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.

Resources

  • 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 www.hips.org

 

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.

(https://www.gofundme.com/help-with-services-for-zoe-spears)

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, mandi@gwu.edu, 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 healthmindr@gwu.edu. 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 twitter.com/centertrans or on Facebook at facebook.com/centertrans.

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.

 

Trans & Nonbinary Support Groups

Transgender & Nonbinary Support Groups at the DC Center for the LGBT Community

Support groups for the trans and nonbinary community are growing at the DC Center.  We currently have three support groups that meet monthly, with one more group starting this month.   The three groups that currently meet are:

The Trans Support Group is intended to provide emotionally and physically safe space for trans people and those who may be questioning their gender identity/expression to join together in community and learn from one another. Due to popularity and need, the group has expanded to being hosted twice a month, on the Second Tuesdays and Fourth Fridays of each month. This peer-led support group welcomes all who identify under the trans umbrella or are unsure, and seeks to continually reinforce our principles of respect, acceptance and protection through ongoing input from our attendees. The group welcomes people from all classes, races, sexuality and gender identity, and brings together this diverse assortment of individuals around a shared experience. Information about meetings is posted at thedccenter.org/trans or facebook.com/centertrans.

Meetings take place on the Second Tuesdays and Fourth Fridays of every month starting at 7:00 PM.

Genderqueer DC:  These meetings are centered on the needs of trans, nonbinary, and questioning people.  Anna Sullivan, a facilitator of the group, states: “Genderqueer DC is a peer support group where we talk about issues related to nonbinary/trans gender identity, and create a welcoming space to share whatever we’re going through.   People of all gender identities are welcome to attend, but our meetings are focused on the needs of nonbinary/ trans/questioning people. Friends, family, and allies are welcome!”

Meetings usually take place on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:00 PM.   Some meetings will have ASL interpreters- this is posted in the Facebook events, and shared in the group email.  More information is available at thedccenter.org/genderqueer or facebook.com/genderqdc.

A total of 19 peer facilitated support groups currently meet at the DC Center.  Peer facilitators are supported by our staff social workers.  Support the work of the DC Center by making a donation at thedccenter.org/donate.

Congratulations (and Goodbye) to Shareese Mone

Shareese Mone
Shareese Mone, peer educator at the DC Center for the LGBT Community, was recently honored for outstanding contributions to the Transgender community.  Shareese was presented the Up and Coming Activist award at the May Is? “All About Trans” reception.
Shareese started working at the DC Center in September 2016 and has grown professionally during her time with us.   Shareese has hosted packing parties and volunteer nights, facilitated the Trans Support Group, and organized The National Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.  One of my favorite memories of Shareese is when we both were part of the DC Center contingent at the MLK Parade.
I’m sad to share that  Shareese is ending her time with us at the DC Center, but very excited for Shareese as she pursues a new opportunity.   I have no doubt we will continue to work closely with Shareese as she continues the important work for which we share a passion.
While I am sad to see Shareese grow, I’m incredibly proud of the work she has done at the DC Center and how we’ve grown and learned from each other over the years.
Shareese asked we not hold a going away party or announce her departure ahead of time, so we honored that request (goodbyes can always be hard!).   Shareese’s e-mail addreeseshareese@thedccenter.org, will be active for the next week, so if you would like to send her an e-mail, please do.
Sincerely,
David Mariner

DC Prep Campaign Partners with Trans Latinx Community

DC Department of Health Pledge to be PrEPared

According to a 2017 report by the DC Department of Health (DOH) HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration (HAHSTA), 12,964 people residing in Washington D. C. live with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

For that reason, HAHSTA is launching the “Pledge to be PrEPared” campaign this month to educate the transgender community living in Washington D. C. about the importance of taking Preexposure Prophylaxis or PrEP.

PrEP is a pill taken once a day, and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that can prevent the HIV infection. Taken daily, PrEP is safe and over 90% effective at preventing HIV.

This unique campaign was created with the close participation of the Latin transgender community in Washington D. C. and Alexa Rodriguez, the Director of Trans-Latin@ DMV. It was developed based on HAHSTA’s ability to recognize the way the transgender community has been perceived in the past. The transgender representation is important to allow this community to communicate their values, their role in society, as well as their needs.

The transgender community participation in the campaign took place from the strategic planning and focus groups to the inclusion of real transgender Latina women in the promotional materials. This resulted in trusted messages in hopes of building trust among this community when deciding to take PrEP, as well as understanding its benefits.

“It’s important to educate the transgender community, as well as to break barriers and taboos about taking PrEP, and understand the real benefits of taking it, especially to prevent HIV,” Alexa said. She added that “the DC Department of Health’s efforts to benefit the transgender community are a big step, but there is still a lot to be done.

Michael Kharfen, HAHSTA’s Senior Deputy Director, agreed with Alexa’s statement, adding: “At DOH we are pleased to introduce this campaign created in collaboration with the transgender community, but we understand these are just the first steps, and that there is more to do in order to fulfill our commitment and dedication to supporting this significant community residing in Washington D. C.”

To participate in this important campaign and get more information, visit #PrEPpledge, PrEPpledge.com or cdc.gov/hiv/risk/prep/index.html.