Meet the Staff: Christina

Welcome Christina Cappelletti to the DC Center! She is the new Therapist and Anti-violence Advocate. Christina looks forward to being here as a counselor, activist and artist in our community. You can meet her at the DC Center Monday through Friday. Christina has been a Queer change agent for over two decades, including several years in San Francisco/East Bay, California. She also lived in Colorado, where she started a gender counseling program at a public health clinic, as well as co-founding a queer-owned art gallery and community artists studio. Both as a therapist and an artist, she deeply appreciates creating space for the processes of personal growth and transformation for all identities.

Pronouns: She/Her/s and any that encompass Pangenderism

 

Birthdate, Astro Sign — November 15 — Scorpio Sun, Leo Moon, Libra Rising

 

Where are you originally from? Athens, Ohio, a lively liberal college town in the Appalachian foothills.

 

Why did you start working at the DC Center? To hold space for healing and to be part of a creative team in service of social justice.

 

What is your music anthem? Imagine, by John Lennon. It’s timeless.

 

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community? The full spectrum of freedom of cultural identity expression based on love and infinite possibility, as a model of the capacity of the human soul.  And it’s just fun!

 

What is your favorite spot in DC and what do you do there? My home in Mount Rainier. Time with my Love and pups and for making art.

 

What is your favorite queer movie?  Yentl. Home for the Holidays. The Danish Girl. Brokeback Mountain. Lots of good ones out there, finally.

 

What color would you paint the White House, given the chance?  Murals! Depicting every imaginable cultural identity.

 

Who do you look up to in the queer community? Audre Lorde. Gloria Anzaldua. Elton John. Again, lots of good choices!

CFLS to Hold Speaker Training for Women Survivors

Community Family Life Services will be hosting Informational Sessions for the CFLS Speakers Bureau on September 11th and September 14th. The Speakers Bureau is a paid public speaking training and professional development opportunity for women who have survived domestic violence, human trafficking, homelessness, and incarceration.

This Informational Session is an opportunity for potential applicants and members of the community to learn more about the program, hear from current members of the program, receive tips on how to strengthen your application, and ask questions. This event is open to all applicants and members of the community who are interested in learning more about the CFLS Speakers Bureau.

Please RSVP to attend:

Wednesday, September 11th at 11am: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cfls-speakers-bureau-informational-session-911-am-tickets-71082213815

Wednesday, September 11th at 6 pm: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cfls-speakers-bureau-informational-session-911-pm-tickets-71084352211

Saturday, September 14th at 11 am: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cfls-speakers-bureau-informational-session-914-am-tickets-71084727333

Please reach out to Miracle Smith with questions: (202) 750 6024 ext. 4001; mgsmith@cflsdc.org.

Meet the Staff: Taryn

Meet one of our Support Desk Volunteers, Taryn Kitchen! If you call or stop by the Center on a Monday, you’ll likely see them welcoming visitors and getting folks oriented to the DC Center’s programs. Taryn also keeps the website updated and coordinates some of the Center’s volunteer opportunities.

Birthdate, Astro Sign

July 24, which makes me a Leo

Where are you originally from?

I’m from a small town Massachusetts, known for its one traffic light installed in the 90s.

Why did you start working at the DC Center?

I have appreciated the many programs and resources at the DC Center since I moved here and have met many of my friends through the Center. I was excited to get more involved and have a chance to connect more with the LGBT community in DC.

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

I really love talking to folks who are just starting to connect with queer communities and maybe visiting the Center for the first time.

What is your music anthem?

Oh man, this is tough… I’ve watched Tash Sultana’s Tiny Desk Concert approx 7382 times, so I think I’m gonna go with that…

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

The instant family you find everywhere. Whether its a DC Center support group, a queer movie night, or an Andrea Gibson show, you know where you can find people to instantly connect with.

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

I love QT Fusion’s dance nights. The queer bachata nights are great to meet tons of people and fulfill my dance soul. 

What is your favorite queer movie?

Hmm I’m gonna go with Princess Cyd, for its quality queer coming of age narrative. Also, I know you didn’t ask, but I’m gonna plug my favorite queer book– Dante and Aristotle Discover the Secrets of the Universe– cause I’m a sucker for YA and it’s beautiful.

What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?

Funky patterned button-ups, particularly with birds and florals.

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

I’d love to see it painted as a community mural by local students.

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

All the young trans and queer kids out there being proud and making change in their schools and communities

Letter from Rainbow Caucus of LGBTQ Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners

The Rainbow Caucus of LGBTQ Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners submitted a letter on June 19 the Chairman Phil Mendelson. You can read the text of the letter copied below, or view the entire letter in its original format at the following link: RainbowCaucusLetter.pdf

——

The Honorable Phil Mendelson
Chairman, Council of the District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 504
Washington, DC 20004

Via E-mail

19 June 2019

Dear Chairman Mendelson:
We write as DC’s highest-ranking LGBTQ elected officials charged with ensuring the best interest of the District of Columbia as a whole. While the DC Council contains many self-
professed LGBTQ allies, we have not had true representation on the Council since Councilmembers Catania and Graham left office. The Council’s silence on hate crimes and
transgender violence, its refusal to provide even $1 in increased funding for the Office of
Human Rights and Office of LGBTQ Affairs that 15 organizations advocated for, its failure
to address anti-LGBTQ discrimination and violence, and its lack of action to ensure that we
have safe and respectful housing and job opportunities for LGBTQ people of all ages – and
in particular trans women of color – deeply concerns and disgusts us.

We learned long ago that Silence = Death … and your silence and inaction is killing
members of our community or placing them in harm’s ways and hospital emergency rooms. We will not be complacent, we will not be silent, and we will hold every single
Councilmember accountable for their failures – both now and during election time.

LGBTQ people are suffering when they walk down the street, they are targets, and they are
dying from preventable causes. Recent instances include the brutal murders of Ashanti
Carmon and Zoe Spears – both transgender woman of color, the violent attack on Carl
Craven and Braden Brech outside of Nellie’s on U Street, NW, on June 16th, and three
people stabbed inside the Fireplace on P Street, NW, also on June 16th. Sadly, violence like
this is all too common in our community, and it is happening on your watch.

Furthermore, the Council continues to fail in its oversight role. There is institutional
disrespect and homophobia/transphobia throughout our District government agencies,
particularly toward transgender people. Yet you do nothing. Your silence condones this
discrimination.

Words of friendship and support no longer ring true. Both as elected officials and your
constituents, we call on you to act now. Money talks, and we need to hear a mighty roar
from the Council by securing a minimum of $5M in funding for the programs and agencies
that support our community and make us safe.

We look forward to your response and are committed to rolling up our sleeves to work
together until every last one of us can walk down the street in safety and dignity.

Kent C. Boese
Commissioner, 1A08
Chair, ANC1A

Michael Wray
Commissioner, 1A09

Jason Clock
Commissioner, 1A12

James Turner
Commissioner, 1B09
Chair,ANC1B

Robb Hudson
Commissioner, 1B11

Ted Guthrie
Commissioner, 1C03
Chair,ANC1C

Birdget Pooley
Commissioner, 1C02

Japer Bowles
Commissioner, 1C07

Matthew Sampson
Commissioner, 2B01

Randy Downs
Commissioner, 2B05

Mike Silvertein
Commissioner, 2B06

Michael. D Shankle
Commissioner, 2C01

John Fanning
Commissioner, 2F04
Chair, ANC2F

Monika Nameth
Commissioner, 3F06

Madeleine Stirling
Commissioner-elect, 2F05

Councilmember Robert White’s Statement on Violence Against the LGBTQ Community

Councilmember Robert White has released a Statement on Violence Against the LGBTQ Community. You may read the statement, copied below, which was originally released on June 21, 2019.

The recent spate of attacks against LGBTQ members of our community is part of a pattern of violence in our city and around the country, and it has to stop. We cannot and will not tolerate hate crimes such as these in the District of Columbia. No one should endure the terror of being targeted and attacked for being who they are. I want my LGBTQ neighbors to know that I see you, I hear you, I support you, and I am deeply troubled and disturbed by these attacks.

On March 30, I was saddened to hear of Ashanti Carmon’s still unsolved murder. And on June 13, I was stunned to hear that her friend, Zoe Spears, was also shot and killed just blocks away. I know the DC transgender community is reeling from these losses. Yet, even at the LGBTQ community center Casa Ruby, where they should feel safest, transgender women were recently threatened by a man with a gun.

In 2019, ten transgender women have been violently killed in the United States; all were African-American. Fatal violence against transgender women of color is a national issue and having two of these horrific deaths in our own backyard is an outrage. Transgender women experience clear anti-transgender bias, and their transgender status often puts them at risk in other ways. They experience discrimination in the workplace, when they look for housing, and even when trying to access government services. This sometimes forces them into unemployment, homelessness, or survival sex work, all of which puts them at greater risk of violence.

LGBTQ individuals continue to face discrimination and harassment in public spaces both in DC and across the country. Just a few days ago, Karl Craven and Braden Brecht were attacked on U Street by men using a homophobic slur. DC is, and should always be, a welcoming community. It is our responsibility to address and denounce all hate crimes.

We have not done enough to protect and support LGBTQ residents in the District. I plan to work with the Mayor, my colleagues on the Council of the District of Columbia, government agencies, and LGBTQ organizations and individuals to address LGBTQ access to basic needs and services such as safe housing and mental health. I will work with the rest of the Council to release a statement of no tolerance for violence against transwomen and sex workers. I also will introduce legislation to create a platform for transwomen of color to shape the policies and programs that they believe they need to improve both health and safety. And I will work with the Council to hold a roundtable with government agencies and community organizations that work with transgender women to discuss how we as a city can better serve them.

I am sending letters to Mayor Muriel Bowser and to Chairman Phil Mendelson to ask for their support and assistance in addressing these issues. We can do better to protect marginalized communities. I ask the Mayor, the Council, and the District as a whole to join me as I learn about the issues and fears LGBTQ members of our community face and to take action to improve their safety and overall well-being.

# # #

 

Meet The Staff: Sean

Welcome Sean to the DC Center! He is a front desk volunteer. He looks forward to helping with the day to day workings of the center and providing assistance to all that come. You can meet Sean at the DC Center on Tuesdays! He has a Psychology degree from High Point University, North Carolina many years ago.

Birthdate, Astro Sign

May 4th, Taurus

Where are you originally from?

Born and Raised here in DC

Why did you start working at the DC Center?

I wanted to help and support my community, in a city I love and was raised in.

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

Just meeting different people throughout our varied community and seeing them grow and strive.

What is your music anthem?

Janelle Monae “Lettin Go” it is about quitting a job that doesn’t appreciate you, and living your best fun life.

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

The coming together of the participants whether it be groups, clubs, and get togethers and spreading support and love.


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

My grandma’s house in NW. She has lived there forever and she has always had faith in me and has been my hub in DC.

What is your favorite queer movie?

Paris Is Burning, Cause. You. Own. Everything! 

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

Pitch Black

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

My mother the baddest most inspirational lesbian I know. Who always wanted me to be the best me I can be.

Testimony on LGBTQ Youth Homelessness

In response to the DC City Council’s budget oversight hearing for the Department of Human Services, the Youth Working Group submitted testimony regarding LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness in DC. The Youth Working Group urged the Council to consider the need for a safe system for youth to submit complaints and the need for LGBTQ competency training at shelters and housing providers. Read the full testimony letter the Working Group submitted below.

Did you know the DC Center has lockers for youth experiencing homelessness?

For more information on the Youth Working Group, visit https://thedccenter.org/youth/

—-

Dear City Council Members,

I am writing today on behalf of the Youth Working Group at the DC Center for The LGBT Community. We are a group of adult advocates who work with LGBTQ youth in a variety of contexts and organizations throughout the city and come together at the DC Center on a monthly basis with the goal of ensuring that LGBTQ youth in D.C. can enjoy freedom from displacement, harassment, and bullying, in a community where youth feel safe, respected, and connected.

At this time, we would like to raise concerns about the safety of LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. As we know, nearly 40% of youth experiencing homeless in D.C. identify as LGBTQ. These youth are placed at an increased risk of harassment from both peers and facility staff when entering shelters and housing providers, often leaving youth unsafe and vulnerable when visiting these facilities. We have noted, however, that when issues do arise, there is no safe way for youth to submit complaints without fear of retaliation. For many youth, the possibility of jeopardizing their housing situation constitutes too high a risk to raise concerns directly.

As such, we ask that the Council support and set aside aside funding for the creation of an anonymous complaint system for shelter and housing providers, giving LGBTQ youth the opportunity to express their concerns–and compliments– with the assurance that they will be heard and efficiently followed up on. Relatedly, we urge the Council to consider the need for and bring forth legislation to enact LGBTQ competency training for all staff at shelter facilities and housing programs in the District of Columbia. These persons are integral to the services provided youth in the District, and LGBTQ competency is essential when interacting with this vulnerable population. We consider this equally as important as the legislation for mandatory competency training enacted in 2016 (B21-0168) for healthcare providers serving LGBTQ youth. Finally, we also affirm the proposal for additional funding for youth beds and encourage the expansion of capacity in low-barrier shelters for LGBT youth.

We appreciate your time and consideration of these requests.

Kind regards,

Taryn Kitchen
on behalf of the Youth Working Group
The DC Center for the LGBT Community

Employment Opportunities: Whitman Walker Care Navigators

Whitman Walker Health is offering 3 new job opportunities, as detailed below.

Whitman Walker is continuously working to:

  • Hire and mentor a workforce that reflects the patients and clients that we serve and supports goals related to equity in our organization;
  • Develop individual team members into the next generation of management and leaders;
  • Foster understanding and respect for the psychosocial, spiritual and cultural values of employees and patients/clients; and
  • Celebrate our differences and recognize that they are a source of strength for Whitman-Walker.

For more information on each position and to apply, follow the links below: