By now you know I am very good at it! Since May I have been putting off writing much of anything. Back then I was busy and didn’t have the time to write much and lately I just haven’t felt like it. During this time of very much reduced activity I just haven’t wanted to hear myself talk much I guess (and still don’t), but I either have to quit promising to post about stuff or just do it. So I will just do it because if I wait any longer I will never get around to it.
On May 23 I was invited to speak at an Ordination Service at Safe Haven Community Christian Church. This was a very historical moment for Safe Haven. Krystal Louise Kelley-Davis is the Church's first Seminary Graduate and Candidate for Ordination. This Ordination is quite special for other reasons too. Pastor Krystal is not your usual Pastor - she is one who is "differently abled" and has a unique sort of challenge ahead of her. Also she is legally married to a trans-woman and so has many ties to the transgendered and LGBT community as well. The Ceremony was officiated by Rev Renee Painter of Safe Haven with the assistance of Archbishop Mark Shiralau of the Ecumenical Catholic Church and Rev. Jane Quandt of the First Congregational Church of Riverside. I hope to have some video clips to post one of these days, but for now this still will have to suffice. (Behind me in the procession is Pastor Krystal and then her wife Jenny).
June 5th was Trans-Unity Pride at the LA gay and Lesbian Center. (Sorry I don’t have permission to post pictures of several friends that were there – some had either family or employer issues - and so I had to crop this one down). There were lots of booths – transgender artists & business people, local resources and many good workshops too – including a presentation by Satori World Medical – an International Health Network that now provides Transgender services in Thailand and also now in Canada working with several highly acclaimed surgeons. They also help with grants and financing to cover lots of procedures.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website - www.satoriworldmedical.com
Then on July 12th was LA Pride. I didn’t have a camera with me but needless to say it was a huge event there in West Hollywood. The whole city of WeHo was like an extension of the festival too that weekend. Lots of stuff going on and parties everywhere. I worked as a volunteer for a 4 hour shift along with several folks from Rainbow Pride Youth Authority (a LGBT youth group from San Bernardino) and thus earned admission to the event.
Then on June 15th I attended an LAPD Forum at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center. I find it amazing that the LAPD has been on the leading edge in the struggle for acceptance and support for transgender concerns. Here is a possibly useful tidbit of information for residents of LA. If you are trans and feel uncomfortable reporting a crime – either one you have witnessed or one you have been a victim of because you feel intimidated by the system you can contact Officer Patricia Luevanos in the LAPD community Relations Division (213) 486-6000 for help with reporting or you can contact Jake Finney at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center. The LAPD really is interested in serving our community while respecting our needs and so you need not be afraid of contacting them! Things are not at all like they used to be in LA.
I made some rally good connections at this forum and came away with a referral to meet with the new Chief of police in Riverside who just took office in July 1st. Out in Riverside Chief Diaz is planning to start working closely with many different sectors of the community to begin to resolve many of the long standing problems in that community, much as the LAPD has done very successfully in recent years with the LBGT and other underserved groups. I will be working with UCR’s LGBT center, Rainbow pride youth Authority, “Trans&Gender Force” and other Inland Empire groups to put together a panel to discuss Transgender issues, LGBT youth issues, and Hate Crimes – the recent activities of local Neo-Nazis and one notable hate crime recently on the UCR campus had sparked a lot of interest on campus in working closely with law enforcement out there. I did personally mention to Chief Diaz that the local jail system has no provision for dealing with transgender individuals and was promised that the situation would be looked into with the Sheriff (since they run the jail).
In July I was house sitting in Riverside for the month with a few days away in San Diego for the United Church of Christ’s LGBT Issues Coalition’s national Gathering. I posted about that over in the right-hand column.
Finally, I am caught up. See y'all soon.
Hugs and Blessings,