The first anniversary celebration of the Connie Norman Transgender Empowerment Center—believed to be the first facility of its kind nationwide serving Trans and Non-Binary individuals and communities of, by and for Trans and Non-Binary individuals—at a ceremony in Los Angeles, CA on September 9, 2022. The facility is named in honor of Connie Norman, known as the ‘AIDS Diva,’ a fearless Transgender and AIDS activist who died of the disease in 1996. The Connie Norman Trans Empowerment Center serves as a home for several Trans-led organizations including FLUX and the Unique Woman’s Coalition (UWC).
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LA, CA 9 September 2022
1. Balloons/Connie Norman Empowerment Center Banner
2. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Queen Victoria Ortega, President of FLUX, Chief Visionary Officer for CONOTEC (Close Up/Interview)
“So tonight we’re celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Connie Norman Transgender Empowerment Center, which is the first of its kind. It’s a 20,000-square-foot building here in West Hollywood that is sort of like WeWork meets a social service wrap-around; so we have a lot of trans nonprofits that are housed here, and we’re just happy to be able to celebrate one year!”
3. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Queen Victoria Ortega, President of FLUX, Chief Visionary Officer for CONOTEC (Close Up/Interview)
“So the great thing is that AHF is the primary partner. We are a part of the AHF family, right? As an affinity group, Flux is kind of the nucleus of being able to bring the trans community and trans net organizations here; but AHF has given us the vehicle to be able to have autonomy, to be able to direct our narrative, and also to be able to tell our stories.”
4. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Queen Victoria Ortega, President of FLUX, Chief Visionary Officer for CONOTEC (Close Up/Interview)
“Well I know what’s going to happen in the next year is that we’re definitely are going to open a clinic, which is really going to change the game here at the center, because it would be a clinic for, you know, accessible to the trans and nonbinary community. Also, people will be able to come in at any time and access not only the services, but the programming that’s offered here and also seek healthcare. So know that that’s coming down the future and we’re also going to be welcoming new partners, like the Transgender Chorus of Los Angeles, we have them in our memoirs, so the chorus has, you know, is a group of trans and nonbinary people that sing. Like, things that are happy and upbeat. Not everything has to be a struggle, but also celebrating our community. So, I know that those two things are things that we’re looking forward to; So the Clinic, and our new partners that are going to be part of this building.”
5. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Queen Chela Demuir, President of Unique Women’s Coalition, FLUX Vice President (Close Up/Interview)
“So tonight we are celebrating our one-year anniversary. We opened up last year in September and here we are celebrating the year that we’ve had.”
6. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Queen Chela Demuir, President of Unique Women’s Coalition, FLUX Vice President (Close Up/Interview)
“We like to say support trans led organizations, but specifically, we want to encourage people to support black trans led efforts. You know, unfortunately black trans folks, you know, our siblings, are the highest number on the list of people who are dealing with transphobia, you know, with violence that are just just because we exist. And so, it takes a lot of money to sort of get out there and change that narrative, and so if you’re out there, if you got those big pocketbooks, hit us up and we could definitely use your support. We need allies and we need accomplices in this work.”
7. Various shots of the crowd at the event
8. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Everyone sings Happy Birthday to Connie.
9. Michael Weinstein, President, AIDS Healthcare Foundation mingling
10. Various photo op. with group.
11. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Michael Weinstein, President, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (Speaking at Podium)
“Like only yesterday that we were cutting the ribbon and now we’re celebrating one year, so, thank you all very much for that! For me, just keeping the spirit of Connie Norman alive in the world is a very important thing.”
12. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Queen Chela Demuir, President of Unique Women’s Coalition, FLUX Vice President (Speaking at Podium)
“Folks, you know, our trans siblings, this is your home!” *audience applauds* “You, you are home.”
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Queen Victoria Ortega, President of FLUX, Chief Visionary Officer for CONOTEC (at podium)
“We are worth, worthy of being celebrated. We are worthy of being empowered. There was very intentional in the naming of the place to be the Connie Norman Trans Empowerment Center. If you ever got to share any space with Connie Norman, you really got to know someone who was about being empowered, about demanding the best of the best for our community; and that legacy lives on in all of us.”
14. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) West Hollywood City Council presenting certificate (at podium)
“This certificate of recognition is presented on behalf of the West Hollywood City Council to the Connie Norman Transgender Empowerment Center, on the memorable occasion of its first anniversary. The city of West Hollywood honors your commitment and dedication to providing comprehensive resources, training health and wellness services, and support for transgender and nonbinary individuals in West Hollywood and the greater Los Angeles region. We congratulate you for the work you accomplish and extend the best wishes for your future. From the entire City Council of West Hollywood.
15. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Trans Chorus of Los Angeles singing.
16. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Selena Dagnino, Regional Director of Pharmacy Strategic Response, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (Speaking at Podium)
“And just know that AHF is always striving to provide a better service to employ more trans people and to… yeah! We here, we in the building! We’re, we’re not going nowhere.”
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Queen Victoria Ortega, President of FLUX, Chief Visionary Officer for CONOTEC (Wide, with crowd)
“The Connie Norman Trans Empowerment center is the first of it’s kind, not only in our nation but in the world. Not only focusing on direct services, but for focusing on empowerment in the, in the form of financial literacy and wealth management. Focusing on nonprofit management and building our capacity so that we have sustainability for the nonprofit partner tenants that will be housed here.”
18. SOUNDBITE (English) Queen Victoria Ortega, President of FLUX, Chief Visionary Officer for CONOTEC (Close Up)
“Just think about all of the hard work that we’ve all collectively done and this would not be possible without all of you who are standing here, celebrating with us today. We are Connie Norman’s legacy. I want you all to give a round of applause for the trans and non-binary people that are here today.”
19. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Weinstein, President, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (Close Up)
“As this space becomes occupied, as more organizations take advantage of it, as the activities grow, it’s going to flower into something that will be inspiring, you know, across the globe.
20. SOUNDBITE (English) Paul Koretz, Councilmember, 5th District, City of Los Angeles - (Wide, with the crowd)
“Government entities weren’t doing a damned thing about aids. And so, the most visible protestors that I remember were Connie Norman and Michael Weinstein; and I would sometimes join them and others, but the most likely to get arrested were Michael and Connie…”
21. Cutting the ribbon (crowd cheering)
22. Various groups getting their picture taken
23. Connie Norman bears