Metro Weekly

Happy York Day

DC declaration of 'Robert L. York Jr. Day' honors a local GLBT leader

For most Americans, Feb. 20 was a day off from work or school, thanks to the federal government honoring Washington’s Birthday. In D.C., the day also honored one of the GBLT community’s local leaders, Robert York.

”To recognize and honor Robert L. York Jr., on the occasion of his leaving his position in the Whitman-Walker Clinic, for his service to the District of Columbia’s GLBT community, and for tirelessly promoting an expanded sense of community in [D.C.], and to declare Feb. 20, 2006, as ‘Robert L. York Jr. Day in the District of Columbia,” reads the ceremonial resolution, in part, introduced by gay Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1).

The resolution goes on to cite York’s contributions as former director of the Capital Pride parade and festival, as former director of AIDS Walk Washington, and his involvement with the Human Rights Campaign, Mayor Williams’s executive council for GLBT affairs, and numerous other points of service.

”I was surprised, shocked and deeply humbled,” York says of his namesake day, also his 38th birthday. ”It was one of those things you don’t ever expect. It was one of those, ‘Are you for real?’ moments. There are so many other more-deserving people.”

Robert York Read a June 2005 interview

Though York seems to have handled his day in the sun with signature modesty, he notes others close to him played up the event.

”My mom was like, ‘Oh, my God.’ She was very shocked and wanted to see all the paperwork. She was very honored. All of my family has been very supportive,” he says. ”My boyfriend woke me up today saying, ‘Wake up! It’s Robert York Day.”’

York’s plans for celebrating his day included drinks at Halo, as arranged by his boyfriend. He said, however, the chances of a parade were slim: ”Probably not, because I’d have to organize it.”

Leave a Comment:

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!