Vanguard Quarterly Summer 2021

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ABOUT THE COVER

We're celebrating Pride with this issue of Vanguard by looking forward to welcoming back our beloved community of clients, supporters, volunteers, staff, and friends to the Center's 11 locations throughout Los Angeles—Happy Pride!

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Left to Right from Top: 1. 4. 7. 10.

Center WeHo The Village at Ed Gould Plaza Michaeljohn Horne & Thomas Eugene Jones Youth Housing Trans Wellness Center

2. 5. 8. 11.

McDonald/Wright Building Anita May Rosenstein Campus Campus Annex Mi Centro

3. Triangle Square 6. The Ariadne Getty Foundation Senior Housing 9. Center South


Second Annual

A telethon to support the Los Angeles LGBT Center

LIVE!

SATURDAY, AUGUST 14 • 7 P.M. ON KTLA 5 HOSTED BY

JANE LYNCH AND

CHER CALVIN ADAM LAMBERT • LILY TOMLIN • JANE FONDA MARTIN SHEEN • SAM WATERSTON • MANILA LUZON AND MANY MORE!

lalgbtcenter.org/telethon

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Appearances A ppearance by


A PUBLICATION OF THE LOS ANGELES LGBT CENTER

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Message from the Center’s CEO

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We're Giving Out Tons of Pride!

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Welcome to Michaeljohn Horne & Thomas Eugene Jones Youth Housing Opening Hearts, Minds, and Doors with the Host Homes Program

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Policy Updates

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Take Five with Center Volunteers & Staff

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Thank You for Your Support!

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Meet Circle of Life’s Frank Galassi

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Group Meetings Schedule

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Center Notes

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Center Voices

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Why I Give: Alyson Stoner

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 2021 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

More than a year ago, the Center shifted gears in response to the pandemic to create new programs and services, such as the weekly Pride Pantry food distribution, for our community. Inspired by the success of the pantry at the Anita May Rosenstein Campus, the Center launched similar pantries at Mi Centro in Boyle Heights and Center South in South L.A.


James Alva

Marki J. Knox, M.D.

Tess Ayers

Michael Lombardo

Secretary

Carlos Medina David J. Bailey Lucinda Moorhead LuAnn Boylan Michael Mueller Tad Brown Michael Ormonde Tamika L. Butler Loren S. Ostrow Sarah Dusseault Jayzen Patria Carolyn A. Dye Frank D. Pond Susan Feniger

Co-Chair

Co-Chair

Don Thomas Alfred Fraijo Jr. Amy Gordon Yanow Jordan Held

Treasurer

Annie Imhoff

Jaguar Busuego

Melantha Hodge

Production Designer

Strategic Partnership Manager

Nolan Ryan Cadena Operations Manager

Ari DeSano Platform and Systems Manager

Megan Phelps Managing Editor

Takashi Sato Art Director

Gil Diaz

George Skinner

Media and Public Relations Director

Production Designer

Tiffany Ward Kelly Freter Director

Greg Hernandez Writer/Editor

Production Manager

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FROM THE CEO

• Chief Executive Officer Lorri L. Jean

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hese days I find myself much more focused on the future than on the here and now. Of course, in a year, on July 1, 2022, I will retire from the helm of my beloved Los Angeles LGBT Center. But there is SO MUCH on my mind before then, some of which is about the Center and some that has to do with our larger movement. A few of the things keeping me up at night include: • When will our Ariadne Getty Foundation Senior Housing building open, after countless Covid-related delays? • When will the rest of the Center’s programs return live and in person? • Are people ready to once again attend Center events? And is my own nervousness about everything reopening logical? • Joe Hollendoner begins his one-year tenure as Executive Director in July; how do we make his year of transition a valuable and meaningful one—for him and the staff he will soon lead? • We’re relaunching the AIDS/LifeCycle late this summer for 2022—will it come back full-force? What are the consequences if it doesn’t? • The Equality Act was passed in the House; does it have a chance in the Senate? • Has it really been 40 years since the CDC first reported cases of AIDS, right here in L.A.? For my thoughts on each of these, please read on.

PICKING OURSELVES UP AFTER THE PANDEMIC The Ariadne Getty Foundation Senior Housing This 98-unit affordable housing building designed for LGBTQ seniors has been beset by seemingly countless Covid-related delays. We’ve faced everything from construction staff unable to work because of quarantines to materials shortages caused by the pandemic. As the opening date continually receded, the lucky seniors whose names were drawn from more than 1,500 lottery applicants to secure one of these coveted units have been understandably anxious about when they can move in. If City inspectors cooperate, we hope to have our Temporary Certificate of Occupancy by the time you read this and look forward to celebrating the move-in by early July. Stay tuned!

When will the rest of the Center resume in-person services, including Center events? Since March of 2020, one-third of our staff has continued to provide front-line, essential services onsite, while the remaining two-thirds have been working from home. So, while the Center never stopped providing services, many programs certainly adapted to circumstances, including going virtual. Currently, the staff of programs and departments that were not considered front-line, essential services, and were required to work from home, have either already returned to work or are preparing to safely do so. Directors are implementing

schedules that make sense for each area (and some of our virtual programming worked so well, we’ll likely keep much of it!). Of course, the rules for workplaces like ours and for some of the services we provide are different from California’s general reopening rules, so we’ll have to navigate them carefully. In terms of returning to in-person events, in June we dipped our toes in the water with our Pride Picnic at Hollywood Forever. Some people definitely are ready to get back out there! I’ve found myself very excited about the prospect of seeing (and hugging) friends again. Yet, when a board committee recently scheduled a meeting in a restaurant’s private dining room, even though all of us planning to attend were fully vaccinated, I felt nervous. Clearly, my reaction wasn’t completely logical. I suspect it will take a little while for many of us to get used to doing things we’ve been avoiding for 15 months.

What’s going on with Joe Hollendoner? Joe begins his tenure at the Center on July 6th. He and his husband, Bill, have found an apartment that is close to the Anita May Rosenstein Campus. My team and I and the Board of Directors have been preparing for his arrival for many months. We have a comprehensive and detailed plan for what we hope to achieve in Joe’s “onboarding” year. Most new nonprofit CEOs have no choice but to immediately begin focusing externally, which deprives them


What about relaunching the AIDS/LifeCycle? Covid required that we cancel the ALC in 2020 and 2021. This is our largest fundraiser, and it nets millions every year for the Center and our event partner, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. It hasn’t been easy, but despite the huge loss in revenues, the Center has managed to survive the last 15 months without having to cut the vital HIV- and AIDS-related services and staffing that are made possible by the ALC. But that is not sustainable going forward. We desperately NEED the AIDS/LifeCycle to be back at full strength in 2022 and we’ll be launching the event in August. If you’ve always wanted to do the AIDS ride, or are a veteran and have considered doing it again at some point, please make 2022 your year! What better way to get beyond Covid than to start training in the great outdoors for a noble cause? It also will be MY last year on the ride and we’ll do our best to pull out all the stops. It’s an incredible week that people find to be life-changing. I hope you can join us.

What’s happening with the Equality Act? The Equality Act seeks to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in employment,

housing, public accommodations, education, federally-funded programs, credit, and jury service. It’s exactly the kind of law we need to ensure that LGBTQ people across the country have the same protections from discrimination as everyone else. Many Californians may not realize how important this is because we’ve had virtual legal equality in California for over two decades. But every state isn’t California. In fact, in 2020, a national survey from the Center for American Progress revealed that 1 in 3 LGBTQ Americans, including 3 in 5 transgender Americans, experienced discrimination in just the previous year. Fortunately, the House of Representatives passed the bill in February and sent it to the Senate. Unfortunately, because we need 60 votes, I and many pundits believe it does not have a chance to pass in the Senate this session. Not only are the vast majority of Republican senators against it, but a few Democrats aren’t in the right place either. If I’m right, however, it doesn’t mean we should stop fighting for the Equality Act. After all, most important pieces of legislation don’t happen overnight. They can take years to get passed. And while that makes me sad, it doesn’t make me hopeless. Each time we pull together to achieve progress, even when we lose, we are expanding the foundation for the next battle. Whether it’s fighting back against a homophobic Supreme Court decision that denied us our rights, or working to overturn Proposition 8, or rising up after the horrific murder of queer people in the Pulse nightclub, we learn something and we become more resilient and better prepared for the next battle. Twenty years ago, most LGBT people my age could not fathom that marriage equality would become the law of the land in our lifetimes. We could not imagine an openly transgender person being approved by the Senate for a senior position in a presidential administration. We could not foresee an openly lesbian Black woman addressing the press corps on behalf of a U.S. President in the White House briefing room. But we never gave up and we never gave in. And look at all that we’ve accomplished that once seemed unfathomable! That’s why I believe we must look at the Equality Act as more than just a piece of legislation. It is a declaration of human

dignity and a promise to future generations of LGBTQ people that the struggle for full acceptance continues. And we will keep fighting to get it passed—regardless of what happens in this session of Congress. Remember, it took women more than 50 years from the first proposal to win the right to vote. Throughout it all, women kept fighting. We have to keep fighting, too. The good news is that most of the American people are on our side. And we have a new Presidential Administration that has already made great strides in restoring some of the rights and privileges that the Trump Administration stripped from LGBTQ people. In fact, Biden and his team have taken more pro-LGBTQ actions in the first five months of his tenure than any President in history. Finally, last month marked the 40th Anniversary since the Centers for Disease Control issued a report about five gay men in L.A. with a rare cancer that eventually became a global pandemic known as AIDS. Then, as now, the Center responded, providing critically-needed services that simply weren’t available anywhere else. For the last 40 years we have not only continued to provide quality, state-of-the-art HIV and AIDS-related services, we have been a leader in prevention efforts, in the search for better treatments and in advocating for the interests of people living with HIV. Throughout, we’ve never forgotten the many members of our community who were lost to the Center’s first pandemic, just as we will never cease our efforts to finally end HIV. So, while I may have a lot to worry about these days, I also know that everything is on the right track. Just as our community is resilient, so is the Los Angeles LGBT Center. We’ve been serving and fighting for our community for 52 years and we’ll keep at it until we’ve achieved our mission of building a world where LGBTQ people thrive as healthy, equal and complete members of society.

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of the opportunity to really get to know the organization deeply at the beginning. Because I’m still here, Joe will have the luxury of immersing himself internally for the first few months, getting to know the staff and the programs first-hand. After several months, he’ll be able to turn his attention outward. I believe that this internal focus will build an incredibly strong foundation for Joe’s work and a seamless transition once he assumes the CEO position in July 2022. Honestly, I’m really excited about the opportunity to work more closely with Joe. We have been collaborative partners on the AIDS/LifeCycle (ALC) for the past five years. I have been very impressed by Joe’s intelligence, judgment, ethics and humor and have grown very fond of him. That makes the prospect of our year of overlap a fun one! It also is a great relief to me to know that the Center will be in such capable hands.


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• VOLUNTEERS HAND OUT FOOD AT CENTER SOUTH.

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The Center’s Pride Pantry Volunteers and Staff Distribute More Than 44 Tons of Produce During Its First Year


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n a sunny Friday afternoon, the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Associate Director of Facilities Angela Echeverria is busy coordinating routes with drivers who volunteered to deliver food to the homes of the Center’s most vulnerable clients. “Good luck, everyone, and thank you!” Echeverria told the drivers as they departed with bags of fresh produce and boxes of pantry items. It’s a scenario that has taken place every week for the past year at Pride Hall, Pride Pantry’s headquarters located inside the Center’s Anita May Rosenstein Campus. In the early months of the pandemic, Pride Hall was transformed from an event space into a temporary warehouse where, at times, pallets of boxed and canned food nearly reached the top of the 45-foot tall ceiling and fresh produce dominated several rows of tables. Director of Culinary Training and Operations Nick Panepinto was among the Center employees from across various departments to collaborate and launch Pride Pantry in May 2020. “As we reflect back on a year of Pride Pantry, it’s really amazing that we continue to distribute about 695 bags and boxes of produce each week,” he said. “By the end of June 2021, we’re on track to distribute 24,120 boxes of food, including 44 tons of produce—that’s equal to the weight of 30 compact cars!” Soon after Pride Pantry was launched at the Campus, it was expanded to begin caring for the communities served by the Center’s other facilities: Mi Centro in Boyle Heights and Center South in South L.A. near Leimert Park. "It lets people know the Center cares about them and is here to help,” observed • PRIDE PANTRY VOLUNTEERS AND STAFF UNPACK THE WEEKLY ALLOTMENT OF PRODUCE TO BE DISTRIBUTED. Center South Program Supervisor Percival Pandy. “When the pandemic doors open in order to meet the needs of staff members spend the day filling bags and boxes for Friday’s distribution from began, Center South just opened. Pride the people here.” The connection with community also the Campus and the pantry’s satellite Pantry has brought so many people from locations. On Fridays, clients drive up the community into the Center who had runs deep at Mi Centro. “We’ve had folks coming to Mi Centro to the check-in area to have volunteers never interacted with our organization— that’s how vital it’s been to building a for the first time because of the pantry,” bring the food to their cars, or they pick says Eddie Martinez, executive director it up themselves on foot. The pantry at the place in the community.” Launched last July, Center South’s of the Latino Equality Alliance, which Campus is also available to senior clients, Pride Pantry is offered every second and partnered with the Center to create Mi who are experiencing an emergency with fourth Friday of the month and provides Centro more than five years ago. “Once food insecurity, on a walk-up basis Monwe give them the food, you see the smiles. day through Thursday. for more than 200 people each month. “Pride Pantry has really helped to “Pride Pantry has kept us engaged with And to provide a smile to a family during the people of South L.A.,” continued the pandemic means so much to them and build community at a time when so many people need it, particularly at their most Pandy. "When people were under quaran- to Mi Centro staff.” Pride Pantry functions like a well-oiled vulnerable point,” noted Panepinto. “For tine and social distancing orders, we were one of the organizations which kept our machine. Every Thursday, volunteers and all of the senior clients, whether they’re


By the end of June 2021, we’re on track to distribute 24,120 boxes of food, including 44 tons of produce—that’s equal to the weight of 30 compact cars! • SCENES FROM PRIDE PANTRY HEADQUARTERS , AS WELL AS MI CENTRO (BOYLE HEIGHTS) AND CENTER SOUTH (LEIMERT PARK). VISIT FROM U.S. REP. ADAM SCHIFF (ABOVE) TO CELEBRATE PRIDE PANTRY EFFORT.

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receiving the home deliveries or arriving in person to the Campus to receive their boxes, this may be the only interaction they have with anyone for the week.”


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At Last, A Home to Call Their Own

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Youth Are Building Their Lives Inside the Michaeljohn Horne & Thomas Eugene Jones Youth Housing

• MICHAELJOHN HORNE & THOMAS EUGENE JONES YOUTH HOUSING


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obert had been experiencing homelessness since the age of 16, including time spent living on downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row. Now 21, he has begun a new chapter in his life as one of the first residents of the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s newly-opened Michaeljohn Horne & Thomas Eugene Jones Youth Housing in Hollywood. Before move-in day in April, Robert visualized what everyday life might be like at the four-story structure located on McCadden Place. “I had this dream I was in there, and I’m cooking, studying, watching my videos,” he said. “I now have a roof over my head, someplace I can go home to lie down, shower, and relax. I am blessed.” The nearly 13,000-square-foot youth housing includes 25 supportive-housing apartments for young people ages 24 and under. It is located directly across the

street from the Center’s flagship Anita May Rosenstein Campus and next door to the Center’s The Village at Ed Gould Plaza. Ranging from 279 to 329 square feet, these microunits are the first to be designed for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. The indoor community space includes a case management office to help the residents gain access to the Center’s wraparound programs and services, including case management; education; employment training and placement; health and mental health care; food and clothing assistance; counseling and support groups; and activities and events. The housing units combine rental assistance with individualized, flexible, and voluntary support services for youth. Housing Stabilizer Abel Tovar, from the Center’s Children, Youth & Family Services Department, says this is an

opportunity for residents to start building the next steps of their lives’ foundation. “A lot of them have experienced many struggles in life,” Tovar explained. “Some

• CHILDREN, YOUTH & FAMILY SERVICES' ABEL TOVAR

of them have been in the child welfare system for many years before becoming homeless. They were discriminated against or kicked out of their homes because they’re part of the LGBT community. Many of them have not felt like they’ve had a real home so this will be their first opportunity


• THE 13,000-SQUARE-FOOT, FOUR-STORY YOUTH HOUSING INCLUDES 25 SUPPORTIVE-HOUSING UNITS AND A COMMUNITY ROOM AND COMPUTER LAB ON THE GROUND FLOOR.

to say: ‘This is my home.’” Kay, another one of the first residents, had been experiencing homelessness since aging out of foster care at 18. “I don’t really have the best relationship with my family. You’re in a position where you’re unsupported. I have had to be strong for myself,” Kay said. “Being able to have my own place, it’s like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Now, I’m looking forward to the best possible things that can happen.”

and Center supporter Mac Kahey (a.k.a. MacDoesIt) hosted a virtual grand opening that streamed live across the Center’s social media platforms. The 21-minute event included a live tour of the 600-square-foot indoor community space located on the first floor with a communal kitchen, a television, and a computer lab; one of the furnished units located on the fourth floor; and the outdoor space designed with landscaped areas and pathways.

A Virtual Grand Opening The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic prevented the Center from organizing an in-person community celebration of the youth housing. There were no rainbow balloons and ribbon-cutting ceremony, akin to the Campus’ grand opening in 2019. Instead, charismatic YouTube star

• MAC KAHEY (A.K.A. MacDoesIt)

“We usually would be having a big party. People would be on the street having fun, the mayor would come out and say stuff,” Kahey explained on camera to the virtual world. “But Miss Pandemic is still out there running live and running wild so we’re doing this virtually. It has taken an entire community to make this building happen!” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, indeed, made an appearance with a pre-recorded message. He described the opening as “an inspiring chapter in the work of providing safe, clean, and secure permanent housing to our city’s most vulnerable.” Center CEO Lorri L. Jean lauded the occasion, also in a pre-recorded video, as the day “we rightfully celebrate the vision, passion, and hard work it took to get to this auspicious opening day and the way these homes will literally change the lives of the residents.”

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I now have a roof over my head, someplace I can go home to lie down, shower, and relax. I am blessed.


“But at the same time,” she added, “we know that this project is not enough. There are thousands more youth in our community who still face the burdens of homelessness and all of its challenges: employment, food insecurity, mental health issues. Today at least we are making a dent in those problems. This building is a model for how we can start to better meet all of their needs.” • (LEFT, RIGHT) MICHAELJOHN HORNE & THOMAS EUGENE JONES YOUTH HOUSING; (MIDDLE) CENTER CEO LORRI L. JEAN WITH TSA PRESIDENT JORDAN PYNES; (BOTTOM) MICHAELJOHN HORNE & THOMAS EUGENE JONES

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The Two Men Who Stepped Up

Jean praised all of those involved, including the Center’s affordable housing development partner Thomas Safran & Associates (TSA), for completing the housing during a global pandemic. “This project is one of the most important and significant developments in our company’s history,” said TSA President Jordan Pynes. “This project is important to us because it provides housing and services and creates a one-of-a-kind campus for the LGBTQ community.” Jean also paid special tribute to Michaeljohn Horne and Thomas Eugene Jones, the couple for whom the building is named. “Every day the young people in this building will see the names of two proud and successful gay men who generously gave back to their community,” she said. “That is a powerful and important message, not only for youth, but for all of us.” In pre-recorded remarks, Jones lauded the building’s beauty and said he imagines all of the new opportunities for the young residents. “That’s all I can think about,” he said. “I’m filled with hope for them. To be part of it is special.” Horne added: “We watched the building go up—that was amazing! It really fills our hearts to walk through the building and realize we are sort of the spark of hope for young people.”

Watch the Youth Housing Virtual Celebration at bit.ly/YHcelebration

This project is important to us because it provides housing and services and creates a one-of-akind campus for the LGBTQ community.


The Ariadne Getty Foundation Senior Housing Nears Completion

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It really fills our hearts to walk through the building and realize we are sort of the spark of hope for young people.

mong the new high-rise construction projects sprouting in Hollywood is the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Ariadne Getty Foundation Senior Housing, the final cornerstone to complete the revolutionary Anita May Rosenstein Campus. Soaring five stories tall on Las Palmas Avenue, one block east of McCadden Place, the nearly 33,000square-foot senior housing has been under construction for more than two years—its grand opening stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, as California fully reopens following the pandemic, a new dawn is rising from the construction dust. Affordable housing developer Thomas Safran & Associates, which partnered with the Center to build the senior housing, reports that the modern edifice is 98 percent complete! Once the senior housing passes its mandatory inspections, the first batch of residents may be able to move in sometime in July. “Our new residents are more than ready to move in!” said Senior Services Director Kiera Pollock. “For months, they were forced to quarantine inside their current homes and avoid all social in-person interactions with their friends and relatives. But, our seniors are a resilient group, and we can’t

wait to hand over the keys to their new home!” The Ariadne Getty Foundation Senior Housing, sprawling across nearly three-quarters of an acre, includes a community room with dining facilities, communal kitchen, and fitness center on the ground floor. The dining hall’s floor-toceiling windows overlook a welldesigned outdoor courtyard with landscaped areas and pathways. From the courtyard, residents will have direct access to the Center’s Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Senior Center where they can attend more than 100 monthly free or lowcost activities, including wellness workshops and LGBTQ social and cultural events. When the housing lottery opened in March 2020, a whopping 1,200plus people applied to secure one of the coveted units. The apartments combine rental assistance with individualized, flexible, and voluntary support services for seniors. Of the 98 units, 19 are studios; 75 are one-bedrooms; 4 are twobedrooms. (One of the units will be occupied by the on-site residential manager.) All of the apartments, ranging from 379 to 954 square feet, will include luxury vinyl flooring, and new kitchen appliances.

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Nearly 33,000 Square Feet to Support Senior Residents


The Center’s Host Homes Program Makes It Easier for LGBTQ Youth to Live Independently

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ith a husband and two small arrived in Los Angeles from Alabama “on children, Mandy Richardville’s just a wing and a prayer,” he says. “I was a gay black man in the South house was already full when her family decided to make room for a from a strong Christian family,” said Ellis, young, transgender youth named Dre who now 23. “I left because I wanted to start a life for myself." moved in with them in December 2019. “He really livened up our house,” she recollected. “He was so kind and thoughtful and really made a mark on us. We II was to have have was able able to were really excited to get him in before the the motivation motivation to to Christmas knowing he had experienced homelessness and was estranged from his do which II do things things which own family.” normally normally wouldn’t wouldn’t Dre’s three-month stay with the do—I went Richardville’s was Richardvilles was arranged arranged through the do—I went out out of of Center’s Host Homes program in which my my comfort comfort zone. zone. an LGBTQ youth is housed in a local, The program private home for up to six months to help The program gave gave bridge the gap between homelessness and me me the the strength strength permanent housing. The participating and motivation youth are between the ages of 18–24 and and motivation to to receive counseling, transition services, finish something. finish something. and permanent housing assistance from Center staff. He stayed for a month in the Redondo In addition to spending Christmas He stayed home for of aa month lesbianincouple the Redondo before together, Dre was still living with the Beach having home enoughofresources a lesbianto couple move into before his family when he obtained his official name Beach own having apartment. enough resources to move into his change and gender marker. “It’s apartment. a useful transition from shelter “This program has been the most love own “It’s toa apartment useful transition living where from Ishelter have and support that I’ve ever experienced in living nice to place apartment to lay my living head,where to have I have my my life,” said the 19-year-old. ”I was able aliving a niceshower, place to to lay havemymyhead, own to bathroom.” have my to have the motivation to do things which own shower, who to now have works my as own a peer bathroom.” support I normally wouldn’t do—I went out of ownEllis, Ellis, who in the now Center’s works Children, as a peer support Youth my comfort zone. The program gave specialist specialist Family in Services the Center’s Department, Children, saysYouth he is me the strength and motivation to finish & & grateful Familyfor Services, the rolesays which he isHost grateful Homes for something.” the rolein which helpingHost him Homes start anplayed indepenin Carlton Ellis, another youth who played helping life.him start an independent life. participated in the Host Homes program, dent

“What I like about the program is that they don’t just put you anywhere,” he said. “They actually take time to really find out if this is going to be beneficial to the youth and the path the youth is trying to pursue.” Compared to Dre, Ellis didn’t interact much with his hosts during his stay. Dre had dinner most nights with the Richardville family and also joined them for games of Uno and repeated viewings of the Disney Channel’s musical Descendants. “Dre had long hours, and you could tell he wanted to be at our home,” Richardville said. “Dre joined right into our family activities. It was a lot more fun than having a youth shut in their room. My family still talks about Dre.”

• TWO CENTER EMPLOYEES PREPARE A HOST HOMES CONTRACT


Amid the good times, there can be boundaries to be resolved between hosts and youth. For instance, hosts must acknowledge that a youth is considered an independent adult—not as a child—coming into their home. “We do not ask the hosts to be case managers, parents, or best friends to the youth,” explained Director of Community-based Programs Kevin McCloskey, from the Center’s Children, Youth & Family Services Department. “Sometimes the hosts have to reimagine their expectations and what their relationship is going to be with the young person. The best hosts understand what they’re doing: providing a safe space and a community for this young adult.”

Host Homes already has established a track record of success with 80 percent of the participants obtaining their own apartments through supportive housing, being reconnected with family, or achieving independent living. “All of the young people have made steps in their educational or employment goals,” McCloskey said. “Once you remove housing instability from being one of the challenges the young people face, they are able to focus on other goals and work toward becoming more self-sufficient.”

More Hosts Needed On any given night in Los Angeles, approximately 5,000 youth experiencing homelessness are surviving on the streets of Los Angeles. In Hollywood, a staggering

To register for the July 17 orientation session, or for more information about the Host Homes program, visit lalgbtcenter.org/hosthomes or email hosthomes@lalgbtcenter.org

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Navigating Boundaries

40 percent of them identify as LGBTQ. “We have youth and social workers contacting us every single week looking for host homes, and we just don’t have the number of hosts to meet that need,” said McCloskey. “Right now, we are recruiting hosts and families of all shapes and sizes: single folks in an apartment, married queer couples in beautiful homes, and everything in between. There is not one cookie cutter approach to this—we’ve seen a variety of hosts have successful experiences.” Potential hosts are invited to participate in the next orientation scheduled for Saturday, July 17. The virtual session, which lasts four to six hours, is mandatory for anyone wanting to be considered for the program. Additionally: • They must be over the age of 30 and have a private room available in their homes. • They must carry homeowners or renters insurance and complete a variety of steps—a background check, home inspection, interview process, and training—before they qualify to be matched with a youth. • Both the youth and the hosts enter into a contract covering basic house rules and boundaries, including COVID-19 protocols. “It’s a chance to learn, to ask questions, and to meet other potential hosts. We talk about who these young people are and what challenges they face,” said McCloskey. “If you have an underutilized bedroom and a heart to help a young person, you are right for our program. It doesn’t matter where you live or what your housing looks like. We’re more interested in learning about you as a potential host.” The selection process works both ways. For youth considering an application for housing, Ellis emphasized that the program may not work for every youth applicant and to keep all their options open. “No program is set in stone or guaranteed. There’s a possibility it might not go well the first time, but don’t give up and don’t get dismayed,” he shared. “The Host Homes is a good program, and the Center will work with you to determine what’s good for you.”


A L V I R T U

Thank you for attending! See you next year IN PERSON!

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Visit lalgbtcenter.org/transpride for highlights from this year’s festival.

Panels & Workshops

Community Art Gallery


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POLICY UPDATE

“Access to healthcare

is a human right. While today’s reversal is welcomed, it makes it no less horrifying that the health and well-being of our community can be threatened or restored with a stroke of a pen.” Center Commends Reversal of Anti-LGBTQ Healthcare Rule; Urges Resistance Against Discriminatory Policies at State Level Read more at bit.ly/hhsreversal

VANGUARD | SUMMER 2021

“Since the Center’s

founding more than 50 years ago, we have been fighting back against this type of vitriol and violence. The consequences of hate violence are deadly, and it is time that we put a stop to these behaviors.”

Center Condemns Hate Crimes Against RH@M /@BH΁BË(RK@MCDQË LDQHB@MR Read more at bit.ly/protectapi

AT A TIME WHEN ANTITRANSGENDER LEGISLATION IS SWEEPING ACROSS STATE HOUSES NATIONWIDE, TODAY’S CONFIRMATION SENDS A POWERFUL MESSAGE THAT OUR COMMUNITY WILL NOT BE DETERRED FROM SEEKING TO REPRESENT US IN THE HIGHEST POSITIONS ACROSS THIS COUNTRY.” Center Congratulates Dr. Rachel Levine on Making History as First Openly Transgender Person Con΁QLDCËAXË4 2 Ë2DM@SD Read more at bit.ly/drrachellevine


VANGUARD | SUMMER OF PRIDE



POLICY UPDATE

“The appalling

Center Responds to Guilty Verdict in the Killing of George Floyd 2EADÀMOREÀATÀBIT LY ˱OYDVERDICT

Los Angeles County’s Department of Child and Family Services Refuses to Serve LGBTQ Foster Youth Read more at bit.ly/callondcfs

VANGUARD | SUMMER OF PRIDE

IT IS NOW OUR COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE SURE THAT THE VERDICT IS NOT THE END OF THE STORY AND WE ALL CONTINUE WORKING TO ERADICATE ALL FORMS OF SYSTEMIC OPPRESSION THAT ARE A DAILY EXPERIENCE FOR SO MANY PEOPLE OF COLOR, WOMEN, LGBTQ PEOPLE, IMMIGRANTS, AND OTHER MARGINALIZED AND BRUTALIZED COMMUNITIES.”

consequences for LGBTQ youth have been dire, including emotional trauma, torture, and even death. Yet, L.A. County goverment departments and elected officials responsible for their care and protection, knowing this for many years, have done nothing to change the situation.”


The Los Angeles LGBT Center is the largest provider of programs and services to LGBT people in the world. With 11 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

TAKE FIVE

CENTER VOLUNTEERS & STAFF MEMBERS

YOU’LL LEARN THINGS YOU NEVER CONSIDERED BEFORE WHEN VOLUNTEERING

Bagging groceries at Pride Pantry and delivering them to the Center’s senior clients has become such a regular part of my life. It gets me out of the house and out of my head. Volunteering at the Center has introduced me to a number of Angelenos whom I never would have met otherwise and taken me to parts of the city which I never would have seen. It’s a good idea to choose a volunteer position that gets you out of whatever bubble you’re in—you’ll learn things you never considered before!

*

" # $ " # %

!

$ # & '( # ) #

THE STRENGTH LIES WITHIN MY CLIENTS As a therapist, the population I work with are people who have experienced so much trauma. They are here in the U.S. alone after fleeing from their country because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. They are persecuted and looking for asylum here—a lot of my clients are trying to survive. If I don’t have a good relationship with my client, I won’t be able to help them even if I have all the book knowledge. I tell them, “I’m like a light in this mine, and I show you this path and that path.” The strength lies within the clients.

VANGUARD | SUMMER OF PRIDE


GOLD CIRCLE $6,000-$11,999

The Los Angeles LGBT Center is extremely grateful for the support of the following new Sustaining Donors and Circle of Life members.

Jacobson Family Foundation Jeff Klein and John H. Goldwyn William Lee

STERLING CIRCLE $3,600-$5,999 Danielle McPherson* Allison Milgard and Heather Reid John Oden and Mark Dizik*

SILVER CIRCLE $2,400-$3,599 Wendie D. Malick and Richard O. Erickson in honor of Randy Neece and Joe Timko

SILVER CIRCLE $1,800-$2,399 Bailey Ernst

SILVER CIRCLE $1,500-$1,799 Sylvia Kohn-Rich Mark and Terri Lisagor David and Janice Mullen Peter O’Keefe and Sandra Young Jenna Seid Barry Weiss

CIRCLE OF LIFE MEMBERS

For information about becoming a Sustaining Donor, please contact:

Matt Silverberg Leslie A. Hope Marc Berton Dr. Martin McCombs Philip P. McKenna

Erin English Major Gifts Manager eenglish@lalgbtcenter.org 323-993-8974

Scott Gizicki

VANGUARD | SUMMER 2021

Major Gifts Officer sgizicki@lalgbtcenter.org 323-993-8932

For information about Planned Giving, please contact: Nellie Sims, J.D. Director of Planned Giving nsims@lalgbtcenter.org 323-993-7606

RECOGNITION REFLECTS DONORS WITH NEW OR INCREASED COMMITMENTS DURING THE PERIOD OF FEBRUARY 1–APRIL 30, 2021

*Indicates an increase in membership level. The Center recognizes all our Sustaining Donors and Circle of Life Members BGÁͱMJÁ:GGM:EÁJ>HͱJL ÁHM;EBKA>=ÁBGÁLA>Á˓JKLÁIM:JL>JÁͱ?Á>:<AÁ<:E>G=:JÁQ>:J

REALIZE THE POWER OF A GIFT. Making the Center part of your legacy in your will is one of the most important contributions you can make to the organization. Ways to give include wills and living trusts; beneficiary designations; charitable gift annuities, charitable trusts; memorials and tribute gifts; and real estate. By including the Center in your estate plan or making another type of planned gift, you help ensure a strong and vibrant future for the Center as we build a world where LGBT people thrive as healthy, equal, and complete members of society.

LEARN MORE AT LALGBTCENTER.ORG/LEGACY


DONOR PROFILE

FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS, CIRCLE OF LIFE DONOR ENSURES FELLOW SENIORS' QUALITY OF LIFE

TAKING CARE OF HIS GENERATION he says enthusiastically, referring to the memory challenges. Participants stand at Center’s Liberation Coffee House. “The a podium and read quality literature aloud. Campus is a marvelous place—a place The class has continued throughout the pandemic via Zoom. where a dream became a reality.” “All of the studies indicate it’s not Galassi grew up in the Bronx and attended the New York University only good for the brain but also for the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, body and self-esteem,” Galassi says of the and Human Development. He earned classroom’s activities. “It’s also good for a doctorate in English Language and our LGBT community to see one anothLiterature in 1971 and, by that time, er, to witness one another, and to read out loud—perhaps for was already an LGBT the first time in their rights activist. He lives.” joined a picket line Galassi envisions and began handing out the need for services fliers on the second day and programs to the of the Stonewall Riots LGBT community which was, according only increasing in to him, “the day my the coming years— activism was really, another good reason really born. I got to for joining the Circle meet people who have of Life. left such an impression “Our LGBT seniors on me.” are coming forward During his first trip like never before,” he to Los Angeles in 1979 points out. “My cowith friends, he met horts, my folks—we Hamilton and relocated the following year so they could begin were severely marginalized constitutionally, socially, and psychologically so we’re a life together. In 1983, Galassi was given a fellowship new at living our authentic lives publicly. at the University of Southern California’s With the long history of marginalization, Leonard Davis School of Gerontology we have to be vigilant about our rights which launched him into the study of and getting what we need. We have to clinical psychology and led to his licen- keep on top of it.” sure in 1991 as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). For more information about our Circle of Life He launched the Brain Power class estate planning, contact Director of Planned Giving in 2014 to help his fellow seniors with Nellie Sims, J.D., at nsims@lalgbtcenter.org

&QÁ<ͱAͱJLK ÁFQÁ folks—we were K>N>J>EQÁF:J@BG:EBR>=Á <ͱGKLBLMLBͱG:EEQ Á Kͱ<B:EEQ Á:G=Á HKQ<AͱEͱ@B<:EEQÁ so we’re new at living our authentic EBN>KÁHM;EB<EQ

VANGUARD | SUMMER OF PRIDE

B

efore the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Frank Galassi loved to eat a hot lunch with his fellow seniors inside the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Senior Center after teaching his Brain Power class on Thursdays. “People couldn’t wait to get to that lunch. It was like a new world: all sitting together and absorbing who we all are,” shares Galassi, 83. “I would sit there with my peers—a very mixed group—but most are struggling financially. They have expressed such gratitude for the services that the Center is giving including the ability to provide quality food five days a week.” Galassi, a licensed marriage and family therapist, became more involved with the Center and committed to its future after the 2011 death of his partner of 30 years Scott Hamilton, a renowned Hollywood makeup artist. “After Scott died, I said to myself, ‘Where am I going to put my future in terms of endowment, scholarships, funding?’” he remembers. “I contacted my attorneys and said I’d like to make a major donation at my death in my and Scott’s names.” Galassi, who has included the Center in his estate plan through its Circle of Life program, recently decided to increase his donation amount because of the robust expansion in recent years including the opening of the Anita May Rosenstein Campus. “There’s housing for the youth and even our little coffee shop at the corner,”


Keeping the Trans/GNC/ENBY Community connected Trans* Lounge offers over 20 online groups and workshops each month, including • Trans History

• 5edeƓning 0asculinities

• Group for Trans & ENBY Folx on the Neurodiverse Spectrum

• Cooking Class / Chosen Family Dinner

• Groups for those having Gender $fƓrming Surgeries

• Binder Exchange • and much, much more!

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

Coming Out for TGI/ENBY+

translounge.org F.L.EX.

30+

Coming Out for Women

Lesbian Chat

sQ

Ma

MasQ

MasQ

KEEPING THEIR GROUP ON VANGUARD | SUMMER 2021

THE CENTER'S SOCIAL NETWORKING GROUPS MIGRATE ONLINE AND EXPAND THEIR REACH DURING PANDEMIC

FOR MORE INFO CONTACT: GROUPS@LALGBTCENTER.ORG OR VISIT SOCIALNET.LALGBTCENTER.ORG Coming Out for Men

os!

¡Hablem

trans*

Intersex

HerStories

Village Readers


Group Meetings

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 12-Step groups are temporarily not being held at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza. Please check the internet for information on virtual 12-Step meetings.

Coming Out Coming Out Workshops for Women Coming Out Workshops for Men Coming Out Group for TGI/ENBY+ Community 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, or email groups@lalgbtcenter.org or visit socialnet.lalgbtcenter.org

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 Club Intersex For people to share their experience, strength, and hope as members of the intersex community. Every 1st & 3rd Thurs., 6–7:30 p.m. 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 HerStories For all LGBT women who want strong community and great conversation. Mondays, 8–10 p.m. To learn how to connect virtually,

Community Groups (Cont.) email groups@lalgbtcenter.org or visit socialnet.lalgbtcenter.org Lit Sessions For young men of color to connect and share their experiences dealing with identity, racism, homophobia, community, relationships, and sex. Monthly, 11 a.m.–7 p.m. RSVP for dates. To RSVP, email litlife@lalgbtcenter.org or call 323-860-3799. M Group Monthly, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. RSVP for dates. To RSVP, call 323-860-3799. MasQ Explore your male identity however you choose to express it. 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 REDElNE AND explore the possibilities of what it can and should mean to be masculine in this world. 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. Wednesdays, 3–4:30 p.m. Trans* Lounge membership required for access to videoconference links. Register for FREE at translounge.org Surgery Suite A space to discuss genderAFlRMING SURGERIES IN A SAFE supportive space. Now expanded to three times per month for ADDED FOCUS ON YOUR SPECIlC gender journey. Every 1st Thurs.: Trans Masculine Procedures Every 2nd Thurs.: Open discussion with a medical professional Every 4th Thurs.: Trans Feminine Procedures

Community Groups (Cont.) 7:30–9 p.m. Trans* Lounge membership required for access to videoconference links. Register for FREE at translounge.org A Touchy Subject Let’s have a conversation via Community Health Programs’ Facebook Live or in person at Center South, 2313 W. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Los Angeles 90008. RSVP required for inperson attendance. To RSVP, email uoproject@lalgbtcenter.org or call 323-860-3799. Tuesdays, 5 p.m. 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 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 TRANSforming Your Kitchen – A Chosen Family Dinner In this fun 90-minute group, get together with other Trans* Lounge foodies to create delicious, easily accessible, and easyto-prepare meals in your own kitchen. We provide you with a list of ingredients in advance so you can follow along at home and prepare an amazing dish along with the rest of the group. Our knowledgeable instructors will answer all of your culinary questions along the way. The best part: once you have created your yummy masterpiece, the remainder of our time is spent enjoying a delicious meal together. Every 3rd Thurs. 7:30–9 p.m. Trans* Lounge membership required for access to

Community Groups (Cont.) 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 U/O Project An open and honest virtual platform for young men of color ages 18–29 to connect with community members and health educators. Monthly, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. RSVP for dates. To RSVP, email uoproject@lalgbtcenter.org or call 323-860-3799.

Senior Groups 50+ All Senior Services programming is available virtually and can be accessed by computer or phone. For more information about our program and to sign-up for our monthly newsletter, please contact 323-860-5830 or email seniors@lalgbtcenter.org. You can also visit us at facebook.com/50pluslgbt To RSVP, email seniors@lalgbtcenter.org or call 323-860-5830. Asian/Pacific Islander Support Group Every 1st & 3rd Mon., 3–4 p.m. Employment Tips 50+ Every 2nd Tues., 3–4 p.m. Housing Supportive Network Every 2nd & 4th Thursday, 3–4 p.m. LBQ Women’s Chat Thursdays, 10–11 a.m. Men Living with HIV Thursdays, 1:30–3 p.m. Men of Color Aging 50+ Every 3rd Saturday, 2–4 p.m. Men’s Social Group Wednesdays, 10 a.m.–Noon R&B Line Dancing Tuesdays, 11 a.m.–Noon TransC.A.R.E. Tuesdays, 2–3 p.m. Veteran’s Support Group Wednesdays, 1–2 p.m.

NOTE: Meetings may not occur on the following holidays: July 5 (Independence Day, Observed), September 6 (Labor Day)

VANGUARD | SUMMER OF PRIDE

12-Step Groups


TO YOUR HEALTH

CENTER NOTES

NEWS & NOTES

YES, WE COUNT! The Center is one of five Federally Qualified Health Centers to have launched a nationwide study analyzing COVID-19’s impact on LGBT people, including infection rates and outcomes. Known as The We Count Collaborative, the study collects data to capture the unique circumstances and distinct needs of LGBT people and to guide future public health policy recommendations impacting the LGBT community. The study is being conducted in partnership with The PRIDE Study, the first large-scale, long-term national health study of LGBTQ+ people. For more information about The We Count Collaborative, visit bit.ly/thewecount

CAN’T STOP PRIDE V I R T UA L

VANGUARD | SUMMER 2021

SHAKE YOUR GROOVE THING

The Center’s annual Senior Prom, hosted by the Center’s Senior Services Department, is the subject of a short documentary that premiered on PBS Voices’ YouTube platform during Pride month. Produced by a queer, female-led production company, the 14-minute film follows a cast of trailblazing older adults—all of whom are residents of the Center’s Triangle Square apartments in Hollywood. Senior Prom was filmed at the Pickwick Gardens in Burbank at the 2017 and 2019 proms. Watch it now at bit.ly/seniorpromfilm

Trans Pride Los Angeles—one of the nation’s oldest and largest celebrations of the Trans, Gender Non-Conforming, Intersex, Non-Binary (TGI/ENBY+) community—took place virtually for the second consecutive year. Expanded from two to three days, TPLA’s full schedule included workshops, panel discussions, a Community Gallery, the always popular VarieTy Show, and a Big Queer Convo with ACLU Deputy Director for Transgender Justice Chase Strangio, who is the first trans individual to argue—and win—a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Center received an $80,000 grant from Health Net, one of California’s largest and most experienced managed care plans, to help enroll and educate LGBT individuals in Medi-Cal in Los Angeles. Part of Health Net's broader commitment to support communities during the national pandemic, the Center was one of 24 organizations statewide that received funding totaling $1.95 million. Health Net also awarded the Center a $100,000 grant at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which enabled the Center to expand its telehealth capacity, ensure safe continuity of care, and meet patient needs. For more information about the Center’s Health Services, visit lalgbtcenter.org/health

SCORE! LA Galaxy honored the Center during its eighth-consecutive Pride Night, one of the longest-running Pride Night celebrations in professional sports. In addition to a portion of ticket proceeds benefiting the Center, the soccer club raised nearly $1,100 for the Center in an Instagram fundraiser and honored Health Services employee Mar Marqusee, LVN (above), as the Hero of the Game. America’s Got Talent Season 15 semifinalist and Center supporter Celina Graves sang the National Anthem during the pregame ceremonies.

For more information about Trans Pride Los Angeles, visit

Donate to the Center today!

lalgbtcenter.org/transpride

Visit lalgbtcenter.org/donate


CENTER VOICES

ANALYSIS & INSIGHT Data from the Los Angeles Police Department indicate a 21 percent decrease of reported crimes involving a transgender victim in 2020 as compared to the previous year. The drop could be attributed to trans victims’ fear of law enforcement. Additionally, people who identify as trans often deal with additional hurdles, as reported by Crosstown:

The pandemic’s effect on the transgender community, compared to the broader public, is unequal. Virtual platforms, such as Zoom, have made it simpler for members of the Center’s Trans* Lounge programming to connect with each other globally, as reported by Los Angeles Magazine:

Excerpt: “Many from the communities we serve, that of the most marginalized— homeless, low-income, trans, queer, Black/Brown—have hesitation in seeking justice through the legal system. They’ve seen someone they know who didn’t have the best experience or they didn’t have the best experience themselves in the past. I think we can do better when it comes to protecting and servicing trans women SKYLAR MYERS of color.”

Excerpt: “Seeing people from all over the world in our online programming just drives home the fact that the struggle is the same everywhere. Not only are we dealing with the pandemic but we’re dealing with our authenticity, our identity, our visibility, our access to healthcare… and we’re under political assault.”

GINA BIGHAM

Read more at

Read more at

bit.ly/antilgbtqbias

bit.ly/pandemictrans

Manager of Trans* Lounge & Education Empowerment Programs Cultural Arts

Like other populations, many LGBT Latinx people may discover challenges when coming out, whether to themselves or to their families. The Center is available to help—some of the programs and services can be provided in Spanish—as reported by KVEA-TV Telemundo:

The Center and its research partners announced the release of their groundbreaking report on health research priorities among transgender and non-binary communities nationwide. Providing better healthcare to these communities should be a priority, as discussed in Channel Q’s The Morning Beat with AJ and Mikalah:

Excerpt: “I want you to know that tomorrow is better. Give yourself a chance to be happy. There are always options, and there will always be people who care and see you. Please, if you can do one thing, go to the internet and look for the Center. Find the programs we have, find our number, and call us because we are here. You are not alone.”

Excerpt: “Historically, the little research that has been done in the trans population has been focused on HIV, sexual risk behavior, and some suicidality. That is such a narrow, limited, and flat focus on a community that is so complex and diverse in so many ways. What is important about this study is that we are asking trans and non-binary folks: What are their health concerns? What areas would they like to see studied? And what we learned is that they have this very broad and holistic notion of what health RISA FLYNN is and what healthcare is to them.” Director of Research

ERICA E. RODRIGUEZ, AMFT Watch at

bit.ly/lgbtqlatinx

Mental Health Clinician II Children, Youth & Family Services

Health Services

Listen at

bit.ly/transhealthresearch

VANGUARD | SUMMER OF PRIDE

Client Advocate, Anti-Violence Project Legal Services


VANGUARD | SUMMER 2021

ALYSON STONER I

Iused to live around the block from the Center, passing it every day on my commute. My former partner and I had a ritual of redistributing our unused clothes and household items to new people and places, and we decided to make this our top spot for donations. We did it anonymously, yet frequently enough to learn several Center employees by name. When my publicist told me about a few special events taking place, I decided to be visible and vocal about my support. As I learn more about the team and various programs, I remain in awe of what the Center provides for the community. It not only saves lives but also empowers and uplifts humans in such dignifying and practical ways. I remember taking a tour of the former Youth Center located on Highland Avenue and seeing a music recording studio being built and furnished. As someone from the artistic and creative arenas, my heart soared at the thought of young people tapping into their musical talents and dreams. Dreams that are so valid and important,

yet very complex to pursue. To all the struggling young artists reading this: focus first on building a strong foundation with yourself—mind, body, being—and bringing stability to your life. This process toward self-empowerment will enable you to consciously choose the greatest path for expressing yourself and pursuing a career. Helping people achieve stability is one of the Center’s greatest strengths, from emergency housing and food distribution to mental health services and access to basic necessities. And still, there’s so much more! Around the hallway from the former Youth Center’s recording studio, I saw this gigantic wardrobe closet in which the youth could find a fresh set of clothes so they felt confident when going to a job interview. I love that the Center helps youth overcome any barriers they may face to gain employment, to get a fair shake, to get through another day. Each person’s journey is distinct with

PHOTO: ADAM BATTAGLIA

WHY I GIVE

its own challenges and victories. For me, coming out as pansexual in 2018 led to some colleagues in entertainment and people in my community saying that I was no longer safe or fit to join projects and gatherings. It was a small, but stinging, glimpse into the psychological and material impacts of homophobia and discrimination that queer folks face. The reality is all lives should be celebrated, and your worth is never up for question. Ever. Later that same year, I taught a workshop on facing fear at the Center’s annual Models of Pride youth conference. I was so impressed by the young participants’ openness to be introspective and vulnerable about their mental and emotional well-being. I instantly knew that I’d found my people. The Center is a community that understands and affirms the authentic me, and it’s a community I’m so proud to support. Shine on!

Activist, author, and former Disney Channel star’s new book Mind Body Pride is a seven-step guidebook written specifically for LGBTQ folks and their allies. All proceeds benefit LGBTQIA+ youth wellness programs.


N O W

D E L I V E R E D !

Located on the corner of McCadden Place and Santa Monica Boulevard at the Center’s Anita May Rosenstein Campus

liberationcoffee.org


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

“you have made me feel

safe enough and

comfortable enough

in myself and in my community

TO BE WHO I AM.” Read more about the Center’s celebration of Older Americans month at LGBTNewsNow.org/HappyDays