Affirmations Lesbian Gay Community Center (Ferndale, MI).

The Affirmations Lesbian and Gay Community Center in Ferndale, Michigan is a highly inclusive organization, designed to promote tolerance and provide services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans-gender individuals. It defines its central original mission statement as "gay is good, you are not alone.”Although this mission statement seems to target gay youths, its philosophy has expanded to include bisexual and trans-gender individuals, in addition to lesbians and gay men and it tries to create a community atmosphere of safety and acceptance for all people, regardless of age, in the Michigan area."Our focus is on helping lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender individuals find and develop community where we value and respect ourselves and others" ("About us," Affirmations, 2008)
Affirmations is a social organization as well as an awareness-raising and political advocacy organization. One of its most recent efforts involved a trans-gender remembrance weekend, designed to raise awareness about the violence done to transgendered people. The weekend involved a screening of "Boys Don't Cry," the Academy-Award winning film that told the story of Tina Brandon, a trans-gender youth who was murdered. The film was also combined with a potluck and a candlelight vigil, highlighting the combination of fun and consciousness-raising awareness that is at the heart of the spirit of Affirmations. There was also a re-Christening ceremony held for transgendered people who have taken new names of the opposite sex than those names given to them by their families ("Civic," Affirmations, 2008). This affirms the new family and community that is created through Affirmations.
This ceremony is particularly interesting and reflective of the offerings of Affirmations, because it stresses the communal nature of Affirmations and its desire to help its members create a new identity in the spirit of gay being …

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