Meet the Staff: Maya

woman with cherry blossoms

Welcome Maya to the DC Center! She is a summer health and wellness intern and looks forward to making members of the queer community smile and feel supported. You can meet Maya at the DC Center Monday thru Friday this summer! She is a rising junior at Georgetown University, majoring in Global Health. 

Birthdate, Astro Sign

23 May, Gemini

Where are you originally from?

San Diego, CA

Why did you start working at the DC Center?

I started working at the DC Center to further my exposure to community/queer health work and give back to the LGBTQ community.

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

My favorite part has been the welcoming attitudes of my coworkers. We’re all striving to help our community thrive!

What is your music anthem?

I’ve had Hippo Campus’ “Bambi” on repeat lately.

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

I love how much fun we can have together. Whether it’s dancing, fashion, or poetry it all makes me feel fabulously free.

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

I absolutely love to run on the National Mall. You can catch me there with my partner and our dog!

What is your favorite queer movie?  

Moonlight (2016)

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

Green!

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

Jennifer Wiggins is a queer black icon working in Georgetown’s Health Education Services. She is constantly making herself available for queer programming & has often made me smile as well as feel safe on campus. Simply put, Jenn is a loving activist through and through.

Meet the Staff: Kestrel

Welcome Kestrel to the DC Center! They are joining the DC Center as the new Center Arts intern. They look forward to connecting the LGBTQ community through art and events. You can meet Kestrel at the DC Center on weekdays! 

 

Birthdate, Astro Sign

August 11, Leo

 

Where are you originally from?

Falls Church, Virginia

 

Why did you start working at the DC Center?

My biggest hope for my life is to be able to contribute to the wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community.

 

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

To be able to use my time contributing and connecting to an important cause beyond myself.

 

What is your music anthem?

Hey Jude by the Beatles… or Never Gonna Give You Up.

 

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

I love being part of the LGBTQ+ community because I feel connected to everyone, as if everyone is family, even when we are strangers.

 

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

Visiting the Natural History Museum is an exercise in nostalgia for me.

 

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

Red.

 

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

I look up to drag queens; I believe that blatant play with gender is what our society needs right now. I especially look up to the queens who are using their platforms to educate the public about LGBT issues, as it merges their entertainment and performativity with the very real consequences of queerness off-stage.

Meet the Staff: Alex

Welcome Alex to the DC Center! He is excited to join as the new Social Media and Advocacy intern. He looks forward to promoting the DC Center and increasing equity in our community. You can meet Alex at the DC Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays! He is a community organizer, artist, and Goucher College student with an Individualized Interdisciplinary Major called “Social Media for Social Change.”

Birthdate, Astro Sign
15 May, Taurus

Where are you originally from?
San Diego, California

Why did you start working at the DC Center?
I started working at the DC Center because their Trans Support Groups helped me get through some of my greatest challenges when I came out and moved to DC in 2016.

What has been your favorite part about working at the DC Center?
I love having the opportunity to help people, connect with the LGBTQ+ community, and collaborate with a fantastic team.

What is your music anthem?
Love Is Love by Alfie Arcuri

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?
The communal support and dedication to uplifting one another.

What is your favorite spot in DC and what do you do there?
I love walking in Rock Creek Park.

What is your favorite queer movie?  
The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

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

Who do you look up to in the queer community?
Ellen Degeneres because she is authentic, hilarious, and wonderfully kind. Laverne Cox because she fights for our rights and shares vital, inspiring messages. All of my trans friends and mentors who have helped me get to where I am today.

Reproductive Justice and LGBT Liberation

Causes in Common

On December 21st, 2004 the DC Center for the LGBT Community Board of Directors voted to sign the pledge of Commitment to Causes in Common.   Causes in Common was an initiative of the LGBT Community in New York City to bring together the reproductive rights movement and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender liberation movement to identify common issues and build stronger alliances. The common ground for these two movements has a long and rich history.

The DC Center was proud to join many LGBT Community Centers around the country, and other LGBT and Reproductive Justice Organizations, in committing to the following principles:

  • We affirm the right to individual autonomy in all matters related to consensual sexuality and reproduction.
  • We affirm the rights of individuals to control over their own bodies and to intimate engagement with members of their own sex as fundamental to the liberation of LGBT people.
  • We are dedicated to effecting positive social change for the purpose of eradicating all forms of homophobia in our society and for the full attainment of the right to choose to reproduce.
  • Governmental intervention in the reproductive lives of women and men limits not only their ability to make a choice about abortion; it also limits their access to safe and affordable reproductive assistance. We affirm the right of all women
    to safe and affordable abortions and the right of all people to safe and affordable reproductive technologies and assistance.
  • The conflation of immorality and sex engaged in for purposes of pleasure or outside heterosexual civil marriage lead to the creation of policies that serve to undermine our democracy, our right to privacy and our freedom to choose the direction of our reproductive and sexual lives. It also serves to weaken what should be an unbridgeable divide between church and state as mandated by the Constitution. We affirm the necessity of a secular state to the preservation of
    democratic principles.
  • We acknowledge the detrimental impact that U.S. policy has had on the reproductive and sexual freedoms of peoples throughout the world and we situate our alliance in a global context.

To learn more about this historic initiative, click below to download the full report:

Causes in Common

 

 

Post-Pride Closing

Holiday Closings

The DC Center will be closed during its daytime office hours from noon to 6pm on Monday, June 10th 2019 while we recuperate and clean up following the Capital Pride parade and festival celebrations! All evening events after 6 at the Center will proceed unaffected.

The Center will reopen for regular business hours Tuesday, June 11th.

Cancer Screening Experiences of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Individuals

cancer screening

You are invited to participate in a research study to help clinicians and researchers better understand transgender and gender nonconforming individuals’ experiences with cancer screening recommendations. You are eligible to participate if you are 1) over the age of 40, 2) consider yourself transgender, gender nonconforming, or gender non-binary; and 3) live in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. They hope that findings from this study will improve future health care for transgender and gender nonconforming people. Your participation is greatly appreciated.

Study Title: Cancer Screening Experiences of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Individuals in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Region

Principal Investigator: Mandi Pratt-Chapman, mandi@gwu.edu, 202-994-5502

What is this study about?
• They want to better understand what cancer screenings health care providers are recommending to transgender and gender nonconforming people and to also understand patient experiences with cancer screening recommendations and procedures.

What do I have to do to participate?
• Taking part in this study is completely voluntary.
• You will be asked to participate in an interview that will last about 60 minutes.
• You will be asked to verbally consent to participate. This means that you will not have to write down your name at any time or provide any personally identifying information, but you do have to tell them that you agree to be interviewed or surveyed. Your willingness to participate is implied if you agree to be interviewed.

Will this study benefit me?
• Your participation may benefit others in the future by improving clinician recommendations regarding cancer screening for transgender and gender nonconforming people.
• You will not benefit individually from this research.

How many people will participate?
• Approximately 20 individuals will be interviewed.

What are the risks of participating in this study?
• Risks of research participation are hard to predict.
• The biggest risk to you is that you may feel uncomfortable answering certain questions about your health care experiences.
• Another risk is the possibility that someone will connect your responses to you or know you are participating in the study. This is called loss of confidentiality. However, since you will not have to provide any personal information like your name or your contact information the risks of being identified are very small. We will collect demographic information like race, age, and gender identity.

What can I do to reduce my risks?
• You do not need to sign this information sheet.
• You do not need to answer any questions that make you feel uncomfortable.
• You may discontinue participation at any time.
• Please do not use anyone’s real name during the interview, including your own.

What is the research team doing to reduce my risks?
• If you agree to be interviewed, your conversation will be recorded in an audio file kept in a file on secure GW servers. Once the data analysis is complete, the audio files will be destroyed.
• They ask you not to use your name during the interview. Within the transcript of your interview, you will be referenced with a description such as “Genderqueer person, age 43, Washington, DC” and you will not be identified specifically.

Do I have to answer every question?
• You do not have to answer any question that you do not want to answer.

Who will have access to the information I share?
• Only the study team will have access to data and files. All data and files will be password protected and stored on a secure server.
• Themes will be identified from the interviews and survey results will be used to prioritize education and research to improve care of transgender and gender nonconforming people. Quotations may be shared in presentations, reports, or papers to ensure that others also learn from their study.

What if I change my mind and don’t want to participate?
• You do not have to participate.

Who do I contact if I have questions?
The Office of Human Research at the George Washington University can provide more information about your rights as a study participant at (202) 994-2715. If you have any questions or concerns at any time before, during or after the study—including if you feel you have been hurt by the study—contact Mandi Pratt-Chapman at (202) 994-5502. You may also reach out to her after the study to find out about study results.

LGBTQ Community Centers Call for Equality Act

Equality Act

Today, over 150 LGBTQ Community Centers sent a letter to Leader Pelosi urging Congress to pass H.R. 5, the Equality Act. The letter, signed by 151 centers from 40 states across the nation, DC and Puerto Rico, was organized by Center Action Network (CAN) — a division of CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers. The Equality Act would provide consistent federal non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people in all aspects of life, including  employment, housing, credit, education, federally funded programs, public spaces, and jury service. It would amend current civil right laws to explicitly prohibit discrimination against the LGBTQ community and strengthen non-discrimination protections for women and other minorities. The letter and signatories can be found here.

“Centers around the nation are the bedrocks and the hearts of their communities — and often the line of first defense for those who have faced real and persistent discrimination because they are LGBTQ. The centers that have signed this letter help thousands of LGBTQ Americans every single day — many of these folks have no other resources or protections available to them. In a majority of states, the people we serve are at risk of being fired, denied housing, or turned away from a business because of who they are and who they love,” said CenterLink Chief Executive Officer, Lora L. Tucker. “Congress must act and pass these protections now so that LGBTQ people from coast to coast are free to live authentically in any state or zip code they call home.”

Despite improved federal laws, discrimination continues to be a problem for LGBTQ people across the country. Nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ Americans report having experienced discrimination in their everyday lives. In 30 states, LGBTQ people are at risk of being fired, refused housing, denied a home loan, or being turned away from a business simply because of who they are.

LGBTQ community centers serve 40,550 people every week. Many operate in areas where there are no other LGBTQ resources and work with a limited staff and budget. Yet 79% of centers spend time referring clients to LGBTQ-friendly businesses, 33% offer employment counseling or training, and 66% assist clients in finding LGBTQ-friendly attorneys. For decades, community centers have been working with and for the LGBTQ community to fight discrimination. With passage of the Equality Act, community centers will finally have federal protections in place to assist them as they advocate for their constituents and work toward lived equality.

CenterLink develops strong, sustainable LGBT community centers and builds a thriving center network that creates healthy, vibrant communities. Founded in 1994, CenterLink plays an important role in addressing the challenges centers face by helping them to improve their organizational and service delivery capacity, access public resources, and engage their regional communities in the grassroots social justice movement. www.lgbtcenters.org.