Call for Volunteer Attorneys for Center Global

Center Global Call for Volunteer Attorneys
Center Global is seeking attorneys who would be able and interested in taking on an asylum case pro bono.   Richard Kelley, coordinates legal program efforts for Center Global.  Richard would be able to mentor you through the process if you’ve never done an asylum case before.  If you are willing, we can use your effort.
If you are an attorney, and would be able and interested in taking on a case pro bono, please fill out this form.
Since 2012, Center Global has served 200 LGBT individuals from Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union countries and Russia seeking asylum in the United States. A program of the DC Center for the LGBT Community, Center Global provides a welcoming environment to LGBTQI asylum seekers, and works to address individual legal and social needs

ETC Response to Recent Arrest in the Murder of Zoe Spears

Empowering the Transgender Communityer Community

Earline Budd, Executive Director of Empowering the Transgender Community, released the following statement following the arrest of a man believed to be responsible for the death of Zoe Spears.

On July 18th LBGTQ community and others received information that Prince Georges County police and detectives had apprehended a suspect in the June 13th murder of Zoe Spears. They showed a large poster of 33 year old Gerardo Thomas who was arrested and said to be a resident of Baltimore Maryland.  We would like to first say thank you to the Prince Georges County Police and Detectives for their hard work in bringing closure to Zoe’s murder.   But our community still will not and cannot rest until the murderer of Ashanti Carmon is apprehended also.  Both of these women were young and did not deserve to lose their lives this way, now leaving a void in transgender community.  We continue to feel strongly that it is not by coincidence that these two women were killed in Fairmont Heights within 90 days apart and only 5 blocks apart in Fairmont Heights Maryland.

The Transgender community will continue to speak out for justice in cases like this.   We hope that the police uncover some surveillance in the area where our sister and friend Ashanti Carmon was killed too.  We are happy that both Prince Georges County and the District of Columbia officials are working to assure that there are resources in place to help transgender women who find themselves in survival mode and seeking help.

On Sunday July 21st at 3:00 pm, Rev. Elder Akousa McCray will be doing a “Special Alter Call and Prayer”, as we thank God for this case being solved.  This service will be open to the community and at MCCDC located at 474 Ridge Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001.

Today we still are asking the transgender community “PLEASE STAY OFF OF EASTERN AVENUE”, and seek resources from transgender community advocates and leaders.

ANC1A Passes Resolutions Supporting LGBTQ Seniors and Seniors with HIV and Urges the DC Council Enact a Gay and Trans “Panic” Defense Ban

ANC 1A Kent Boese

At the July 10, 2019, meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A (ANC1A), the Commission considered two resolutions introduced by Commissioner Kent Boese and unanimously passed both measures critical to the needs and safety of the LGBTQ community.

B23-0037 – the Care for LGBTQ Seniors and Seniors with HIV Amendment Act of 2019 – was recently intruded by Councilmembers Anita Bonds and Mary Cheh. As introduced, the bill includes LGBTQ seniors and seniors with HIV in the definition of groups of greatest social need for the purpose of allocating funds. It also establishes an LGBTQ HIV long-term care bill of rights. While ANC1A believes there is much more that needs to be done to support our seniors and LGBTQ community, the Commission believes this bill is an excellent start.

ANC1A also passed a measure requesting that the Secure A Fair and Equitable Trial Act of 2017 (ban on gay and trans “panic” defense bill) be reintroduced and passed by the DC Council. The bill was previously introduced in Council session 22 but died in the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety. The failure to move this important legislation in one of the most progressive cities in the United States, and the city with the highest population of LGBTQ residents in the country, is both disappointing and unacceptable.

As introduced, the Secure A Fair and Equitable Trial Act of 2017 would required that upon the request of either the prosecutor or the defendant, the court would instruct the jury against letting bias, sympathy, prejudice, or public opinion influence its decision. It also would establish limits on defenses that seek to excuse violence on the basis of a victim’s identity.

See Related Documents Below:

2019-07 – Letter of support for reintroducing the “Secure a Fair and Equitable Trial Act of 2017”

2019-07 – Letter of support for B23-0037 – Care for LGBTQ Seniors and Seniors with HIV Amendment Act of 2019



Fight Hate in DC: 10 Things You Can Do

10 Things You Can Do Right Now

If you attended the Vigil Against the Violence last month or last nights LGBTQ Community Meeting on Hate Violence hosted by Eleanor Holmes Norton, you know that there is a lot of work to be done to address the increase in Hate Crimes in DC.  Here are some things you can do right now to make a difference.

(1) Tell the DC Council to take action on hate crimes and pass the Trans and Gay Panic Defense Bill.  The gay and trans “panic” defense is a legal strategy which asks a jury to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity is to blame for the defendant’s violent reaction, including murder.  Here in the District of Columbia the gay “panic defense” was used in the case of Tony Hunter.   Tony was a black gay man murdered in 2008 outside of a gay club on 9th Street NW.  And the man who killed him was sentenced to a mere six months in jail.  Learn more and sign the petition here.

(2) Celebrate the Life of Zoe Spears.  A memorial to celebrate the life of Zoe Spears July 12th at 10 AM at the Metropolitan Community Church.   Come be part of this event and honor Zoe’s memory.

(3) Organize!  Join us for the next DC Anti-Violence Project Meeting.  The DC Anti-Violence Project aims to reduce violence against LGBTQ individuals (and those perceived as LGBTQ) through community outreach, education, monitoring of cases, advocacy, and community support.

(4) Tell the DC Council to decriminalize sex work in DC.  Policing and criminalization of sex work is one of the primary sites of racial profiling, police violence, and mass incarceration of Black and brown women, girls, and trans and gender nonconforming folks. This violence is compounded when they are also denied access to housing, health care, transportation, healthy food, and other basic human needs based on discrimination and stigma. The decriminalization of sex work is one step in ending this violence.  Learn more and sign the petition here.

(5) Drop off food at Casa Ruby or Wanda Alston House or make hygiene kits for LGBTQ folks experiencing homelessness.   Zoe Spears was a client at both Casa Ruby or Wanda Alston House.  If you’d like to sign up to make dinner for youth experiencing homelessness at Casa Ruby or the Wanda Alston House, or if you would like to pull together a group of folks to make kits for LGBTQ people experiencing homelessness, Learn more about group volunteer opportunities here.

(6) Learn how hate crimes impact other communities.   Hate crimes are not just increasing in the LGBTQ community.   People (including some of us in the LGBTQ community) are being targeted because of our race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, or disability.  The Hate Crimes Bias Task Force is a good place to learn more about all hate crimes in our city and to work in partnership with other communities that are being impacted.  We are stronger when we work together!  The next Hate Crimes Bias Task Force Meeting is July 24th at 7:00 PM at the DC Center.

(7) Attend your local ANC Meetings and run for office in the District! An ANC is a non-partisan, neighborhood body made up of locally elected representatives called Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners. They are a unique feature of the District’s Home Rule Charter.  The Commissioners, who serve two-year terms without pay, are elected at DC Elections in November in even-numbered years (e.g. 2016). The ANCs were established to bring government closer to the people, and to bring the people closer to government.  Our LGBT ANC reps are our fiercest advocates and supporters.   Learn more about ANC’s here, and if you are thinking about running for office the Victory Fund is a great place to start!

(8)  Tell DC Council to support the LGBT Older Adults and Long Term Survivors of HIV Amendment Act.  A lot of the recent conversations have focused on the need for services for the LGBTQ community, and a lot of work is underway to fight for the resources we need.   The Care for LGBTQ Seniors and Seniors with HIV Amendment Act addresses this issue for our seniors and long term survivors!  The bill, modeled after similar efforts in Massachusetts and California, adds LGBT elders and older people with HIV to the list of those older people in the District who are considered to have greatest social need under the Older Americans Act (OAA). Making this small but important update to how the law is implemented in DC, ensures that LGBT elders and people living with HIV have equal access to crucial government aging services and programming.  Learn more and sign the petition here.

(9) Make your voice heard at the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs Advisory Committee Meeting.  The Office of LGBTQ Affairs works in collaboration with an Advisory Committee, which is appointed by the Mayor.  Their mission is to “address concerns of the LGBTQ community and find innovative ways of utilizing government resources to help address issues affecting LGBTQ residents of Washington, DC.” These meetings are open to the public and include time for concerned community members to make public comments.    Come to this meeting and make your voice heard!

(10) Take care of each other.   Take time to reach out to your friends who have have been impacted by violence recently, as well as friends who have experienced violence in the past and may be triggered by what is currently happening.    If you know someone who needs a person to talk to, call the DC Center during office hours to arrange an appointment with a licensed clinical social worker (202) 682-2245.  If we are at capacity we will do our best to connect you to other resources in the community.   Also, let folks know about the Queer Women Working Through Trauma group at the DC Center.  A new 8 week session starts in September.



Earline Budd: Call to Action on Drug Overdoses in the LGBTQ Community

Earline Budd Call to Action

Transgender Activist and Executive Director of Empowering the Transgender Community Earline Budd released the following statement in response to recent deaths believed to be related to drug overdose in the DC LGBTQ Community.

In December 2018 I sent out a “Call To Action” regarding the spike in K2 Synthetic Drug and heroin overdoses here in the District of Columbia. On June 27th a transgender woman whom I have known and worked with for over 15 years was found dead at 7th and H Street N.W. She was homeless and had her struggles, but did not deserve to go out like this. It was said to be a suspected overdose of some type of drug that she consumed.

In the last 90 days the LBGTQ community has had several deaths believed to be related to the synthetic drugs and heroin.  This epidemic has hit home for the LBGTQ community again after the death of Diamond Colson a transgender woman age 31.

While city agencies including the police department, the Department of Human Services along with homeless shelters are said to be trying to curb this ongoing problem, it has resurfaced and again is claiming lives of those we love and work with.

Even with the creation of the city “Emergency Alert” flier with information about K2/heroin and drug addiction resources that officers and homeless advocates are now passing out, we must come together to discuss what more can be done. One life is too many, and there must also be consequences for those who are mixing up these deadly drugs killing people. While there is a
lot of funding for Opcode Overdose Prevention, there must be more done for those who are within the LBGTQ community which is a very silent conversation. “Call to Action” is now and we can’t sit by and just watch people die off. While it is not you today experiencing the loss of someone, it can be you tomorrow.


  • Seek substance use disorder treatment. Call the Assessment and Referral Center (The ARC) at 202-727-8437
  • Get connected to behavioral health services. Call the 24/7 Access HelpLine at 1-888-793-4357
  • Contact an outreach worker 202-442-4634 (DHS) or 202-673-9124 (DBH)

LGBTQ Specific Recovery Information

  • Visit the Triangle Club website to learn more about traditional twelve step programs.
  • An LGBTQ Smart Recovery Group meets weekly on Saturday Evenings at 8PM.  Find out more here.
  • For Harm Reduction information and resources, connect with


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



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.

Study Planned to Explore Future of the Reeves Center

Reeves Center

The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development recently held a ‘March Madness’ event where they revealed upcoming development projects.  DC Properties that were discussed include the Reeves Center (2000 14th Street NW), the MPD Third District and FEMS location (on U Street between 16th Street NW and 17th Street NW, and the DC Parks and Recreation site at 1325 S Street NW.

Mayor Muriel Bowser and and Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner  announced plans for a “Re-Imagining the Reeves Center” study.    According to the fact sheet provided:

“The Reeves Center, a government office building at 14th and U Street NW, and other District
owned properties surrounding the U Street corridor are poised for redevelopment. The District wishes to conduct a study to evaluate how these sites can contribute to a vibrant public life in the surrounding neighborhood, and what kinds of uses best balance public needs and economic development potential.”

An RFP for the study will be released in the Fall of 2019. (read the fact sheet here)

It is unclear how development plans for the Reeves Center will impact offices located at the Reeves Center, which include The Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, the Mayor’s Office of Latino Affairs, and of course, the DC Center for the LGBTQ Community.  The DC Center has approximately 15 years remaining on a twenty year lease.

We will continue to monitor the situation and share information as it becomes available.




2019 LGBTQ Community Survey

2019 LGBTQ Community Survey

The DC Center for the LGBTQ Community is proud to partner with Community Marketing Inc for the 13th annual LGBTQ Community Survey. When you complete the survey using our unique link ( your survey data is shared with the DC Center.

click here to take the survey now

This is the fourth year the DC Center has participated in the survey.  Last year we had 400 unique responses which provide us with useful information about the community members we serve.

Please take a moment and complete the survey now.  Results from previous years surveys are included below and on our Data page at

Previous Community Survey Results

The DC Center Community Survey 2018

The DC Center Community Survey 2017

The DC Center Community Survey 2016

5 Ways to Support LGBTQ Older Adults in the District

LGBTQ Older Adults

Center Aging recently held it’s April Advocacy Meeting and we were excited to be joined by Imani Woody of Mary’s House DC and ANC Rep. Mike Silverstein.  Now is a great time to stand up for LGBTQ Older Adults in the District.  Here are five steps you can take to help.

Join us at our next meeting.  Center Aging Advocacy meetings take place on the first Monday of every month at 12:30 PM.  We would love to have you join us for our next meeting on May 6th at at the DC Center.  We hope to see you there!

Testify at the Office of LGBTQ Affairs Budget Hearing.  The Budget Hearing for the Office of LGBTQ Affairs is on April 22nd (It was originally scheduled for April 11th but has been rescheduled).  Find out more about this meeting here.  LGBTQ organizations including Casa Ruby, Wanda Alston House, and the DC Center recently testified at the budget hearing for the office of LGBTQ Affairs calling for $3 million dollars to be added to the budget so that they can provide competitive grants to local organizations to support our community.   Priorities for this funding include seniors, youth, housing, the transgender community, and employment.  In addition, Mary’s House has called for office to receive 24 housing vouchers.

Volunteer your time.   Our Center Aging lunch for LGBTQ older adults takes place on the fourth Friday of every month!  We depend on support from the community to provide the meal and entertainment for this event.   As you may know, social isolation is a big issue for LGBTQ older adults, so providing these social events is important to their health and well being.  We are grateful to the ATT Employee Resource Group who recently paid for one of these meals, and for community members who have volunteered their time including Dan Carter, Fabián H. Ríos Rubino, and Adam Heller who have donated their time.  If you would like to provide lunch for our older adults please let us know.  You can learn more about this and other group volunteer activities for LGBTQ Older Adults at:

Testify at the Office of Aging Budget Hearing.  The Budget Hearing for the Office of Aging is April 25th.  We were excited to hear at our recent meeting that the ANC Rainbow Caucus plans to testify at this hearing in support of housing programs for LGBTQ Older Adults (among other issues).  While the Office of Aging does not deal with housing directly, they have an important role to play in this issue.  This is an excellent opportunity to share the experiences of LGBTQ older adults.  Find out more about this meeting and sign up to testify.

Make a donation.  Consider supporting an organization that works to support LGBTQ older adults.