Greetings friends and associates,
I am helping, along with Safe Haven Community Christian Church, EQIE’s Transgender Issues Committee, and other nearby transgender and allied community members, to put together a Transgender 101 panel and presentation. Our purpose is to help educate and enlighten those whose jobs or personal ethos calls them to serve society and be in contact with the full diversity of it. We are already in contact with two major Civic entities interested in and seeking out this kind of help so they can better serve the traditionally under-served portions of society. Riverside's Department of Mental Health is one, thanks to Elder Benita Ramsey's and others work on the LGBT Mental Health Task Force, and the other is the LAPD. I expect that there will be many more worthwhile leads to follow very soon. The US Census Bureau as a follow-up to the 2010 Census may be one of these.
I was approached by an Officer in the LAPD Community Relations Office last Sunday at San Gabriel Valley Pride, and she inquired whether I would be willing to be a part of Chief Bratton’s farewell Forum Summit community meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 09 from 6 -8 p.m., at the Police Administrative Building (150 N Los Angeles St, in the Auditorium). We had a lengthy conversation about what they hoped to accomplish and we have agreed to discuss future Transgender (and the LGBT… inclusive) community involvement with them, such as an educational panel presentation like what we are already preparing for Riverside.
So, what I am asking for here is twofold…
First, I am extending the LAPD’s invitation to the Forum on the 29th to the entire LGBT community and urging as many of you as possible to come out for it. I’ll see you there.
Second, I am seeking transgender individuals that are willing to participate in an ongoing speakers panel – and this includes individuals of all areas of transgender and those in any stage of transition, even those that are sex-workers or other highly at risk members of our community. We hope to be very inclusive and very open in this project to tough questions posed by the professionals - social service workers, medical and mental health providers, safety and law enforcement personnel and etc. So you would need to be serious about helping and willing to commit to being open and honest about the needs and feelings of the area of the community you represent as well as with your personal experiences.
For me, going back down to Parker Center in LA will be a bit of a traumatic challenge, because the last time I was there I was incarcerated and I must again face painful ghosts of my sordid past. But I believe both the Forum and our future presentations will very well be worth the effort. Please search your hearts and see if there is room for you to take on another important commitment too.
(We will also be needing some moderate financial support to see this project become a reality – Safe Haven Community Christian Church is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) institution – contact Rev. Painter for more info).
Thanks and Warm Regards,