ETC Response to Recent Arrest in the Murder of Zoe Spears

Empowering the Transgender Communityer Community

Earline Budd, Executive Director of Empowering the Transgender Community, released the following statement following the arrest of a man believed to be responsible for the death of Zoe Spears.

On July 18th LBGTQ community and others received information that Prince Georges County police and detectives had apprehended a suspect in the June 13th murder of Zoe Spears. They showed a large poster of 33 year old Gerardo Thomas who was arrested and said to be a resident of Baltimore Maryland.  We would like to first say thank you to the Prince Georges County Police and Detectives for their hard work in bringing closure to Zoe’s murder.   But our community still will not and cannot rest until the murderer of Ashanti Carmon is apprehended also.  Both of these women were young and did not deserve to lose their lives this way, now leaving a void in transgender community.  We continue to feel strongly that it is not by coincidence that these two women were killed in Fairmont Heights within 90 days apart and only 5 blocks apart in Fairmont Heights Maryland.

The Transgender community will continue to speak out for justice in cases like this.   We hope that the police uncover some surveillance in the area where our sister and friend Ashanti Carmon was killed too.  We are happy that both Prince Georges County and the District of Columbia officials are working to assure that there are resources in place to help transgender women who find themselves in survival mode and seeking help.

On Sunday July 21st at 3:00 pm, Rev. Elder Akousa McCray will be doing a “Special Alter Call and Prayer”, as we thank God for this case being solved.  This service will be open to the community and at MCCDC located at 474 Ridge Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001.

Today we still are asking the transgender community “PLEASE STAY OFF OF EASTERN AVENUE”, and seek resources from transgender community advocates and leaders.

Washington Post Op-Ed on Recent Violence

The Washington Post released an op-ed article titled, “The DC Area needs better resources to help the LGBTQ Community,” which speaks on the recent hate crimes within the DC LGBT Community. Written by Samantha Schmidt, the article highlights instances of violence and the lack of resources in the area available to help those who are vulnerable in our community.

Unsubscripted/Shorter Version of the Article 

Full-Length Article From Washington Post  

Earline Budd: Call to Action on Drug Overdoses in the LGBTQ Community

Earline Budd Call to Action

Transgender Activist and Executive Director of Empowering the Transgender Community Earline Budd released the following statement in response to recent deaths believed to be related to drug overdose in the DC LGBTQ Community.

In December 2018 I sent out a “Call To Action” regarding the spike in K2 Synthetic Drug and heroin overdoses here in the District of Columbia. On June 27th a transgender woman whom I have known and worked with for over 15 years was found dead at 7th and H Street N.W. She was homeless and had her struggles, but did not deserve to go out like this. It was said to be a suspected overdose of some type of drug that she consumed.

In the last 90 days the LBGTQ community has had several deaths believed to be related to the synthetic drugs and heroin.  This epidemic has hit home for the LBGTQ community again after the death of Diamond Colson a transgender woman age 31.

While city agencies including the police department, the Department of Human Services along with homeless shelters are said to be trying to curb this ongoing problem, it has resurfaced and again is claiming lives of those we love and work with.

Even with the creation of the city “Emergency Alert” flier with information about K2/heroin and drug addiction resources that officers and homeless advocates are now passing out, we must come together to discuss what more can be done. One life is too many, and there must also be consequences for those who are mixing up these deadly drugs killing people. While there is a
lot of funding for Opcode Overdose Prevention, there must be more done for those who are within the LBGTQ community which is a very silent conversation. “Call to Action” is now and we can’t sit by and just watch people die off. While it is not you today experiencing the loss of someone, it can be you tomorrow.


  • Seek substance use disorder treatment. Call the Assessment and Referral Center (The ARC) at 202-727-8437
  • Get connected to behavioral health services. Call the 24/7 Access HelpLine at 1-888-793-4357
  • Contact an outreach worker 202-442-4634 (DHS) or 202-673-9124 (DBH)

LGBTQ Specific Recovery Information

  • Visit the Triangle Club website to learn more about traditional twelve step programs.
  • An LGBTQ Smart Recovery Group meets weekly on Saturday Evenings at 8PM.  Find out more here.
  • For Harm Reduction information and resources, connect with


Support Memorial Services for Zoe Spears

Transgender advocate and activist Earline Budd has set up gofundme page on behalf of Zoe Spear’s family, to raise money for the memorial service and celebration of life for Zoe Spears.   Please consider donating to give Zoe a funeral that signifies “Dignity in Death”.

Earline states “My heart hurts in having to do yet another service, but my life is dedicated to giving and caring and for this reason I will complete yet one more service.  Thank you in advance.”

Earline will be responsible for final arrangements. The donations are needed now.   Please give as you can today, no donation is too small. You can donate here.


Meet the Staff: Alex

Welcome Alex to the DC Center! He is excited to join as the new Social Media and Advocacy intern. He looks forward to promoting the DC Center and increasing equity in our community. You can meet Alex at the DC Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays! He is a community organizer, artist, and Goucher College student with an Individualized Interdisciplinary Major called “Social Media for Social Change.”

Birthdate, Astro Sign
15 May, Taurus

Where are you originally from?
San Diego, California

Why did you start working at the DC Center?
I started working at the DC Center because their Trans Support Groups helped me get through some of my greatest challenges when I came out and moved to DC in 2016.

What has been your favorite part about working at the DC Center?
I love having the opportunity to help people, connect with the LGBTQ+ community, and collaborate with a fantastic team.

What is your music anthem?
Love Is Love by Alfie Arcuri

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?
The communal support and dedication to uplifting one another.

What is your favorite spot in DC and what do you do there?
I love walking in Rock Creek Park.

What is your favorite queer movie?  
The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

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

Who do you look up to in the queer community?
Ellen Degeneres because she is authentic, hilarious, and wonderfully kind. Laverne Cox because she fights for our rights and shares vital, inspiring messages. All of my trans friends and mentors who have helped me get to where I am today.

Cancer Screening Experiences of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Individuals

cancer screening

You are invited to participate in a research study to help clinicians and researchers better understand transgender and gender nonconforming individuals’ experiences with cancer screening recommendations. You are eligible to participate if you are 1) over the age of 40, 2) consider yourself transgender, gender nonconforming, or gender non-binary; and 3) live in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. They hope that findings from this study will improve future health care for transgender and gender nonconforming people. Your participation is greatly appreciated.

Study Title: Cancer Screening Experiences of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Individuals in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Region

Principal Investigator: Mandi Pratt-Chapman,, 202-994-5502

What is this study about?
• They want to better understand what cancer screenings health care providers are recommending to transgender and gender nonconforming people and to also understand patient experiences with cancer screening recommendations and procedures.

What do I have to do to participate?
• Taking part in this study is completely voluntary.
• You will be asked to participate in an interview that will last about 60 minutes.
• You will be asked to verbally consent to participate. This means that you will not have to write down your name at any time or provide any personally identifying information, but you do have to tell them that you agree to be interviewed or surveyed. Your willingness to participate is implied if you agree to be interviewed.

Will this study benefit me?
• Your participation may benefit others in the future by improving clinician recommendations regarding cancer screening for transgender and gender nonconforming people.
• You will not benefit individually from this research.

How many people will participate?
• Approximately 20 individuals will be interviewed.

What are the risks of participating in this study?
• Risks of research participation are hard to predict.
• The biggest risk to you is that you may feel uncomfortable answering certain questions about your health care experiences.
• Another risk is the possibility that someone will connect your responses to you or know you are participating in the study. This is called loss of confidentiality. However, since you will not have to provide any personal information like your name or your contact information the risks of being identified are very small. We will collect demographic information like race, age, and gender identity.

What can I do to reduce my risks?
• You do not need to sign this information sheet.
• You do not need to answer any questions that make you feel uncomfortable.
• You may discontinue participation at any time.
• Please do not use anyone’s real name during the interview, including your own.

What is the research team doing to reduce my risks?
• If you agree to be interviewed, your conversation will be recorded in an audio file kept in a file on secure GW servers. Once the data analysis is complete, the audio files will be destroyed.
• They ask you not to use your name during the interview. Within the transcript of your interview, you will be referenced with a description such as “Genderqueer person, age 43, Washington, DC” and you will not be identified specifically.

Do I have to answer every question?
• You do not have to answer any question that you do not want to answer.

Who will have access to the information I share?
• Only the study team will have access to data and files. All data and files will be password protected and stored on a secure server.
• Themes will be identified from the interviews and survey results will be used to prioritize education and research to improve care of transgender and gender nonconforming people. Quotations may be shared in presentations, reports, or papers to ensure that others also learn from their study.

What if I change my mind and don’t want to participate?
• You do not have to participate.

Who do I contact if I have questions?
The Office of Human Research at the George Washington University can provide more information about your rights as a study participant at (202) 994-2715. If you have any questions or concerns at any time before, during or after the study—including if you feel you have been hurt by the study—contact Mandi Pratt-Chapman at (202) 994-5502. You may also reach out to her after the study to find out about study results.

The Transgender Community Condemns the Murder of Ashanti Carmon

Ashanti Carmon

Update: The Press conference has been cancelled but the vigil will take place as described below.

The Transgender community condemns the murder of Ashanti Carmon, a 27-year old transgender woman who was brutally shot multiple times to death in the 5000 Block of Jost Street in the town of Fairmount Heights Maryland on the morning of Saturday March 30th.

The Transgender community and other local LGBTQ organizations joins the Carmon family and friends in mourning this senseless loss.  Her murder reminds us all of how often the transgender community is targeted for violence in our society.   Sadly, violence against transgender people has become far too common in many cities.  While this murder was just across the Eastern Avenue line and happen in Maryland, Ashanti is well known and loved in the DC area by many.  In looking back on murders it brings us to the shooting death on Eastern Avenue N.E. of Lashai McClean age 23 who was killed in July of 2011.   While this murder may or may not be characterized as a hate crime by police at this time, it is important that each of us works to eradicate transphobia on a personal and societal level.

The LGBTQ community is organizing a vigil, which will take place on April 02, 2019 at 6:30pm in the 5000 block of Jost Street near the site of the attack.  The LGBTQ community encourages everyone to participate and show solidarity against hatred and violence.  Also, Funeral arrangements are pending and will be announced once released.

Transmasculine Sexual Health Research Opportunity

Transmasculine Health

Can a mobile app improve sexual health and HIV prevention for transmasculine individuals?  George Washington University is asking transmasculine individuals to participate in four advisory board meetings where they will view a new mobile app and provide feedback.  You may be eligible if

  • you: are 18-34 years old
  • identify as transmasculine
  • reside in the Washington, DC metro area
  • speak English

The purpose of this advisory board is to seek input on:

  • Issues including PrEP, reproductive health, health care resources, and the broader health of transmasculine individuals
  • A mobile app that provides sexual health and HIV prevention information tailored to the specific needs of transmasculine individuals

For more information about the first meeting on Tuesday March 12th at 6:00 PM, contact them at (202) 768-1111 or All calls and emails are kept confidential. Advisory board members may receive $50/meeting for their participation.


Cedar Lane UU Presents Trans Photo Exhibit

Pioneering Voices

Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church presents the photo exhibit Pioneering Voices.

Pioneering Voices is a museum-quality traveling exhibit including photographs and interviews with people of all ages who are transgender and some of their partners and children. Through first-person accounts and positive images, this exhibit seeks to challenge damaging myths and stereotypes about transgender people and to educate people about this marginalized, and often invisible group of people.

The exhibit is on display in the vestibule through the end of December, 2018.  An opening reception takes place November 4th from 12:30 to 2:30 PM. Cedar Lane UU Church is located at 9601 Cedar Lane in Bethesda, Maryland.

Trans and Genderqueer/GNC Events in November

Transgender Events in DC

November has always been a busy month for the Transgender community with many different events including the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) and Trans Awareness Week.  Here are some of the events we have planned at the DC Center for the Transgender and Genderqueer/Gender Non-Conforming community in November.  To stay up to date on future events, be sure to follow Center Trans on Twitter at or on Facebook at

November 2nd: Trans Support Group
Our Trans support group is a safe space where collectively, folks that identify along the trans spectrum or questioning may share stories and experiences.  more about this event.
November 3rd: Reel Affirmations Film Screening of Documentary Trans Youth
Filmed over three years in Austin, Texas, this film follows seven trans young adults as they navigate family judgment and relationships, find their voices in DIY punk bands, fall in love, navigate the unknowns of hormone therapy and move through the transitions of top surgery.  more about this event.
November 4th: Reel Affirmations Genderqueer/GNC Short Films
See a film block of the best of our Gender Non Conforming/Genderqueer Short Films!  more about this event.
November 13th: Trans Support Group
Our Trans support group is a safe space where collectively, folks that identify along the trans spectrum or questioning may share stories and experiences.  more about this event.
November 14th: Center Health Discussion on Transgender Health and Wellness
The November  Health Working Group Meeting will focus on transgender health and wellness.  We will be discuss existing data on transgender health and wellness.  We will also discuss the work of partner organizations to promote trans health and how the DC Center can support this work.  more about this event.
Novmber 16th: Trans and Genderqueer Game Night
You are invited to our monthly Game Night at the DC Center for the LGBT Community. Join us on the third Friday of the month for a relaxing, laid-back evening of games and fun.  more about this event.
November 20th: Transgender Day of Remembrance
Join us as we commemorate those who have been killed due to anti-transgender hatred.  more about this event.
November 22nd: Thanksgiving 2018
Join us for our annual Thanksgiving dinner!  more about this event.
November 27th: Genderqueer Discussion Group
Join us for our monthly GenderQueer DC support group at The DC Center for people who identify outside of the gender binary. Whether you’re bigender, agender, genderfluid, or just know that you’re not 100% cis – this is your group!  more about this event.