2 washingtonblade.com • february 18, 2011
Alston House theaterbenefit called a success
A Black History Month outing at D.C.’s Studio The-ater and a post-theater reception at the nearby PlaybillCaé on Feb. 13 served as a “successul” benet orthe Wanda Alston House or LGBT homeless youth, ac-cording to Alston House ocial Brian Watson.The Alston House, named ater the late D.C. lesbianactivist and city ocial Wanda Alston, provides hous-ing and supportive services to homeless LGBT youth,“most o whom have been abandoned or kicked out otheir homes because o their identity,” according to anannouncement promoting the benet.The D.C. non-prot organization Transgender HealthEmpowerment created the Alston House and operatesit through unding provided, in part, by the city andthrough private contributions.Among those attending the benet were D.C. Coun-cil member Sekou Biddle (D-At-Large), who is runningto retain his seat in an upcoming special election; andthree candidates competing against Biddle or the seat— ormer Ward 5 Council member Vincent Orange andcandidates Jacque Patterson and Joshua Lopez.Jerey Richardson, who was named earlier thismonth by Mayor Vincent Gray as director o the city’sOce o GLBT Aairs, also attended.Others attending included gay activists Phil Pan-nell, Rick Rosendall, and Kurt Vorndran, who servedas hosts o the event.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Members o Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence(GLOV), a D.C. group that monitors anti-LGBT hatecrimes, elected A.J. Singletary as the group’s chairand Hassan Naveed as vice chair during GLOV’s an-nual meeting on Feb. 10.Singletary and Naveed, who ran unopposed andwere elected by acclamation, succeed Kelly Pickardand Joe Montoni, who served as the organization’s co-chairs during the past year.At Singletary’s recommendation and with Naveedin agreement, members voted earlier in the meeting tochange the leadership structure rom two co-chairs withequal responsibilities to a chair and vice chair system.Singletary, an Arkansas native, says he’s been aD.C. resident since 2008 and has been active withGLOV or the past three years. Naveed said he movedto D.C. last year rom Santa Barbara, Cali., where heworked with an anti-LGBT violence group at the Uni-versity o Caliornia at Santa Barbara.GLOV is a project o the D.C. Center or the LGBTCommunity, which has oces and meeting spaceat 1318 U St., N.W. GLOV’s mission, according to astatement on its website, is to work to reduce violenceagainst LGBT people through community outreach,education and monitoring o incidents o anti-LGBThate crimes. The group also assists victims o anti-LGBT violence and participates in the training o D.C.police ocers on LGBT-related issues.Singletary said his objectives or GLOV in 2011 in-clude expanding its outreach to lesbians and minori-ties within the LGBT community and continuing to workwith the police department, the mayor’s oce and theCity Council to improve reporting o anti-LGBT violenceand developing strategies to reduce hate violenceagainst LGBT people. He said GLOV would continueto participate in police training on anti-LGBT violence.He also called or GLOV to develop its own report onhate crimes targeting LGBT people in the District. Thepolice department’s annual report on hate crimes hasshown that the highest number o such crimes targetLGBT people. But activists have long complained thatthe police report does not refect the true number oanti-LGBT hate crimes, which they believe is ar higherthan the ocially reported gure.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Restructuring credited withWhitman-Walker revenue gains
The Whitman-Walker Clinic’s ability to operate witha positive cash fow last year or the rst time in nearly10 years – and its expectation o remaining in goodnancial shape or the oreseeable uture – is due toits transormation rom a volunteer-based AIDS servicegroup to a ull-service community health center, ac-cording to executive director Don Blanchon.In a brieng or the Washington Blade, Blanchondisplayed charts and graphs showing what he calleda dramatic change in the Clinic’s sources o revenue.At a time when other community clinics providingservices to the LGBT community and other communi-ties are acing nancial hardship due to diminishinggovernment unding and a drop in private donations,Whitman-Walker has become ar less reliant on bothgovernment unds and revenue rom private donors,Blanchon said.He noted that in 2005, Whitman-Walker received51.5 percent o its total revenue rom governmentgrants. That same year, the Clinic received 38.4 per-cent o its revenue rom undraising eorts seekingcontributions rom the public or businesses. Just 8.7percent o its revenue came rom third-party entitiessuch as patient health insurance carriers or patientscovered by Medicaid, Blanchon said.In 2010, ater the Clinic completed its transorma-tion into a health center, 21.1 percent o its revenuecame rom third-party entities, with many more clientscovered by private health insurance or Medicaid. Henoted that 31.5 percent o the Clinic’s revenue in 2010came rom its operation o a pharmacy on its premises.At the same time, its revenue rom governmentgrants dropped to 15.8 percent o total revenue, andrevenue rom private undraising dropped to 15.8 per-cent o total revenue.According to Blanchon, Whitman-Walker continuesto rely on private donors and looks orward to its an-nual D.C. AIDS Walk undraiser in October. But he saidthe new structure decreases the Clinic’s reliance ongovernment and private donor revenue at a time whenthe national recession has orced government agen-cies and many donors to drastically cut back on givingmoney to charitable groups like Whitman-Walker.As a nancially stable institution, compared to itsnear nancial collapse ve years ago, the Clinic is nowtaking on more patients in need, especially low-incomepatients with HIV, Blanchon said. At the same time, it isseeing a growing number o LGBT patients who don’thave HIV but preer to use Whitman-Walker as their pri-mary care provider, he said.Data that Blanchon pointed to or 2010 show that theClinic saw about 13,000 patients that year, 22 percento whom were HIV positive. Although the total numbero HIV patients appears to be dropping, he noted that60 percent o all medical visits to the Clinic in 2010were HIV-related, showing that HIV remains the mainarea o service or the Clinic.The 2010 data show that 49 percent o all patients sel-identiy as being LGBT; 69 percent were male, 29 percentemale, and 3 percent transgender. In terms o ethnicity,47 percent were black, 35 percent white, 15 percent La-tino, and 3 percent alling into another category.“We began this journey a little more than ve yearsago and it has not been without its hardship, sacrice orpublic debate,” Blanchon said. “Through it all our boardo directors, employees, volunteers, donors and publicand private unders remained steadast to our mission ocaring, especially our longstanding commitment to theLGBT community and persons living with HIV/AIDS.”
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Police seek help
U.S. Park Police are asking the public or help inidentiying the body o a man ound in a wooded areao o Branch Avenue and the Suitland Parkway whowas wearing our rings on his let hand and multiplenecklaces.Park Police spokesperson Sgt. David Schlossersaid investigators have no specic inormation to indi-cate the man was gay or transgendered, but they haveyet to conrm what his sexual orientation was.The man’s body was ound Feb. 6 near where BranchAvenue and the Suitland Parkway intersect in Oxon Hill,Md., just over the D.C.-Prince George’s County line,according to a police statement. He is described as ablack male over the age o 45, with a light complexion.The Maryland State Medical Examiner’s oce said anautopsy ound no evidence o oul play and said thedeath appears to have been due to natural causes.“He was wearing our rings on his let hand and mul-tiple necklaces around his neck,” a Park Police state-ment says. “He may have been homeless and mayhave walked with a limp,” the statement says.Photos o his jewelry are available on the Park Policewebsite at uspppressroom.blogspot.com. Anyone withinormation that might help authorities identiy the manshould contact Park Police Det. Freeman at 202-610-8760.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
D.C. Council hopeuls and several LGBT activists, including
, turned out or a beneft or the Wanda Alston House on Feb. 13.
Washington Blade photo by Michael Key