On being thankful

As we head into the holiday season, we might pause for a moment to reflect on the fact that for those among us who do not have the love and support of families, this time of year is full of reminders of just that.

With an estimated 40 percent of young LGBTQ people who are homeless, this reality makes the connections and institutions the community builds even more vital.

And so it is with sadness that we watch Mazzoni Center again caught up in internal upheaval. Agency leaders say that in terms of delivering services, expectations are being met and even surpassed. This is good news, but what is not is the instability. The leading LGBT-focused healthcare clinic in the region cannot afford anything but a brand name associated with professionalism and quality.

To that end, PGN recently ran a story about Mazzoni Center’s new OURSpace initiative, an innovative and exciting program by trans people for the most vulnerable in the community.

Founder Tatyana Woodard oversaw research to determine the greatest needs of trans women, and went to Old York Road to speak directly to trans sex workers. Based on that research, she has unveiled a safe space for people to do anything from create vision boards with their dreams to securing access to legal services. Philly AIDS Thrift is donating clothing and Mazzoni Center is providing space and funding. This is not the Mazzoni Center story that captured readers this week, but it should have.

As we close Trans Awareness Week and hurtle into holiday overdrive, we are thankful for the people who are not on social media rolling their eyes, passing judgments and speaking in hashtags, but out in the real world doing real work that transforms lives and lifts up this community every day.