LGBTQ Issues

LGBTQ is an acronym that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer and is used to designate a community of people whose sexual or gender identities can create shared political and social concerns. The LGBTQ acronym does not encompass everybody and different organizations may use fewer or more letters, for example, an “I” to indicate intersex. 

Your Rights

  • DCPS students have the right to a gender-neutral dress code that is not stricter against transgender and gender non-conforming students than other students.  
  • Transgender and gender non-conforming students in DCPS have the right to utilize the restroom that matches their gender identity.
  • All persons, including DCPS students, have a right to privacy, and this includes the right to keep one’s gender identity private at school.
  • You have the right to equal treatment in housing. The District of Columbia and housing providers cannot discriminate on the basis of (actual or perceived) sex (including pregnancy), personal appearance, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. For more on your housing rights click here
  • You have the right to equal treatment. It shall be unlawful for any person or entity, including agencies of the District of Columbia government and its contractors, to discriminate against a person in employment, housing, public accommodations, or educational institutions on the basis of that person’s actual or perceived gender identity or expression. §2-1401.11
  • You have the right to culturally competent health services. DC Law requires two credits of continued education requirements for any license, registration or certification on cultural competency or specialized clinical training focusing on patients who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender nonconforming, queer, or questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. DC Official Code §3-1205.10(b)

What does LGBT stand for?

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender.

Things you should know

Here are some important definitions that may help you better understand the rights above.

Gender Expression: The manner in which a person represents or expresses gender to others, often through behavior, clothing, hairstyles, activities, voice or mannerisms.

Gender Identity: A person’s deeply held internal sense or psychological knowledge of their own gender, regardless of the biological sex they were assigned at birth.

Gender-nonconforming: An umbrella term that will be used throughout this guidance for people whose gender expression differs from stereotypical expectations of the sex they were assigned at birth.

Queer: Deemed an offensive term historically and still by some people today, queer has been reclaimed by many members of the LGBT community as a term of empowerment. The term can have different meanings to different people, but in this context it generally refers to members of the LGBT community. This term may be used by a member of the LGBT community, who may not identify themselves by any of the letters in that acronym. Since this term has a negative history, it should only be used to describe those individuals who identify themselves as queer and give permission for others to use that term to describe them.

Transgender: An umbrella term describing a person whose gender identity or expression is different from that traditionally associated with their assigned sex at birth.

These definitions and more can be found here

Here’s where you should go, if you are having issues or need LGBT specific assistance:

The DC Center

Youth Pride Alliance



The Trevor Lifeline

Call 1-866-488-7386 for immediate help for youth who are feeling alone, confused or in crisis.

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. Trained counselors offer support 24/7; the Trevor Lifeline is free and confidential.

¡Empodérate! Youth Center, La Clinica del Pueblo

La Clínica’s HIV youth initiative, ¡Empodérate! (Empower Yourself!) is the only bilingual, HIV program that targets young Latino men who have sex with men and young male-to-female transgender Latinas between the ages of 18 and 29 in Washington, DC.    

3055 Mount Pleasant St. NW, Washington, DC 20009

Phone: (202) 507-4801


If you want to get involved in our reproductive justice fight:

Contact the Mayor and City Council

Contact Department of Health

Speak Your Mind- share a message with us about your education experience.

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