first government funded campaign to battle anti-trans discrimination.
The groundbreaking OHR campaign will feature two trans women, two trans men and a self-identified genderqueer person appearing in one of the five separate ads that the agency will place
throughout the city in the fall.
The OHR campaign was developed with the help of D.C.-based Transgender Health Empowerment; the National Gay &
Lesbian Task Force; the Movement Advancement Project; Jeffrey
Richardson, director of Mayor’s Office of GLBT Affairs and others. Two clients of Casa Ruby are some of the DC residents who appear in the ads.
The anti-trans discrimination ads will highlight respect,
shared values and D.C.’s anti-discrimination law that includes
trans-specific protections. The ads will also encourage trans
Washingtonians to contact OHR if they experience discrimination based on
gender identity and expression.
“LGBT organizations are telling us this is the first
government-sponsored campaign in the nation to focus solely on
transgender and gender non-conforming people, and the Office of Human
Rights is incredibly proud of that,” OHR Director Gustavo Velasquez told
the Washington Blade in a statement. “To ensure we take full-advantage of the
opportunity, we identified three primary goals for the campaign:
increase understanding of transgender and gender non-conforming people,
reduce discriminatory incidents in the District and increase the number
of community members who report discrimination. The courageous and
bright D.C.-based participants appearing in the ads and the powerful
accompanying messages can make this happen, although we know much more
work needs to be done to eradicate discrimination towards this
Longtime DC activist Ruby Corado was pleased that the District is tackling this issue. “Our city is a pioneer in lots of things,” said Corado in an interview. “Having the
Office of Human Rights take some leadership on this for me is
remarkable. I’m proud and I’m very happy that this city and [it’s] LGBT
leaders has taken on this issue and supported us 100 percent.”