2008 LGBT Heroes
Dr. Marcy Adelman
Dr. Adelman has been a long time advocate for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and has worked to make visible the lives of LGBT seniors. She collaborates with community and mainstream organizations, such as AARP, Institute on Aging and On Lok, among others to increase awareness of LGBT aging issues and to ensure that there are LGBT sensitive senior health services for San Francisco's growing LGBT senior population.
Since the 1970s her research and writing have focused on lesbian and gay aging and senior issues, including editing two books, Long Time Passing Lives of Older Lesbians and Midlife Lesbian Relationships. Her most recent study, openhouse: Community Building and Research, is a community assessment survey of the housing and service needs of San Francisco's lesbian and gay senior population.
In 1998, Dr. Adelman founded openhouse with her late partner Jeanette Gurevitch. openhouse is a non-profit community based organization providing mixed income housing, comprehensive health and social services and programs that are welcoming to LGBT seniors in San Francisco. Dr. Adelman established the key matrix of programs and relationships in senior housing, senior services and community building which are the basis of the openhouse vision. Dr. Adelman, in addition to founding openhouse, has served as its president and is currently the chair of openhouse's Aging Research and Policy Committee.
Dr. Adelman received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the Wright Institute in Berkeley in 1980, and is a therapist in private practice in San Francisco.
Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center
As a Filipina transgender woman, Tita Aida has devoted most of her years to educating the Asian & Pacific Islander (A&PI) LGBT communities about HIV and AIDS. In particular, she has worked to make HIV education and prevention information and services accessible to the A&PI communities.
Tita" in Hawaiian means "big sister." In the Philippines, Tita means "aunt." Both meanings have a clear cultural reference for Tita Aida. Tita Aida has taken on the role of advocate, activist and familiar personality. She spends her time at the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center where she supervises three prevention programs targeting men and transgender communities. She is also a gender illusionist at the renowned restaurant, Asia SF, where she finds time to educate different communities who come to the restaurant about her own community.
Tita Aida actively participates as Vice President of the board for the San Francisco LGBT Pride Committee, to which she has been an integral asset for the past seven years. Recently, Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed her as the first transgender woman assigned to the Commission of Status of Women in San Francisco.
David Cameron Strachan
Intersex Community Volunteer Activist
David Cameron Strachan was born in Ontario, Canada in 1947 and immigrated to America with his parents as an infant. After being raised in Walnut Creek, California, he graduated from Whitworth College in Spokane, WA. He has taught school in Thailand and Egypt. In 1976, he was told that he had Klinefelter's Syndrome, XXY sex chromosomes and was immediately put on testosterone replacement injections. He went through an unexpected second puberty in his 30s with many negative consequences. Although he was advised by his parents to not to tell anyone, being an educator, he knew that talking about his condition would lead to a greater understanding and, eventually, found the (ISNA) Intersex Society of North America www.isna.org. Strachan is a former ISNA volunteer and Board member emeritus.
Strachan served as an appointed member to the San Francisco Human Rights Commission's LGBT Advisory Committee from 2003-2006 and was a member of their Intersex Task Force. This Task Force was the first governmental body in the U.S. to organize a public hearing on medical intersex treatments that involved gender assignments. After the historic hearing in May '04, the Task Force developed the Intersex Report, with findings and recommendations, which was adopted by the Human Rights Commissioners in May 2005.
Currently, Strachan serves as a volunteer as the USA Intersex Human Rights spokesperson for the Organization Intersex International, as Marriage Equality USA's Intersex Outreach Director and on the Board of Directors for Advocates for Informed Choice.
Strachan lives with his partner, Peter Tannen, in San Francisco. They celebrated their 30th Anniversary this year and hope to marry at San Francisco City Hall in September.
Also on KQED.org this week ...
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