Photo Friday: Rainbow Flags at LGBTQ Pride, Baltimore, MD USA

2016.06.17 Baltimore Pride, Baltimore, MD USA 6735
2016.06.17 Baltimore Pride, Baltimore, MD USA 6735 (View on Flickr.com)

This week’s photo is an easy choice. It’s a rainbow pride flag flying over Charles Street, Baltimore, MD, USA for 2017 Baltimore Pride. Nothing says visibility like a rainbow flag. Plenty of transgender pride flags as well, many many more than this same event 4 years ago.

The world is learning to love better. Rest of the photographs from the event are below. Enjoy.

Photo Friday: Equality March for Unity and Pride, Washington, DC USA

2017.06.11 Equality March 2017, Washington, DC USA 6513
2017.06.11 Equality March 2017, Washington, DC USA 6513 (View on Flickr.com)

This week’s photograph was taken in Washington, DC (of course), and is of the moment the Equality March for Unity and Pride (@EqualityMarch17) started.

The very start of a march (as of this year I have seen many) is a very impactful, moving, moment, and this was no exception. What I felt was the strong intention for LGBTQ+ communities to control their destiny. See for yourself in the photos below.

The image below is a reminder that the most powerful voices are the ones from the future.

2017.06.11 Equality March 2017, Washington, DC USA 6576
2017.06.11 Equality March 2017, Washington, DC USA 6576 (View on Flickr.com)

Mobilizing LGBTQ+ communities, our loved ones and our allies – with particular focus on those who have been actively silenced and neglected – in the fight to affirm and protect our rights, our safety and our full humanity.Equality March 2017

Photo Friday: Where crosswalks are inclusive, too. Washington, DC USA

2017.06.09 DCRainbowCrosswalks, Washington, DC USA 6230
2017.06.09 DCRainbowCrosswalks, Washington, DC USA 6230 (View on Flickr.com)

Washington, DC continues to lead the United States in promoting inclusion for all. It’s why we say that in the last century, as another State went, so went the nation. In this century, it’s “As Washington, DC goes, so goes the nation.” Our Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) calls it the most inclusive city in the world. I call it the capital of a world learning to love better.

Today’s photograph is of the first rainbow crosswalk. Tomorrow we will paint the first transgender pride flag crosswalk in the United States. Because we are DC 🙂 .

Saturday afternoon, June 10, 2017, seven temporary rainbow colored crosswalks and one representing the transgender pride flag will debut along 17th Street NW, in the heart of the traditional LGBTQ neighborhood of the nation’s capital. A community-led initiative, the crosswalks are designed to be a highly visible symbol of Washington, D.C.’s long-standing place as a welcoming city for LGBTQ residents and visitors.

Today a press preview event was held with Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, her LGBTQ staffers and appointees, community members, and regional TV and print media. One of the crosswalks was painted in advance to preview to TV and print media of the D.C.,Maryland,Virginia, Area.

– Randy Downs, Dupont Circle ANC 2B05

#DCRainbowCrosswalks #Unapologetically360 #LGBTQvisibility #DCTransgenderPrideCrosswalk coming next 🙂 #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

More photos below, enjoy the future.

Photo Friday: General John A. Logan’s Circle, Washington, DC USA

2017.05.29 DC People and Places Washington DC USA 5524
2017.05.29 DC People and Places Washington DC USA 5524 (View on Flickr.com)

General John Alexander Logan (February 9, 1826 – December 26, 1886) was an American soldier and political leader. He served in the Mexican-American War and was a general in the Union Army in the American Civil War. He served the state of Illinois as a State Senator, a Congressman, and a U.S. Senator and was an unsuccessful candidate for Vice President of the United States with James G. Blaine in the election of 1884. As the 3rd Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, he is regarded as the most important figure in the movement to recognize Memorial Day (originally known as Decoration Day) as an official holiday.

(source: Wikipedia)

Additional photos are here. Enjoy.

Photo Friday: In Washington, DC, health care does what policy makers can’t…until later

This is not a partisan or a political post, it’s an observation on the interplay between policy makers and health care in leading health in society.

Health care as a sector is usually targeted for its inefficiency and poor quality, for its designing away of hope…..and then scenes like this happen.

The Photo

2017.05.20 Capital TransPride Washington, DC USA 5249
They see us. Whitman Walker Health lit in the colors of the transgender pride flag. 2017.05.20 Capital TransPride Washington, DC USA 5249 (View on Flickr.com)
The image is of the iconic Whitman Walker Health (@WhitmanWalker) on 14th Street NW in Washington, DC, lit in the colors of the transgender pride flag, immediately following 2017 Capital TransPride, of which Whitman Walker is a presenting sponsor. (See: Because Life is Amazing and We Can: My 5th Capital TransPride )

Given the location, in one of the busiest corridors in our nation’s capital, the sight is as stunning and meaningful as was the lighting of the White House in the colors of the LGBTQ Pride flag in 2015.

Not the first time Whitman Walker preceded policy makers

This scene immediately reminded me of this one, in December, 2007, when I snapped this photograph, just a few blocks north, on World AIDS day:

Whitman Walker Clinic - Miracles Happen
Whitman Walker Clinic – Miracles Happen (View on Flickr.com)
Remarkably, my thoughts from that moment are here on this blog (See: Photo Friday: Miracles Happen ), and they relate the feeling present at the time, that health care would have to lead our policy makers down the street, because they weren’t going to.

2016.12.01 World AIDS Day at The White House, Washington, DC USA 09223
2016.12.01 World AIDS Day at The White House, Washington, DC USA 09223 (View on Flickr.com)

3 years later, a beautifully designed red ribbon appeared on the White House for the first time, on World AIDS Day, and it would adorn the House every year after that (and I’ve photographed it most years, it’s that stunning).

Whitman Walker has the longest track record for providing compassionate health care to the LGBTQ community – all the letters. And in this location, which for many years was forgotten and without hope as Washington, DC struggled after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr, and then the drug and HIV epidemics that followed.

And then policy makers caught up

Prohibition of Discrimination in Health Insurance based on Gender Identity or Expression 38007
Prohibition of Discrimination in Health Insurance based on Gender Identity or Expression 38007 (View on Flickr.com)

In 2014, Washington, DC Mayor Vince Gray banned exclusions for transgender person care in health insurance. He went even farther – requiring that medically supervised, science-based transgender person care be covered as a requirement to sell insurance in the District of Columbia.

It was an incredible day – the policy was landmark not just for Washington, DC, but the entire nation, which is slowly catching up to Washington, DC in LGBTQ-supportive health policy. Washington, DC is still the national leader.

At the time we lamented that mainstream health care was incapable of being a leader in health.

There are always leaders in health in health care

Several of us hoped that the White House would follow-up the 2015 lighting by lighting with the transgender pride flag in 2016 after the series of health and life promoting policy actions undertaken by the Obama administration.

This didn’t happen. So we wait, and watch as Whitman Walker and every health system in Washington, DC innovates in LGBTQ health (because it’s required by policy).

One day policy makers will catch up again.

It’s happened before. 🙂

Celebrating a new America #lovewins 58190
Next time, in the transgender pride flag colors. Until then, we have Whitman Walker (View on Flickr.com)

Photo Friday: Why I’m going to my 5th Capital TransPride This Weekend

2017.05.18 Capital TransPride Producers, Washington, DC USA 4983
2017.05.18 Capital TransPride Producers, Washington, DC USA 4983 (View on Flickr.com)

My 2013 Answer: Because I and my fellow physicians went into medicine to support the ability of every human being to achieve their life goals. (See original blog post)

My 2017 Answer: Because life is amazing, and we can 🙂 .

For those unfamiliar with Washington, DC, this is the 14th Street, NW walk of fame in front of Whitman-Walker Health (@whitmanwalker – our most awesome planning meeting host), just a few steps down from the former First Lady’s Cycling Studio.

Full schedule for : 2017 Capital Trans Pride (@TransprideDC)

Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States is a proud sponsor for the 5th year.

First, the #LGBTQ community has never given up on a struggle, even if it took decades to achieve. And second, in the end, they always win.– Jerome Pohlen

More photos below, of the Capital TransPride producers team.