LGBT Health and Wellness in the District of Columbia

What do we know about LGBT individuals in the District of Columbia?  This page is a repository of some of the surveys and reports that have been published on this topic in the District of Columbia.  If you have additional information that should be added to this page, be sure to let us know!

LGBT Health Reports

Transgender Needs Assessment Survey

Youth Risk Behavior Survey

HIV/AIDS Data

Census Data

Data from the DC Center Community Survey

The DC Center partners with Community Marketing Inc for the annual LGBT Community Survey.  The following reports detail data from our DC Center respondents.

Recent Articles

Young People In D.C. Are Diagnosed With HIV At Twice The National Rate

43% of Youth Experiencing Homelessness Identify as LGBT in the District of Columbia

 

 

Meet the Staff: Sam

Meet the Staff: Sam

Meet our new Development Intern Sam! Sam just started working at the DC Center, but has had a huge impact already. In the first week alone, Sam has already done a great amount of work with our sponsors and has brought in a bunch of donations for the DC Center. Sam brings a positive attitude and great work ethic to the Center! Come say hello during the week!

Birthdate, Astro Sign.

I’m a Taurus and Sagittarius rising as well as a diligent follower of Chani Nicholas, who’s a queer astrologist who focuses on how social justice and astrology intersect and inform one another.

Where are you originally from?

I’m from the DC area. I grew up in the Palisades in NW before moving to Bethesda, Maryland. I went to high school at the Edmund Burke School and now I’m in college at Haverford College right near Philadelphia. I’m home from college for the summer, so I started interning with the DC Center as a way to reconnect with the LGBTQ+ community in DC.

When and why did you start volunteering at the DC Center?

I started at the end of June because I was looking to give my time to working to support the Queer and Trans community in DC. I also started interning because I wanted to be around people in the LGBTQ+ community. There’s something invigorating about seeing many LGBTQ+ folk come in and out of the center

What has been your favorite part about volunteering with the DC Center so far?

My favorite part has been meeting all the wonderful people who work in the office. It’s only been a week, but I’m already enjoying just working in the space and getting to know the people who are committed to making the DC Center a valuable resource for LGBTQ+ people living in the DC area.

What is your favorite event that the DC Center offers?

The only event I’ve been to so far is one of the support groups. It was a really supportive and affirming space, and it’s so great that we have so many support groups that focus on unique experiences in our community. I’m looking forward to going to more events and meeting more people who engage with the DC Center’s work.

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

My favorite part of the LGBTQ+ community is its capacity for growth and change. That change may move at a sluggish pace, but I’m inspired by those in our community speaking out against the power imbalances within and between our communities whether its inaccessibility, racism, transphobia, biphobia, etc. Those who challenge us to be better are the heart of our community.

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

I’m really inspired by Travis Alabanza, a trans and nonbinary performance artist and poet based in London. I had the privilege of seeing them perform at my college, and their poetry chapbook Before I Step Outside [You Love Me] is incredible and has helped me start to come to terms with aspects of my identity.

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

I really love the Phillips Collection. I’m a little bit of an Art History nerd and I love going there on the weekends when it’s free and just spending some time looking at some amazing art pieces.

Volunteer Spotlight: Dave

Meet our volunteer Dave!
Astro Sign:
Aries.
Where are you originally from?
I grew up twenty minutes north of Boston, MA.  The accent isn’t usually there unless I’m on the phone with my mom.
When and why did you start volunteering at the DC Center?
I started volunteering on the planning committee of OutWrite about four years ago.  When Julie Enszer stepped down as Community Chair, I stepped up.  First as a Co-Chair with Phill Branch, and now solo.
What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?
I like to reframe “LGBTQ+ community” and think of it in terms of many different LGBTQ+ communities.  It’s amazing when they intersect, but also acknowledges that there isn’t always that overlap.  And those communities that I have the privilege of being welcomed into continue to inspire me with their resilience and creativity.
What is your favorite queer movie?
The first real queer movie I remember seeing is Bound, and it holds a special place in my heart.  Since then, I’ve really enjoyed PariahWhile You Weren’t Looking (which I saw through Reel Affirmations a year or two ago) and Moonlight.  And “San Junipero,” which is basically a movie.
What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?
I’m usually irritated if it’s warm enough to wear a tank top but I’m in something with sleeves.
Who are you most inspired by?
I’m inspired by artists and writers who prioritize their craft.  I’m a writer who gets caught up in my day job or supporting OutWrite to the point that I don’t always set aside the right amount of time for writing or revising.  And I take inspiration from those who do.

Meet the Staff: Sarah

Help us welcome Sarah to the DC Center! She will be taking over for Sam who is leaving us this week. She is super excited to start working at the Center and getting to know the community, and you can catch Sarah’s smiling face at the DC Center during the week! Welcome!

Birthdate, Astro Sign.

August 24, Virgo.

Where are you originally from?

I am originally from Annandale, Virginia.

When and why did you start working at the DC Center?

I started working at the DC Center in May of 2018 and am really looking forward to providing mental health care to queer folks in our community who have experienced trauma.

What do you do at the Center and what has been your favorite part so far?

I am the Staff Social Worker/ Therapist and my favorite part so far is co-facilitating the Queer Women Working Through Trauma Group.

What is your favorite event that the DC Center offers?

Our Taking the Stage, Taking A Stand event that happens several times a year at Busboys and Poets. It is a great night of poetry that is survivor-centered, full of incredible talent, and an all around a great event.

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

Disrupting the idea that it is one community and finding the corners that actually feel like home.

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

Fierce femmes, ancestors, & Janelle Monae.

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

Malcolm X Park to read and people watch

What is your favorite queer movie?

Kissing Jessica Stein.

What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?

Many bold lipsticks.

Who are you most inspired by?

Local artists and activists constantly expanding how we see and are seen.

What is your go to restaurant and what do you order?

Thip Khao! I always order the crispy coconut rice (Naem Khao Thadeau) .

Transitions: Farewell to Sam Goodwin

Transitions: Farewell to Sam Goodwin

This week we sadly say goodbye to our social worker Sam. Sam Goodwin, LGSW, started working at The DC Center for the LGBT Community in May 2016 as The Center’s first Staff Social Worker/Therapist, and has been a great asset to the Center ever since. She helped to launch The DC Center’s first ever Behavior Health Program, providing trauma-informed mental health support services to LGBTQ survivors of crime, violence, and trauma in Washington, DC. Over the past two years, Sam has served over 93 individual clients at The DC Center, providing a variety of services including individual, group and couples therapy, case management, intakes, crisis intervention, education, outreach, referrals to the LGBTQ violence prevention  hotline, and warm hand-offs to LGBTQ-friendly and affirming practitioners across the DMV. Sam has also been an integral part of The DC Anti-Violence Project, helping to organize monthly meetings, visioning processes and strategic planning for the organization. She helped to coordinate the DC AVP event series ‘Taking the Stage, Taking a Stand: LGBTQ Voices Against Violence,’ several Survivor Art Expression Night events, and the 6 cycles of the Queer Women Working Through Trauma group. Her kind and caring demeanor along with her positive attitude has not only brought joy to her clients but to everyone who works and volunteers here at the Center, and will be dearly missed.

This summer, Sam will be moving to Cheltenham, England, with her partner, Ryan, and their two cats, Kinsey and Putter. She is looking forward to serving the community of Cheltenham by providing sex therapy and other mental health services and is hoping to be involved with efforts of the LGBTQ community across the pond as well. Although we are sad to see her leave, we know she will be doing amazing things in her next endeavors. Thank you Sam!

Volunteer Spotlight: Tamara

Meet one of our many volunteers, Tamara! Tamara has been volunteering with the DC Center for a number of years and can be seen running the Poly Group here at the Center. Don’t forget to check out her book, It’s Called Polyamory: Coming Out About Your Nonmonogamous Relationships, which is designed to provide support and encouragement for those coming out as poly. She wrote the book “because [she] noticed that though there were a lot of resources for LGBT people around coming out, there was almost nothing about coming out as polyamorous. Poly people face some significant challenges that you don’t find with other coming out processes, for instance the idea of polyamory often brings up people’s past experiences with infidelity.” Keep reading to find out more about Tamara!

Birthdate, Astro Sign.

My birthday is September 26 and I’m a Libra.

Where are you originally from?

I was born in Seattle, Washington, moved to Brookline, MA when I was a baby, lived there until I was 12, then moved to Buffalo, NY and went to college at Smith in Northampton, MA. I have been in DC since 1998 so here feels most like home.

When and why did you start volunteering at the DC Center?

I started volunteering for the DC Center in 2011 after someone did a one time only poly discussion and I thought that it would be good for the community to have one more often. I’ve been running groups monthly ever since.

What has been your favorite part about volunteering with the DC Center so far?

I’ve loved all of the groups I’ve done. I’ve developed some deep friendships through the center.

What is your favorite event that the DC Center offers?

I don’t actually go to a lot of events outside of the one that I run… so I’d have to say the poly discussion group is the best.

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

I’ve had a lot of mixed feelings about the queer community over the years. I came out as bisexual in 1993 and there was still a lot of exclusion of bisexuality from the LGBTQ community at the time. As in there were organizations that didn’t include bi people at all. Over the years I have continued to have moments of feeling excluded because of my ongoing relationships with men and the perpetual sense of being not queer enough. As time has gone on I’ve become more and more aware of the ways in which the community has not served people of color, trans people, and other more marginalized communities. With that said I have seen people at the Center really trying hard to do good work with people outside of the financially advantaged white people who were at the center of the marriage equality movement. I find the work around asylum seekers to be particularly important in these times.

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

I would say some of my queer community heroes are Loraine Hutchins (local bi activist), Robyn Ochs (Bi activist in MA), and actually Chris Donaghue (author and TV personality). Loraine wrote some of the first literature on bisexuality that I found as a kid and that is what enabled me to figure out how to talk about my identity and come out. Robyn was the first one that let me see that this was not just theoretical, there are real live other people who are out as bi. Chris is brilliant and edgy and yet he sat down with me and let me give him hell about what I thought was wrong about his book Sex Outside the Lines. He continues to be an ally in body positivity in Hollywood where that kind of activism is still practically unheard of.

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

I think my favorite place in DC these days is my office. Its full of sparkly things and comfy furniture, though I suspect you were looking for another kind of answer.

What is your favorite queer movie?

As far as favorite queer movie, I’m between The Incredibly True Adventures of 2 Girls in Love and But I’m a Cheerleader. I think that shows my age.  I have yet to find a movie that talks about the kind of queer experience that I have lived.

What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?

Black dresses are always a staple but I have to say I’m not sure why my fashion taste is important. I’d rather talk about my book. My relationships. My kids. What I’m doing in the world, etc than what I’m wearing.

Who are you most inspired by?

As far as who I’m inspired by I’d have to say Ricci Levy who runs the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Foundation. I love the idea of looking at sexuality and family as human rights and I want us to move forward as a more inclusive movement. As far as DC activists, Cyndee Clay of HIPS continues to work hard for some of those most marginalized people in our community even when it gets really hard. I’m also inspired by Bianca Laureno, Aida Mandulay, Trina Scott and all of the other founders of the Women of Color Sexual Health Network. I love their work and being able to support them.

What is your favorite DC neighborhood?

I would say Dupont is still my favorite neighborhood in the city even though I miss the old days when Lammas (the queer women’s bookstore), Lamda Rising (the other gay bookstore) and the Leather Rack were still there.

What is your go to restaurant and what do you order?

Guacamole from Guapos is my comfort food.

If you could live in any decade (past or future) which would it be and why?

I don’t spend a lot of time in time travel fantasies. Going backwards it was harder for people of color and other marginalized groups. Going forward the earth is being destroyed. Right now Donald Trump is in office. Still the only time that really works for me is right now in this moment. I guess I’ve bought in to all of those mindfulness exercises a little too much.

Are you more of an early bird or a night owl?

I hate mornings. I also don’t like to stay up late. Why is this on a binary?

Job Opening at the DC Center

Job Opportunities at the DC Center for the LGBT Community

This posting is for a part-time Office Administrator position at the DC Center for the LGBT Community.   This position is 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 david@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 June 11th.

Compensation This is an hourly position with a rate between $19 and $21 per hour based on experience. This individual will work 30 hours per week which may include some evening and weekend work. 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.

Volunteer Spotlight: Marin

DC LGBT Volunteers

Meet our volunteer Marin! Marin helps out with many duties at the front desk and helps keep the office running! You can catch Marin’s smiling face during our office hours throughout the week!  If you’re interested in volunteering at the support desk, join us for our next volunteer orientation.

Birthdate, Astro sign.

My birthday is November 22nd, and I’m a Sagittarius.

Where are you originally from?

I’m from northwestern New Jersey.

When and why did you start volunteering at the DC Center?

I started volunteering in March. I was between jobs at the time and looking for ways to connect with the community and build potential professional skills.

What has been your favorite part about volunteering with the DC Center so far?

Working the front desk has made me significantly more comfortable talking to people, especially on the phone.

What is your favorite event that the DC Center offers?

I love going to the Women in their Twenties and Thirties meetings, it’s been such a great way to meet new friends in my age group.

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

Our optimism and resilience. No matter what challenges we face, our community is ultimately founded on the concepts of love and self-determination, ensuring that we always celebrate ourselves and each other above all else.

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

My idol right now is Hayley Kiyoko. Her music and videography over the last few years has really chronicled her coming into her own as a lesbian and gaining the confidence to embrace that label proudly, a powerful mirror for my own journey.

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

I absolutely love the United States Botanic Garden up near the Capitol. Just spending time among the greenery there is the best way to get a little taste of summer during the colder months.

What is your favorite queer movie?

Love, Simon. I’ve seen it three times, and each time it’s made me laugh and cry even harder than the last.

What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?

I have so many tank tops. They’re absolutely essential for summer wear and winter layering alike.

Who are you most inspired by?

There are so many amazing progressive leaders right now it’s hard to pick just one, but I have a tremendous admiration for Reverend William Barber. I had the privilege of hearing him speak at the Creating Change conference last year, and it has been amazing to see him continuing MLK’s legacy with the Poor People’s Campaign in 2018.

What is your favorite DC neighborhood?

Probably Brookland, the neighborhood I live in! I take walks there almost every day past the university and through the center of town, and I always enjoy exploring the various studios on the Arts Walk.

What is your go to restaurant and what do you order?

If there’s a Busboys and Poets nearby, you can bet on that as my go-to. Their burgers are fantastic, as are their many progressive books and activist events.

If you could live in any decade (past or future) which would it be and why?

I would love to live in the future, particularly in the age of widespread manned space travel. I’ve always been captivated by the idea of other habitable worlds and it would be amazing to be able to see them within my own lifetime.

Are you more of an early bird or a night owl?

Definitely a night owl! I work late into the evening so I’m glad my internal clock matches up with that schedule.

Internships at the DC Center

Internships at the DC Center for the LGBT Community

The DC Center for the LGBT Community seeks interns year-round.  Interns provide support for different programs and areas of interest at The DC Center, like Health and Wellness, Advocacy, Center Arts and Development. Interns also gain valuable office experience providing administrative support in the day-to-day tasks at our organization.

Internships are currently unpaid with no stipends and require a minimum commitment of 20 hours per week. Academic internships are strongly preferred.

Development Internship:

This position primarily oversees the procurement and management of professional partners of the DC Center for the LGBT Community. This position also includes assisting with grant writing, fundraising events, and development of the DC Center’s programs. The Intern will work to research and cultivate supporters, manage the organization’s donor databases, track and evaluate fundraising efforts, and organize events. The ideal candidate will have experience with donor relations, sponsorship, and grant writing. This is an excellent opportunity for a highly organized and motivated individual to develop skills in nonprofit development work.

Social Media/Advocacy Internship:

This position creates and manages all social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube for the DC Center for the LGBT Community and its programs. This position bringing awareness to local policy and advocacy issues, including work with our Youth Working Group and the DC Anti-Violence Project. The ideal candidate should have a strong level of experience with social media, a demonstrated writing ability, organizational skills, the ability to work both as part of a team and on their own, and creativity to spare. This is an excellent opportunity for marketing students.

Arts Internship

This position assists the Director of Arts and Cultural Programs with artistic events and programming at The DC Center including the OutWrite LGBT Book Fair Reel Affirmations: Washington DC’s International LGBTQ Film Festival and monthly film seriesThe DC Queer Theatre FestivalIgnition: The Spoken Series, and  Center Arts Gallery   Responsibilities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Research and assist in creating LGBTQ-oriented art events in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) area
  • Maintaining social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Google Groups) for the Center Arts program with engaging arts content
  • Promoting DC Center arts events across social media platforms
  • Regularly creating engaging and creative posts for The DC Center website
  • Interacting with filmmakers, authors, and local artists
  • Curating up to 4 quarterly art gallery installations at The DC Center

The ideal candidate will have skills that include: Strong communication, organizational, and writing skills; proficient understanding of social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.);This is an excellent opportunity for students in arts management.

Graphic Design Internship:

This position involves graphic design primarily for websites and social media with quick turnaround times. The intern will create various print projects including, but not limited to the creation of ads, programs, flyers, and other marketing and development materials. The ideal candidate is fast-paced, deadline oriented, and has knowledge of graphic design. This is an excellent opportunity for fine arts or graphic design students

Health and Wellness Internships

The Health intern works with health and wellness initiatives at the DC Center including the HIV Working Group.  This intern will also support the peer facilitated support groups at the DC Center.   This may include assisting with orientation and training of new facilitators, assessing the needs of facilitators, and helping form new support groups if requested by the community.

Interested applicants can contact intern@thedccenter.org with a detailed cover letter and resume.  Please include the proposed dates for the internship, the internship position (or positions) you are interested in, and any academic requirements the DC Center should be aware of.