Meet the Staff – Meet Dr. Zelaika Hepworth Clarke

September 4,  Virgo

Dr. Clarke is a staff social worker at the Center. They provide counseling services for individuals, couples and groups. They also offer consulting and training services for the support groups held at the Center. They conduct social work assessment and check-ins for Center Global clients.

Dr. Clarke’s work is made possible with support from the Centerlink-Johnson Family Foundation Mental Health Initiative.

Why did you start working at The DC Center?

I am committed to serving communities that have historically been marginalized and face multiple oppressive forces. I specialize in human sexuality and gender diversity and am passionate about  improving the wellbeing for individuals, couples (& polycules), and families living their truth and loving despite heterosexism, homonegativitiy, patriarchy, bi-erasure, monosexism etc..

What is your  music anthem?

I enjoy listening to the radio as I like knowing that I am not the only one jamming to a specific song in the moment but sharing tunes with my community simultaneously.

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

I love the love. I love to see couples/lovers/polycules  love each other despite society telling them they should  not.

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

I am still new to the area and have much to explore. I have been enjoying the aesthetic of the architecture and monuments as well as the river. I love watching planes fly by while overlooking the Potomac river at Gravelly Point Park.

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

There are still oppressive forces at work in the community. Eliminating racism, cissexism, monosexism, biphobia, transphobia etc both internally and within the community should be prioritized.  I would like to see more work on creating inclusive spaces and events. For example,  if bisexuals/pansexuals/omnisexuals/queer folks happen to have partner(s) of a different gender they can be excluded from some queer events. Also in spaces for all “women” or “men” it tends to leave out non-binary folks, genderqueers, two-spirit, intersex and people of trans experience. Dominant narratives of LGBT+ folks seem dominated by white cisgender mononormative representations; I would love to see more diverse representations of the community including in leadership positions.

What is your favorite Queer movie?

Some good ones that come to mind are: I am Not Your Negro, Stud Life, Pariah, Naz and Maalik, Blackbird, Still Black:A Portrait of Black Transman, 195 Lewis ….

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

I love to transform people’s affect and inspire epiphanies, breakthroughs, and healing in my clients recovering from trauma committed to self-growth.

What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?

Stilettos and bowties – sometimes my femme or androgynous self likes to dress up.

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

I think it would be fun to feature different  artist’s  work be displayed (murals, mosaics, paintings etc.) on the outside every month.  

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

I admire the queer people who inhabitat nations with compulsory heterosexuality and where laws deny their right(s) to love, safety and respect. There are still many areas where it is extremely dangerous for people to exist and live their truth. I admire those who risk death simply by being authentically themselves.  

 

2 thoughts on “Meet the Staff – Meet Dr. Zelaika Hepworth Clarke

  1. I would like to have a appointment to meet up with Dr. Z. Clarke about a problem I am having with neighbors. I am a black male and I have a disability, in which they make fun of. My name is Mr. Gibbs. Give me a call at 301-808-4690 or email me, let me know when I can see you. Thank you

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