August 18, 2006
Volume 34
Issue 33
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Tuesday, Oct 27, 2020



Back-to-school event to raise funds for the Safe Schools Coalition
Back-to-school event to raise funds for the Safe Schools Coalition
"Will anyone ever love me?" (for who I am) laments Drew (Brooke) Turpen, a Transgendered youth from the conservative town of Longview, Washington. How many of us have felt the pain of that question in our own hearts? Brooke has taken her questions and suffering, putting them to music and songs that touch the deepest anguish, honesty and hope of the human soul.

On Thursday night, August 31st, you will have the unique opportunity to join with members of the GBLT and straight community to support our GBLT youth and to meet the talented Brooklyn. Julia's fabulous Broadway restaurant is graciously hosting this event and donating 10% of the dinner proceeds to the Coalition. Seating is limited so if you don't want to miss this very special event reserve your table at Julia's by calling (206) 860-1818 and tell them that you are dining with them to support the Safe Schools Coalition. Whether you come to enjoy one of Julia's delectable entrees, a luscious dessert and coffee or simply for the 9:00 show - DO COME!

Brooke has lived most of her life in paralyzing fear. From kindergarten on, Drew (her name at that time) didn't fit the mold. S/he shunned boys' sports to play with the girls and became the object of cruel teasing. Drew says, "I came home every day crying because people teased me. I've been called a fag since kindergarten. I didn't even know what that was." S/he couldn't go through a day of school without calling his mother for reassurance and would sometimes end up in the emergency room, where doctors and medications helped calm the panic attacks.

Drew and his family moved to Longview the year that s/he entered the fourth grade. His anxiety went up and his mom remembers him saying, "I don't want to live anymore. I can't do this anymore." Depression hit and thoughts of suicide became Drew's companion. With all the pain in Drew's life s/he was given a great blessing -parents, Cindy and Lonny, both who love and support their child for who s/he is.

By the time Drew entered the fifth grade music was on his mind and s/he told her parents that the only thing s/he wanted for Christmas was a piano. S/he didn't want structured lessons, but to use the keyboard to express the feelings inside. S/he taught herself to play, so instead of turning to drugs or suicide, which all too often plague GBLT youth, Drew composed music and wrote songs that expressed what was in his heart. S/he wrote about the bullies at school, a song in memory of a great-grandmother, a lullaby for an unborn niece, angry songs and songs with hope. Drew says, "Most of my songs are life lessons. They're kind of like my remedies, my candlelight. They're my comfort zone. They range from relief, sadness, anger and resiliency. I feel power, like it's my light to the tunnel."

If anxiety, depression and suicide weren't enough, Drew had to overcome dehabilitating phobias, one of which was the fear of flying, so that she could perform at the USA World Showcase competition in Las Vegas. Recently returned from her Vegas trip, Brooklyn (Brooke's stage name, chosen for the Brooklyn Bridge and a symbol of all the bridges s/he has had to cross in life) has generously agreed to perform for the Safe Schools Coalition to raise money to support GBLT youth. Drew will begin high school this September as Brooke. Yes, you read that right, begin high school. This extremely talented and sensitive youth will celebrate her fifteenth birthday just days after her Seattle debut performance at Julia's!

Opening for Brooklyn is concert pianist Kevin Liu. In Kevin's own words: "I am a technical project manager by day working for an exciting Silicon Valley company, and a passionate (and often exhausted) musician by night. I like to work on pieces that are inspired by different life events and believe that sharing classical music is a very intimate and personal experience." You are sure to delight in Kevin's musical arrangements.

If you are looking for a night of magic, inspiration and fun, come and join us on Thursday night August 31st at Julia's on Broadway! You are certain to walk away with good feelings, PRIDE in our community and the satisfaction of knowing that you have contributed to making the world a better and safer place for GBLT youth. Reserve your show tickets now by calling or emailing Linda Baker 425-271-1251 or (put "show" in subject line). Show tickets are $10 adult and $5 for youth.

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