Thanks for publishing my photo @CommonDreams in Trump “Simply Doesn’t Care”: Six Members of HIV/AIDS Advisory Panel Resign

2015 World AIDS Day - Red Ribbon on White House - Washington DC USA 00410
2015 World AIDS Day – Red Ribbon on White House – Washington DC USA 00410 (View on Flickr.com)

Thanks for publishing my photo Common Dreams (@CommonDreams). As I wrote recently (see: Photo Friday: In Washington, DC, health care does what policy makers canโ€™tโ€ฆuntil later) symbols like the ribbon, the rainbow pride flag, the transgender pride flag, are important signals of visibility, acceptance, and caring, and I’ve photographed the ribbon every year that it’s appeared on the White House portico since 2010. It’s actually interesting how the displays of these symbols track compassion and caring, even loosely.

Final straw, they say, was president’s pushing of healthcare legislation that would deal devastating blow to HIV community

Source: Trump “Simply Doesn’t Care”: Six Members of HIV/AIDS Advisory Panel Resign | Common Dreams

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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: Lafayette Square, Washington, DC USA

2017.02.06 DC People and Places 00566
2017.02.06 DC People and Places 00566 (View on Flickr.com)

Lafayette Square, the site of everything from made-up cocaine purchases to strolls on the way to the future, is this week’s photo, taken at sunset. Inauguration stands are in the process of being dismantled.

Part of the series below. Enjoy.

Photos from Washington, DC Feb 4-5, 2017 (Lady Gaga homage at White House)

2017.02.03 WERK in Solidarity- Celebrating Intersectionality & Resistance Washington, DC USA 00355
2017.02.03 WERK in Solidarity- Celebrating Intersectionality & Resistance Washington, DC USA 00355 (View on Flickr.com)

With special Lady Gaga scene in front of the White House:

2017.02.03 WERK in Solidarity- Celebrating Intersectionality & Resistance Washington, DC USA 3667

All photographs are Creative Commons (@CreativeCommons) licensed, feel free to use.

You can access the albums directly here and here.

Just Published In: POTUS Tweets Book

World AIDS Day.screenshot Feb 2, 2017, 8-53 AM.png-124
World AIDS Day.screenshot Feb 2, 2017, 8-53 AM.png-124 (View on Flickr.com)

LoveWins.screenshot Feb 2, 2017, 8-54 AM.png-123
LoveWins.screenshot Feb 2, 2017, 8-54 AM.png-123 (View on Flickr.com)
Pages from POTUS Tweets, Published February, 2017

I was recently contacted by Jennifer Linney, the publisher of the book POTUS Tweets, about using my photographs to illustrate the moments of history catalogued in the book.

President Barack Obama was the first sitting U.S. president to tweet from the @POTUS Twitter handle, and he did so from May 18, 2015 to January 20, 2017. That Twitter handle will pass from president to president as terms end and terms begin, and the National Archives and Records Administration has preserved President Obama’s tweets in electronic format only, under a new Twitter handle: @POTUS44

Old-fashioned paper-and-ink girl that I am, I’ve compiled a book of those tweets.

Because, she told me, the cost of publishing a book like this in color is prohibitive, she used black and white images.

However, there’s no such prohibition here – these are the original photos. I will forever remember the honor of being in these moments in our nation’s history. It’s what happens in Washington, DC, where the future is born every day ๐Ÿ™‚ .

World AIDS Day - Red Ribbon on the White House Portico 33929
World AIDS Day – Red Ribbon on the White House Portico 33929 (View on Flickr.com)

Celebrating a new America #lovewins 58190
Celebrating a new America #lovewins 58190 (View on Flickr.com)

(People asked me if the White House image was a photoshop creation. No, it was real -> The Stunned Silence in front of the White House in Rainbow Colors)

Photos: National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, Washington, DC USA

2016.12.01 Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, White House, Washington, DC USA 09329-2
2016.12.01 Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, White House, Washington, DC USA 09329-2 (View on Flickr.com)

The ceremony was filmed and will be broadcast this evening. One thing that you will not see on television (I think) is the fact that the first family came out very early in the show to light the tree briefly, and then they left. We were thinking, “makes sense, they’re very busy people.” But in fact, they were backstage the entire time and made several appearances throughout the filming, culminating with the President singing jingle bells with the audience. It’s an impressive commitment the leader of our country makes to the people he serves, in his duty.

Rest of the photos below, enjoy, feel free to share, all are community commons licensed (of course)