I’m so glad I went to the 2017 DC Black Pride Awards Reception last week.
It’s where SaVanna Wanzer was given the 2017 Unsung Hero Award. It’s where I also heard the stories of the other awardees this year. In a world where those who have what they need can say “be lesser, do more,” these are people who are treated as lesser, and do a lot more than those work to act lesser.
I believe I first met SaVanna at Ruby Corado’s wedding – she is also a photographer and we always seek each other out 🙂 .
Ever since then, working with her as a volunteer on the producers group for Capital TransPride (@TransprideDC) has been a highlight of my life in Washington, DC. Some people go places for the music, I go to see the leadership. All of the places I see her lead, I am so impressed at the potential of people to create change and affirm others.
In her remarks at the Awards, SaVanna told us that one of her earliest volunteer activities was standing in line on behalf of those who sought care for HIV infection, because they were unable to, in a health system (@WhitmanWalker) that offered care when other physicians refused to.
I suppose now it could be said that our generation is doing the same for the next generation, so that they can receive care and live long, healthy lives.
In the 20th Century, they used to say that as another State went, so went the nation. In this century, it’s Washington, DC.
SaVanna Wanzer has dedicated the last 25 years of her life to serving the transgender community with Whitman-Walker Health. She was the first transgender African-American woman to be named as a member of its board of directors; serving for nine years. During the early years, she was instrumental in ensuring the transgender community received medical services for HIV care and hormone therapy at the Whitman-Walker Health transgender care clinicâ€. She regularly volunteered at the food bank and prepared an annual Thanksgiving Dinner for seven years for clients that had no family or loved ones with whom to celebrate. She continues to volunteer her time at the Name and Gender Legal Clinic at Whitman-Walker Health that brings her so much joy in life.SaVanna Wanzer, Unsung Hero, DC Black Pride