Photo Friday: Dancing into the Future, Saving Lives, with @WerkForPeace

2017.06.26 WERK for Your Health, Washington, DC USA 6978
2017.06.26 WERK for Your Health, Washington, DC USA 6978 (View on Flickr.com)

This week’s photograph was taken in Washington, DC (naturally), in front of Union Station, at the beginning of the WERK for Your Health – at Mitch McConnell’s House! – Hosted by Werk For Peace (@WerkForPeace) dance party, that ended at… Mitch McConnell’s house.

Leadership and Saving Lives

This is the third Werk for Peace event that I’ve attended and I so admire the leadership, courage, and creativity I see here, for the most pressing issues of our time. As courageous and innovative I have seen among people who have 100 times the resources, which makes sense, because innovation always happens in the out of the way places.

Note also the LGBTQ visibility and TransVisibility that this group brings to our nation’s capital. We know that the drive to be visible and live in one’s identity is one of the most powerful in human existence, so powerful that when taken away people may lose the will to live altogether. From that perspective, a dance party like this saves lives, too.

What We’re Here For

Each event I have attended begins with a ritual, a moment of silence for those who were lost to murder (Pulse Nightclub and countless other violent acts), or in this case, neglect, of the health care system, which has probably resulted in more death than many Pulse nightclub massacres.

During the moment, I reflected on what I saw while I was in training and how it moved my generation of physicians to change everything, which is what we are now doing.

Why would we do anything else? We’re here for health, for all of the people we serve, and their long, healthy, productive lives.

I was taught "you don't have to be perfect as a physician. You just have to be there for your patients." We're here for your long, healthy life. #FMRevolution #WerkForHealth #EqualityEqualsHealth #mostinclusivecity #asdcgoessogoesthenation #LGBTQ artist c
I was taught “you don’t have to be perfect as a physician. You just have to be there for your patients.” We’re here for your long, healthy life. #FMRevolution #WerkForHealth #EqualityEqualsHealth #mostinclusivecity #asdcgoessogoesthenation #LGBTQ artist c (View on Flickr.com)

Some people come to events like this for the dancing. I come for the leadership 🙂 .

Isn’t this century wonderful?

Rest of the photos below, enjoy, feel free to share.

Unapologetically Proud: Images from Washington, DC, USA

2016.06.11 LGBTQ Pride in Washington, DC USA 05671
2016.06.11 LGBTQ Pride in Washington, DC USA 05671 (View on Flickr.com)

The nation’s capital is getting ready for its annual Capital Pride (@CapitalPrideDC) celebration. It’s also getting ready for the historic Equality March (@EqualityMarch17), happening the day after the parade.

#LGBTQ Pride in Washington, DC, where the future is born every day. First time that transgender pride flag is visible, important sign of inclusion. ❤️ DC ️‍🌈#instaDC #DC #EqualityEqualsHealth capitalpridedc 63245
#LGBTQ Pride in Washington, DC, where the future is born every day. First time that transgender pride flag is visible, important sign of inclusion. ❤️ DC ️‍🌈#instaDC #DC #EqualityEqualsHealth @capitalpridedc 63245 (View on Flickr.com)

Besides that first, our city can see transgender pride flags alongside rainbow pride flags this year. This is an important recognition of the diversity of our LGBTQ communities.

This weekend will also be the painting of rainbow crosswalks, to include a transgender pride flag.

In this century, As DC goes, so goes the nation.

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 🙂 .

Enjoy the photos. More will be coming

#WhatAHeroLooks like: 27 Years of DC Black Pride

2017.05.23 DC Black Pride, Washington, DC USA 5343
2017.05.23 DC Black Pride, Washington, DC USA 5343 (View on Flickr.com)

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.

2017.05.23 DC Black Pride, Washington, DC USA 5303
2017.05.23 DC Black Pride, Washington, DC USA 5303 (View on Flickr.com)

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.

There are few photos of us below that I’ve curated. Lots of favorite, 5-star moments, true life pleasures.

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 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

A walk down the street to make today matter, National Center for Transgender Equality Gala, Washington, DC USA

2017.05.25 National Center for Transgender Equality Gala, Washington, DC USA 5451
2017.05.25 National Center for Transgender Equality Gala, Washington, DC USA 5451 (View on Flickr.com)
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.

Speaking of transformational leadership, it was a delight to see Gavin Grimm (@GavinGrimmVA) honored with the Andrew Cray award for his leadership. I still don’t quite understand why educators in Virginia are spending time working to humiliate him and other students as opposed to educating them. The combined medical and nursing professions don’t understand this either, and we shouldn’t, we’re entrusted to bring science-based healing to the world 🙂 .

In the last century, they used to say another that for another State, so went the nation. In This Century, As Washington, DC Goes, So Goes the Nation

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.

Photos below – click here to see on flickr.com

Thoughts on Working to Be an Ally in 2017, from Washington, DC

2017.05.09 LGBTQ Communities Dialogue and Capital Pride Board Meeting Washington DC USA 4560
2017.05.09 LGBTQ Communities Dialogue and Capital Pride Board Meeting Washington DC USA 4560 (View on Flickr.com)

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).

The conversation reminded me of the emotions present after the horrific massacre of 49 human beings in Orlando last year. I wrote about working to be an ally then: (Photo Friday: This doctor is here for you during LGBTQ pride, and for your long, healthy life).

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.

Best,
Jen McCoy

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.

Thanks for using my photos: Hundreds Of LGBTQ People Held A Dance Party Protest via The Huffington Post

2017.04.01 Queer Dance Party - Ivanka Trump's House - Washington, DC USA 02058
2017.04.01 Queer Dance Party – Ivanka Trump’s House – Washington, DC USA 02058 (View on Flickr.com)
We’re all here for health and Love always wins 🙂 .

“Come dance!”

Source: Hundreds Of LGBTQ People Held A Dance Party Protest Outside Ivanka Trump’s Home | The Huffington Post – via @HuffingtonPost & @JMN

2016.06.13 From DC to Orlando Vigils 06073
“A Rainbow Can Only Exist Where there is LIGHT” 2016.06.13 From DC to Orlando Vigils 06073 (View on Flickr.com)

I’m mostly putting this here for the record.

Werk for Peace (@WerkForPeace) was born out of the massacre of 49 people who were killed while being human.

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:

Washington DC Demonstration for Equality November 15 2008 15664
Washington DC Demonstration for Equality November 15 2008 15664 (View on Flickr.com)
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.

Additional 2017 photos below, see for yourself. All @CreativeCommons licensed, as usual.