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LGBTQIA+ Resource Portal


Sections On This Page:

Protections for the LGBQIA+ Community

Welcome to the LGBTQIA+ Resources page of the DC Office of Human Rights (OHR)! Whether you are seeking legal assistance on the OHR enforcement process, looking for community events and support groups, or simply want to deepen your understanding of LGBTQIA+ rights protected by OHR, we are here to help. At OHR, we are committed to fostering and supporting a community where all individuals are treated with dignity, respect, and equality under the law, regardless of sexual orientation, sex, personal appearance, and gender identity or expression. Through our ongoing enforcement process, we ensure that individuals can file complaints, citing local or federal laws enforced by OHR, at no cost.
Examples of prohibited discrimination include, but are not limited to:
  • Being denied service at a hotel based on your sexual orientation.
  • Refusal of service at a restaurant based on your gender identity and/or expression.
  • DMV declining to change your gender marker on your license to non-binary.
  • Discrimination based on one or more of the 23 protected traits covered under the DC Human Rights Act (DCHRA). For more information, please see below.
Additionally, OHR has jurisdiction for individuals working, living, or visiting DC.  Below are examples of groups over which we do not have jurisdiction, along with links to file a complaint with them: 
Moreover, our educational and outreach initiatives enable OHR to collaborate with District government agencies and community partners, facilitating events such as listening labs, panel discussions, trainings, and more. Information about the resources offered by these groups and their contact details can be found in the community partner section. 

Local and Federal Laws OHR Enforces

Individuals have the right to file a claim of discrimination regarding one or more of the laws below. These laws have been summarized for a better understanding for the community. However, please note that these summaries are for informational purposes only, as every discrimination complaint is unique and requires careful examination. Additionally, they must fit into one of the areas of jurisdiction (educational institutions, employment, housing, or public accommodations or government services).  For further inquiries for consultations, please contact OHR directly. 

  • The DC Human Rights Act of 1977 (DCHRA)

    • The DHCRA, prohibits discrimination based on one or more of the 23 protected traits. It aims to ensure equal opportunity and protections from discrimination in four areas: educational institutions, employment, housing, and public accommodations and government services. Some of special interest to the LGBTQIA+ community are:

    • LGBTQIA+ Portal

    • To explore definitions and the full scope of 23 Protected Traits in the other areas of enforcement, also in additional languages, please click here.
    • To file a complaint, please click here.
    • For more information, please visit the following:
  • Protections for LGBTQ Seniors and Seniors Living with HIV in Long-Term Care Facilities
    • The Act protects residents of long-term care facilities from discrimination and mandates equitable services and support for LGBTQ seniors and/or seniors living with HIV at a long-term care facility in Washington, DC.
    • Additionally, it also requires :
      • Long-term care facilities may not engage in or permit discrimination or harassment against an individual because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or HIV status. 
      • Facilities must protect personally identifiable information such as a resident’s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, transition history, and HIV status.
      • Facility employees must post in a visible location a notice stating it does not permit discrimination or harassment based on an individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or HIV status.
    • To file a complaint, please click here.
    • For more information, please visit the following:
  • Rental Tenant Screening Violations
      • Parts of the Eviction Record Sealing Authority and Fairness in Renting Amendment Act of 2022, D.C. Code § 42-3505.10, also established a number of new requirements for District housing providers when they are screening potential tenants, including limiting the amount of fees a housing provider can charge during the application process and limiting the information a housing provider may request and consider during the screening process.
      • To file a complaint, please click here.
      • For more information, please visit:
  • Youth Bully Prevention Program
    • If a youth is experiencing bullying in a school, each school has a designated Bullying Point of Contact and you have a right to file a complaint and request an investigation. To find out who your school's Bullying POC is, visit this link . If you feel as though the school has violated the Youth Bullying Prevention Act or need additional support, contact OHR's Youth Bullying Prevention Program at [email protected] or call 202.519.3333. You may file a discrimination complaint if you believe you have been discriminated against in educational institutions based on a protected trait in DC.

File a Complaint of Discrimination 

If you believe you have experienced discrimination based on one or more of the laws mentioned above, you are encouraged to use the following forms. If you have any questions about how to complete these forms, please contact OHR at [email protected].

Outreach and Education

  • Summary of OHR Education and Outreach Initiatives:
    • Protecting Your Pride and Safety:
      • Piloting at Black Pride in 2024, this program aims to allow simpler access to the LGBTQIA+ community in filing a complaint and learning about their rights. Posters are hung in LGBTQIA+ spaces, such as the Pride venue, cafes, nightlife venues and more, and have a QR code which individuals can scan to take them to this portal. We plan to expand this program for World Pride 2025 where an estimated 3 million attendees will have available access.
      • To learn more please email: [email protected] and to download the poster, please click here
  Words Matter SO Front Cover.png
  • Words Matter: A Guide to Inclusive Language around Gender Identity and Expression (coming soon)
    • As educational resources, they should not be construed as legal advice or as a mandate. These guides are not meant to be comprehensive and are considered to be living documents.
  • Safe Bathrooms DC
    • The Safe Bathrooms DC campaign, launched in April 2014, aimed to change the stress and even dangerous experience of using public restroom by making every single-stall public bathroom in the District gender-neutral. It is the law, but just like ten years ago, many business and unaware of the requirements. If you see a public bathroom with one stall that is not gender neutral, just tweet us the business name and location using #safebathroomsdc or fill out our five question form.
    • To learn more and get resources, please visit: Learn more and see the campaign ads.
  • Trainings:
    • OHR conducts various training on laws, issues, and general information for the LGBTQIA+ community. All OHR presentations emphasize OHR's jurisdiction in these matters and the protected traits under the DCHRA, as well as provide an overview of relevant local and federal legislation.  Specific training sessions, such as 'Know Your Rights: The 23 Protected Traits in Washington, DC,' delve deeper into the laws and protected traits. Our partnerships with stakeholders and government agencies facilitate conversations to better understand these  topics. A few groups we have trained include:
      • MOLGBTQ Affairs
      • WMATA
      • The DC Superior Courts
      • Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC
      • Capital Pride Alliance
  • Listening Labs:
    • Listening labs allow OHR to connect with LGBTQIA+ community members concerns. They typically feature an informative segment followed by a listening session, during which attendees can confidentially share their feedback and insights. The data and findings collected from listening labs help plan future events and develop outreach materials, benefiting both OHR and its co-sponsoring agencies/groups.
  • Social Media and Website
    • OHR disseminates its vast resources and maintains an active presence on various social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter/X. Initiatives like “Protected Trait Tuesday” campaigns aim to raise awareness issues facing the LGBTQIA+ community. Additionally, our social media content is integrated with OHR's website to provide comprehensive information and resources to the public.

The Violence Prevention and Response Team (VPART)

VPART is a collaborative network made up of community organizations, public safety agencies, and other government agencies, including OHR, committed to addressing, mitigating, and eradicating crime, especially hate-bias incidents within DC's LGBTQIA+ community. They foster an environment where LGBTQIA+ individuals can lead their lives free from fear and violence.
VPART also meets regularly to strategize and implement measures to refine and strengthen responses to hate-biased acts and their victims. Through proactive awareness campaigns on VPART services and available resources including counseling, domestic violence support, housing assistance and additional support services, the team is dedicated to empowering and assisting the LGBTQIA+ community in the District of Columbia.
Contact information:
The DC LGBTQ+ Community Center
2000 14th Street NW, Suite 105 Washington, DC
20009 (202) 862-2245
[email protected]

Community Partnership

OHR works throughout the year to develop and maintain relationships that can benefit and support individuals with resources and information. Below is a list of our community partners. If you wish to be added or connect, please email [email protected].
  • The DC Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs
    • The Mayor’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Affairs (MOLGBTQ) was created through the Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs Act of 2005. The District of Columbia is and has been a leader in LGBTQ+ rights in the nation. The mission of the MOLGBTQA is to address the important concerns of the District’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning residents through empowering young LGBTQIA+ community leaders, removing barriers for LGBTQIA+ business owners, building a cohesive LGBTQIA+ community across all eight wards, and providing resources for at-risk LGBTQIA+ populations.
    • Location:
      • Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center, 2000 14th St. NW, Suite 101, Washington, DC 20009
    • Contact:
    • The vision of the Center for Black Equity is to establish a worldwide network comprising LGBTQ+ individuals, allies, community-based organizations, and Pride movements committed to realizing equality and social justice for Black LGBTQ+ communities. This is achieved through their pillars of Economic Equity, Health Equity, and Social Equity
    • Location:
      • 1200 G Street NW Suite 810 Washington, DC 20005
    • Contact:
    • The DC LGBTQ+ Community Center educates, empowers, uplifts, celebrates, elevates, and connects the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. To fulfill our mission, we focus on four core areas: health and wellness, arts & culture, social & peer support, and advocacy and community building.
    • Location:
      • 2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105, Washington, DC 20009 
    • Contact information:
    • The Wanda Alston Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing housing and support services for LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness in all eight wards within Washington, DC. Through shelter, resources, and advocacy, they strive to empower and uplift LGBTQ+ youth, ensuring they can thrive and lead fulfilling lives.
    • Main office location:
      • 1377 R St NW Suite 200 Washington, D.C. 20009 
    • Contact information:
      • Office: (202) 465-8794
      • Services: (202) 733-3643
    • Whitman-Walker Health is a Washington DC community health center specializing in HIV/AIDS care and lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender care.
    • Location:
      • Whitman-Walker at 1525 1525 14th St. NW Washington, DC 20005 
      • Whitman-Walker at LIZ 1377 R St. NW, Suite 200 Washington, DC 20009
      • Max Robinson Center 1201 Sycamore Dr. SE Washington, DC 20032
    • Contact information:
    • HIPS promotes the health, rights, and dignity of individuals and communities impacted by sexual exchange and/or drug use due to choice, coercion, or circumstance. HIPS provides compassionate harm reduction services, advocacy, and community engagement that is respectful, non-judgmental, and affirms and honors individual power and agency.
    • Contact information:
    • For many young people, SMYAL provides the only safe space in their world. LGBTQIA+ youth are at greater risk than their heterosexual peers for many negative health outcomes, including HIV infection, violence, substance abuse, physical abuse, homelessness, and suicide.
    • Contact information:
      • Phone: 202.546.5940
      • To submit questions and messages, kindly use the fillable form available on their website.

7. Additional Resources

      • OHR is required to annually report the progress of DC Human Rights Act enforcement to the Mayor and the Council of the District of Columbia. The report includes case dockets, case closures, and benefits achieved by successful complainants. Additionally, the Director reports other annual activities of OHR and the Commission on Human Rights, including community outreach, education programs, compliance programs, mediation, and fair housing.