DCTC joins in LGBTQ Report Card on MPD

Today we join six colleague organizations in a new LGBTQ Report Card on the Status of Metropolitan Police Department Implementation of Recommendations from the Hate Crimes Assessment Task Force and Community Response. A year ago, MPD released the findings of its independent Hate Crimes Assessment Task Force, along with the Department’s response. We issued our own joint response to those reports, and now we report on progress made thus far in what is expected to be a long and far-reaching process of transforming relationships between MPD and LGBTQ populations in DC.

The Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit (GLLU) and Affiliate Officer ProgramB_vagckVEAATyeP
Earlier this month, Sgt. Jessica Hawkins took over the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit on a full-time basis. She is the first openly trans person to hold this role, and we look forward to working with her. That said, we are concerned that GLLU officers are now regularly detailed to ordinary patrol duties throughout the city. This dramatically reduces the unit’s capacity to engage in proactive outreach and relationship building, especially among trans populations. The affiliate liaison officer program, aimed at expanding capacities for all MPD Special Liaison Units, will resume recruiting later this year, using a refined selection process and a new approach to training.

LGBTQ Cultural Competency Training
MPD has committed to training all its personnel on LGBTQ cultural competency in calendar year 2015, and we expect classes to begin soon. Though the training development process has not always been smooth, we appreciate the opportunity to work together to create a quality product for officers and sergeants, which will soon be adapted for detectives and lieutenants and above. Quality control will be important to monitor throughout the year, and we encourage MPD to use the results of a training post-test to follow up with individual officers who may not perform well in training. Though community voices are included via video in the current module, we continue to look for ways to include community members most impacted by violence and negative police interactions, especially trans women of color and youth, in the training program.

Interactions with Trans Communities
Last year’s reports noted an urgent need for MPD to build trust with members of trans communities. We appreciate Chief Cathy Lanier’s participation in Transgender Day of Remembrance last year, as well as a town hall discussion last summer. That said, GLLU’s diminished capacity in recent months has negatively impacted this relationship building effort. It is imperative that MPD officers at all levels be accessible to trans communities and be visible at trans-serving organizations. Undoing years of mistrust will take a long-term, concentrated, proactive effort to establish new relationships. The Chief cannot do this alone. Ultimately trans communities need to see a shift in interactions on the street and believe that their needs are taken seriously when they request police service.

Hate Crime Data Collection, Training, and Policy
Training on hate crime response is included in MPD’s overall training effort this year. We continue to receive reports of officers refusing to mark reports as possible hate crimes until a supervisor or GLLU is involved, so we need to see greater respect given towards those reporting hate violence to ensure that these cases are properly reported and investigated. We are also working with MPD to find ways to better track violence against trans populations.

Intimate Partner Violence Training, Response, and Reporting
Appropriate response to violence within LGBTQ relationships is included in this year’s training module. We continue to review whether or not policy changes are required, and are hopeful that we can begin to collect better data on these cases as well, while respecting the privacy of those involved.

Interactions with Sex Workers
Finally, we appreciate the Council’s quick work last year to repeal the unconstitutional and inherently biased Prostitution Free Zones. While we have engaged in initial conversations with MPD on changes its approach to sex work policing, more work remains to be done.

Share your story with police ON FILM! October 29 at Casa Ruby

Late this summer, Sgt. Matthew Mahl in the Metropolitan Police Department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit (GLLU) requested volunteers from D.C.’s trans communities to record videos to be included in the department’s new trans training program. As a reminder, earlier this year the Anti-Defamation League released a report critical of MPD interactions with trans residents. One MPD response to this report was a commitment to overhaul their trans-related training and re-train all 4,000 MPD officers by the end of 2015.

It’s not possible to have community volunteers at every training session, but it is important that trans voices are a visible and prominent part of the training. MPD would like to record videos of D.C. trans residents sharing their personal experiences, particularly their experiences with MPD officers. Experiences can be positive or negative, and the goal is to help officers in the training to understand what it’s like to be trans in DC.

Join us on Wednesday, October 29, 3-7pm at Casa Ruby (2822 Georgia Ave NW) to share your story of interactions with police. We will have opportunities for individual interviews, as well as a group discussion beginning around 4pm. Please come and share your stories of police encounters: the good, the bad, and the horrifying. It’s important that we let police officers know exactly how trans people are currently treated, and what we want to see done differently.

If you’d like to attend, please RSVP to dctranscoalition@gmail.com. Also, share this message widely with your friends! DCTC will provide up to $5 to cover your transportation costs to attend, along with refreshments during the event.

P.S. The DC Council is also collecting stories of people’s experiences with police at a hearing on October 27. For more info, or to share your story, drop us a note! Check out Casa Ruby’s testimony from the first round of the hearing here.

Take action to fight discriminatory policing! #RepealPFZs

We know that many in our communities have turned to informal economies, including engaging in sex work, to support themselves. Sex workers have long been subject to police violence and harassment. Since 2006, the Chief of DC’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has had the power to designate any public space in DC as a prostitution free zone (PFZ). In a PFZ, the police can tell anyone to leave the area or face arrest, without any concrete basis for suspicion. That’s a recipe for police profiling, and it’s time to put PFZs to an end.

We opposed PFZs when they were first introduced, and now the DC Council is considering legislation to repeal this harmful and discriminatory law, that DC’s own Attorney General has determined is unconstitutional and indefensible. On Wednesday, June 9, at 11am, the DC Council’s Judiciary Committee will be considering the repeal measure. You can follow the hearing live online. Be sure to join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #RepealPFZs.

Most importantly, DC Council members need to hear from you to support PFZ repeal. We especially need to reach Council members Jack Evans (Ward 2), Muriel Bowser (Ward 4), and Anita Bonds (At-large). Please take a quick moment to email these Council members to voice your support for ending PFZs in DC. Just copy and paste the message below!
I am writing today in support of Bill B20-760 co-introduced by Councilmembers Grosso, Catania, and Cheh and co-sponsored by Councilmembers Wells and Barry, which would repeal the discriminatory Prostitution Free Zones provision from the D.C. Code. 
Prostitution free zones promote the unfair profiling of DC's most vulnerable communities and create an atmosphere of mistrust toward the Metropolitan Police Department. Repealing this law will assist with the process of repairing relations between DC's trans communities and the police, and open the door for more meaningful conversation about issues related to sex work.
This bill is an essential first step in achieving our broader goal of decriminalizing sex work in DC. Your voice is essential to make sure we’re successful. And if you’d like to share your experience with PFZs or biased policing, please just reply to this email and we’ll be in touch ASAP.

April 11: Action to support Monica Jones and end Prostitution Free Zones

Join HIPS, DC Trans Coalition, GLAA, and Best Practices Policy Project and groups around the U.S. and the world standing in solidarity with Monica Jones on her trial date, April 11, 2014. We are joining this global day of action against criminalization and profiling of trans women of color, and calling on DC to repeal the discriminatory Prostitution Free Zones.

Monica Jones, a human rights defender in Arizona and an advocate for the rights of transgender people and sex workers, was profiled and wrongfully arrested for “manifestation of prostitution” by a police sting operation and anti-prostitution diversion program known as “Project ROSE”. Ms Jones had been a speaker at a rally protesting Project ROSE—which is run by Phoenix police and Arizona State University’s School of Social Work—the day before. At the time of her arrest, she was not engaging in sex work, but was in fact walking down her street to the local bar.

On April 11 at 8:30 am (U.S. Mountain Standard Time) Monica’s case will go to trial at Phoenix Municipal Court. She will plead not guilty and an action is planned outside the court to show the City of Phoenix Prosecutor that we won’t tolerate the systematic profiling and criminalization of transgender people of color and sex workers. In DC, we will rally at noon in front of the Wilson Building in solidarity with Monica and trans women of color throughout the U.S. subject to such mistreatment. We will also call on the DC Council to repeal the discriminatory Prostitution Free Zones and promote the human rights of sex workers in our city.

What: Rally against criminalization of trans women of color and for human rights of sex workers
WhenApril 11, 12pm-2pm
Where: Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Click here to RSVP on Facebook.

DCTC joins in Community Response to Hate Crimes Assessment Task Force

Today, DCTC joined with six other DC LGBTQ community organizations in responding to the Hate Crimes Assessment Task Force report released by the Metropolitan Police Department on February 26. Taken together, the Task Force Report, MPD’s response, and the community response provide an essential starting point to improving relations between MPD and DC’s LGBTQ communities.

In the community response, we thank the Task Force for their research and findings. In general, we agree with the recommendations that the Task Force put forward. Our recommendations are designed to build upon the Task Force report by offering concrete steps that MPD and community organizations can take that, over time, will allow for positive change in how LGBTQ-police interactions occur in DC. The community response also looks beyond the issue of hate crimes to discuss response to intimate partner violence in LGBTQ relationships, interactions with LGBTQ youth, and interactions with sex workers. We look forward to engaging with MPD to begin implementing these recommendations.

Finally, the community response offers three specific recommendations to the DC Council, including:

  • Repeal Prostitution Free Zones and decriminalize sex work,
  • Strengthen the authority of the Office of Police Complaints, and
  • Hold annual hearings on marginalized community relations with MPD

UPDATE: A community forum to discuss the recommendations and next steps will be held at Casa Ruby on Wednesday, March 26, at 7:00pm. You can RSVP via facebook or by emailing vvillano@transequality.org.

To read the Community Response to the Hate Crimes Assessment Task Force, please click here (pdf).

Click here to read the Report of the Hate Crimes Assessment Task Force and MPD’s response (pdf).

anunciar un montón de nuevas campañas de DCTC (english following spanish below)


Os escribimos para anunciar un montón de nuevas campañas de DCTC en las que estamos trabajando, además de nuestra búsqueda de dos intern@s nuev@s.

 La Coalición Trans de DC es una organización de base local dedicada a abogar por las personas transgénero, transexuales, y de géneros diversos del Distrito de Columbia.  ¡Nuestras reuniones tienen un formato radical y basado en el consenso, donde todas las voces y experiencias son importantes!

Actualmente nos reunimos en Casa Ruby el 1er y 3er martes de cada mes  de 7:30pm a 9pm. ¡Las reuniones están abiertas al público! Siempre tenemos disponibles tarjetas de metro y pases de autobús. También ofrecemos interpretación inglés-español y ASL con aviso de antelación. Si necesitas cuidado de niñ@s, avísenos con tiempo e intentaremos tener personas  disponibles. ¡Únete a nosotr@s!


¿Preguntas? Visita dctranscoalition.org, déjanos un mensaje en el 202.681.DCTC (202.681.3282), o mándanos un email a dctranscoalition@gmail.com


Nuestras nuevas campañas incluyen:

1)   Grupo de sanidad trans

El propósito de este grupo es asegurarse de que todas las personas trans tengan acceso a sanidad competente, considerada y respetuosa con las identidades trans. Actualmente estamos trabajando para garantizar que Medicaid y Medicare de DC cubran  los servicios transgénero de sanidad  además de garantizar el cuidado médico apropiado. 

Por favor manda un email a Nico Quintana: nicoquintana1@gmail.com

2)   Grupo de abogacía en los tribunales

¡No hace falta experiencia legal! El grupo de abogacía en los tribunales se concentra en hacer el sistema judicial de DC más accesible a, y respetuoso con, las personas trans. No hace falta experiencia legal para participar en este   grupo.  Por ejemplo, este grupo ha cambiado formularios judiciales para que seam más inclusivos de las personas trans, ha abogado contra la discriminación en el sistema jurídico, ha entrenado a empleados de los tribunales, y ha optimizado el proceso del cambio de nombre.

Por favor manda un email a Jeff Light: jeff.light@yahoo.com

3)   Grupo de evaluación de necesidades trans

¿Interesad@ en la investigación basada en la comunidad? Nuestro grupo de evaluación de necesidades trans ha pasado los últimos tres años desarrollando y distribuyendo la primera encuesta de evaluación de necesidades trans de DC completamente inclusiva, ¡y ahora la encuesta más grande de cualquier ciudad de la historia de los EE.UU! Ahora estamos en la etapa final de escribir nuestro reportaje y apreciaríamos cualquier ayuda que nos puedas prestar, ya sea en edición de textos, investigación o en diseño de un zine sobre el proyecto para su distribución final entre las comunidades trans de DC. ¡No hace falta experiencia en investigación!

Por favor manda un email a Elijah Edelman: elijah.edelman@gmail.com


4)    Colectivo de artistas trans (abierto a las personas TLGBQ) 

Atención a tod@s l@s artistas: Venid a ser parte del emergente colectivo de arte TLGBQ. Este es un esfuerzo para crear un espacio seguro para que las personas trans o de género no convencional puedan explorar varios métodos y medios de expresión. Como el arte es expansiva, este proyecto no está limitado al mundo del arte visual sino que abarca todas las formas de expresión: la música, el arte de interpretación y movimiento, etc. A la larga esta visión se está poniendo en marcha para formar una comunidad que se apoya mutuamente en sus intereses y prácticas, para ofrecer apoyo a un grupo activo de personas tolerantes y de mente abierta y para llamar atención al desconocer de los problemas importantes a los que la población trans se enfrenta a diario. Así el interés por este grupo crezca y se solidifique, se presentarán las posibilidades obvias de tener eventos, exposiciones de arte, proyectos de grupo, talleres, etc. ¡Esto será tan grande como queramos, ¡y yo creo que tiene MUCHO potencial! ¡Gracias, y espero oír de tí pronto!

Por favor manda un email a  Jady Dyer: jady.dyer@gmail.com

5)    ¡Voces trans oídas! Columna de blogs y escritos trans

¡Para expandir nuestra página web, vamos a tener una página web para blogs invitados escritos por personas trans locales y no-tan-locales! Así te interese mantenerte al día de los eventos actuales o tengas algo de lo que quieras escribir, ¡este grupo es para tí! Aceptamos todas las contribuciones, en cualquier idioma(¡español en particular!),cualquier tema (poemas, tu receta favorita, reflexiones meditabundas, desvaríos o bromas), a cualquier hora.

Por favor manda un email a dctranscoalition@gmail.com

¡Oportunidades para intern@s y voluntari@s!

¡Siempre estamos a la busca de gente que pueda compartir su tiempo y energía con nosotr@s! Para ser voluntari@, simplemente ven a una de nuestras reuniones bimensuales, o mándanos un email a dctranscoalition@gmail.com y dinos qué te gustaría hacer!

¡Además de voluntari@s para todas nuestras campañas, estamos buscando intern@s! ¡Esta es una manera fantástica para conseguir más experiencia o para practicar conocimientos que ya tengas! 

Específicamente, tenemos DOS posiciones para intern@s abiertas:

1) Coordinador(a) de redes sociales

2) Intern@ del proyecto de evaluación de necesidades

1) Coordinador(a) de redes sociales 

Las responsabilidades para nuestr@ coordinador(a) de redes sociales incluyen coordinar nuestra presencia en las redes sociales,  como ayudar con nuestra página web y blog en WordPress, con facebook, twitter, y demás. ¡Especialmente buscamos a personas bilingües! Esta es una posición sin pago, pero estamos dispuest@s a trabajar con asesor@s y administrador@s de tu universidad para ayudarte a que te den crédito de curso por tu trabajo. Podrás trabajar desde casa o en Casa Ruby. Las horas de trabajo serán flexibles (de 10 a 20 por semana) para que puedas mantener otro trabajo.

2) Intern@ del proyecto de evaluación de necesidades

Nuestr@ intern@ del proyecto de evaluación de necesidades tendrá la oportunidad de ser parte de la historia de los Estados Unidos trabajando en el proyecto de evaluación de necesidades de una ciudad más grande hasta la fecha. Actualmente estamos escribiendo nuestro reportaje final y necesitaremos ayuda preparando este reportaje, además de un resumen ejecutivo asociado.  ¡No  necesitas experiencia o formación profesional para ser un(a) buen(a) candidat@ para esta posición! Aceptamos solicitudes de cualquier persona con ganas e interés en trabajar en edición de textos, en mantener conversaciones con organizaciones interesadas en los datos y en asistir en el lanzamiento del reportaje final.  

Las posiciones de intern@ (¡NO las de voluntari@!) requieren un proceso de solicitud corto e informal para que aprendamos un poco sobre tí. Estas posiciones son SIN PAGO pero estamos dispuest@s a trabajar con gente que quiera conseguir crédito u horas de voluntariado para a un curso de universidad o los requerimientos de una institución. Tenemos fechas límites continuas, pero daremos preferencia a las solicitudes mandadas antes del 1 de marzo del 2014.

Para solicitar cualquier posición, o si tienes preguntas sobre voluntariar con nosotr@s, por favor manda un email a  elijah.edelman@gmail.com detallando:

1) Cualquier trabajo anterior con organizaciones o grupos activistas específicamente trans

2) Qué habilidades y experiencias puedes compartir con DCTC

3) Lo que te gustaría sacar de trabajar con DCTC

4) Cuántos meses puedes comprometerte a trabajar con DCTC

5) ¡Una breve biografía tuya!

¡Por favor comparte esta información con amig@s, grupos comunitarios, proveedor@s de servicios, cafeterías o cualquier espacio de Internet al que tengas acceso! ¡Corre la voz!  

¿Preguntas, comentarios o ideas? Llámanos al 202.681.DCTC (202.681.3282) o mándanos un email a  dctranscoalition@gmail.com

En solidaridad,

El colectivo DCTC,


New Campaigns and Internship Opportunities!!


We are excited to announce a bunch of new DCTC campaigns we are working on as well as our need for a two new interns!

The DC Trans Coalition is a local grassroots organization dedicated to advocating for transgender, transsexual and gender diverse people within the District of Columbia. DCTC works with community advocates, other LGBT organizations, District agencies, and local politicians to enact and enforce policies responsive to the needs of the trans community.  Our meetings are held in a radical, consensus-based format where all voices and experiences matter! 

We currently meet at Casa Ruby, on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month from 7:30pm to 9pm and are open to the public! Bus tokens and metro cards are always available. Spanish-English interpretation is available and ASL interpretation is also available with notice. If you have child care needs, let us know in advance and we will work to have folks available! Come join us!

Questions? Visit us at dctranscoalition.org Leave us a message at 202.681.DCTC (202.681.3282) or shoot us an email at dctranscoalition@gmail.com

Our New Campaigns Include:

1)   Trans healthcare working group

This working group aims at ensuring all trans people have access to trans affirming and competent healthcare.  We are currently working to ensure that DC Medicaid and Medicare cover transgender health care services as well as ensuring appropriate provider care. 

Please email: Nico Quintana at nicoquintana1@gmail.com

2)   Court Advocacy Working Group

No legal experience necessary! The Court Advocacy Working Group focuses on making the DC court system more accessible to, and respectful of, trans* individuals.  No legal knowledge is required to participate in this   group.  Examples of the group’s work include changing court forms to make them more inclusive of trans individuals, advocating for nondiscrimination in the court system, training court staff, and streamlining the process for getting a name change.

Please email: Jeff Light at jeff.light@yahoo.com

3)   Trans Needs Assessment Working Group

Interested in community-based research? Our Trans Needs Assessment Working group has spent the past 3 years developing and distributing DC’s first fully inclusive trans needs assessment survey, now the largest in US history for any city! We are now at the final stages of writing our report and could use any help we can get ranging from copy-editing, background research to designing a Zine about the project for final distribution to trans communities in DC! No research experience necessary!

Please email: Elijah Edelman at elijah.edelman@gmail.com

4)    Trans Art Collective (open to TLGBQ folks) 

Attention to all art fiends: Come be a part of a newly burgeoning TLGBQ art collective. This is an endeavor to create a safe space for trans/gender-non conforming individuals to explore various methods and mediums of expression. As art is expansive, we see this project as not limited to the world of visual arts, but embracing all forms of expression: performance, movement, music, etc.  Ultimately this vision is being put in motion to have a community that encourages each other in their respective practices/interests, to offer support to an active group of open-minded and accepting individuals, and to bring awareness to the unknowing of the important issues that the transgender population deals with on the daily.As interest garners and solidifies, there are obvious possibilities of holding events, art shows  fundraisers, group projects, workshops, etc. This will be as much as we make it out to be, and I personally feel that this has a TON of potential! Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Please email: Jady Dyer at jady.dyer@gmail.com

5)    Trans Voices Heard! Trans Writing/Blogging Column

As an expansion on our current website, we will now be hosting a guest blog/writing page for local and not-so-local trans folks! Whether you are into keeping up on current events or have something you’d like to write about, this is for you! We welcome all submissions, any languages (¡español, en particular!), any topics (poems, your favorite recipe, theoretical musings, rants and jokes), and any time!

Please email us at dctranscoalition@gmail.com  

Internship and Volunteer Opportunities!

We are always seeking folks who can volunteer their time and energy! To volunteer, simply show up at any of our bi-monthly meetings or send us an email at dctranscoalition@gmail.com and let us know what you’d like to get involved in!

In addition to volunteer opportunities within any of our campaigns, we are currently seeking folks for internship positions! This is a great way for folks to get additional experience or to practice knowledge you already have!

Specifically, we have TWO internship positions open:

1) Social Media Coordinator and

2) Needs Assessment Project Intern.

1) Social Media Coordinator 

Responsibilities for our Social Media Coordinator might include coordinating our Social Media presence, such as providing support for our wordpress-based website and blog, facebook, twitter and so forth. Bilingual applicants are especially desired! This is an unpaid position, however we are willing to work with college/university advisors and administration to help you get appropriate course credit for your work. You will be able to work from home or on-site at Casa Ruby. The work load will be flexible (10-20 hours per week) so that you can maintain other employment.

2) Needs Assessment Project Intern

Our Needs Assessment Project Intern will get the opportunity to be a part of United States history by working on the largest city-based trans needs assessment project conducted to date! We are currently drafting our final report and will need support producing this report, as well as an associated Executive Summary.  Folks do not need professional experience or training to be a good fit for this position! We invite applications from folks who are excited and interested in copy editing, maintaining conversations with organizations interested in the data as well as assisting in the release of the final report.  

For our intern positions (NOT volunteers!) we do have a short and informal application process to get to know a bit about you. These positions are UNPAID but we are willing to work with folks who wish to gain credit/volunteer hours for a university course or institution requirements. We have rolling deadlines but will give preference to applications sent before March 15st 2014.

To apply for either position, or if you have questions about volunteering with us, please send an email to elijah.edelman@gmail.com detailing:

1) Any past work with trans-specific orgs or activist groups in the past

2) What skills and experiences you can share with DCTC

3) What you would like to gain from working with DCTC

4) How many months you can commit to working with DCTC

5) A short bio about you!

Please share this info with friends, community groups, providers, coffee shops and any Internet space you have access to!! Spread the word!!  

Have questions, comments or ideas? Give us a call at 202.681.DCTC (202.681.3282) or shoot us an email at dctranscoalition@gmail.com

In solidarity,

The DCTC Working Collective