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Baltimore City Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts addressed a group of LGBT community activists and residents at a town hall meeting on April 14. Over 30 individuals including several police officers and staff from the Mayor’s office attended the event at the Northwest District Community Action Center in Baltimore.

At the meeting Batts stated that progress is being made on crime in the city but as a result of external and internal surveys, there is a lot more work to do and that the “culture’ in the department needs to change. He acknowledged that there are some young officers who are not fully sensitive regarding LGBT issues and “more tools need to be added to the toolbox” to remedy the problem.

When Restoration Gardens, a $6 million, 43-unit housing project for homeless youth ages 18 to 24 held its official grand opening three years ago in Baltimore’s Park Heights neighborhood, it was a crowning achievement for AIRS, which is short for AIDS Interfaith Residential Services.

The project was the culmination of years of collaborative work by the Baltimore Homeless Youth Initiative, a coalition of over 15 organizations and governmental agencies as well as developers including Empire Homes of Maryland (EHM), a subsidiary of AIRS that was formed to develop a continuum of housing and services for homeless youth.

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland (GLCCB) has set up the first of what is expected to be a series of outings at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The first game will be on April 27, a 1:35 p.m. start, between the Orioles and the Kansas City Royals. All tickets sold will be for the Left Field Upper section 388 in rows 13 and 14. Only a limited number of seats are available this month but the group will be sitting together.

The Westminster / Carroll County chapter of PFLAG will present the film Trans on April 27 as part of its monthly meeting. Released in 2012, Trans is a documentary feature that takes viewers on a journey into the transgender world through personal narratives, real life experiences, emotions, and stories that have changed lives and will change lives.

Sometimes parents jump into the very closet their LGBT children just left by not revealing to others that their child is LGBT. The Columbia-Howard County chapter of PFLAG presented a panel discussion on April 8 at which parents spoke of their reactions to their LGBT child’s coming-out.

The panel members shared their experiences of their own coming-out to family and friends, discussed what was most difficult for them upon hearing the coming out stories of their child, and told of the journey they have traveled to reach full acceptance. Following the panel presentation, an open discussion of the parental coming-out process took place.

The panelists were (from left): Ken Joubert, Liz McNeilly, Diane Savadkin, Bruce Savadkin, Stewart Saphier, and Sandi Tilley.

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