After many years in the Coachella Valley, building Trick Dog Films into a successful video production company and founding Sanctuary Palm Springs, the first-ever LGBT Foster Care Transitional Home, David Rothmiller and LD Thompson charted a new course for Mexico and have just launched a follow-up endeavor, The Bespoke Press, a boutique publishing house dedicated to serving authors with a more cooperative profit-sharing model.
“I treasure our time spent in Palm Springs,” Rothmiller recently recalled. “We worked with some remarkable people in the philanthropic community. I know our video work helped to support the missions and fund-raising abilities of so many really important non-profit organizations.”
It was that work that inspired them to start their own non-profit, once they saw the need that existed for LGBT youth in foster care. LD Thompson served as Sanctuary Palm Springs’ first CEO. He remembers, “We kept saying someone should do something to help these kids. So, we just looked at each other and realized, I guess it’s us.”
The generosity of the Valley’s LGBT community helped them raise over two million dollars for a home, programs, staff and supplies. Sanctuary Palm Springs was sold last year to Oak Grove. “We were sort of shown the door at one point,” Rothmiller admits, “but, our belief in the merits of the project never waned. We are glad it continues in this new iteration, giving LGBT youth the safe haven they deserve.”
“Nothing of value ever comes easy,” Thompson adds, “and that was certainly true of our decision to become dads. We became the first gay couple licensed by the state of Mississippi as Foster Care providers.” Rothmiller chimed in, “We are still in touch with the Case workers there, They are amazed by everything we went through. We broke down some barriers.”
Many Palm Springs residents will remember “Steevee”, the wild child Rothmiller and Thompson brought into their home. She was fifteen and enrolled in Palm Springs High School. She was a trailblazer, the school’s first transgender Varsity Cheerleader and Homecoming Princess.
However, they hit a rough patch in their relationship at home. It took a couple years to get past the difficulties. “We try not to dwell on those times.” Thompson says. “But we feel absolute compassion for anyone trying to raise teen-agers.”
Rothmiller adds, “What I will say is… this lovely, wild spirit came to live with us, burning very brightly, and we got a little singed. It took some time, but together, we found the forgiveness and the love.”
They officially became a family last year. Their adopted daughter is now named, Addieson Rothmiller-Thompson. And she is a rising star. Signed with Slay Models in Los Angeles, Addie has appeared in Vogue and Harpers Bazaar. She has walked the catwalk in fashion shows and appeared as an NFT in a recent art/bitcoin mash-up. This year’s American Music Awards had Addie onstage handing the awards to the presenters. And she was requested by the Golden Globes to be their Ambassador, presenting the awards onstage. Again, setting records and being the trailblazer. She rubbed shoulders with the talent backstage, meeting her idol MJ Rodriguez (POSE) and having some laughs with presenter Jamie Lee Curtis.
“We are a magically odd family,” Rothmiller muses, “but, creative and ambitious. So, it all kind of fits.”