While July is usually a quiet month for LGBT Washingtonians, the D.C. Council was nevertheless busy, on July 10 passing the JaParker Deoni Jones Birth Certificate Equality Amendment Act of 2013 on its second unanimous vote. The law, named for the young transgender woman fatally stabbed as she stood at a Northeast bus stop in February 2012, makes it easier for people to amend birth certificate information to accurately reflect gender. ”It’s really significant,” Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Coalition for Transgender Equality, told Metro Weekly at the time. ”Most people take for granted that all the IDs they have match, and most people don’t have to show their birth certificate or other documents to prove their identity.”
Christmas may have come early for some, whose gift was the shadenfreude they could savor as Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling), Loudon County, Va., supervisor and head of the notoriously anti-gay Public Advocate, was censured by his Board of Supervisors peers following an investigation of his office’s use of resources. At the other end of the political spectrum, Maryland state Del. Heather Mizeur formally declared her bid to become governor, which could give the state its first female governor and the country its first out lesbian governor.
Areas where progressive LGBT outreach has sought to build bridges was on display in July, too. D.C.’s annual ”DREAM Graduation,” a symbolic event at which youth fighting for immigration rights under the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act banner, did double duty by hosting the wedding of immigration activist Prerna Lal and her wife Lindsay Schubiner. LGBT outreach also extended to the trial of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, with a coalition of 35 LGBT groups signing an open letter decrying the not-guilty verdict handed down July 13.
At the end of the month, Annie Kaylor, namesake of Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse on the 17th Street NW strip of many LGBT venues, died at age 85, after cementing her reputation as a community ally while working at the restaurant through the dawn of the modern gay-rights movement, the AIDS epidemic and on.