, April 2014
WHENEVER I GIVE MY MONEY TO THE CENTER, I KNOW I’M HELPING SO MANY PEOPLE, OF ALL AGES, WHO HAVE A VARIETY OF NEEDS.” Tom O’Brien
Pay It Forward The Center invites you to become a Sustaining Donor and/or a Circle of Life member. As a Sustaining Donor, you help the Center to continue providing its life-changing services and programs for our community. By becoming a member of the Center’s Circle of Life, you become part of a legacy of strength and inspiration for future generations. By leaving a gift to the Center, you ensure that the wealth you created will continue to make a difference in the quality of life for LGBT people for years to come. There is no gift too large or too small for the Center! To receive more information on making a gift, or to obtain confidential advice about any aspect of your estate planning, please contact Nellie Sims, Director of Planned Giving, at 323-993-7691 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(R)EVOLUTION New Name, Bold Plans for the Center’s Future
With $35 in the bank, the “Gay Community Services Center” files its incorporation papers, opens its first “Liberation House” for homeless LGBT people, and rents its first headquarters at 1614 Wilshire Blvd., where it provides services including counseling, family services, and a “V.D. Clinic.”
Annual budget is $42,000 and services are provided by an all-volunteer staff. The Center establishes the world’s first lesbian health clinic staffed by volunteer lesbian medical professionals.
A loose association of activists begin volunteering to provide mental health support and referrals to LGBT people and discuss the concept of a Gay Community Center.
As demand for help grows, the Center’s founders create the Gay Survival Commitee to better respond.
IRS denies the Center’s application for non-profit status at the IRS building in Hollywood, explaining the Center is “neither benevolent nor charitable” because it serves homosexuals.
Appeal of IRS decision is successful: Center becomes first openly LGBT organization to receive tax-exempt status.
by Jason Howe
The Center moves to what was formerly a motel at 1213 N. Highland Ave. It receives the first federal grant ever given to an LGBT organization: $1 million for alchoholism services for women.
(R)evolution 82-year-old Vicki Pacifico settles into a folding chair in a classroom at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, chatting with her friend Janet and other seniors who are part of her Stagebridge theater class. She checks a few sheets of music in a black binder. Then she and the others begin to chant: “Bravo, bravisimo… in veritas,” as they warm up. About a mile away, 23-year-old Robbie Carlysle shows up for an interview at the Center’s McDonald/Wright headquarters. He doesn’t stop at reception for directions; after all, he used to live here. Vicki’s relationship with the Center dates back more than 40 years, far longer than Robbie has been alive. But the two represent the arc of the Center’s evolution and the ongoing process of reimagining itself time and again to keep up with the changing needs and priorities of the community it serves.
The Center expands to 85 full-time employees and 13 programs.
The Center opens first HIV testing site in California which quickly becomes nation’s largest. The Center opens Citrus House behind its Highland Ave. building, the first transitional living home for LGBT youth. Budget is $2.5 million with 58 full time employees and 21 government grants.
The Center opens the first foster home for LGBT youth, which spins off into Gay & Lesbian Adolescent Social Services three years later.
First “official” report comes out about Gay-Related Immune Deficiency or “GRID,” now known as AIDS. One of the men featured in the report is a patient of the Center’s venereal disease clinic.
300 Americans have been diagnosed with AIDS; 119 have died. First Los Angeles AIDS death was a client of the Center’s clinic.
The Center secures first grant to provide services for LGBT youth—$6,000 from Los Angeles County—at a time when most LGBT organizations are afraid to work with youth.
Name changes to Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center.
Now is one of those times of change.
The Center is the first LGBT organization to create a planned giving program with the first $1 million commitment from board member Duke Comegys.
To help fund it, the Center launched the largest capital campaign in the history of the LGBT movement (see p.15). While the Center has been helping homeless youth since 1969, providing a “crash pad” for them to sleep, this is the first time it will offer permanent, affordable housing in a facility designed for that purpose. The units will add to those acquired in April, when Gay and Lesbian Elder Housing (GLEH) became part of the Center’s Senior Services Department (see p. 20), and the Center assumed management of GLEH’s 104-unit Triangle Square in Hollywood.
The Center’s budget is $4.4 million. It serves 40,000 clients and provides 240,000 phone referrals each year.
The Center opens Jeffrey Goodman Special Care Clinic to expand its free and comprehensive earlyintervention HIV/AIDS medical care.
Pacifico first stepped across the threshold of the rickety, rented Victorian that served as the Center’s headquarters in 1973. It had only been four years since an informal group of activists, including LGBT rights pioneers Morris Kight and Don Kilhefner, had begun offering help to LGBT people in need. Their “Gay Survival Committee” soon became so overwhelmed with demand that they began seriously planning for a center that would provide a wide range of services to a community still brutalized not only by the Los Angeles Police Department but also by society at large. In 1971 they incorporated as the Gay Community Services Center with $35 in the bank. By her first visit, the Center was already serving some 6,000 people a month through a gay men’s STD clinic and another medical clinic exclusively for lesbians, six “Liberation Houses” for homeless gay youth and adults, legal services, peer counseling for the trans
The Center begins first capital campaign in history of the LGBT movement and by early ‘90s raises approximately $7 million, paving the way for purchase of 1625 N. Hudson St.—ironically, the old IRS building.
The Center’s Senior Services program now serves three times the number of clients than just a few years ago, and the population of LGBT people over the age of 50 is predicted to double by 2030. Meanwhile, more homeless youth than ever are seeking the Center’s help. Recently, the Youth Center on Highland saw a
The Center’s Audre Lorde Lesbian Health Clinic opens and serves more than 350 clients in its first year. First California AIDS Ride raises over $1 million for the Center’s HIV/AIDS services with the support of 500 riders.
community, and drug and alcohol addiction services. But for Pacifico, fresh out of a painful breakup, the draw was the simple companionship she found in the Center’s “women’s consciousness raising” sessions. “Women were sitting around on the floor with their backs against the wall,” she said. “They would talk about how they felt about themselves, how they felt about their bodies, how they felt about being there for each other instead of ripping each other apart. You were there to make friends, and it was wonderful.” But while Pacifico and thousands of women like her found a supportive environment at the Center, lesbians weren’t reflected in the organization’s name until 1980. And, despite the many services available to them, bisexuals and the transgender community weren’t represented in the name at all. That changed in May, when, along with the expansion plans, the Center announced a new name, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, a new logo (see p.13), and the launch of a new website. “Our new name and logo reflect the diversity and the dynamism of our organization and our community,” said Center CEO Lorri L. Jean. “The Center has always been a place for everyone in our community, and we’re proud that our new name better reflects that reality.”
The Center’s Jeff Griffith Youth Center opens at 7051 Santa Monica Blvd. The Center co-founds the National Freedom to Marry Coalition. The Center purchases building at 1125 N. McCadden Place in Hollywood and begins planning extensive renovations. The Center celebrates its 25th Anniversary, unveiling a new logo and a new name: “L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.”
The Center formally establishes a Senior Services Department to provide services and programs specifically designed for seniors. Executive Director Lorri L. Jean invited to be sole civilian keynote speaker at inauguration ceremony for new Chief of Police Bernard Parks.
On May 27, the Center announced the most ambitious expansion plan in its history: the development of a one-of-a-kind campus that unites The Village with a new facility on land directly across the street from it, offering approximately 100 units of affordable housing for LGBT seniors and youth, doubling the number of beds available for homeless youth, and much more. It will also be the Center’s new administrative headquarters.
record 134 homeless young people in a single day.The Center’s expansion plans will enable the organization to meet the challenges of a new era: providing affordable housing, medical care and other basic services to some of the LGBT community’s most vulnerable members.
The Center opens The Village at Ed Gould Plaza—a $7 million community education and cultural center. Cultural Arts Department is created.
THE CIVIL RIGHTS ADVANCES OF THE PAST DECADE HAVE LAUNCHED US INTO A NEW ERA, AND OUR NEW NAME PROUDLY ANNOUNCES THAT EVERYONE HAS A PLACE HERE.” LORRI L. JEAN CENTER CEO
This is not the first time an unprecedented capital campaign has helped the Center meet the challenges of a new era. Twenty-five years ago, another helped the Center confront the AIDS crisis, among other critical issues for LGBT youth and adults.
In 2013 the Center became a Federally Qualified Health Center, the only one in California and one of the few in the nation specifically for LGBT people. The Center’s various medical programs—including the Audre Lorde Lesbian Health Program and the Transgender Health Program—welcome more than 2,300 visits a month, providing everything from primary care to counseling to fertility services.
“I had a blanket and I would sleep outside of synagogues,” he said. “I called around to shelters, and there were a couple of nights I got to stay there. But mostly, I slept in the entrances of empty buildings downtown. I would sleep with my arms around my legs just so if they tried to beat me up for my
Robbie Carlysle is quick to show you the
The Center inaugurates Family Services program.
An aunt gave him $200 for a one-way bus ticket to Los Angeles, where he had once lived before one of his family’s many moves and where he thought he would have a place to stay with an online friend. But when he arrived, he learned that the “friend” had a wife and family. It was the beginning of 10 days on the street.
Off the streets
The Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation produce their own sevenday bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles and dub it AIDS/ LifeCycle. Vice President Al Gore visits the Center, becoming the first sitting Vice-President to visit an LGBT organization.
“Nineteen, fat, Jewish, gay and in Alabama,” he joked. “I couldn’t have been a bigger target!”
When the new campus is completed (anticipated in 2018) and Center administrative staff moves to the new facility, all four floors of the McDonald/Wright Building on Schrader Blvd. will be dedicated to health, mental health, and medical services.
With the epidemic in full force in 1993, the Jeffrey Goodman Special Care Clinic opened its doors to provide anonymous testing and HIV/AIDS medical care. At the time, nearly 195,000 Americans had died of the disease, which was quickly becoming the leading cause of death for those between the ages of 25 and 44. The clinic was located in the Center’s new headquarters, a renovated office building on a street that was renamed one year later for early Center board mem-
It was snapped while he was working as an extra in a movie starring Rogan; no big deal for an aspiring actor, but for Carlysle, it’s a long way from where he graduated high school.
Center Youth Services Department begins GED program in spite of “expert” opinion that such a program can never succeed with homeless youth. Program continues to operate successfully.
A record 1,000 people attend Centersponsored Trans-Unity Pride Festival, making it nation’s largest Transgender Pride celebration. Los Angeles Magazine names Center CEO Lorri L. Jean as one of the 100 most influential people in the city. She is the only openly LGBT person on the list. The Center’s Young Professionals Council (YPC) is formed to promote support for, and awareness of, the Center’s services among people under the age of 40. The Center creates Transgender Job Placement Program.
A history of firsts
picture of himself with actor Seth Rogan.
(Above) Vicky Pacifico rehearses with her Stagebridge theater class at The Village.
ber Judge Rand Schrader. Both the purchase of the property and the opening of the clinic were made possible by a $7 million capital campaign, the first ever by an LGBT organization.
California Supreme Court rules that denying same-sex couples the right to marry violates State Constitution. The Center organizes rally closing down San Vicente Blvd. to celebrate. To fill a critical need, the Center opens six emergency beds in the library of the Transitional Living Program space to help homeless youth qualify more easily for longerterm beds. The Center begins pilot leadership development program for “Emerging LGBT Leaders” from China. Proposition 8 passes, repealing the freedom to marry in California. The Center organizes demonstrations at the Los Angeles Mormon Temple, which provided most of the funding to pass Prop 8. Thousands participate, which prompts similar demonstrations worldwide.
(Left) Former Transitional Living Program resident, Robbie Carlysle, photographed in Hollywood, April 2014.
FORMER TRANSITIONAL LIVING PROGRAM RESIDENT
shoes, I could get up and run.” On an average day, there are an estimated 6,000 homeless youth sleeping on the streets of Los Angeles; a staggering 40 percent of them are LGBT. Like Carlysle, many are afraid of being attacked if they sleep and so, unlike Carlysle, turn to drugs to stay awake and to sex for money in order to feed themselves.
The Center is granted status as a Federally Qualified Health Center (Look Alike); first organization in nation to be granted such status specifically to serve LGBT community. LifeWorks Mentoring becomes a Center program, thereby significantly expanding youth programs to serve non-homeless LGBT youth. Federal Administration on Aging makes first federal grant for services to LGBT seniors: $1.2 million over three years to the Center. The Center launches new transgender health program, one of the first of its kind in the nation.
The Center opens a charter high school at The Village for LGBT youth experiencing challenges in public schools. National LGBT Mentoring Project becomes a program of the Center, changing its name to the Leadership LAB (Learn Act Build). U.S. government awards the Center the largest federal grant ever given to an LGBT organization ($13.3 million over five years) for the development and implementation of a national demonstration project designed to improve the condition of LGBT youth in foster care.
The Center’s Transitional Living Program currently has 24 beds for homeless youth; providing a welcoming place where young
“I’ve seen how low my life can get, and I never want to go back there again,” he said. “If the Center hadn’t been there for me, I don’t know what I would have done. I don’t like to think about it. I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in today without the help and guidance of the Center.”
Graduates of the Center’s Emerging Leaders Program organize China’s first AIDS Walk along the Great Wall with support from the Center.
Welcome to the future The organization that began with $35 in the bank is expected to have a fiscal year 2015 budget of over $80 million and currently welcomes some 42,000 client visits every month. In a few years, a building sure to become a cultural landmark—the Center’s new campus—will greet Vicki Pacifico as she arrives for her Stagebridge classes. Some of her classmates will be residents of the dozens of new senior apartments on the McCadden campus. Out in the courtyard, you’re likely to find youth like Carlysle helping even younger people with their homework or assisting a senior who’s trying to set up a laptop. “This won’t be just a housing facility,” said Jean. “The people living, visiting, and working here will form a community in the truest sense of the word. It will be a place where the youngest and oldest members of our Community—with a capital “C”—can interact, benefit from each other’s experience and energy, and enrich each other’s lives.” Thanks to the work of early activists and the thousands who followed in their footsteps, the LGBT community today faces a far more welcoming environment than anyone could have imagined in 1969. The next half-century will bring new challenges; the new campus will help ensure the Center is ready to meet them.
The Center launches groundbreaking “Out for Safe Schools” initiative with the Los Angeles Unified School District; more than 30,000 district employees participate.
Carlysle was lucky—a helpline referred him to the youth center (then on Santa Monica Blvd.) for services, and within a month, he was a resident of the Center’s Transitional Living Program. With the help of Center counselors, he registered for school and earned his associate’s degree in web design, which is his “day job” while he builds his acting career.
IF THE CENTER HADN’T BEEN THERE FOR ME, I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WOULD HAVE DONE.”
people can live for up to 18 months while the Center helps them develop the skills and resources necessary to live on their own. And to serve even more homeless young people, the Center operates the Youth Center on Highland, providing a place to stay (approximately 25 “emergency” beds) for a night or a few nights, get nutritious meals, clean clothes, and access services to help them get and stay off the streets. Demand for services at the youth center – open seven days a week – has never been greater. The new facility will double the number of long-term transitional living and emergency beds and will provide more than 10 times the number of affordable housing units for youth.
Center launches new name “Los Angeles LGBT Center” to reflect the diversity of the community served. The nation’s pioneering developer of affordable housing for LGBT seniors, Gay and Lesbian Elder Housing (GLEH), becomes a program of the Center. The Center assumes management of GLEH’s 104-unit Triangle Square. The Center purchases 1.7 acres directly across the street from The Village and launches $25 million capital campaign to fund the construction of a new facility focusing predominantly on services for LGBT youth and seniors, including affordable housing.
YOUR SUPPORT MAKES EVERYTHING WE DO POSSIBLE eCenter: New Website Launched The Center has grown enormously over the last decade, creating new departments and merging with LifeWorks, Leadership LAB and other organizations to more efficiently serve an ever-growing number of clients. Unfortunately, the organization’s website—at times a potentially confusing mix of styles and formats—didn’t quite keep up.
Don’t miss out!
In May, along with a new name and new logo, the Center unveiled a new website: lalgbtcenter.org. The site reflects the reorganization of the Center’s various departments, using colors pulled from the logo to represent four program areas: blue for Health Services, green for Social Services and Housing, pink for Culture and Education, and orange for Leadership and Advocacy.
Visit lalgbtcenter.org/donate today!
We hope you’re enjoying the inaugural quarterly issue of Vanguard. If you want to continue receiving this award-winning publication–and be in the know of what’s happening at the Center–then renew your membership now for a special price of $25 so we can continue to provide life-changing and life-saving services to our community. Thank you for supporting the Center and the Vanguard.
Join the Center Advocates And get a free tote!
Los Angeles LGBT Center Advocates help sustain our work for the health, safety and well-being of our LGBT community through regular monthly contributions. Becoming a member of the Advocates is one of the greenest and most effective ways you can support the Center. To show our thanks for your extra measure of loyalty and commitment as a monthly contributor to the Center, you’ll receive special benefits including: • • •
Our New Logo:
Los Angeles LGBT Center tote to show your pride as a supporter of the Center Recognition as a member of the Advocates in the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s award winning newsletter, Vanguard Invitation to an Advocates meet-and-greet hosted by our Executive Director at the Center each year Automatic membership renewal so that you continue to receive Vanguard, emails and other important updates from the Center without interruption Access to a dedicated Advocates liaison Yearly tax statement summarizing your annual giving
Moving Around a Common Center
The LGBT community is defined by diversity. So is the new logo of the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
The logo incorporates a simple circle of community; its varied pieces—each one unique—represent a vivid parade of individuals marching in unison around a common center. It gets its form from nature—think of a school of fish or of leaves swirling in the wind.
Your gift will be automatically charged each month to your credit or debit card, and you can change or cancel your monthly commitment at any time by contacting Kara Steffen at (323) 993-7675.
Each element is a different hue, yet the subtle distinctions of each merge into one another as they revolve: red into orange, orange into yellow, yellow into green, green into aqua, aqua into blue. The logo resists the purity of perfect order and instead expresses the joy and energy of humanity set free.
The Sustaining Donor Program Become a Sustaining Donor with an annual gift of $1,500 or more.
Center Circle Members, our sustaining donors, are the backbone of the Center. They’re the people we know we can count on to support the incredible life-saving, community-changing work that happens for the thousands of LGBT people who depend on our services. When you become a Center Circle member, you’re not just contributing to the Center, you’re contributing to your community. For more information please contact Jorge Mellado at (323) 993-7635 or Kathy Paspalis at (323) 993-7687.
Summer 2014 13
GET CENTERED! TOURS EXPERIENCE THE CENTER Join us for a tour to see how we open the doors of hope for our community. You will leave not only informed but inspired!
Visit lalgbtcenter.org/tour or call 323-993-7635.
ESCAPE RELAX PLAY CREATE LEARN GIVE PARTY ESCAPE RELAX PLAY CREATE LEARN GIVE PARTY ESCAPE RELAX PLAY CREATE LEARN GIVE PARTY ESCAPE RELAX PLAY CEATE LEARN GIVE PARTY ESCAPE RELAX PLAY CREATE LEARN GIVE PARTY ESCAPE week end CREATE LEARN GIVE PARTY NOVEMBER 2013
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GAY COUPLES WITH KIDS REVAMP VACATIONS IN PALM SPRINGS & BEYOND
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YOUR LGBT CALENDAR
CAPITAL CAMPAIGN FUNDING A BOLD VISION FOR THE LGBT COMMUNITY’S FUTURE In 1989 the Center kicked off a historic and improbable initiative: the first capital campaign for any LGBT organization. Consultants told Center leaders they could never raise $7 million. But, the Center proved its doubters wrong, and the successful campaign, which ended in 1993, enabled the organization to purchase the property now known as the McDonald/Wright building.There, the Center significantly expanded transitional housing beds available for homeless youth and founded the Jeffrey Goodman Special Care Clinic. Now, at another pivotal moment for the LGBT community, the Center is inaugurating the largest capital campaign ever by an LGBT organization: to construct a facility that will once again change the landscape of the LGBT movement in Los Angeles and beyond. The new capital campaign will raise $25 million to help complete the next step in the Center’s evolution: the purchase and development of a property that will become the Center’s new headquarters and provide vital services for homeless youth and seniors, which includes expanded housing for the youth and a new affordable housing complex for both youth and seniors.The land, located on McCadden Place across from The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, was purchased in February. Generous donors have already pledged $19 million in support of the campaign.
by Jason Howe
Los Angeles is home to an estimated 65,000 people over the age of 65 who identify as LGBT. Few have children or grandchildren to support them, and many of them face isolation and live at or below poverty level. And LGBT youth still make up a staggering 40 percent of homeless young people. The new structure will provide approximately 100 emergency and transitional living program beds for homeless youth. It will also include approximately 105 affordable housing units for low-income LGBT seniors and at-risk young adults.The building will occupy nearly a full city block along Santa Monica Blvd. and connect with The Village to create a campus setting so residents can easily access vital services, ranging from career assistance to addiction recovery. “No one who has witnessed the rapid advances of the past decade can deny that we’ve entered a new era,” said Center CEO Lorri L. Jean. “But that new era, like any, brings its own challenges.Youth and seniors are two of our community’s most vulnerable groups, and they are coming to us in greater numbers than ever before.This new project will enable the Center to provide them with the critical care and services that they need.”
THE CENTER IS INAUGURATING THE LARGEST CAPITAL CAMPAIGN EVER BY AN LGBT ORGANIZATION: TO CONSTRUCT A FACILITY THAT WILL ONCE AGAIN CHANGE THE LANDSCAPE OF THE LGBT MOVEMENT.”
Groundbreaking is expected by 2016, with completion two years later.
Summer 2014 15
JUST SAY KNOW NEW APP EMPOWERS GAY AND BISEXUAL MEN TO KNOW AND SHARE HIV STATUS
by Gil Diaz
Of the thousands of mobile applications to download, “Know and Tell” could be the talk of the town among young gay and bisexual men. The free app not only encourages people to get tested for HIV, it enables them to share their test results with sexual partners. The app, which launches this summer, also allows users to register for health related services, make an appointment, learn their test results, and obtain referrals—all from the convenience of their smart phones. “Many guys want to share their HIV and STD status with their sexual partners, whether the results are negative or positive,” says Dustin Kerrone, LMFT, Director of the Center’s Sexual Health and Education Program. “This app allows the user to discreetly notify partners about his HIV and STD statuses either by a text or email—they can choose to send it anony-
mously or not—or with the assistance of a healthcare professional. We will work with the client on how he wants to notify others.” The app is just one component of a larger awareness campaign, known as “I Know,” that targets Latino and AfricanAmerican men who have sex with men. It’s being rolled out at a time when new infections among these groups are rising at an alarming rate. Last year nearly five percent of gay and bisexual Latino men who were tested at the Center tested positive; among gay and bisexual AfricanAmerican men, the rate was six percent. This is compared to 3 percent for gay and bisexual Caucasian men who test positive
at the Center. “People of color aren’t getting tested as regularly as Caucasian men,” says Kerrone. “We’re finding that African-American men are waiting the longest to get tested. Everyone at high risk for HIV should be getting tested every 3 to 4 months.” In addition to the mobile app, the “I Know” campaign will launch with its own website, advertisements in local LGBT publications, and conduct an outreach campaign that distributes condom and lube packets with a promotion for the app. “Changes in behavior and attitudes happen in small steps,” says Mark Howell, owner of marketing agency Industrial Creative that developed the campaign.
Client notifies partners...
Client notifies partners...
RESULTS are in.
Here are results
SO... Client gets tested....
Client notifies partners...
“When it comes to sex, people don’t always use their best judgment. So, instead of shaming them, we need to educate them about the promising options available to stay healthy.” Dustin Kerrone Center’s Director of Sexual Health and Education Program
“The goal of the campaign is to create a shift to where testing and talking about your status openly and honestly is the norm, not the exception. Living openly as HIV-positive and educating HIV-negative people that you can have safe, hot sex with a positive partner are all part of the process of shifting the norm, getting people tested and reducing the spread of HIV. To help men stay negative, the campaign’s website will educate them about Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP). Research shows that PrEP pills, known as Truvada, reduce a person’s risk of HIV infection when used consistently. PEP—a 28-day course of treatment involving a combination of a couple of antiretrovirals—is intended for someone who may have been exposed to the virus. The Center is one of only two sites in Los Angeles County that provides PEP free
of charge for people who are uninsured. According to Kerrone, gay and bisexual African-American men are less likely to use PEP and PrEP probably due to lack of HIV prevention education and poor interactions with the health care system. The new outreach campaign seeks to address this disparity and encourages more gay and bisexual men of color to access the most advanced HIV prevention tools available. “The truth of the matter is ... people are having unprotected sex. Telling them to put on a condom is not enough,” he says. “When it comes to sex, people don’t always use their best judgment. So, instead of shaming them, we need to educate them about the promising options available to stay healthy.” learn more
Visit freetesting.org for more information
(Above) An example of an “I Know” outreach card, to be distributed in condom and lube packets.
Summer 2014 17
Training Youth for the Real World
Hire Power! By Gil Diaz
(Above) Youth Center on Highland’s clothing closet helps youth look their best for job interviews.
When Michael* smiles, he really means it. “I’m always smiling at everyone because I want to bring a positive energy to work,” says the 23-year-old.“I try my hardest to be nice to the customers and my co-workers because being nice gets you far.” His congeniality and million-dollar smile certainly make him an ideal person to be working behind the counter at Starbucks as a barista. But, there’s more to that smile than many customers may realize.Things are looking mighty bright for the fresh-faced Southern boy who used to roam the streets of Hollywood. “When I was 15, my parents would kick me out of the house all the time. So, I learned to fend for myself,” says Michael, who identifies as bisexual. “I worked as a day laborer so that I could move into a local motel on my own and be able to pay the weekly rent.” He continued to depend on himself through his teen years. In search of a better life, Michael headed west to California when he was 21. Little did he know just how rough 18
life could be for homeless youth on the gritty streets of Los Angeles. Fortunately, he heard about the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Youth Center on Highland (YCH)–a safe haven where he could take a shower and receive meals, clothes, and a bed to sleep overnight. It was at the youth center where he met staff who would transform his future. “I knew I had to straighten out my life,” he says. “I didn’t want to end up on the streets for the rest of my life.” On the go As the youth center’s Education and Employment Supervisor, Sarah Hyland has helped to elevate the Youth Employment Program (YEP) to greater success. YEP exists because homelessness, mental health issues, and substance abuse are all barriers to youth finding and maintaining employment. In addition, many of them do not have the interpersonal skills, including decision-making and problem-solving, that are necessary to
succeed in the work environment. Maintaining employment can be an ongoing challenge for them because their low self-esteem and a lack of support can lead them to become unmotivated and disengaged from social services. YEP aims to motivate them to seek employment, guide them in their search for a job, and provide them with the support and skills necessary to succeed. “They don’t focus on the future because they can’t see their future selves,” Hyland explains. “They’re in survival mode, thinking ‘Where am I going to sleep?’ and ’Will I have something to eat?’ The youth center offers a safe place where youth can get off the streets. We provide food, showers, case management, counseling, emergency and transitional housing, and a range of services to help them make the transition to stability and self-sufficiency.” After completing an intake application,YEP participants have the opportunity to take part in an intense week filled with workshops and meetings, as follows:
PHOTOS BY MATTHEW BAUME
• Mondays they attend free Microsoft certification classes, where they receive training on some of the company’s software, including Word, Power Point, Outlook and Excel. By mastering these programs, the youth are able to expand their skill sets and add to their resumes. • Tuesdays they have two options: volunteer for a non-profit organization or submit online job applications with the help of two employment specialists who guide them through the often tedious process. • Wednesdays the youth prepare for a job hunt scheduled for the next day. They get help finessing their resumes, researching potential employers, and selecting an appropriate outfit for a job interview from the YCH clothing closet, in which all of the clothes are donated by supporters. Youth Employment Specialist Monica Mariz says: “We conduct mock interviews with the youth and help them identify experience they already have that can be transferred to a potential workplace.” • Thursday is a very big day. The youth climb into a mini-van and are driven to places, such as shopping malls, that typically have businesses hiring entry-level employees. When they arrive, the group reviews a list of stores that are hiring and together they approach store managers about the positions. Occasionally youth are hired on the spot, some are asked to fill out an application online, and all gain the experience of approaching a potential employer. “To ease their frustration with the job process, we tell them not to be so hard on themselves,” says Christopher Lujan, another Youth Employment Specialist. “We remind them we’re only at the beginning stages. They will get a job—just like the other 92 youth who were able to accomplish that within the past year.” • Finally, on Fridays, youth participate in what’s known as the Speakers Series, where professionals are invited to speak about their own careers in the hopes of inspiring the youth. Previous speakers have included realtors, videographers, entrepreneurs, and financial consultants—many of them recruited by volunteer Alan Reade through his involvement with the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. “These are the adults of tomorrow with so much untapped potential,” says Reade.“I can see them running companies, but it’s hard for them to see themselves even making money.
By hearing these speakers, I hope they’re inspired to follow a career path.” In addition to this full schedule, some youth attend GED classes, which are taught by two full-time staff members. The GED program has a 100 percent passing rate, Hyland says, and this year the youth center will apply to become an official GED testing site. “Whether it’s filling out job applications, or helping them pass their GED exams, we work with them shoulder to shoulder,” she says. “The youth center is the one place they can actually focus on what is important to them, and we give them the dignity and respect they deserve.” Succeed by example T-shirt printing company DTLA Print invested in at least two of the Center’s youth. Linda Marie Alvarez, the company’s marketing and sales director, had no qualms hiring these youth when Hyland pitched her on the concept. “I grew up with a background similar to them,” says Alvarez, who sought assistance from a now defunct LGBT organization while growing up during the 1990s.“My boss, however, was a little skeptical. I helped him to understand they’re simply human beings looking for a fresh chance.”
(Above) Youth Education Coordinator Renee Bever (right) assists a youth at the YEP/GED computer lab.
community—from businesses and professionals willing to provide job shadowing opportunities, internships, job training, job placements … and inspiration. She encourages other adult allies to experience the thrill of seeing youth succeed. “We give these youth something to believe in,” says Hyland. “They’ve been bullied at school, disowned by their families, and rejected by society. We’re here to help them change their lives. They need to know there are people who have not given up on them.”
Let’s Partner Up!
Periodically, YEP hosts job fairs (that’s how Michael got his foot in the door at Starbucks). But, for youth who need more time to transition into the working world, YEP will help them get an internship. The program has 45 businesses—known as “community partners”— that are actively involved with YEP. In the past 18 months they have facilitated 33 internships; 29 of those interns went on to secure full time employment.
Here is a partial list of community partners that have offered employment and/or internships to the Center’s youth:
The University of California, Los Angeles is YEP’s biggest community partner. In June 2013, the university’s Community Based Learning Program,YouthSource Center, shepherded 15 youth and placed them in administrative support positions throughout the campus. Additionally, the YouthSource Center enrolled 10 youth to participate in its one-year program that assisted and supported each of them to fulfill one goal: enroll in college, obtain GED certificates, or get a job. As YEP continues to be a vital resource to help youth get back on their feet, Hyland can only hope for more support from the
Band of Outsiders
Gardena Police Department
Hollywood Wilshire YMCA
Keller Williams Realty
St. Joseph’s Center
University of California, Los Angeles Community Based Learning Program
Warner Bros. Studios
If your company is interested in hiring, or you want to volunteer for YEP, please contact Sarah Hyland at email@example.com.
*Name changed to protect youth’s identity Summer 2014 19
CENTER NOTES CULTURE & EDUCATION
According to Bolan, every year Los Angeles has between 12 to 30 cases of this terrible infection. Though the number of total cases since January 1 aren’t outside the expected range, the disproportionate percentage of gay men who have been infected is of concern. Three of the gay men died, two of whom were HIV-positive.
(Above) LQAFF Advisory Board with L.A. City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell (fourth from left).
That’s a WR@P Nine hundred guests filled The Village at Ed Gould Plaza for four days in April to attend the inaugural Latin@ Queer Arts Film Festival (LQAFF). The celebration of art and film included a launch party, art exhibit, workshops, and informational sessions. “People have been waiting for a festival like this to happen,” says LQAFF Executive Director Jonathan Menendez. “There’s never been a solid bridge that linked art and the queer Latino movement as a space for entertainment and interaction.” Sixteen films were screened, created by filmmakers hailing from Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico, and other countries. Festival organizers say 100 to 175 people attended each screening.
Meningitis can be spread through coughing, sneezing, kissing, sharing drink containers, cigarettes, marijuana joints, eating utensils or toothbrushes. Although these activities can occur anywhere, they are more likely to occur with greater frequency and have greater consequence in places like college dormitories, various residential facilities, or other spaces where many people congregate in close quarters for prolonged periods. This could also include large dance parties where people are sharing water bottles. “To put it bluntly, if you’re swapping spit with multiple people, you’re at increased risk,” says Bolan. “The more people with whom you share oral fluids the more likely it is that you will be exposed if any of those people have the bacteria in their nose or throat.” Symptoms of meningitis include fever, severe headache and stiff neck. To read Dr. Bolan’s Q&A in its entirety, visit lalgbtcenter.tumblr.com.
SOCIAL SERVICES & HOUSING
“The festival was a big success because Latino artists and filmmakers finally had a place to share and display their talents,” says the Center’s Cultural Arts Director Jon Imparato, who also serves as festival board member. The highlight of the festival occurred—not inside the Renberg Theatre—but outside in The Village courtyard, where popular Cuban singer Candi Sosa gave an electrifying performance, which culminated in the audience forming The Village’s firstever conga line. “There’s just something exciting about hearing Latino music and being around Latino culture,” says LQAFF Co-Founder and Programming Director Karla Legaspy. “It was a great party!” The second LQAFF, which will be held again at The Village, is already being planned for next year. HEALTH
Taking the Men Out of Meningitis Following the Los Angeles County Health Department’s medical alert that there were 8 cases of Invasive Meningococcal Disease (IMD) among gay or bisexual men in Los Angeles during the first three months of this year, the Center published an informational document that offered guidance on getting vaciniated for IMD. Center Medical Director Dr. Robert Bolan urged HIV-positive gay or bisexual men to be vaccinated, and added: “If you’re a gay or bisexual man in L.A. who’s not HIV-positive, we encourage you to consider getting vaccinated as well, especially since meningitis can be fatal.”
Under One Roof An estimated two million Americans older than 50 identify as LGBT and that number is expected to double by 2030, according to recent estimates. To help meet the expected surge in need for affordable senior housing and social services, the Senior Services department of the Los Angeles LGBT Center merged operations with Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing (GLEH). GLEH’s 104-unit Triangle Square in Hollywood—a few blocks from the Center’s McDonald/Wright building—is the nation’s first affordable housing development of private, individual apartments for LGBT elders. Senior Services already helps more than 1,200 seniors each month, providing everything from discussion groups to help with access to low-income housing. The merger with GLEH will help provide a much broader range of integrated services for residents and fund the development of more affordable housing for LGBT seniors. GLEH staff will join the Center’s Senior Services team.
LEADERSHIP & ADVOCACY
Paying It Forward The Center’s Homeless Youth Services and Senior Services are feeling the love this season because of the generosity of others. Andaz West Hollywood presented a $15,000 Community Grant Award to benefit Homeless Youth Services. “On any given day, dozens of homeless LGBT youth come to us seeking a safe place to get off the streets, eat a cooked meal, and get a clean set of clothes. We provide case management, education and employment resources to help as many of them as we can to transition out of homelessness and into stable living,” says Simon Costello, Associate Director of Children, Youth & Family Services. “And we are able to do this because of community partners such as Andaz West Hollywood.” Whole Foods West Hollywood presented the Center with a check for nearly $14,000 from cash donations contributed during the store’s Feed4More (Above) Andaz General Manager Lin Shatz (center) holiday campaign. presents Community Grant Award to youth and Children, Youth & Family Services staff The campaign also raised more than $16,000 worth of food, which fed more than 800 LGBT seniors in West Hollywood, North Hollywood and Hollywood. “Because of California’s draconian law forbidding the poorest Californians from receiving food stamps once they reach age 65, we see more and more seniors who cannot afford food at the end of the month. In fact, more than a quarter of the seniors the Center serves choose between life-saving medication, feeding their pet or themselves each month,” says Director of Senior Services Kathleen Sullivan. “Many of our senior participants survive on less than $1,000 a month, which is not much money in Los Angeles. So, I want to thank the entire Whole Foods family for their support in helping to food over 800 LGBT seniors in the months around the holiday, and we look forward to partnering with them again.”
Brouhaha in Beverly Hills and Brunei Center CEO Lorri L. Jean made headlines around the country when she participated in a May rally across the street from The Beverly Hills Hotel, protesting the Sultan of Brunei and his new laws which punish LGBT people and others with death by stoning. She gave a rousing and powerful speech to more than 100 protesters, among them late night talk show host Jay Leno. “We’re taking a stand against the barbaric and inhumane policies of the Sultan of Brunei, who owns the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air,” she said. “His policies of murdering and torturing gay and lesbian people and women have no place in a civilized society.” The sultan has introduced “sharia laws” which include the stoning to death of gay men and the public flogging of women who have abortions. In a letter the next day, Jean blasted the CEO of The Dorchester Collection, which manages the sultan’s hotel, which read in part: “I was shocked and outraged by the comments you made in a CBS This Morning interview. How is it possible for any person of good conscience, let alone the head of a British-based company that no doubt employs large numbers of LGBT people, to say you ‘don’t have any opinion whatsoever’ on whether LGBT people should be stoned to death? “You are the CEO of a company owned by a man who is personally responsible for the passage of laws that call for the murdering of innocent LGBT people. You do not have the luxury of remaining silent and having no opinion. Your silence is a stone in the arsenal of your sultan. And you should be ashamed.” Read Jean’s full letter online at lalgbtcenter.tumblr.com.
(Above, L-R) Center Chief of Staff Darrel Cummings , Whole Foods Store leader Tirso Anguiano, Center Senior Services Director Kathleen Sullivan, and Whole Foods Marketing Supervisor Courtnie Bishop. (Photo by Matthew Baume)
Summer 2014 21
An Evening With Women Launch Party Event co-chairs and Center board members (1) Kelly Lynch (second from left) and Annie Goto (fourth from left) help (4) rock fans bring The Roxy house down as (2) Joan Jett & the Blackhearts performed an epic concert, with (3) Sharon Osbourne among the special guests.
Get Centered! Luncheon (5-9) Dozens of new and longtime Center supporters, among them (6) George Pao (standing), gathered for the annual fundraising event held at the W Hollywood Hotel.
Conversations with Coco (10) The legendary Liza Minnelli entertained the Renberg Theatre audience at The Village, among them (11) Lily Tomlin, as she matched wits and swapped stories with host, (12) Miss Coco Peru.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PATTI BALLAZ, GIL DIAZ AND JESSE FINLEY REED
Simply diVine (13-17) Food aficionados and tasting partners arrived at The Village and along McCadden Place for the annual tasting event, co-chaired by Center board members, (17) celebrity chef Susan Feniger and David Bailey.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY FAYE SADOU
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JESSE FINLEY REED, MATT BAUME AND ..............
An Evening With Women (18) With Evan Rachel Wood performing, (19) Margaret Cho hosted the event at the Beverly Hilton to raise money benefiting the Centerâ€™s services for women and girls. (20) 4 Non Blondes reunited for a special concert and (21) the cast of ABC Familyâ€™s The Fosters received the Board of Directors award. Special guests included (22) Joely Fisher, (23) Michelle Rodriguez (left) and Milla Jovovich (right), as well as (24) Sia (left) and Sara Gilbert (center), with event co-chair Linda Perry (right). 23
Summer 2014 23
The Los Angeles LGBT Center is extremely grateful for the support of the following new Sustaining Donors and Circle of Life members. As of April 2014
DI A MO ND CIRCLE $18,0 0 0 -$49,999
SILVER CIRCLE $1,5 0 0 -$1 ,79 9 (cont.)
William Kocol & Timothy Gajewski James Magni*
PLAT I NUM CIRCLE $12,0 0 0 -$17,999
Marc Malkin & Fabian Quezada*
Sia Furler **
Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP
Dan Fast and Tom Oâ€™Brien**
Ernest Schmider & Omar Rodriguez***
Todd Murray & Douglas Sills Christine North***
GO LD CIRCLE $6,0 0 0 -$11,999
George Pao & George Schulman*
Stephen Burn & Stephen Burton
John & Zachary Cambouris
Gary Roberts, Esq. **
Jason Stone & Rob Connolly
Matthew Marks & Jack Bankowsky
Gil Tabachnik Benjamin Teller, M.D. & Benjamin Britt*
ST E RLING CIRCLE $3,60 0 -$5,999
James Anderson & Ronald Sinanian, D.D.S.
Haylen van Koppen
Spencer Mullee & Brett Gowdy
Samuel Vasquez* Lee Wallace
SI LVE R CIRCLE $2,40 0 -$3,599
SI LVE R CIRCLE $1,80 0 -$2, 399
CIRCLE OF LIFE
Jane Anderson and Tess Ayres
Elton Bradley Kessner Wayne Case
SI LVE R CIRCLE $1,5 0 0 -$1,799
Alston & Bird LLP
Matthew Benedetto, Esq.
Clint Birdsong & Ryan Booms
Ibrahim Briones *
Benton Wong and David Stokke
Jonathan King *Indicates Multi-Year Pledges **Indicates an increase in membership level ***Indicates Multi-Year Pledges and increased membership level
For information about Planned Giving or becoming a Sustaining Donor, please contact: Jorge Mellado Major Gifts Officer 323-993-7635 firstname.lastname@example.org 24
Kathy Paspalis Major Gifts Officer 323-993-7687 email@example.com
Nellie Sims Director of Planned Giving 323-993-7691 firstname.lastname@example.org
THE CENTER’S PRIZED MERCEDES Veteran housing expert, neighborhood developer, and civil rights litigator Mercedes Márquez has joined the board of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Márquez, who lives in Glassell Park with her spouse Mirta Ocana, began her career 30 years ago representing tenants of substandard housing units in lawsuits against their landlords. She has twice worked for the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, first appointed by President Clinton as senior counsel and later appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate
as assistant secretary of community planning and development. For the city of Los Angeles, Marquez served as general manager of the Housing and Community Investment Department, where she helped craft the city’s response to the foreclosure crisis. Later she worked under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa concurrently as deputy mayor of housing and as general manager of the Los Angeles Housing Department. “I am a long term supporter of the Center and its mission,” says Márquez.
“After many years of serving in appointed positions both at the local and federal level, I am now free to offer my expertise and personal commitment to the LGBT community. I am pleased to join the board and work with the Center’s extraordinary executive leadership.” Márquez grew up in San Francisco, attended Georgetown University Law Center, and is currently consulting and serving on the board of the Latino Equality Alliance.
Summer 2014 25
WHY I GIVE. BY JASON COLLINS
Last fall I was proud to be honored with a Vanguard Award at the Center’s Anniversary Gala. So I feel doubly honored to be the first contributing columnist in the debut issue of the Center’s quarterly Vanguard magazine!
in recent years, coming out has become a liberating and empowering process for many young people. Unfortunately, there are still thousands of young adults in our country who will not have such a positive reaction when coming out. They will face immediate ostracism from their families and communities. Many end up without a single person to talk to, expelled from school, or even kicked out of their own family’s home. That’s why places like the Center are so vital.
I first became involved with the Los Angeles LGBT Center just a few months before receiving the award. A member of the Center’s senior staff, Alan Acosta, reached out to me through a mutual friend and asked if I’d like to learn more about the Center’s work. It wasn’t long before Center CEO Lorri L. Jean was taking me on a tour. I was absolutely amazed and awed by all of the medical, legal, educational, and social services and programs that the organization provides.
The Center is here to support and care about the entire community. Our youth, seniors, families and anyone else who has a heartbeat and a need can be assured they’re in a safe environment. With no judgment, a person can be his or her true self. There is nothing more powerful than when people are seen, heard, and accepted for who they truly are.
What especially impressed me was the Center’s program for providing food and shelter to LGBT youth. Thankfully,
So many people have come up to me since my announcement last spring with the same theme: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I lived for 33 years not having shared my true self with anyone. Countless nights, I would lie in bed thinking I would go to the grave with this burden and never tell a soul how I really felt, who I really was. Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine my life would transform from one of isolation to sitting on a couch with my family…next to Oprah Winfrey. Now I’m not saying that’s waiting there for everyone. But the feeling of love, family, support and the freedom to be your true self is waiting for all at the Center. Everybody who reads this column has the ability to make it possible for the organization to continue to improve the lives in our great community. Through your generosity and support, we can show others in need that NO ONE IS ALONE.
Jason Collins is the first openly gay basketball professional to play in the NBA. The Los Angeles native is currently playing for the Brooklyn Nets and was recently listed among Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2014.
LOS ANGELES LGBT CENTER’S
AN EVENING WITH BUCK ANGEL Moderated by Mariana Marroquin
The Center kicks off TransPride 2014 with an up-close and personal conversation with Buck Angel, a true LGBT icon as well as a controversial and eye-opening trans-activist. As an inspirational speaker, filmmaker and educator, Buck has established himself as an in-your-face transgender role model who isn’t afraid to impose his power and expose his body for the sake of art and activism.
FRIDAY, JUNE 13
7:30 – 9 p.m. Free reception: 9 – 10 p.m. The Village at Ed Gould Plaza Renberg Theatre 1125 N. McCadden Place Los Angeles, CA 90038
RSVP at LearningCurveLA.org/BigQueerConvo Summer 2014 27
McDonald/Wright Building 1625 N. Schrader Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028
Saturday, June 7, 2014 3:30 P.M. VA Center 11301 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90073 Moving, getting duplicate mailings or wish to be removed from the Vanguard mailing list? Call 323-993-7620 or visit lalgbtcenter.org/newsletter