Vanguard Quarterly Winter 2019

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Winter 2019



Winter 2019



Marketing & CommunicationKĂ ,L:Ë’ Frances Ampah Content Manager

Jaguar Busuego Production Designer

,MJ?LĂ?0W?LĂ?!?BCL? Operations Manager

Ari DeSano Platform and Systems Manager


Kelly Freter Director

Greg Hernandez Writer/Editor

Melantha Hodge Strategic Partnership Manager

Megan Phelps Managing Editor

Takashi Sato Production Designer

Kurt Thomas Creative Services Manager



Lorri L. Jean CEO, Los Angeles LGBT Center


Photographers Frances Ampah

Beau McGavin

Jaguar Busuego



Faye Sadou

Getty Images

Antonio Sandoval

Greg Hernandez

Sam Smith

Tatum Lewis

Dominic Wendel

Betsy Martinez

David J. Bailey Board Co-Chair Tess Ayers Secretary Tyler Cassity Treasurer Karim Abay LuAnn Boylan Tad Brown Sarah Dusseault Carolyn A. Dye Susan Feniger Alfred Fraijo, Jr. Dean Hansell



CEO Letter




Board of Directors Marki J. Knox, M.D. Board Co-Chair




Gold Rush




A Man of Record (.+Ă %(' ,-ĘŠ- '.+ Í°Ă BOARD MEMBER LEAVES HIS MARK

At the Center of It All OUR YEAR IN REVIEW

Photo Finish



LLGCĂ?'KFMËž Michael Lombardo Carlos Medina Lucinda Moorhead Michael Mueller Michael Ormonde

This issue of Vanguard is dedicated to coverage of the Center’s 50th anniversary. Updated information for Group Meetings may be found online at

Loren S. Ostrow Peter Paige Jayzen Patria Frank D. Pond Eric M. Shore Don Thomas Bruce Vilanch Amy Gordon Yanow


Ă?*MQĂ? LECJCQ Ă?! Ă? Ă? 4MGACĂ? Ă?pĂ?2""Ă? Ă?!MNWPGEFRĂ? Ă?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

Historical images throughout courtesy of ONE Archives at the USC Libraries.

Winter 2019





Riding the Waves of Change A CEO Lorri L. Jean ¬ @LorriLJean


Winter 2019

s we approach the end of 2019, I am f illed with emotions: gratitude, awe, pride. It has been a momentous 12 months for the Los Angeles LGBT Center. This was our 50th anniversary year and we celebrated with a star-studded evening of music, comedy, and community at the Greek Theatre that recognized the Center’s half-century of service to our community. This year also marked one of the Center’s greatest accomplishments: the opening of our Anita May Rosenstein Campus. Building on 49 years of unparalleled achievements, our new intergenerational Campus is a stunning testament to our community’s strength, generosity, compassion, and resilience. Never has our community been more supportive. Never has the Center done more for our community. Never has the Center been stronger or more inspiring. The theme of our 50th anniversary year was “Forward for 50.” The Center has always been a forward-looking organization, assessing community needs and how best to meet them. We’ve also focused on advancing our cause, developing and implementing strategies that

have actually worked. We’ve been determined to fulf ill the Center’s mission of building a world where LGBT people thrive as healthy, equal, and complete members of society. And that determination—whether in times of great progress or great challenge—has never wavered. No matter the circumstances, our Center has persevered and continued to succeed. We’ve succeeded because of a wonderful, supportive community. We’ve succeeded because of a talented, visionary staff. And we’ve succeeded because of a generous, courageous board of directors. As I look to the future, I know a sea change of sorts is coming. I was 35 when I started at the Center’s helm in 1993. In March I’ll turn 63. The vast majority of the Center’s Management Group (program directors and above) is over the age of 55. The same is true of nearly half of our board of directors. The Center is not an anomaly. A national workforce of baby boomers is aging and a signif icant generational shift in leadership is on the horizon. It’s one thing to contemplate my own retirement. It’s quite another when

people I love and upon whom I rely retire f irst! From a self ish standpoint, I don’t like it. This became readily apparent when the Center’s longest-tenured board member, Eric Shore, announced that he is stepping down at the end of the year. Eric joined the board in June of 1987. His service warrants special acknowledgment because he has dedicated more than three decades of his life to the Center, including serving as board co-chair. Through it all, he has always been one of our hardest-working board members—and among our most generous. Eric and his husband, Fred Paul, were the f irst living donors to reach the cumulative mark of giving $1 million to the Center. I have never known the Center without Eric. It’s hard for me to imagine that he will no longer be serving on our board (thankfully, he’s going to start an Emeritus Board, which means he won’t be too far away). While I completely support his decision, it breaks my heart a little bit. I feel similar sadness with the yearend departures of our longtime board members Bruce Vilanch, Dean Hansell (who also served as co-chair), and Peter Paige; all wonderful leaders who have dedicated more than 19, 18, and 13 years, respectively, to the Center Board. Clearly, the sea change is starting. Board members are usually the least visible of the Center’s leaders. Unlike the CEO, they rarely get to be in the spotlight. They work hard behind the scenes as self less volunteers. Unlike staff, they don’t get a paycheck for their service. In fact, serving on the board can be expensive! Our board members are among our

Our board members are among our most consistent and generous donors. Plus, their #1 job— fundraising—is one that most people don’t enjoy. Truthfully, very little about their oversight role is glamorous. But they are critical to the Center’s health and success.

them any less (I hope they’ll all serve on the new Emeritus Board). But in a manner that typif ies their decades of service, once again they are putting the Center f irst. After all, they gaze at the same horizon I do. They know the sea change is coming and they’re making way for a new generation of board leadership, just as we’re building a new generation of staff leadership. And it is my fervent belief that this new generation—building on the foundation that has been lovingly and painstakingly constructed by so many over the last 50 years—will take the lead in our long march toward full equality.

most consistent and generous donors. Plus, their #1 job—fundraising—is one that most people don’t enjoy. Truthfully, very little about their oversight role is glamorous. But they are critical to the Center’s health and success. So, why have people like Eric, Bruce, Dean, and Peter stayed so long? They’ve stayed because they are passionate about both our movement and the Center’s vitally important work on behalf of the most vulnerable in our community. They’ve stayed because they believe that, as relatively privileged people, they have a responsibility to give back. They’ve stayed because they found meaning and reward in their service. And they’ve stayed because the Center needed them. Their passion and dedication have not waned. And we certainly don’t need

Winterr 2019


(left) The Center’s current headquarters at the Anita May Rosenstein Campus (opened in 2019) and (right) the Center’s first headquarters on Wilshire Boulevard (opened in 1971)

(1) Center establishes Herself Health Free Clinic, the world’s first lesbian clinic (1972); (2) Center’s groundbreaking PSA campaign (1996); (3) love was free and kisses were $1 for this early Center fundraiser (1970s); (4) the Center’s early leaders: (l-r) Founding Executive Director Don Kilhefner and Founding Board Members Morris Kight, James L. Kepner, June Herrle, M.S.W., Martin Field, M.D., John Platania, and (insert) Lee Hansen Sisson (1972); (5) Center's Gaywill Funky Shoppe (1971); (6) "L.A. Cares...Like A Mother" AIDS educational campaign (1983); (7) Center begins first capital campaign in history for any LGBT organization to remodel its new headquarters. Ironically, it’s for the old IRS building that initially denied the Center 501c3 status in the 1970s that will become the McDonald/Wright Building (1989); (8) Center’s L.A. Pride contingent (1983); (9) grand opening of The Village at Ed Gould Plaza (1998)

❽ ❼

(1) Center secures first grant to provide services to LGBT youth (1979); (2) Although the Center has served many thousands of seniors throughout its history, it formally establishes the Senior Services Department (1997); (3) Center launches a bold HIV and AIDS awareness campaign, proclaiming “HIV is a gay disease. Own It. End It.” (2006); (4) inside the Center’s headquarters on Highland Avenue (1975); (5) Opening of the Trans Wellness Center (2018); (6) Center contingent at L.A. Pride (2016); (7) Center contingent at L.A. Pride (1994); (8) Celebrating marriage equality becoming the law of the land (2015)

(1) The first California AIDS Ride (known as AIDS/LifeCycle since 2002) (1994); (2) Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley ignores public criticism and visits the Center (1978); (3) Flyer advertising the Center's services from its earliest years (1970s); (4) Center's prevention care response to the AIDS epidemic included support tailored specifically for lesbian and bi women (1980s); (5) Center becomes the first LGBT organization to receive tax-exempt status, but only on the conditions that it not “advocate the practice of homosexuality or contend that homosexuality is normal.” Conditions which we promptly ignore (1974); (6) Center organizes a community rally at L.A. City Hall after the massacre at Pulse in Orlando (2016); (7) Center participates in the second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, which also marked the unveiling of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt (1987); (8) Cultural Arts Department created (1998); (9) Center contingent at L.A. Pride (1974)

❺ ❻

❷ ❶

(1) Center opens first Liberation House, offering room and board for $1.50/day (1971); (2) Center sets up an emergency hotline to answer the community’s questions about what was then known as GRID. It spins off a year later as AIDS Project Los Angeles (1982); (3) Center moves its headquarters into a former motel on Highland Avenue (1975)


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Thousands helped celebrate the Center’s 50th anniversary as part of the Gold Anniversary Vanguard Celebration and Hearts of Gold concert at the Greek Theatre.

"The lesson of our Center’s unrivaled history is that no matter the forces aligned against us, no matter our movement’s missteps or the challenges ahead, we will not be dissuaded from advancing our powerful vision. Every human being deserves freedom, justice and equality; dignity, respect and love; acceptance, health and happiness. That is what your Center is fighting for and what we’ve spent 50 years building." – Center CEO Lorri L. Jean

"I can’t tell you how proud I am to represent the Los Angeles LGBT Center in Washington, D.C. There is no more powerful need than now for a Center with love at its core and love at its heart. What an incredible half-century and what an incredible story" – U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff

❷ ❺

(1-2) More than 1,000 supporters helped kick off the Center’s 50th anniversary celebration on September 21 at the Gold Anniversary Vanguard Celebration, filling a special event tent near the grounds of the Greek Theatre. (3) Center Board Member and Event Chair Michael Lombardo welcomed supporters and sponsors to the elegant evening. (4) Center Board Co-Chairs Marki J. Knox, M.D., and David J. Bailey shared highlights of this year’s opening of the Center’s Anita May Rosenstein Campus. (5) Singer songwriter LP entertained the crowd before (6) U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff reflected on his support of the Center before introducing CEO Lorri L. Jean.

"From our individual suffering comes the seeds of our transformation as a community. If you suffer, do not suffer alone. We didn’t have anything but our anger and our power. And we had work to do." – Founding Board Member John Platania

"What do we say to 50 years of queer! Happy birthday to the Center! You’ve got to love this place where every person is seen and supported."

" I have been involved with the Center since the early ‘70s. I can’t tell you how proud my partner Jane Wagner and I are to be part of the Center’s story."

– Jane Fonda – Lily Tomlin

❺ ❹

"I felt a fury that built into rage: I had a right to my place on this planet. When I first found the Center, I saw that this vision was my dream come true. I just needed to roll up my sleeves and start working." – former Center Volunteer Staff Member Lillene Fifield

"Tonight, I’m I’m going going to to sing sing "Tonight, this song song again—with again—with the the this correct pronouns—not pronouns—not correct just as as aa gift gift to to the the song, song, just but as as aa gift gift to to all all those those but amazing kids kids out out there. there, to amazing letlet them know they can To them know they can grow up up to to be be whatever whatever grow they want want to to be—even be – even a they agay gaycountry countrysinger." singer." Ty Herndon Herndon –– Ty

(1) Hayley Kiyoko welcomed a packed house at the Greek Theatre for the Center’s Hearts of Gold concert and multimedia extravaganza and introduced (2) Sia, who opened the show accompanied by her troupe of dancers. Two of the Center’s early leaders—(3) Founding Board Member John Platania and (4) Volunteer Staff Member Lillene Fifield—regaled the audience with stories about the Center in the 1970s. Longtime Center supporters and crowd-favorites (5) Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin also shared their Center stories. (6) Queer Eye’s Bobby Berk and Karamo Brown (a former Center staffer) and (7) cast members of Good Trouble (Maia Mitchell, Zuri Adele, Cierra Ramirez, and Josh Pence) helped welcome performers to the stage. (8) Country singer Ty Herndon shared his emotional coming out journey before singing his hit song What Mattered Most “with the correct pronouns.” (9) Another longtime Center friend—the legendary Jenifer Lewis—brought down the house to close out the evening.

" It was the first time a staff was intentionally put together that deliberately and unapologetically celebrated the power of our diversity. Thirty-five years after a skinny Black kid from the housing projects on the south side of Chicago landed on its doorstep, and 50 years after its founding, the Center is still leading the charge to build community for all of us." ❶

– Phill Wilson

(1) Phill Wilson, who helped start the Center’s first AIDS prevention program in 1986, and (2) Frankie Grande, an avid AIDS/LifeCycle rider, shared the Center’s impact on their lives. Performers (3) Rufus Wainwright, (4) Thelma Houston, (5) Melissa Etheridge, and (6) Valentina kept the audience dancing (and singing along) throughout the night. (7) Kathy Griffin, (8) Tig Nataro, and (9) Center Board Member Bruce Vilanch brought the fun, while (10) Nico Santos and Zeke Smith, (11) Center CEO Lorri L. Jean, and (12) Center staff member Heidi Chairez shared their Center stories of inspiration. (13) Members of Vox Femina Los Angeles, Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, and Trans Chorus of Los Angeles performed a stirring rendition of This is Me and then returned to the stage to close the show with Jenifer Lewis.

ON THE CARPET All of the Hearts of Gold performers, dozens of celebrities, and Center friends joined us on the Rainbow Carpet on their way into the Greek Theatre, including (top row, l-r) Alexandra Grey, AmbersCloset, Ariadne Getty, and August Getty; (middle row, l-r) Brigitte Nielsen, Chris Payne Gilbert & Lesley-Ann Brandt, and Jake Borelli; and (bottom row, l-r) Laith Ashley, Michael Nardelli, and VINCINT. 24

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20 19


Taught at the Center’s commercial kitchen in the Anita May Rosenstein Campus, the innovative Culinary Arts program launches. The 300-hour program engages youth and seniors to learn basic culinary skills and assist with the preparation of up to 600 meals a day for the Center’s youth and senior clients experiencing food insecurity. Participants finish the program by completing a 100-hour internship at local restaurants, catering companies, and other food service businesses.


FOR WOMEN. BY WOMEN. Second annual community celebration for LBTQ women and their allies includes resource fair, live performances, fashion show, and interactive, LBTQ-centric activities.


A special 50 Years of Queer Big Queer Convo series focused on the impact of LGBT people in the entertainment and news media over the last half-century, with panel discussions dedicated to television, theatre, new media, and journalism.

Center teams up with the LA Galaxy for their sixth annual Pride Night and with the Los Angeles Dodgers for their seventh annual LGBT Night. The Dodgers also honor the Center with their Community Hero Award.

The 11th annual job and resources fair specifically tailored for trans, non-binary, and intersex people is hosted by the Center’s Transgender Economic Empowerment Project (TEEP) in partnership with programmatic funders City of West Hollywood and Citi Community Development, as well as community partners Trans Can Work, JVS SoCal, and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

COMPLETE Thousands of community members join celebrities, dignitaries, influencers, and performers to celebrate the historic grand opening of the revolutionary intergenerational Anita May Rosenstein Campus. The all-day festivities include a ribbon cutting, entertainment, and self-guided tours of the two-acre complex. 26

Winter 2019

BE THE REVOLUTION Third annual Black History Month community celebration features workshops, live performances, art exhibit, and resource fair, as well as the Marsha P. Johnson Award honoring a burgeoning community activist, Bayard Rustin Award for advancing the social movement of black and LGBT rights, and inaugural Freedom Riders Award, given to an organization or group that strives to do outstanding and impactful work in the black community.

Luces, Cámara, Acción! 6th annual festival showcases the stories of the queer Latinx community through film and visual art.

A record-breaking crowd of thousands enjoys premier food and wine event for LGBT people and their allies at iconic Hollywood Forever.

GET OUT! Thousands join us OUT Under the Stars for summer outdoor film series at iconic Hollywood Forever featuring Hairspray and Labyrinth.

Trans Pride L.A. kicks off its 21st year with a special Big Queer Convo panel discussion featuring Jacob Tobia, Alexandra Grey, Miles McKenna, and moderator Tre’vell Anderson. Capacity crowds then enjoy the two-day festival featuring Free to Be Free—The Evolution of the Gender Revolution intergenerational art exhibit, workshops, and VarieTy show.

The Center helps lead a statewide coalition to advocate for $17.5 million to create the unprecedented Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer (LBQ) Women’s Health Equity Fund under the California Department of Public Health. The landmark funding is included in the new state budget signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom and marks the first time a state has earmarked specific funds for LBQ women’s health.

A CELEBRATION FOR THE AGES Thousands help celebrate the Center’s 50th anniversary as part of the Gold Anniversary Vanguard Celebration and Hearts of Gold concert at the Greek Theatre.

More than 2,200 cyclists, supported by 650 volunteer “roadies,” raise a record-breaking $16.7M for the Center’s HIV/AIDS-related services and San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

Thousands of volunteers join the fight for LGBT equality, participating in phonebanks, protests, rallies, letter-writing campaigns, legislative visits, and voter canvassing with Center’s Resistance Squad, Senior MOB Squad, and Leadership LAB.

Strategic partnership project connects record number of social media, new media, and entertainment “outfluencers” to Center programs.

Held for the first time at Los Angeles City College, more than 2,000 LGBTQ youth and their allies from cities and schools nationwide take part in Models of Pride, the largest free conference of its kind.

L.A. Pride honors the Center as the Organizational Grand Marshal for annual Pride Parade. Hundreds join the Center’s celebratory contingent, marching under this year’s 50th anniversary theme: Revolution by Example. Winter 2019







Winter 2019






Best of the Best: Photo Finish 2019


(1) Anita May Rosenstein Campus Grand Opening Community Celebration (April); (2) LGBTQ Youth Awards and Scholarship Night (May); (3) Culinary Arts Graduation (July); (4) Resistance Squad’s Adelanto Detention Center protest (August); (5) LA Galaxy 6th Annual Pride Night (June); (6) Los Angeles Dodgers LGBT Night (May); (7) Trans Pride L.A. (June); (8) AIDS/LifeCycle (June); and (9) Senior Services Halloween Bash (October)

Winter 2019





Winter 2019









Best of the Best: Photo Finish 2019


(1) L.A. Pride Parade (June); (2) Models of Pride (October); (3) Simply diVine (April); (4) Big Queer Convo: Television and the Emergence of LGBT Identities (January); (5) WxW: By Women, For Women (May); (6) CineArte Latinx Queer Art & Film Festival (August); (7) Senior Prom (June); (8) Resistance Squad Rally for DACA (March); (9) OUT Under the Stars: Hairspray (June); and (10) The Future is Black: Be the Revolution (February)

Winter 2019






s someone who has spent more than world then in many ways. half of his life as a member of the “The Center’s annual budget was $4 milCenter’s Board of Directors, Eric lion. We were offering an incredible array Shore oughta know. of services then, but nothing compared to “This is not just a community organiza- what we offer today. Our Youth Services tion, this is the community organization. It’s program provided shelter and services to the model for every other organization on youth back then, but we often had to go and Earth that does this work,” said Shore, who find them. To get at-risk kids off the street, is stepping down at the end of the year after staff and volunteers would go to the bus 32 years on the board—the longest-tenured station and walk down the streets and make member in Center history. sure youth knew about the Center. That all After volunteering while in college and changed with the internet,” Shore recalled. then becoming a donor, Shore joined the “The problem persists, even today, but now board in 1987 at the suggestion of his friend the youth know about us before they end Rand Schrader, the AIDS and LGBT rights up in LA. They know there’s a safe place for activist and municipal court judge who was them here.” then serving on the Board. It was a different The AIDS epidemic was also in full


Winter 2019

swing and people were dying—including some of his fellow board members. “There were discussions at every Board meeting about upcoming memorial services,” he remembered. “It was this horrible dark cloud over all of our hopes and dreams and work that we were doing.” “The Center is so relevant, so critical, and always interesting,” he said. “It’s always about looking forward. What is our community’s next need? How can we address those needs? Being on the Board has always been exciting and has allowed me to experience life and to understand issues in our community that I would never have known about. It allowed me the ability to make a difference in ways that I would never have been able had I not

;ÍąN> Ă ,AÍąJ>Ă JB@AL Ă :G=Ă AMK;:G=Ă J>=Ă ):ME Ă -ÍąHĂ JB@AL Ă . , Ă /B<>Ă )J>KB=>GLĂ EĂ ÍąJ>Ă NBKBLKĂ LA>Ă >GL>JĂ BGĂ Ă AÍąKL>=Ă ;QĂ ?JÍąFĂ E>Ë—Ă L͹à JB@AL Ă ?ÍąJF>JĂ >GL>JĂ P><MLBN>Ă Í°BJ><LÍąJĂ Gwenn Baldwin and Center Board of Directors members LuAnn Boylan and Shore; Bottom right: Shore cheers on AIDS/LifeCycle participants.

been a Board member.� Many of Shore’s happiest memories are linked to the annual Gala, the Center’s largest fundraiser of the year. He was chairman of the event for more than a decade and involved in it every year he has been on the Board. Additionally, Shore was co-chair of the Board for five years. Over the years he was also chair of several committees including Fundraising, Board Development, and the Gala Auction. He traveled to Washington, D.C., three times with fellow Board members (and a million or so others) to participate in LGBT marches on Washington and was among those to welcome U.S. Vice President Al Gore when he visited the Center in 1999.

Other highlights from Shore’s tenure include the Center’s first capital campaigns and successful openings of the Center’s McDonald/Wright Building in 1992, The Village at Ed Gould Plaza in 1998, and the Anita May Rosenstein Campus earlier this year. Shore proudly states: “Every one of our capital campaigns have set records for amounts ever raised by an LGBT organization. I was lucky enough to be involved in all three.� Shore and his husband, Fred Paul, opened up their home each year for more than two decades to host the Center’s Donor Appreciation Dinner. In 2005 the couple became the first living private donors to exceed $1 million in total contributions

to the Center and were honored at that year’s Gala. “I could not have been on the Board for all these years if my husband had not been completely supportive,� Shore said. “Fred has been a Board spouse for 32 years. If he wasn’t supportive, it would have been 32 years of conflict!� Shore plans to remain active in the Center and is currently working on establishing an Emeritus Board. “It’s a way to recognize and bring back people who have cared enough to serve in the Board,� he said. “I will stay involved. I have dedicated a lot of my life to the Center, and I have no interest in going elsewhere. I have found the best.�

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE "GĂ :==BLBÍąGĂ L͹à ,AÍąJ> Ă LAJ>>Ă F>F;>JKĂ Íą?Ă LA>Ă >GL>J KĂ Íą:J=Ă Íą?Ă Í°BJ><LÍąJKĂ OBEEĂ ;>Ă KL>HHBG@Ă =ÍąOGĂ :LĂ LA>Ă >G=Ă Íą?Ă ÍŹ Ă ?JÍąFĂ E>Ë—Ă L͹à JB@AL Ă Í°>:GĂ !:GK>EE Ă OAÍąK>Ă Íą:J=Ă L>GMJ>Ă ;>@:GĂ BGĂ October 2001; Peter Paige, who joined in January 2016; and Bruce Vilanch, who joined in August 2000.

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Why I Give

Kathy Griffin


y love for the Center began when I f irst moved to Los Angeles. A friend of mine invited me to see a show at the Renberg Theatre located at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza. I was immediately dazzled by the Center’s ability to put on a top-notch production and, simultaneously, create a sense of community. I was lucky enough to perform multiple one-woman comedy shows at the Renberg Theatre as a way to help give attention to, at the time, a very marginalized group. I have always told all my friends, agents, and fellow performers that one of the best theatres in Los Angeles was at The Village. The audiences are always attentive, patient, loyal, and great laughers. When I became more familiar with the Center’s overall work, I realized how incredibly impactful it is for the community. I met a terrif ic young group who were members of the Center’s Transitional Living Program. These LGBT youth were without a home, living on


Winter 2019

the streets, in need of love and support. Thankfully, the Center welcomed them with open arms. Around the same time, I was f ilming My Life on the D-List, and I asked the Center for permission to f ly these kids to Sacramento to join me in a rally during the California Supreme Court’s deliberation on Prop 8. I felt it was absolutely necessary for my young friends to experience f irsthand struggles of the LGBT community—why we f ight for marriage equality, why we demand funding to f ight HIV and AIDS, why we need protections from hate crimes and discrimination, and why the f ight for equality never ends. I’ve said this a long time about the LGBT community: they know how to mobilize, legislate, and get things done! The Center is such an important piece to this mission.

This year I was honored to have been part of two milestone events for the Center: the grand opening of the Anita May Rosenstein Campus and the Gold Anniversary Vanguard Celebration. Sharing the stage with friends and elected off icials for the Campus ribbon cutting ceremony was truly amazing. From the stage, I could see generations of people celebrating together, listening intently to the speeches, and learning why this new addition was a historic moment for the Center to help share the message that they provide services for more LGBT people than any other organization in the world. The Center is a home, a safe place, and a community of resilience. At the Gold Anniversary Vanguard Celebration gala dinner, I had the pleasure to introduce the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, to a room full of friends and supporters. Chairman Schiff has always been a strong advocate for the Center, championing the work that has been done through the years. I can’t stress enough how important it is that our elected officials, both in Los Angeles and around the country, raise their voices to demand acceptance and equality. With the current Trump Administration, the LGBT community is under siege like it has never been, and strong allies like Chairman Schiff are vital in shining a light on this community and recognizing these voices. Following the dinner, I had the pleasure to participate in the Hearts of Gold show at the Greek Theatre saluting a half-centur y of struggles and historic victories of the Center and the entire LGBT community. Being a long-time ally (and now, feature f ilm star), I had the pleasure to be part of an A-List roster of entertainers, including Sia, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Jenifer Lewis, to name a few. Simply put, the Center saves lives. It’s been doing incredible things for 50 years—and will continue to be a powerful voice of equality, love, support, and global advocacy. The Center is like no community I’ve ever seen and that’s one of the reasons I’m proud to be your ally now and forever.

The award-winning docu-comedy feature film Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story is now available on Apple and Amazon or wherever movies are sold.

Thank you for joining us this year and celebrating 50 years of activism, service, and support!

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

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