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Where do you get the 411?



Where do you get the 411?


In our celebrity-obsessed culture, famous people are in a particularly influential position to weigh-in on socially and politically charged issues.  It seems more and more commonplace for highly visible people like professional athletes, writers, actors, and musicians to serve as spokespeople for certain causes, informing the public about sex, health, drug use and other important topics.  Liz Taylor is synonymous with championing the fight against HIV/AIDS, controversial columnist Dan Savage with launching the ‘It Gets Better’ campaign, Laverne Cox has gained international attention as a spokeswoman for trans- issues, and on his journey as an NFL draft football player Michael Sam assumed a position to advocate for decreasing homophobia in professional sports.  With the ever increasing influence of the internet, a new cast of characters has joined the influential elite; examples could include Youtube personalities like Davey Wavey or Chris Crocker to name a few.


Some celebrities strive to become immersed and knowledgeable about the issue they champion, and couch their discussions in research relevant to that issue.  However, there are also celebrities who speak out on sensitive issues based on their own (sometimes faulty) knowledge, opinions, or even based solely on something they read in a magazine while waiting at the dentist’s office. Many people rebuke the idea of celebrities speaking out on socially charged topics, claiming that they are likely uniformed and could cause harm by spreading misinformation and/or negative sentiments.  For instance, many in the HIV/AIDS community have taken issue with actor Zachary Quinto’s statements on the HIV drug PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis; you can read more about this controversy and Quinto’s response in the two links below).


Do celebrities take responsibility or take advantage of the position they have to influence others?  People may take their advice/information to heart and apply it to their own lives and decisions.  However, how much responsibility should a public figure be required to take for their statements?  How much responsibility do we have as individuals to seek out information from other, perhaps more reliable, sources?


Join this week’s facilitator Taylor Monson and guest facilitator Robert Soriano for what promises to be a great discussion!

Gay District meets at The DC Center, located inside the Reeves DC government building. Attendees will need to enter the Reeves building via the “Exit” doors on 14th Street, facing McDonald’s. We encourage attendees to bring their photo ID to gain access inside the building. If you do not have or are unable to present a photo ID, please contact me ahead of time by email or The DC Center’s Executive Director David Mariner. Afterwards, we’ll head out to one of the fine establishments on the U Street Corridor to eat.

04/05/2013 – “Gay District: Re-Launch & Open Housewarming!”

What: Gay District Re-launch: Free Open Housewarming!

Where: The DC Center – 1318 U Street, NW

When: April 5th, 2013 7pm – 10pm

We will be hosting an Open Housewarming at the site of our new Friday night facilitated discussion, The DC Center! Located at, 1318 U Street, NW, The DC Center has been the home for resources to the LBGT community for many years and now they have opened their doors to us.  As we are welcomed to our new home please join us for light fare and beverages. We hope to have attendees of past and present show up in full force and in lieu of gifts ( microwaves and toaster ovens ) please bring your favorite memories to share and help us fill the night with laughter….and of course whatever donations you can offer!

See you there!

Limited Supply Bonus!: For all participants of the Re-Launch: Open Housewarming that donate $10+ you will receive a ticket (valued at $20) for the upcoming Dancers Night at Bender Arena hosted by People Of The Beat! If you enjoy dance of any sort from classical interpretive, modern, to crump, tap and freestyle you’ll love what People of the Beat are putting together! If you need an excuse to get out and move then join them for a night to remember!


11/9/2012: The Tipping Point for Gay Equality?

Tuesday’s election results were historic for the LGBT community with three states voting to expand marriage equality and one state disapproving of limiting the definition of marriage to a man and a woman.

Have we reached the tipping point for the LGBT movement in terms of the public voting to expand rights to us? We have come a long way these past four years, so how far can we go the next four?

Tonight we will discuss Tuesday’s election and what it means for LGBT equality going forward. As always, we will meet at 8:30 at St. Margaret’s Church for discussion followed by dinner. See you all there!


PS-Read this New York Times Editorial on how far we’ve come:

Our Donation Collection for Charlie’s Place Has Begun!

Starting in February, we will be collecting various toiletries, clothing items and metro farecards for Charlie’s Place, a nonprofit organization offering clothing, barber services, writing classes, space and resources for personal hygiene and other basic needs for DC’s homeless population.

Strong relationships with other social service providers such as Neighbor’s Consejo, Friendship Place, First Helping, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless and Department of Mental Health help Charlie’s Place provide additional social services, outreach services, legal services, health education and other supportive and empowering services.

To participate, simply round up any of the items listed after the jump that you may have&#151feel free to purchase a few if you don’t have any&#151and bring them with you to our weekly Friday meetings.

Please contact Justin with any questions.

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