Dr. David Lee accepting his ally award

About 100 people attended the annual awards reception for Resource Center Dallas’ transgender group — Gender Education, Advocacy & Resources — on Saturday night, honoring two trans allies and presenting a scholarship to one member. The allies honored were Dr. David Lee and Mike Salas.

Lee conducts a monthly health night for the transgender community at RCD’s Nelson-Tebedo Community Clinic. GEAR program coordinator Blair High said the event is low cost for people without insurance but also helps those not comfortable going to a regular doctor’s office.

Salas provides counseling services. High said it’s hard to find a therapist to work with the trans community. About a year ago, Salas agreed to become part of GEAR’s monthly transgender health night at Nelson Tebedo.

One of the things therapists do is provide letters saying trans people should be prescribed hormone therapy as part of their transitions.

“Doctors wanted to make sure we had letters on file,” High said.

Two other awards were given to GEAR members.

Mo Snow won the Katherine Walton Walker award for service to the organization. The award is named for one of GEAR’s founders who passed away in 2005.

Stetson Thomas won the Gear Scholarship/American Specialty Award that provides free medical testing, doctor visits and hormone replacement therapy for a year. A new scholarship is awarded each quarter.

Thomas, who moved to Dallas from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, thanked GEAR and said the support and services offered in Dallas weren’t available in his former city.

High also awarded keynote speaker Amanda Simpson an honorary GEAR membership. Simpson, the assistant to the assistant secretary of the Army, is the first transgender presidential appointee.

For more information about GEAR, email gear@rcdallas.org.