Meet The Staff: Katerina

Welcome Katerina to the DC Center! As the social media and advocacy intern, she looks forward to serving the needs of the LGBTQ+ community in DC, as well as helping in projects that would promote their voices and stories in creative ways. You can meet Katerina at the DC Center on weekdays and some evenings. She is looking forward to getting more involved with the DC LGBTQ+ community and gaining more valuable skills from her work with the DC Center.

 

Birthdate, Astro Sign: May 17, 1999 (I’m a Taurus!)

 

Where are you originally from?: I am from Spring Lake, North Carolina

 

Why did you start working at the DC Center?: After sitting in some of the peer support groups that the Center offered, I was excited to learn more about the various ways the DC Center served the LGBTQ+ community, whether it be through art, activism, or accessible resources and support. I am also currently working on an independent project studying the resilience and health autonomy of LGBTQ+ Latinx individuals for my senior year at Georgetown, and with this experience at the DC Center, I hope to gain more strategies and practices from a nonprofit level to better serve the community through my work.

 

What has been your favorite part about working at the DC Center?: The staff has been very welcoming and open to any questions and concerns I had about their professions and on-going projects! They definitely make me feel involved in a team right from the start, and understand the complexities of being a working college student!

 

What is your music anthem?: “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen

 

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?: Definitely the people and the support! I have made incredible friends and mentors who are a part of this incredible community who have helped me discover and become proud of my identity. I wouldn’t be the person who I am today without their encouragement.

 

What is your favorite spot in DC and what do you do there?: It has to be between Mount Pleasant or the Waterfront near Georgetown

 

What is your favorite queer movie?: Love, Simon or The Half of It! (I highly recommend my favorite queer show too, Pose)

 

What color would you paint the White House, given the chance?: Rainbow, for the gays

 

Who do you look up to in the queer community? Sylvia Rivera, MJ Rodriguez, and Hayley Kiyoko

Meet the Staff: Ella

Welcome Ella to the DC Center! As the health and wellness intern, she looks forward to getting to know the center and the people it serves. You can meet Ella at the DC Center on weekdays and some evenings. She is looking forward to working with the peer support groups and learning more about the mental and physical healthcare needs of the LGBTQ+ community.

 

Birthdate, Astro Sign

January 5, 2000. I’m a capricorn sun and moon and a virgo rising!

 

Where are you originally from? 

I was born and raised in DC.

 

Why did you start working at the DC Center? 

I wanted the chance to learn more about working in mental health, and the Center’s work is so important! 

 

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

How kind and welcoming the staff is.

 

What is your music anthem? 

Space Cowboy by Kacey Musgraves

 

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community? 

My friends and my girlfriend!

 

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

Rock creek park, I love to take walks there and listen to a good podcast or audiobook.

 

What is your favorite queer movie?  

Boy Erased– the book is also very powerful.

 

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

A nice olive green. Might put a few murals on the sides!

 

Who do you look up to in the queer community?
Experimental musician Pauline Oliveros. She was out and open in a time when that was very uncommon, and her music is incredibly powerful.

Meet the Staff: Taryn

Meet one of our Support Desk Volunteers, Taryn Kitchen! If you call or stop by the Center on a Monday, you’ll likely see them welcoming visitors and getting folks oriented to the DC Center’s programs. Taryn also keeps the website updated and coordinates some of the Center’s volunteer opportunities.

Birthdate, Astro Sign

July 24, which makes me a Leo

Where are you originally from?

I’m from a small town Massachusetts, known for its one traffic light installed in the 90s.

Why did you start working at the DC Center?

I have appreciated the many programs and resources at the DC Center since I moved here and have met many of my friends through the Center. I was excited to get more involved and have a chance to connect more with the LGBT community in DC.

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

I really love talking to folks who are just starting to connect with queer communities and maybe visiting the Center for the first time.

What is your music anthem?

Oh man, this is tough… I’ve watched Tash Sultana’s Tiny Desk Concert approx 7382 times, so I think I’m gonna go with that…

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

The instant family you find everywhere. Whether its a DC Center support group, a queer movie night, or an Andrea Gibson show, you know where you can find people to instantly connect with.

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

I love QT Fusion’s dance nights. The queer bachata nights are great to meet tons of people and fulfill my dance soul. 

What is your favorite queer movie?

Hmm I’m gonna go with Princess Cyd, for its quality queer coming of age narrative. Also, I know you didn’t ask, but I’m gonna plug my favorite queer book– Dante and Aristotle Discover the Secrets of the Universe– cause I’m a sucker for YA and it’s beautiful.

What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?

Funky patterned button-ups, particularly with birds and florals.

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

I’d love to see it painted as a community mural by local students.

Who do you look up to in the queer community?

All the young trans and queer kids out there being proud and making change in their schools and communities

Meet the Staff – Zhengxu Jin

Birthdate, Astro Sign
September 4, Virgo
Why did you start working at the DC Center?
As a member of the LGBT community myself, I’d love to make an impact and improve the conditions for other members of the community.
What is your music anthem?
Shake it off
What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?
It is very diverse community. People from different places, of different skin colors and ages united together to fight for a common goal. it is unbelievable.
What is your favorite spot in DC and what do you do there?
Georgetown for sure. I enjoy walking around in Georgetown when the weather is nice. I sit by the water, I go to get cupcake and ice cream, and sometimes I do some shopping too!
What do you think the LGBTQ+ community needs to improve on?
Cross acceptance. This means people need to focus more on their inner self than their appearance. It also means that we should look beyond one’s race, look, and mannerism (whether it is feminine or masculine.) We don’t deserve to be labelled and stereotyped as a superficial community.
What is your favorite Queer movie?
Love, Simon.
What has been your favorite moment while working in the DC Center?
The moment that I realized all my hard work will pay off because I am doing something for a good cause.
What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?
Vintage leather or jean jackets!
What color would you paint the White House, given the chance?
Rainbow!
Who do you most look up to in the queer community?
George Takei. He takes pride in being who he is and his posts are hilarious yet educating.

Meet the Staff: Danny Himes

Danny Himes

Birthdate, Astro Sign

January 11, Capricorn

Why did you start working at The DC Center?

I started working at The DC Center because I want to give back to the community that gave back to me. It is always my dream to work at non-profit organization and it is the just beginning of my journey.

What is your music anthem?

Nothing since I am Deaf.

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

I love that we are open-minded and unique. We are not afraid to be who we are! It promotes safe space for all the people.

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

My favorite spot in DC would be Rock Creek since I love nature and hiking. I always go there during Fall to see marvelous leaves color. Other than that, I go to Rock Creek to relieve stress.

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

I believe the LGBTQ+ community needs to focus on international equal rights more. Many countries do not have any protections for LGBT community. It is time to pay attention to what is going on around the world for this community and educate people to promote the equal rights. It is extremely important to ensure people are comfortable and safe anywhere in the world since we have only one home – earth.

What is your favorite Queer movie?

The Way He Looks. Too cute.

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

I just started this week and my favorite moment is working with my team! They are friendly, and they make efforts to learn a bit of sign language to communicate with me. They are what make my internship great.

What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?

I am addicted to jackets! I can’t stop buying them like I am a vacuum sucking up the jackets. Jackets are my LIFE.

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

Rainbow. Spread the love.

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

I look up to Miley Cyrus because she encourages people to express themselves and it is okay to change despite what people think. Also, she is a great activist and she does many things to show the care for animals and people. She is just a cool person! I would love to be her best friend.