Vanguard Quarterly Fall-Winter 2020

Page 1


ABOUT THE COVER

For this Giving issue of Vanguard, we’re giving back a most ardent wish of love and well-being to you and yours.

VANGUARD | FALL / WINTER 2020

“Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.” – Vesta M. Kelly


GRAB LIFE BY THE HANDLEBARS TO END AIDS

ONE COMMUNITY ONE MISSION ONE AUDACIOUS GOAL To Ride 1.2 million miles and raise crucial funds to END AIDS.

JOIN US FOR $25: TOGETHERIDE.ORG

VANGUARD | GIVING

PRODUCED BY & BENEFITING


A PUBLICATION OF THE LOS ANGELES LGBT CENTER

6 8

VANGUARD | FALL / WINTER 2020

12

GIVING ISSUE • FALL/WINTER 2020

Message from the Center’s CEO Feliz Aniversário: Mi Centro Celebrates Five Years in Boyle Heights Hooray for (West) Hollywood: Center WeHo’s Fifth Anniversary

14

Garage Theatre Marches Into the Center

16

Intersex Rights are Human Rights

18

Putting Love In Action

20

Policy Updates

23

Take Five with Center Volunteers & Staff

24

Thank You for Your Support!

25

Meet Circle of Life’s Bridget Trumpet

29

Group Meetings Schedule

30

Center Notes

31

Center Voices

32

2020 Milestones

34

Why I Give: Cher Calvin

Subscriptions Vanguard is published quarterly by the Los Angeles LGBT Center, a nonprofit corporation. 1118 N. McCadden Pl., Los Angeles, CA 90038 Voice 323-993-7400 • TDD 323-993-7698 © Copyright 2020 Los Angeles LGBT Center • 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 mailing list? Email mediarelations@lalgbtcenter.org.


VANGUARD | GIVING

The Center’s innovative Garage Theatre series kicked off with MARCH, a suspenseful political drama of peril and liberation. Combining the immediacy of live theatre with the security of a drive-in experience, performances took place in the underground parking structure located below the Anita May Rosenstein Campus.


FROM THE CEO

2021: CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR WHAT IS RIGHT

I

VANGUARD | FALL / WINTER 2020

• Chief Executive Officer Lorri L. Jean

’d be less than honest if I didn’t admit that I’m glad 2020 is drawing to a close. Like many of you, no doubt, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a year as stressful as this one, both professionally and personally. At times, it has seemed almost unbearable: anxiety about Covid and its impact on my loved ones, rage about continued incidents of racist violence and brutal attacks against transgender people, grief at the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and worry about the Supreme Court and the Presidential election. On top of all that, I have had sleepless nights about what could befall the Center and our staff and clients if Covid isn’t controlled before too long. Put simply, this has been a really tough year. The good news is that 2021 will be better. First and foremost, we’ll have a new President who is not a pathological liar, who believes in science when it comes to f ighting Covid, and who has promised that his Administration will work to reverse much of the damage done to LGBTQ people by Donald Trump. (We’ll have to stay on top of them to make sure they do.) Over the years, I’ve been an equal opportunity critic of Presidents, both Republican and Democrat. If they supported actions that harmed my community, or failed to support us in crucial battles, I took them to task. But Trump was in a league of his own. No President in history has taken as many actions to actively harm LGBTQ people as he did. Now those actions must be reversed.

The bad news is that Biden can’t f ix everything that Trump did to harm us. The federal judiciary is now f illed with anti-LGBTQ ideologues. My greatest concern is the Supreme Court, which now has a majority of justices who are anti-LGBTQ. I suspect we’ll see the damaging impact of this very soon. The day after the election, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, where right wing forces are seeking to establish a constitutional right to discriminate against LGBTQ people, and others ( Jews, Muslims, Mormons), on the basis of religion. If the Court sides with them, as seems apparent from the Justices’ questions during the hearing, it will eviscerate the protections we’ve worked so hard to gain over the past decades, creating a constitutional right that could be used to discriminate against us in every aspect of our lives. I remember what it was like to lose the much narrower Bowers v. Hardwick case, which upheld laws that criminalized sex between consenting same-sex adults. I saw how many people were hurt by this decision until it was overruled 17 years later. And, from a policy standpoint, its impact pales in comparison to what a loss in Fulton would mean. But the most important lesson of the Hardwick case is that we didn’t give up. We picked ourselves up and persisted in the f ight for our rights and freedom. And ultimately, many years later, we prevailed. We can and will do the same again. I believe that the religious political extremists and the


What’s most clear about 2021 is that it will require patience from all of us. We not only must continue to deal with Covid, we will face a nation that seems divided as never before. I struggle with identifying possible answers to bridging this chasm. Honestly, many days, the oppressive and anti-democratic behaviors of those across the divide make it diff icult for me to want to try. But I know that doesn’t feel right either. If we’ve learned anything in the 70 years since our movement f irst began with the founding of the Mattachine Society in Los Angeles, it’s that when people know us, they’re far less likely to deny our humanity or support discrimination against us. That’s why coming out has been the single most powerful individual and collective action we’ve ever taken as people and as a community. Millions of people changed the dialogue and the resulting movement changed the world. Maybe there’s an analogue here. Maybe those of us who often f ind ourselves on different sides of the issues have to take the time to get to know each other, to talk and to listen; to reason and understand and hopefully dissipate the vitriol. Honestly, I wouldn’t say I relish the prospect. I didn’t relish coming out to my folks, either. But I did it anyway. It was the right thing to do and it was powerful. As Michelle Obama admirably says, “When they go low, we go high.” For 2021, I’ll be contemplating the high road.

Karim Abay

Marki J. Knox, M.D.

James Alva

Michael Lombardo

Tess Ayers

Carlos Medina

Secretary

Lucinda Moorhead David J. Bailey Co-Chair

Michael Mueller

LuAnn Boylan

Michael Ormonde

Tad Brown

Loren S. Ostrow

Sarah Dusseault

Jayzen Patria

Carolyn A. Dye

Frank Pond

Susan Feniger

Don Thomas

Co-Chair

Amy Gordon Yanow Alfred Fraijo, Jr.

Treasurer

Annie Imhoff

Frances Ampah

Melantha Hodge

Content Manager

Strategic Partnership Manager

Jaguar Busuego Production Designer

Megan Phelps Managing Editor

Nolan Ryan Cadena Operations Manager

Ari DeSano Platform and Systems Manager

Takashi Sato Production Designer

George Skinner Production Designer

Gil Diaz

Kurt Thomas

Media and Public Relations Director

Creative Services Manager

Kelly Freter Director

Greg Hernandez Writer/Editor

Tiffany Ward Production Manager

VANGUARD | GIVING

Republicans who are beholden to them will one day be relegated to the fringes. Until then, it’s incumbent upon the rest of us to continue to f ight for what is right. All that said, the election did have lots of good news for our community beyond electing Biden and Harris. Just a few examples include: • The voters in Nevada enshrined our freedom to marry in the state constitution, repealing a 2002 amendment that limited marriage to heterosexual couples. • Lesbian sheriffs were elected in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Charleston, South Carolina. • Two BIPOC gay men (one Black, one Afro-Latino) were elected to Congress from New York. • Openly gay Republican Dan Zwonitzer was elected to his ninth term in the Wyoming House of Representatives. • Tennessee elected its first two openly gay people to the State House, one Republican and one Democrat. • San Diego—the eighth-largest U.S. city—elected a gay mayor and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors elected a genderqueer-nonbinary-pansexual supervisor. • Holly Mitchell was elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, arguably the most powerful local government body in the nation, meaning the board will now be ALL FEMALE. • Just three years after the nation’s first openly transgender person was elected to a state legislature (Virginia), transgender candidates were elected to the legislatures of Kansas, Delaware, and Vermont.


CENTER’S MI CENTRO LOCATION CELEBRATES FIVE YEARS IN BOYLE HEIGHTS

VANGUARD | FALL / WINTER 2020

I

t was the day before Thanksgiving last open Mi Centro in order to better serve year, and Joann Cerda wasn’t expecting the community of LGBTQ people living many folks to turn out for the monthly on the eastside of Los Angeles. Forging the partnership with LEA Familias Afortunadas meeting she moderates at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Mi “has been a really important part of what we’re doing. It allows us to expand our Centro location in Boyle Heights. “It was pouring rain outside, and reach, and it allows them to be a part of a I thought we might have maybe 10 people,” larger organization,” says Alan Acosta, the Cerda recalls. “Instead, 45 people showed Center’s director of strategic initiatives. Mi Centro is housed within City up! It ended up being this dynamic pre-Thanksgiving gathering of commu- Labs Boyle Heights, a locally owned, nity support—complete with rotisserie purpose-driven collaborative space for innovators, entrepreneurs, and creatives. chickens and side dishes. It was magical.” That magic of Mi Centro began in Located at 553 S. Clarence St., between October 2015, when the Center partnered the 4th and 6th street bridges, Mi Centro with Latino Equality Alliance (LEA) to has become a space for community

gatherings, meetings, services, programs, and counseling, and, since the COVID-19 pandemic began, a Pride Pantry where residents can pick up fresh produce and dry goods every Friday for free. “Mi Centro is one of the Center’s community hubs that is focused on what people who live in the Boyle Heights area need the most,” explains Center CEO Lorri L. Jean. “One of the things that I really love about it: it’s not just LGBTQ people. It’s also our families who are participating in the programs and services. At first a lot of neighbors were skeptical about what we were going to bring to the community. Now they’re on board.”


Caín Andrade, the Center’s social networking groups coordinator, says it’s been imperative for Latino families to know Mi Centro is a safe, brave space for our communities. “When you come out in that community, it involves the entire family. It includes the aunts, the uncles, the grandmas, the grandpas,” Andrade says. “Everyone’s involved, and everybody comes to meetings because they want to learn, they want to evolve. Mi Centro is really the only place they can get these kinds of resources and support in Spanish.”

“You Feel Like It’s Your Family” Among those who have found strong connections at Mi Centro is Sergio Aguilar, the father of a pansexual daughter who encouraged him to start attending the Wednesday night Familias Afortunadas meetings after she came out to the family more than three years ago. “I felt very comfortable even when I first came in. Everybody was friendly,” he shares. “One of the reasons I like the idea of attending a meeting with Spanish-speaking people: it’s not only the language but the culture. I feel understood.”

Aguilar is among the meeting’s regu- a family conversation lars who volunteer to share their stories around the dinner with new visitors to help them feel safe table. You build family, you build community, and supported. “They start to feel comfortable, and and then folks keep comsometimes they start crying,” says Agu- ing back.” The conversations during ilar, who gets choked up himself while talking about the process. “Sometimes the Familias Afortunadas meetings can be it’s very emotional. Sometimes we tremendously difficult because many of the identify with what they are talking about attendees are seeking a way to reconcile and it brings up feelings. We cry with their religious and other beliefs with loving their LGBTQ children. them. You feel like it’s your family.” “It’s very powerful because it absolutely This kind of connection and camaraderie is beyond what Cerda, the Center’s 100 percent intersects,” Cerda points out. youth & family connections manager, “This is the space where they are able to share ideas and thoughts. You have could have dreamed permission to walk into that of when she became door and say all the wrong involved with the pro things. Later, you get to the gramming at Mi Centro point where you say, ‘I can’t more than four years ago. believe I said A, B, and C.’” “Members of the com The Familias Afortunadas munity have a newfound meetings started as a space family within the space for conversation when Cerda and realize, ‘I’m not the brought two licensed theraonly family in Boyle pists into the support group. Heights who is actually The evenings have branched experiencing this,’” she out into people coming into says. “You come into a space where, at first, you feel isolated, you the space who need individual or family feel alone. You come in, and it’s like having therapy.

VANGUARD | GIVING

• Community members take center stage at Mi Centro events held throughout the location's first five years.


• In response to food insecurity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mi Centro now offers weekly distribution of food and fresh produce through the Center's Pride Pantry.

“The therapy is for the LGBTQ person and/or the family,” Cerda says. “Many times they both need it just as much.”

VANGUARD | FALL / WINTER 2020

The COVID-19 Challenge

Services at Mi Centro include immigration and housing support, legal services, transgender support services, youth and senior programming, and family counseling and empowerment programs. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last March, it slowed some of Mi Centro’s hard-earned momentum. Nowadays, support groups and workshops are being presented online via virtual platforms. “The Latinx community depends so

much on convivencia (coexistence) where everyone is gathered around your kitchen table together. That’s what we recreated at Mi Centro,” Andrade explains. “We have done our best to try and duplicate that essence virtually, but it’s hard. Our families are not adjusting to the virtual format as much as we want them to, and we understand why. They need to talk to you face-to-face, they need to give you a hug, they need to

embrace their community.” De spite t he current challenges, groups have continued to meet consistently during the pandemic, and community members are also able to connect at the Pride Pantry on Fridays. “We’ve had folks coming to Mi Centro for the first time because of the pantry. Once we give them the food, you see the smiles. To provide a smile to a family during the pandemic means so much


• Feelings of joy, connection, and belonging abound at Mi Centro.

become bonded like chosen family.”

The Future of Mi Centro Mi Centro, along with the Center’s Trans Wellness Center in Koreatown and Center South in South Los Angeles, recently achieved Federally Qualified Health Center status, which means health care services can be expanded at those locations. Due to COVID-19, the current plan is to expand health services, including primary care and mental health, at Mi Centro in April 2021. In the meantime, free HIV testing has been expanded and is now available every Wednesday and Thursday at Mi Centro.

“This helps us to have more prominent programming around sexual health and HIV testing,” says Jeffrey Rodriguez, the Center’s associate director of Community Health Programs operations. “Mi Centro has become a safe place for our LGBTQ community in Boyle Heights. We are providing a safe place for people to have a conversation about their sexual health in a nonjudgmental manner.”

VANGUARD | GIVING

to them and also to the staff of Mi Centro,” says LEA Executive Director Eddie Martinez. “We use this opportunity to not only provide food but to also provide resource information about legal help or assistance with rent. They’re struggling and worried, and we want to help.” Community organizer Norma Sanchez says that, despite the pandemic, she is proud Mi Centro continues to be “the hub of anything LGBTQ and Latino” in the neighborhood. “People just come and visit, especially now with Pride Pantry,” she says. “We do a lot of outreach in schools. I provide parent workshops weekly. You’re teaching them, and they are teaching you. You


in WeHo

• Center WeHo is located at 8745 Santa Monica Blvd., 2nd Floor, in West Hollywood.

Center WeHo Marks Five Years of Critical Care and Support

VANGUARD | FALL / WINTER 2020

O

pening in October 2015, Center WeHo dramatically expanded the Center’s critical services to those who work, play, and live in West Hollywood. In its first five years, Center WeHo provided nearly 40,000 HIV tests, treated more than 9,000 clients for a sexually transmitted infection (STI), and conducted more than 3,800 consultations for PrEP. These numbers are triple the rate of which The Spot (the Center’s previous and much smaller clinic in West Hollywood) had been able to provide. “The rates of testing shot through the roof almost immediately after we opened,” says Center CEO Lorri L. Jean. “It’s been very accessible to people, and I think it’s one of the reasons that we’ve been

As part of that critical work, Center able to make such a dent into the rate of HIV infections in our community here in WeHo provides a welcoming sex-positive environment where people can feel Los Angeles.” The Center has long been one of the comfortable talking to providers and largest HIV testing sites in Los Angeles counselors about their risk factors and County. For years, approximately 4 percent symptoms as well as their interest in of clients who came in tested positive— taking PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) a significantly higher rate compared to the and PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis). Before the COVID-19 pandemic, national average positivity rate of less than Center WeHo was seeing up to 100 people one percentage point. “Our rates were high which showed me on its busiest days. Walk-in appointments that we were getting at the right popu- were a unique part of the Center WeHo lation,” Jean explains. “Thanks to PrEP experience. “We almost immediately outgrew the and our really concerted testing efforts, we are now down to about one percent space,” says Jeffrey Rodriguez, who was and a little under. We’re seeing the results program manager for several years before in our testing, and Center WeHo has been being promoted to associate director of the Center’s Community Health Programs a big part of that.”


The clinic now has increased to 20 operations. “A lot of people were surprised at how non-judgmental we are. What’s staff members. Due to the pandemic, special about Center WeHo is that it’s appointments are now required. As many a sexual health clinic geared towards as 50 clients are staggered throughout the everyone. It’s a very special place where day in order to maintain social distancing you know everyone is there for the same in the waiting room. “We have a diverse staff so when reason. There’s no shame and no guilt.” A medication dispensary opened at clients arrive, they feel comfortable and the location in July 2019, allowing clients see themselves,” says Michael Rodriguez, to leave Center WeHo with PrEP on the the location’s current program manager. same visit. The dispensary has become “The message is the same: Get tested regkey to achieving the Center’s goal to ularly, talk to your partners, get on PrEP increase the number of PrEP prescrip- and, if you are living with HIV, get yourtions. Additionally, the availability of a self into care.” Rodriguez worked at The Spot more full-time pharmacist on-site provides an extra level of encouragement to stay on than six years ago as a front desk staffer a regimen due to heightened monitoring and has been with Center WeHo since day and adherence. The pharmacist can have one. He says the typical Center WeHo cliprivate, face-to-face consultations with ent has diversified over the years. “I’m seeing more people of color clients about HIV drug regimens and their coming in and feeling comfortable. At the side effects. West Hollywood city officials have very beginning, clients would say to me, been pleased with Center WeHo’s presence. ‘Oh, I thought I wasn’t allowed here—that “We are proud of the partnership that this place was only for WeHo people.’ the City of West Hollywood and the I’d respond, ‘Everyone’s allowed, please Los Angeles LGBT Center have had, for tell your friends!” Rodriguez said. “We many years, in addressing the HIV/AIDS want to make sure people know we are a epidemic,” says Mayor Lindsey P. Hor- resource for everyone. I fear some clients vath. “We are grateful to the Center for are intimidated to visit because they think our wonderful partnership to support pre- it’s going to be a lobby filled with only vention, advocacy, testing, and services, white gay men—it’s not.” Chris Reyes, a Center WeHo health as well as to realize a vision to end the educator who started working at its front epidemic in generations to come.” • (Below) Center Pharmacist Samantha Christie, PharmD, and (Top Right) Patient Services Specialist Sarah Gabagat work as part of the Center WeHo team. (Middle and Bottom Right) Inside Center WeHo.

desk, has counseled an array of clients, including some who are experiencing homelessness. “One guy was in his mid-30s, and everything was going wrong for him,” Reyes recalls. “Someone told him we could help him. He had a lot of issues with drugs and STIs, health problems he didn’t even know about, and he was hungry.” The man was set up with treatment, counseling, and sent to organizations where he could get food. “He called back to say thank you,” Reyes shares. “A lot of our clients appreciate everything that we do.”


LET'S VANGUARD | FALL / WINTER 2020

CENTER’S INNOVATIVE GARAGE THEATRE SERIES %-#1Ð3,"#0%0-3,"Ð$-0Ð 02Ð"30',%Ð!-4'"͑ Ð. ,"#+'!


VANGUARD | GIVING

W

The show’s three leads— Brown, Levi, hen the COVID-19 pandemic and Sunday night in front of an audience deprived local audiences of seated inside a maximum of 16 cars. The and Monk—contributed their own perlive theater for more than play’s final performance occurred on No- sonal stories as trans or non-binary people to the script, which they were able to six months, the Center’s Cultural Arts vember 15. The ensemble included MJ Brown, deliver in monologues at the beginning department launched an innovative live Amir Levi, Coretta Monk, Chad Chris- of the play. theater series: Garage Theatre. “It’s rare to have trans and non-binary The Center went rogue—and un- topher, Alex Budin, Diego de Los Andes, derground—with the world premiere Brandon English, Roland Ruiz, MAR- people in the forefront and to actually of MARCH, an original political drama DOZA, and Matthew Clark. To secure get to tell our stories and not be put in a of peril and liberation performed in the their health and safety, all rehearsals and gimmicky side role,” observed Levi. “And unique, experimental space of the under- performances required daily temperature to be able to see faces and connect with ground parking structure located below readings, minimum six-foot distancing, them, it was a way of not feeling alone.” the Center’s Anita May Rosenstein Cam- and wearing face masks and face shields While some of the cast had particiat all times. pus in Hollywood. pated in online virtual theater during the The play, conceived by and directed by pandemic, none had expected to be part The socially distanced production combined the immediacy of live theater award-winning director and Playwrights’ of a live production in 2020. with the security of a drive-in theater. Arena founder Jon Lawrence Rivera, takes “It was so invigorating,” said Brown. With a minimal set and creative lighting, place some 25 years in the future where “Once the pandemic hit, everything went audio for the 45-minute play was broad- an authoritarian society is in the grips of a dark. Just the prospect of being able to act cast directly into people’s cars via a private pandemic. In this world of mortal danger, in person with other actors even though three Trans/Gender Non-Conforming we were socially distanced was exciting. It FM radio system. “We were selling out the shows and had people sought a safe place to hide from was a new frontier.” to extend it for an additional weekend,” the military. Monk said she felt challenged, creative, “We were hungry to do this play, said Cultural Arts Director Jon Imparato. and safe from the first rehearsal to the fi“We were pioneers in presenting live, orig- which people had to drive to see, because nal performance. inal theater during this pandemic, and we we thought we wouldn’t see live theater “I loved that we had a mask and shield were the first in the country to produce until 2021,” said Rivera. “With actors because I wanted to feel protected,” she an original play in a garage. Now, many performing live right in front of them, said. “We got such great feedback from of our theater friends are following suit!” the audience never stepped out of their the audience, and it was such a great show Beginning October 17, the cast per- cars—but they made the bold act of going to perform.” formed two performances every Saturday somewhere else.”


INTERSEX RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS CENTER’S HEALTH SERVICES JOIN FORCES WITH INTERSEX ACTIVISTS TO EXPAND CARE AND SUPPORT FOR INTERSEX COMMUNITY

VANGUARD | FALL / WINTER 2020

T

wo years ago, Seven Graham’s body was failing for no apparent reason. Their ankles had gotten so bad, they thought they would end up unable to walk and in a wheelchair. After six months of pain and fear, Seven came to the Los Angeles LGBT Center for help. “When I came to the Center, I met a wonderful doctor who really looked out for me,” says Seven. “We discovered that my body was rejecting the estrogen replacement therapy that I had been on since I was 12 years old.” At age eight, Seven had been told they had cancerous ovaries, which were then surgically removed, leading to the estrogen therapy that was now failing them. “It turns out that they were actually testes— healthy testes—that they took out of me. I’d been told a lie,” Seven says. “In my 20s I found out that I am intersex. It says female on my birth certificate, and as a child I was forced into the pink box, my

gender was rigidly enforced. I always knew I wasn’t female, but I didn’t have the language for it.” Like many intersex people, Seven had medical trauma from childhood, which meant it was really difficult for them to seek out health care as an adult. With help

from their doctor at the Center, Seven started on new hormone therapy matched with mental health care and support. “Now I’m happier and healthier than I’ve ever been because of the services at

the Center,” says Seven, now 51. “When I discovered that I am intersex, it was a journey to becoming who I am today. I had to work through all of the conditioning and trauma. I now finally look in the mirror and feel happy with who I am: an out queer, intersex, transmasc, nonbinary human being with a big heart and even bigger clitoris. In fact, my clit has grown so much on testosterone, it’s—arguably—a penis now! Which I’m very happy about!” THE “I” IN LGBTQIA+ IS FOR INTERSEX Intersex is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to f it the typical def initions of female or male, according to interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth, including differences in genitalia, hormones, internal anatomy, or chromosomes. It’s estimated that 1.7 percent of babies born are intersex, meaning that


VANGUARD | GIVING

being intersex is almost as common as children are put through being born with red hair. Tragically, in order to ‘fix’ their sex through collective ignorance and fear, and appearance are often intersex babies are treated as “wrong irreversible and can cause at birth,” with painful and long-term permanent infertility and physical, psychological, and emotional lifelong pain, incontinence, loss of sexual senconsequences. “There is so much shame and stigma sation, and mental sufferin the culture about bodies and genitals, ing. There is typically no especially when those bodies and genitals medical reason to perform don’t f it the script of what it means to be these procedures with so male or female,” says f ilmmaker, actor, many possible serious negand intersex rights activist River Gallo. ative impacts on children. “Doctors want to normalize bodies, as Carrying these out without opposed to working with the natural way consent violates human • Filmmaker and activist Seven Graham (L) with filmmaker, intersex people are born. There is this rights.” actor, and intersex activist River Gallo (R). “Intersex rights are idea of wanting to ‘f ix’ as opposed to embrace, celebrate, or even f ind ways to about body autonomy create a world-class intersex services clinic. and the integrate the way that “The Center really is an amazing place right for people to we’re naturally born.” that has transformed my life,” says Seven. have ownership of This medically their bodies. Human “It’s been amazing to feel safe to be me, to unnecessary surgery, be healthy being me.” performed on infants life is at stake,” says Earlier in October, in a historic first, River. “It’s really and young children, taken up until this 36 countries from around the world called carries with it shame time and progress of upon the UN’s Human Rights Council and pain and is a viothe Trans Liberation to “investigate human rights violations lation of human rights. Movement that now and abuses against intersex people, ensure “Doctors have huge intersex people really accountability, reverse discriminatory power when a child is feel empowered and laws, and provide victims with access to born intersex to say to feel that the ground remedy.” Countries who joined the statement: the parents, who have is stable and strong no idea what an inter- enough for us to assert Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, our voices. For the first Belgium, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cysex person is because time, people are actu- prus, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, most people have no Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Ireland, ally listening.” idea, ‘don’t worry, At the Center, lead- Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxem your child is born difers of Health Services bourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New ferent, but we’re going Zealand, Pakistan, Panama, Portugal, are working with into fix it,’” says Seven. ! " tersex activists, includ- Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, “Most of that fixing is United Kingdom, Uruguay. The Trump ing Seven and River, cosmetic surgery that Administration withdrew the U.S. from to expand culturally the UN Human Rights Council in 2017. is completely unneccompetent intersex care. It starts with “Now the queer community is open essary, incredibly painful, and traumatic. educating more staff and service providers enough to want to learn more and see And you set up this dynamic of secrecy to help implement effective care plans for how they can be allies to intersex people” and shame.” According to the United Nations, “the intersex clients, like the one that helped says River. “There’s a lot of work to be repeated surgeries and treatment intersex Seven. In the long term, the vision is to done.”


CENTER’S STAR-STUDDED TELETHON RAISES $1.3 MILLION IN COVID-19 RESPONSE SUPPORT

• Scenes from Love in Action.

VANGUARD | FALL / WINTER 2020

M

idway through the September 12 Love in Action telethon presented by The Ariadne Getty Foundation benefitting the Los Angeles LGBT Center, co-host Jane Lynch told KTLA 5 and livestream viewers worldwide that she had a feeling in her bones. “I just know we’re going to exceed our $1 million goal tonight,” predicted the fivetime Emmy winning actress and TV game show host. Lynch, a former member of the Center’s Board of Directors, described the organization as “the model for centers around the world. It’s an amazing place which is why I love it so much. The depth and the breadth of programs and services really blows me away. It’s like 12 nonprofits under one roof.” The Glee alum co-hosted the live show with KTLA 5 News anchor Cher Calvin, who shared with viewers that her father Roger Calvin, a former movie star in the Philippines, came out as a gay man when she was 18. Although her father was a big fan of the famous singer and actress, it was her mother who insisted on naming her Cher. Then that Cher (the Oscar-Grammy-Emmy-winning icon) helped kick things off by asking people to donate, calling the Center “an unstoppable force in fighting bigotry for a better world. We need this desperately right now.” Throughout the show, Lynch and Calvin conducted live interviews with Center CEO

Lorri L. Jean, singer k.d. lang, RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Shangela, and Star Trek: Discovery co-stars Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz, who portray a gay couple on the hit science-fiction show. Appearing from Canada, lang joked with the co-hosts about how her concerts during the 1990s “were the first Tinder.” She also spoke about coming out publicly then and continuing to raise awareness today. “I think it’s important that we don’t go backwards. It’s important that we stay focused,” lang said. “The Center really is the vortex of the community and has been for 51 years. It is immeasurably important to offer a community for the disenfranchised.” Trans actor Brian Michael Smith of TV’s 9-1-1: Lone Star and Queen Sugar reminded viewers that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the Center’s Trans Wellness Center located in Koreatown has remained open for essential services like food and hormone therapy. “Whether most people recognize it or not, the people representing the T in LGBT are some of the most at-risk members of our community,” Smith said. Other famous faces who shared their personal experiences with the Center, or who introduced segments highlighting various programs and clients, included Sia, Alexandra Billings, Billy Porter, Billy Eichner, Frankie Grande, Meredith Vieira, Carla Gugino, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Margaret

Cho, Peter Paige, Gigi Gorgeous, Nats Getty, August Getty, Miss Coco Peru, Jay Leno, Bruce Vilanch, RuPaul, Pauley Perrette, Tyler Oakley, and Andrew Rannells. Lily Tomlin, a staunch Center supporter, used the telethon to step back into the hairdo of one of her most famous iconic characters: the brash, tough, and uncompromising telephone operator Ernestine. Love in Action also featured powerful musical performances by Cyndi Lauper, Melissa Etheridge, Leslie Odom Jr., Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, Tonality, and Jenifer Lewis. In her remarks near the beginning of the telethon, Center CEO Jean explained how the pandemic impacted the Center, which has continued feeding and housing people and providing medical care and social and educational programming. “It’s been really tough,” she said. “Nonprofits all over town have been closing. Our Center has been determined to keep going. A third of our staff are essential first responders, and they have courageously been on the job every day providing medical care, mental health counseling, services for seniors and homeless youth, affordable housing, and more. We couldn’t stop those services—not when our community needs us more than ever.”

Missed a moment? Watch Love In Action now at lalgbtcenter.org/loveinaction


THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR SPONSORS! SPONSO O RS!

OUR O U R SPONSORS S P O N SO R S AND A N D COMMUNITY CO MM U N I TY OF O F SUPPORTERS S U P PO RTE RS R RAIS SE E D N EA EARL LY Y $ $11 . 3 M TO H E L P F UN U N D TH E C E N TER'S TE R'S RA MS ES DURING V I TA L P R O G R AM S A N D S E RV I C E S DU TH E CO D-1 MIC C—TH A N K YO U ! COV VID -1 9 PA N D DE E MI —T HA

PRESENTING

DIAMOND

S I LV E R

M ORGA O R G A N STANLEY STAN N L EY Y TESS TE SS AY Y E R S & JA A N E A N DE D ER ERS R SO O N • DAV D AV ID BA B AIL IL EY & R O N S SHA HA LO LOW W IITZ TZ ARTU DAV CY I MHO FF AR TU RO C A R R I LLO & D AV I D MI Z EN ER • C AV Y N T HIA L . HO O L L AN A N D & A N N IE IMHO E EU UG GE E N E KA PA A LOS L OS K I • M IC ICHA HA A EL L LO L O M B AR ARDO & C CHA HA A R L ES E S WA WA R D ANITA BRIAN AN IT TA MAY M AY Y ROSENSTEIN R OS O E N STE I N • LOREN LO O RE R EN E N OSTROW O ST S R OW & B R I A N NEWKIRK N EW K I R K H A RV E Y R E ESE & J O N NAT AT HA N M UR R AY Y BRONZE

O FFI CIAL AI R LI N E PARTN E R


POLICY UPDATE

“Today we

celebrate the possibilities and embrace the dream of full equality. Tomorrow, we go back to work.” Center Congratulates President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris Read more at lalgbtcenter.org/46

VANGUARD | FALL / WINTER 2020

“Her presence

on the bench, in the movement, and in this world will be sorely missed. Rest in Peace, RBG. Today, we—and the world—lost a true giant.” Center Mourns the Death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Read more at lalgbtcenter.org/RGB

AS AN LGBTQ ORGANIZATION, WE STRONGLY SUPPORT EFFORTS TO PROTECT AND UPHOLD THE REPRODUCTIVE AND SEXUAL AUTONOMY OF ALL PEOPLE AND DENOUNCE THE RACISM INHERENT IN TREATING IMMIGRANT WOMEN IN SUCH A BRUTAL AND INHUMAN MANNER. WE WILL CONTINUE THE FIGHT TO PROTECT THOSE MOST VULNERABLE TO THIS TYPE OF VIOLENCE AND TO HOLD PERPETRATORS ACCOUNTABLE.” "DMSDQË"@KKRËNMË%DCDQ@KË.΃BH@KRËSNË 2VH΅KXË(MUDRSHF@SDË KKDFDCË,DCHB@KË -DFKDBSË@SË("$Ë#DSDMSHNMË"DMSDQR Read more at lalgbtcenter.org/ICE


“The reality is you cannot segregate LGBTQ equality

POLICY UPDATE

from racial justice.”

Center Sues Trump Administration Over Ban on Speech About Systemic Racism, Sexism, And Implicit Bias Read more at lalgbtcenter.org/bias

Center Denounces Trump Administration's Proposal Allowing Homeless Shelters to Discriminate Against Transgender People Read more at lalgbtcenter.org/HUD

ranging from the rejection of protections for the LGBTQ community to extreme views on reasonable gun reforms to limiting the reproductive rights of women— should frighten all people who stand for social justice, and especially those who believe in equality for women and LGBTQ people.” Center’s Statement on President Trump’s Nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to Serve on U.S. Supreme Court Read more at lalgbtcenter.org/ barrett

TODAY’S DECISION REINFORCES THE SYSTEMIC INEQUITY OF THE JUSTICE SYSTEM AND ITS CONTINUED FAILURE TO HOLD LAW ENFORCEMENT CULPABLE FOR KILLING BLACK COMMUNITY MEMBERS.” Center Responds to Kentucky Grand Jury’s Refusal to Bring "G@QFDRË F@HMRSË/NKHBDË.΃BDQRË for Killing Breonna Taylor Read more at lalgbtcenter.org/jury

VANGUARD | GIVING

black trans women, are disproportionately affected by homelessness and continue to be murdered at alarming rates. With the spread of COVID-19, HUD’s number one priority should be increasing access to homeless shelters for the trans community— not reducing it.”

“ Barrett’s judicial opinions— a

“ Transgender people, especially


VANGUARD | FALL / WINTER 2020

The Los Angeles LGBT Center is the largest provider of programs and services to LGBT people in the world. With 10 locations across Los Angeles, the Center is supported by nearly 800 staff members and thousands of volunteers. The Center’s compassionate, talented, inspiring, and fun-loving staff and volunteers are united in our mission to build a world where LGBT people thrive as healthy, equal, and complete members of society.

And we’re missing just one thing: You. Learn more about the opportunities waiting for you at lalgbtcenter.org/careers & lalgbtcenter.org/volunteer

YOU BELONG HERE!


GET TO KNOW CENTER VOLUNTEERS & STAFF MEMBERS

TAKE FIVE

When I got furloughed from my job, I began volunteering at the Center in the Senior Pride Pantry, where I am putting together packages of food and supplies and delivering them to senior clients. Food scarcity is increasing during the pandemic, and the needs of our seniors has grown. It is very moving to me to see the gratitude on the recipients’ faces—through a mask, of course—and hearing them say that I’ve made their day. Doing the deliveries hasn’t always been easy. When we have extreme heat, poor air quality due to fires, and streets closed due to protests, it makes the job more challenging but all the more gratifying. Volunteering at the Center has given me a purpose outside of myself and gives me hope that the Center will be there for me if I ever need it. I’m learning about what really matters in life and how a little effort can go a long way.

! " # $ %& ' ()*)

+

( , - . % & / , %

Since the pandemic began, the way I carry out my duties in Health Services has changed. Our number one priority is the safety of our clients and staff as we ensure that clients have access to the same levels of care they received pre-COVID-19. During times when we’ve been short-staffed, I have helped a bit with phones and scheduling. I recently spoke with a client whom I hadn’t spoken with in more than 10 years. Back then, she was newly diagnosed with HIV and coming off from a really bad meth addiction. I was so happy to hear that she has been sober for over eight years, gone through her gender transition, and is back in school this semester to finish her degree. We are an extremely resilient, perseverant community. Nothing stands in our way of helping each other. It gets very challenging at times, but we will prevail no matter what obstacle is put in front of us. Failure is not an option!

VANGUARD | GIVING

0


< >35 <5 3 ? "@

< 4 <5 3 ./0+1112.34+555

0 ! ! 1 , 2 ! " #$#%&&#%'&()

* + , - . ! " #$#%&&#%'&#$

VANGUARD | FALL / WINTER 2020

! " #$#%&&#%#((/

0 ! 8 + 9 1 , 2 8 + 9 ! " #$#%&&#%(:;:

6 # &: E & : ; 7 # ' B '(

6 # & # & , 7

< >35 <5 3 ./+0112.8+355

8 <4= <5 3 ./8+1112./9+555

: ; ; % 7

<5 3

< >35 <5 3

.<+1112.//+555

: , , , $ # ' " '$ ! ( ' % &7 : & ' ; # = ; 7 % & ; >

35 <4 <5 3 .3+<112.?+555

% ( 7 , ' ' $ : & : % 7 ' @ ( ; # ' # ' ) 7 : 6 % # ) : > & % A , @ ,

< >35 <5 3 .8+4112.3+?55

B " & C " '$ " & 7 : " % ; &7 D # & # ' '' 2; # @ & )

, & 6 % + #; ; 7 & !

./+?112./+955

: ) ( & : & , ( % E ) % 2# %, )

<5 3 0 <03 : 6 ) ! : , #&$ : > & % ! 6 '$ , , > ! , ' : @ & : " # > : , " @ & (

<5 3 0 <03 <4 3 5< , B + # 6 : % : E : C

, + A / B , ! #;1 $;$; C< + ! , 9

! " ! # $ % & '& & ' & ' $ ( & ) ' ) * ' & * ' + + * * ,& ' % & $ & + & ) % ", ) &+ - + ' ' &

34 35" 5 6 3 7


DONOR PROFILE

CIRCLE OF LIFE DONOR’S “WOW!” MOMENT MOTIVATES HER ONGOING PHILANTHROPY

SEEING IS BELIEVING and philanthropy,” she explained. “The Center has been my life for the last 20 years in some form or fashion, and I have a soft spot for it. The Center does great work, so it was a no-brainer for me to give back and help out.” Trumpet is particularly impressed with how the Center has expanded geographically in the past five years with the openings of Mi Centro in Boyle Heights, Center WeHo in West Hollywood, Trans Wellness Center in Koreatown, and Center South near Leimert Park. “The Center is ever-evolving and looking at different communities and different needs,” she said. “The Center doesn’t rest on its laurels.”

It was a real ‘wow’ moment. I didn’t realize the Center’s reach. It was really impactful and made me even more committed to donating and being involved with the Center.

For more information about our Circle of Life estate planning, contact Director of Planned Giving Nellie Sims, J.D., at nsims@lalgbtcenter.org

VANGUARD | GIVING

B

“It’s all been so memorable,” she said. ridget Trumpet arrived in the United States from her native En- “The Center’s community is the most gland 31 years ago with a college beautiful thing—it’s a safe place. When scholarship and dreams of becoming a I attend the dinner events, you meet everybody, you feel safe, and you feel professional basketball player. Ultimately, she found her biggest suc- comfortable.” It wasn’t until she cess off the court as a Certified Public Accountant working for such firms as KPMG went on a full tour 10 and Ernst & Young before forming her years ago of the Center’s Health Services Trumpet Financial Group, Inc., in 2010. Ten years prior, one of her employers facilities and tranasked her to transfer from New York to sitional housing for Los Angeles in order to take on some youth when she really clients in the entertainment industry. got the full picture of She happily settled in West Hollywood the Center’s work. “It was a real ‘wow’ and quickly found herself looking for moment. I didn’t realcommunity. “We didn’t have Google then, but we ize the Center’s reach,” did have phone books, and I found the Trumpet said. “It was Center and its different programs and really impactful and groups,” Trumpet recalled. “I just kept made me even more going to things. It was a way of finding committed to donating and being involved other LGBT people.” After attending Center events and with the Center.” Her altruism includes supporting the groups for several years, Trumpet became a donor and joined host committees for Center in her estate plan through the Cirsome of the Center’s signature events, in- cle of Life program. “Having a financial background, I uncluding the Anniversary Gala Vanguard derstand the importance of estate planning Awards and Simply diVine.


N O W

O P E N !

Liberation for a New Generation on the corner of McCadden Place and Santa Monica Boulevard at the Center’s Anita May Rosenstein Campus

liberationcoffee.org


? y t t a h c iting

g a w n i e r l a e s e F nior you! e h s t i Q w LGBT connect to

Hello Club began as a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic to help LGBTQ seniors battling loneliness and isolation. Join the new iteration Hello Club: Social! to keep the conversation going through phone calls with LGBTQ seniors. Training provided!

VANGUARD | GIVING

lalgbtcenter.org/volunteer


Keeping the Trans/GNC/ENBY Community connected Trans* Lounge offers over 20 online groups and workshops each month. Groups include: • Trans History

• 5HGHƓQLQJ 0DVFXOLQLWLHV

• Group for trans & ENBY Folx on the Neurodiverse Spectrum

• Cooking Class / Chosen Family Dinner

• Groups for those having *HQGHU $IƓUPLQJ 6XUJHULHV

• Binder Exchange • and much, much more!

Join today! Registration and all groups and classes are 100% FREE!

translounge.org

VANGUARD | FALL / WINTER 2020

Join one of our Social Network Groups Virtually

Bi-osphere • ¡Hablemos! • Transgender Perceptions • HerStories • MasQ Coming Out Workshops (Men/Women) • Familias Latinx Entrelazadas (F.L.E.X.)

To learn how to connect, email groups@lalgbtcenter.org

socia aln net.la alg gbtcenter.org


Group Meetings

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing, 12-Step groups are not meeting at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza. Please see notes below for instructions on how to participate virtually in certain meetings. For meetings not listed, please check the internet for information. AA Happy Hour Thursdays, 6:15–7:15 p.m. Videoconference link: bit.ly/AlAnonHH SCA – Step Study Thursdays, 7:30–8:30 p.m. For meeting details, visit scalosangeles.org/covid-19 Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous Thursdays, 6:15–7:15 p.m. Videoconference link: bit.ly/SLAAnon Sexual Compulsives Anonymous Mondays, 8:45–9:45 p.m. Wednesdays, 7:30–8:30 p.m. Saturdays, 12–1 p.m. For meeting details, visit scalosangeles.org/covid-19

Coming Out Coming Out Workshops for Women Coming Out Workshops for Men Safe, nurturing workshops for anyone who is facing their own coming out process. Call 877-OUT-4-LIFE for recorded information and instructions for enrollment.

Community Groups Bi-osphere Explore and discuss the many shades of today’s diverse bisexual community. Mondays, 6–7:30 p.m. To learn how to connect virtually, email groups@lalgbtcenter.org or visit socialnet.lalgbtcenter.org

Community Groups (Cont.)

Community Groups (Cont.)

Familias Latinx Entrelazadas (F.L.E.X.) – Spanish Language Group Apoyo y guianza para familia y aliados de la comunidad LGBTQ+. Support and guidance for family and allies of LGBTQ+ community. Every 4th Tues., 7–8:30 p.m. To learn how to connect virtually, email groups@lalgbtcenter.org or visit socialnet.lalgbtcenter.org

Surgery Suite Going to have a surgical procedure and need some advice? Or you’ve had surgeries and want to share what you went through with others? This group gives you the space needed to discuss your specific situation and hopefully give you some peace of mind. Every 2nd and 4th Thurs., 7:30–9 p.m. Trans* Lounge membership required for access to videoconference links. Register for FREE at translounge.org

HerStories A gathering place for all LGBT women who want strong community and great conversation. Mondays, 8–10 p.m. To learn how to connect virtually, email groups@lalgbtcenter.org or visit socialnet.lalgbtcenter.org MasQ Explore your male identity however you choose to express it. Join us in redefining masculinities! Tuesdays, 6–7:30 p.m. To learn how to connect virtually, email groups@lalgbtcenter.org or visit socialnet.lalgbtcenter.org Redefining Masculinities For all people and identities who want to actively redefine and explore the possibilities of what it can and should mean to be masculine in this world. Bring topics, questions, and issues to share and explore. Every 2nd and 4th Tues., 7:30–9 p.m. Trans* Lounge membership required for access to videoconference links. Register for FREE at translounge.org Share, Show & Tell Senior Services and Trans* Lounge members gather to share a poem, song, recipe, arts and crafts, or something near and dear to them. So much we can learn from one another, and there is always a story behind each painting, book, article of clothing, object, or even a pet. Wednesdays, 3–4:30 p.m. Trans* Lounge membership required for access to videoconference links. Register for FREE at translounge.org

Trans* Spectrum Safe, small, quiet, controlled space for neurodiverse members of the Trans/GNC/ENBY community. Limited to 15 people maximum per meeting. Every 1st and 3rd Tues., 7:30–9 p.m. Trans* Lounge membership required for access to videoconference links. Register for FREE at translounge.org Trans Tales from the Vaults Our trans and queer history is rich and vibrant but also human, gritty, and sometimes salacious. Exciting interactive workshop which is part listening party, part talkback session as we explore our transcestors through the trans historical podcast One from the Vaults. 1st and 3rd Wed., 7:30–9 p.m. Trans* Lounge membership required for access to videoconference links. Register for FREE at translounge.org Transgender Perceptions Conversations and communitybuilding for transgender and GNC people. Fridays, 7:30–9:30 p.m. To learn how to connect virtually, email groups@lalgbtcenter.org or visit socialnet.lalgbtcenter.org

Senior Groups All Senior Services programming is available by videoconference and can be accessed by computer or phone. For more information about Senior Services classes or how to connect virtually, please call 323-860-7322 or visit facebook.com/50pluslgbt To RSVP, email seniors@lalgbtcenter.org or call 323-860-5830 Alzheimer’s LGBT Caregiver Support Every 2nd & 4th Thurs., 10:30 a.m.–Noon Beginning Tap Dancing Lessons Wednesdays, 1:30–2:30 p.m. Bereavement Support Group Tuesdays, 1–3 p.m. Brain Power Thursdays, 1–2 p.m. Chair Yoga Wednesdays, 11 a.m.–Noon LBQ Women’s Chat Thursdays, 10–11 a.m. Men Living with HIV Thursdays, 1:30–3 p.m. Housing Supportive Network Every 2nd & 4th Thurs., 11 a.m.–Noon Juggling Hour Call 323-860-5830 for dates Men of Color Aging 50+ Every 3rd Sat., 2–4 p.m. Men’s Drop-In Support Group Wednesdays, 10 a.m.–Noon Qi Gong Mondays, 10–11 a.m. R&B Line Dancing Tuesdays, 11 a.m.–12 p.m. Stitch N Bitch Club Call 323-860-5830 for details Veteran’s Support Group Last Tuesday of each month

VANGUARD | GIVING

12-Step Groups


CENTER NOTES

NEWS & NOTES

OUR SERVICE, OUR STORIES Produced by a dozen of the Center’s senior clients who served in the military, the short film Our Service, Our Stories explores the lives of LGBTQ veterans and has been screened at 10 major LGBTQ film festivals nationwide. The

GRAB LIFE BY THE HANDLEBARS TO END AIDS

veterans-turned-filmmakers learned filmmaking from award-winning filmmaker Andrew Putschoegl. A grant from the California Arts Council helped support the production. On Veterans Day the film became available for viewing online at no cost. To watch, visit the Center’s

YouTube channel @lalgbtcenter

TogetheRide presented by AIDS/LifeCycle invites cyclists of all ages and abilities to raise critical funds and collectively pedal 1.2 million miles (representing the 1.2 million people in the U.S. living with HIV and AIDS). Riders ranging from longtime AIDS/LifeCycle participants to home exercise bike enthusiasts, road cyclists, mountain bikers, indoor cyclists, bike commuters, and even tricyclists have until June 2021 to fulfill the ambitious challenge at their own pace. Download the TogetheRide app to help track miles, earn fundraising badges, and more! Register today at

togetheride.org

WELCOME TO THE CENTER!

LASTING IMAGE The striking painting by openly gay renowned artist Roger Brown hanging prominently in the administrative building of the Anita May Rosenstein Campus is a gift from longtime Center donor and volunteer Leon Alexander.

VANGUARD | FALL / WINTER 2020

A Sustaining Donor, Circle of Life member, and longtime volunteer for the Center’s Legal Services department, Alexander passed away in October just six weeks before his 96th birthday.

“Leon stood out from other volunteer attorneys as being exceedingly practical, always focusing on what was possible,” recalled Roger Coggan, director of Legal Services. “Leon would listen carefully and give advice that not only empowered, but also provided a way forward for our Legal Services clients.” Center CEO Lorri L. Jean visited Alexander, whom she had known for 25 years, during his final months. “He shared the details of his generous estate gift to the Center, and it gave me a chance to thank him while he was alive,” Jean said. “Leon was an interesting, quirky, and complicated man until the end. He didn’t show much emotion, but he felt deeply. It was a privilege to know him.”

VIRTUAL MODELS Organized by the Center’s Youth Development program, this year’s Models of Pride—the world’s largest free conference for LGBTQ youth and their allies—was presented virtually over two days with workshops and presentations to help them build confidence and self-esteem and develop valuable life skills. With “FIERCE, FABULOUS, FREE” as this year’s theme, the conference began with an electrifying Opening Session and culminated with a special Entertainment Hour.

Ricardo DeLeon and Calen D.B. Ouellette joined the Center’s Senior Management Team as the new Chief Financial Officer and Chief Development Officer, respectively. DeLeon most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Ouellette came to the Center after 15 years of fundraising for the University of Southern California’s Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry.

Learn and watch more from this year’s virtual event at

Get to know them better at

modelsofpride.org

lalgbtcenter.org/welcome


CENTER VOICES

ANALYSIS & INSIGHT Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, people in recovery are experiencing challenges to stay sober due to self-quarantine and loneliness. Acknowledging that addiction is a disease, not a choice, can help loved ones be supportive, as discussed on Channel Q’s The Morning Beat with AJ and Mikalah:

Adolescent health experts and social workers say restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic are making it emotionally vexing for many people, particularly LGBTQ youth who do not have access to their usual support systems, as reported by USC’s Center for Health Journalism:

Excerpt: “Once people are able to grasp that understanding, they can have more empathy and take the first steps to helping someone. People, in the lives of someone who is struggling, need to really recognize it and then just offer their support and being there. Have open honest conversations and not be scared to have those conversations. It’s not about you—it’s about helping them.”

Excerpt: “Taking away a support system that they knew, the structure that LGBTQ youth had set up for themselves, was greatly impacted by this pandemic. As humans we are resilient, but our resilience comes from connecting to others. What we are going to see is that resilience starts to taper off.”

ERICA RODRIGUEZ, AMFT

Manager of Addiction Recovery Services Health Services

Mental Health Clinician II Children, Youth & Family Services

bit.ly/recoveryduringCOVID

Read more at

bit.ly/LGBTQyouthandCOVID

Great fanfare has surrounded the opening of the Center’s Liberation Coffee House located at the Anita May Rosenstein Campus. Staffed by graduates of the Center’s Culinary Arts program, the café opened amid the COVID-19 pandemic for a good reason, as reported by LA This Week:

As the world’s largest provider of programs and services to LGBT people, the Center had to continue its vital work during the COVID-19 pandemic, including thousands of Senior Services clients, as discussed on The Right Care Podcast:

Excerpt: “What we felt was really important is that we’re providing nutritious, affordable meals to the community. Even during a pandemic, people still need to eat, and so we’re hoping that this can shine a bright light on people as we’re going through this.”

Excerpt: “We’re a community center who operates by interfacing with people. All of that had to change—and had to change rapidly. We had to figure out: how do we continue to provide services and, yet, how do we do this when we have to, basically, close our doors? It took us a good month or so to really reconfigure everything and another month to streamline it as much as we could.”

NICK PANEPINTO Watch more at

bit.ly/liberationcoffeehouse

Director of Culinary Training and Operations Culinary Arts

Listen to more at

bit.ly/COVIDandseniors

TRIPP MILLS Associate Director of Housing and Training Senior Services

VANGUARD | GIVING

Listen to more at

KRISTEN ANDERSON


MILESTONES

2020

Your ongoing support of the Center's work to build a world where LGBT people thrive as healthy, equal, and complete members of society was more critical than ever this year. THANK YOU!

The Center’s Policy & Community Building team led our voter registration and education efforts throughout 2020. Resistance Squad volunteers made thousands of phone calls to help turn out the vote, while the Center’s voter education campaign included Proposition recommendations, party platform analysis, voter registration information, and information about how to vote safely during COVID-19. A virtual community conversation was held the night after the Presidential election in November featuring Center CEO Lorri L. Jean, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, Founder of the Black AIDS Institute Phill Wilson, and Center Federal Advocate Dan Maldonado.

The 5,500-square-foot community space located on W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. near Leimert Park opened in January. The grand opening community celebration featured remarks by local leaders. Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, hundreds of guests toured the facility and reveled in the daylong festivity which included food, refreshments, giveaways, a resource fair, and entertainment. The fourth annual Black History Month event drew a record crowd of more than 400 people and included keynote speaker Yazmin Monet Watkins, award presentations, live performances, fashion show, art exhibit, resource fair, sit-down dinner, and dancing.

VANGUARD | FALL / WINTER 2020

FAB FIVE

A critical virtual conversation in October featured providers of trans-related services throughout Southern California as a call to action to stop the violence against the trans community. The more than three dozen homicides of trans and gender nonconforming people reported in the United States make this year the deadliest on record.

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff joined members of the Center’s community for a special virtual conversation in April. Leading up to the November election, the Policy & Community Building team hosted a panel of grassroots community leaders discussing the intersection of racial justice and LGBTQ issues on the ballot.

V ir t

ua l

Located at the Center’s flagship Anita May Rosenstein Campus, the Liberation Coffee House opened in August. The 1,600-square-foot café and community space is operated and staffed by graduates of the intergenerational Culinary Arts program. Revenue from this unique social enterprise is reinvested into the Center.

Two of the Center’s ten locations— Center WeHo in West Hollywood and Mi Centro, the Center’s partnership location with Latino Equality Alliance in Boyle Heights—celebrated their fifth anniversaries in October.

To help keep the community up to date on changes to programs and services in response to COVID-19, the Center launched a month-long daily news show streamed on social media featuring critical updates from Center staff members.

Developed and launched through a coordinated effort of staff from across the Center, Pride Pantry helps meet the needs of community members experiencing food insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pantry distributes food directly from the Anita May Rosenstein Campus, Mi Centro, and Center South locations along with supplying food for seniors at Triangle Square and for delivery through Senior Angels.

Launched in October and presented by AIDS/LifeCycle, the ride-at-your-ownpace event for cyclists of all ages and abilities will raise critical funds for the Center’s HIV and AIDS related services and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Participants have until June 2021 to complete their collective 1.2 million miles, representing the 1.2 million people in the U.S. living with HIV and AIDS.


Led by the Policy & Community Building team, the Center’s outreach and education campaign worked to ensure everyone was counted as part of the 2020 Census. More than 50 TEAM members helped raise $36,000 to support the Center for The Big 5K during the LA Marathon in March. This year’s Senior Services Prom went virtual, welcoming hundreds of clients to an online dance party, complete with a DJ and hostess Little Miss Hot Mess.

The Center’s innovative new live Garage Theatre series kicked off with MARCH, a suspenseful, starkly political drama of peril and liberation conceived and directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera. Performances took place in the underground parking structure located below the Center’s Anita May Rosenstein Campus.

The Center’s 28th annual Models of Pride conference for LGBTQ youth and their allies streamed virtually over two days in November. Organized by the Center’s Youth Development program, the conference included an Opening Session, Entertainment Hour, and more than 25 workshops and presentations. The Parent & Professional Institute track included online workshops tailored for adults to better serve and care for LGBTQ youth.

Presented by The Ariadne Getty Foundation, the Center’s first-ever telethon aired live on KTLA 5 and streamed online with hosts Jane Lynch and KTLA 5 news anchor Cher Calvin. Featuring performances and appearances by a roster of A-list entertainers, the two-hour show raised nearly $1.3M for the Center’s vital programs and services during COVID-19.

CEO SEARCH

The two-hour event streamed live on the Center’s Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch channels with unforgettable performances and appearances by some of the Center’s most talented supporters. Hosted by Frankie Grande, it raised nearly $60,000 to support the Center’s COVID-19 response CARE Fund.

In June the Center launched the search for a successor to CEO Lorri L. Jean, who will retire in July 2022. In an unprecedented process, the new candidate will start in May 2021 as Executive Director and will work with Jean and senior staff to assure a smooth transition before assuming the role of CEO in July 2022.

Thousands tuned in for the first-ever twoday virtual event, which is one of the nation’s oldest and largest celebrations of the vibrant Trans/Gender Non-Conforming/Non-Binary (Trans/GNC/ENBY) community. Kicking off with a Big Queer Convo featuring Isis King and Alexandra Billings, the event included virtual workshops, panel discussions, art exhibit, and the fan-favorite VarieTy Show.

In celebration of National Coming Out Day and the film’s 20th anniversary, the Center and Lionsgate presented a drive-in rooftop screening of the cult classic But I’m a Cheerleader at the parking garage behind the Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood.

Launched in conjunction with the Hello Club by the Center’s Senior Services and Volunteer Resources teams, the Senior Angels program provides food and other essentials to seniors through safe, contactless delivery throughout Los Angeles.

The Center’s Volunteer Resources and Senior Services staff created the Hello Club to help connect with seniors isolated at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dozens of volunteers regularly call a roster of more than 2,600 senior clients to check in on them and to assess their needs.

VANGUARD | GIVING

With the 545-mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles postponed for the first time in history due to COVID-19 safety precautions, AIDS/LifeCycle@HOME featured a week of virtual events to celebrate the spirit of community and philanthropy for the 3,000+ participants who had registered for this year’s physical ride. Participants raised an amazing $8.1 million benefiting San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the HIV/AIDS-related services of the Center.


WHY I GIVE

VANGUARD | FALL / WINTER 2020

CHER CALVIN I

t was November. New York City. I was 18 and living at Rubin Hall, one of the dorms at New York University, during my freshman year. Since we already lived in the city, my parents made me agree on a deal: to live in the dorms, I would come home every Thursday night to have dinner with them and sleep overnight. I came home as planned one Thursday after class. My parents were fighting but I wasn't sure why. They never really fought. I remember three previous fights happening before this one in my entire life. I went into my bedroom, turned on some music, and settled in. My dad was cooking Filipino food for dinner. Adobo—my favorite. My cassette player stopped in between songs when I heard my father say in Tagalog, our Filipino language: “Ano kasi bakla ako?” I didn’t speak Tagalog yet, but I certainly understood what that sentence meant. I walked out of my room and asked, “What did you say?” My father looked at me and paused. He was furious with my mom, my mom furious with him. Still, I had no idea what they were arguing about, but, now, they both froze, shaking with anger and fear about what I heard. “That’s right, Cher. I’m gay,” he said. I was shocked. I just couldn’t understand how it was possible. My father—the matinee movie star idol in the Philippines...married for 19 years to my mother…having me...all my high school friends posing with my dad for “worship pictures” because they all had a crush on him—was gay? I had been introduced to the LGBTQ

community at an early age, whether it was a trip to Fire Island and Cherry Lane Grove when I was nine or going down to the West Village to join the Halloween parade with my parents. They never explained why we visited those places, but perhaps they knew one day—that day in November—everything would make sense. I walked out of our house located on Roosevelt Island, a small two-mile island in the middle of the East River between Manhattan and Queens. It had a promenade and a place called the Meditation Steps towards the middle of the island. I didn’t even know what meditation really meant back then, but it was my safe place since I was a kid, a place I would always go to enjoy the view and the buzzing sound coming from the city across the river. It was a place my dad knew he would find me. I saw him walking toward me as I sat on the steps. He was distraught—almost crying—but more distraught. He was shaking, worried, exposed. I looked at him and said, “You lied to me.” All these years…and now I was confused. Hurt. But then I saw how hurt he was, how scared he looked as though I wouldn’t accept him. “I’m sorry, Cher,” he sobbed. Hugging him, I said: “It’s OK. You’re still my dad.” It felt so good to say it to him because nothing was going to change my love for him. That entire moment played out in

about 30 mins—a half-hour that changed my life forever. It’s why I give to the LGBTQ community, why I walk with my dad and KTLA 5 at the Pride parade, why I fight for LGBT people’s rights, and why I hosted the Center’s first-ever televised telethon Love in Action. During the two-hour telethon, I honestly had no idea whether we would hit the $1 million goal. After all, no other LGBT organization had ever done a telethon, especially in the middle of a pandemic! My eyes grew wider, my spirit lifted as we inched closer—and surpassed—our goal. Such an incredible feeling to know there were so many compassionate, generous people watching the show who probably never heard of the Center before and decided to donate. And I was excited that my father—who felt compelled to hide his identity from society for so long—was able to watch it and witness the LGBTQ community and its allies achieving great things together. The Center is critical help for those who need vital resources, such as LGBTQ youth rejected by their families and those who have experienced discrimination in the workplace. I am honored to have been part of the Center’s momentous event and to share my and my dad’s story. I hope someone who reads this will know they are not alone and to have the courage to simply love no matter what. Because love is love.

The six-time Emmy Award-winning Cher Calvin anchors KTLA 5 weeknights at 6, 10, and 11 p.m. Follow her on social media @chercalvin


Community Action Response Effort

You are a first-responder for our community The Center has never walked away from our community during tough times and we will not do so now. With your support, our CARE Fund will ensure that resources and services are available for those who need them the most.

Thank you!

lalgbtcenter.org/CARE


Anita May Rosenstein Campus 1118 N. McCadden Pl. Los Angeles, CA 90038

“when you look at the

long course of history —and sometimes it’s far too long—

you see inexorable

progress.”

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff CA-28th District

Read and watch more from What Happens Now? The Night-After Election Virtual Community Conversation at LGBTNewsNow.org/election