Vanguard Quarterly Fall 2016

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Marketing & Communications Staff

OCT. 29, 2016

Ari DeSano Website Manager

Gil Diaz Communications Manager

University of

Kelly Freter Associate Director

Southern California

Melantha Hodge Project Manager

Joe Hui Digital Communications Manager

Megan Kastner Communications Coordinator

Jim Key Chief Marketing Officer

Josiah Pak Creative Services Coordinator

Christopher Price Creative Services Coordinator

Sophia Puglisi Digital Communications Coordinator

Callie Rodgers Creative Services Coordinator


Kurt Thomas Creative Services Manager



Alan Acosta Photographer






Lisa Allen

Betsy Martinez



Andrew Christian

Tracey Payne

Fashion Designer


Lorri L. Jean

Richard Settle

CEO, Los Angeles LGBT Center


Board of Directors Tess Ayers

Michael Lombardo

David J. Bailey

Mercedes Marquez

Board Co-Chair

VOLUNTEER TODAY We need over 150 volunteers for this life-changing conference to be a success!


MODELSofPRIDE.ORG Información en español:

Merryll McElwain

LuAnn Boylan

Carlos Medina

Tad Brown

Mike Mueller

Tyler Cassity

Brad Ong

Kin Cheng

Loren S. Ostrow

Carolyn A. Dye

Peter Paige

Susan Feniger

Jayzen Patria

Annie Goto

Board Secretary


CEO Letter









A Touch of Class


Center Notes



Center Voices


Photo Finish


Why I Give



» PG. 8



Scott Poland

Board Treasurer

Dean Hansell

Frank Pond

Marki J. Knox, M.D.

Eric M. Shore

Board Co-Chair


Bruce Vilanch

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 2016, 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

Fall 2016


ceo letter


Two Steps Forward, One Step Back


e’re still months away from the end of 2016, but domestically and internationally it has already been one of the most tumultuous years for LGBT people that I can remember, with both leaps of progress and frustrating setbacks:

MARRIAGE EQUALITY On the first day of the year, Vietnam abolished regulations that prohibited marriage for same-sex couples. Since then, even more countries have legalized marriage (Colombia and Mexico) or civil unions (Italy) while others have been mired in inaction (Australia).

CEO Lorri L. Jean


Here at home, where we thought the issue was settled, Tennessee introduced legislation to defy the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage decision (it did not pass). Today, by one count at least, there are one billion people living on earth in jurisdictions that recognize our freedom to marry. RESTROOM HYSTERIA Bathrooms have become THE issue of the day—the hysteria often focusing on transgender kids in schools. One of the most outrageous is North Carolina’s HB2, which not only punishes people who use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identities, but overturns local ordinances that protected LGBT people from discrimination. And the First in Flight state isn’t alone. At least 30 states have introduced more than 150 anti-LGBT bills, many of which have bathroom provisions.


Fall 2016

The good news is that Hollywood, corporate America, and even sports leagues have risen to the occasion in unprecedented ways to punish states that pass these discriminatory laws. The Obama Administration issued guidance to protect the rights of students to use school bathrooms that match their gender identities, but late in August a U.S. District Court in Texas issued a preliminary injunction against the federal government’s guidance, protecting schools from legal action if they refuse to protect their transgender students. LGBT LEADERS The U.S. Senate confirmed a gay Secretary of the Army, the first openly gay secretary of a major military branch, and the Navy announced that it will name a ship after Harvey Milk (much to the dismay of the so-called American Family Association). Puerto Rico appointed an open lesbian as the first Chief Justice of its Supreme Court; the first LGBT Chief Justice in the nation. The Methodists approved their first openly gay bishop. But in Bangladesh, one of the most prominent LGBT activists in the country was brutally murdered, as was one of the most visible LGBT activists in Honduras.

TRANS EQUALITY Transgender people will soon have the freedom to serve openly in the military and gender confirming surgery for trans people is now covered by Medicare! PASSINGS The most virulently anti-LGBT Supreme Court justice in history, Antonin Scalia, died. So did Prince. And here in Los Angeles we lost pioneering lesbian activist Jeanne Cordova, as well as Bill Rosendahl, the first openly gay man elected to the L.A. City Council. APOLOGIES Toronto police apologized for their notorious 1981 bathhouse raids that ruined the lives of hundreds of gay men, Britain’s spy chief apologized for their prejudice against LGBT people (including World War II codebreaker Alan Turing), and Pope Francis said Christians should apologize to gay people for how they’ve treated us. ORLANDO The loss of 49 souls was devastating. The response by many right-wing politicians and religious leaders was appalling and the show of support from friends and allies around the world was astounding.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. When it comes to LGBT people and our rights and freedoms, it has been a truly astonishing year of pushand-pull tension. And things don’t promise to settle down any time soon. Don’t forget, the presidential election is only weeks away. Despite our movement’s enormous progress, the Republican Party passed what the Log Cabin Republicans dubbed as the most anti-LGBT platform in the party’s 162 year history. Moreover, one of the many distinguishing facts between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is their positions and record on LGBT rights. The right-wing backlash we’ve been suffering since mar- We have more rights riage became the law of the land isn’t showing any signs of dimin- than we’ve ever had, ishing. The anti-LGBT zealots in but we still don’t have this country (who really are out of equal rights. sync with the majority of the population) are using every strategy they can to prevent and even reverse our progress— usually under the guise of religious freedom. While we’ve got much to celebrate and be proud of, many obstacles and enemies remain. We have more rights than we’ve ever had, but we still don’t have equal rights. We’re safer in more places than we’ve ever been, but we’re not yet safe. We have more political support than ever before, but we cannot rest until both major parties support our full and complete equality. Here’s hoping we don’t end the year with an enemy headed to the White House.

OLYMPICS The 2016 Summer Olympics had more openly LGBT athletes than ever before—a record 53 (more than twice the number in 2012). And after some truly ham fisted and even offensive reporting by NBC, they actually got their act together by the end of the Games, to include referencing the male “fiancé” of a medal-contending diver.

Fall 2016


Buzz Worthy



5 5


2 1




Giving Tuesday

Honoring amazing change-makers

Give back for #GivingTuesday


The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe: Revisited


Volunteer Appreciation Celebration DECEMBER 2


Honoring our amazing volunteers

Iconic play reinvented as fully-staged production with 12 actors

YPC Threads of Change

Transgender Job Fair OCTOBER 20

Get job help and meet with potential employers

Models of Pride OCTOBER 29


Donate gently-used clothing for the Center’s youth

LAWN Holiday Party DECEMBER 8

Supporting the Center’s programs and services for women and girls

World’s largest free conference for LGBTQ youth


    @lalgbtcenter







Actress Denise Richards reprised her role as Rebecca Ann Leeman and introduced our OUT Under the Stars screening of Drop Dead Gorgeous at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Downtown Women’s Center, which provides permanent supportive housing and services for homeless women in Los Angeles’ Skid Row, sang the praises of our Transgender Economic Empowerment Program after completing their staff training.

Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton shared the livestream of Luminaries, our Young Professionals Council networking panel featuring LGBT entertainment industry professionals.

I’ll be there!! #rebeccaannleeman #outunderthestars Hosting a screening of Drop Dead Gorgeous tomorrow June 24 Hollywood Forever #goodcause  @Deniserichards_official

Just had an incredible staff training with Susan and Drian from @LALGBTCenter! Thank you so much!       @DWCweb 4


KEEPING IT KUEHL L.A. County’s 3rd District Supervisor Sheila Kuehl announced the Board of Supervisors’ unanimous vote to expand access to PrEP, providing $11.5 million for community-based health care providers, including the Center, over the next three years.

Passed 5-0! Board Approves #PrEP Contracts for @LALGBTCenter, @aplatweets, others.  @SheilaKuehl

AN OPEN BOOK Actor and longtime Center supporter Wilson Cruz shared a throwback photo from OutAuction ’97, a threenight event that raised $240,000 for Center services and programs.

Wow! Almost 20 years ago. Reading my favorite book for an event for @lalgbtcenter!  Wilson Cruz

Watch the @laLGBTcenter‘s panel discussion I was a part of last night HERE! Lots of great advice and funny stories!  @ThePerezHilton 6

MATCHING SOCKS Sockstash, a new startup platform for designers and sock lovers, is funding limited-run sock designs. For every pair purchased, they donate a pair of socks to the Center. In August they donated more than 1,000 pairs of socks to our Youth Center!

We  the @LALGBTCenter & all the work they do for those in need. Learn more about all they do every day!


MAKING THE WORLD GO ROUND M•A•C AIDS Fund urged followers to make the Center their “Follow Friday.” #FF is a way to recommend Twitter profiles that you appreciate and enjoy to all of your followers.

#FF @LALGBTCenter: world’s largest provider of programs and services for LGBT. Their dedication is making the  go round.  @MACAIDSFund


For even more Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram interactions like these, plus all the latest LGBT community news, local highlights, and original content, find us on social media at:  @LALGBTCENTER

We’d love to hear from you.

 @sockstash Fall 2016


Type of Studies

UNDER THE Center’s Clinical Research Program Fights for LGBT Health Equality


Fall 2016

New Drugs Investigate new medications for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, gonorrhea, and other STDs

Medical devices Identify new techniques to improve HIV and STD testing

One of the most important battle grounds in the fight for LGBT equality is happening in a place you might not expect: under the microscope (so to speak). Scientific study, namely clinical research, is key to gaining new knowledge that will advance health care for under-resourced communities. It’s hard to access resources or get help if you’re not I want to help counted…or seen…or studied. my commuThe Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Clinical Research Program conducts nity and help high-quality, rigorous, communimake a posty-based clinical and bio-behavioral itive change. research that leads to improved understanding of and access to health care for I am involved our community. in research to “Just as the Center responds to social, help prevent economic, and legal issues facing our community, we have a responsibility to the spread pursue research that will advance the of disease. knowledge and understanding of LGBT – Center Research health,” said Center Senior Manager of Participant Research Risa Flynn.

Bio-behavioral Understand the prevalence, incidence, and patterns of HIV and STDs that disproportionately affect the LGBT community

Epidemiological Understanding prevalence, incidence, and patterns of diseases that disproportionately impact the LGBT community

Demonstration Projects Examine programs that are innovative and successful to provide evidence for disseminating them throughout the larger community

Fall 2016


Current Studies mSTUDY Demonstrate how substance use impacts HIV and STD transmission and progression among HIV positive and negative gay and bisexual men.

REPRIEVE Explore long-term prevention of heart disease among people living with HIV. Studies have shown people living with HIV are 50 to 100 percent more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke, than those individuals without HIV.

PrEP & Transgender Community Explore the use of PrEP for transgender women and men for HIV prevention. Transgender populations— especially trans women of color—face a number of HIV prevention challenges and may have additional barriers to PrEP regimen adherence.

Gonorrhea Treatment Study Address gonorrhea’s resistance to antibiotics. The progressive resistance complicates the ability to treat it successfully since there are few antibiotic options left that are wellstudied and effective.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Study Determine the occurrence of HPV among young gay and bisexual men and to assess their use or knowledge of the HPV vaccine. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection.


Fall 2016

Clinical research at the Center helps develop new guidelines, strategies, and solutions to address LGBT health issues. Because of the program’s reputation for rigorous science, their results have an impact on how public and private funding dollars are spent. Established in 1996, the Center’s research program originally focused on HIV/AIDS research, contributing to dramatic advancements in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Early work on drug studies led to the simplification of HIV/AIDS treatment to a “one pill once a day” regimen and addressed issues around drug resistance and disabling side effects. In 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a landmark report on LGBT health, acknowledging that there are many areas of LGBT health that require more research and urging the research community to increase LGBT participation. LGBT health areas deemed most pressing included demographic research, social influences, health care inequities, intervention research, and The Center’s transgender-specif ic staff is very health needs. “Scientific research knowledgeable, advances medical professional, practices and, for too and caring. long, LGBT populations have been exThey give me cluded from research honest answers that informs the care and information patients receive,” said Center Associate and I have great Chief Medical Officer communication Dr. Ward Carpenter. with my provider. According to the Center for American – Center Research Progress, factors like Participant low rates of health insurance coverage, high rates of stress due to harassment and discrimination, and a lack of cultural competency in the health care system put LGBT people at a greater risk of cancer, mental health problems, and other diseases. These factors also contribute to higher rates of smoking, drinking, and drug use. Being at greater risk for diseases and having higher rates of risky behaviors lead to health disparities in the LGBT community. If LGBT health issues are studied, research findings can then be translated into health care practices to reduce these disparities, which goes hand-in-hand with reducing disease transmission and progression, increasing physical and mental well-being, and reducing health care costs.

“Increasing and improving LGBT-specific health research is a social justice imperative,” said Carpenter. “By advocating for LGBT people to be included in research studies and by undertaking our own studies of health concerns facing LGBT people, we’ll finally be able to narrow the gap.” In response to the IOM report, the Clinical Research Program expanded the scope of its work. For example, in June of this year, the research team joined the first U.S.-based PrEP study focusing exclusively on transgender people. “PrEP is an incredibly valuable HIV prevention tool that is being used by growing numbers of gay men, yet transgender women, particularly trans women of color—who have the highest rates of HIV infection in the nation—have been slow to adopt it,” said Carpenter. “This study will enable us to determine the best ways to roll out PrEP to our high risk trans clients and to learn directly from our participants how best to prevent HIV using PrEP By participating, and other tools. The I have insights knowledge we gain will help trans people around and access to the world.” medications The research departthat would othment continues to expand as the spotlight on LGBT erwise not be health research grows at available to me. the national level. Key to It helps motivate the success in conducting research is the abilme to take care ity to enroll diverse and of my health. vulnerable populations. – Center Research With more than 42,000 Participant client visits per month, the Center is uniquely equipped to conduct this vital clinical research. “The research infrastructure at the Center allows for its LGBT clients to participate in this important work. We have a long history of providing culturally competent, affordable, high-quality health care to the LGBT community,” said Flynn. “Clients are treated with compassion and respect, which inspires the trust and confidence necessary to enroll them in these important research studies.”

For more info on current research studies and how to be involved visit:

Our Team Clinical Director of Research Principal Investigator for all research studies

Senior Manager of Research Provides program oversight and strategic guidance

Research Operations Supervisor Supervises research team

Research Clinician Conducts clinical components (physical exams, specimen collection, medical and sexual history, etc.) for research participants

Research Pharmacist Conducts pharmacological components of the research visits, including the distribution of study medication

Research Lab Technician Conducts laboratory components of the research visits

Research Coordinators Coordinate all aspects of the research visits by participants

Epidemiologist Analyzes patient data for research protocols and supervises study publications and dissemination of results

12 3

Epidemiologist Assistant Analyzes data and supports grant applications and manuscript development process

Fall 2016


She’s the Boss! How a Center supporter is changing the workplace for transgender people


• Transgender entrepreneur Michaela Mendelsohn, CEO of Pollo West Corporation, owns one of the largest El Pollo Loco franchises in the western United States.


Fall 2016

or nearly three years Jessye Zambrano tried to follow her boss’s orders to disguise her true identity. He was concerned that customers of the large fast food restaurant where she worked would be upset by her gender transition. “The only reasons I kept my job were because I loved to work—and I had to work,” the 32 year old said. “One day I came to work wearing makeup. My boss told me to wash it off if I wanted to keep working. I was so upset—I couldn’t stop crying in the restroom.” Today Zambrano’s not only running a successful fast food restaurant, she reports to a powerful transgender CEO who runs her own group of restaurants that is helping to change workplace culture for transgender people. Zambrano’s early workplace turmoil is all too common for transgender people. Ninety percent of transgender individuals have encountered some form of harassment or mistreatment on the job. Forty-seven percent of workers have experienced an adverse job outcome because they are transgender, including being passed over for a job, denied a promotion, or fired. “The transgender community is an untapped pool of talent that experiences unemployment rates at twice the national average simply because of their gender identity, even though many of them hold college degrees,” said Drian Juarez, program manager of the Center’s Transgender Economic Empowerment Project (TEEP), which helps trans people develop professional skills, find employment, and thrive in the workplace. Because Zambrano wanted to live and work as her authentic self, she found employment as a manager at another fast food restaurant: El Pollo Loco. Zambrano is one of seven trans women working at the Mid-City district franchise on Western Avenue.

Watch Extended Interviews at:

Fall 2016


“ At my previous jobs, I was required to present myself as a man because my bosses had the power to enforce that rule. That’s their weapon against trans people: they will take away your job.” — Marie Hernandez


Fall 2016

“It’s incredible to work with other trans women because we treat each other like a family,” she said. “We give each other the respect we deserve—like everyday humans. Many of our customers know we are mostly trans people. They will always see us smiling because, for the first time, we are happy to be at work.” Zambrano’s new boss is Michaela Mendelsohn, CEO of Pollo West Corporation, one of the largest El Pollo Loco franchises in the western region of the United States. Mendelsohn’s vision of a trans-inclusive workplace came from her own experience. The 64-year-old New York native transitioned eight years ago. “I grew up at a time when we didn’t even know the word ‘transgender,’” she said. “I didn’t understand what I was going through—like wearing my sister’s clothes—so I kept it a secret in order to avoid being ridiculed.” Before transitioning, Mendelsohn was married and raised three children. At first, her transition wasn’t easy for her family to understand. “I was the type of man my daughters wanted to marry. I was the type of man my son wanted to be one day,” she said. “I realized they were losing more than I. I was moving into becoming my authentic self. They were losing a part of themselves.” But after transitioning, Mendelsohn’s family slowly came back into her life. In fact, her ex-wife and three adult kids have become close with her new partner, Carmel. Together the couple have a toddler, Isadore. Nowadays, Mendelsohn along with her grant partner, Bamby Salcedo, are working with the Center’s TEEP program and concentrating on getting trans people hired through educating businesses on trans issues, including the benefits of inclusivity. These businesses will then be connected with trans job seekers, many of whom will come through the Center. With more than 40 years of entrepreneurial leadership experience, Mendelsohn also founded the California Transgender Workplace Program (CTWP) to promote the Golden State as the national model of a trans-positive employment environment. “CTWP is paving the way for trans people, especially those in the lower segments of our economy,” explained Mendelsohn.

Dress for Success: TEEP Boutique Interview Chic The Center’s TEEP Boutique, part of our Transgender Economic Empowerment Project (TEEP), helps our clients find ideal clothes to wear on job interviews. Currently the TEEP Boutique is in dire need of: • Hosiery

• Unused makeup

• Gently-used dresses and suits

• Hairspray

• Gently-used dress shirts and ties

• Reading glasses • Women’s shoes in sizes 10 and above

Donations may be dropped off Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Youth Center on Highland, 1220 N. Highland Ave. Please specify to Center staff that your donations are for the TEEP Boutique. Access to the boutique is limited to Center TEEP clients. • S trength in numbers! At one of Mendelsohn’s El Pollo Loco franchises (top left), nearly half of the staff is comprised of transgender women, including (top right) General Manager Kristy Ramirez. Fall 2016


Tools for Success: Helping Transgender Youth Enter the Workforce The Center’s Transgender Youth Employment Toolkit is a resource for case managers and others helping prepare transgender youth for the workforce. The toolkit provides knowledge and resources specific to working with transgender youth, many of whom experience additional challenges and obstacles in entering the workforce and gaining meaningful employment. The toolkit was developed as a part of the Transitions to Work (T2W) project, a collaboration between the Center, University of California at Los Angeles’ (UCLA) Community Based Learning Program, the City of Los Angeles Workforce Development Board, and the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department. The toolkit was funded by grants from the California Workforce Development Board and the City of Los Angeles Department on Disability, AIDS Coordinator’s Office. The toolkit is available at


Fall 2016

“The influence of trans celebrities, such as Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner, is not trickling down to lower-income trans people, for whom there is more violence, poverty, bigotry, and suicide. And more so for trans people of color.” In August Mendelsohn created the first-ever training program for transgender inclusivity in the workplace, which included a 12-minute video that debuted at the California Restaurant Association (CRA) annual conference. The CRA, representing a majority of the 96,000 restaurants in California, has volunteered to expand upon their reputation for diversity to become a major force in employing transgender employees. If her CTWP pilot program proves successful in the restaurant business, Mendelsohn plans to enlighten the hotel industry. “Gone are the days when trans people will be relegated to the backrooms of offices and restaurants,” she said. “Trans people deserve to work at the frontlines. Let them be proud of their jobs, and let them shine.” Mendelsohn has been a guest speaker for the Center’s Youth Employment Program, which hosts a weekly meeting for youth experiencing homelessness to meet and hear LGBT professionals talk about their careers. “I love working closely with the magnificent Center. I’m always referring people there, whether it’s to see a therapist, to get medical help with hormones, or to obtain legal assistance. The Center takes in the LGBT kids whom I’ve seen living on the streets, gives them an education, and gets them back on their feet. What the Center is doing is invaluable, and I’m proud to be working with them.” For Marie Hernandez, finding a job was anything but easy. Even with more than eight years of professional experience, the 25-yearold couldn’t land a job no matter how many interviews she did. “I spent an entire year looking for work,” she recalled. “I became severely depressed because I was convinced companies were rejecting me simply because I’m transgender. Instead of judging me based on my abilities, they were judging me based on my appearance.” One day she received an email about Mendelsohn’s visit to the Center’s guest speaker program. Meeting Mendelsohn face-to-face was life-changing; she hired Hernandez to work at the same El Pollo Loco restaurant as Zambrano. “At my previous jobs, I was required to present myself as a man because my bosses had the power to enforce that rule,” says Hernandez. “That’s their weapon against trans people: they will take away your job. They don’t want to see us as models of success because they see us as lower class citizens.” Mendelsohn also serves as an executive advisory committee member of the Center’s Transgender Job Fair, helping to ensure an enormously successful event on October 20 at the West Hollywood Park Auditorium. “We selected Michaela to be this year’s keynote speaker because she represents the confidence, stamina, and determination necessary to be successful in life,” said Juarez. “As a well-known and influential trans activist, she will undoubtedly inspire others to never give up on building a bright future that sees no boundaries.” In addition to an array of companies looking to hire trans people, this year’s job fair will include a resume writing workshop, a mock interview clinic, and a photographer who will take professional headshots of job seekers who want to spruce up their LinkedIn profiles and other professional websites.

“ Many of our customers know we are mostly trans people. They will always see us smiling because, for the first time, we are happy to be at work.” — Jessye Zambrano


t 21, Athena V.* has discovered her love for learning because —for

Far too many LGBTQ youth drop out of school before completing high school. We’re thrilled to partner with the Center to help correct this terrible injustice.

the first time—she is attending a school that finally accepts her: the Center’s new charter school for LGBTQ youth. “I was 16 when I stopped going to school,” she explained. “My family had just moved to a new town, and I didn’t feel safe. But here I feel so comfortable because I can just be myself and not hide who I really am.” The new year-round school, which currently has 22 students, opened in July at the Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza and is operated in partnership with the Five Keys Charter School. The curriculum combines independent study and fieldwork with instruction by credentialed teachers. Free of charge for youth between the ages of 14 to 24, the school offers students the opportunity to get a traditional high school diploma and the opportunity to attend a graduation ceremony at East Los Angeles College, held every June and December.

“Gaining an education and earning a high school diploma help prepare youth for success,” said Center Associate Director of Education and Youth Development Kevin McCloskey. “In our Youth Center on Highland, we’ve operated a successful GED program for many years, but now we’re able to offer youth the opportunity to learn with other students—in a safe space, free from judgment and harassment—and get a traditional diploma.” Founded by the San Francisco Sheriff ’s Department 13 years ago, the first Five Keys school provided secondary education to incarcerated adults and was the nation’s first charter school to operate inside a county jail. Today, Five Keys operates more

For information about Five Keys Charter School, visit

than 50 community learning centers in San Francisco and Los Angeles, including at the Center. They all focus on the “five keys”: education, employment, recovery, family, and community. “It’s really quite sad that far too many LGBTQ youth drop out of school before completing their high school diploma,” said Five Keys Executive Director Steve Good. “Five Keys is so proud to be a part of this community here in Hollywood. We’re thrilled to partner with the Center to provide dignified programs to help correct this terrible injustice.” Five Keys will provide a credentialed teacher who will gather transcripts from schools previously attended by the youth and create an appropriate education plan tailored to each individual. Students are required to attend class at least twice a week for two hours each time; most students attend every day. To graduate, they must accumulate the same number of credits required of all high school students. “My work is super rewarding,” said Five Keys instructor Dianna Carrillo. “Each of these students has a captivating story about their struggles in life and their decision to finally obtain their high school diploma. I feel as though I’m learning more from them.” Recently, Carrillo had the privilege of meeting Athena’s parents, who were visiting from out of state. Athena wanted to show off her new school. Carrillo didn’t realize how much of an impact she was making on the students until Athena’s mom thanked her with tears. “Her mother was crying because somebody finally took a chance on her daughter,” said Carrillo. “At Five Keys, we give second chances.”

We’re able to offer youth the opportunity to learn with other students—in a safe space, free from judgment and harassment—and get a traditional high school diploma.

* Name changed to protect the youth’s identity.

In July, the California State Board of Education adopted a new LGBT-focused History-Social Science Framework, implementing new content standards for grades K through 12. For the first time, LGBT people and their contributions to California and U.S. history will be accurately represented by including key historical figures, essential moments in the struggle for equality, and the evolution of communities and identities. The new framework complies with the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act of 2012 (FAIR Education Act). “Through our partnership with school districts across the state, we have witnessed the laborious but triumphant emergence of leaders in school communities advocating for LGBT-inclusive history,” said Center Educational Policy and Programs Manager Joey Hernández. “Now, with the aid of the new framework, we no longer have to depend solely on these leaders as examples, but look forward to them joining a statewide foundation of inclusive classrooms.”

HistorySocial Science Framework

Visit for more information.

Since launching in 2013 at Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the Center’s OUT for Safe Schools™ program has enabled tens of thousands of teachers and staff members to “come out” as LGBTQ allies and protectors of students who are LGBTQ by wearing the OUT for Safe Schools™ rainbow badges. The program expanded last year to a total of 10 districts nationwide, reaching more than 2.5 million students in grades K through 12. This fall the nation’s three largest school districts—LAUSD, New York City Department of Education, and Chicago Public Schools—ordered 45,000 additional badges, bringing this year’s total to more than 100,000 badges nationwide.

Out for Safe Schools

Visit for more information.


Fall 2016

Fall 2016


Take Five Staff ››

NIA Clark Why did you want to work at the Center? When I was in the foster care system growing up as an LGBT youth, the response of the adults around me was very judgmental, negative, and exacting. Now, working at the Center, I finally get to be the adult who responds appropriately, helping youth develop positive self-images.

What excites you about your job? I love working with the kids. When you first meet them, many are very meek, shy, angry, or disaffected. The one commonality is that they’re all looking to do better and be better. They come to LifeWorks seeking opportunities to improve their lives. I’ve seen firsthand how mentorship can change a life. It changed mine.


roof, your primary care provider can refer you to Center therapists, addiction recovery specialists, a nutritionist, and other specialized staff to meet your unique needs. We accept most major insurance, including Medi-Cal. If you are uninsured, we can help determine your eligibility and assist you with enrollment into the program that is right for you.



Sex positive Collaborative Body affirming Here for you!

GYN care Fertility Hormone balancing

Well woman care Mental health Nutrition

Call for an appointment: 323-993-7500 Los Angeles LGBT Center McDonald/Wright Building 1625 N. Schrader Blvd.

A lot of people don’t realize that LGBT mentorship is a form of activism on many levels. A mentor ensures that an LGBTQ-identified youth has an opportunity to learn a set of lifelong skills and to thrive. Together we can advocate for change. We can literally be the change we want to see in the world. There’s this misconception that many adults feel they don’t have something to give or don’t know if their life experiences are enough to help a youth. I say unequivocally: it is enough. All you need is the time to listen and talk.

LifeWorks is the youth development and mentoring program at the Center, offering one-on-one, peer, and group mentoring opportunities for LGBTQ youth ages 12 to 24. For more information, visit


She/Her/Hers HOMETOWN:


LifeWorks Mentoring Coordinator

Boston, MA



Alan Reade PRONOUNS:



Career Training Facilitator


Salinas, CA

How did you first get involved with the Center? Three years ago, I walked in to donate a blender to the Youth Center. I saw a row of computers and asked if there was an opportunity to do computer trainings with the youth. I started with computer skills training, which morphed into a career-focused guest speaker program.

I bring in professionals once a week to talk about their careers, not just about how to get a job. I want the youth to use their strengths to really thrive on a number of levels. Once they know their strengths, they can develop maps that connect them to a job that pays and is fulfilling.

What motivates you to give back? I see LGBT youth homelessness as a business issue as much as it is a societal issue. An LGBT youth living on the streets is not

learning a skill like cutting hair or fixing cars, not apprenticing to be a property manager or accountant, and not enrolling in school to be a veterinarian, programmer, or fine artist. There’s a whole segment of youth who are focused solely on survival. The Center helps them develop the goals that will eventually lead to rewarding careers, with support from people in the community who care. The Center’s guest speaker program invites businesspeople from all industries to share their knowledge and experience with young people at our Youth Center. To get involved, email

Fall 2016


thank you

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

Board profile





Eugene Kapaloski*


Jimmy Fowlie William P. Moore Rory Robinson Paul Roeder and Alex Rhodes

Edgar Clark* Michael John Horne and Tom Jones*



GOLD CIRCLE $6,000-$11,999 David Eisman and Jennifer Eisman* Mark Powell and Ike Mendoza* Leonard Wechsler* David Williamson*


For information about Planned Giving or becoming a Sustaining Donor, please contact:

Jennifer Dawson Director of Major Gifts 323-993-8932

Dave Dell Major Gifts Associate 323-993-8903

$3,600-$5,999 Phil G. Davis* Ronald Frazier Trust^ (Floyd Frazier and Don Thomas) Dan Ortiz (In Memory of Jack A. Halprin) Benson Russell and Megan Korns* Nancy Warner and Christine Reynolds

SILVER CIRCLE $2,400-$3,599

$1,500-$1,799 Oliver Alpuche Edward Courtney Brian Huff Brandon Kyle Jeffrey Lambert and Sandra Badgett Tessa Lauren Stephen May and Edward Casson Paul Menke Sunil Nayar Patrick O’Brien Ray Roth Ali Talan and Nicolette Mason Andrea Vining

CIRCLE OF LIFE Josh Brown and Frank J. Pfizenmayer Brian Miller and Will Feliciano Amy Ross Donor list as of August 1, 2016 * Indicates an increase in membership level. ^ Indicates a multi-year pledge.

James B. Cain and Mr. Tom Teves* Gerhardt Felgemaker and Jim Hill* George Gati*

Tim Lee Major Gifts Officer 323-993-8945

Frank Stasio Senior Director of Planned Giving 323-993-7690

Allan Carp Director of Planned Giving 323-993-8963

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.




ew Center board member Merryll McElwain didn’t move to Los Angeles in search of fame or fortune. Born in Oklahoma and raised in North Carolina, she has always been proud to call the South her home. But when she came out as gay at 23, she struggled with the intolerance she saw in her local community. She recalls feeling “lost and hopeless” back then, unaware of a place like the Center to turn to for support. When she moved to Los Angeles almost 10 years ago, it was to find a more accepting environment to build a life. The North Carolina native, who joined the Center’s board earlier this year, knows it is important to remember that acceptance is still a common struggle in the LGBT community—one that drives LGBTQ youth to travel many miles for the Center’s services. “I think it’s easy for people who are from L.A. or who have lived in L.A. for a long time to forget what it’s like for LGBT people in other areas of the country and the world. We have to constantly remind ourselves that while we as a community have made tremendous progress, we still have a long way to go for true equality,” said McElwain. This belief is the core of her LGBT advocacy. The Center’s Beach Classic fundraiser is what connected the devoted sports fan to the Center in 2009. Center board

member Annie Goto invited her to take a tour and “at that point, I really wanted to get involved,” she said. As BNY Mellon’s Senior Wealth Director, she serves as the L.A. Chair of PRISM, the company’s internal LGBTQA business resource group. “I meet new people in my role at BNY Mellon almost

Consistently stating who I am to new people reinforces my own pride and also paves the way for other LGBT people to be out and open in the corporate world. daily, and I feel like I come out again almost daily. That does something…consistently stating who I am to new people reinforces my own pride and paves the way for other LGBT people to be out and open in the corporate world,” she said. The skilled investor’s new role on the Center’s board is an opportunity to use her financial expertise to help build

a roadmap for the Center’s future. “I am excited about co-chairing our Sustainability Committee to focus on the longevity of the Center. The Center has grown so much over the last decade and is helping so many more people now. With the development of the new campus, the Center will be even bigger and will require more funding in the longterm. I’m now in a role to help ensure that after all this growth, the Center can keep going and keep providing our vital services to the community,” said McElwain. Outside of career and advocacy work, the lifelong golfer reveals she once caddied for the Celebrity Golf Tour, was inducted into her high school Hall of Fame, and attended Appalachian State University on a fullride scholarship for golf. McElwain married Lisa Marquis in 2013, who she describes as an incredible source of personal and professional inspiration. “Lisa has worked in a man’s world and in a corporate world for 30 years. She has been true to herself and out in the workplace, and she has earned incredible respect from her peers, her employees, and her managers. She has shown me that you can be who you are, and as long as you work hard and treat people well, any LGBT person can be successful.” The opinions expressed by Merryll McElwain do not necessarily represent the views of BNY Mellon or any of its affiliates.


Fall 2016

Fall 2016


Photographer: Georg Lester

Board profile

7 D AY S • E N D A I D S • J U N E 2 0 1 7

Looking Forward




SAVE $20 CODE: VANGUARD JUNE 4 - 10, 2017



ore than 30 years ago, Michael Lombardo left a job at a law firm to join an upand-coming television network called Home Box Office (HBO). As a business affairs lawyer, he joined a diverse team of fellow corporate-culture expats at a company that boldly defied the “status quo” of TV networks. They embraced all aspects of what made their employees unique, including being gay—which is how Lombardo proudly identifies. “What I bring as an executive is my life experience and my willingness to tell the truth. Not doing that would be a disservice to who I am and what the network represents,” said HBO’s President of Programming for the past eight years. “The thing I recognize and appreciate at HBO, and see in abundance at the Center, is a commitment to quality. That commitment is not necessarily about what’s most popular, but it’s focused, high quality, and incredibly effective. People are there because they believe in it.” Thinking back on his 20-year history with the Center, Lombardo says it’s the significance of the Center’s work that impacts him the most. “I’ve been aware of the Center as long as I’ve been a gay man in Los Angeles. I know many people, including my partner, who used and benefited from the services we offer. I’ve worked with a number of other LGBT organizations, but when committing my time as a volunteer, I want it to be to support services I recognize as critical to the empowerment of members in our community.” With this passion for empowering

others in mind, Lombardo accepted a position on the Center’s Board of Directors earlier this year, following in the footsteps of his friend and former board member Horace Collins. “We tragically lost Horace in the midst of the AIDS crisis. He was a really important

The thing I recognize and appreciate at HBO, and see in abundance at the Center, is a commitment to quality. figure to me and taught me a great deal about how to live my life as an open, proud gay man at a large corporation.” Mentored by Collins, Lombardo established a very successful career at HBO, overseeing business affairs, production, and programming on the miniseries Mildred Pierce and Generation Kill; films Temple Grandin, Grey Gardens, The Normal Heart, and The Case Against 8; and television

series True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, The Newsroom, Game of Thrones, and Looking. “I am incredibly proud of Looking. It didn’t attempt to tell everyone’s story. Instead it told the story of gay men living their lives, of love, and of commitment. That came from the short film that spawned Looking—Andrew Haigh’s Lorimer—which was the first movie I saw about gay men and it really inspired me.” Lombardo brings a strong vision for the future of the Center to the organization’s board, serving as co-chair of the 47th Anniversary Gala Vanguard Awards and helping to revamp the event and secure the new venue. “I’m excited by the Center’s vision, backed by a dynamic executive group under Lorri’s leadership,” said Lombardo. “It’s rare to find an organization that knows what their vision is, one that can both adapt as needs change and remain stable. I see my role in helping raise money for the Center as a great opportunity to support that vision.” “Everything I’ve felt about the Center has been confirmed as I’ve gotten closer to the organization. They have the best executives at any nonprofit or for profit organization that I’ve come across. Lorri could easily run any large corporation she wanted to, but she chooses to be at the Center. It’s so important for people to see and remember that, and continue to support the amazing work the Center does.”

Fall 2016


Center Classes

Tuesdays, 7–9:30 p.m. Master the art of drawing the human body! 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

Free Weekend Morning Meditation

Available online or at the door. Tickets do not expire. Discounts for multiple tickets. To purchase tickets, visit

Join a supportive and non-denominational meditation practice. Learn to raise your gaze beyond finite understanding and explore the vastness of our infinite being.

12-Step Groups

Peer-Led Groups

v AA Happy Hour Tues.–Fri., 6:15–7:15 p.m. Canceled Nov. 24 – 25

v Village Readers An LGBT reading and discussion group Every 1st Wed., 7:30–9 p.m.

v Al-Anon Gay Focus Thurs., 7–8 p.m. Canceled Nov. 24

Oct. 5: The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America by Charles Kaiser Nov. 2: All I Love and Know by Judith Frank Dec. 7: Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta Jan. 4: Alexander McQueen: Blood Beneath the Skin by Andrew Wilson

Alcoholics Anonymous: It’s Come to This Mon., 6:15–7:15 p.m. Canceled Dec. 26 v

v Crystal Meth Anonymous Sat., 9:10–10:10 a.m.

30+ Lesbian Chat Meet women outside of the bars Every 1st & 3rd Fri., 7:30–9 p.m. v

Debtors Anonymous Tues., 8–9 p.m. v

v Gay & Lesbian CODA Tues., 8–9 p.m.

Community Groups

Marijuana Anonymous Wed., 6–7 p.m. v

v LGBT Adult Special Needs Support Group Every 2nd Wed., 6–8 p.m.

NA: Heartbeat of Recovery Mon., 7–8 p.m. Canceled Dec. 26 v

Admission: Free (donations requested) Location: The Village at Ed Gould Plaza Information, days, times, class updates, and schedule changes at

v Bears L.A. Every 3rd Wed., 7–10 p.m.

v OA Thurs., 7–8 p.m. Canceled Nov. 24

L.A. Leather Coalition Every 1st Thurs., 7–9 p.m. Positive Images HIV+ Men’s Forum v Every Mon., 6–7 p.m. v Every Wed., 7–9 p.m. v Every Thurs., 6–8 p.m. Canceled Nov. 24 and Dec. 26 Call 323-860-7321 to RSVP

One Page at a Time Thurs., 8:10 – 9:10 p.m. Canceled Nov. 24 v Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous Thurs., 6:30–7:30 p.m. Canceled Nov. 24

v Gay Men’s Prostate Cancer Support Group Every 1st & 3rd Tues., 7–9 p.m. Sponsored by Cancer Support Community Benjamin Center. Call 310-314-2555 or visit

Sexual Compulsives Anonymous Mon., Wed., Thurs., 8–9 p.m. Sat., Noon–1:15 p.m. Canceled Nov. 24 and Dec. 26 v

Join the Center’s one-of-a-kind education and empowerment program, presented exclusively for the trans* community. More than 400 trans* individuals have already joined Trans* Lounge. Why haven’t you? How does Trans*Lounge work?

During our first year, Trans* Lounge members:

• Sign up online for free.

• Participated in 40+ workshops and labs • Mastered the art of walking in heels • Performed original stand-up at The Improv

• Your feedback determines our schedule.

• Improved makeup skills

• RSVP first for the programs you rated highest.

• Received vocal training

Sign up at

• Acted with and were coached by an Emmy-winning actor • Charted more optimistic career paths • Learned portrait photography

Fall 2016

v UA: Artist in Prosperity Tues., 7–8 p.m.

Rated M Last Tues., 6 p.m. Meet other young guys (18-24) to talk about dating, relationships, and healthy, erotic sex. To RSVP or for more information, contact 323-860-7353 or v

Women’s AA Wed., 8–9 p.m. v

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

v Bi-osphere* Explore and discuss the many shades of today’s diverse bisexual community Every 2nd & 4th Mon., 8–9:30 p.m. Canceled Dec. 26 v HERstories* A gathering place for all LGBT women who want strong community and great conversation Every Mon., 8–9:30 p.m. Canceled Dec. 19 and 26 v Men’s Speakeasy* Great conversation for gay and bisexual men Every Tues., 8–9:30 p.m. Canceled Dec. 20 and 27 v Transgender Perceptions* Conversation & community-building for transgender people Every Fri., 8–9:30 p.m. Canceled Nov. 25, Dec. 23 and 30

* Groups may not welcome late arrivals.

Senior Groups For more information about Senior Services classes, please call 323-860-7322 or visit To RSVP, email or call 323-860-5830 v Art Lab Call 323-860-5830 for date and time v Chair Yoga with Master Lakshmi Call 323-860-5830 for date and time v HIV+ 50+ Men’s Drop-In Support Group Thurs., 1–3 p.m. Canceled Nov. 24 v Lunch for Everyone Call 323-860-5830 for date and time v Men’s Drop-In Support Group Wed., 10 a.m.–Noon v Movies for Everyone Call 323-860-5830 for date and time

Valley Social and Networking Group Thurs., Noon–1:30 p.m. Metropolitan Community Church 5730 Cahuenga Blvd., North Hollywood Call 323-860-5830

• Wrote and performed personal monologues • Became more fit and learned how to live healthier lives

And we are just getting started!


Social Networking Groups



Celebrating our one-year anniversary!

• Review and rate our library of workshops, groups, labs, and events.

Group Meetings

e n k a i n w g A

Life Drawing Lounge


The Village 1125 N. McCadden Place


McDonald/Wright 1625 N. Schrader Blvd.


Highland 1220 N. Highland Ave.

Empty= Offsite

Fall 2016


center notes

center voices

News and notes from the Center’s life-changing and life-saving programs and services

Analysis and insight from the Center’s staff on current issues and events facing our community

WE’RE ALL PrEP’D UP! The Center is designated as one of 13 Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Centers of Excellence by the Los Angeles County Public Health Department. “L.A. County continues to experience the second largest HIV epidemic in the country,” said L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “Expanding the use of PrEP could significantly reduce new infections. I am very glad to see our efforts go beyond the County’s own public health clinics to engage our community-based health providers who can effectively reach the populations at greatest risk.” The $4.8 million grant, allocated over three years, will expand same-day distribution of PrEP and help PrEP outreach efforts to young gay and bisexual men of color and transgender people.

HERE COMES THE JUDGE Center Board Member Dean Hansell was appointed to serve as a California Superior Court judge in Los Angeles. Hansell is the third openly gay person to be selected by Governor Jerry Brown. (Coincidentally, the first two openly gay judges appointed by the governor—Steve Lachs and Rand Schrader—were former Center board members). As a partner at Hogan Lovells US LLP since 2012, Hansell previously served as a police commissioner at the Los Angeles Police Department from 1997 to 2001. He earned his degree from Northwestern University School of Law and has been a Center board member since 2001.


Fall 2016

PUTTING THE BRAKES ON RACIAL PROFILING Mariana Marroquin, program manager of the Center’s Anti-Violence Project, has been appointed by California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris to the newly-established Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board to help eliminate racial and identity profiling in law enforcement, including during traffic stops. “Being chosen for this state board reminds me of how far we have come and how far we need to go,” said Marroquin. “As an immigrant, a transgender woman of color, and an advocate for underserved communities, I know what it means to be invisible, afraid, and without rights. When we put the truth of our lives at the forefront, we can advance justice and make life better.”

NATIONAL ANTI-VIOLENCE WORK TAKES CENTER STAGE The Center co-hosted the 2016 National Coalition for Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) Annual Meeting and Regional Training Academy with the LGBTQ Center of Long Beach in August. NCAVP researches and documents violence affecting LGBT individuals and helps expand anti-violence education, prevention, advocacy, and direct services. This was the first time in nearly two decades the event was held in Los Angeles. “LGBT programs in Southern California, including many of the Center’s programs, are engaging in intersectional and innovative work on how to best serve LGBT survivors of violence. The Center provides some of the most comprehensive services for survivors of violent crimes and are working together to prevent the daily violence affecting our communities,” said Center Deputy Director of Policy & Community Building Terra Russell Slavin.

ACHIEVING GREAT THINGS TOGETHER Kristin Flickinger, former Southern California Director of AIDS/LifeCycle, joined the Center’s senior management team as our new Director of Programs. With degrees in both business and law, Flickinger will oversee many of the Center’s key program areas. “We’re very excited that Kristin has joined the Center’s senior team,” said Center CEO Lorri L. Jean. “During her years with AIDS/LifeCycle, she proved herself to be a talented leader and beloved manager, and she is passionate about the Center and our mission. I look forward to achieving great things together.”





Medical Director

Youth Advocate

CRM Support/HelpDesk

Chief Marketing Officer

In a joint press conference with other health experts regarding an outbreak of invasive meningococcal disease (or meningitis) in Los Angeles County, Bolan urged individuals at highest risk to get vaccinated, as published in the Los Angeles Times:

Following the Pentagon’s announcement in June to allow transgender people to serve openly in the military, Center staffer and Army Reservist Akbarian—who enlisted in 2011 as a woman before medically transitioning three years ago—discussed how the new policy will help other transgender military members, as reported by Beverly Press:

In its ongoing series about LGBT individuals who use art as activism, the Ms. In The Biz blog interviewed Santos, who has a creative background and a passion for the LGBT community. Santos reflected on hearing about the Orlando shootings while working at the Center’s L.A. Pride parade contingent:

In an effort to curb the meningitis outbreak occurring among gay and bisexual men, the Center asked popular hookup apps to launch health alert messages to their users. As recounted by Key in an opinion piece first published at, most of the apps complied with the request for free except for Online-Buddies, the parent company of Manhunt and Jack’d.

Excerpt: “We think the message should be simple: If you are a gay or bisexual man or a transgender woman, you should receive the meningococcal vaccine. I want us to be busy. I want the doors to be bursting at the seams. I want people to come in and be vaccinated now. Please do this. It’s important.” Free meningitis vaccines are available at the Center. Learn more at vaccine.

Excerpt: “It will get better and easier for transitioning soldiers because they won’t have to hide anymore. In the military, you can judge someone on the surface, but when soldiers spend time with one another on missions, they become family. I hid my transition until the point it was extremely obvious. There were high-ranking soldiers who were really against my transition at that point. And now they’re like, ‘Dude, you’re one of the best soldiers we have.’”

Excerpt: “We’re setting up, in work mode, and suddenly the news breaks. Being on that bus full of seniors and seeing how calm they were was shocking and reassuring. Of course they were devastated, but their perspective was much different than those who were my age. None of them wanted to leave Pride, they stood their ground, and that was really moving.”

Excerpt: “We needed to quickly make those at risk of infection aware of the outbreak and encourage people to get vaccinated. We figured [Online-Buddies CEO would] be as interested in protecting the health of his users as we were. We were wrong. “Today it seems there are nearly as many ways to meet guys through your smartphone as there are guys who want to meet. I suggest you choose an app as carefully as you choose the men you meet, taking into consideration which of them is really into you.”

Read the entire article at:

Read the entire article at:

Read the entire article at:

Read the entire article at:

Fall 2016


Photo Finish

Celebrating Rosie Out Under the Stars (11-13) Hosted by the Center’s Young Professionals Council and Los Angeles Women’s Network, guests— some of them wearing their best ‘80s professional attire—clocked out early from work to gather and picnic at Hollywood Forever Cemetery for an outdoor screening of the classic comedy flick 9 to 5, benefiting the Center’s programs and services.




For more information about YPC and LAWN, visit ypc and


Circle of Life Luncheon Held at the W Hotel Hollywood, the Center celebrated its Circle of Life members and their guests including (1, l-r) Ray Aleman and Sean Rhodes; (2, l-r) John Oden and Mark Dizik, with Center Board Member Loren S. Ostrow; (3, l-r) Hannah Theile and Kenna Love; and (4, left) Paul Verdon and (right) Seth Sor, with Center Chief Development Officer Bill McDermott.





GED Graduation

LGBTQ youth and their allies including (15, l-r) Ashton Holmes and Alison Kellman and (16, l-r) Mary Balingit and Ethne Dennis, attended LifeWorks’ Models of Pride mini-conference at Mi Centro, which featured workshops, speakers, and youth resources. Volunteers included (17, l-r) Ivan Silva, Lauren Moreno, Frankie Barcenas, LifeWorks staff member Daniel Perez, and PFLAG Espaῆol’s Gizella Czene.

(5) After being presented with proclamations from the West Hollywood City Council, graduates of the Youth Center on Highland’s GED program commemorated their educational achievement by throwing their caps in the air.


Image courtesy of Richard Settle, City of West Hollywood


Golden Summer Concert Series Guests at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza like (8) Mimi Schneider and (9) Francia McNally grooved to the shamanistic vocals of (10) Siana-äiti Moirae during the series of outdoor concerts hosted by the Center’s Senior Services.


Lady Gaga’s Mama Visits the Center (14, right) Cynthia Germanotta, mother of superstar musician Lady Gaga, toured the Center with Center CEO Lorri L. Jean, which included a snapshot taken in front of a rainbow flag bearing the title of Lady Gaga’s hit song.




United FORlando



Fall 2016


In partnership with The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, the Center presented a special tribute concert and conversation to support the victims of the Orlando shooting, with guest panelists (6, l-r) filmmaker Tajamika Paxton, Center Chief of Staff Darrel Cummings, National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell, and actor/activist Wilson Cruz. (7) Actress Kristen Bell joined a sing-along performance of Broadway for Orlando’s What the World Needs Now.



Rosie Blohm, an original resident of Triangle Square, the Center’s affordable housing complex for LGBT seniors, passed away in June, a week before her 80th birthday. Blohm came out as transgender in 1967. Born Wayne Blohm in 1936 and raised outside of Indianapolis, Blohm felt isolated and ashamed, often wanting to run away. He would sneak into the closets of his mother and sisters to play with their clothes, imagining life as a girl. Blohm enlisted in the Army after high school, serving in Vietnam. In the Army, Blohm started using a mop head as a wig and entertained his friends by lip syncing to famous female singers. With that, Rosie was born. Honorably discharged in 1967, Blohm moved to Los Angeles. Despite the danger, she also came out. Arrested multiple times for “impersonating” a female, Blohm faced a constant struggle to survive, eventually turning to prostitution. Blohm found solace in a small, underground LGBT community and in her faith, becoming a deacon at the Unity Church of Los Angeles. When drag was legalized in the early 1970s, Blohm joined the Royal Court of Los Angeles and was crowned Miss Rosie Del Mar in 1972. In 1975, Blohm met her partner, Bobby, who stayed by her side until her death. Blohm was a prominent and outspoken member of the LGBT community. After being diagnosed with HIV in the 1980s, she became an HIV/AIDS activist. She held “Rosie’s Bingo Night” every Saturday night for seven years at Triangle Square and was wellknown for singing Over the Rainbow everywhere–and anytime–she could. Fall 2016


Photo Finish


18 28 19

Sustaining Donor Dinner

Senior Prom Clients and guests of the Center’s Senior Services, among them (18, l-r) Beverly Winters and Jewel Junior; (19, l-r) Fred Ruggiero and Audrey Antley; (20, l-r) Robert Meza and Cal Shively; (21, l-r) Russ Ford and Mario Scott; and (22, l-r) Norma Newman and Pam Jones, cut it up on the dance floor, held this year at the Pickwick Gardens in Burbank. The theme of this year’s prom was “Tropical Nights.”



The Center honored its most generous donors and their guests at an annual dinner held at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza including (28, l-r) Kelly Lynch, Paris Livanos, Peggy Jones, and Lisa Marquis; (29, l-r) Center Board Member Carlos Medina and Gary Booher; (30, l-r) Jasmine Renae Ball and Cameron Onumah; and (31, l-r) Karen Griffith and Debra Peters.

Some of the funniest women and rising stars in comedy—like (23, second from left) Ms. Pat and (far left) Chaunte Wayans, (24) Tig Notaro, and (25) Margaret Cho— performed at the Renberg Theatre for an unforgettable night of laughter benefiting the Center’s programs and services for women and girls.


YPC: Luminaries Emceed by (32, far left) Mynxii White, the Center’s Young Professionals Council hosted an inspiring evening and panel discussion featuring a diverse group of Hollywood’s LGBT stars, among them Go-Go Boy Interrupted creator Jimmy Fowlie; 1OFAKIND Entertainment founder Melantha Hodge; filmmaker Kim Rocco Shields; and celebrity blogger Perez Hilton.

Trans Pride L.A. The 18th annual Trans Pride L.A. dominated The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, with Amazon Original Series Transparent production team’s (26, l-r) Rain Valdez, Zackary Drucker, and Rhys Ernst; and (27, l-r) cast member Amy Lendecker, with talent agent Ann Thomas. Funded in part through the generosity of Transparent, Trans Pride L.A. remains as one of the nation’s oldest and largest trans celebrations.

LAWN Comedy Night



Conversations with Coco 32

For more information about the Los Angeles Women’s Network, visit

In a sold-out Renberg Theatre, (33, left) Center supporter and legendary entertainer Lily Tomlin took the hot seat with Miss Coco Peru (right) in the latest installment of Peru’s interview-style series.


Images courtesy of ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives





Fall 2016



On October 11, 1987, the Center joined the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Led by Cesar Chavez, Eleanor Smeal, Jesse Jackson, and Whoopi Goldberg, the throng of marchers vocalized many demands, such as the legal recognition of samesex relationships; the repeal of sodomy laws criminalizing sex between consenting adults; a presidential order banning discrimination by the federal government; massive increases in funding for AIDS education, research, and patient care; reproductive freedom; and an end to apartheid in South Africa and racism in the United States. We are still fighting for many of the same things 29 years later. Fall 2016


why i give

Substance abuse support for LGBT people just got a lot easier and faster.


Why I Give


Andrew Christian

rowing up in a small town like Fresno was not easy. I grew up poor and lived in low-income Section 8 housing with my family. Plus, I was gay. I had no role models who were “out” to look up to, so I kept my sexual orientation a secret. In order to live my dream of being a fashion designer—and be out and proud—I knew I had to live in a big city. So after graduating from high school in the 1990s, I packed up and moved to Los Angeles with $500 in my pockets to attend college. I first became aware of the Los Angeles LGBT Center soon after I moved to the city. Since I didn’t have a lot of money, I went to the Center to get free HIV tests. I remember being so grateful for a place like the Center where I could get a confidential HIV test without the fear of being judged. I told myself: one day, I will give back to the Center. I’ve had the opportunity to keep my promise. I donate new clothing and underwear to the Youth Center whenever I can, especially during the holidays when the Center’s Young Professionals Council hosts its annual Threads of


Fall 2016


Change clothing drive. I feel it’s important for LGBT youth to own fashionable clothes because it does wonders for their self-esteem. When I was in high school, I couldn’t afford to wear all of the designer clothes my affluent classmates were wearing so I had to be a little inventive on how to look cool on a budget. I want to help the Center’s youth members look

It’s really touching to look back and see how far the Center—and we as a community—have come. and feel proud all year long by wearing something new. I recently took a tour of the Center and was very surprised by the amount of services it offers to our community—from overnight emergency beds for LGBT youth to primary health services to legal counseling to senior care. What a wide scope of amazing work the Center does for us! It’s really touching to look back and see how far the Center—and we as a community—have come. For instance,

I never imagined that marriage equality would be legalized in the United States. But, unfortunately, there’s still a lot of anti-LGBT discrimination and violence taking place in this country. We can overcome this only if more LGBT people come out to their friends, family, and coworkers because more people would then know someone who’s LGBT, and it’s much harder to hate someone whom you already know and like. When I started my company, it was really difficult. I had a lot of doors slammed in my face, but I persisted. It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight, but my business eventually flourished. So, to all of the LGBT kids living in small towns: follow your dreams, strive for bigger and better things, and never give up. If I can make it, you can too. I’ve been following a new mantra in my life: make a difference in someone’s life. That’s a good enough reason for all of us to support the Center.

riday F – y a d n Mo 1 – 5 p.m.

Chat online with a therapist to help change your behavior related to drugs or alcohol and to learn about recovery programs that can help. It’s free and anonymous!

Recovery Services

Harm Reduction Groups

Intensive Outpatient Day Program To see Andrew’s latest creations in underwear, sportswear, and swimwear, visit

Evening Outpatient Program

Individual Therapy

Support Groups

McDonald/Wright Building 1625 N. Schrader Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028

JOIN LAWN IN SEPTEMBER! Start your $35/month membership in September and receive a free Vulva Pride T-shirt.

Your monthly Los Angeles Women’s Network (LAWN) membership helps support the Center’s vital services for women and girls, like the Audre Lorde Lesbian Health Program.

$35 month

Join now at Offer good through 9/30/16 or while supplies last.