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 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: Meet Matt

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 Matt! Matt is our social Development Intern here at the center. Primarily Matt works with fundraising for The DC Center but during his time here he has been concentrating on raising money for the OutWrite book festival and Center Arts.

Matt McFaul

June 12, Gemini
Why did you start working at The DC Center?
While interning at the HRC I discovered I had a passion for LGBTQ issues and wanted to continue working for the community. When I heard about The DC Center I jumped at the opportunity to work with them and support the local community that I’ve been so lucky to be apart of for the last couple of years.

What is your music anthem?

Gypsy by Fleetwood Mac. Stevie Nicks is a goddess!

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

I really love how diverse the community is. Coming from a boarding school where I was the only openly gay student, the DC queer community has allowed me to meet so many strong and unique individuals that I have been able to learn from.

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

The back of the Lincoln Memorial facing Arlington Memorial Bridge. I could spend all night watching the cars leave the city and watching JFK’s eternal flame. For anyone interested it’s a great place to cry and not be seen as well make out with someone.

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

We need to have a greater acceptance of body types.

What is your favorite Queer movie?

Blue is the Warmest Color. I love how it accurately depicts the failing of what seems like a perfect relationship.

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

I definitely would say walking in the Pride Parade for the first time.

What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?

Searsucker anything!

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

I want to make it glass so I can see that rat of a president running around his cage.

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

Harvey Milk. He was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California. He showed great tenacity by continuing to run for office after his many failed attempts.

Asian American Literature Festival

Smithsonian and Library of Congress Present Asian American Literature Festival

Festival Features Performances and Workshops Honoring the Contributions of

Asian American Writing and Writers

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, the Library of Congress, the Phillips Collection and Dupont Underground will host the Asian American Literature Festival from Thursday to Saturday, July 27–29. Featuring more than 50 prominent Asian American poets, writers, literary scholars, graphic novelists, spoken-word artists and children’s literature authors, the festival will present an array of live performances, mentoring sessions and interactive workshops. The event will take place at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery July 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; at the Phillips Collection July 28 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; at Dupont Underground July 28 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.; and at the Library of Congress July 29 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“Asian American literature has always been a crucial space for writing hidden histories and building new communities,” said Lisa Sasaki, director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. “This festival is a chance to honor Asian American writing and writers and grow the next generation of literary trailblazers.”

Featured Programs

·         A two-day long participatory reading of Carlos Bulosan’s seminal 1946 novel America Is In the Heart

·         An animated adaptation of a chapter from Viet Thanh Nguyen’s forthcoming novel The Committed (sequel to Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Sympathizer) by artist Matt Huynh

·         National Book Award finalist Karen Tei Yamashita and Kimiko Hahn, president of the Poetry Society of America, will give intimate lectures on their personal journeys through Asian American literary history

·         LITERAOKE, a fun combination of literary reading and karaoke, with performances by Franny Choi, Tarfia Faizullah, Ed Lin and local Washington, D.C. poet Regie Cabico

·         Writer-scholar round-robin session for exchanging writing and scholarly interests and building new networks

·         The Asian American Literature Donation Project, which will provide donated works of Asian American literature to local spaces of need

A complete listing of participants and programs at the festival is available at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s website.

Held in partnership with the Poetry Foundation, the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center, Dupont Underground, the Phillips Collection, the Association for Asian American Studies, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and a host of Asian American arts organizations, this three-day event is the first national festival of its kind.

About Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

Established in 1997, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center is a national resource for discovering the consequence and complexity of the Asian Pacific American experience through collaboration, exhibitions, programs, and digital experiences. Follow the Center on Twitter: @SmithsonianAPA.

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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.

LBGTQ+ Research Study Opportunity

Do you identify as a gay, bisexual, or queer man, and have you experienced rape or sexual assault since you’ve been 18?

Professor Doug Meyer of the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at the University of Virginia is seeking gay, bisexual, or queer men to participate in an interview research study. The interview will take approximately 90 minutes and participants will receive $50 dollars for their participation.

If you, or anyone you know, are willing to be interviewed, please contact Professor Doug Meyer at 917-836-3098 or at dom6e@virginia.edu

* Individuals need to be at least 18 years old to participate

Your Help is Needed – How could you change someone’s Life ?

Dear Friends – Center Global is once again reaching out to our network of individuals and organizations who are supportive of LGBT asylum seekers here in the Washington, DC area to address our ongoing need for housing assistance. We recognize the difficulty that many people have in providing long-term housing to individuals, but ask you to make a special effort to reach out to your friends and networks to help us meet these needs.

At this time we have requests for the following needs:

A student from Afghanistan who has applied for asylum and living in a hostile housing environment with people from his home country. He is currently in northern Virginia and seeking a safe place to live while waiting for his asylum application to be filed and then obtain employment authorization in about six months.
A young man from India, who recently graduated from college and worked for a year, is now facing housing issues because his employment authorization has ended and he is applying for asylum. He has been couch surfing for the past two months after also being in a hostile living environment and needs to find a stable place to live for approximately the next six months.
An asylum seeker from Egypt needs housing while also waiting for approval of his employment authorization.
A male from Guatemala who is in his late 20’s who now has work authorization needs housing for several months while he finds a steady job and saves the funds to move into independent housing.

We are also aware of several other individuals whose housing situations are less than ideal and would benefit from a more stable situation. Often we have short notice of the housing needs of our program participants.

Our needs are ongoing and evolving – any assistance you can provide is most appreciated. Since Center Global has begun to assist in arranging housing for asylum seekers, we have been very fortunate that community members have opened their homes to these individuals without charge. We recognize that this is a large responsibility for individuals to take on, but ask for your consideration. For those providing hosted housing we ask four things:

commitment of at least three months, with the expectation that it may be as much as one year (a trial period can be arranged, if preferred),
a private room (we have had individuals offer couch space and other arrangements, but have found that these arrangements are not workable in the long run),
reasonable accessibility to public transportation and
internet access.

There is no expectation to provide meals (although some hosts have been kind enough to assist with this) or other social supports; we work with the asylum seekers on these needs. If you would like more information about how you can assist with this please feel free to contact me directly.

Recognizing that you may not be able to assist directly with this request, we also ask that you share this request with your various networks, faith communities and social organizations. Please circulate the following announcement:

Housing Assistance Needed for LGBT Asylum Seekers – Center Global, a program of the DC Center for the LGBT Community, is seeking housing hosts for individuals who are seeking asylum from countries that are not safe for LGBT persons to live in. Housing hosts are asked to provide a private bedroom for a minimum of three months; while these individuals (in some cases couples) are going through the asylum process. These are individuals who are unable to access other government services and lack support from family and friends from their home countries, we have several persons in need of immediate housing. For more information please contact Eric Scharf with Center Global at escharfdc@gmail.com.

As always your interest and support in this work is most appreciated.

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.

Legal Assistant Position for Leading LGBTQ Legal Rights Organization

Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, GLBTQ Legal Advocates &
Defenders (GLAD) works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of
discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation. Founded
in 1978, GLAD has a commitment to communication, diversity, racial and economic justice, team
work, results orientation, and collaboration, and has classified these as core values that are integral to
fulfilling our mission.
                                                                       Position Description
GLAD’s Legal Assistants provide key support for GLAD’s six attorneys in advancing the mission
and goals of the organization. The Legal Assistant performs legal and social science research, drafts
research memoranda, prepares court documents and correspondence, and proofreads and checks
citations for complex legal documents. In addition, the Legal Assistant performs regular
administrative tasks such as coordinating meetings and travel, filing and maintaining records,
scanning, copying, preparing expense reports, and providing phone coverage. This position offers an
excellent opportunity to learn about the litigation process and the legal issues affecting the LGBTQ
community and people living with HIV.
                                                                  Qualifications
Qualified candidates will have a Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent professional work experience; strong
written and oral communication skills; proven research abilities; and proficiency in Microsoft Office.
The ideal candidate will be proactive, organized, and attentive to details. The ability to work
cooperatively in a team is essential to the Legal Assistant work setting. In addition, the ideal candidate
will be able to prioritize multiple activities in a fast-paced environment and read, analyze, interpret,
and summarize legal and social science documents, including case law and statutes. Familiarity with
the legal system is helpful but not required.
                                                                    Compensation
$33,200 plus excellent benefits: three weeks of paid vacation, fully paid health and dental insurance,
and disability insurance.

To apply, please send the following materials (One combined PDF format preferred):
1) Résumé
2) Cover letter (no more than one page) addressed to Ben Klein, Senior Attorney
and AIDS Law Project Director. Please do not restate your resume.
3) Writing sample (no more than 5 pages)

Please send materials to legalassistant@glad.org. Emails should contain the subject line “Legal
Assistant Application.” Please indicate in your application specifically where you learned of the
position. Applications will be considered until July 30 on a rolling basis, or until position is
filled. No phone calls, and no video résumés please.

GLAD is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. GLAD is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally
diverse and pluralistic staff committed to working in a multicultural environment and strongly encourages applications
from transgender persons, people living with HIV, people of color, and individuals with disabilities.