Meet the Team : Prim

A picture of prim with a sculpture of a black squirrel

Welcome Prim to the DC Center! She will be a social media intern at our center. Prim (she/ they) looks forward to meeting all sorts of people at the DC center and becoming involved with the community. You can meet Prim at the DC Center on weekdays and some evenings. Prim is looking forward to participating in activities at the DC center and seeing the different types of things the DC center has to offer. 

Birthdate, Astro Sign

January 20th – Aquarius 

Where are you originally from? 

Cleveland, Ohio

Why did you start working at the DC Center? 

I liked how the DC Center catered to all different sorts of people, and I saw it as an opportunity to get out there, and see how a supportive community can truly help others, especially as a Psychology major. 

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

So far, everyone has been super friendly and welcoming, and I really appreciate all the help I’ve been receiving, especially as someone new to the area. 

What is your music anthem? 

Good Days – SZA

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community? 

I feel like the community is super welcoming to anyone, and honestly it was a great support to me as I was growing up and confused with myself. 

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

Hirshhorn Museum – I’m an artist myself, so when I visit, I love just observing the art and taking inspiration from the many different pieces.  

What is your favorite queer movie?  

The Handmaiden

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

Pink – it’s my favorite color, some of my friends would even say it’s my signature color

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

Kehlani – I love how down-to-earth she is, and she has been an inspiration to me since I was a teenager

Meet The Team: Matty Beard

Welcome Matty Beard (LGSW/MSW), our new Case Manager & Advocacy Specialist to the DC Center! Matty (they/them preferred) looks forward to being in person and connecting with the community. You can currently connect with Matty at the DC Center on Monday – Wednesday & Friday from 12-6pm. Matty is looking forward to working with the DC Anti-Violence Project (DCAVP) and being part of a team of beautiful, awesome queer people doing amazing things for the community.

Birthdate, Astro Sign

April 29th, 1992

Taurus Sun |  Aries Moon |  Libra Rising

Where are you originally from? 

Washington, DC

Why did you start working at the DC Center? 

Ultimately, to give back to the community and city that raised me and supported me when I needed it most. I come to the DC Center and community we serve with an emphasis in abolition, harm-reduction and dismantling of white supremacy.  I will be working closely with individuals and groups who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, especially those underserved, living with insecurities such as food, housing, substance abuse disorder/behavioral health needs, who regularly must interface with institutional systems of oppression. The process of navigating social services can often be (re)traumatizing and intentionally soul-crushing by design. Seeking help requires a lot of strength and resiliency as well as often requiring a person working within be that connection in gaining security.

As part of my role I will be: 

  1. available to the members of our community.  In-person & online. I am here to listen and can be reached at mattyb@thedccenter.org, or feel free to drop in anytime between 12-6pm M-W, F.
  2. a knowledgeable resource for people. There are often a plethora of resources in the form of assistance, support, funding and events that go unnoticed and underutilized. 
  3. active and responsive to the changing needs of the individuals and communities we serve. I will advocate and work with community members to create opportunities for their stories to be heard.  Also, providing critical education for people work with our community in dismantling professionalism, the importance of identity/gender-affirming care and work in anti-racism/decolonization.

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

Joining the team in the years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a humbling reminder of how important community centers are. Just the ability to offer a consistent space for LGBTQ+ people has reminded me what pride personally feels like. Being available to talk with people in our community has already been incredibly rewarding. 

What is your music anthem? 

Gloria by Laura Branigan

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community? 

How my identity as a queer, non-binary has changed and evolved over time and my relationship to the community has as well. It often feels like what I’ve sought and needed the most from the community is adaptive and changes very fluidly. I feel lucky to have that in a community.

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

DuPont. Either hanging in the circle or walking down 17th between S & P St. This is something I’ve always done but have more appreciation for how connected it makes me feel as I have gotten older.  I love seeing older queer people, especially couples. It feels like a good reminder of how much I have already lived but also how much is still ahead. 

What is your favorite queer movie?  

Carol (2018)

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

I’m color-blind so probably not the best person to consult on a paint job. 

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

Our elders. I think queerness gets recontextualized every generation but there is so much that we can universally gain from looking up to older queer folks. I have a wealth of respect and admiration for those who came before and I feel lucky enough to have older community members that remind me regularly the importance of shared connection, and in the end, what really matters to me. 



Meet the Staff: Caroline

 

Welcome Caroline to the DC Center! Caroline is excited to be helping the facilitators of our peer support groups at the center this fall as the Health and Wellness Intern. She is looking forward to working with the DC Center team and being in a space that supports and welcomes people in the LGBTQ+ community. You can meet Caroline at the DC Center on weekdays and some evenings. She is looking forward to upcoming support groups and attending fun events at the center. 

 

Birthdate, Astro Sign

June 13th, Gemini

 

Where are you originally from? 

Rhode Island 

 

Why did you start working at the DC Center? 

I wanted to work in an environment that supports the LGBTQ community and fosters a space for people to feel comfortable reaching out for whatever help they need.

 

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

I am excited to support and be a part of so many great opportunities the center has to offer for the DC community. 

 

What is your music anthem? 

Lately, I can’t stop listening to Mood Ring by Lorde.

 

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community? 

I love that everyone makes you feel seen and important for who you are.

 

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

I love the U.S. Botanical Gardens. There are lots of plants and cool flowers and I love to just walk around and look at it all. 

 

What is your favorite queer movie?  

I watch more TV shows than movies, I loved Pose, and thought it was both entertaining and informative. 

 

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

Yellow

 

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

I look up to many activists that paved the way for LGBTQ rights such as Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson. I also look up to my friends and people in my community because they continue to inspire me each day!

 

Meet the Staff: Emma Fumagalli

Image of Emma Fumagalli

Welcome Emma to the DC Center! As the Social Media/Advocacy Intern, Emma (she/her) looks forward to using the power of social media and connection to make a difference for the LGBTQ+ community. You can meet Emma at the DC Center on weekdays and some evenings. She is looking forward to the OutWrite literary festival, as well as promoting and documenting various upcoming center events.

Birthdate, Astro Sign:

September 24 (Libra)

Where are you originally from?

California Bay Area!

Why did you start working at the DC Center?

I wanted to work with other people who are just as passionate about advocating for our community as I am

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

Getting to learn and grow from the people I meet and work with

What is your music anthem?

Any song by Rainbow Kitten Surprise

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

The immediate connection and feeling of understanding felt when meeting anyone in the community

What is your favorite spot in DC?

The botanical gardens!

What is your favorite queer movie?

The Portrait of a Lady on Fire

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

Sage green

OutWrite, Washington D.C.’s LGBTQ Literary Festival, Welcomes its Next Chairperson

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Marlena Chertock, Malik Thompson, OutWrite Co-Chairs
outwritedc@gmail.com

OutWrite DC is welcoming a new Chairperson on board, local poet Emily Holland. After 2 years of service, Marlena Chertock and Malik Thompson are stepping down as Co-Chairs after the 2022 festival. They are thrilled to be passing the baton to Emily.

“As a queer writer who largely came-of-age here in DC, I am immensely excited to be the next Chairperson of OutWrite,” says Emily. “Under the expert guidance of Marlena and Malik, and also of Chair Emeritus dave ring, OutWrite has thrived as a literary festival created by — and for — the trans/queer community.”

“Malik and Marlena had the daunting task of adapting the festival during the ongoing pandemic, and their leadership was instrumental in not only shifting to an accessible virtual festival, but also championing Black writers, Indigenous writers, writers of color, and disabled writers. I have forged so many nurturing connections at past OutWrite festivals and hope to use my time as Chairperson to support trans/queer writers in the same way.”

“We are extremely excited to pass the torch to Emily!” said Marlena Chertock and Malik Thompson, the current Co-Chairs of OutWrite. “Our tenure has been a huge learning experience and it would not have been possible without the support of Kimberley Bush, Executive Director of the DC Center, dave ring, OutWrite’s chair prior to our tenure, Justin Johns, DC Center Office Administrator, Tahirah A. G., editor of our 2021 journal, as well as our Volunteer Coordinators Derrick Brown, Jacob Budenz, and John Copenhaver.”

“We chose Emily to take up the mantle of Chair because of her impressive, years-long commitment to D.C.’s LGBTQ+ literary community. We are excited to experience the future of OutWrite with Emily at the wheel,” Marlena and Malik said.

Mark your calendars for this year’s festival, which will be held August 5-7, 2022. Currently, all events are virtual; we will release more information on whether any events will be held in person or hybrid as soon as possible. Please visit outwritedc.org for more information.

More about the new Chairperson of OutWrite

Emily Holland (she/they) is a genderqueer lesbian writer living in Washington, D.C. She received her MFA from American University, where she won the Myra Sklarew Award for outstanding thesis and was the Editor-In-Chief of FOLIO. Their poems have appeared or are forthcoming in publications including Shenandoah, Black Warrior Review, Nat. Brut, DIALOGIST, Homology Lit, and Wussy. Her chapbook Lineage was published by dancing girl press in 2019. Their work has been supported by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and Sundress Academy for the Arts. Currently, she is the Editor of Poet Lore, America’s oldest poetry magazine published by The Writer’s Center.

 

 

 

 

 

About OutWrite

OutWrite is a celebration of LGBTQ literature, held annually the first weekend in August in Washington, D.C. The 2021 festival will be August 6-8, 2021. For more information, visit: thedccenter.org/outwrite.

About the DC Center

The DC Center for the LGBT Community educates, empowers, celebrates, and connects the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. To fulfill our mission, we focus on four core areas: health and wellness, arts & culture, social & support services, and advocacy and community building. We envision communities where LGBT people feel healthy, safe, and affirmed.

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Meet the Staff – Bex

Welcome Bex to the DC Center! Health & Wellness Intern, Bex (they/them) look forward to meeting community members, planning cool events, and supporting the awesome peer facilitators. You can meet Bex at the DC Center on weekdays and some evenings. They are looking forward to the Pride parade, the annual interfaith service and the OutWrite book festival.

Birthdate, Astro Sign May 25 (Gemini)

Where are you originally from? Chicago, IL

Why did you start working at the DC Center? I wanted to make a difference in my community

What has been your favorite part about working at the DC Center? The people I’ve been able to meet

What is your music anthem? Cut to the Feeling by Carly Rae Jepsen

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community? The joy that comes with being part of such a tight knit community

What is your favorite spot in DC and what do you do there? Any of the Smithsonian Museums, loving learning new facts

What is your favorite queer movie?  But I’m A Cheerleader

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

Who do you look up to in the queer community? Josephine Baker & Alvin Ailey

 

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