On December 16, local non-profit organization GLOV (Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence) will honor six individuals including D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray. The honorees will be recognized for their service above and beyond the call of duty helping GLOV combat hate crimes and improve the lives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in Washington, D.C. This year was a banner year for the non-profit as they launched a 24-hour LGBT violence response hotline for crisis support, ongoing assistance, and referrals and expanded their other advocacy and education efforts in the community.
The GLOV Guardian Awards are awarded each year in three categories – volunteers who work directly with GLOV, community partners from other organizations, and government officials whom GLOV works closely with on cases. Chair Paul A. Tupper says “It’s important for us to call out those who are working beyond what you think someone’s capacity should be in order to make D.C.’s community safer.”
This year, both volunteer awards go to two local women. GLOV has over a hundred members and twenty active volunteers manning the hotline. Teresa Rainey is the hotline coordinator and has poured her heart and time into the launch. McPherson is a member of the training team. She’s done more training than any other volunteer and also helps manage their Twitter account, which is an important part of GLOV’s advocacy efforts. Tupper is grateful and proud of all volunteers and notes, “We try really hard to build volunteer opportunities that fit with someone’s objectives and desires to give back to the community if they want to build their resume or skills in a particular way. It’s not just about serving the community but making sure volunteers are served as well.”
Community partnerships are also an important part of GLOV’s mission. This year’s winners include Catherine Paquette, the Mobile Services Manager for HIPS, another local non-profit that promotes health and wellness for drug users and sex workers with a harm reduction model. They partner with GLOV on the hotline. Tupper notes, “She’s been a really incredible partner for us.” The second community winner is David Perez, the president of the Latino GLBT History Project.
GLOV cultivates very close relationships with local government and police to ensure crime victims have the best experience possible. Justin Markiewicz, an officer at DC Metropolitan Police Department is one awardee and so is the mayor of DC, Vincent Gray.
“I don’t want to steal the thunder of the awards show, but I will say Gray is focused on finding answers and changing the law where we can, like the JaParker Deoni Jones Birth Certificate Equality Amendment Act which makes it a lot easier for people to change their gender on birth certificates in DC,” says Tupper.
“We are very excited to honor these six people who have shown such incredible dedication to making this city a safer place for folks to live their true self,” adds Tupper.
The GLOV Guardian Awards takes place at Diego Restaurant & Grill located at 2100 14th Street NW on Tuesday, December 16 at 6:30 p.m. The event is open to the public. For more information visit glovdc.org.