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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 196 (Friday, December 1, 2017)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1642]
From the Congressional Record Online through GPO

            HONORING BISHOP S.F. MAKALANI-MAHEE (1972-2017)


                     HON. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ

                               of florida

                    in the house of representatives

                        Friday, December 1, 2017

Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Mr. Speaker, today it is my privilege to honor the life of Bishop S.F. Makalani-MaHee, a minister and transgender activist from Oakland Park, Florida, who was the youngest pastor ever commissioned by the Unity Fellowship Church.

S.F. was born on July 5, 1972 to Barbara MaHee and the late Adisa Makalani. The family's Sundays were spent in church, where S.F. enjoyed serenading the congregation with gospel renditions of “Jesus Can Work It Out.” S.F. found his love of Broadway at the Julia Richman High School in New York, where producer Cheryl Weisenfeld cast him in a production of Grease.

After moving to Atlanta with family, S.F. began teaching theater courses, as well as lecturing for Georgia State University, Soapstone Center for the Performing Arts, and Spelman and Morehouse Colleges. He also founded the Heart Theater, a youth theater troupe, where he wrote and directed Journeys, an educational play focused on HIV/AIDS.

Bishop S.F. Makalani-MaHee came to South Florida in 1997 where he found his community, his congregation and his purpose. S.F. began working at the PRIDE Center in Wilton Manors, as well as many other non-profits. He founded Black Gay Pride South Florida and co-founded BLACKOUT, South Florida's first African-American LGBTQ Film Festival. S.F. was the first transgender person to be appointed to the Broward County Human Rights Board. He was also an active member of the Dolphin Democrats, the longest continually-operating LGBTQ advocacy group in the South.

Bishop S.F. Makalani-MaHee spent his life loving others unconditionally. Before his untimely passing, S.F. served as the Coordinator of the Transgender Program at the Broward County Department of Health, where he advocated for fellow members of South Florida's transgender community. S.F. passed away on November 20, 2017, this year's Transgender Day of Remembrance. He is survived by his mother Barbara; his siblings Darcy, Jeffrey, Justin, and Marsha; and several nephews. He is also survived by a community of friends across South Florida, Atlanta, and New York who he considered his family.

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