STORIES Circle Event #3: LA LGBT Center
On June 21, 2022, the Los Angeles LGBT Center partnered with FAM to co-host a STORIES Circle event in Pride Hall at the Center’s location on McCadden.
Please click here to watch a video of the event.
More than 40 participants, including clients from the Center’s Senior Services program, gathered at the space in Hollywood to participate in the STORIES Circle activity, which consisted of one hour of individual storytelling from survivors, activists, caregivers, community organizers, political leaders, and those who lost loved ones.
Funding for this event was provided in part by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
The Center spearheaded many components of the event, including choosing the guest of honor, Phill Wilson, who spoke about his experience as one of the first people in Los Angeles to be diagnosed with HIV and one of the very few who survived the early days of the crisis until effective treatment was developed. Wilson, the founder and former CEO of the Black AIDS Institute and former advisor to President Barack Obama, read a letter from his partner Chris Brownlie which he found after Chris died of AIDS-related illness.
“In many places, you will sense my presence,” Chris wrote in his letter. “For as all that has gone before me, I am in the wind, the sun and the stars. You will hear my voice in your ear, whispering of my love. And when the jacarandas bloom, I know you will see me in their flowers. I will never be apart from you. I will never leave your heart.”
The lead facilitator for the event was Abbe Land, former mayor of the City of West Hollywood. During her tenure as Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project, Land significantly grew the funding and expanded the staff and volunteer pool for the organization. Prior to Trevor, she headed the Saban Free Clinic (now the Saban Community Clinic) at a time when two new clinics were opened and the annual budget more than doubled.
The Senior Services program also honored community members with its Trailblazer Award. Rev. Russell Thornhill delivered the closing benediction for the event.
The mission of the STORIES Circle event series is to build community and foster storytelling among those affected by HIV & AIDS and expand awareness of STORIES: The AIDS Monument. To be notified of FAM’s future STORIES Circle events, please sign up to receive our quarterly newsletter and to receive event notifications.