February 3, 2015 at 1:24 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Former Fenty official Dyer joins Bowser’s team
Christopher Dyer, gay news, Washington Blade

Gay activist Christopher Dyer will serve as special assistant to the director of the Mayor’s Office of Justice Grants Administration. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser last week named gay activist Christopher Dyer as special assistant to the director of the Mayor’s Office of Justice Grants Administration, which oversees federal grants related to the city’s juvenile and criminal justice system.

Bowser named Edward “Smitty” Smith, who ran unsuccessfully for the Office of D.C. Attorney General in the November election, as director of the Justice Grants Administration Office.

Dyer was among several of Bowser’s gay or lesbian appointees who joined Bowser in welcoming hundreds of city residents to the John A. Wilson building on Monday for a mayoral open house reception.

Other gay or lesbian appointees greeting well-wishers in their new offices at the reception were Sheila Alexander-Reid, director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs; David Do, director of the Mayor’s Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs; and Jim Slattery, director of the Mayor’s Correspondence Unit.

In welcoming visitors as she stood in the “bullpen” area where her Office of Community Affairs is located, Bowser introduced the office’s representatives for each of the city’s eight wards, including gay activist John Fanning, who she named last month as the Ward 2 representative.

“We’re very privileged to open up the Executive Offices of the Mayor today,” Bowser said.

“We have had the opportunity to really build a fabulous team of Washingtonians who are committed to serving every day the residents of the District of Columbia,” she said.

In a change from her predecessor, Mayor Vincent Gray, Bowser moved her own office from the top floor of the Wilson Building, where Gray worked, to the third floor, where she said she will be closer to key staff members. The Office of LGBT Affairs is located in the bullpen section of the third floor.

Dyer served as director of the then Office of GLBT Affairs under former Mayor Adrian Fenty.

Among the out gay officials from the Gray administration that Bowser has retained in her administration are Eric Richardson, director of the Office of Cable Television; and Patrick Canavan, director of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

The American Psychological Association has credited Canavan with playing a key role in transforming St. Elizabeth’s from a “once notoriously decrepit mental health hospital into a gleaming, state-of-the-art facility.”

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

1 Comment
  • So far, Bowser's LGBT appointments have little or nothing to do with protecting DC's 50,0000+ LGBT residents and businesses from anti-LGBT hate crimes and intimate partner violence.
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    Worse still, Bowser continues to ignore the the homophobic and transphobic discrimination within her own police department (MPD).
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    The city's population has exploded upward by 12% in the last eight years. Fully 10% identify as LGBT (Gallup, 2013). Still, Bowser has failed to restore MPD's core Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit (GLLU) to its pre-recession force level of EIGHT full-time police officers, including a full time Sergeant.
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    And no mayor of any city can claim to be "LGBT-friendly" when his/her police department is riddled with de facto anti-LGBT discrimination.
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    How many open and out LGBT police Sergeants are there at MPD?
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    How many open and out LGBT Lieutenants command Police Service Areas (PSAs) at MPD?
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    Are there any open and out LGBT Captains at MPD at all?
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    The District of Columbia has over a dozen District Commanders and Assistant Police Chiefs at MPD. Is there even ONE open and out LGBT person among them?
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    It has been a full month since Muriel Bowser became mayor. But anti-LGBT discrimination and harassment in police employment, advancement and police services deployment within her DC police department (MPD) remains a dangerous, anti-LGBT disgrace.
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