David Mariner

Local LGBT Priorities for 2008

Filed By David Mariner | January 04, 2008 11:50 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Christpher Dyer, Washington D.C.

We spend a lot of time online talking about LGBT priorities at the federal level (ENDA, Hate Crimes, etc ...), but perhaps not as much time talking about LGBT priorities for our local communities.

The District of Columbia's Offce of LGBT Affairs, lead by Christopher Dyer, recently released their annual report. It includes the top 10 priorities for the LGBT community in DC as identified by the Office and the Mayor's advisory committee on LGBT issues. They are ......

  • Community Health and Wellness
  • Cultural Competency Training
  • Economic Development
  • Elder Community Issues
  • GLBT Specific Data Collection
  • HIV/STD Prevention
  • Public Safety
  • Substance Abuse
  • Transgender Community Issues
  • Youth Issues

It's a great list that for the most part I agree. Of course, I probably don't spend as much time working on each of these issues as I should. I'm very curious to hear from other cities. Do these priorities match up with yours? Where should our focus be in 2008?

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Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | January 4, 2008 12:38 PM


Is this a list of the top local concerns voted on by the LGBT community in D.C.? Or, is it the ten areas where the Office of LGBT Affairs will focus its energy?

I ask because there is no mention whatsoever of marriage/relationship recognition which as we know from a recent community forum that you and I organized as part of D.C. for Marriage there is lots of community interest.

In any event, its great to see Chris Dyer and the local LGBT community working together to build a stronger and healthier LGBT community.

Hey Michael,

I'm pretty sure that these priorities came from both the Advisory Committee and the Office of LGBT Affairs jointly, but we can clarify with Chris.

The folks on the advisory committee include several of the people who attended the Marriage Equality forum we organized including Cornelius Baker, Mike Sessa, Pat Hawkins, Brian Watson (those are the ones I remember seeing, anyway).

Community Health and Wellness Not at all
Cultural Competency Training Not at all
Economic Development Barely
Elder Community Issues Not at all
GLBT Specific Data Collection Not really
HIV/STD Prevention Yes
Public Safety Not at all
Substance Abuse Not at all
Transgender Community Issues The state trans group works hard, but doesn't get much support from other orgs
Youth Issues Yes, but again without much org support

There's your rundown for Indianapolis. Most of our time and money goes more to trying to achieve civil rights legislation and fending off a constitutional amendment. There's not really much state-wide cohesion.

I wrote up a list of priorities I see for the trans community. You can check it out following this link:
LGB issues verses Trans issues

My one thought about this list from the DC Office of LGBT affairs specificity. Which youth issues? Which trans issues? Are substance abuse and HIV not trans or youth issues? Maybe there's more detail in the full report, but I tend to worry that "trans issues" usually means a nod to tokenistic inclusion without a real understanding of what issues have a big effect on trans communities.