DC Office of Human Rights Newsletter | Volume XII | May 2019
Trans Respect: Happy Trans Pride Month!
Photo shoot from OHR's #TransRespect campaign in 2012
This month, we would like you to join OHR in celebrating the transgender community. Often times this community faces an increased risk of discrimination, assaults and violence, and unemployment and/or underemployment. This can lead many trans people to choose sex work to get by, which can be especially dangerous for this community due to violence and health risks. In fact, a 27-year old trans woman named Ashanti Carmon was tragically murdered last month in Prince George's County (just outside of DC).

OHR released several publications between 2015 and 2017 addressing the disparities that this community encounters, including a best-practice guide for employers titled, Valuing Transgender Applicants and Employees . This guide was in response the first-ever government-led testing and report that analyzed how employers responded to resumes from applicants perceived as transgender compared with resumes of applicants perceived as cisgender. The results of Qualified and Transgender showed that District employers often preferred less-qualified cisgender candidates over more-qualified transgender candidates.

This is why in the District, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression are protected traits under the Human Rights Act. But we must do more to safeguard, hire, protect and respect the vibrant transgender community in DC. Throughout the month, please use the hashtag #TransRespect when using social media to show solidarity with the transgender community. Happy Trans Pride Month!
Trait of the Month : Gender Identity & Expression
This protected trait makes it illegal to discriminate against someone based on a person's gender-related identity, behavior, appearance, expression or behavior which is different from what you are assigned at birth . For more information or to file a complaint, visit our website; ohr.dc.gov .
Photo Courtesy of Trans Student Educational Resources
This Month's Spotlight
Are you trans or an ally, colleague, family or friend to the trans community? Celebrate Capital Trans Pride on Saturday, May 18th from 9am to 4pm at Eaton DC (1201 K St NW). Each year over 25 organizations participate in the Trans Pride Resource Fair to share services, information, employment opportunities, and more.

Join us on Wednesday, May 22nd at 6pm at Anacostia Library (1800 Good Hope Rd SE) for our monthly DC Public Library Know Your Rights Series! This month we will have a training on how to spot and report employment discrimination.

No RSVP is needed, this presentation is FREE and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Highlights from April
Top: 2019 Fair Housing Symposium - Intersections: Disability and Diverse Communities
Bottom: Language Access Act 15th Anniversary Celebration
Last month, OHR hosted two dynamic events. One (pictured in the top photo) was OHR's 18th Annual Fair Housing Symposium entitled Intersections: Disabilities and Diverse Communities . The event included a keynote address by disability rights activist Lydia X.Z. Brown and workshops on source of income discrimination, reasonable accommodations and inclusive design with a focus on deaf space. The second event, was a celebration of the 15th anniversary of the passage of the Language Access Act, where OHR recognized government agencies, community-based organizations and residents who work tirelessly to advance Language Access in the District.
Director's Note
Dear Neighbors, Stakeholders and Partners,

May is a gorgeous time of year here in DC.! The flowers are blooming, families and friends start gathering, we get glimpses of summer weather and we get to celebrate Trans Pride! The trans community contributes immensely to the culture and fabric of DC and deserves a fair shot to share in the prosperity of our growing city. During these past winter months my team and I went on a “listening tour” and we had a mission. We met with dozens of trans individuals and advocates and we listened to the concerns, wants and frustrations of the trans and LGBTQ communities, visiting and hearing from organizations like Casa Ruby, HIPS, Rainbow Response and DC Center. In response, my team along with the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs hosted a Listening Lab in late March centered on transwomen of color at Casa Ruby. Through these frank and confidential conversations about a variety of issues the trans community experiences, we are able to start recommending improvements to government services and responses to ensure they feel safe and included. This means access to opportunities, employment, unbiased and affordable healthcare and housing.

Unfortunately we know that our neighbors, colleagues and friends still face barriers and bias, whether they are trying to use a public restroom or looking for employment or seeking ongoing healthcare to meet their needs. This is why we’re also happy to be celebrating the five-year anniversary of #SafeBathroomsDC this month. In the District, all single-stall restrooms are required to be labeled gender neutral. This is the law. We remind people that if you spot a single-stall bathroom that is labeled male or female to snap a photo, tag the establishment, tag our office (@dchumanrights) and use the hashtag #SafeBathroomsDC on any social media platform.

One of the many things that I value and admire about DC is our commitment to diversity. But appreciating diversity doesn’t always translate into inclusive policies and practices, so we must continue identifying innovative solutions to fight against hateful rhetoric, intolerance, discrimination and homophobia on a daily basis. Inclusiveness and diversity cannot just be empty words, but need to have action and purpose behind them. Happy Trans Pride Month!

Yours in service,
M ónica Palacio , Director
DC Office of Human Rights | 202.727.4559 | ohr.dc.gov