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Delegate Mary Washington
State Delegate Mary Washington represents the 43rd district of Maryland, which comprises of most of North Central and Northeast Baltimore (for those familiar with the city, that’s North Ave to the northern border and west from Harford to North Charles).
First elected in 2010 and again in 2014, Del. Washington is not Maryland’s first openly gay lawmaker. She is, however, the first black openly gay member of the Maryland General Assembly and the second openly gay black woman to be elected to US state legislature.
As a Maryland lawmaker, Del. Washington’s stated goals include “urban environmental education, equality for all, and improving quality of life and sustainability of Baltimore neighborhoods.” In 2013, she established the Task Force to Study Housing and Supportive Services for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth which continued into 2014 along with additional efforts focused on youth homelessness.
A dialogue with Maryland State Delegate Mary Washington about LGBTQ youth homelessness will be held on Monday, October 19th at 7pm in the Commons 329.
For more on Delegate Mary Washington, check out:
LGBTQ Homelessness in Baltimore
According to the Gay and Lesbian Task Force, an estimated 20-40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. A Canadian study found that LGBTQ homeless youth are three times more likely to participate in survival sex.
LGBTQ homeless people are at risk for violence and often face discrimination in shelters, especially those with strong religious affiliations. Being homeless as a trans person is even riskier as many shelters are gender-segregated, putting many trans people at risk for assault and sexual violence. There are no LGBTQ specific shelters in Baltimore, although homeless LGBTQ youth can drop-in at the GLBT Community Center for resources and support during the day.
For more on LGBTQ homelessness, check out:
- The Gay and Lesbian Task Force study on LGBT youth homelessness
- Washington Blade article about LGBT poverty in Baltimore
- Baltimore Sun article about advocacy for homeless youth