As we close out the year and enter a New Year of anticipation, some events in November stood out.
The first one was the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, which took place the evening of Nov. 20 at the J.C. Nichols Fountain on the Plaza in Kansas City. About 80 people attended (see photos on page 18). Sandra Meade, the coordinator of the event, issued this statement:
“I am extremely grateful for the great turnout that we had for TDOR again this year. The attendees were a diverse group of people from all walks of life: Trans people, cis-gender allies, straight, gay, young, and elderly. They all came together on a chilly evening to remember and honor the 238 victims of extreme anti-transgender violence this year. It was also important that we remember our local trans sister, Dee Dee, who was brutally taken from us nearly two years ago on Christmas Eve 2011. I think the candlelight vigil went well, but I wish there was no need for TDOR. Unfortunately, we live in a time when intolerance is a mainstay of conservatives worldwide, with civic and religious leaders leading the chorus of hate speech that gives justification to some for killing trans people. I look forward to a time when we are all treated as human beings with value to offer society, rather than objects for ridicule and unspeakable violence, but that time surely won’t come soon enough.”
The local commemorations for World AIDS Day also stood out last month. The AIDS Service Foundation hosted its annual World AIDS Day luncheon on Nov. 25 and a reception on Dec. 1 (see photos on page 18). The theme for both events this year was “Think Globally, Act Locally.” At the luncheon, we were reminded by speakers that the fight in education and services for those living with HIV/AIDS is not over, but that it’s looking better in Kansas City. They cited the statistic that more than one million people in the United States are living with HIV/AIDS and that in the Kansas City area alone, over 5,700 people struggle with HIV/AIDS. Seven hundred of those are young people ages 13-24.
But through the great work of area organizations such as the AIDS Services Foundation, the Kansas City Health Department, Good Samaritan Project, SAVE Inc., KC Care Clinic, Hope Care Center and others, our numbers look much better than the national averages.
KC Care Clinic reports this comparison of Kansas City to the United States in the following areas for HIV-diagnosed individuals:
US KC TGA*
Linked to HIV care: 77% 98.40%
Retained in HIV care: 51% 87%
Viral suppression: 35% 76%
*Transitional Grant Area for HIV care
These statistics were based on 2011 data, and 2012 looks even stronger in the Kansas City area. If you haven’t become involved with the events and fundraising that our AIDS Service Foundation and AIDS Walk do every year, 2014 could be your year to do so. Visit www.aidswalkkansascity.org for information on how you can participate in this great work.
For the holidays
Once again our area gay bars and organizations have lots of activities planned for the holidays. We’ve listed some of these events in CampBiz on page 5. Also, watch for the holiday fundraising for the less fortunate that the gay bars in town will be doing. Make sure you friend them on their Facebook pages to learn about their events. A complete listing of area bars can be found on page 23.
Andy and Alan of Wonderland, 307-309 Westport Rd., are collecting non-perishable goods for distribution to our LGBT youth group Passages. Spirit of Hope MCC at 3801 Wyandotte is also collecting non-perishable food for those in need.
From all of us at Camp, best wishes to our readers and advertisers for a happy holiday and exciting New Year.