Before it becomes DC’s grandest Apple Store, it Celebrates LGBTQ Heroes

2017.05.13 #HeroesGala2017 Capital Pride Washington DC, USA 4821
2017.05.13 #HeroesGala2017 Capital Pride Washington DC, USA 4821 (View on Flickr.com)

The historic Carnegie Library in Washington, DC, is about to get a very innovative tenant in Apple, Inc – one that celebrates people who change the world. It’s therefore fitting that it was the location for 2017’s Heroes Gala.

2017.05.13 #HeroesGala2017 Capital Pride Washington DC, USA 4734
2017.05.13 #HeroesGala2017 Capital Pride Washington DC, USA 4734 (View on Flickr.com)

I attended (and took these photographs) because Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States (@KPMidAtlantic) is a Platinum Sponsor of 2017 Capital Pride (@CapitalPrideDC) and Capital TransPride (@TransprideDC). And because I am a member of this community. This will be my 5th Capital TransPride, which I’ll post about separately.

Capital Pride’s Heroes Gala, hosted by Historical Society of Washington, D.C., and with Major Event Sponsors Hilton and UPS, honors the unapologetically proud individuals, leaders, and activists who have furthered the causes important to the LGBTQ community in the national capital region and beyond. See: www.capitalpride.org/events/heroes-gala-2017/

Being Treated as Lesser, Doing More

I am still working my way through Tim Ferris’ Tools of Titans, and this passage about Ryan Holiday (@RyanHoliday) and Ben Franklin caught my eye:

Greatness comes from humble beginnings; it comes from grunt work. It means you’re the least important person in the room— until you change that with results. There is an old saying, “Say little, do much.” What we really ought to do is update and apply a version of that to our early approach. Be lesser, do more.

Ferriss, Timothy (2016-12-06). Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers (pp. 337-338). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

There’s a key difference here. People in this community don’t have the option of being lesser, it is foisted on them every day.

And yet, the accomplishments are as grand as any that will fill a new store (or 100 of them).

A Flashback to the American Medical Association 1991 – “Let them Die”

Ruby Corado (@CasaRubyDC) reminded us that the street that the Carnegie Library sits on, K Street, NW, in downtown Washington, DC, was, not long ago the place where transgender people were harassed by police and moved to other parts of the city or arrested.

On this night, though, police officers, including officers who are transgender themselves, protected us, so that everyone could enjoy the beauty of the Library and our nation’s capital.

Ruby’s reminder caused me to have a flashback to my own history, when the world was a less loving place.

I was in Chicago last week for the Innovation Learning Network meeting, and our group dinner was held at Buddy Guy’s (@BuddyGuys), which happens to be across the street from the Chicago Hilton and Towers. This is the regular location of the American Medical Association’s annual meeting.

At my very first (and last) annual meeting in Chicago in 1991, the entrance to the hotel was blocked by protesters angry with the American Medical Association because of its stance on persons with HIV. I will never forget to this day what I, as a medical student, heard from the podium from a fellow medical student that day. He said, “A group known as ‘ACT-UP’ or ‘AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power’ is outside. When you walk out of the hotel, take off your badges and do not engage.” What he meant, in doctor speak was “let them die.”

I showed photographs of this time in front of the hotel from my TED talk with Regina Holliday. At the time, it felt like being imprisoned within the profession. However, that didn’t last long. Because that moment created a generation of physicians dedicated to changing everything, and they now are the leaders of those same organizations. As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, people should be careful when they work to design against hope…

More to Be Done

I bring this up because this is what’s being created right now in 2017. A society that directly or indirectly designs against hope, life, HIV prevention, employment, freedom from incarceration for the LGBTQ community is creating a generation of super-leaders, who will change everything.

For as much as they say, they do very much more, and as much as the world works to make them lesser, more of the world learns to love better as a result. It’s how the human spirit works.

Rest of the photos below, take a look to see what communities controlling their own destiny looks like 🙂 .

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