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Wednesday, April 17, 2019 – 7:30 pm

How to Succeed in Being Yourself

 — Speakers Bureau Member Mike/Michelle Dennis shares her story

 

Being yourself seems like a no-brainer. But it's not so easy for transgender persons in a heterosexual, cisgender dominated world. Transgender persons and their families often worry whether living authentic lives will ever be possible.

 

"Yes it is," says Los Angeles Speaker Bureau member Mike/Michelle Dennis. Mike/Michelle wanted to be a girl as a young child. When Dennis was growing up, there was no information about gender identity and no pathway to transition.

 

How did Dennis find a way to live as Mike/Michelle? What were the obstacles? How were they overcome?  And what can we as transgender persons, parents, and allies learn from this journey?  Mike/Michelle will provide answers and encouragement.

 

Mike/Michelle Dennis has had a distinguished career as the director of finance for the city of Santa Monica and as a Professor at UCLA's Graduate School of Public Affairs. Currently, she is an activist and leader in the transgender community, building courageous and empowering connections among people of all genders and orientations. Mike/Michelle is a much requested speaker, and we are fortunate to have her as a member of our Speakers Bureau and of PFLAG Los Angeles.

 

 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 – 7:30 pm

A Medical Home for LGBTQ Youth

                   — Robin Sax introduces a new program for our at-risk youth

 

It's no surprise that the most vulnerable among us are also the most likely to be victims of physical and sexual assault. Children, the elderly, and people who identify as LGBTQ are frequent targets. The Violence Prevention Program (VIP) works to turn these victims into thriving survivors.

 

Founded by Dr. Astrid Heger, the Violence Prevention Program began as a response to child abuse--physical and sexual. Dr. Heger is a pediatrician who did forensic examinations on child victims of abuse. Early on, she realized that children needed more than a physical examination and treatment for their injuries. They needed a bath; clean clothes; a safe, child-friendly environment in which to recover; and mental health services. So she created the Children's Medical Village, a medical home for foster children and other victims of abuse. She expanded services to the elderly, after an encounter with a battered 80-year-old woman.

 

What does this have to do with the LGBTQ community? Many of the youth who came to the Village were in the foster care system, where a disproportionate number are LGBTQ. Partnering with the Alexis Arquette Family Foundation, VIP and County/USC Medical Center, Dr. Heger's team decided to extend their program to queer youth.

 

Our speaker, Robin Sax, is the program director of this new program. She is working to design specialized medical and mental health services in a caring environment where LGBTQ youth can find safety and support. The ultimate goal is to create a standard of care that will spark a national movement toward improving access and services for all LGBTQ persons.

 

Sax, an attorney and social worker, will share the work going on at VIP. She also hopes to learn from us about gaps in service for members of our community.

 

violenceinterventionprogram.org

 

 

 

Previous 2019 Guest Speakers or Events:

 

 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 – 7:30 pm

Now that they're out—finding help for your transgender child

 — Adrian Gonzalez discusses services at the Center for Trans Youth Health and Development of Children's Hospital Los Angeles

 

The handwriting is on the wall. By behavior or words, your child or family member has told you they are transgender. Now what?

 

It's a hard question to answer, and the usual parenting books don't help much. Ditto the average pediatrician.  Parents need information and education in a safe, supportive environment, and they need it NOW.

 

Health Education Associate Adrian Gonzalez will talk about an important resource. The Center for Trans Youth Health at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. The Center's mission is to providing affirming care for transgender and gender diverse children, adolescents, young adults and their families. As one of the oldest and largest trans youth programs, the Center partners with youth and their families to help individual children and families while advancing the field through innovative practice, training and research.

 

The Center is unusual in that it rejects the "gatekeeper" role, and works to help patients and their families in the least restrictive way possible. As you might expect, the Center for Trans Youth Health provides basic and gender affirming medical services, mental health services, age appropriate peer groups, and resources for parents and families.

 

But it's more than that--much more. Come and hear Adrian Gonzalez discuss this multifaceted program for transgender youth and their families.

 

Visit their website: www.chla.org/adolescent-and-young-adult-medicine

 

 

 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 – 7:30 pm

Proud to Call You My Transgender Son  —  Screening of a TEDxReno Talk by Skip Pardee

 

We are screening a video of an uplifting TEDxReno Talk about the power of love.

 

At an age when he was just preparing to sign up for Medicare, and was contemplating when to take Social Security, Skip Pardee and his wife Veronica were confronted with a situation that potentially could have ripped their close knit family apart.

 

A former military officer, this Catholic father and his wife Veronica learned that their beloved daughter Dana was a transgender man. The experience taught him three lessons that he shares in this talk.

 

This inspiring story of a devoted father, a remarkable child, and an unsinkable family is a perfect way to celebrate those we love.

 

Visit TEDx Talks

 

 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 – 7:30 pm

APLA Health — Attacking Inequality in Health Care and HIV Prevention

 

Our speakers share programs designed for underserved communities.

 

It's hard for an LGBTQ person to find a affirming and knowledgeable doctor, who can address issues specific to sexual orientation and gender identity.

 

If you are a person of color, it's exponentially more difficult. In addition to the ignorance and homo/trans phobia of many in the health care community, people of color also face racial bias, financial barriers, and the fear of outing.

 

APLA Health's mission is to change all that. Their goal is to achieve health care equity and promote well-being for the LGBTQ and other underserved communities as well as people affected by HIV.

 

It's an ambitious goal considering the diversity of Los Angeles. APLA Health has attacked that challenge head on, with programs designed to serve multiple communities. Our January speakers will describe four core programs reaching different populations.

 

Healthy Him is an umbrella that covers the youth programs of APLA Health in Los Angeles. Serving young men of color (especially those who are gay or bisexual), it delivers medical services and HIV prevention education, while also providing needed guidance in mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

 

Trans Connections offers services to transgender people of color, ages 18 to 29, incentivizing HIV & STI testing and PrEP/PEP counseling. Joint HIV testing for trans folks and their partners is also available, as well as links to resources for HIV positive persons and those seeking care beyond the scope of APLA Health.

 

The Red Circle Project serves American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian people. It is currently the only HIV prevention program in Los Angeles County that specifically targets this community. In a safe, supportive environment, participants receive free HIV testing and education along with culturally competent resources, referrals, innovative materials and programming.

 

The African American Gay Men’s Health Initiative (AAGMHI) is a program with several interventions for Black gay men and Black men who have sex with men (MSM) to help prevent new HIV infections by addressing stigma, shame, guilt, homophobia and internalized homophobia. A carefully designed program called Unique Bruthas United provides many confidential paths of entry to the clinics services.

 

If the LGBTQ community is to thrive, high quality, culturally competent health care for all is a necessity.  Come and hear how APLA Health is making it a reality.

 

Visit their website: www.aplahealth.org

 

 

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