The photograph at the top of this post is the only one that wasn’t taken this year. It was taken on June 11, 2016, in Washington, DC, the day before 49 human beings were massacred in Orlando for living in their identities.
Celebrate. And, help the world learn to love better. If you’re not sure how to do that, ask someone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. We’re here to help you work to be an ally 🙂 .
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.
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 clinic”. 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
In Washington, DC, you can walk down the street to make today matter. It’s why we came here.
Why I came here, to the National Center for Transgender Equality (@TransEquality) gala is to see transformational leadership of the kind I don’t see in many other parts of society. I also came to thank all of the people who work to protect me every day and to learn what I can do to make this day matter, too. Allies need allies.
Because they never worked for their freedom, their travel experiences have no personal reference— no connection to the rest of their lives. Talk to them, and they’ll tell you they’re searching for something “meaningful.” What they’re really looking for, however, is the reason why they started traveling in the first place.
Ferriss, Timothy (2016-12-06). Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers (p. 366). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.
Most people forget that innovation (and investing in innovation) is a business of exceptions.
Ferriss, Timothy (2016-12-06). Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers (p. 360). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.
A few evenings ago evening I attended a public dialogue with the LGBTQ communities of Washington, DC and the Capital Pride Alliance (@CapitalPrideDC) organization. I was present as a member of the producer team for Capital Transpride (@TransPrideDC).
I came to Washington, DC and found out I wanted to work to be a better ally. When my generation of physicians needed them, they (allies) were few and far between….
I met Jen McCoy a few weeks ago, in an almost rushed conversation, when she approached me to ask about transgender person care. Following our conversation I received this message from her, which she’s given me permission to repost here.
Hi Dr. Eytan,
We spoke for a couple minutes in March at ACHP about health care for the transgender population and you handed me your card with your pronouns on it. That was a changing point for me and I want to let you know.
When I returned, I began attending a transgender support group as an ally, ear and liaison for my health care company. To me, it all boiled down to this: the community members are living their authentic lives and 99% of the population doesn’t live their truth for whatever reason (I think it’s fear). As a result, I’ve made friends and also feel very committed to ensuring safe, accessible, affordable health care (as does my company).
This week, I received an email from a woman in the support group who said it’s important to have cisgender allies. I’ve gained so much from attending, including the cathartic share of my friend’s suicide, who was gay and bullied. I’ve carried guilt about not saving him for years, attend therapy for more than a decade, and once I told the group–a weight was finally lifted. They cried with me. I got a group hug. It was incredible.
This morning, I was reading the Huffington Post and saw a photo gallery of a dance party outside Ivanka Trump’s place. When I saw the name of the photographer, I wondered if it was you and as you know, it is! I found you on Instagram and just had to email you to let you know that YOU made a BIG difference. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me; thank you for being approachable and accessible; thank you for being an incredible advocate in health care.
I almost didn’t attend the conference because of anxiety, but if I would’ve let fear stop me then I would’ve never ran into you; probably would’ve been too timid to attend a support group; never would’ve made the connections and friendships; and wouldn’t have you as a resource for our company. I learned this morning that I should step into the fear. Full circle, huge learning moment on my part.
Again, thank you. Please never underestimate your interactions because they create positive change. I hope you know it and embrace it.
I believe that we’ve discovered that our generation does have the power to change everything, and the world, ultimately, is learning to love better.
Everyone deserves to be safe, and to live a long, healthy life. It’s why we’re here.
At the same time, because this is a blog about what I learned yesterday, I’m reflecting on similar actions in our nation’s capital in 2008 that I was at:
What I learned is that LGBTQ communities have become healthier, more able to control its destiny, and in an intersectional, non-binary way, in 10 years.
And why wouldn’t they?
Resilient people and companies face reality with staunchness, make meaning of hardship instead of crying out in despair, and improvise solutions from thin air. Others do not. This is the nature of resilience, and we will never completely understand it. – Coutu DL. How resilience works. Harv. Bus. Rev. 2002;80(5):46.