Metro Weekly

D.C. Rolling Out Trans Ads

Government-sponsored campaign aims to counter discrimination against transgender Washingtonians

It’s all about respect.

That’s the message of the latest campaign by the D.C. Office of Human Rights (OHR). Hitting its stride with its current campaign to raise awareness about housing discrimination, the office will soon be displaying advertisements throughout the District aimed at educating residents about the transgender community.

D.C. Office of Human Rights Trans Ads

D.C. Office of Human Rights Trans Ads

The ad will have five variations, featuring two transgender women, two transgender men and one person who identifies as ”genderqueer,” says Elliot Imse, policy and public affairs officer for OHR. Each ad will include a quote from one of the five participants that will highlight the struggles many transgender people face.

The campaign’s mission is threefold: to increase understanding of transgender and gender non-conforming people, prevent discrimination against transgender people, and increase the number of people who are reporting incidents of discrimination, Imse says.

LGBT advocates have told OHR that this new campaign will be the first of its kind to be executed and financially backed by an official government agency.

The messaging of the campaign was developed through working with transgender advocates; various LGBT organizations, such as the local Transgender Health Empowerment and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; the Mayor’s Office of GLBT Affairs; as well as input from three separate focus groups of transgender or gender non-conforming people.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at