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No matter our age, we have a vast array of needs that we must care for throughout our lives. Caring for our physical health, emotional wellness and social connections is an ongoing process that requires consistent attention.

Every year, the team at Mazzoni Center’s Open Door Counseling program puts together what we call a “Holiday Survival Guide,” filled with tips and advice on navigating a season that can often bring challenges. Despite the joyful reputation, we all know that the holidays can also be a tough time for LGBTQ folks who may have strained relations with families of origin; for trans or gender-nonconforming folks coming to terms with family who may not be fully accepting or affirming of your identity; for people who are in recovery; for those who have been through a recent loss or break-up; or for anyone who braces themselves as this season approaches. 

I made a cake Nov. 8 to celebrate what I thought would be Hillary Clinton’s election. For decoration, I melted sugar into sheets and broke it into shards to represent the glass ceiling that I hoped she would shatter. On Nov. 9, however, I found myself looking at the remains of the cake and wondering if it better represented an earlier event on that date: Kristallnacht, when Nazi-led mobs vandalized hundreds of synagogues, Jewish homes, schools, businesses, hospitals and cemeteries, leaving the streets littered in broken glass.

I have never fielded more phone calls, emails and Facebook messages than since the passage of marriage equality as I did this week. That’s because everyone in the LGBT community is concerned about the state of their rights. For those wondering how actively President-elect Donald J. Trump wants to roll back LGBT rights, this is the first in a series of columns outlining the possible ramifications of his administration on the progress we’ve made.

 

Philadelphia is fortunate to be home to many agencies that provide holistic care aiming to meet the distinct needs of people living with HIV. These providers understand that comprehensive treatment means more than simply offering medical care, but also looking at the overall circumstances of a person’s life. Imagine if this comprehensive and patient-informed care model could be used not just to treat HIV, but to prevent HIV transmission completely.

The LGBT community loves to travel in fall.

You can usually find terrific travel deals coming off the summer high season, and then there is Halloween! Of course, our community loves to dress up and party. There are iconic Halloween events close to home and around the country for Halloween fans, voyeurs and devotees.

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