Talia Bettcher and Susan Forrest

"Their home has been a gathering place for women on holidays who are estranged from their families because they are Lesbian and for Transgender persons. Their home has been a safehouse for numerous women in danger. Many newly homeless young Lesbians and transgender people have been housed by them, as have many women who have been gay or transgender bashed and beaten." - Nominator The Honorable Steven Lamb, The Altadena Community Corporation

Susan Forrest and Talia Bettcher

2014 LGBT Pride Month Local Heroes nominee

Dr. Talia Bettcher

Title Professor, Department of Philosophy
Organization/Business Cal State University, Los Angeles

Susan Forrest

Title HIV Resource Specialist, Community Assessment Service Center (CASC)
Organization/Business Behavioral Health Services, Los Angeles, CA

  • Jointly nominated for their actions as a couple opening their home to people transitioning, seeking refuge, and needing counselling as well as their volunteer work for community organizations that educate the general public on both Lesbian and Transgender issues/acceptance.
  • Bettcher has published articles on transphobia and transphobic violence and she teaches courses on the philosophy of gender, including Introduction to Transgender Studies and Trans/Feminism at CSULA. She is the past Director of the Center for Study of Genders and Sexualities at CSULA and is currently Department Chair. She is also a community-based performance artist.
  • Bettcher received the Icon Award for her service in the LA trans community from Trans-Unity in 2008; has been actively involved in the Los Angeles transgender community and grass roots organizing for many years including as an organizer and presenter for TransUnity ; a member of the Transgender Advisory Committee at Children's Hospital; and part of the Transgender Working Group to Develop Policy for LAPD Interaction with Transgender Individuals.
  • Forrest has sat on the Coping with Hope (HIV, Health Care Reform,Mental Health) organizing committee since 2004; has been the Chair of the HIV Drug & Alcohol Task Force since 2012; & has been an appointee to the Los Angeles Commission on HIV since 2013.
  • Among her awards, Forrest has received Certificates of Recognition from LA Family AIDS network; OAPP (Office of AIDS Programs & Policy); California State Senate for work on behalf of the Los Angeles LGBT community in recovery and, again, from CA State Senate for work on behalf of the Los Angeles transgender community; Pacific Aids Education and Training Center and has received the Angels of Change Community Partner Award from Children's Hospital, Los Angeles.
  • In addition to their work in numerous Gay and Transgender groups, Bettcher and Forrest are being nominated for their volunteer work in the general Altadena Community at large.


Michael Kearns


Jason Stuart