Meet Ping-Hsuan

This is a weekly newsletter to put a face to the staff at the DC Center. Every week we will be featuring a staff member. This week, meet Ping! Ping is our general intern. This summer Ping has been working with Shareese on End Violence Against Sex Workers and with Dee Curry on Solutions to Wellness Conference and Awards Banquet.

Ping-Hsuan Wang

July 12, Cancer
Why did you start working at The DC Center?

I started out volunteering and soon I grew to love the feeling of being part of the community by participating in the events. I wanted to do a little bit more by joining the team and helping organize some of the events, where I get to interact with awesome people in real life.

What is music anthem?

Jie Mei (姊妹) by A-Mei (1996). It’s the anthem for many gay men in Taiwan, I believe. The heartwarming message unites us.

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

The activism. Every time I look back on the progress we’ve made over time, I feel pumped to go even further. The energy coming from all of us as a community even in times of setbacks keeps me motivated. This collective endeavor to make lives better continues to inspire me.

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

Roosevelt Island. It’s on Potomac River but it’s still part of DC. It’s a great place for a walk to escape the city, even when it’s pouring. I love taking a walk or jogging or simply sitting on a bench somewhere to enjoy the time alone.

What do you think the LGBTQ+ community needs to improve on?

Communication. We have such diversity within the community that sometimes there are misunderstandings that stands in the way of accomplishing great work. I think communication is the key to having all the different voices being heard, from which we can start to address the different needs and concerns our members have to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment. 

What is your favorite Queer movie?

Somewhere I Have Never Travelled/帶我去遠方 (2009). I didn’t know it was a Queer movie when I went to the cinema but I was bawling when I left as the sense of loss and not fitting in resonated so much.

What has been your favorite moment while working in The DC Center?

That moment when someone from Alaska visited the Center and I showed her around and provided some resources she was looking for, I felt how directly impactful the work we are doing is on people’s lives.

What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?

I love layers. If I have to pick just one item, it’d be vests. They’re versatile; casual yet professional. I also love the feeling of being hugged tightly around my waist (by a vest).

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

Navy blue. I just love that color.

Who do you most look up to in the queer community?

My professors at National Central University, including Fifi Ding and Hans Huang, who are as actively involved and outspoken in the classroom as they are on the street as activists.

 

Meet the Staff: Meet Stacey

This is a weekly newsletter to put a face to the staff at the DC Center. Every week we will be featuring a staff member. This week, meet Stacey! Stacey is our Health & Wellness intern. This summer Stacey has been working with Shareese to help run our weekly packing parties, as well as help found The DC Center’s new yoga program.

Stacey Mannuel

July 18, Cancer
Why did you start working at The DC Center?

I was taking classes part time and I thought pairing that with part time work at an LGBT organization would be fun too.

What is your music anthem?

Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

I love that if you are looking for a home you can find it in our community.

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

I like the phallic Washington monument and the tidal basin. When I’m there I typically go for festivals or just a nightly stroll

What do you think the LGBTQ+ community needs to improve on?

We need to work on trans inclusion and media representation of Queer people of color, specifically bisexual members of the community. A lot of media representation of bisexual people involve cheating, manipulation or experimentation… and hardly anyone ever comes out as bisexual!

What is your favorite Queer movie?

Blue is the Warmest Color because it’s the first Queer film I ever saw. I also like Paris is Burning and Tongues Untied because it showed me a new perspective on certain parts of the Queer Community.

What has been your favorite moment while working in The DC Center?

My favorite part while working at The DC Center was meeting another queer Indonesian

What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?

Earrings, rings, and bandanas

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

I would paint it with murals of the people of color who constructed the house.

Who do you most look up to in the queer community?

Alison Bechdel because I’m in love with her work, Dykes to Look Out For and Fun Home

The DC Center: Meet Matt

This is a weekly newsletter to put a face to the staff at the DC Center. Every week we will be featuring a staff member. This week, meet Matt! Matt is our social Development Intern here at the center. Primarily Matt works with fundraising for The DC Center but during his time here he has been concentrating on raising money for the OutWrite book festival and Center Arts.

Matt McFaul

June 12, Gemini
Why did you start working at The DC Center?
While interning at the HRC I discovered I had a passion for LGBTQ issues and wanted to continue working for the community. When I heard about The DC Center I jumped at the opportunity to work with them and support the local community that I’ve been so lucky to be apart of for the last couple of years.

What is your music anthem?

Gypsy by Fleetwood Mac. Stevie Nicks is a goddess!

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

I really love how diverse the community is. Coming from a boarding school where I was the only openly gay student, the DC queer community has allowed me to meet so many strong and unique individuals that I have been able to learn from.

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

The back of the Lincoln Memorial facing Arlington Memorial Bridge. I could spend all night watching the cars leave the city and watching JFK’s eternal flame. For anyone interested it’s a great place to cry and not be seen as well make out with someone.

What do you think the LGBTQ+ community needs to improve on?

We need to have a greater acceptance of body types.

What is your favorite Queer movie?

Blue is the Warmest Color. I love how it accurately depicts the failing of what seems like a perfect relationship.

What has been your favorite moment while working in The DC Center?

I definitely would say walking in the Pride Parade for the first time.

What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?

Searsucker anything!

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

I want to make it glass so I can see that rat of a president running around his cage.

Who do you most look up to in the queer community?

Harvey Milk. He was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California. He showed great tenacity by continuing to run for office after his many failed attempts.

Meet Sam

This is a weekly newsletter to put a face to the staff at the DC Center. Every week we will be featuring a staff member. This week, meet Sam! Sam is one of our social workers here at the center and meets with her many clients all throughout the week. This summer, Sam has also been working tirelessly to plan Taking the Stage, Taking a Stand, which will provide a platform for queer voices to speak out against violence they have faced.

Sam Goodwin

September 20, Virgo
Why did you start working at The DC Center?
I began working as a Staff Social Worker at The DC Center in May 2016, with the hope of providing a safe space and tools for healing within a community that I care deeply about. I had always dreamed of working with LGBTQ individuals in my hometown of Washington, DC, and through The DC Center I was given the opportunity to create our mental health program and provide individual, group, and couples therapy to individuals who have been affected by crime, violence, sexual assault and other trauma. It has been an incredible and very rewarding experience.

What is your music anthem?

Canned Heat by Jamiroquai.

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

My favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community is the synonymous feeling of unbridled support and connectivity around being fiercely committed to being authentic to yourself and loving who you love. There is a unique beauty and deep strength in the freedom of genuine expression, and I feel those qualities radiate throughout the community.

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

I grew up in DC (one of the few and the proud!), and love so much of the city, so this is a hard question! I really love Eastern Market and the flea market that pops up every weekend. To me, there is really nothing better than strolling down the streets of Capitol Hill, getting brunch and then picking up a painting created by a local artist while listening to street performers serenade passersby with gentle Beatles ballads. I lived briefly near Eastern Market and it holds a very special place in my heart.

What do you think the LGBTQ+ community needs to improve on?

One of the strengths of the LGBTQ+ community is our diversity, the many different groups of individuals that make up the rainbow of letters in our ever-expanding acronym. The piece that we can improve is communication and connection between groups and communities within the larger community, specifically folks that have been historically marginalized and under served. We can always do better in lifting up and underscoring the voices that do not always get a chance to speak their truth, especially within our larger community.

What is your favorite Queer movie?

It’s a tossup – I love ‘To Wong Foo: Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar’ and ‘But I’m a Cheerleader.’ Both are such quirky classics.

What has been your favorite moment while working in The DC Center?

One of the most difficult weeks in my time at The DC Center was right after the horrific shooting at Pulse in Orlando. We worked around the clock with other LGBTQ+ organizations to put together an event for the community to come together, mourn, honor the victims of the shooting, and just talk about what had happened while uplifting and featuring the voices of Muslim and Latinx LGBTQ+ individuals. We had over 700 members of the community come out for this event, and the conversations that sprung from the speakers and individuals from the community knocked me sideways. There was so much love, and sadness, and anger, and wisdom, and respect in that space. It was raw and painful, but also presented all of us with a way to come together in a really intentional and important way when so many of us were hurting deeply. I’ll never forget the way I felt that evening, and how connected I was in that moment to everyone in that space. Perhaps it wasn’t my ‘favorite’ moment while working at The DC Center, but has certainly created the deepest impact and will be a moment that I will always hold with me.

What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?

I really love vintage style a-line dresses in soft, bright colors, and anything that looks vaguely 50’s and 60’s. Thrift-store shopping is my cardio.

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

I would paint the white house turquoise with hot pink stars. Maybe put some Hello Kitty stickers right across the front, too.

Who do you most look up to in the queer community?

I would say my queer hero is Janet Mock. I’ve seen her speak a few times in person, and read her memoir, ‘Redefining Realness,’ and think that her wisdom comes from a radical place of self-love and self-acceptance that is so inspirational and moving. I think she’s the voice of our generation, and that her wisdom pushes all of us forward.