Meet the Staff: Matt

Matt

Meet the new Social Media and Advocacy intern Matt! This summer, Matt will be handling the various social media duties at the DC Center, as well as working with the Youth Working Group to help put LGBT youth in the foster care system into more welcoming and accepting homes.

Birthdate, Astro Sign

June 2, Gemini.

Where are you originally from?

I’m originally from the Bay Area in California and currently go to school in Los Angeles.

Why did you start working at the DC Center?

I started working as an intern at the DC Center because I am passionate about helping the LGBTQ community. I wanted to work at a place where I could feel that I am making an immediate impact on the community, and the DC Center is a great place to do that. Also, I was really intrigued about all the different LGBT arts events and support groups the DC Center offers.

What has been your favorite part about working at the DC Center?

Although I just started working at the DC Center, I have really enjoyed getting to know all the staff members and learning more and more about the fun and unique events and opportunities that the DC Center offers the community.

What is your music anthem?

It changes all the time but currently it is probably “The Middle” by Zedd.

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

My favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community is how welcoming and enthusiastic the people are and that I know I always have a home within the community.

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

My favorite spot in DC would probably be the Lincoln Memorial at night. I like to walk around and reflect on my thoughts.

What is your favorite queer movie?

Call Me by Your Name.

What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?

My white Converse. I wear them everywhere.

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

I kind of like it white because it reminds me of watching Cory in the House as a kid, but I would paint it rainbow if I had to choose a different color!

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

Alison Bechdel.

 

Trans & Nonbinary Support Groups

Transgender & Nonbinary Support Groups at the DC Center for the LGBT Community

Support groups for the trans and nonbinary community are growing at the DC Center.  We currently have three support groups that meet monthly, with one more group starting this month.   The three groups that currently meet are:

The Trans Support Group is intended to provide emotionally and physically safe space for trans people and those who may be questioning their gender identity/expression to join together in community and learn from one another. Due to popularity and need, the group has expanded to being hosted twice a month, on the Second Tuesdays and Fourth Fridays of each month. This peer-led support group welcomes all who identify under the trans umbrella or are unsure, and seeks to continually reinforce our principles of respect, acceptance and protection through ongoing input from our attendees. The group welcomes people from all classes, races, sexuality and gender identity, and brings together this diverse assortment of individuals around a shared experience. Information about meetings is posted at thedccenter.org/trans or facebook.com/centertrans.

Meetings take place on the Second Tuesdays and Fourth Fridays of every month starting at 7:00 PM.

Genderqueer DC:  These meetings are centered on the needs of trans, nonbinary, and questioning people.  Anna Sullivan, a facilitator of the group, states: “Genderqueer DC is a peer support group where we talk about issues related to nonbinary/trans gender identity, and create a welcoming space to share whatever we’re going through.   People of all gender identities are welcome to attend, but our meetings are focused on the needs of nonbinary/ trans/questioning people. Friends, family, and allies are welcome!”

Meetings usually take place on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:00 PM.   Some meetings will have ASL interpreters- this is posted in the Facebook events, and shared in the group email.  More information is available at thedccenter.org/genderqueer or facebook.com/genderqdc.

A total of 19 peer facilitated support groups currently meet at the DC Center.  Peer facilitators are supported by our staff social workers.  Support the work of the DC Center by making a donation at thedccenter.org/donate.

Transitions: Farewell to Chris Rothermel

Chris Rothermel

Chris Rothermel will be leaving our team in June.  Chris came on board in August 2017 as our Office Administrator.  Chris quickly brought structure and order to a lot of the day to day administrative and financial operations here at the DC Center and his attention to detail is greatly appreciated.  Chris recruited volunteers, led the quarterly volunteer orientation, and trained all front desk volunteers and staff. While I was on Sabbatical, Chris was promoted to Operations Manager of the DC Center and managed the staff and DC Center programs seamlessly by working closely with Kimberley Bush, our interim Executive Director.

During his time with us Chris was involved in many aspects of our work in the DC Center, including grant writing.  Chris wrote a grant proposal to the City Fund which resulted in $52,000 in support from the City Fund.  In the past, the City Fund has not funded LGBTQ-led organizations, and as far as we know, this is the only grant where they have done so.

Chris is a Certified Nonprofit Professional who holds a Masters in Non-Profit Administration and many years of experience working in nonprofit management.  While we are sad to see him go, we all wish him best of luck in his future endeavors and look forward to seeing where his career takes him.

People of Color Support Groups Grow

People of Color Support Groups Grow at the DC Center

LGBTQ People of Color support groups are growing here at the DC Center for the LGBT Community.  We now have three different groups for LGBTQ POC Communities, and one additional group starting this month.   The three LGBTQ POC support groups currently meeting are:

Asian Pacific Islander Queer Support Group.  The Asian Pacific Islander Support Group is organized by APIQS (Asian Pacific Islander Queer Society DC) and AQUA (Asian Queers United for Action).  The group usually meets on the first Thursday of every month at 7:00 PM.  Information about meetings is posted at thedccenter.org/apa and facebook.com/centerapa.

LGBTQ People of Color Support Group.  The LGBTQ People of Color Support group typically meets on the third Saturday of every month from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.  Information about meetings is posted at thedccenter.org/poc and facebook.com/centerpoc.

South Asian LGBTQ Support Group.  The South Asian LGBTQ Support Group is organized by KhushDC and typically meets on the third Saturday of the month from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM.  Information about meetings is posted at thedccenter.org/apa and facebook.com/centerapa.

The newest group, starting June 30th, is The Glossary DC Support Group. This group will meet Saturday June 30th at 12:00 PM  and then going forward meet on the fourth Saturday of every month starting at 12:00 PM. The Glossary DC was started to create a safe space for masculine of center or non binary and trans masculine or presenting people of color. Though there are various groups in the DC area that incorporate both groups, the Glossary is specifically for people of color. Here, we have the space and safety to discuss what our lives are like from our perspective. We discuss family dynamics, cultural understanding and response and talk about how we as people and as a unit can increase the quality of our lives and the ones around us.  More information is available at thedccenter.org/poc or facebook.com/centerpoc.

A total of 19 peer facilitated support groups currently meet at the DC Center.  Peer facilitators are supported by our staff social workers.

Social Worker Dr. Zelaika Clarke states “In a white cis-hetero-patriarchal dominated society, providing support groups for people of color is important to our well being and self expression because it can affirm, celebrate and empower our authentic selves, increase sense of community connectedness, and foster a shared space to discuss pressing issues without having to breakdown concepts such as racism and privilege”

Support the work of the DC Center.  Make a one time or monthly pledge at thedccenter.org/donate.

 

 

 

 

 

Volunteers Needed for Capital Pride Interfaith Choir

Volunteers Needed for Capital Pride Interfaith Choir

Interested in singing in the choir for the June Capital Pride Interfaith Service?  Join us at the times listed below.   We ask that you participate in at least 3 rehearsals (with at least one rehearsal being the final rehearsal).

All Rehearsals take place at the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington DC,  474 Ridge Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

Rehearsal Dates and Time

Wednesday May 23rd, 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM

Wednesday  May 30th, 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM

Saturday, June 2nd, 11:00 AM

Wednesday, June 6th,  6:30 PM to 8:00 PM

Saturday, June 9th,  11:-00 AM until  (TBD)

Wednesday, June 13th,  5:00 PM until (TBD)

Tuesday June 13th   7:30 pm   Pride Interfaith Service (arrive early)

Interfaith Choir Songs

You’re Out there

Something Inside So Strong

Questions?  Please contact Darryl Moch at  nubianphoenix1@gmail.com for more information

See You There!!!!

Congratulations (and Goodbye) to Shareese Mone

Shareese Mone
Shareese Mone, peer educator at the DC Center for the LGBT Community, was recently honored for outstanding contributions to the Transgender community.  Shareese was presented the Up and Coming Activist award at the May Is? “All About Trans” reception.
Shareese started working at the DC Center in September 2016 and has grown professionally during her time with us.   Shareese has hosted packing parties and volunteer nights, facilitated the Trans Support Group, and organized The National Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.  One of my favorite memories of Shareese is when we both were part of the DC Center contingent at the MLK Parade.
I’m sad to share that  Shareese is ending her time with us at the DC Center, but very excited for Shareese as she pursues a new opportunity.   I have no doubt we will continue to work closely with Shareese as she continues the important work for which we share a passion.
While I am sad to see Shareese grow, I’m incredibly proud of the work she has done at the DC Center and how we’ve grown and learned from each other over the years.
Shareese asked we not hold a going away party or announce her departure ahead of time, so we honored that request (goodbyes can always be hard!).   Shareese’s e-mail addreeseshareese@thedccenter.org, will be active for the next week, so if you would like to send her an e-mail, please do.
Sincerely,
David Mariner

The Next Ten Years

Dear Friends

I am back!  As many of you know, I had the opportunity to take a sabbatical following ten years of service here at the DC Center.   It’s been amazing to have some time off to read, reflect, plan, and grow. I feel I am much better for the time off.  I am grateful to the team here at the DC Center that made it all possible including Kimberley Bush who served as Interim Executive Director, and Chris Rothermel, our office manager.

I’m excited to return to work with new energy, ideas, and perspectives.  The DC Center for the LGBT Community has grown significantly over the past ten years.  I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years looks like.   I expect that we will continue to work in four core areas (Health & Wellness, Arts & Culture, Social Support, and Advocacy.  I know that we will continue to listen to the community and be responsive to changes we see around us.

As we look forward to the next 10 years, I would like to ask you to do two things to support us.

Share your vision of the future.   What is your vision for the future of our local LGBTQ Community?  What services do we need most?  How should we grow.  We invite you to post your thoughts by using the hashtag #DCLGBTQVision on facebook and twitter.   Everyone who shares their ideas will be entered into a raffle to win two tickets to see the musical Hamilton at the Kennedy Center on August 14th.   Let’s start a conversation about what our future looks like.

Make a pledge to support us.   We are lucky to have a great circle of Center Associates who make much of our work possible through their monthly donations.  We need you to join them.   Click here to make a monthly pledge to the DC Center.

After having some time off to reflect, I am more proud than ever about what we’ve built together here at the DC Center.   I’m also more appreciative than ever of the volunteers, supporters, board members, staff, and activists that make it all happen.   Let’s work together to make sure we continue to grow over the next decade and build a firm foundation for future generations.

Cheers,

David Mariner

 

DC Prep Campaign Partners with Trans Latinx Community

DC Department of Health Pledge to be PrEPared

According to a 2017 report by the DC Department of Health (DOH) HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration (HAHSTA), 12,964 people residing in Washington D. C. live with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

For that reason, HAHSTA is launching the “Pledge to be PrEPared” campaign this month to educate the transgender community living in Washington D. C. about the importance of taking Preexposure Prophylaxis or PrEP.

PrEP is a pill taken once a day, and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that can prevent the HIV infection. Taken daily, PrEP is safe and over 90% effective at preventing HIV.

This unique campaign was created with the close participation of the Latin transgender community in Washington D. C. and Alexa Rodriguez, the Director of Trans-Latin@ DMV. It was developed based on HAHSTA’s ability to recognize the way the transgender community has been perceived in the past. The transgender representation is important to allow this community to communicate their values, their role in society, as well as their needs.

The transgender community participation in the campaign took place from the strategic planning and focus groups to the inclusion of real transgender Latina women in the promotional materials. This resulted in trusted messages in hopes of building trust among this community when deciding to take PrEP, as well as understanding its benefits.

“It’s important to educate the transgender community, as well as to break barriers and taboos about taking PrEP, and understand the real benefits of taking it, especially to prevent HIV,” Alexa said. She added that “the DC Department of Health’s efforts to benefit the transgender community are a big step, but there is still a lot to be done.

Michael Kharfen, HAHSTA’s Senior Deputy Director, agreed with Alexa’s statement, adding: “At DOH we are pleased to introduce this campaign created in collaboration with the transgender community, but we understand these are just the first steps, and that there is more to do in order to fulfill our commitment and dedication to supporting this significant community residing in Washington D. C.”

To participate in this important campaign and get more information, visit #PrEPpledge, PrEPpledge.com or cdc.gov/hiv/risk/prep/index.html.