Well, for these and hundreds of other such issues, solutions could be found today at the booths that lined the Pennsylvania Avenue Street Festival, one of the largest events in this year's Capital Pride week-long celebration..
While many of the thousands of visitors at the festival were here for a good time and to celebrate with fellow members of the DC-area's large and growing gay community, others used the opportunity to find help for questions and issues.
|Adam Boenning at his bowling booth|
"We have 10 leagues that bowl 7 nights a week in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area," Boenning explained. He said there are about 1,400 bowlers currently in the association leagues. And, in the area of athletics at the Street Festival, Boenning wasn't the only one talking same-sex sports. You could visit the booths of DC Strokes (rowers; coxswains needed), the Washington Renegades (rugby) and several others.
Our would-be China traveler could seek out Linda Kemp, the DC regional sales consultant for Olivia, a San Francisco-based travel company for lesbian women. Kemp said Olivia has provided travel for more than 200,000 women all over the world.
"There's a common denominator for our travelers - they feel free to be themselves," Kemp said.
Kemp said that while travel was the main concern of the firm, there was another goal - spreading the idea that lesbianism is not something to be feared. "We're always out. People are afraid of what they don't know and they get to know us," she said. Kemp laughed as she related a story of one of the travels to Turkey. The group encountered a community that had been particularly hit hard by economic devastation. There, poor local women lined up with home-made rugs, imploring the visitors to buy them. Which they did. The next day the local headlines in Turkish read: Lesbians Help the Economy of Turkey.
"We work with people who are born or assigned to be female at birth and feel that it is an incomplete or inaccurate description of who they are," Strong said. "We get together for social stuff, but we deal with problems, too."
One of the biggest problems facing transmasculines is health care. Providers don't always recognize their condition and refuse to pay for operations, testosterone, and other needed medical help.
Strong, who was born a woman and now is a male and legally married to a woman, said he knows all too well the problems people like himself face on a daily basis. When his wife suggested that they relocate to another area, Strong convinced her to change her mind. "DC is one of the leaders in the country when it comes to human rights," he said. "I told her we're not leaving DC for somewhere where I'll lose my rights."
Tales, Tidbits, and Tips
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