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Don’t give up! Remain fierce on Transgender Day of Remembrance



Wednesday, November 20, 2019, marks the 20th observance for International Transgender Day of Remembrance.  This somber ceremony was first organized and founded by transgender community member, Gwendolyn Ann Smith, in 1999 in memory of the November 1998 murder of Rita Hester, a black transwoman living in Alston, MA.  Sadly, in 2019, people are still killing black transwomen and trans/non-binary people of color.  The United States has already added 22 known murders of transgender & non-binary community members, of which 21 are our black trans/non-binary siblings.

Worldwide, there has been 331 reported killings of transgender and gender diverse people over the previous 12 months.  The majority of these murders are occurring in Brazil and Mexico with a combined total approaching 200 deaths, while the United States trails in as a third place country with 22 known murders.  What???  Make no mistake, unlike the celebratory pageants in our community, this third place is a literal dead end for all of our fallen siblings.

(TDOR banner courtesy LA City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell’s office)

Instead of their vibrant hearts and souls shining light in the world, it is our remaining courageous community  members who thrust brightly lit candles toward the sky at an annual vigil creating one torch.  This human stand for liberty is a metaphor clearly spotlighting  that there is an epidemic in America: black transwomen are killed at a disproportionate rate.

For the past 20 years, specifically transgender women of color, are murdered. The epidemic goes deeper than the gender we identify, and speaks directly to our nation still learning what it means to be a diverse and inclusive country of people.  The days of waiting for change to come to the door are moving behind us, and the act of physically visiting with our neighbor is re-emerging.  While the speed and ease of electronic communication has left an indelible mark on society, the human race is still a social being.

As a community, we are stepping forth into the light shined by the collective human torch when we become visible trans and non-binary people interacting with people who do not know our community.

Our vulnerability and creativity on issues help expand how unmet needs can be met.  On this journey, one repeatedly hears “Don’t give up.”

That message isn’t just for the trans and non-binary individual.  The message for humanity is also:  “Don’t give up on each other.”  We may not have walked a 1,000 miles in each other’s shoes, however, we are all able to work on respectfully listening more deeply to one another’s stories of plight, rise in courage, and intersect at our common human needs.  What tops your list?

For me it is love and safety.

I am thankful the caring people in my sphere who listen, help advocate with me, and are curious.

Who is in your sphere?  Do they listen, help advocate, and are respectfully curious about you?

Who has your back and stands with you even when it rains?  Is it a person, is it a group, is it an organization?  Then there are rules, red-tape, disagreements, wieldy legislative processes, and let us not forget the ones who intend harm.  How do we work to have our needs met when that’s in the way?

One of my teachers shared with me that the only job that will be left when the world reaches peace will be listening followed by teaching and serving.  Think about it.  How have I learned to overcome obstacles?  I reached out to safe people invested in listening, teaching, and serving or they miraculously came to me.  Some taught me how to be better self-advocate, some helped me pick out my first suit, some taught me how to see objections in a new way, while others simply offered me a ride home, some nosh, and a place to lay my head.  I listen better because I keep company with good listeners and then we create action together or sometimes we intersect as we act on what is meaningful action to achieve an outcome.

Our freedom from violence, and into a harbor of safety must not be compromised nationally and globally.  On this November 20th, let us join together in a commitment to press forward through being actively engaged in good works that create meaningful and lasting transformation.  From engaging civically (i.e. voting, advocating, speaking)  to helping another trans/non-binary community member to be safe, healthy, housed, fed, employed, and cared for – you may never know, that in doing so, you may have saved life!

The City of West Hollywood is observing Transgender Day of Remembrance on Wednesday, November 20, 2019, 6 PM at the Center for Early Education | 563 N. Alfred Street, West Hollywood *Off-site validated parking at West Hollywood Library | 625 N. San Vicente, West Hollywood

**Public transportation and ride share services are recommended.

Photo of James Wen, Member of West Hollywood and Los Angeles Transgender Advisor Board, courtesy Wen.






























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Community Services - PSA

LA County Parks after Dark program celebrates 50th anniversary of Title IX

Parks & Rec offers sport opportunities for girls in flag football, soccer, softball, basketball, lacrosse, cheerleading and volleyball



Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – On Thursday, June 23, 2022, 34 participating Parks After Dark (PAD) parks will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Title IX with a highly anticipated girls’ sports clinic and showcase starting at 6:00 p.m.

More than 1,800 girls, ages 5 to 18 will have the opportunity to learn skills and techniques from various sports such as soccer, lacrosse, softball, basketball and cheerleading. Sports will vary at each park.

In 1972, Title IX, the civil rights legislation that prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or any other college sports was passed into law to provide equal opportunity, scholarships and participation for girls in sports. In 2022, the department of Parks and Recreation is striving to offer girls sports County-wide to support the vision of Title IX and aiming for gender equity across all sports programs.

“The department’s goal is to provide a safe space dedicated for girls to play, increase opportunities for women coaches and administrators and to provide a positive experience while participating in sports,” says Regina Bradley, LA County Parks and Recreation Sports Manager.

The department currently offers sport opportunities for girls in flag football, soccer, softball, basketball, lacrosse, cheerleading and volleyball.

Parks After Dark is an award-winning program designed to bring communities together by filling park spaces with family-centered activities that transform local parks into summer safe havens. This summer’s program lineup will feature an array of girls’ sports programs to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Title IX, which paved the way to gender equity for girl’s participation in sports.

The L.A. County Parks after Dark program is possible thanks to the generosity of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors – First District Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, Second District Supervisor and Board Chair Holly J. Mitchell, Third District Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Fourth District Supervisor Janice Hahn and Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger – L.A. County Chief Executive Office, L.A. County Department of Public Social Services, L.A. County Probation Department and many community-based organizations throughout L.A. County.

“Now more than ever, L.A. County families need park spaces to heal from the trauma brought on by COVID-19 combined with the financial stress many people are facing,” L.A. County Parks Executive Director Norma Edith García-González said. “Parks after Dark eliminates barriers to recreational opportunities and introduces families to no cost enriching experiences that promote mental and physical health through fun and games.”

Parks After Dark, launched in 2010, has proven to be a successful prevention and intervention program that provides multiple benefits to vulnerable communities,decreasing violence and crime, and increasing social cohesion and community well-being. In 2018, Parks After Dark was recognized by the National Recreation and Park Association, which presented L.A. County Parks and Recreation with its Best in Innovation award.

For more information on Parks After Dark, visit

All PAD parks will host programs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 6:00-10:00PM between June 16th and August 6th:

Jackie Robinson Park – 8773 E. Avenue R, Littlerock

Stephen Sorenson Park – 16801 E. Avenue P, Lake Los Angeles

George Lane Park – 5520 W. Ave L-8, Quartz Hill

Val Verde Community Regional Park – 30300 W. Arlington Rd., Val Verde

El Cariso Community Regional Park – 13100 Hubbard St., Sylmar

Loma Alta Park – 3330 N. Lincoln Ave., Altadena

Pamela County Park – 2236 Goodall Ave., Duarte

Valleydale Park – 5525 N. Lark Ellen Ave., Azusa

Charter Oak Park – 20261 E. Covina Blvd., Covina

San Angelo Park – 245 S. San Angelo Ave., La Puente

Bassett Park – 510 N. Vineland Ave., La Puente

Allen J. Martin Park – 14830 E. Giordano St., La Puente

Rimgrove Park – 747 N. Rimgrove Dr., La Puente

William Steinmetz Park – 1545 S, Stimson Ave., Hacienda Heights

Amigo Park – 5700 S. Juarez Ave., Whittier

Sorenson Park – 11419 Rose Hedge Dr., Whittier

Adventure Park – 10130 S. Gunn Ave., Whittier

Amelia Mayberry Park – 13201 E. Meyer Rd., Whittier

City Terrace Park – 1126 N. Hazard Ave., East Los Angeles

Eugene A. Obregon Park – 4021 E. First St., Los Angeles

Belvedere Community Regional Park – 4914 E. Cesar Chavez Ave., Los Angeles

Ruben Salazar Park – 3864 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles

Saybrook Park – 6250 E. Northside Dr., East Los Angeles

East Rancho Dominguez Park – 15116 S. Atlantic Ave., Compton

Mona Park – 2291 E. 121st St., Compton

Athens Park – 12603 S. Broadway, Los Angeles

Mary M. Bethune Park – 1244 E. 61st St., Los Angeles

Earvin “Magic” Johnson Park – 905 E. El Segundo Blvd, Los Angeles

Helen Keller Park – 12521 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles

Jesse Owens Community Regional Park – 9651 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles

Franklin D. Roosevelt Park – 7600 Graham Ave., Los Angeles

Ted Watkins Memorial Park – 1335 E. 103rd St., Los Angeles

Col. Leon H. Washington Park – 8908 S. Maie Ave., Los Angeles

George Washington Carver Park – 1400 E. 118th St., Los Angeles

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Community Services - PSA

LA County Parks & Rec invites folks to Juneteenth at Jackie Robinson Park

FREE Performances, Guest Speaker Series, Games, Art Displays, Car Exhibits and So Much More this Saturday!



Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – It’s Park Time L.A. County! LA County Parks and Recreation invites you to our Juneteenth celebration, on Saturday, June 18th from 10am to 10pm at Jackie Robinson Park (8773 E Avenue R Sun Village).

Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States; specifically, when former slaves were finally freed in Galveston, Texas, two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Though long celebrated within the Black community, Juneteenth was formally made a federal holiday on June 17th, 2021.

The L.A. County Juneteenth Celebrations are possible thanks to the generosity of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors – First District Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, Second District Supervisor and Board Chair Holly J. Mitchell, Third District Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, and Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger – and many community-based organizations throughout L.A. County.

Juneteenth at Jackie Robinson is hosted in partnership with local community organizations. This year’s activities include musical performances, speaker’s series, wellness activities, resource fairs, artist experiences, hands-on children’s activities, video game trucks and so much more.

For more information on Juneteenth celebrations, contact Delmy Villegas-Delgado, Recreation Manager at (626) 369-5141 or at [email protected]

Juneteenth at Jackie Robison is a FREE events with no registration required. Food available onsite at cost by local businesses and vendors.

Please join us at the following parks and celebrate Juneteenth with us this Saturday:

Jackie Robinson Park – 8773 E Avenue R Sun Village from 10 am to 10 pm

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Community Services - PSA

Los Angeles County Parks & Recreation launches summer aquatics

Summer aquatics registration opens up Saturday, June 18 and programs start Monday, June 20, 2022- visit



Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – It’s Park Time L.A.! Beat the heat, get fit or learn to swim at L.A. County seasonal and year-round pools. There’s something for everyone including lap swim, novice teams, aqua aerobics too! Free Every Body Swims and other summer aquatics programs run from June 20 to August 20.

Register at starting June 18. 

L.A. County’s five year-round pools operate Monday through Saturday from 6 am to 7 pm. The County’s twenty-three seasonal pools operate on two rotating schedules from 11 am to 7 pm. Pools on schedule 1 operate Monday, Wednesday and Friday and pools on schedule 2 operate Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

For more information on swim programs, visit

L.A. County’s Summer Aquatics programs are possible thanks to the generous support of the L.A. County Board of Supervisor First District Supervisor Hilda L. Solis for her support in funding programming at Belvedere Pool, as well as the American Red Cross and LA84 Foundation for supporting scholarships. Visit your local pool to learn about more information on scholarships. 

Looking for more places to cool off in the evening? Attend evening swim at one of our 18 Parks After Dark (PAD) locations from 6 to 7:30 pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Find a PAD swim site by visiting   

L.A. County also has 18 splash pads to cool off in that operate from 10 am to 7 pm Monday through Sunday through September 30.

To find a splash pad near you, visit

For more information on L.A. County’s aquatics programs, contact:

 [email protected]

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