Navigating Professional Settings as a Nonbinary Person

Navigating Professional Settings as a Non-Binary/Trans* Person

Coming out as non-binary or trans* can be uncomfortable in straight, cis-normative settings – especially the workplace. At work, we may not feel we can speak up when we are uncomfortable, defend ourselves from inappropriate comments, or express ourselves in the same way would if we were off the clock. We may not have LGBTQ+ colleagues or friends at work who can relate to our experiences or allies we can turn to for support when we need help. We may fear potential consequences of coming out such as discrimination, harassment, or disciplinary action.

Coming out has been an important and deeply personal part of my journey to live an authentic and meaningful life, and when I share this aspect of my identity with others, I hope to feel respected and embraced. I have recently had the privilege to work for an organization that prioritizes diversity, but even then, introducing and normalizing non-binary pronouns has been a challenge. As a non-binary person with fluid gender expression, I find myself coming out over and over again as I continue to meet new people. Because my physical features tend to appear feminine no matter how I express myself, many of my non-LGBTQ+ colleagues have needed ongoing reminders and explanations to help them learn my pronouns.

The emotional labor and weight of having to repeatedly come out at work, correct colleagues when incorrect pronouns are used, or serve as a token non-binary or trans* person can feel hurtful and exhausting at times. Most of my youth and adult life has been lived trying to navigate being queer in straight and cis-normative spaces. Perhaps you can relate. Having navigated professional settings as a non-binary trans* person many times, I’ve finally found a few strategies that have greatly helped remove some of this burden from my shoulders, and I hope they might benefit you too.

Wearing a Pronoun Pin

Wearing a pin or button has been the most helpful strategy I have used to help encourage my colleagues to remember to use my pronouns at work. Some days, mine will say “They/Them” and other days it will say “Non-Binary”. Sometimes I wear it on my suit jacket or shirt, and other times I’ll wear it on my lanyard if I’m wearing my ID badge. Pins have been a discreet, professional, and effective way to provide others a visual clue to use correct gender pronouns. Pins are also affordable and can be ordered easily online, but they only work when you’re speaking to your colleagues in person.

Listing your Pronouns on your Email Signature and Business Cards

Including your pronouns in your email signature is a helpful way to both let your colleagues know what your gender pronouns are when you’re working virtually and normalize diverse gender pronouns within your organization. You can use this same principle by printing your pronouns on your business cards. Businesses can benefit from implementing this as a routine practice to help current LGBTQ+ employees feel safer and to help the organization be more inclusive to new employees and the clientele it serves.

Welcoming Images and Items in your Personal Office Space

Displaying LGBTQ+, non-binary, or trans* imagery in your personal workspace can help show others that you are supportive and welcoming of LGBTQ+ clients and colleagues, and often inspires allies to follow suit. It can also remind others that you personally identify as LGBTQ+ and can help serve as a visual reminder of your pronouns if you have come out at work.

Make a Small Lending Library Available to Your Colleagues

Having books and reference guides available to be borrowed can be an accommodating way to help colleagues who may feel too shy or don’t have the time to have a lengthy conversation with you about how to help make LGBTQ+ people feel safer in the workplace. A text they can bring home can help them learn privately and at their own pace. One text I personally like to keep on my desk for this purpose is  A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns. I wouldn’t say it’s a perfect text, but it’s written as a graphic novel and uses a casual and humorous tone, which I like because it makes for a quick and easy read for busy people. If you choose to start a lending library at your office, make sure you’ve read the entirety of each text you make available to ensure the content is appropriate for the workplace.

State Your Pronouns When You Introduce Yourself

Each time you have the opportunity to introduce yourself to a new person or even a group of familiar people, take the opportunity to state your pronouns – even if no one follows your lead at first. This helps remind the group of your pronouns, models how to be inclusive of diverse gender identity, and invites them to help normalize diverse gender pronouns in the organization and perhaps even in their personal lives.

Correct Others When They Misgender You 

This can be a tough one. If you feel comfortable and safe enough to do so, correct others when they misgender you – to the extent possible. You can choose to do this immediately after it happens, or privately at a later time. However, sometimes being mis-gendered can happen so many times a day that it may not feel possible or reasonable to correct every person you come across. Only do what feels right and is comfortable for you.

If An Ally Wants to Support You, Let Them Know What You Need

Having allies at work can be tremendously helpful to make the workplace safer for LGBTQ+ people. However, sometimes allies may not know how to support non-binary or trans* people, and may have questions they’re too nervous to ask. They may be unsure how to respond when they overhear a peer use incorrect gender pronouns, or what they should do if they mis-gender someone by accident. Asking these questions can be so uncomfortable for some that it can be easier not to engage or show support at all.

In these situations, I have found success in being vulnerable and inviting about asking uncomfortable questions from the start. When someone expresses support for me, I thank them and let them know how happy and safe it makes me feel when they help me correct my peers about my gender pronouns. I let them know precisely what I would be comfortable with them sharing about me if they find themselves in a situation where they want to help correct others about my pronouns, and let them know that if they ever have questions, they may feel free to ask me about it. I also let them know that it’s okay to mess up, because what matters most to me is just a consistent effort to get it right.

While I recognize the strategies I listed above may not be applicable or possible in all work environments, I hope that they bring you some relief and tangible tactics to help improve your experience at work. I also recognize we may not always feel safe or generous enough to want to help our colleagues learn about how to be more inclusive toward LGBTQ+ people, and would sometimes prefer others take initiative to do the research on their own. If one thing is certain, however, it is that we all deserve to feel safe, respected, and valued at work and in our personal lives. To my surprise, I have been fortunate to find more allies and friends by coming out at work than I had originally expected.

 

Information sourced from https://myumbrella.co/

We Are Closed In Observance Of Juneteenth

 

The DC Center will be closed on June 19, 2020 in observance of Juneteenth

and

to support the #StrikeForBlackLives. #BlackLivesMatter

If you are facing a life threatening situation or seeking immediate care:

DC Mobile Crisis: 202-673-9300
DC Shelter Hotline: 202.399.7093 or 311
Maryland Mobile Crisis: 240-777-4000
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860
LGBTQ under 25: Trevor Lifeline: 866-488-7386
LGBTQ National Help Center (all ages – various lines/hours): 888-843-4564 www.glbthotline.org

 

CALLING TRANSMASC PERFORMERS/ARTISTS!

Transmasc Open Mic

We are seeking transmasculine folx to perform at the DCAVP Transmasc Voices Against Violence open mic event, May 29, 6:45-9PM. See the FULL EVENT DEETS HERE.

Theme: The topic is Transmasculine Survivors of Violence & Abuse. This event is a registration-only Zoom event, to be able to hold intimate space where transmasculine folx can speak up/out about their experiences of violence and abuse including those that may have happened pre-transition — a timeline that many transmasculine folx do not share openly for reasons of stealth, privacy and/or danger.

3-5 minute slots. The mic will be open after the first 5 performers for anyone interested — pre-event and during-event sign up list will be 1st come 1st served for the remaining time.

5-7 minute slots: We would like to have a small line-up of experienced performers to help set the stage as a place for authenticity and courage. If you are an experienced performer interested in one of the 5-7 minute slots on stage, please contact Benjamin DeRoche. We will offer a $50 honorarium/each for 5 transmasculine-identified performers.

ASL interpreters provided.

 

 

DC Center – Closed Effective 3/16/20

Image of the Coronavirus and the works COVID-19

Taking guidance and recommendations about social distancing from the DC government and the CDC, effective Monday, March 16th, The DC Center for the LGBT Community’s office will be closed. Staff are still working remotely, and will be checking emails and voicemails multiple times each day. Please reach out to supportdesk@thedccenter.org to connect with the DC Center, as we are still able to provide services and support.

If you are interested in attending support groups remotely, please reach out to your facilitator or supportdesk@thedccenter.org and we can provide options for remote meetings using conference lines.

The situation is changing rapidly, please refer to the CDC’s website and coronavirus.dc.gov for up-to-date information on what you can do to help prevent and slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

The DC Center team will be meeting regularly to assess the situation and rest assured that we will open as soon as it is safe to do so, as we know that many of our clients and participants are vulnerable and will need support. If you are able, please consider donating and supporting organizations that provide food, medicine, and other support to marginalized populations. 

 

If you are facing a life threatening situation or seeking immediate care:

DC Mobile Crisis: 202-673-9300
DC Shelter Hotline: 202.399.7093 or 311
Maryland Mobile Crisis: 240-777-4000
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860
LGBTQ under 25: Trevor Lifeline: 866-488-7386
LGBTQ National Help Center (all ages – various lines/hours): 888-843-4564 www.glbthotline.org

 

Health and Wellness Festival Vendor Registration – Postponed

Hello friends,
In order to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, the DC Center is closed effective Monday, March 16th. To protect the health and safety of everyone we have decided to postpone our health and wellness festival. Please consider how you can help delay the spread of coronavirus by consulting sites such as https://coronavirus.dc.gov/ for more information.

On March 28th, the DC Center will host its first ever health and wellness fair, as we work towards putting the finishing touches on our programming schedule, we are encouraging small to large organizations, businesses and nonprofits to sign up for a table or sign up to become a partnering sponsor of this wellness event. So far, we have organizations and businesses from varied backgrounds that are partnering with us. This Health & Wellness Fair represents The DC Center’s commitment to a strong and healthy community and is part of our ongoing effort to provide a safe space for the LGBT community to access basic health screenings and important information. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. We seek to provide a comprehensive offering geared towards the health and wellness of LGBTQ people in body, mind, and spirit as such we will be having several different workshops,pop-ups and panel discussion on LGBTQ health and wellness. We will have a day full of hands-on health and wellness activities including yoga, self-defense, tai chi, meditation, acupuncture, and massage. HIV testing, STI testing, and other health screenings will be available. Space is limited. Click the link below to register:
https://thedccenter.org/events/healthfest/

When: Saturday March 28, 2020
Time: 10:00am-6:00pm
Where: The DC Center for the LGBT Community
2000 14th St NW, Suite 105
Washington
DC 20009
Questions: supportdesk@thedccenter.org
202-682-2245

UPDATE : DC LGBTQ Health and Wellness Festival

LGBTQ Health & Wellness Festival

*** Hello friends,
In order to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, the DC Center is closed effective Monday, March 16th. To protect the health and safety of everyone we have decided to postpone our health and wellness festival, we will no longer have the event on March 28th , a new date will be decided in the future. Please consider how you can help delay the spread of coronavirus by consulting sites such as https://coronavirus.dc.gov/ for more information. ***

Due to unfortunate circumstances, we have been forced to reschedule our Wellness Expo. Join us on Saturday, March 28th for our first-ever DC LGBTQ Health and Wellness Expo.

Please click here for the updated event information, and if you have previously registered there’s no need to re-register. Thank you for your patience. If you have any questions please email supportdesk@thedccenter.org.

Job Opening at the DC Center : Social Worker/Therapist

The DC Center for the LGBT Community is hiring! We are looking for a full-time social worker/therapist. Bilingual in Spanish, a plus. See below for details.

Social Worker/Therapist Position:

The DC Center for the LGBT Community has a mission of educating, empowering, celebrating, and connecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community of Washington, DC. The Social Worker/Therapist helps to achieve this mission by providing mental health support services to survivors of violence, crime, and trauma. These services are available free-of-charge to our community members due to grant funding from the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG). The Social Worker/Therapist will see clients individually and in group settings, as well as in a couples/collateral therapy capacity, if requested. The person who fills this position is also responsible for assisting on other related projects, such as quarterly reporting and management of the OVSJG grant, outreach and education in the LGBTQ community, and assisting the mission, vision, and values of The DC Anti-Violence Project (DC AVP). The Social Worker/Therapist will report to the Executive Director.

Special Skills:

The Social Worker/Therapist must have the appropriate licensure to practice in DC (LGSW or LICSW) and have at least 2 years’ experience working as a clinician with a diverse client population. They must also have a demonstrated ability to work with LGBTQ+ adults, to work well in a team, to problem solve and communicate at all levels verbally as well as in writing. Must be self-motivated and be able to build and maintain relationships, both with colleagues and with key stakeholders in the larger victim-serving network of Washington, DC. The ideal candidate will have prior nonprofit/grant management experience and is well adept at multitasking in a fast-paced environment. Bilingual capabilities are not required but strongly preferred.

Functions and Duties

Social Worker/Therapist: Responsibilities:

  • Provide individual, couples, and group mental health support services to a caseload of 25-35 unique clients
  • Conduct intake assessments with all new potential clients to assess safety, job status, financial resources, living arrangements, current support system, type and history of victimization, legal issues, related medical history, and clinical symptomatology for the past 30 days
  • Provide clients with LGBTQ-friendly and affirming referrals to community-based services, aimed at assisting individuals affected by crime, violence and trauma
  • Assess clients and provide necessary intervention in crisis situations (safety plans, hospitalization, referrals, etc.)
  • Keep current and accurate records of all clinical interactions in our clinical database system
  • Collaborate with DC Center staff to provide community-based education and outreach opportunities in line with OVSJG grant requirements
  • Provide data for quarterly reports and help manage grant deliverables for the OVSJG grant throughout the fiscal year
  • Deliver trauma-informed, culturally competent assessment and treatment techniques to all survivors seeking support services, and serve as a resource for all individuals seeking support through The DC Center
  • Work in partnership with The DC Anti-Violence Project members to further the mission, vision, and values of DC AVP
  • Work well with a diverse staff to facilitate an open, supportive and warm environment for all individuals who visit The DC Center

Please click here to apply

How To Access A Free Sexual Assault Exam In DC

If you’ve been sexually assaulted in the last 96 hrs, go to MedStar Washington Hospital Center (MWHC) at any time 24/7/365.

To ask a nurse or an advocate your questions first or to receive a free Uber ride to the hospital, call the DC Victim Hotline @1-844-4HELPDC .


For evidence collection (“rape kit”), in case you decide to report to police, try to avoid:

Showering, urinating or having a bowel movement, eating/drinking or smoking, chewing gum, douching, brushing teeth or changing clothes.


Arrive to MWHC , emergency department and let them know you are there for a SANE exam

You will be checked out by an ER physician first. Expect to be at the hospital for an average of 4.5 hours. You will have the opportunity to have all your questions answered by a nurse and an advocate before the exam begins.


If needed, receive free HIV/STD and pregnancy prevention medications

The nurse and physician will run some lab tests to make  sure it is safe for you to take these meds. You will also have the opportunity to follow up for more meds if possible. Please note that if you believe you were exposed to HIV, you will need to arrive at MWHC  72 hours or before to get HIV prevention treatment known as PEP. PEP is only effective in stopping HIV when taken 72 hours after exposure.


Decide whether or not to report to law enforcement

It is 100% your decision whether to report to the police or not. Your kit will be held for a minimum of one year. You may request for MWHC to hold your kit longer but you may have the right to report any time within the statute of limitation.


Rest and track you kit

You can visit a website to track your kit. Your kit will only be sent to the crime lab for testing if you decide to report to law enforcement, but MWHC can send it for toxicology testing if you’d like regardless of your reporting decision.


Receive ongoing support and connection to resources

If you choose , the advocate will continue to support you in any way that you need and connect you to basic , education, legal, and / or social services.

 


  Information sourced from 

 

 

 

Queer Women Working Through Trauma, RSVP now for Jan 21, 2020

The Queer Women Working Through Trauma group invites individuals to focus on processing trauma as a group through a variety of therapeutic techniques, learning to manage triggers and painful memories, and other behavioral processing activities. Participants will also focus on the mind-body connection throughout the course of the group, engaging in art and expression activities, mindful meditation/visualization, deep breathing, and other tactile exercises to help process through trauma responses while creating accessible coping strategies.

The group is held weekly for 10 weeks on Tuesday evenings from 5:30 pm – 7 pm at the DC Center. The next cycle of the group will start on January 21. If you are interested in being a part of an upcoming cycle of the group or getting on the waiting list for the next one, please contact our staff social worker/therapist, Christina Cappelletti, LGSW, to set up a time for an intake session: christinac@thedccenter.org.

Job Opening at the DC Center: Community Engagement Specialist – Position Filled

Job Opportunities at the DC Center for the LGBT Community

***We are no longer accepting applicants***

 

Job Opening at the DC Center: Community Engagement Specialist

 

The DC Center for the LGBT Community is hiring! We are looking for a full-time Community Engagement Specialist to work with our new Total Care Team doing Early Intervention Services under our new Ryan White (part A) Grant.   

Position Details:

This position requires a person that is knowledgeable about marginalized communities that are at greater risk for HIV, Hep C, and other STI’s due to barriers minority communities experience due to oppression and socio-economic inequalities.  Much of the work is focused on Gender Non Binary, Transgender and MSM populations.  

The DC Center for the LGBT Community has a mission of educating, empowering, celebrating, and connecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual,queer, and transgender communities of Washington, DC. The Community Engagement Specialist will help to achieve this mission by providing culturally competent  supportive services to the aforementioned populations. This particular grant is status neutral so it includes both positive and negative populations. Persons of color from LGBTQ communities are encouraged to apply, as we seek to develop more diversity within our staff and services.  

 Special Skills:  

The Community Engagement Specialist  will provide referral assistance and direct service (medical and non-medical) to ensure disparities that challenge access to care and/or treatment are addressed to give community members their best chance at maintaining a healthy status through traditional sexual health strategies, biomedical prevention (PrEP); and through treatment as prevention and the U=U model (undetectable = untransmittable). 

The person who fills this position is also responsible for other duties, such as minor case management, outreach, health education, data collection and  data entry. The Community Engagement Specialist will report to the Community Engagement Manager directly.

 

Functions and Duties 

  Community Engagement Specialist / Total Care Team 

 

  1. Collect and enter data from focus populations in respective systems (Careware, Link U, Redcap)
  2. Engage groups and individuals in sexual health education and planning sessions
  3. Provide referrals to eliminate barriers, thus increasing improved health outcomes
  4. Assist in meeting program goals that reduce harm and risk, improving the quality of life 
  5. Provide client-centered service that reflects status neutral healthcare and education
  6. Engage and retain focus population clients in HI-V programming and assist in achieving individual goals. 
  7. Educate on viral suppression and PrEP; providing timely linkage to care
  8. Contribute to programming, marketing, and branding of culturally competent services
  9. Assist in testing, in-reach, outreach, and representing the organization in professional settings
  10. Engage volunteers and clients as directed to meet program and grant deliverables 
  11. Facilitate or Coordinate testing for focus populations
  12. Promote Rapid treatment and Comprehensive Harm & Risk Reduction initiatives
  13. Assist in Facilitating Cultural Competency training’s for organizations and individuals
  14. Assist with Consumer Satisfaction Surveys and data to ensure program effectiveness
  15. Assist in implementing and tracking medical and non-medical support and client outcomes
  16. Work with associated staff to ensure grant deliverables and promote program continuity 
  17. Provide good customer service and assist in various capacities as needed 

 

Please send qualified resumes to  justin@thedccenter.org before Monday, October 7th. Salary Range is expected to fall within $38,480 – $45,760

 

*Interviews will be held on 10/16/19 and 10/17/19