Institution Spotlight: Mayor’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Affairs
In Washington, DC there is a small four-person shop within the City government with a vital task, not getting the recognition it deserves. That office is the Mayor’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Affairs (MOLGBTQA). Created through the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Affairs Act of 2005, the MOLGBTQA's mission is to "address the important concerns of the District’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) residents through empowering young LGBTQ community leaders, removing barriers for LGBTQ business owners, building a cohesive LGBTQ community across all eight wards, and providing resources for at-risk LGBTQ populations."
The MOLGBTQA provides a number of services for the District's LGBTQA+ community. Perhaps the most important service is the office's advocacy on behalf of programs and policies that benefit the lives of the District's LGBTQ residents. This advocacy is most likely seen through the MOLGBTQA support to the Advisory Committee to the Office of LGBTQ Affairs. The Advisory Committee is a 25 member board, appointed by the mayor, that advises the MOLGBTQA Director and the mayor on issues relating to the LGBTQA+ community as well as issues relating to the mission of the MOLGBTQA. The MOLGBTQA also provides links to resources (that are regularly updated) to assist the LGBTQA+ Community in the categories of:
Through funding from the Mayor’s Office on Community Affairs (MOCA), MOLGBTQA also provides grants to community-based organizations that serve the LGBTQ community and LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. Below are examples of the organizing receiving support from the office.
MOLGBTQA also hosts regular events that enrich, promote, and bring together the LGBTQ community of the District. Examples include the annual Queer Women of Washington Awards, which celebrate some of the District’s inspiring queer women who are the voices of change across various industries and the Business of Equality: A Virtual LGBTQ Business Summit, business owners to learn how to access capital, address and handle legal issues, and avoid procurement pitfalls. Business owners will even learn how to start a new business or do business with the DC Government. If you want to view the 2021 Queer Women of Washington Awards, it can be viewed online here.