Welcome Elizabeth Johnson, LCPC

Introducing new team member, Elizabeth Johnson LCPC.

Welcome Elizabeth Johnson, LCPC, to the DC Center for the LGBT Community!
Elizabeth (she/her/hers)
joins our Working Through Trauma groups facilitation team in Behavioral Health Services at the Center. Elizabeth will be co-facilitating the Queer All Genders Working Through Trauma group with DC Center Therapist Christina Cappelletti. 

Birthdate, Astro Sign:
Sun sign is Leo. I am a Gemini rising and Aries moon

Where are you originally from?
Camden, Arkansas, which is in the southwest corner of the state.

What brings you to working at the DC Center?
The DC Center offers hope and support to folks looking to live their best life. I want to be a part of that.

What is your music anthem?
I have pretty eclectic music taste, so whatever gets me closer to what I want to feel.

What is your favorite spot in DC and what do you do there?
Wherever brunch is happening!

What is your favorite LGBTQ+ book?
A Well of Loneliness by Radcliff Hall because it beautifully highlights the complexity of love and identity.

Who do you look up to in the LGBTQ+ community?
James Baldwin. His writing about identity has inspired curiosity about my identity as a person and within society.

Meet The Staff

Nen, our Development Intern for Spring 2022

Welcome Nen Segura to the DC Center! They are responsible for overseeing partnerships, organizing events, and assisting with the DC Center’s programs. Nen she/they, look forward to events, meetings, and team building. You can meet Nen Segura at the DC Center on weekdays and some evenings. Nen she/they is looking forward to working with the team, attending events, and supporting their community.

 

 

Birthdate, Astro Sign

 

A Gemini sun and moon with a Virgo rising, so I might be crazy but also a perfectionist. 

 

Where are you originally from? 

San Jose, California born and raised.

 

Why did you start working at the DC Center? 

I am exploring who I am and want to be more in touch with others like me, and what better way to support my community than with the DC Center?

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

My favorite part about working at the DC Center is being able to help my community.

What is your music anthem? 

Change My Mind – Peach Tree Rascals

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community? 

I love being a part of a community that is not afraid to be who they are. 

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

My favorite spot in DC that I have found so far is Le Columbe to do work and pick up delicious coffee. Plus they give out free sparkling water!

What is your favorite queer movie?  

My favorite queer movie has to be either The Danish Girl or Lupe both telling the stories of transgender women and their journey to acceptance of themselves. The exploration of gender has always fascinated me especially being a gender fluid person who has always loved to experiment with both in terms of how I perceive myself. 

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

Lavender purple would just brighten up the appearance!

Who do you look up to in the queer community?
Alex Renee is a gender fluid TikTok star who posts fabulous transition videos, switching from one gender to another while also spreading information on what it means to be gender fluid and nonbinary. I love and support them because they were the ones that opened my eyes to the possibilities of what gender means and helped me to figure out that I was the same as them. 

Meet the Staff: Jaelyn Gonzalez

Picture of new Social Media Intern

Welcome Jaelyn Gonzalez to the DC Center! She is the Social Media Intern here at the DC Center for the Spring 2022 Quarter. Jaelyn (she/her) looks forward to supporting and aiding the LGBTQ+ community through the power of communications. You can meet Jaelyn at the DC Center on weekdays and some evenings. She is looking forward to being creative and outreaching to the community. 

Birthdate, Astro Sign
June 28th 2002, which makes me a Cancer!

Where are you originally from? 

I am from the west coast! I am a So-Cal native with my hometown being Covina, CA and I attend university in Riverside, CA.

Why did you start working at the DC Center? 

As an LGBTQ+ community member, I found the DC Center to be a great place to serve the community. WIth a strength in communications, the DC Center became the perfect fit for me.

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

The staff has been super helpful and has established an amazing work environment.

What is your music anthem? 

I love Sophie and Arca!

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community? 

I admire the fact that the community is much like a family. No matter what you have been through, the community is more than willing to take you in and care for you. In the words of Janet Mock, “We get to choose our families. We are not limited by biology. We get to make ourselves and we get to make our families.”

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

Georgetown always has the best spots to drink coffee and read a book. Currently reading Joan Didion’s Play it as it Lays and Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.

What is your favorite queer movie?  

Moonlight or The Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Barry Jenkins is one of my favorite film directors!

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

Pink! It goes well with the Cherry Blossoms and Jackie Kennedy’s rose garden.

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

Sophie! She got me into one of my hobbies, DJ’ing. She has changed my view on hyper-pop music forever and truly changed the landscape for the electronic music scene.

The DC Center Board of Directors Appoints Kimberley Bush As Executive Director

The DC Center Board Of Directors is excited to announce the official appointment of Kimberley Bush as The DC Center’s Executive Director.

The DC Center Board Chair Andrew Zapfel states “The Board greatly appreciates Kimberley’s steadfast & effective leadership, deep compassion and extraordinary perseverance as she has been able to successfully continue our work in such unprecedented times. We look forward to her continued leadership as we enter this new era of the DC Center.”

Click here to read our announcement in Metro Weekly Magazine

Welcome Sade Adeeyo, LGPC

Welcome Sade Adeeyo

Welcome Sade Adeeyo to the DC Center for the LGBT Community!
Sade (she/her) joins our Working Through Trauma groups facilitation team in Behavioral Health Services at the Center. Sade looks forward to getting to know and supporting the QW*WTT cohort as well as learning and growing with each member.

Birthdate, Astro Sign:
November 5, Scorpio

Where are you originally from?
Born in Cambridge, MA – grew up around Boston, Gary and Indianapolis.

What brings you to working at the DC Center?
I’m a social justice worker looking for meaningful opportunities to support those of us at the margins – especially during this pandemic.

What is your music anthem?
“Optimistic” by Sounds of Blackness

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?
The healing, liberation and affirmation that comes from finding chosen family.

What is your favorite spot in DC and what do you do there?
For the past two years, it has certainly been my apartment and I do everything there including dance parties, party of 1.

What is your favorite LGBTQ+ movie?
Paris Is Burning and The Birdcage

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

Who do you look up to in the LGBTQ+ community?
Way too many warriors to list, but Audre Lorde is MY LOVE (next to my boo of course!).

Meet the Staff: Alida

Welcome Alida Austin to the DC Center! She is the Health and Wellness Intern at the DC Center this Spring 2022 semester. Alida (she/her) looks forward to engaging in community work and learning more about the LGBTQ community in DC. You can meet Alida at the DC Center on weekdays and some evenings.

 

 

Birthdate, Astro Sign

I was born on June 23, so I am a Cancer!

 

Where are you originally from? 

I’m from Bolton, Massachusetts!

 

Why did you start working at the DC Center? 

I am interested in learning and interacting more with my community! The DC Center does incredible work in the community and I’m hoping to contribute to it.

 

What is your music anthem? 

Currently it’s Like Real People Do by Hozier!

 

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community? 

I love our creativity in how we express ourselves – there’s so many amazing ways that we show 

 

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

I love the Newark Street dog park! It’s a combination of a dog park, playground, and a community garden that’s really lively in the spring and summer time.

 

What is your favorite queer movie?  

Booksmart!

 

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

I’d love to see the White House painted pink.

 

Who do you look up to in the queer community? 

I look up to my queer friends, as well as folks who make me laugh, like Ashley Gavin!

Introducing Laya

Welcome Laya Monarez to the DC Center! She is our new Front Desk Support Team Member. Laya (she/her/hers) looks forward to helping all her LGBTQ brothers and sisters and making everyone feel safe and welcomed at the DC Center. You can meet Laya at the DC Center on Weekdays and some Saturdays.

Birthdate, Astro Sign
4/9/83 and a proud Aries

Where are you originally from?
I’m a Chicana Mexican American and very in touch with my Tepehuan and Raramuri Indigenous side.  I grew up in Herndon VA but have been living in DC for 20 years.

Why did you start working at the DC Center?
I’m a bisexual transgender woman and I want to be a part of an organization that believes in building stronger connections within the LGBTQ community.

What has been your favorite part about working at the DC Center?
Everyone is so friendly and welcoming. 

What is your music anthem?
Kickstart my Heart by Motley Crue

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?
We look out for one another and are always there when someone needs a hand.

What is your favorite spot in DC and what do you do there?
I used to play roller derby with the DC Rollergirls and I absolutely love roller skating so Anacostia Skate Pavilion has become an absolute gem to my soul, particularly during these difficult times with Covid. 

What is your favorite queer movie?
Hedwig and the Angry Inch.  I adore how punk rock and gender queer it is.

What color would you paint the White House, given the chance?
I would paint it whatever colors the indigenous people of this land want it to be.

Who do you look up to in the queer community?
As a Bisexual Mexican Artist I have always looked up to Frida Kahlo.  If it has to be a living person then probably Danica Roem one of the first openly Transgender people elected to a US office.

Introducing Brittany

Welcome Brittany Zeman to the DC Center, where she is completing a field placement as she pursues her Master’s in Social Work (MSW) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Brittany (she/her) looks forward to learning more about DC’s incredible LGBTQIA+ community. While she’s currently working mostly virtually, in the future you might meet Brittany at the DC Center on Mondays, Wednesdays, and some evenings. 

Birthdate, Astro Sign

May 4, Taurus

Where are you originally from? 

Alexandria, VA

Why did you start working at the DC Center? 

I began VCU’s MSW program in August 2021 and will be working at the DC Center through my first and second semesters as I train up to someday become a trauma-informed therapist working with LGBQTIA+ folks. 

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

Deepening in community with LBGTQIA+ colleagues, clients, and partners.

What is your music anthem? 

Today, it’s “Malamente” by Rosalía.

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

We create our own meanings and ways of being, because we often have to. By existence, we are subversive. I find this subversion to be a tremendous source of power and insight into how I want to show up in this world.  

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

Wangari Maathai community garden, in Park View. I’m a longtime plot-holder at this vibrant community garden full of activists, veggies, and pollinator-friendly flowers. Come by an harvest from our public fruit tree orchard or public vegetable garden in spring, summer, or fall! 

What is your favorite queer movie?  

Pedro Almodóvar’s “All About My Mother”

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

I would dismantle the White House and use the sandstone blocks and other materials to build some much-needed affordable housing in the District. Folks could paint those houses whatever colors they’d like. 🙂    

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

I look up to all members of the queer community, from service providers, community organizers, and activists to folks struggling to come out or fighting to find a space that is safe for them to just be. We are all needed, we are all valid, we are all loved, and I’m grateful beyond words to be a part of this community.  

Welcome David!

Welcome David Arriaza to the DC Center! As the new Health and Wellness Intern. David (He/Him/His) looks forward to having a great learning experience while serving the LBGT community in DC. You can meet David (He/Him/His) at the DC Center on weekdays and some evenings. David (He/Him/His) is looking forward to being the best Health and Wellness intern that ever was.

 

Birthday, Astrological Sign

November 6th, 1981, Scorpio

 

Where are you originally from?

I am from California’s northern Bay Area but I was born and raised in El Salvador.

 

Why did you start working at the DC Center? 

During my youth I volunteered at Positive Images (Sonoma county’s Queer youth and young adult center) and I would like to use the skill I have learned while working at the DC Center.

 

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

As this is my starting week I have yet to discover all the wonderful things that The Center has to offer.

 

What is your music anthem? 

The Origin of Love as performed by John Cameron Mitchel in the movie Hedwig and the Angry Inch. And, The Queen of Mean as performed by Sarah Jeffry in the Disney movie Descendants 3.

 

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community? 

I like the feeling that I belong and the freedom of being myself in public. I was brought up in a very repressive culture during my childhood in Central America and having the opportunity to experience the shift in the Queer community in the U.S. has become one of the best experiences of my life.

 

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

So far I have only been a couple of weeks here in DC for the first time, but I have had the opportunity to visit some of the monuments in the National Mall. By far what I have enjoyed the most is the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. It makes me feel like a child once again when all I ever wanted to do in life was to become a paleontologist and study dinosaurs. 

 

What is your favorite queer movie?  

Hedwig and the Angry Inch, But I Am a Cheerleader, Short Bus, etc.

 

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

All of the color into a kaleidoscope pattern so that it can represent every visible spectrum of light perceivable by the human eye.

 

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

I would like for it to be standard and not so much a separate instance of heteronormative society. I would like for the Queer community to be what interracialism has become for the last half a century and more.

¡Bienvenido/Welcome Michele Johns, LGSW!

Michele Johns, LGSW, Therapist

!Bienvenido a Michele al DC Center/Welcome Michele to the DC Center!

Michele (she/her) joined us in 2021 as one of our trauma-informed, licensed mental health clinicians. Michele speaks English and Spanish. We are very excited to have her on the DC Center team!

You can meet Michele at the DC once it is safe to return to the Center in-person, but for now, read on to learn about her.

I love working with staff, volunteers, and folks who connect to The DC Center for community, care and creativity.  The DC Center is an exciting place that invites and welcomes and nurtures authenticity and creativity – and real and lasting connections – through art, therapy, education, and advocacy.  I really look forward to being able to gather in person at The DC Center – and until then, will continue to seek and soak up the virtual connections!

I enjoy leading groups, working individually with folks, and connecting to the other aspects of the Center – like the open mics, art and movie gatherings.

I look forward to bringing my full self to The DC Center – my queer, social justice-y, artistic, therapist, religiously trained, Spanish-speaking, pet-loving self!

Birthdate, Astro Sign:

–October 2, Libra

 

Where are you originally from?

–born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama.

 

Why did you start working at the DC Center?

–because I got lucky!!!  I wanted to be a part of a dynamic, creative, authentic, place doing real and transformative work with and for our LGBTQ+ community!  It is an amazing place!  I am fortunate to be a part of The DC Center!

 

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

–collaboration with amazing, creative, and dynamic staff and working with folks who come to The DC Center for connection, care, and healing!

 

What is your music anthem?

–I love music!  Life could and maybe should be a musical!  So picking one song or album is really hard.  I love “Rise Up” (Andra Day) and “This is Me” (Keala Settle and “The Greatest Showman Ensemble”) and Joy Oladokun’s latest album!  And I am a longtime fan of The Indigo Girls, Ani DiFranco, and Maná!

 

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

–we are resilient and creative!  We know pain and we know how to have a great time!  We know how to make joy come alive!  We know how to make sparkling lemonade out of dry lemons!  We know how to create and recreate family and community, to rise from the ashes and live in vibrant color!

 

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

–there are so many great spots in DC!  I love exploring Rock Creek Park, the museums, and hanging out around U Street.

 

What is your favorite queer movie?

–“Pose” (not a movie, but, yes!  Wow!!)

 

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

–rainbow, of course!!   With colors in the Progress Pride flag.

 

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

–there are so many I look to with deep gratitude and respect.  I look to the artists – who birth creations that touch souls and transform minds.  I look to those at Stonewall who let the uprising and were then ignored and discarded.  I look to those who had to live in the closets in order to survive and were quiet revolutionaries.  I look to courageous leaders in spiritual and religious settings who name truths of the inherent worth and dignity of each person.  I look to the amazing performers in “Pose” – who have fought to be where they are and have transformed lives from their audacity to live their lives out loud!  I look to children of today, with more freedoms and choices of who to be and how to be – and to the adults around them who are following the lead of the children, rather than imposing rigid norms of how and who to be.