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ARIEL EMANUEL C O - C E O W M E|I M G
VALERIE JARRETT SAT U R DAY,
S EP T E M B ER
T H E
B E V ER LY
H I LTO N
T I CK E TS & M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N AT
L A L G B T C E N T E R . O R G/G A L A
FO R M ER SENIO R ADVISO R, O B A M A A D M I N I S T R AT I O N
Marketing & Communications Staff Christopher Artalejo-Price Creative Services Coordinator
Gil Diaz Communications Manager
Kelly Freter Associate Director
Melantha Hodge Project Manager
Joe Hui Digital Communications Manager
Megan Kastner Communications Coordinator
Jim Key Chief Marketing Officer
Josiah Pak Creative Services Coordinator
Callie Rodgers Creative Services Coordinator
Kurt Thomas Creative Services Manager
Contributors Lisa Allen
Lorri L. Jean
CEO, Los Angeles LGBT Center
Garrett Wedel Photographer
David J. Bailey
Mercedes Marquez Carlos Medina
Loren S. Ostrow
Carolyn A. Dye
Eric M. Shore
Marki J. Knox, M.D.
The Buzz JOIN OUR CONVERSATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA
WE MUST DO MORE THAN RESIST
Board of Directors
California Dreamin’ EXPLORE THE AIDS/ LIFECYCLE JOURNEY
Resist & Persist
LEARN ABOUT THE CENTER’S ONGOING POLICY ACTIONS
Marching for Equality
Dakota Gives FORMER CENTER STAFFER MAKES A LEGACY GIFT
REVISIT L.A. PRIDE
Why I Give
WITH POLICY & OPERATIONS MANAGER MARIA MELO AND VOLUNTEER JOURNEY STREAMS
BY TEGAN AND SARA
Subscriptions Vanguard is published quarterly by the Los Angeles LGBT Center, a nonprofit corporation. 1625 N. Schrader Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, Voice 323-993-7400 • TDD 323-993-7698. Copyright 2017, Vanguard. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA. Publication of the name, quotation or photograph of a person in articles or advertising is not an indication of the sexual orientation or the HIV status of such person. Moving, getting duplicate mailings or wish to be removed from the Vanguard mailing list? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FROM THE SHADOWS TO A PLACE OF PRIDE
Resistance Isn’t Enough
ess than six months into the Trump presidency, the man who vowed to protect LGBT people has appointed to his administration a slate of anti-LGBT, misogynistic, xenophobic people who have made speedy progress in undermining the rights and health of countless Americans. They have: • Revoked Obama-era guidance protecting LGBT school kids from discrimination;
CEO Lorri L. Jean @LorriLJean
• Withdrawn litigation against North Carolina’s notorious anti-LGBT law which, contrary to misleading claims, was simply replaced by another discriminatory law; • Passed legislation aimed at defunding Planned Parenthood; • Appointed someone to oversee federal family planning dollars who thinks that contraception doesn’t work; • Quietly rescinded safeguards for LGBT employees of federal contractors; • Removed questions related to LGBT people from the National Survey of Older Americans and the 2020 Census; • Signed a so-called “religious liberty” order paving the way for anti-LGBT, anti-woman discrimination by anyone claiming a religious or moral belief as justif ication; and
• Neither the President nor the Secretary of State has said a word about the Chechen government’s concentration camp-like incarceration, torture, and murder of gay men.
This cursory list of his attacks on our community is just the beginning. That’s why I’m heartened by the growing resistance movement throughout the country, including the more than 500 people who joined us in March for some strategic phone-banking to help defeat the f irst version of the heartless Obamacare “replacement” bill. We must resist, no matter how hard it may be. But we cannot and must not operate solely from a frame of resistance. That’s not how the women’s movement created a revolution. It’s not how LGBT people came from the shadows to a place of pride. Focusing on resistance, alone, is not how we have literally changed the world. No matter the obstacles we faced, no matter the party in power, we NEVER accepted the status quo or settled for crumbs. And we certainly have not been satisf ied with simply trying to limit the damage being done to us. I’ve been an activist for 37 years, ever since I led a petition drive in junior high school so girls could wear pants. If I’ve learned anything over the years it’s that we should never sell ourselves short.
Simply hunkering down for the next four years is not an option. We cannot allow timidity or fear or even the prospect of short-term failure to reduce our expectations or our demands. That kind of determination has been the key to our movement’s success thus far. And it is key to our future. We have always fought for more than what the insiders and many outsiders advised. Often we’ve fought for more than what most even dreamed was possible. That has been our movement’s hallmark. In the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, we have always expected more. We have demanded more. More freedom, more equality, and more justice for our LGBT community and for all oppressed people. We have always set our sights high and persevered, even in the most diff icult times imaginable. In the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic, with death and devastation all around us, and the horrible backlash that followed against all LGBT people, we never let up. And in so doing, we’ve inspired others all over the world. And because we never reduced our expectations or lost sight of our ultimate goals, we have won enormous victories; victories that many believed could never be achieved. We changed health care. We enacted non-discrimination laws in cities and states across the nation. We won the right to raise our own children and to serve openly in the military. And we secured the freedom to marry. Fighting for justice, and winning, is what we know how to do. It’s one of the things we do best. In these diff icult times, it’s critical to remind ourselves of that fact. We must remember not only that we are on the right side of history, but that we are f ierce and resilient and
inspiring. We must use that power to ensure we do more than simply weather the storm. We must BE the storm! Los Angeles and California have enormous power. We will be to Trump what Texas was to Obama. We will set the example for our nation, continuing to make real progress while holding fast to the values we cherish: inclusivity, diversity, and acceptance. We will organize our community and our allies elsewhere, in red and purple states, so that
We must remember not only that we are on the right side of history, but that we are fierce and resilient and inspiring. We must use that power to ensure we do more than simply weather the storm. We must BE the storm! voices like ours will be heard at town halls, school board meetings, polling places, and everywhere that our rights and health are at stake. We will speak up and expose wrongs and hold the perpetrators accountable. And in 2018 and 2020, with regard to those who would have us regress to an America that was never great for people like us, we will send them packing! And while the extremists in Washington attempt to dismantle health care, destroy Planned Parenthood, attack immigrants, pollute the environment, take away women’s rights over our own bodies, promote discrimination against us,
and more, your Center will definitely be fighting back and resisting. But with your help, we’ll do so much more. While they build a wall, WE will build our transformational Anita May Rosenstein Campus. Spanning more than a city block along Santa Monica Boulevard, the campus will dramatically expand our services and housing for two groups who need it the most: LGBT youth and seniors. It will be an iconic landmark that will serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration for people around the globe, ref lecting the real values that def ine us, as a people and as a nation: truth, compassion, community, optimism, liberty, and justice for all. Our campus will be proud and living proof that no matter who is in control, we cannot and will not be stopped. Not now. Not ever. That’s the kind of leadership you should expect from our movement. And I promise you, that’s the kind of leadership your Center will provide. To learn more about the Anita May Rosenstein Campus including how to become a donor, visit lalgbtcenter.org/campus.
THE CENTER’S SOCIAL MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS 2
RESIST. PERSIST. ROCK.
EYES ON CHECHNYA
S/HE & ME IS A HIT!
RIDE 545 GOES LIVE
Social media was buzzing about this year’s An Evening with Women benefiting the Center’s programs and services for women and girls.
Los Angeles Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell joined the Center and hundreds of others at the Eyes on Chechnya March & Rally to raise awareness and call on the country’s leaders to help stop the atrocities against gay men in the Russian republic.
Written and performed by Alexandra Billings, the show at the Renberg Theatre received rave reviews from critics and fans.
We went live on Facebook during this year’s AIDS/LifeCycle. Thousands joined us live; check out saved broadcasts @lalgbtcenter.
Got to see this tonight & was transported by the force of nature that is #AlexandraBillings. I laughed, cried & thank God her talent lived
2,200 cyclists are kicking off the 545 miles from SF to L.A. to help end HIV/AIDS with AIDS/LifeCycle
Our heroic AIDS/LifeCycle cyclists return after riding 545 miles and raising $15 million for HIV/AIDS services. Welcome home!
So incredibly inspired by such iconic women after tonight’s event. Please, whatever you do, get involved in your community TODAY to fight for the rights of women, lgbtq, seniors, black, Hispanic, Muslim, EVERYONE who feels attacked in today’s society. Change starts with US. We must keep fighting. I love you all. @JordanDoww
Turns out watching @Carole_King live DOES make you feel like nothings gonna take us down. #LGBTQI #AEWW @LALGBTCenter @TeganAndSara
Solidarity 4 #chechen concentration camp victims. A silent @realDonaldTrump TY @LALGBTCenter & Congress of GLBT Jews @MitchOFarrell 3
THE CARE YOU DESERVE The Center’s medical and mental health providers specialize in the care of transgender women and men, providing the expert treatment and consultation our community deserves.
Ty @LALGBTCenter for your trans mental health services its always good to care for your body, soul, and mind. #selfcare #loveyourself @VenusLux
Stunning/powerful opening 4 #Transparent’s Alexandra Billings’ “S/He & Me” @LALGBTCenter’s Renberg Theatre. Brave work by all. Go! #lathtr
@LALGBTCenter on June 4
@LALGBTCenter on June 10
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California Dreams Representing nearly every state and 18 countries, Sister Fancy Pants from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence ® and 2,225 other cyclists, along with 683 volunteer “roadies,” left San Francisco on Day 1 after raising $15,160,771 in the f ight against HIV and AIDS.
It’s a ride, not a race. And, wow, what a ride.
tarting in California’s own Baghdad by the Bay and finishing in the City of Angels, the 545-mile AIDS/LifeCycle journey takes participants on a one-of-a-kind trip through California that forever changes, and ultimately saves, lives. “You can really feel the love, “It’s just amazing the commitment, to be around the passion when you’re on AIDS/ a community LifeCycle—ever y- of people who one has this sense of family and com- have the same munity,” said Paul heart and Bullard, a cyclist generous spirit.” from Dallas. “It’s the way the world should be.” Raising money for the Center’s HIV/AIDS-related services and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, cyclists and volunteer “roadies” create a moving city that also raises awareness in the fight against HIV and AIDS as it travels seven days through some of California’s smallest and most picturesque communities. “It’s like a city of love. Some of us are fast riders, some of us will be the last ones in—the thing is we’re all here to support each other. I think that connection is what really makes this event so powerful,” said first-time cyclist Jason Frazier from Los Angeles. Participants quickly refer to the ride’s moving city as the “love bubble.” “It’s called the love bubble for a reason. It’s just amazing to be around a community of people who have the same heart and generous spirit,” said Esther Kim, a cyclist from Los Angeles.
Day 2 in Castroville.
At the unoff icial “artichoke stop” in Castroville, family-owned Pezzini Farms expands their storefront outside to serve up hundreds of artichoke-related treats, from fried and grilled artichokes to artichoke cupcakes.
“Every year it’s a celebration of life. We are so grateful that the men and women on AIDS/ LifeCycle give their time and effort to help others. That’s what life is all about,” said co-owner Jolynn Pezzini. BOTTOM: On the grounds of Mission Soledad in the Salinas Valley, cyclists stop to cool off and have some bear-tastic fun courtesy of the all-volunteer Otter Pop guys.
On Day 3, cyclists make a special lunch stop in the small town of Bradley in Monterey County. While three meals are provided every day during the ride, participants willingly—and joyfully—pay for their lunch on this day to help support Bradley School. Students and parents from Bradley sell hamburgers, drinks, baked goods, handmade crafts, T-shirts, and more to raise money for the school. In the spe- Money raised cial VIP $100 Burger from AIDS/ Club, cyclists enjoy catered service in an LifeCycle air-conditioned space. participants “Meeting all these during the new people is my favorite part of the day,” lunch stop said 14-year-old Trisbecomes the tyn Roper. “Next year I’ll be in high school, school’s largest but I’m going to try to fundraiser. come back on the day the riders visit.” Money raised from AIDS/LifeCycle participants during the lunch stop becomes the school’s largest fundraiser, supporting all of the kindergarten through 8th grade extracurricular activities for an entire year. “Thanks to AIDS/LifeCycle, we’re able to do lots of stuff during the year, like going on f ield trips and getting the supplies we need,” said 8th grader Cynthia Munguia. “It’s a really fun day and we appreciate it so much. And, one day, I want to do the ride.”
See more stories and register for 2018 at
Vital to the ride are the hundreds of people who gather to cheer cyclists throughout the week. Each person comes with a story to tell and something to share that adds to the love bubble and then sends participants on to their next stop. TOP: Safety mascot Coney is on hand throughout the week to remind participants to, “Ride safe. Be safe.”
For 20 years, Stephanie Stainback has been cheering riders on from alongside the road between Davenport and Santa Cruz. Her brother, Gary, died from an AIDS-related illness in 1996.
“This is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I look forward to it every single year,” said Stainback. “Gary was so gentle and loving. This is my way of honoring him and keeping part of him alive.”
“This is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I look forward to it every single year.”
Lynn Devine picks plums from a tree in her yard and hands them out to cyclists near Pismo Beach. Known affectionately as the Plum Lady, Devine has been greeting riders with plums and hugs for the past three years.
Chris Muller, a former AIDS/LifeCycle roadie, was looking for a different way to give back to the ride. Now, as the Cookie Lady, she distributes more than 2,300 homemade cookies to very grateful cyclists.
“AIDS/LifeCycle makes such a difference in so many people’s lives, including mine. It’s just a joy,” said Muller.
Day 5 outside Lompoc.
Originally, a pair of switchbacks along the route near Lompoc inspired cyclists to wear AIDS-awareness red because, visually, the winding road created a stunning â&#x20AC;&#x153;red ribbon bicycle parade.â&#x20AC;? Today, Red Dress Day is one of the most creative and zaniest days on the ride.
Day 6 in Santa Barbara.
At the end of Day 6 in Ventura, the candlelight vigil becomes a moving, beautiful, and powerful moment of AIDS/LifeCycle. It is an act of remembrance and reverence for those lost to AIDS-related complications, and a time to ref lect with compassion for those still living with HIV and AIDS. In the seven days it took the riders to reach Los Angeles, more than 500 people in the U.S. became infected with HIV.
See more stories and register for 2018 at
For the past two years, the heroic AIDS/LifeCycle participants have crossed the f inish line at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles on Saturday during L.A. Pride weekend. Greeted by hundreds of family and friends, cyclists and roadies then take part in a special Finish Line Festival to celebrate the week that was and get ready for next year’s ride! TOP: When she was 9, first-time cyclist Nikki Ferraro’s grandfather died of complications from AIDS. Her grandmother has been living with HIV for 25 years.
“I joined AIDS/ LifeCycle for my grandmother, and to raise awareness and money to finally end HIV and AIDS.”
“Nobody thinks a grandmother is going to contract HIV,” said Ferraro, who lives in Las Vegas. “HIV doesn’t care who you are, how much money you make, what you look like, your sex, your race, your gender—it doesn’t care. I joined AIDS/LifeCycle for my grandmother, and to raise awareness and money to f inally end HIV and AIDS.” MIDDLE: Ferraro’s family, including her grandmother, greeted her at the f inish line. BOTTOM LEFT AND RIGHT:
Cyclists celebrate as they cross the finish line.
We Resist We Persist SNAPSHOTS OF THE CENTER’S ONGOING RESISTANCE AND POLICY ACTIONS
EYES ON CHECHNYA MARCH & RALLY Downtown Los Angeles
Co-sponsored by the Center, the protest raised awareness about the detainment, torture, and murder of gay men in the Russian republic of Chechnya. Center Director of Policy and Community Building Dave Garcia helped lead the rally, which called on officials to take action and permit gay men from Chechnya to receive asylum in the U.S.
Ernest E. Debs Regional Park, Los Angeles
The Center’s Los Angeles Women’s Network and Audre Lorde Health Program for lesbian and bi women joined the 10th annual community celebration held during Pride month. Center staff and volunteers handed out information about the Center’s programs and services throughout the family-friendly LGBTQIA event.
ADVOCATING ON CAPITOL HILL Washington, D.C.
As part of the Center’s Policy and Community Building team’s ongoing advocacy and legislative work, the department’s Deputy Director Terra Russell Slavin and Director Dave Garcia spent a week on Capitol Hill meeting with government officials and elected representatives to address current issues impacting the LGBT community and the Center’s role in building a better world for LGBT people.
MAY DAY MARCH Downtown Los Angeles
As part of the May Day Coalition of Los Angeles, the Center’s contingent carried signs declaring, “Sin comunidad, no hay liberación.” (“Without community, there is no liberation.”) Traditionally held on International Workers Day, this year’s march included a broad coalition of immigrant rights, women’s and religious groups; labor unions; and LGBT advocates.
SHOW YOUR PRIDE S C E N E S F R O M L . A . P R I D E 2 017
he 2017 L.A. Pride celebration evolved into a resistance march in unity with those who believe America’s strength is its diversity. Hundreds joined the Center’s contingent with its theme of Resist. Insist. Persist. “We must stand strong against the regressive policies of the new Congress and administration that not only endanger our community’s health, but seek to roll back the clock on LGBT freedom, justice, and equality,” said Center CEO Lorri L. Jean. “We still marched in pride and celebration of who we are as a people. Celebrating in defiance of those who would silence us is a powerful form of protest.” Many of the Center’s Senior Services clients have seen first-hand the impact that the annual celebration has had on the community since it first began. “I was at the first Pride festival ever in Los Angeles. Now it has become this unbelievable gathering of people from all over the country and world. Pride has helped me learn to be proud of myself,” said Robin Amussen, a Senior Services client. Interns from the Center’s Emerging Leaders Program, which helps develop the global LGBT movement, also have a chance to experience Pride. In many of their countries, LGBT equality is very different than in the U.S. “One day, we will have these same kind of Pride events in China. We are working every day so people can be who they truly are,” said Judy Zhu, an Emerging Leaders Program intern from China. “To me, Pride is about accepting yourself fully.”
“MUCH OF OUR LGBT COMMUNITY IN NEPAL IS STILL HIDDEN. FOR ME, I A M PROUD AS A WOM AN AND AS A LESBIAN.” APEKSHA DAHAL
Emerging Leaders Program intern from the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
(photo previous page)
F O R M O RE L . A . PRI D E S TO RIES, VISIT
“PRIDE IS FREEDOM. IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT RESISTANCE AND TO DEM AND OUR EQUAL RIGHTS. IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO BE OUT AND OPEN. IT SHOWS EVERYONE THAT WE ARE NOT SO DIFFERENT.” PHYLLIS ROSE-CHILD Senior Services client F O R M O RE L . A . PRI D E S TO RI ES, VISIT
“IF YOU CAN’T SEE SOMEONE OUT THERE WHO IS LIKE YOU, IT MAKES YOU BACK AWAY FROM LIFE. PEOPLE NEED TO CONTINUE TO COME OUT AND BE BRAVE. FOR ME, PRIDE IS ABOUT HOPE.” ERIC TORO Senior Services client
“PRIDE HELPS GIVE US THE CONFIDENCE TO BE WHO WE ARE. AT PRIDE IN LOS ANGELES, I KNEW THE SMILES I SAW ON EVERYONE’S FACES CAME FROM THEIR HEARTS.” LIU SHI Emerging Leaders Program intern from China
Take 5 Minutes GET TO KNOW CENTER STAFF MEMBERS & VOLUNTEERS
JOURNEY STREAMS PRONOUNS He/Him/His HOMETOWN Los Angeles, CA YEAR STARTED AT THE CENTER 2016 VOLUNTEER POSITION Information Specialist Journey recently graduated from high school and will be attending Yale University. Learn more at lalgbtcenter.org/ volunteer.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEONE THINKING OF VOLUNTEERING? My first Pride event was last year, the day after the attack in Orlando. I experienced so many emotions that day, particularly hope and pride because of the outpouring of support I witnessed. It inspired me to give back to the community by volunteering at the Center. Now, I’m often the first face people see when they walk into The Village at Ed Gould Plaza at night. As a young person, I’ve never really been around LGBT adults. Through the people I’ve met as a volunteer, I have learned a lot about LGBT history, the AIDS epidemic, and social justice movements. Being able to interact with adults who are also LGBT has really changed my life. I encourage other young people to volunteer, particularly those who might feel nervous about it. There are many ways to contribute and you’ll immediately feel at home because everyone is so friendly. There are a lot of people at risk, especially youth, and the Center provides not only support and much-needed services, but a space where people are safe and secure.
MARIA MELO PRONOUNS She/Her/Hers HOMETOWN Bogotá, Colombia YEAR STARTED AT THE CENTER 2016 STAFF POSITION Policy & Operations Manager
WHAT SHOULD PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT THE CENTER’S POLICY-RELATED WORK? Even where I’m from in Colombia, people know about the Center—the reach of our work is worldwide. While I was still coming out, I got a lot of support through the Center’s social groups, and the Center even helped me start a family. So I’ve wanted to work here for a while…to use my experience in public policy to support our community. Right now, the federal government is working to make things more difficult for immigrants, so it’s our responsibility to protect and defend our diverse community. I work to advance policies, locally and statewide, to protect LGBT immigrants—particularly undocumented immigrants, many of whom have escaped violence in their home countries. I’m proud that the Center is a safe place that welcomes everybody, regardless of their immigration status. The day before this interview, Maria brought her wife, two daughters, mother, and mother-in-law to the L.A. Convention Center, where she was sworn in as a United States citizen. She warns people: there’s a new voter in town.
The Los Angeles LGBT Center is extremely grateful for the support of these new Sustaining Donors and Circle of Life members.
Janet Lang & Barry Lang*
Jonathan King Nikki Levy Danielle McPherson Christine Phua Jerry Sean Plater Piyush Prakash Medel Reyes (Reyes Family Trust) Julaine Salem & Sharon Congdon Harpal Sodhi Paul Verdon & Seth Sor^
DIAMOND CIRCLE $18,000-$49,999 Thomas Madigan
PLATINUM CIRCLE $12,000-$17,999 William D. Kelly & Tomas Fuller*
GOLD CIRCLE $6,000-$11,999 Michael Ausiello Leslie Belzberg Andrae Corrigan & Tigerlily Rosen* Scott Davis & Ryan Derry* Illinois Education Association Minnesota Education The Muriel Pollia Foundation
STERLING CIRCLE $3,600-$5,999
For information about Planned Giving or becoming a Sustaining Donor, please contact:
Alicia Easley Michael Epstein & Scott Schwimer*^ John Miles & Frank Rossi David Rose*
SILVER CIRCLE $2,400-$3,599
Jennifer Dawson Director of Major Gifts email@example.com 323-993-8932
Jon Hall & Edward Grant* Charles Hayward George Hogben Stephen May & Edward Casson* Mark Sandelson Richard West & Eric Fischer*
SILVER CIRCLE $1,500-$1,799 George Azar^ Robert Bentley & Gary Rado^ David Beugen Murphy Bishop & Russ Khaitov^ William Bradley Perry Brown Nevin Dolcefino^ Dana Dukelow^ Linnea Engdahl^ Patrick Flaherty Wendy Hartmann & Lynn Harrill^ Mark Hemphill^ Matthew Henry^ Adele Hoppe-House & Jennifer Hoppe-House Nicolas Huneault Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP Anthony Kouba & Tyler Ecklund^ Graham Lee & Manuel Eskildsen^ Michael Levine^ Nathan McIntosh Patrick McNally
Tim Lee Major Gifts Officer firstname.lastname@example.org 323-993-8945
Erwin Sรกenz Major Gifts Associate email@example.com 323-993-8939
Frank Stasio Senior Director of Planned Giving firstname.lastname@example.org 323-993-7690
REALIZE THE POWER OF A GIFT. Making the Center part of your legacy in your will is the most important contribution you can make to the organization. Ways to give include wills and living trusts; beneficiary designations; charitable gift annuities, remainder trusts, and lead 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.
SILVER CIRCLE CONT. $1,500-$1,799 Iain Morton Dimitri Portnoi Francisco Ramos & Christopher Etscheid Camille Rasdal Patrice Ross^ Kenneth Sanchez^ Seth Santoro Steven Sloan & Melissa Sloan Julianne Sohn & Krystal Young^ Stephen Volpe
CIRCLE OF LIFE Elisa Laris R.W. Case Stephen Dolainski
CIRCLE OF LIFE IN MEMORIAM Arthur Flores Joseph A. Levy John E. Milbauer Donor list as of April 30, 2017 *Indicates an increase in membership level. ^Indicates a multiyear pledge.
Creating a Legacy of Hope FORMER CENTER STAFF MEMBER HONORS THE PAST WITH A GIFT FOR THE FUTURE
he L os A ngeles LGBT C enter has been part of Dakota Sands’ life for more than 40 years. In the late 1970s, Sands was an LGBT activist and contributor to Lesbian Tide, the nation’s first lesbian newspaper which was led by fellow lesbian activist Jeanne Cordova. During those early days of LGBT activism in Los Angeles, she eventually met Don Kilhefner and Morris Kight, two of the Center’s founders, and started working at the organization. “Socially and politically, the LGBT scene in Los Angeles was hopping back then!” said the now 72-year-old Sands. “It was an exciting time because there were no other LGBT centers anywhere in the country, and here I was happily working at the Center, answering phones and directing clients to all of the possibilities the Center offered: jobs, activities, services.” Similar to today, activism and advocacy for LGBT equality were core tenets of the Center’s work.
“We organized marches at Barney’s Beanery for displaying a ‘fagots stay out’ sign, and boycotts against Florida Orange Juice because of spokeswoman Anita Bryant’s anti-LGBT rhetoric,” recalled Sands, now a resident of the Fairfax Village Grove neighborhood in Los Angeles. “We didn’t want to be invisible, closeted, voiceless. We chanted and picketed so that we could have pride to this day.” As LGBT visibility began to rise, Sands earned a Master of Social Work and looked for new ways to care for the community. She became licensed as a clinical social worker and set up her own low-cost psychotherapy private practice. Many of her clients were referred to her by the Center. And after 30 years working in the mental health field, Sands retired. Soon thereafter, she decided to give back to the Center by joining its Circle of Life after reflecting on her life’s accomplishments and the momentous events that shaped her identity. By including the Center in their estate plans or by making another type of planned gift, Circle of Life donors help ensure that the organization will be here in the future to help the most vulnerable members of the LGBT community. “The Center is the heart and soul of our community. Its programs and services positively change people’s lives every day,” said Sands. “By financially supporting the Center, I am contributing to our legacy, our history, our future. I am so proud that the Center is a place we can call our own; a place where we can feel accepted, respected, and safe!” Summer 2017
Life Drawing Lounge Tuesdays, 7–9:30 p.m. Master the art of drawing the human body!
Free Saturday Morning Meditation Join a supportive and non-denominational meditation practice. Learn to raise your gaze beyond finite understanding and explore the vastness of our infinite being.
Admission: Free (Donations accepted.)
Location: The Village at Ed Gould Plaza
Information, days, times, class updates, and schedule changes, at
Beginners and experienced artists welcome. Join this fun, weekly event focused on developing and honing your artistic abilities. Different nude models each week. Paid minors must be accompanied by a paid adult.
Tickets: $18 Available online or at the door. Tickets do not expire. Discounts for multiple tickets. To purchase tickets, visit
Join the Center’s one-of-a-kind education and empowerment program, presented exclusively for the trans* community. More than 500 trans* individuals have already joined the Trans* Lounge. Why haven’t you? How does Trans*Lounge work?
Trans* Lounge members:
• Participated in 40+ workshops and labs. • Mastered the art of walking in heels. • Performed original stand-up at The Improv. • Improved makeup skills. • Acted with and were coached by an Emmy-winning actor. • Received vocal training. • Charted more optimistic career paths. • Learned portrait photography. • Wrote and performed personal monologues. • Became more fit and learned how to live healthier lives.
Sign up online for free. Review and rate our library of workshops, groups, labs, and events. Your feedback determines our schedule. RSVP first for the programs you rated highest.
Sign up at
...and we are just getting started!
v AA Happy Hour Tues.–Fri., 6:15–7:15 p.m. Canceled July 4 v Al-Anon Gay Focus Thurs., 7:30–8:30 p.m. v Alcoholics Anonymous: It’s Come to This Mon., 6:15–7:15 p.m. Canceled Sept. 4 v Crystal Meth Anonymous Sat., 9:15–10:15 a.m.
Gay & Lesbian CODA Tues., 7:30–8:30 p.m. Canceled July 4 v
v Marijuana Anonymous Wed., 7:30–8:30 p.m. v NA: Heartbeat of Recovery Mon., 7:30–8:30 p.m. Canceled Sept. 4 v OA Thurs., 6:15–7:15 p.m. v Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous Thurs., 6:15–7:15 p.m.
Sexual Compulsives Anonymous Mon., 8:45–9:45 p.m. Wed., 7:30–8:30 p.m. Sat., 10:30–11:30 a.m. Canceled Sept. 4 v
v UA: Artist in Prosperity Tues., 6:15–7:15 p.m. Canceled July 4
Women’s AA Wed., 8:45–9:45 p.m. v
v Village Readers An LGBT reading and discussion group Every 1st Wed., 7:30–9 p.m.
oming Out Workshops C 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. More information at comingoutla.org.
The Village 1125 N. McCadden Place
v Chi Gong & Tai Chi Every Mon., 11 a.m.–Noon Canceled Sept. 4
v Bears L.A. Every 3rd Mon., 7–10 p.m.
v Financial Chat 1–3 p.m. Call 323-860-5830 for date
v L.A. Leather Coalition Every 1st Thurs., 7–9 p.m.
Aug. 2: More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera Sept. 6: Frank: A Life In Politics from the Great Society to SameSex Marriage by Barney Frank Oct. 4: Adam by Ariel Schrag v 30+ Lesbian Chat Meet women outside of the bars Every 1st & 3rd Fri., 7:30–9 p.m.
Social Networking Groups v Bi-osphere* Explore and discuss the many shades of today’s diverse bisexual community Every 2nd & 4th Mon., 8–9:30 p.m.
Positive Images HIV+ Men’s Forum M Every Mon., 1–3 p.m. M Every Wed., 7–9 p.m. M Every Thurs., 6–8 p.m. Canceled Sept. 4 Call 323-860-7321 to RSVP ay Men’s Prostate Cancer G Support Group Every 1st & 3rd Tues., 7–9 p.m. Sponsored by Cancer Support Community Benjamin Center. Call 310-314-2555 or visit CancerSupportCommunityBenjaminCenter.org M
v HERstories* A gathering place for all LGBT women who want strong community and great conversation Every Mon., 8–9:30 p.m. Canceled Sept. 4
For more information about Senior Services classes, please call 323-860-7322 or visit facebook.com/50pluslgbt.
v Men’s Speakeasy* Great conversation for gay and bisexual men Every Tues., 8–9:30 p.m. Canceled July 4
lzheimer’s LGBT A Caregiver Support Every 2nd & 4th Thurs., 10:30 a.m.–Noon
To RSVP, email email@example.com or call 323-860-5830. v
Transgender Perceptions* Conversation & communitybuilding for transgender people Every Fri., 8–9:30 p.m. H
GBT Adult Special Needs L Support Group Every 2nd Wed., 6–7:45 p.m. v
July 5: Jazz Moon by Joe Okonkwo
* Groups may not welcome late arrivals.
v Art Lab Call 323-860-5830 for dates and time v Bereavement Support Group Every Tues., 1–3 p.m. Canceled July 4 v Bingo 1–2:30 p.m. Call 323-860-5830 for dates
hair Yoga with C Master Lakshmi Call 323-860-5830 for dates and time v
McDonald/Wright 1625 N. Schrader Blvd.
Senior Groups (cont.)
Highland Annex 1220 N. Highland Ave.
v HIV+ 50+ Men’s Drop-In Support Group Thurs., 1–3 p.m.
ousing Supportive H Network Every 2nd Thurs., 11 a.m.–Noon v
ife Connections 21+ L meets 50+ 1–3 p.m. Call 323-860-5830 for dates v
v Lunch for Everyone Call 323-860-5830 for dates and time
en’s Drop-In M Support Group Wed., 10 a.m.–Noon v
v Movies for Everyone Call 323-860-5830 for dates and time v Opera Screening 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Call 323-860-5830 for dates v Silver Sensuality for Women Every 1st Mon., 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Canceled Sept. 4 v Thursday Hikes Every Thurs., 9:30 a.m.
alley Social and V Networking Group Thurs., Noon–1:30 p.m. Metropolitan Community Church 5730 Cahuenga Blvd., North Hollywood Call 323-860-5830 v Veteran’s Support Group Every last Tues., 1–3 p.m.
Empty = Offsite
News and notes from the Center’s life-changing and life-saving programs and services EYES ON CHECHNYA After reports of the calculated arrest, torture, and murder of gay men in the Russian republic of Chechnya, Center CEO Lorri L. Jean joined U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff and Los Angeles City Council members Mitch O’Farrell and Mike Bonin on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall to help bring attention to the dire situation in Chechnya, condemn the violations of human rights, and call on the Trump administration to take action. “Life, liberty, and security are fundamental human rights that we are all entitled to, regardless of who we are, or who we love, and the United States must speak out against these attacks on fellow human beings. We cannot be silent and look the other way—the United States must serve as a beacon of hope for vulnerable populations around the world. We must recommit ourselves to protect and promote the human rights and dignity of all persons,” said Schiff, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee.
AFTER ORLANDO: THE RESISTANCE CONTINUES To mark the one-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, the Center held a special BigQueerConvo at the Renberg Theatre. The community forum featured community leaders who discussed the ongoing struggle for equality and freedom since Orlando and how progressive people can work together to build a more just and compassionate world. “The continued assault on the rights, freedoms, and safety of marginalized communities requires that we call our leaders to account and progressive people to action,” said the Center’s Director of Strategic Initiatives Alan Acosta. “We hope that this conversation can lead to a deeper understanding of the issues at stake and help develop powerful and creative responses to policies that stigmatize and victimize millions of our friends, neighbors, and family members.”
FOOD FOR THOUGHT The Center participated in Give OUT Day, a national day of giving to LGBT organizations, by highlighting the hunger crisis faced by many in the LGBT community: one in four LGBT seniors were unable to afford food last year. Non-perishable food donations were collected at several Center locations and then used to re-stock the Senior Services food pantry at Triangle Square.
Learn more about how you can help the Center’s senior clients at lalgbtcenter.org/seniors.
PAYING IT FORWARD The Center’s LifeWorks youth development and mentoring program distributed $30,000 in college scholarships to 16 deserving LGBT students during a reception held at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza in May. Scholarships were provided by Southern California Edison, Comcast NBCUniversal, and the Felice Samuel Greene Scholarship Fund.
With an impressive average GPA of 3.79, the recipients will attend some of the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities, including University of Southern California, Rutgers University, and University of California, Los Angeles.
Learn more about the Center’s scholarship program at lifeworksla. org/scholarship.
SOMEWEAR OVER THE RAINBOW The Center is the beneficiary of underwear company MeUndies’ first-ever Pride campaign. For every pair of the “Celebrate” underwear sold, one dollar will be donated to the Center’s youth programs and services. Several notable LGBT figures and social media influencers, among them Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy, musician Big Freedia, YouTube personality Ally Hills, and actress Hayley Kiyoko, were photographed wearing the specially-selected vibrant, polka-dotted underwear to support the campaign.
To purchase your pair of Celebrate undies—and to help support the Center’s youth programs and services—visit MeUndies. com/Celebrate.
Analysis and insight from the Center’s staﬀ on current issues and events facing our community In advance of the 19th annual Trans Pride L.A. at the Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza, KPFK’s The Out Agenda proﬁled the event as one of the oldest and largest trans celebrations in the country, highlighting its impact on the community.
GINA BIGHAM Department Coordinator, Cultural Arts
Excerpt: “There’s more respect now for the community—and that comes from visibility. If you think back to the ‘90s and the early 2000s, if we were represented in the media, we were either drug addicts or sex workers or murder victims. We were never painted in a serious light. Trans Pride
is where we show our resiliency. We’re here. We’re thriving. We’re celebrating.”
Hate crimes against LGBT people in Los Angeles increased by 15 percent in 2016 compared to the previous year, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. As reported by KABC-TV, hate and violence against LGBT people is not going away anytime soon.
In the aftermath of reality TV show contestant Zeke Smith being outed as transgender by another Survivor contestant, KCBS-TV reached out to members of the local trans community for reaction.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department enacted a new policy which requires deputies to address transgender and gender non-conforming people by their preferred names and pronouns. Notable trans activists commend the new rules of the nation’s largest sheriff’s department, as reported by local television Spanish-language Telemundo afﬁliate KVEA-TV.
CALLIE RODGERS DAVE GARCIA
Creative Services Coordinator, Marketing & Communications
Director, Policy and Community Building
“We have a president who is the biggest bully on the playground, and he is targeting the most vulnerable amongst us, whether that’s the Excerpt:
transgender community, or the Jewish community, or the Muslim community, or the poor community.”
Excerpt: “It’s never okay to out someone. That’s something you can never take back. Zeke is going to have to walk the rest of his life as an out trans man. I think it’s very dangerous to perpetuate this myth [that being transgender is deceptive]. Being out as a woman now is showing the world my authentic true self.”
DRIAN JUAREZ Program Manager, Transgender Economic Empowerment Project
Excerpt: “It’s a sign that our relationship with law enforcement is changing. Deputies will better understand what it means to be transgender and learn how to use correct pronouns. Having this policy in place is great, but it will also depend on how it’s enforced.”
Listen to the interview at:
Read the article at:
Watch the interview at:
Read the article at:
CineArte (1) Los Angeles City Council Member Mitch O’Farrell (back row, middle) honored local artists whose works were exhibited during the Center’s Latinx Queer Arts & Film Festival at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, among them (back row, l-r) Laura Aguilar, Enrique Castrejon, Carolina Hicks, Manuel Rodrigues, Joey Terrill, Diego Eduardo, Jorge Villalpando, and (front row, l-r) artist/curator Rubén Esparza with Cleo Harris and Marcel Alcala. (2, l-r) Marisa Becerra and Adelina Anthony were among the guests serenaded by (3) a Selena impersonator, along with (4, l-r) LQAFF organizers Karla Legaspy, Luisa Crespo, and Cynthia Gonzalez.
LifeWorks Open House and Scholarship Reception
Held at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, the Center’s youth development and mentoring program distributed $30,000 in college scholarships to 16 deserving LGBT students, among them (5, l-r) Ryan Alba, Jack Lam and (6, middle) Blake Johnson. The scholarships ranged from $1,000-$2,500 provided by Southern California Edison, Comcast NBCUniversal, and the Felice Samuel Greene Scholarship Fund. To learn more about the Center’s scholarship program, visit lifeworksla.org/scholarship.
Emerging Leaders Program (7) To advance the freedoms for LGBT people in their native countries, activists from China and the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal interned at the Center for five weeks this summer, overseen by the Center’s International Project Manager Geoff Chin (1st from left) and Nepal Country Director of IsraAID Ben Dagani (3rd from right). The interns are (l-r) Fox Hu, Judy Zhu, Liu Shi, Apeksha Dahal, Haojie Huang, and Bhumika Shrestha.
Get Centered Luncheon (8) Held this year at Taglyan Complex, guests—among them (9, l-r) Joel Raznick, Center Board Member Dean Hansell, and the Honorable Amy Pellman; (10, l-r) Sheila Sparks and Jenna Seid; and (11, l-r) Tom Madigan and Victoria Coyne—learned more about the Center’s work to build a world where LGBT people can thrive.
360 Health and Empowerment Fair for LBTQ Women
(12) Activist Amita Swadhin discussed what an intersectional and sustainable approach to resistance looks like for the next four years, as (13-14) guests attended informative workshops and a resource fair focused on self-care and resistance at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza.
Every Body Yoga (15) Sponsored by the Center’s Los Angeles Women’s Network, yoga instructor and author (16, right) Jessamyn Stanley discussed how her practice not only defies stereotypes but uplifts and restores the spirit, as part of the discussion moderated by (16, l-r) Melanie Klein and Genevieve Berrick. For more information about the Los Angeles Women’s Network, visit lalgbtcenter.org/lawn.
An Evening with Women Helmed by (17, l-r) co-chairs Clea Duvall, Mia Weir, Brent Bolthouse, Center Board Member Annie Goto, and Kelly Lynch, the annual event benefiting the Centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s services for women and girls became an unforgettable night with (18, l-r) hosts and fellow comediennes Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher and a performance by (19, middle) Grace Mitchell. Guests included actresses (20) Candis Cayne, (21) Freida Pinto, (22) Megan Hilty, and (23) Yetide Badaki. (24) Members of the Centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s LifeWorks youth development mentoring program joined (25, 26) hundreds of Center supporters for an unforgettable night that also included show-stopping performances by Carole King and Eve Ensler.
After Orlando: The Resistance Continues To mark the one-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando on June 12, (27) members of the Latino Equality Alliance’s LGBTQ Youth Council, who also partner with the Center as part of Mi Centro, created (28) a ritual altar at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza to honor the 49 victims. The ofrenda was on display throughout the week to offer visitors a space to reflect and remember. On Tuesday, June 13, the Center hosted a BigQueerConvo community forum with panelists (29, l-r) Lambda Legal’s Shedrick Davis, the Center’s Anti-Violence Project Manager Mariana Marroquin, activist Nikki Levy, and Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles’ Apolonio Morales, along with moderator and Center Director of Strategic Initiatives Alan Acosta, discussed the ongoing struggle for equality and freedom since the Orlando tragedy.
On June 13, 2016, the Center co-hosted a rally and vigil in downtown Los Angeles in response to the deadly attack at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. Thousands of supporters, including Lady Gaga, gathered on Los Angeles City Hall’s south lawn to stand up for peace, community, and Orlando.
WHY I GIVE
Why I Give Tegan and Sara
ride is a time to come together and celebrate the variety, vitality, and beauty of our community. It’s also a time to pay homage to our history. So much has changed and improved for LGBTQ people, but it’s also important to remember the fight. Many LGBTQ people still feel like outsiders in their day-today lives. When we started playing music in 1997, we were not under a lot of pressure to keep our sexuality a secret. Our music was pretty alternative and we spent the first five or six years fairly underground. We got to live as out artists and build a community around us who knew who we were entirely–which was wonderful. We definitely experienced regular run-ins with homophobia, sexism, and misogyny from the press, promoters, other bands, and the general public. We were lucky to have a great support system, great friends, each other, and an unusually high sense of purpose and self confidence to power through. The reality, however, is that over the last 17 years, the list of homophobic injustices, remarks, sad stories, and embarrassing moments that we’ve experienced is long and continues to grow. By continuing to
fight them, we hope we’ve made things better, even in a small way. Before taking a tour of the Los Angeles LGBT Center last year, we had no idea how many different areas it touches. It’s really impressive. The headquarters building itself was just so big and so beautiful and the staff was so helpful and knowledgeable. We were truly moved (and surprised) at how expansive and broad the programs
The Center is a wonderful example of how community still exists in the LGBTQ world. are, but we were particularly wowed by the Transitional Living Program for youth who are experiencing homelessness, and by the services for seniors. At the Center’s medical clinic, we were shocked to learn about the insufficient training medical students receive regarding LGBTQ health. We’ve heard story after story about LGBTQ people who struggle to advocate for themselves in a medical
setting and don’t know what type of questions to ask their doctor. Even today, too many people avoid going to a doctor simply because they don’t want to out themselves. At the Center, no one ever has to worry about that. We will continue to focus our energy on funding organizations that are making the world a better place for LGBTQ people and to support programs that address the unique issues experienced by women and girls in the LGBTQ community. It would be incredible if the leading edge, LGBTQ specialty care offered by the Center was available to people throughout the country. Sadly this isn’t the case (yet), but we are fighting to make it a reality. The Center is a wonderful example of how community still exists in the LGBTQ world. The spectrum of programs is invaluable to people of all ages and provides an incredible foundation for our community. By supporting the Center personally, and through the Tegan and Sara Foundation, we’re stepping up our efforts to raise more and do more for LGBTQ women and girls who have supported us for nearly 20 years. Learn more about the duo’s foundation at teganandsarafoundation.org.
Join the resistance. lalgbtcenter.org/lgbtrights
McDonald/Wright Building 1625 N. Schrader Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028