Vanguard Quarterly Winter 2016

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About Our Cover



We recreated a more diverse version of Norman Rockwell’s iconic Freedom from Want painting with the help of Miss Coco Peru and some amazing volunteers.

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Volunteers 1. Miss Coco Peru

7. Rani DeMesme-Anders

2. Darnell Green

8. Russell Ford

3. Gina Bigham

9. Melantha Hodge

4. Phyllis Rose-Child

10. Luna

5. Christopher Artalejo-Price

11. John Cagandahan

6. Alex Schmider

12. (Not a real) Turkey




Marketing & Communications Staff Ari DeSano Website Manager

Gil Diaz Communications Manager

Kelly Freter Associate Director

Melantha Hodge Project Manager

Joe Hui Digital Communications Manager

Megan Kastner Communications Coordinator

Jim Key Chief Marketing Officer

Josiah Pak Creative Services Coordinator

Christopher Artalejo-Price Creative Services Coordinator

Sophia Puglisi Digital Communications Coordinator

Callie Rodgers Creative Services Coordinator

Kurt Thomas


Creative Services Manager

Erin Faith Wilson Content Manager

Contributors Lisa Allen

Betsy Martinez



Cathryn Farnsworth

Tracey Payne



Sex App-eal

Faye Sadou Photographer

CEO, Los Angeles LGBT Center

Chris Stewart Photographer


Tess Ayers

Michael Lombardo

David J. Bailey

Mercedes Marquez 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

CEO Letter





Board of Directors

Annie Goto



Lorri L. Jean

Board Co-Chair




Milestones OUR BIGGEST FEATS IN 2016


Freedom from Want


Why We Give



Donor Profile


Center Notes



Center Voices

Take Five


Photo Finish

That’s a Wrap


Scott Poland


Dean Hansell

Frank Pond

Marki J. Knox, M.D.

Eric M. Shore

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.

Board Secretary

Board Co-chair

Board Treasurer

Bruce Vilanch

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ceo letter


We Are on the Right Side of History


y now the fact of a Trump Presidency has had time to sink in. Since the election, the Center has experienced an influx of scared and worried people. And, as the inauguration approaches, I’ve received an increasing number of calls and emails from people who genuinely fear for their rights and their country. Just a few of the questions have included: • If they take away our freedom to marry, what will happen to my marriage? • Should I go home and propose to my partner and get married immediately or risk never being able to? • I’m an openly gay man who has adopted children; am I at risk of losing them? • I have insurance through the Affordable Care Act; what am I going to do when it is repealed?

CEO Lorri L. Jean


• Should I and my trans* partner, and our kids, plan to go to a country that accepts families like mine? • Is the Center going to be okay? There is definitely cause to be concerned about what is going to happen to the landscape of LGBT rights. After all, the President-elect has been a consistent opponent of the freedom to marry. During his campaign, he spoke out of both sides of his mouth regarding LGBT people. Out of one side he said he would be “a better friend” to the “LBGT” community and out of the other he threatened to do what he could to turn back our progress, including appointing Supreme Court justices who would repeal our freedom to marry. (The weekend after the election, Trump said that his opposition to our freedom to marry is “irrelevant because it was already settled” by the Supreme Court and that he’s “fine with that.”) He also has said he would sign the so-called First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which would permit people to discriminate against LGBT people because of their religious or moral objections to us. And he has even supported North Carolina’s notorious HB2.


Winter 2016

So what can we expect? How worried should we be? The truth is, no one really knows. Trump has contradicted himself repeatedly and lied constantly and since the election he has already retreated from some positions. It’s hard to know what he really believes or plans to do. But I have no doubt that there are going to be serious consequences for the LGBT community and for organizations like the Center, as well as for the other people who were targeted or demeaned during the Trump campaign (Muslims, people with disabilities, immigrants, etc.—many of whom are also members of our community). In addition to the President-elect’s anti-LGBT statements during the campaign, we have other indications of his intent. Of course, one of the most worrisome indicators is his selection of Mike Pence as a running mate—the most extreme anti-LGBT ideologue ever to be on a Presidential ticket. And, within days after the election, he appointed another anti-LGBT extremist, Ken Blackwell, to be in charge of handling domestic policy issues in the Trump administration’s first hundred days. Blackwell currently works as a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, one of the world’s most notorious anti-LGBT lobbying organizations. When Blackwell ran for governor of Ohio in 2006 he declared that homosexuality was a “lifestyle” that “can be changed.” He said, “I think it is a transgression against God’s law, God’s will.” However this kind of bigoted leadership gets translated into laws and policies, it can’t be good for our community. But what about our right to marry? Is it at risk? I don’t believe so. At least, it

would take a LONG time for it to be undone. The law strongly protects marriages that were valid when performed, from being invalidated by later changes in the law. Most important, the U.S. Supreme Court has found that we have a fundamental right to marry. The Congress cannot overturn that right. Certainly, if Trump has the opportunity to appoint enough anti-marriage justices to the Supreme Court to have a majority (one appointment won’t do it), our ability to marry in the future could be at risk. But, that would take years, especially given that the Court is loath to overturn prior decisions until much time has passed. Thus, I do not believe this is a threat that is immediately on the horizon. So, you needn’t rush into any marriage proposals. And, don’t forget that a majority of Americans support our freedom to marry. I also think our parenting rights are relatively secure, at least in states like California. Family law matters are typically left up to the states. What worries me more is the consequences of a law like FADA. Such laws could, essentially, allow merchants, doctors, restaurateurs, or teachers to discriminate against us and our children without consequence. All they need to have is “a moral conviction” against us and our families. And, it’s difficult to predict what the consequences could or would be if President Trump repeals some of the executive orders that President Obama put in place protecting LGBT people and our families. Does this uncertainty mean we should be making plans to move to Canada or Denmark or Sweden? No. We need people to stay here and participate in the fight for the kind of values we want to predominate in our country. Transgender folks might want to make sure their paperwork is in order before Trump is inaugurated on January 20th. This would mean updating birth certificates, Social Security cards and passports to reflect your identity. While birth certificates and driver licenses are state-controlled and should not be affected by the change in the administration, passports and Social Security cards are federally controlled. For example, Obama’s executive orders have allowed easy access to passport changes without requiring proof of gender confirming surgery, whereas Bush

regulations required it. Moreover, recent bathroom bills have been based on the sex listed on one’s birth certificate so a preemptive change may be helpful. Center staff are already in the midst of an intensive effort to help our clients in this regard. If you have insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), I’m sorry to say that I believe your days of coverage are numbered. Once the new Congress and Trump’s administration are in place, I expect the ACA will be at the top of their agenda, perhaps to include immediate repeal. What exactly will happen afterward depends upon whether it is replaced with anything and what that “replacement” includes. If you renewed your ACA policy, you’re probably okay until the end of that policy term. But, if you’re getting coverage under the Medicaid (Medi-Cal in

None of us should delude ourselves that tough times don’t lie ahead. Rather, we must come together with like-minded people and organizations in ways we never have before. our state) expansion, it’s possible that such funding could cease immediately upon repeal. What California would do to fill that gap (if anything) is anyone’s guess. As for the Center, I’ll be honest. I’m worried. We get a lot of federal money to deliver our programs and services, including reimbursement under the ACA. All of these funds could be at risk. Extremists like Pence and Blackwell could specifically work to defund organizations serving LGBT people. But even without such a malevolent effort, if huge tax cuts are passed and spending is diverted to defense and other areas, there might be little money left for the social services safety net upon which so many in our community rely. I presume that the Ryan White Care Act (which makes medical care and prescription drugs available to people with HIV/AIDS) is safe, as it has generally enjoyed bipartisan support. But we’re in a new age for at least the next two years, so I’m reluctant to predict anything when

it comes to federal dollars. Since the election, I’ve spent a lot of time reassuring people, many frightened and literally in tears. I’ve reminded them about the other challenges our community has faced and overcome. I’ve talked about my belief that there IS hope. I’ve repeated what U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff said at the gathering we held the day after the election about how he and others would fight to preserve the gains that really should be defining America. But I also have tried not to give anyone false hope. And I’ve become conscious about not downplaying what I believe is the reality. For people who don’t fit the Trump mainstream, for those who do share progressive values (and even many who don’t), what lies ahead is sobering. Even if Trump himself isn’t really an anti-LGBT zealot, many in his transition team, who are building his administration, are. Moreover, many of the policies Trump espoused during the campaign present real and serious danger to our community, our allies, our nation, and our planet. None of us should delude ourselves that tough times don’t lie ahead. Rather, we must come together with like-minded people and organizations in ways we never have before. We must prepare to fight efforts to rescind progress in human rights, peace, and the environment. We must find ways to care for the most vulnerable even if our government abandons them. We must resist policies that would return our country to what were, for many of us, the bad old days. We must keep our eyes on the prize of the kind of world we want for ourselves and for those who are coming next. Such action and focus are the only pathway I can envision for surviving our likely future. If we do these things, while they can delay and even hurt us, I am confident that they cannot stop us. After all, we are on the right side of history, and that’s something that a single administration and even a Congress controlled by conservatives cannot change.

Winter 2016




Buzz Worthy













Kathy Griffin sends the Center her hilarious spoof of a “Vote No on Prop 56” ad funded by big tobacco companies. Perhaps she noticed that the Center recommended voting yes on Prop 56 in our 2016 Election Voter Guide.

Hollywood gossip pioneer Rona Barrett gives a shout out to Triangle Square, the Center’s affordable housing complex for LGBT seniors, in response to an article about housing challenges.

@LALGBTCenter @WehoDaily @gay_ losangeles @LAPRIDE I had to get political yall

Hope these cities will look to @LALGBTCenter as a great example for innovations in LGBT senior housing.

 @KathyGriffin 2

HAPPY #INTERSEXAWARENESSDAY! Facebook user Jessica Thorpe thanked the Center in response to our post on Intersex Awareness Day.

Thank you for all you do… You have without pause or an eyelash batted included us into your services and outreach. Saved me. I stress that at my senior age there are few left like me to warrant a treatment model… Folk like me had to find our own way, but thanks to you, I have gotten done all that I’ve needed. <3 <3

 @RonaBarrett 4

THAT DAMN GALA Center supporter and E! News correspondent Marc Malkin presented an award at the True Colors Fund’s Damn Gala to our Director of Children, Youth, and Family Services Simon Costello in recognition of the Center’s work to end LGBT youth homelessness.

E!’s Marc Malkin honors the @LALGBTCenter for their work with homeless #LGBT youth at Cyndi Lauper’s Damn Gala! #wegiveadamn #prideNBCU  @OUTNBCUniversal


COMING OUT, CLAPPING BACK Comedian Cameron Esposito responds to a homophobic tweet from Twitter user “BigDude,” who took issue with her heartfelt reflection of National Coming Out Day, asking her 60,000+ followers to support the Center in his “honor.”

Pls donate to the @LALGBTCenter & help provide transitional housing for homeless LGBT youth in honor of this man.  @CameronEsposito 6

DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS A traditional Mexican holiday often celebrated by those of Mexican ancestry living elsewhere, the Day of the Dead is a chance to honor, celebrate, and remember those who have departed.

Our Youth Center on Highland honors the victims of the tragedy at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando with an altar for Día de los Muertos.


FILMS FOR FREEDOM The UK consulate in Los Angeles thanked Center Director of Public Policy and Community Building Dave Garcia for taking part in a fiveFilms4freedom panel, a partnership with the British Film Institute and British Council to promote LGBT equality and diversity through short films.

Thank you @SiriRodnes @stephenfry @glaad and @LALGBTCenter for participating in our #fivefilms4freedom panel tonight!  @UKinLA


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.

 @LALGBTCenter

 @Jessica.Thorpe Winter 2016



/ July



HITS ON STAGE The Center’s production of Ike Holter’s groundbreaking play Hit the Wall, which stunningly recreated the 1969 police raids at New York’s The Stonewall Inn, swept the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, winning the top prize for Outstanding Production and six others.


Hit the Wall

Jane Wagner’s iconic play was cast for the first time with 12 actors and dubbed The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe: Revisited, taking the Center’s stage by storm and garnering sold-out performances and rave reviews.

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More than 3,000 cyclists and volunteers made the 545-mile journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles, raising more than $16.1 million to support the HIV/ AIDS-related services at the Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. The AIDS/LifeCycle “love bubble” celebrated the 15th anniversary of the ride. A pr


Our special events celebrated the best of our community while raising vital support for our client services. Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis and YouTube sensation Connor Franta joined more than 60 restaurant and beverage partners at our 11th annual Simply diVine premiere food and wine event.

A pr

Legendary artist Macy Gray joined James Blunt, Tal Wilkenfeld, and Fortune Feimster to perform at the Hollywood Palladium for An Evening with Women.

Ma y


The deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history happened in the early morning hours of June 12 at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Later that morning, the Center led its contingent in the L.A. Pride parade with signs spelling out Orlando as a show of support and solidarity. The next day, hundreds gathered with us and Lady Gaga on the steps of L.A. City Hall for a rally and vigil. The Center also partnered with The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts for United FORlando, a performance and panel discussion that raised support for victims of the tragedy.


Researchers from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, reported in Science that volunteer canvassers, trained in a novel approach developed by the Center, reduced voters’ prejudices against transgender people comparable to the decrease in prejudice against gay and lesbian people that took more than a decade to achieve.


S e pt

Held in the HBO Party Pavilion at West Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center, this year’s Anniversary Gala Vanguard Awards honored Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Justin Mikita, and Amini Fonua, and included a weekend-long slate of special activities.


In response to the second outbreak of meningitis among gay and bisexual men in Los Angeles, the Center launched a campaign to promote vaccinations, beginning with a news conference at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza that included public health officials and representatives from other LGBT health organizations. We began offering free vaccinations at our clinics in Hollywood and at the Center-WeHo.

S e pt


Landmark legislation sponsored by the Center and APLA Health to boost awareness of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) was signed into law, ensuring that when people test negative for HIV they’ll receive information about how to protect themselves from infection through PrEP and PEP. The Protecting Youth from Institutional Abuse Act became law in California, regulating the industry of residential programs that claim to help “troubled” youth, including those who are simply LGBT. It’s the most comprehensive law of its kind, with no exemptions for religious-based businesses. Survivors of Institutional Abuse (SIA) joined the Center in sponsoring the bill.

WE ASKED, YOU JOINED Supporters joined the conversation on our social media channels in record numbers this year. At press time, the Center’s channels include growth of nearly 15% on Facebook, 12% on Twitter, 120% on Instagram, and 83% on YouTube, bringing our total social audience reach to nearly 188,000 and total social engagement to nearly 400,000.

All Ye a r

Join the conversations anytime at @lalgbtcenter. The Center launched a new website at The refreshed site includes streamlined content, video testimonials, and enhanced features, like a sortable calendar and online store.



The estate of internationally-acclaimed cabaret performer and Andy Warhol muse Holly Woodlawn created a legacy of support for atrisk LGBT young people, establishing the Holly Woodlawn Memorial Fund for Transgender Youth at the Center.

A record 1,600 people attended the Center’s 18th annual Trans Pride L.A., one of the country’s oldest and largest celebrations of the trans community, with special appearances by CeCe McDonald and Sir Lady Java. It was funded in part through the generosity of Amazon Original Series Transparent.

Jun e

Our Transgender Youth Employment Toolkit is a resource for case managers working to help transgender youth find jobs. Our Transgender Economic Empowerment Project held its annual job fair in October, welcoming nearly four dozen companies and hundreds of job seekers.

A pr/ Oc t


The first public renderings of the Center’s new Anita May Rosenstein Campus were released. The revolutionary campus will become the Center’s new administrative headquarters and will include expanded emergency housing for youth, affordable housing for youth and seniors, new senior and youth centers, and ground floor retail space. With an eye on groundbreaking early next year, the project has been unanimously approved by the L.A. City Planning Commission and, at press time, is up for approval by the full L.A. City Council.

The Center expanded its charter high school for LGBT youth to five days a week through a new partnership with Five Keys charter school, providing a place for students who didn’t feel safe or comfortable in traditional schools.


To provide clients with even faster service, the Center opened a new, larger pharmacy in the McDonald/Wright building, adding additional staff and two new service windows. One of the things that distinguishes the Center’s pharmacy from others is that it’s completely integrated with each client’s medical record, enabling staff to double-check prescription orders to protect against potential complications.

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1 in 4 The Faces of Hunger

There is a hunger crisis in the LGBT community. One in four LGBT people are unable to afford food for themselves or their families. The true faces of hunger are all around us. Now, more than ever, visibility matters as the Center works to address this complex, often hidden threat to our community. Winter 2016


Erica, 77


of LBT Women (Ages 18+) didn’t have enough money for food last year

“I look at other seniors and I know they are hungry. I was born in Germany and came here in 1949. After I retired as an RN, I was paying sky-high rent. When they increased it, I had to move. I came into Triangle Square just in time, right when it opened. Recently, I had to give up my car because my insurance went up and I couldn’t afford to keep it. I never cried so much as when I had to give up my car. I worry about money quite a bit. If I wasn’t here, I would pay more in rent for sure and would probably be more closeted. I know I’m where I’m supposed to be; you don’t have to be alone. We need a community network, for us to be together, because the fight isn’t over.”

For more stories visit

lalgbtcenter. org/hunger


Winter 2016


to imagine the faces of LGBT hunger. It’s the gay teen who flees an unsafe home or is kicked out by intolerant parents, becoming homeless. The bisexual woman who struggles to support herself on a salary 20% less than her male colleagues. The HIV-positive man who has little left for food after the expenses associated with health care and medication. It’s the highly educated college grad who, after completing her gender confirmation surgery, is unable to find a business that will employ her. And the lesbian senior who’s close to becoming homeless after losing the love of her life and the Social Security benefits to which she’d be entitled had they been able to legally marry. And, more often for LGBT people, the face of hunger is the one in the mirror. More than one in four LGBT adults (27%), totaling about 2.2 million people, did not have enough money to feed themselves or their families at some point in the past year, according to a recent Williams Institute report.[1] LGBT adults are 1.62 times more likely than non-LGBT adults, on average, to report not having enough money for the food that they or their families needed at some point in the last year. Within the LGBT community, women, unmarried individuals, and families with children are more likely to have not had the resources they need for food, as are LGBT African-Americans, Latinos, American Indians, and Alaskan Natives. “Contrary to the stereotype that LGBT people are affluent, many do not have the resources to access the food that they and their families need,” said Taylor Brown, one of the authors of the study. “Policy makers and anti-hunger organizations need to include LGBT people when considering issues of poverty, homelessness, and hunger.”


of LGBT AfricanAmericans (Ages 18+) didn’t have enough money for food last year

Poverty = Hunger Even though the LGBT community has made tremendous civil rights gains over the last decade, it’s still commonplace to overlook one stark reality: LGBT people are more likely to be poor than heterosexual people. And poverty rates have a direct link to hunger. Behind every statistic, there are thousands of stories of someone having to choose between spending money on food or an“We have this huge other necessity, like rent, clothing, utilities, or health care. When you swath of people make less money, the pull on every who make less dollar brought home tightens and than their nonso-called “food insecurity” is often the outcome. LGBT counterparts, According to UCLA’s Williams and most people, Institute, 24% of lesbians and bisexeven in our own ual women are poor, compared with only 19% of heterosexual women. community, do not LGBT people of color are more know that.” likely to live in poverty. Children of Center CEO Lorri L. Jean same-sex couples have poverty rates to The New York Times twice those of children in heterosexafter the study’s release ual married couple households.

[1] Taylor N.T. Brown, Adam P. Romero, and Gary J. Gates. Food Insecurity and SNAP Participation in the LGBT Community. The Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law. July 2016.

Roderick, 18

“I’ve never seen so many hard working people who are also homeless. There’s a lot I went through as a child growing up in Georgia. I was really shy and small. I was bullied, beaten up at school. I turned 18 and, with $15 in my pocket, I got on a plane to L.A. I was just going to finally be me—as gay as I want to be. Everything just went downhill after I got here. I got a job, but my hotel canceled. I was homeless and so scared. I don’t think they know how much they’ve helped me at the Center. Now, when I wake up in the morning, I’m happy. I’ve been trying to take advantage of what the Center has given to me. It’s a very empowering, safe place. I finally feel like I’m at home. I try to take what I go through and build from that. The Center has helped me open the door even more for who I want to be—it was meant for me to come here.” Winter 2016


LGBT seniors are particularly vulnerable to poverty. There are an estimated 65,000 LGBT people over the age of 64 who live in Los Angeles, 68% of whom live alone. “Our seniors are facing isolation, loneliness, discrimination, poverty—it is a real crisis with very limited resources available to meet their needs. And, as the population continues to grow, the need for support and safety is only going to increase,” said Center Deputy Director of Senior Services Tripp Mills. “Many LGBT seniors are forced back into the closet or face discrimination when they enter a senior facility or retirement home. This increases their chances of deeper isolation, increased stress affecting their health and can even result in homelessness.” On any given day there are more than 6,100 homeless youth living on the streets of Los Angeles, a staggering 40% of whom identify as LGBT. LGBT youth face bullying at school, discrimination at their jobs, and a lack of support as they move into adulthood. “Youth are particularly vulnerable, especially when they are experiencing homelessness,” said Center Director of Children, Youth, and Family Services Simon Costello. “The youth we serve face every challenge that comes with growing up, along with growing up in a world that discriminates against them because of their sexual orientations and gender identities.” The National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that transgender people are four times as likely to have a household income under $10,000 and twice as likely to be unemployed. Ninety percent reported experiencing harassment, mistreatment, or discrimination on the job. Almost one in five reported being homeless at some point in their lives. Transgender people of color had an unemployment rate four times the national average. “The transgender community is an untapped pool of talent that experiences high unemployment rates simply because of discrimination against their gender identities, even though many of them hold college degrees,” said Drian Juarez, program manager of the Center’s Transgender Economic Empowerment Project.


of LGBT Men and Women (ages 50+) didn’t have enough money for food last year

There’s Hope – and a lot more – at the Center

Ed, 80

“There were a lot of places we couldn’t live. I’m from Charleston, S.C., and I love that in L.A., you can be yourself. I was with my partner for 34 years and he passed away. We shared a beautiful apartment that I couldn’t afford on my own. Triangle Square was just being built; I was on the waiting list for five years. At Triangle Square, they have every type of activity you can imagine and they take care of us. We have lunch every day and are able to take some of it home for dinner. I haven’t had to go food shopping for some time. The rent is very reasonable; if it wasn’t, I would have more trouble financially. This is my home now; it has become like family for me.”


Winter 2016

The Center’s free or low-cost programs and services, that include housing, food, health and mental health care, employment, education, and legal, help LGBT people avoid having to make the choice between paying for food and other basic needs while trying to build a better life. Center Dietary Coordinator Arlita Miller spends much of her time cooking for the Center’s LGBT youth. At the Transitional Living Program (TLP), youth can stay for up to 18 months while they develop the skills, resources, and experience to live independently. There’s an industrial kitchen at the TLP where Miller helps residents learn how to cook while teaching them about food budgeting and proper nutrition. “Some clients come in and don’t know how to turn on the stove because nobody ever showed them how to do it,” said Miller. “I’ve learned how to meet them where they are, emotionally and mentally. They are learning skills every day that many of us take for granted.” She also provides meals for the Youth Center, a full-service drop-in center for homeless youth that served more than 81,000 meals last year. The Youth Center provides emergency shelter for 26 young people who can stay up to 30 nights and offers showers,

Destiny, 23


of LGBT Adults didn’t have enough money for food last year


of LGBT Men and Women between ages 18 and 29 didn’t have enough money for food last year

“I’m still human. My first day at the Center was the day before my birthday. They had a cake and a card for me. I felt so relieved. I was having restless days and nights, wondering what I was going to do, how I was going to make it. It’s open and safe here; nobody judged me. Here, the kitchen is always open; you can always get something to eat. They helped me find a job, get back into school, work with a therapist. Now, I have plans for my future.”

For more stories visit

lalgbtcenter. org/hunger

Winter 2016


How You Can Help

Ben, 22

MAKE A DONATION Perfect for last-minute holiday gifts in honor of someone you love! BUY SOME SWAG! From T-shirts to travel mugs, along with some very special year-end seasonal items, we’ve got you covered. VOLUNTEER volunteer As the largest LGBT organization in the world, we have lots of opportunities for you to get involved. MAKE A LEGACY GIFT By including the Center in your estate plan or making another type of planned gift, you are helping to ensure a strong future for the organization. RIDE 545 Registration now open! Don’t miss this fully supported, 7-day bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles that helps support the Center’s HIV/ AIDS-related programs and services.

For more stories visit

lalgbtcenter. org/hunger 16

Winter 2016

“You can never know who’s homeless. I was living with my family in Tennessee and they told me I had to leave. I didn’t understand the magnitude of living on the street and what that does to someone mentally. I had secured a job, but it didn’t start for two weeks. By my third day on the streets, I didn’t care where I was, I was just trying to get in a bed. The Center is a blessing and a stepping stone. It’s the first time I ever felt fully accepted by someone. Homeless people are people you’re at work with, people at school with you. I was one of those. Nobody would have ever known I was homeless unless I told them. Now, I know how strong I am. I’m really looking forward to getting my own place; that sense of security and stability. “

a clothing closet and laundry facilities, three meals a day, support groups and mental health services, education and employment programs, access to the Center’s medical clinic, addiction recovery services and whatever support youth need to make a successful life for themselves on their own. As a Federally Qualified Health Center specializing in care for LGBT people, the Center provides a wide-range of free or lowcost culturally competent care to the community, helping ease the financial burden often associated with accessing health care. “We provide a medical home for our community,” said Center Director of Health and Mental Health Services Christopher Brown. “We know that successful treatment includes serving all the needs of our clients, not just their medical symptoms or diagnoses. Our care teams look at everything, from housing, transportation, and employment to mental health needs, everything that can impact a client’s quality of life.” Available services range from HIV/AIDS specialty care, primary care, addiction recovery, transgender care, clinical research, mental health services, HIV/STD testing and prevention, and a pharmacy. The Center’s Senior Services focus on meeting the community’s basic needs while breaking the isolation that many LGBT seniors feel. We provide many of the life-sustaining needs, including food and case management, while providing a wide array of life- and health-enriching programs and activities. Senior Services staff helps clients navigate Social Security, Medicare, Veteran’s Administration benefits, and more. And clients can access other Center services, including medical care, legal services, and mental health counseling. The Center’s Triangle Square is the world’s first affordable housing development for LGBT seniors. “More than half of the Center’s senior clients live on less than $2,000 a month. More than 60 percent of Triangle Square residents live on less than $800 per month and struggle to meet their basic needs, such as housing, food, and medication expenses,” said Mills. “The Center and the programs, activities, care, and opportunities we provide are literally lifelines for our seniors.” All of the Center’s programs and services help provide a safety net for the community, working to keep themselves out of poverty and free from hunger. The Transgender Economic Empowerment Project (TEEP) offers a wide range of services to help transgender people find employment and to help make workplaces more welcoming to trans people. No matter how people access the Center’s services, and whatever service they receive, each person receives the same thing: hope…at a rate of 42,000 client visits each month. The Fight Against LGBT Hunger Needs One More Thing: You. Donor support of the Center helps in the fight against hunger in the LGBT community, ensuring the organization’s programs and services are available for the most vulnerable members of the community. Helping to sustain the Center’s extremely efficient infrastructure provides the care that so many people rely upon. Visibility matters. For more than 47 years the Center has been a beacon of hope in the LGBT community. Its programs and services make the life-changing and life-saving difference in the lives of people every day. Now, more than ever, they need the Center. And you.

LGBT adults (18+) were


times more likely than non-LGBT adults to not have enough money for food last year

Jacob, 24

“You struggle every day. I was born in Georgia and grew up in Virginia. I came to L.A. six years ago and, after I dropped out of school, there was a time when I was on the streets. Being homeless felt like ground zero. You get fed up struggling every day. You do things you don’t want to do, that as a human being you’re not proud of. You’re at your survival point. The Center welcomed me with open arms. Now, I have a different mindset on life, I’m not afraid to excel. If it wasn’t for the Center, I would have no community. We all know what the idea of family is—that’s why we’re so strong as a community. I don’t know what’s going to happen in my life, but it’s going somewhere good. Now this is my story.”

Winter 2016


health services

Sex App-eal




“After a routine testing, I met this guy ant your HIV and STD test results delivered fast at the who asked whether I was indeed free of any diseases, and I assured him that he touch of a button? Yep, there’s didn’t need to worry about anything,” an app for that. said Rob B., of West Hollywood. “A few Early this year the Center’s Sexual Health and Education Program (SHEP) days later, my results were posted on my app account. I took a screenshot of the introduced Healthvana, an app that helps results and texted it to him.” people take control of their sexual health The app lets clients retrieve lab test and well-being. Once clients register at results for certain sexually transmitted, or at one of the diseases, such as gonorrhea, kiosks located at the Center’s chlamydia, and syphilis. Jeffrey Goodman Special People with positive tests are Care Clinic and Center-We- Several studies asked to immediately make Ho, they get notified when indicate that appointments for treatment. their lab tests are complete HIV test results are aland can access the results people take ways given in person as part from their smartphone or better care of of the Center’s rapid testing computers. Pre-registration themselves protocol. Negative test realso shaves about 20 minutes when they’re sults are also sent to the app off a clinic visit. for a client’s records, and the Ninety percent of the empowered app will remind them, either Center’s clinic clients are by being more by email or text message, currently using the app. when it’s time to take anoth“Several studies indicate engaged with that people take better care their healthcare er test. Clients who test positive for HIV are immediately of themselves when they’re connected with a Center Care Team, who empowered by being more engaged with help establish an individualized care plan. their healthcare,” said SHEP Program Manager Jeffrey Rodriguez. “They also An HIV-positive test result is never disreally appreciate learning about their test played on the user’s private app profile. “Before this app, I had to wait two weeks results as soon as they’re available and for the STD test results—and the waiting being able to see—and show them—on period was dreadful,” said Rob B., 37. “In their smartphone.” Now that hookup apps make it easier the past, if you didn’t hear from the Center and faster than ever to meet for sex, it’s within two weeks, it meant you tested negconvenient for individuals to have instant ative. But sometimes you’d wonder whether access to their test results, particularly you missed a call or a notification got lost in the mail. Thankfully, this app instantly when their sexual partners want proof shares your test results in the palm of your that they’re free of any STDs (at least as hand to reduce your anxiety.” of their last test date).


Winter 2016

How to get your

STD test results fast, in a secure online account



at or at an on-site kiosk at the Center’s Jeffrey Goodman Special Care Clinic and Center-WeHo

2 Check-in at the front desk when you come to get tested and shave 20 minutes off a regular visit.

3 Get results

on your secure smart phone app or online account at

Get CenterKeyed! The CenterKey Card unlocks special deals at local businesses, such as The Abbey, Kitchen 24, and Shake Shack. After three months, the card expires—a gentle reminder to get tested again and to reactivate the card during your next visit. “It’s vital to remind people to get tested and to test regularly, particularly since STD infection rates are on the rise in Los Angeles,” said Center SHEP Program Manager Jeffrey Rodriguez. “With the new Healthvana app, and by offering PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), the Center is leading the way into a new age of HIV/AIDS and STD prevention and treatment.” THE ABBE Y

Expedited entry (pending capacity) & 10% off lunch, Mon.-Fri. KITCHEN 24

BAR 10

Special Offer Cards

1/2 off first drink



15% off

(happy hour excluded)

10% discount on regular priced CAFÉ D’ETOILE products Free dessert (limit 2 per table)


Free fries with any purchase


20% off lunch items, Tues.-Fri.

Visit for more information

Winter 2016


Photographer: Georg Lester

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


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



public policy


GETTING PrEPPED T help combat the spread of HIV, AB To 2640 requires HIV testing sites to provide information about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to high-risk individuals who test negative for HIV. PrEP is an HIV prevention strategy in which HIV-negative individuals take a daily medication to reduce their risk of becoming infected. PrEP has been shown to be up to 99% effective at preventing HIV transmission. PEP involves taking anti-HIV medications as soon as possible after a potential exposure to reduce the risk of becoming HIV-positive. According to a 2015 survey of gay and bisexual men by the California HIV/AIDS Research Program, only 1 in 10 respondents had ever used PrEP and nearly 85% had never talked to their doctor about PrEP. “Those most at risk of HIV infection deserve to know about all the options to stay negative, including PrEP and PEP,” said Center Medical Director Dr. Robert Bolan. “AB 2640 will help promote options that have the potential to change the course of the epidemic in California and significantly reduce the HIV infection rate here.” APLA Health joined the Center in sponsoring the bill, which was introduced by Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson). The Center offers both PrEP and PEP and can help those without insurance qualify for financial assistance. Visit to learn more.

STOPPING THE ABUSE OF YOUTH SB 524, also known as the “Protecting Youth from Institutional Abuse Act,” finally regulates an industry that’s notorious for abusing young people and for harming LGBT youth while trying to change their sexual orientation or gender identity. Only a few states regulate the “troubled teen” industry; this new California law is the most comprehensive of its kind, with no exemption for religious-based businesses. “These programs can no longer shut down in one California city, after reports of abuse surface, and open in another California town to continue their abuse under a new name,” said Center CEO Lorri L. Jean. “No longer can these programs—many of which claim to be Christian-based—hide behind their cross, asserting religious exemption to continue torturing LGBT youth they claim they can ‘cure.’” Survivors of Institutional Abuse (SIA) joined the Center in sponsoring the bill, which was introduced by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens). Next up is supporting federal legislation, using California’s new law as a guide to regulate the troubled teen industry nationwide. U.S. Representatives Adam Schiff (D- CA 28th District) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL 27th District) have announced the introduction of HR 3060, the Stop Child Abuse in Residential Treatment Programs for Teens Act. Learn more at

ELIMINATING HIV/AIDS STIGMA Two pieces of legislation helped eliminate decades-old, stigmatizing statutes related to the fear and paranoia that marked the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in this country. SB 1408 finally makes organ and tissue donation between HIV-positive donors and HIV-positive recipients possible, bringing California in line with federal law. The new law will save lives and shorten the waiting list for much-needed organ transplants. The Center co-sponsored the legislation with Equality California, AIDS Project Los Angeles, and Positive Women’s Network-USA. It was authored by Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica). The Center also supported reforms to the state’s real estate code so property owners are not required to disclose the HIV status of a previous occupant or if the owner had AIDS or died of AIDS when selling, leasing, or renting a home. AB 73 was introduced by Assemblymember Marie Waldron (R-Escondido) and Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson).

Winter 2016


Five Staff ››

john Cagandahan, RN What is your role at the Center?



Moreno Valley, CA

Care Manager, Health Services




I manage care for anyone who is newly diagnosed or has been living with HIV. When someone tests positive for HIV at the Center, they are quickly linked with a Care Team which includes me as an RN Care Manager, a Psychosocial Care Manager, and an LVN Caseworker to assess everything from medical history to housing needs, employment, mental health, sexual health, and creating an individualized care plan. We see if there’s anything we can help them with to make sure they maintain good health. Our overall goal is to keep the viral load of the community undetectable, so if there’s anything getting in the way of people

staying healthy, we work together with the patient to help them overcome that.

Why is your work important? I’ve always had a passion for the community. It means a lot to me that I work here. I feel like I get to see my family every day. Before this, I was working at a children’s hospital and also at a trauma center in the ICU. I would see how health workers would treat LGBTQ people and people living with HIV differently than other people. I’m in this profession because I want to help people, not judge them. There’s a lot of anxiety for members of the community when they see their doctor. They wonder if they are going to feel welcome or be accepted for who they are. I’m proud that at the Center, we can be a beacon for the community. You can get your care in a non-judgmental environment where you don’t have to be afraid or anxious; you can come as you are at the Center.

The Center has a holistic approach to treatment, helping clients manage all aspects of living with HIV, through counseling, nutritional advice, and support groups. We provide leading-edge HIV medical care at our Jeffrey Goodman Special Care Clinic and also have a full-service pharmacy. Learn more about how to get tested for HIV at

Volunteer ››

Jaimini Parekh How did you first get involved with the Center? When I started volunteering I was a full-time law student who wanted to give back to my community during breaks in my school schedule. After attending a volunteer orientation with the Center’s amazing Volunteer Resources team, I discovered that the CyberCenter offered a great opportunity.

Why is it important to volunteer? I’m able to help the Center provide a much-needed, welcoming space for LGBT youth, seniors, and many others who have limited access to the internet. These are some of the most vulnerable in our LGBT community.

I’ve seen how having a safe space, even for just a few hours, can make a big difference to people—particularly those who are homeless. There are still too many in our community who end up on the streets simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Fortunately, the Center is there for them. I highly recommend volunteering at the Center. They’ve created such a caring environment that’s addressing significant needs in our community, with the help of volunteers. We have to step up as a community and



Pasadena, CA

David Bohnett CyberCenter



help each other out. One of the best things I get out of volunteering is exposure to new experiences and new people. It simply feels good to know that I spend some time of each week helping people in my LGBT community.

The CyberCenter is one of 63 similar centers the David Bohnett Foundation opened across the country to provide LGBT communities with a “wired” hub. Computers include high-speed internet access and a full range of office software. 22

Winter 2016




I adore the Center for taking care of the community. If there’s anything I’ve learned in my years on this planet, it’s that life is too short. I certainly hope my support for the Center inspires others to step it up whether it’s volunteering, donating clothes to the youth shelter, or taking a tour of the Center’s facilities. Until there is full equality for all people,

I will always be there for the LGBT community and support the good work of the Center. SHARON OSBOURNE (1) The Center is here to support and care about the entire community. Our youth, seniors, families, and anyone else who has a heartbeat and a need can be assured they’re in a safe environment there. With no judgment, a person can be his or her true self. There is nothing more powerful than when people are seen, heard, and accepted for who they truly are. JA SON COLLINS (2) As I learned about the Center, I became fully aware of just how incredible this place is. I took several tours of every facility and learned as much as I could



When I was 19 and homeless in L.A., a fellow throwaway youth told me about the Center’s youth drop-in center. This was my first encounter with the Center. I walked in and, with very few questions asked and no judgment whatsoever, they fed me, let me shower there, and gave me a bed and a pillow. I remember feeling a great sense of comfort and gratitude for the dignity they allowed me on the nights I spent there. That’s why I give: because the

Center has given so much to me and to thousands of young people who have had nowhere else to turn —young people who just need to know that they are worthy of the time and effort to be loved exactly as they are. WIL SON CRUZ (4)

As a life-long civil rights and LGBT activist—as well as an advocate for the homeless— I saw solutions. Knowing everything the Center does for our community, the health, welfare, and general wellbeing of all who enter—without judgment—is something we all should be proud of and support. PAULE Y PERRE T TE (3)


was so proud of this place our entire community is so blessed with.



Why We Give

I told myself that if I made it past high school, I could be in the real world and maybe there I would find others like me. I am very lucky that, somehow, I found the strength to fight daily and push through those painful years. I didn’t have access to anything even close to what the Los Angeles LGBT Center offers. When I first attended the Center’s An Evening with Women, I was wishing that all the people I met while traveling to speak at schools and community centers could all be there for this night and I really saw, at that moment, how important the Center really is in the lives of so many people.

about all of the programs. I


The Center has been the mortar in the LGBT community, often quietly providing a lifeline for people with great value, but who have no support. It has been a

place of comfort for so many kids and adults who have been rejected or fear rejection by their families. During the 1980s the Center provided care and comfort to our community as AIDS ravaged thousands. The people who provided these services truly are angels, and the Center deserves profound respect and support in our community. And that is why I give. HARVE Y LE VIN (6) I give because when I arrived in Los Angeles some (ahem) 17 years ago, I was scared and overwhelmed, more than a little depressed, and feeling deeply, deeply alone. And then someone suggested I check out the Center. I shamefully walked into Mental Health Services, pretty much convinced they would send me away, because—in addition to all the ways I felt horribly about myself—I was also broke. They treated me with dignity and kindness. And I know, beyond any shadow of doubt, that there

is a direct line from the scared young man who walked through those doors to the adult I am today—and that line goes directly through the Center. PE TER PAIGE (7)

Winter 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.

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



$12,000-$17,999 Stephen R. Brown*

$1,500-$1,799 Parker Beatty Adam Comeau Bill Hacket & Thom Uber Michael Hostettler Sunil Nayar Mark Poncher Chris D. Olsen & Rodrigo Risiglione Eli Shahmoon Gianluigi Tacchi & James Bellavance* Hannah Theile & Kenna Love Tim L. Whetzel

GOLD CIRCLE $6,000-$11,999 Peggy A. Jones & Parise V. Livanos* David Williamson*

STERLING CIRCLE $3,600-$5,999 Randy Barbato & Fenton Bailey* Steve Boettcher* Todd Cloutier & Michael Carney* Robert Gotham & Michael Manuel Derek Hamilton* Richard Klug & Adam Schmidt*

SILVER CIRCLE $2,400-$3,599 Reza Farahan Nahnatchka Khan & Julia Bicknell* Ross A. Powell

SILVER CIRCLE $1,800-$2,399 Christopher Carrington & Joshua Sassoon* Terry Foreman* Neal Murphy* Robin Ogilvie Thomas V. Reichert* Larry Vales

CIRCLE OF LIFE Ernie Benson Sue Burnside John Cambouris & Zachary Cambouris Ron Comer Lynn Rabin Scott Williams

Donor list as of October 31, 2016 *Indicates an increase in membership level. ^Indicates a multiyear pledge.

Tim Lee Major Gifts Officer 323-993-8945

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

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



Winter 2016

A Beacon of Hope

donor profile



hris Dean and Rose Venigas want to invest in the future. As two of the newest members of the Center’s Circle of Life, the couple has made plans to include the Center in their estate plan. “Through the Circle of Life, Rose and I are investing in the Center’s and LGBT community’s future,” said Dean. “I feel very lucky to be a part of the LGBT community, and can’t think of a better group of people to march, dance, laugh, dream, cry, advocate, learn and celebrate with! I’m so grateful that the Center fosters community through its many programs, and I want it to be there for future generations as a beacon of hope and support for those who need it.” After receiving her M.A. from Dartmouth College, Dean actually worked at the Center for six years. “I began my tenure as a receptionist and, after a series of promotions over the years, I oversaw individual and foundation giving, operations, and special events. I credit the Center and its many great mentors for launching my career in fundraising,” said Dean, currently the director of

development at Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles. The couple hopes more people think about the Center when they are making their estate plans or through another type of planned gift. “There are moments in life when we need places like the Center. It is a source of light and strength during difficult times,” said Venigas. Added Dean, “When you contribute to the Center, you are supporting homeless youth, people in need of free and low-cost medical care, victims of hate crimes and domestic abuse, people who are in the process of coming out, and many others. In addition to safety-net programs, you are elevating our voices through the Center’s advocacy work and promoting the well-being of our community through the arts, senior and family programs.”

The Center will always hold a special place in our hearts.

• Rose Venigas and Chris Dean

As an Advocate, your monthly donation helps ensure that life-changing and life-saving support is there for those who need it most. Join today! Winter 2016


Center Classes

Life Drawing Lounge Tuesdays, 7–9:30 p.m.

e n k a i n w g A

Last class of 2016 is Tuesday, Dec. 13. Class will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017.

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

Free Weekend Morning Meditation Last class of 2016 is Saturday, Dec. 17. Class will resume on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017.

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

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

LC2016_meditation_v2.indd 1

11/15/16 3:26 PM

Join the Center’s one-of-a-kind education and empowerment program, presented exclusively for the trans* community. More than 500 trans* individuals have already joined the Tr T ans*Lounge. Why ha ave en’t yo ou? How does Trans*Lounge work?

Trans* Lounge members have already:

• Sign up online for free.

• Participated in 40+ workshops and labs

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

• 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

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

Sign up at

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

...and we are just getting started!


Winter 2016

Peer-Led Groups

v AA Happy Hour Tues.–Fri., 6:15–7:15 p.m. Canceled March 31

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.

Dec. 7: Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta Jan. 4: Alexander McQueen: Blood Beneath the Skin by Andrew Wilson Feb. 1: What Belongs to You: A Novel by Gareth Greenwall March 1: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

v Alcoholics Anonymous: It’s Come to This Mon., 6:15–7:15 p.m. Canceled Dec. 26, Jan. 16, and March 31 v Crystal Meth Anonymous Sat., 9:10–10:10 a.m. v Debtors Anonymous Tues., 8–9 p.m.

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

v Gay & Lesbian CODA Tues., 8–9 p.m.

Community Groups

v Marijuana Anonymous Wed., 6:30–7:30 p.m.

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

v NA: Heartbeat of Recovery Mon., 7–8 p.m. Canceled Dec. 26, Jan. 16, and March 31

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

OA Thurs., 7–8 p.m. v

L.A. Leather Coalition Every 1st Thurs., 7–9 p.m. Positive Images HIV+ Men’s Forum M Every Mon., 1–3 p.m. M Every Wed., 7–9 p.m. M Every Thurs., 6–8 p.m. Canceled Dec. 26, Jan. 16, and March 31 Call 323-860-7321 to RSVP

v Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous Thurs., 6:30–7:30 p.m. v Sexual Compulsives Anonymous Mon., Wed., Thurs., 8–9 p.m. Sat., Noon–1:15 p.m. Canceled Dec. 26, Jan. 16, and March 31

H 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

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

v Women’s AA Wed., 8–9 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 M

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

The Village 1125 N. McCadden Place

Social Networking Groups v Bi-osphere* Explore and discuss the many shades of today’s diverse bisexual community Every 2nd & 4th Mon., 8–9:30 p.m. 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, Jan. 16, and Feb. 20 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 Dec. 23 and 30, and March 31

* Groups may not welcome late arrivals.


v One Page at a Time Thurs., 8:10 – 9:10 p.m.


Group Meetings

12-Step Groups


McDonald/Wright 1625 N. Schrader Blvd.

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. 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. Canceled March 31 Metropolitan Community Church 5730 Cahuenga Blvd., North Hollywood Call 323-860-5830


Highland 1220 N. Highland Ave.

Empty= Offsite

Winter 2016


center notes

News and notes from the Center’s life-changing and life-saving programs and services LOVE YOU TO DEATH Canadian pop superstars Tegan and Sara visited the Center in September to learn more about our programs and services for women and girls from Director of Development Operations Kara Steffen and Nurse Practitioner Angie Magaña. After the visit, Tegan and Sara invited staff from the Center’s Audre Lorde Health Program for lesbian and bisexual women to their Love You to Death tour stops in Southern California. The outreach team distributed safer sex materials for women and helped promote the program with their popular Our Future is Female Center T-shirts. The duo’s support of the Center garnered a mention from Billboard. Check it out here:



With the click of a button, people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction can now chat online—free and anonymously—with one of the Center’s addiction recovery specialists who provide advice and support and can recommend the best programs and services to support recovery.

This fall, East Los Angeles College (ELAC) held a weekly Chicano Studies class at the Center’s Mi Centro facility in Boyle Heights. The course, entitled The Mexican-American in Contemporary Society, introduced students to the major characteristics of the nation’s fastest growing ethnic group, giving special attention to LGBT-related issues.

“There are so many barriers that deter people from seeking the help they want,” said Center Outreach Specialist Fallon Lengson. “Frequently they don’t know who to turn to, they don’t think they can afford treatment, they don’t have transportation, and they don’t feel comfortable talking to strangers. It can be especially difficult for LGBT people, who often fear discrimination in treatment programs. Through online chats, we’re about to remove those barriers.”

The free online chat support is available Monday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. at 28

Winter 2016

Since opening in October 2015, Mi Centro has blossomed into a vital resource center. In addition to hosting PFLAG meetings and the ELAC class, Mi Centro offers a myriad of critical services at no cost, including one-on-one counseling in both English and Spanish with volunteer legal advocates, as well as Social Security and Veterans benefits workshops for seniors. The Center’s Public Policy and Community Building department also moved into the facility last summer.

ROLLING SEVENS For the seventh consecutive year, Charity Navigator—one of the nation’s premier charity evaluators—awarded its coveted, highest rating to the Center for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. According to Charity Navigator, the Center is among just 3 percent of evaluated charities to earn at least seven consecutive 4-star ratings, indicating that the Center outperforms most other charities in the nation and “demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust.” The 4-star rating validates the Center’s good governance and recognizes that the Center consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way.

To view the Center’s exceptional rating, visit

SHOWING OUR TRUE COLORS During its inaugural Cyndi Lauper’s Damn Gala in Los Angeles, the True Colors Fund honored the Center for its work to improve the lives of homeless LGBT youth and to fight homelessness. Director of Children, Youth, and Family Services Simon Costello accepted the award, which was presented by Center supporters E! News Managing Editor and Correspondent, Marc Malkin, and his husband Fabian Quezada-Malkin. The True Colors Fund, co-founded by award-winning artist Cyndi Lauper, strives to prevent and end homelessness among LGBT youth. On any given day in Los Angeles, 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBT.

center voices

Analysis and insight from the Center’s staff on current issues and events facing our community During the height of the tumultuous election season, The New York Times asked how the Center’s canvassers confront offensive speech and remedy hostile face-to-face conversations with conservative voters regarding LGBT rights.

There’s an ongoing shortage of injectable estrogen threatening the health and well-being of transgender women, as reported by Buzzfeed.

The estimated 1.5 million LGBT seniors in the U.S. are facing an affordable housing crisis. Next Avenue explored how the Center’s Triangle Square, the nation’s first affordable housing complex specifically for LGBT seniors, is enhancing the lives of people.


With groundbreaking PrEP education now mandatory, there is still a need for the LGBT community to protect themselves from other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as published in The Advocate.


Cultural Arts Coordinator

Medical Director

DAVE FLEISCHER Director of Leadership LAB

Excerpt: “We are seeking out people who are prejudiced, and they’re using offensive language. And if you just use different words yourself, and your tone

and demeanor are kind, people are very responsive, and you don’t have to get into a screaming match.”

Excerpt: “The

drive and desire to be authentic, to live in the correct body, it’s so strong. [A shortage] like this can throw people to a bad place. I really feel like this is going to get worse before [it] gets better because I don’t think we’re a priority. No one’s saying, ‘We have to make sure these trans people have their estrogen.’ That’s very worrisome to me.”

TRIPP MILLS Deputy Director of Senior Services

Excerpt: “Many seniors isolate, but the isolation experienced by LGBT seniors is much greater. Loneliness, depression, suicide are much greater in the LGBT senior community.

Triangle Square gives these men and women a space to be who they are, to feel accepted, to not be isolated, to support one another.”

Excerpt: “We need to reframe our discussions about risks of infection. The issue isn’t that sex is bad; the issue is that infections are bad.

People need to understand the health risks associated with being sexual and the potential health consequences of not using condoms, which continue to offer the best protection from STIs. PrEP only prevents HIV infection.”

Read the entire article at:

Read the entire article at

Read the entire article at:

Read the entire article at:

Winter 2016



47th Anniversary Gala Vanguard Awards Weekend


(1, left) Singer Lynda Kay, with Donald Thomas, topped off the three-day fete with a special performance at The Abbey Food & Bar. This year’s gala, (2) held inside the HBO Pavilion at the Pacific Design Center, honored (3, far left) Modern Family actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita (second from right), posing with fellow MF cast members Julie Bowen and Nolan Gould (far right), and (4) Olympic swimmer Amini Fonua. Other notable guests included (5, l-r) NCIS’ Pauley Perrette, Olympic diver Greg Louganis and husband Johnny Chaillot, and How to Get Away With Murder’s Conrad Ricamora; (6, left) Los Angeles Councilmember David Ryu, with Center CEO Lorri L. Jean; (7, l-r) Kathy Najimy and Mo Gaffney; (8) Debby Holiday; (9) America’s Got Talent semi-finalist Brian Justin Crum; (10, l-r) Phillip Picardi, Nicolette Mason, Angelica Ross, and Jen Richards; (11, l-r) RuPaul’s Drag Race Alyssa Edwards and Bearonce Knows of Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence; (12) The Fosters’ Sherri Saum; and (13, l-r) Queer As Folk’s Robert Gant, Peter Paige, Michelle Clunie, and Scott Lowell.







10 9




Winter 2016






Casino Night The Center’s Los Angeles Women’s Network held its third annual event at the The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, hosted by (14) YouTube personality and Network member AmbersCloset, as (15, 16) guests pressed their luck to raise money for the Center’s services for women and girls. For more information about LAWN, visit

AIDS/LifeCycle Kick-Off Ride (18) Jeffrey Hutchinson was among the hundreds of cyclists who trekked around Lake Balboa Park in the ride’s first official training ride, as (19) volunteers kept the cyclists’ spirits and energy up.



Register for AIDS/LifeCycle, to be held June 4 – 10, 2017, at

Kesha Visits the Center (17) The music chart-topper took selfies with LIfeWorks member Eugene Olea after wrapping up production at our Youth Center. The five-minute documentary Why I Vote has been viewed more than 800,000 times on YouTube. Watch it now at

Transgender Job Fair With nearly four dozen employers participating, including (20, 21) Grindr and Team One / Saatchi & Saatchi, the Center’s Transgender Economic Empowerment Project (TEEP) hosted the annual event at the West Hollywood Auditorium. More than 120 job seekers attended the event.


For more information about TEEP, visit



Winter 2016






Models of Pride (22-26) More than 1,300 participants, both youth and adults, attended this year’s conference at the University of Southern California, which culminated with a special performance from (27) The Voice contestant Billy Gilman.


For more information, visit





Josh Hutcherson Visits the Center (32) The Hunger Games actor (center) toured the Youth Center with fellow members of philanthropic organizations Straight But Not Narrow, which he co-founded, and human-I-T Project. The latter group refurbished laptops and donated them to the Youth Center.



Post-Election Community Gathering Following the U.S. presidential election, (28) Center CEO Lorri L. Jean and (29) U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff addressed hundreds of guests who united at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza to find comfort and strength. 32

Winter 2016

Our Future is Female (30-31) Outreach and education from our Audre Lorde Health Program for lesbian and bisexual women at Flaming Saddles in West Hollywood.


For more information about the health program, visit




Drag Me to AIDS/LifeCycle Held at Micky’s West Hollywood, the inaugural event starring (33, l-r) Coney the Safety Mascot and Sister Roma featured ride participants rocking their best drag to win $1,000 worth of gear for their teams, among them (34) Flirty Dozen and (35) Trudging Buddies, who won the contest! Register for AIDS/LifeCycle, held June 4–10, 2017, at


America’s Parade (36) Several clients of the Center’s Senior Services, among them (37, l-r) Steven Abeyta, Belita Edwards, Jaguar Thunderwolf, Murry Taylor, and Senior Services Activities Coordinator Jesse Ortiz-Barreto, participated in the parade and resource fair held at the West Los Angeles VA campus on Veterans Day.


Before we became the Los Angeles LGBT Center, we were originally known as the Gay Community Services Center (GCSC). Three years after its founding in 1969, GCSC expanded its facilities to include (far right) a clapboard house on Wilshire Boulevard used primarily to host support groups and social services. It’s the same house in which (near right) some of GCSC’s leaders and founders pose on the front porch. The decision of the Center’s founders to provide programs and services to a community in dire need of culturally competent and non-judgmental help became their most important decision in the Center’s development: It propelled the Center to secure government funding. By the mid-1990s, the Center became the world’s largest LGBT organization. Images courtesy of ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives Winter 2016


June 13, 2016

We will not allow this hateful, murderous incident to silence us. We will never stop fighting for our rightful place in this society. We will continue to express our grief and our anger, just as we will celebrate in defiance of fear, hatred, and violence. We stand for freedom. We stand for peace and love. We stand for Orlando. CEO Lorri L. Jean

November 9, 2016

Now, more than ever, is the time for progressive and fair–minded Americans of all parties to stand tall, strong, and together to fight for our values, for the inalienable rights to which we are all entitled, and for the well-being of the most vulnerable in our society. Beginning today, the work of the Center may be more important than it has ever been. Don’t mourn. Fight like hell. CEO Lorri L. Jean

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