This week we are switching things up a bit. Rather than our usual “Meet the Staff” feature, we will be focusing on one of our donors this week. David Merrill has been a long time supporter of The DC Center, and will be reaching a milestone with us very soon!
November 18, Scorpio
What inspired you to become involved with The DC Center?
I’ve always believed in supporting our community, and I believe in supporting local organizations, so of course The DC Center has had my support for many years.
What is your music anthem?
I don’t have an anthem, but I do always have a song playing in my head, pretty much 24 hours a day. I wake up and it’s already playing.
What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?
The leather community, where I found a group of wonderful people who welcomed me just as I am.
What is your favorite spot in DC and what do you do there?
I love the Smithsonian museums, which are just one of the things that make The District a great place to live. My parents let me go by myself since I was eight years old, and to this day I visit on a regular basis. I especially enjoy The National Portrait Gallery and The Museum of American Art. I plan to visit The Museum of African American History and Culture this very afternoon as I write this.
What do you think the LGBTQ+ community needs to improve on?
I’ve seen an alarming trend in recent years toward heteronormativity and cleaning up the image of queer people by sanitizing our sexuality. I’m proud to be queer, I have a poly family, and I have no desire to copy the lifestyles of straight people.
What is your favorite LGBTQ+ movie?
What’s a memorable event that you supported at The DC Center?
My favorite events at the center are all of the little events that happen all week, every week that make our community work. From “Rainbow Family Story Time” for queer families, to the “Poly Discussion Group” for people living in alternative family structures. Whatever your lifestyle or interests, there is something for you at the center.
How has the LGBTQ+ community changed in recent years?
We are mainstreaming. Our gay bars are losing customers as we migrate to straight bars and integrate. This is both a good thing, and a bad thing. We are victims of our own success, but I am not one who fears the end of gay culture. It will change, but we are too strong to lose our culture so easily
What color would you paint The White House, given the chance?
White. I respect tradition.
Who in the LGBTQ+ community has been an inspiration to you?
Oh there are so many, but if I had to pick one it would be Cleve Jones.