Christine A. Tripp


A Web Portal For Lesbians Of Color

Christine A. Tripp
Angela D. Odom
Our Purpose

About Christine Adams Tripp, J.D.

In December 1990, Christine was diagnosed with breast cancer:  She stated, “I was going in for routine checkups at the time because I had been diagnosed with a fibrocystic condition of the breasts in 1973. The doctors were taking approximately 60cc’s of liquid from each breast every three or four months. 10 years prior, doctors wanted to remove my breasts and suggested I get implants. They were sure I would eventually be diagnosed with breast cancer. I told them then that I’d take my chances and waited.  In 1990, my doctor found an unusual cyst and performed a biopsy and it turned out to be malignant. First the doctors wanted to take one breast. After careful consideration and realizing I had the same condition in both breasts, I told them to take both. I thought this would be better than me walking around looking all lop-sided. I had the surgery (double mastectomy ) three months after diagnoses on March 28, 1991.” She waited, because she was involved in the planning of the Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum conference in Atlanta. After the conference she went in for surgery.

Post-surgery, the doctors wanted her to undergo chemotherapy treatment. She asked, them, “what are my options?” They told her “if you take chemo, you will have a 40% chance of the cancer recurring. If you do not, you have a 50% chance the cancer will come back.” She didn’t like the odds, so she opted not to take the chemo and took her chances again.  She did, however, take the drug Tamoxifin, which she took for seven years until it made her hair "fall out." At that time, she decided to stop because, as she put it, “she decided not be bald-headed.”

Her Warriors “I always had a firm belief I had warriors in my body. Whenever I felt ill, I’d call upon my warriors.” She started her healing process through the use of creative visualization and created for herself little warriors. “I’d load them up with vitamins,” she said, to fight the cancer cells. She imagined little bullets flying through the air attacking the cancer and healing her body. Using this creative visualization technique not only helped her deal with cancer, it got her back to work 3 ½ weeks after surgery. At the time, she was employed as a trainer for CalTrans and had actually told her students she was going on vacation and would return in three weeks. She gave them homework assignments and within three weeks' time, was back in the classroom. When she gets sick, she says she calls upon her troops – her warriors – to attack “whatever negative energy invades my body.”

House of Concern -- In 1983, Christine established House of Concern (“HOC”) a 501(3)(c) nonprofit organization. “I got this divine inspiration to create a place for gays and lesbians to go where they could learn that God loves them as they are and to develop their spiritual consciousness. As I was working on this, in 1984, I met the Reverend Carl Bean and he too was interested in doing the same.” She put her plans aside to help him build the dream of Unity Fellowship Church. He, a pulpit minister and she, a social justice minister, Christine was not interested in being in the pulpit. While working on this project, “I formed, under HOC, a women’s group called Makita for Black Lesbians. We had a weekly rap group and we put out a monthly newsletter.”

Christine worked tirelessly and gave much of her time to women -- some she only knew through word of mouth -- as they faced the many fears associated with a diagnosis of breast cancer.  Many times, she listened patiently on the phone as they talked about their fears, anxieties, and concerns.  She would often visit women in hospitals before and after surgery and, she was not ashamed to show off her own surgical scars.

In December 1994, six months prior to my meeting Christine Tripp, doctors told her the cancer was spreading and was already in her liver.  As she did earlier, she again rejected the chemo and radiation therapies offered and continued on "taking her chances" because again, she did not like the odds.  With this knowledge, Christine continued tirelessly giving to women. 

In the fall of 2001 and with several cc's of fluid in her lungs, Christine made her annual trips to both ULOAH's SistahFest in Southern California and Nia's Gathering in Northern California knowing these would be her last.  At one of these gatherings, she heard a woman had committed suicide upon learning she had cancer.  One young woman actually told Christine she believed Christine probably did not have breast cancer because of Christine's long survival without submitting to chemotherapy treatments.  This made Christine very angry because she believed more work was needed in educating women on breast cancer and the importance of a positive mental attitude -- the very medicine she used to survive as long as she did because, in truth, Christine had a very aggressive form of cancer.

On May 26, 2002, Christine Adams Tripp lost her battle with cancer and passed away peacefully, early Sunday morning, while listening to her favorite gospel music.  This site is dedicated to two warrior women:  Christine Adams Tripp and Ruth Waters.







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