Photo Friday: Vermont Avenue, NW, Gateway to the Future, Washington, DC USA

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“”Whoever you are, wherever you’re from, we stand together as neighbors”- districtoflove.org” 2017.04.12 DC People and Places 02295 (View on Flickr.com)

This week’s photograph was taken at the corner of Vermont Avenue, NW and U Street, in Washington, DC (of course), in front of the African American Civil War Memorial (@AfroAmCivilWar) In 2017. The sign identifies the significance of this location in United States history.

This happened on this corner in 1941:

Rally Against DC Police Brutality on U Street: 1941
Rally Against DC Police Brutality on U Street: 1941 (View on Flickr.com)

…and for the next 76 years several of the most significant civil rights movements of our time were conducted or were born in this vicinity, including the African American and LGBTQ communities. Last year I wrote a blog series about several of them, which you can access here.

As a person fascinated with the total health of a population and optimism for the future, my perspective this street is one of the most special in the United States.

Every year its neighbors (who have previously included Walt Whitman and Abraham Lincoln), get together to keep it beautiful,so that it can continue to host the future.

If you happen to be in Washington, DC and would like to contribute with the spirits and the ancestors, feel free.

More photos of 2017 below.

Photo Friday: At Q Street and at Q Street, NW, It’s LGBTQ Communities – Plural, Washington, DC USA

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Rayburn House Building with Q Street, the professional association of LGBT lobbyists and public policy advocates and those working for LGBT equality – 2017.04.07 LGBTQ Communities, Washington, DC USA 02171 (View on Flickr.com)

This week’s photographs were taken about 30 minutes and a few miles apart from each other.

They illustrate what I learned this week. It’s not “The LGBTQ community,” it’s “LGBTQ Communities”

The photograph above is of Q Street, the professional association of LGBT lobbyists and public policy advocates and those working for LGBT equality, at a reception at the Rayburn House Building, in downtown Washington, DC.

The photograph below was taken at Whitman Walker Health, just a few miles away, at the Capital Transpride (@DCTranspride) planning meeting, led by our Co-Chair, Bianca Rey (@BiancaRey) (and event sponsored at the platinum level by Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States – @KPMidAtlantic). Ruby Corado (@CasaRubyDC) happened to drop by, which made the meeting extra special.

Whitman Walker Health (@WhitmanWalker), our awesome host, by the way, is just off of Q Street (NW) itself, in Washington, DC.

The concept of communities plural came from from Catalina Velasquez (@ConsultCatalina) who is not pictured in the photographs below, but was in the room.

2017.04.07 The LGBTQ Communities, Washington, DC USA 02172
Capital TransPride Producers Group – at Whitman Walker Health, just off of Q Street, NW – 2017.04.07 LGBTQ Communities, Washington, DC USA 02172 (View on Flickr.com)

2017.04.07 The LGBTQ Communities, Washington, DC USA 02174
Capital TransPride Producers Group – at Whitman Walker Health, just off of Q Street, NW 2017.04.07 LGBTQ Communities, Washington, DC USA 02174 (View on Flickr.com)

I’m almost embarrassed to realize that this concept didn’t resonate for me until Catalina explained it to our group. And then I developed the digital film my camera and realized I live this concept every day.

I am more comfortable in some LGBTQ communities over others, like most humans. If you assume that I’m more comfortable in the community in the first photo vs the community in the 2nd and 3rd photos, challenge your assumptions – it’s my 5th TransPride 🙂 .

Because biology is what it is, LGBTQ communities include every race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity in the human species. As a result a member of these communities is more likely than not to connect with more of humanity. That’s been my personal experience and it’s been an asset in every endeavor I’ve been a part of. I can’t think of a better gift to be have been given.

I’m not really embarrassed that I just figured this out, I’m celebrating that this life opportunity includes a mentor around every corner, who isn’t just like me.

To enjoy this gift in Washington, DC, the most protective of the diversity of these communities in the nation, is (cream cheese, no sugar) icing on the kale. Enjoy.

Photo Friday: Are Patients Human Beings? (Answer is YES) #TDOV Washington, DC USA

2017.03.15 #ProtectTransWomen Day of Action, Washington, DC USA 01495
2017.03.15 #ProtectTransWomen Day of Action, Washington, DC USA 01495 (View on Flickr.com)

This photograph, taken in Washington, DC, just steps from the White House, reminded me of this photograph

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Kaiser Wakes the Doctors Book 33949 (View on Flickr.com)

In 1943, this was actually an explicit question – (“Are Patients Human Beings?”). In 2017…. it’s still an explicit one depending on the population, and an implicit one for most practitioners taking care of vulnerable populations. This photograph begs the question of whether this should be a question for anyone in the healing professions.

Today is the International Transgender Day of Visibility (#TDOV)

The International TDoV is an annual holiday celebrated around the world. The day is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments and victories of transgender & gender non-conforming people while raising awareness of the work that is still needed to save trans lives. The holiday was founded in 2009 as a reaction to the lack of LGBT holidays celebrating transgender people’s successes.

Click here to see the people that my generation of physicians came to health care to serve, because they are human..

Ultimately the world is learning to love better, and why shouldn’t it, diversity is what allows the human species to survive 🙂 .

Photo Friday: 6th and I Synagogue, Washington, DC USA

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2017.03.18 DC People and Places 01412 (View on Flickr.com)

At sunset, The Sixth and I (@SixthandI) Synagogue featuring the iconic cornerstone laid in 1906:

The congregation holds a cornerstone laying ceremony on November 22, 1906, in the presence of government officials, Christian clergy from nearby churches, Adas Israel officials and members of its building committee. They place a time capsule inside of the cornerstone, containing copies of Jewish newspapers, coins minted in 1906, congregation membership lists, copies of the United States and Adas Israel constitutions, a copy of the April 15, 1865 edition of the New York Herald, giving an account of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, the fall of Richmond, and other articles. (via History – Sixth & I)

A few more photos in this series are here (testing a new camera lens in the most beautiful capital city).

Photo Friday: With the Spirits and Ancestors, Washington, DC USA

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future*. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” (probably misattributed to Lao Tzu, I got it from Tim Ferriss)

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Vietnam War Memorial – 2017.03.04 DC People and Places 00400 (View on Flickr.com)
Washington, DC, USA has a natural release valve for the times when people need to be in the present – you don’t have to walk very far to spend time with the spirits and the ancestors.

And then, reliably, you can walk back toward the city to see the future being born. Pretty much every day 🙂 .

*Regarding the quote above. Anxiety is not always a bad thing; it’s related to its cousin eagerness, driven by the embrace of curiosity. Glass 3/4 full always.

Rest of the series here + a few virtual reality shots. We’ll see if photography embraces this trend or not. In the meantime… living in the future.

Photo Friday: Isn’t Washington, DC Beautiful?

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2017.03.03 DC People and Places 00254 (View on Flickr.com)

When borrowing a good lens, it’s easy to find great material in the nation’s capital, where the future continues to be born. Enjoy.

DC People and Places (series)