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Meet the Staff: Meet Ping-Hsuan

This is a weekly newsletter to put a face to the staff at the DC Center. Every week we will be featuring a staff member. This week, meet Ping! Ping is our general intern. This summer Ping has been working with Shareese on End Violence Against Sex Workers and with Dee Curry on Solutions to Wellness Conference and Awards Banquet.

Ping-Hsuan Wang

July 12, Cancer
Why did you start working at The DC Center?

I started out volunteering and soon I grew to love the feeling of being part of the community by participating in the events. I wanted to do a little bit more by joining the team and helping organize some of the events, where I get to interact with awesome people in real life.

What is music anthem?

Jie Mei (姊妹) by A-Mei (1996). It’s the anthem for many gay men in Taiwan, I believe. The heartwarming message unites us.

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

The activism. Every time I look back on the progress we’ve made over time, I feel pumped to go even further. The energy coming from all of us as a community even in times of setbacks keeps me motivated. This collective endeavor to make lives better continues to inspire me.

What is your favorite spot in DC and what do you do there?

Roosevelt Island. It’s on Potomac River but it’s still part of DC. It’s a great place for a walk to escape the city, even when it’s pouring. I love taking a walk or jogging or simply sitting on a bench somewhere to enjoy the time alone.

What do you think the LGBTQ+ community needs to improve on?

Communication. We have such diversity within the community that sometimes there are misunderstandings that stands in the way of accomplishing great work. I think communication is the key to having all the different voices being heard, from which we can start to address the different needs and concerns our members have to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment. 

What is your favorite Queer movie?

Somewhere I Have Never Travelled/帶我去遠方 (2009). I didn’t know it was a Queer movie when I went to the cinema but I was bawling when I left as the sense of loss and not fitting in resonated so much.

What has been your favorite moment while working in The DC Center?

That moment when someone from Alaska visited the Center and I showed her around and provided some resources she was looking for, I felt how directly impactful the work we are doing is on people’s lives.

What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?

I love layers. If I have to pick just one item, it’d be vests. They’re versatile; casual yet professional. I also love the feeling of being hugged tightly around my waist (by a vest).

What color would you paint the White House, given the chance?

Navy blue. I just love that color.

Who do you most look up to in the queer community?

My professors at National Central University, including Fifi Ding and Hans Huang, who are as actively involved and outspoken in the classroom as they are on the street as activists.

 

The DC Center Donors: Meet David

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!

David Merrill

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?

Orlando (1992)

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.

Office Administrator Job Opening [Position Has Been Fillled]

This posting is for a part-time Office Administrator position at the DC Center for the LGBT Community. Approximately 30 hours per week.  The Office Administrator will perform administrative and office support activities for multiple colleagues, and Center visitors. Duties may include fielding telephone calls, receiving and directing visitors, volunteer management, word processing, creating spreadsheets and filing.  The Office Administrator will also work with our bookkeeper to cut checks twice a month, and do finance related data entry.   

The Office Administrator will also make updates to the DC Center website, and disseminate information through our social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter.

The ideal candidate will have experience working with LGBTQ people and people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as the all the diverse communities in the District of Columbia.

We seek an individual who is excited at the prospect of working at a small, but growing non-profit organization and is passionate about supporting our local lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. The Office Administrator is a representative of the Center and the first face many people will meet when they walk in the door. We are seeking someone who is friendly, welcoming, and caring.

Knowledge of Google Applications and Microsoft Office are important for this position, as is familiar with social media sites. Bilingual and multilingual individuals are encouraged to apply.

To apply, please send the following materials.

1) Résumé
2) Cover letter (no more than one page)
3) Writing sample (no more than 5 pages)


Please send materials to lissette@thedccenter.org. Emails should contain the subject line “Office Administrator Position.” Please indicate in your application specifically where you learned of the position. Applications will be considered until July 31st.  

Compensation This is an hourly position with a rate between  $18 and $20 per hour based on experience.   Health Insurance is a benefit for employees who work 30 hours or more per week following the first full month of employment.   For other benefit related questions, the DC Center Employee Handbook is available on request.

About the DC Center: The DC LGBT Center educates, empowers, celebrates, and connects the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities.  To fulfill our mission, we focus on four core areas: health and wellness, arts & culture, social & peer support, and advocacy and community building.  We envision communities where LGBT people feel healthy, safe, and affirmed.

The DC Center Team: Meet Wallace

This is a weekly newsletter to put a face to the staff at the DC Center. Every week we will be featuring a staff member. This week, meet Wallace! Wallace is our Arts Intern, working with Kimberly Bush to plan and market our Center Arts events. This summer they have been working tirelessly on Reel Affirmations XTRA, our monthly LGBT film screening, as well as OutWrite LGBT Book Festival.

Wallace Crehan

August 11th, Leo

Why did you start working at The DC Center?

I started working with Center Arts because it was the perfect overlap of arts and LGBTQ advocacy, the two main things I focused on in college and two of the things I care most about.

What is your music anthem?
True Trans Soul Rebel by Against Me!

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?
I think the sense of understanding that you just don’t get anywhere else – describing an experience or a feeling I’ve had related to being queer and having someone just get it.

What is your favorite spot in DC and what do you do there?
Honestly, the Natural History museum. When I was younger I was really into geology and I also just liked looking at the collection of gemstones. No matter how many times I’ve been there it’s still interesting to me.

What do you think the LGBTQ+ community needs to improve on?
Intersectionality in every direction.

What is your favorite Queer movie?
Better Than Chocolate (1999)

What has been your favorite moment while working in The DC Center?
Listening to Kimberley Bush talk about why art matters.

What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?
…my birkenstocks.

What color would you paint the White House, given the chance?
I think it should stay white as long as this is a white supremacist nation.

Who do you most look up to in the queer community?
Chelsea Manning’s twitter presence is inspiring me right now.

The DC Center Team: Meet Sam

This is a weekly newsletter to put a face to the staff at the DC Center. Every week we will be featuring a staff member. This week, meet Sam! Sam is one of our social workers here at the center and meets with her many clients all throughout the week. This summer, Sam has also been working tirelessly to plan Taking the Stage, Taking a Stand, which will provide a platform for queer voices to speak out against violence they have faced.

Sam Goodwin

September 20, Virgo
Why did you start working at The DC Center?
I began working as a Staff Social Worker at The DC Center in May 2016, with the hope of providing a safe space and tools for healing within a community that I care deeply about. I had always dreamed of working with LGBTQ individuals in my hometown of Washington, DC, and through The DC Center I was given the opportunity to create our mental health program and provide individual, group, and couples therapy to individuals who have been affected by crime, violence, sexual assault and other trauma. It has been an incredible and very rewarding experience.

What is your music anthem?

Canned Heat by Jamiroquai.

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

My favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community is the synonymous feeling of unbridled support and connectivity around being fiercely committed to being authentic to yourself and loving who you love. There is a unique beauty and deep strength in the freedom of genuine expression, and I feel those qualities radiate throughout the community.

What is your favorite spot in DC and what do you do there?

I grew up in DC (one of the few and the proud!), and love so much of the city, so this is a hard question! I really love Eastern Market and the flea market that pops up every weekend. To me, there is really nothing better than strolling down the streets of Capitol Hill, getting brunch and then picking up a painting created by a local artist while listening to street performers serenade passersby with gentle Beatles ballads. I lived briefly near Eastern Market and it holds a very special place in my heart.

What do you think the LGBTQ+ community needs to improve on?

One of the strengths of the LGBTQ+ community is our diversity, the many different groups of individuals that make up the rainbow of letters in our ever-expanding acronym. The piece that we can improve is communication and connection between groups and communities within the larger community, specifically folks that have been historically marginalized and under served. We can always do better in lifting up and underscoring the voices that do not always get a chance to speak their truth, especially within our larger community.

What is your favorite Queer movie?

It’s a tossup – I love ‘To Wong Foo: Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar’ and ‘But I’m a Cheerleader.’ Both are such quirky classics.

What has been your favorite moment while working in The DC Center?

One of the most difficult weeks in my time at The DC Center was right after the horrific shooting at Pulse in Orlando. We worked around the clock with other LGBTQ+ organizations to put together an event for the community to come together, mourn, honor the victims of the shooting, and just talk about what had happened while uplifting and featuring the voices of Muslim and Latinx LGBTQ+ individuals. We had over 700 members of the community come out for this event, and the conversations that sprung from the speakers and individuals from the community knocked me sideways. There was so much love, and sadness, and anger, and wisdom, and respect in that space. It was raw and painful, but also presented all of us with a way to come together in a really intentional and important way when so many of us were hurting deeply. I’ll never forget the way I felt that evening, and how connected I was in that moment to everyone in that space. Perhaps it wasn’t my ‘favorite’ moment while working at The DC Center, but has certainly created the deepest impact and will be a moment that I will always hold with me.

What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?

I really love vintage style a-line dresses in soft, bright colors, and anything that looks vaguely 50’s and 60’s. Thrift-store shopping is my cardio.

What color would you paint the White House, given the chance?

I would paint the white house turquoise with hot pink stars. Maybe put some Hello Kitty stickers right across the front, too.

Who do you most look up to in the queer community?

I would say my queer hero is Janet Mock. I’ve seen her speak a few times in person, and read her memoir, ‘Redefining Realness,’ and think that her wisdom comes from a radical place of self-love and self-acceptance that is so inspirational and moving. I think she’s the voice of our generation, and that her wisdom pushes all of us forward.

Statement on Gay Games 2022

The Washington DC Bid Committee is honored to be one of three finalists, along with Guadalajara (MX) and Hong Kong (CH), to be considered as the Host of Gay Games XI in 2022.

The support for this effort has been tremendous from local LGBTQ sports teams (who have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to local charities over the years) to community groups to government entities. We are confident that if chosen, Washington, DC will host a fantastic event that will bring 12,000-15,000 athletes here to compete under the banner of “Participation, Inclusion, and Personal Best,” the motto of the Federation of Gay Games.

Part of the planning for this Bid included a pledge of support from the District government of $2M to help finance the Games. These funds would only be requested if we are successful in winning the Bid and, just like any other request, would still have to move through the regular budget process of the city. It is not uncommon for cities to invest in ventures that derive such substantial benefits.

Based on previous Games, it is estimated that this event could generate between $120M – $140M for the region. We share calls that more resources, particularly those raised through this effort, be used to combat LGBTQ homelessness and other serious issues facing our community including the larger issues of racial and social injustice. This would include any funds remaining from the event as was done in Cleveland in 2014.

The Bid Committee is also committed to working with community leaders to ensure that the Host Organization that would run the Gay Games is diverse and representative of all parts of our community.

Similarly, we are committed to developing policies that ensure sponsors of the Gay Games support the LGBTQ movement and are committed to a fairer, more just world.

The Bid Committee has always understood that sports and culture present unique opportunities to transcend differences not only in our community, but in society in general. The Gay Games are a great way to unite our voices in solidarity as we work together towards a more tolerant and accepting world.

 

Brent Minor
Chair, Washington DC Gay Games XI Bid Committee

The DC Center Team: Meet Jazmin

This is a weekly newsletter to put a face to the staff at the DC Center. Every week we will be featuring a staff member. This week, meet Jazmin! Jazmin is in charge of coordinating much of the day to day activities here at the center. Without Jazmin at the office there is no way that The DC Center would be able to function as smoothly as it does.

Jazmin Sutherlin             

December 6, Sagittarius
Why did you start working at The DC Center?

I started working at The DC Center because I wanted to make a difference and be a visible example to my community and the world that we all matter and have a place in the journey to equality and justice.

What is your music anthem?

Jennifer Holiday – Woman’s Got the Power

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

My favorite part of the LGBTQ+ community is the compassion and creativity that we provide and share with each other and the world.  We have been through so much as a community but yet we love and live and support each other unconditionally.

What is your favorite spot in DC and what do you do there?

My favorite spot in DC is the Tidal Basin, with all of it’s glorious monuments. I go there to think and dream, plotting out my own legacy one step at a time.

What do you think the LGBTQ+ community needs to improve on?

We have found common ground in our identities and individual journeys  but now it is time to deal with the issues we face concerning class, race, respect and true equality. There is a major need to acknowledge and focus on the struggles and history of the transgender community of color for their sacrifices because they are responsible for many of the benefits that the LGBT community are able to take advantage of today.

What is your favorite Queer movie?

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995)

What has been your favorite moment while working in The DC Center?

My favorite moment has been watching the peer educators grow and blossom into full fledged activists.

What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?

I love all types of clothing, my must have list will always include eye lashes….Yes to me, make-up is clothing, final answer (lol)

What color would you paint the White House, given the chance?

I would paint the White House white, pink and blue for the trans flag. The colors aren’t too complicated and they mean so much to me and my community.

Who do you most look up to in the queer community?

There is no doubt in my mind, Earlene Budd is my personal hero!  Knowing her and working with and for her down through the years has shaped my personal advocacy journey so much.  Her leadership, professionalism, boldness and compassion continues to inspire me  each day. Grace comes from experience and endurance,  and I can only hope to be so graceful as I grow as an advocate day by day.

Exciting things are happening at the DC Center with Capital Bikeshare

 

Great news for our community members. The DC Center will embark on expanding its Capital Bikeshare community partners program to include community members. Previously Capital Bikeshare memberships were only given to Center Global participants due to the needs of the people Center Global served. We believe that as a center for the community, we should do everything we can for members who may need assistance. The DC Center is able to offer our clients a Capital Bikeshare annual membership for only $5. Clients with this membership will receive extended ride times, classes with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, and, of course, a free Capital Bikeshare helmet.

DDOT Director Leif A. Dormsjo said in a statement, “It is critical that those with the most need are able to travel quickly and economically to and from their appointments, jobs, training and classes. By including need-based Capital Bikeshare annual memberships, we are ensuring that all District residents can use this healthy, affordable and efficient means of travel.”
Services like the Capital Bikeshare Community Partners Program go a long way in helping our clients succeed. Capital Bikeshare is a regional bike sharing system jointly owned by the District of Columbia, Arlington County, the City of Alexandria and Montgomery County and operated by Motivate International, Inc. Launched in September 2010, the system gives members access to thousands of bikes at hundreds of stations.

 

How does this work

To be eligible you would be required to be an active member of one of the groups that meet at the center, for example : The youth working group, HIV Working Group , PFLAG, Gay District, Poly and Bi groups.

Facilitators of The DC Center groups are able to recommend participants who may need access to this service. This is fairly new and we are working on some of the details. For now facilitators of these groups can write a letter of recommendation as to why each member should be enrolled, participants will then visit the center on a Monday or Wednesday with letter in hand to enroll,along with their $5 membership fee. Memberships are not determined based on income, membership is based on your participation in these groups.

 

For questions please email lamar@thedccenter.org

OutWrite Presents A Queer One Page Play Competition


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 15, 2017

MEDIA CONTACT:
David Ring, OutWrite Co-Chair
outwritedc@gmail.com

OutWrite and Theatre Prometheus Launch A Queer One Page Play Competition

WASHINGTON, D.C. — OutWrite and Theatre Prometheus have joined forces to raise up underrepresented voices in the DC Theater scene.  Together, they are launching a Queer One-Page Play Competition to run from June 15th until July 15th.  The winning plays will be put on in conjunction with Theatre Prometheus in the fall/winter of 2017. Submission details are included at the end of this text.

The winning plays will be selected by the competition judges:

  • Tracey Erbacher, Artistic Director of Theater Prometheus
  • Lauren Patton, Associate Artistic Director of Theatre Prometheus
  • Matt Torney, Associate Artistic Director at Studio Theater
  • Kirsten Bower, Literary Director at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
  • Lonnell Butler, Programming Coordinator at the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium

Four winning plays will be selected by the judges.  An additional winning play will be selected by attendees of the 2017 OutWrite LGBT Book Festival on August 5th at the DC Center.

There is a $5 entry fee, which can be paid through OutWrite’s website here:  http://thedccenter.org/events/a-queer-one-page-play-competition-entry/

Please follow these guidelines in preparing your submission:

  1. Each submission can be only one page.  The play must fit on one side of one page of letter-size white paper, with a one half-inch margin on all four sides. The page must not be folded but may be decorated in any two-dimensional way, and the text must be legible without the use of a magnifying glass.
  2. This contest is restricted to plays written in English and/or Spanish.
  3. Multiple submissions are acceptable, but each submission requires a separate entry fee.
  4. Submissions should be saved in .pdf format.
  5. In addition to writing quality and the feasibility of a play to be put on, judges will be especially interested in three criteria:  originality, representation, and relevance to the competition’s LGBTQ focus.
  6. Judges reserve the right to reject any submission for any reason.

Entries must be submitted no earlier than June 15, 2017 and no later than July 15, 2017. The submission window closes at midnight, July 15 EST.

Send all submissions to onepageplaysubmissions@gmail.com.

Each entry must include the following:

  • A subject line including your last name and the words “One Page Play Competition Submission”
  • In the body of the email: the title of the play; your name and contact information (including street address, phone number, and email address), a brief biography, and the PayPal Transaction ID for your entry fee
  • Your submission attached in .pdf format without your name or contact information

Any updates to these guidelines will be posted here:  https://onepageplay.tumblr.com/

About OutWrite

Outwrite is a celebration of LGBTQ literature, authors, writers, and poets. This year’s festival will kick off on Friday, August 4th with an event in collaboration with Smut Slam DC — location and details to be announced soon! On Saturday, August 5th, there will be a full day of readings, panels, book sales, and exhibitors at the DC Center. To finish the weekend, a number of writing workshops will be held on Sunday, August 6th.  OutWrite 2017’s keynote speaker is Cecilia Tan.  Cecilia is an author, editor and publisher at Circlet Press, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.  Further information here:  www.outwritedc.org.  Find us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Theatre Prometheus

Founded in 2013, Theatre Prometheus is a not-for-profit organization with a goal of exploring and promoting woman-focused, diverse narratives. We believe in the power of local theater and are committed to providing opportunities to local artists, creating productions both by and for the communities we live in. Theatre Prometheus is a sponsored program of Fractured Atlas and has been awarded a residency at the Anacostia Arts Center, to take place in November and December of 2017.

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The DC Center Team: Meet Lucius

Lucius

Lucius

Each week over the summer we will be highligbt a different member of our team.  First up is Lucius Campany.  Lucius is our summer Advocacy intern and will be working with several DC Center Programs including the DC Anti-Violence Project, the Youth Working Group, and Center Global.  Lucius is also taking the lead on organizing this year’s Veterans Day Memorial Service.

Lucius Campany

April 22, Taurus

Why did you start working at The DC Center?

I wanted to get involved in issues that affect people in the DC LGBTQ+ community, specifically working with issues in advocacy and representation.

What is music anthem?

Come on Eileen – Dexys Midnight Runner or anything by Carley Rae Jepsen the queen of pop

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

The culture that has grown among queer people #MakeNelliesQueerAgain

What is your favorite spot in DC and what do you do there?

Nellie’s Sports Bar…when they take my song requests.

What do you think the LGBTQ+ community needs to improve on?

We need to have more accepting views of gender presentation and expressions.

What is your favorite Queer movie?

The Way He Looks (2014)

What has been your favorite moment while working in The DC Center?

As corny as it sounds, getting to know the staff and marching in the Pride Parade with the center.

What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?

Anything and everything that is skin tight enough to start cutting off my circulation.

What color would you paint the White House, given the chance?

Millennial Pink

Who do you most look up to in the queer community?

Perfume Genius because I feel like in both their music and life they are a strong representation of what it means to be Queer.